Originally Posted by MistressOfMayhem View Post
Awww.... I'm glad to see you livening up the place again! This forum needs some substance.
It's always good to have ya stop by. Next time you're in town I hope to have another bike in my collection. It will be a triple, and it won't be a kawasaki...
Bonus points if it actually runs!
That ain't no doubt! I'm tired of seeing this place goin' down hill.
Lol, I like how ya say 'in town' like it's a hop down the road! I thought you were all happy in the pants for the 848?
Anyways. That was it folks. Last weekend was a last race of my rookie season flat tracking. Hot damn.
I got there & didn't even have a running bike. I had broke the kicker (apparently you can't KICK it too hard) & Buttons was experiencing carburetor narcolepsy again.
Kyle brought me a kicker from his parts pile & then I checked the timing. Word of advise.... It is not fun timing your bike when it doesn't have a battery & the flywheel is in an oil bath...
Kyle offered to let me ride Chris Carr's old KTM or his sweet ass XR framer. More on that later.
I wanted to ride my death tractor! I got her running well enough I thought I had a chance at competing. I brought her into my pit after beebopping around & the muffler's weld had cracked half way around the pipe. This is the second time this has happened & I don't have a wire gun in my back pocket.
So to hell with it! I ripped the muffler off & tossed it in the back of the pickup. If I would have only known how big the broken parts pile was going to get...
I talked to one of my fellow vintage 400 racers & he told me a shade tree tuning trick. Tape up the filter. If you're too lean, it'll get better. Too rich & it'll get worse. So I wrapped up about 2/3rds of my filter & went out for practice.
By some sort of freak miracle, Buttons had a ridiculous amount of power. Keeping the front end down in the first two gears was nearly impossible. The new gearing was PERFECT too! She'd never had this kind of power, it was crazy.
Bad thing was I've only been on this track once & I don't like it. Not sure what it is, but I just don't like it.
So, we get to the main &...
I got the HOLESHOT!
I was first.... FIRST, like there was NO ONE in front of me!
This, like many other great moments in my life was very short lived. This time, it was about 45 seconds. Felt like ten years. I knew I had pro caliber riders & bikes climbing up my back. I was riding (once again) like I'd never rode before. It was only a matter of time, I was getting way too cocky.
I heard someone say once, 'pin it to bin it or win it'
I came into one WAY too fast 'cause I knew that hot Bultaco was about to run over me. I went high, through a hole & into a tank slapper so I gassed it.
I should have learned the first time dammit.
Funny thing was, the exact opposite happened from Clay Center.
It was as sideways as I could be. Bars to the steering stop, bouncing so much I could barely hang on & I'll be damned if I'm backing off at this point! I bet I looked GOOD there for a second. Saving a speed wobble, up high in the fluff, crossed up like a roadmap!
Then all of a sudden the horizon started tilting. A LOT.
Mental note. When the horizon is vertical, you are crashing. You can let out of the gas now. You are now another statistic. You are now a cattle wrapped whack job.
I got up & I was a few paces from Buttons. She was still running. I killed her, grabbed the seat (I did learn to not take off without it!) but couldn't get her out of gear. I click down, up, cuss every which direction I could but couldn't get her in neutral to save my life.
So screw it, I'll kick the damn thing in gear.
That doesn't work.
So I find neutral & she fires right up. Charlie gets to me at this point & I throw him the number plate that came off as I pop the front end up to get back to the front straight.
Post crash testing procedure: Bike still propels itself forward. Then it's good to race!
So we take back off, me on the back line again.
I backed it off 11, maybe 10.5 but everyone just rode away from me. I was told later that that's the fastest anyone remembers Jeeps being. Everyone had higher gearing & was using it. We were hauling balls.
Me, just not quite enough balls (or tires) not sure yet.
So with all that over, I realized I watched my podium finish walk away from me. The one guy I needed to be at least behind got second & that was that. Without a win in the TT Sunday, I'd lose my third place season finish.
Anyways, we built a bigass bonfire & got lit. I had four cases of head & planned on me & Kyle & Charlie drinking them. Ego's got stroked, the shit got deep, it was grand.
We put a rather large dent in the heads, lemme tell ya.
I wake up in a sleeping bag, next to my pickup & the first thing I see is a 'I've been blessed in 2011' sticker from the CMA on my bumper through my bloodshot eyes. Now I don't give a damn what organization you're with (whether I'm for you or against you) but don't go sticking stickers on my stuff dammit!
I tried to go back to sleep but someone fired up a smoker & was ring dinging all over my hangover.
I stumble around long enough to find Buttons & that she had a tear in her second carb boot.
I lean her against a tree & take off to find carbs & coffee. My shin felt like it'd been whacked with a 2x4 & the rest of me. Well, I can say I didn't feel so great. But that's my own damn fault.
I find a Mikky Dees off the interstate a few exits down & eat a few dozen biscuits & gravy. Then I get some gatorade & a shit ton of Tylenol. I recently found out awhile ago that the human body is not supposed absorb more than 4000mg of Tylenol in a 24 hour period. Sadly, I was out of my painkillers so those would have to do.
Adapt. Overcome. Don't be a pussy.
I get back to the track, meet up with a pro that had gave me a pat on the back once & informed him of Button's situation. He looked like he was in about the same shape as I.
Come to find out, his shop was like 15 minutes down the road. We hop in his pickup & head out. Damn thing was so fancy, he could call people from it! He just told the pickup to dial so & so & BAM! How crazy is that?
We get to his shop & it's like so sort of majestic flat track haven. There's stacks of tires, wheels, frames, motors, endless supplies. Shitin' lathe & all! Duder makes his own triples. Yeah.
He finds an XR carb boot in a box & we examine it. Close, but no banana.
So he puts it in the Bridgeport & he cuts the holes out to match! Fuck yeah!
We haul ass back & I start wrenching like mad. I had an hour to practice (when sign in closes) but then the carb was just a hair to big. I tightened down the clamp the carb would squeeze out the boot.
I'm not gonna be this close & quit. No.
Razor knife, make hole bigger. Problem solved.
You know you're grasping for straws when you go to a race with a bike that doesn't run & when it does, is completely unreliable. When your muffler is in the bed of your pickup along with a number plate & a bolt from the peg. You're hungover & crashed the night before. You just duct taped on your carb & your seat is held on with a bungie cord. Both welds on the crossbar are cracking, clutch lever is bent, along with the shifter.
Yeah, that's pretty sketchy. So I safety wired the carb on!
Practice was MENTAL. I haven't seen this many crashes in my life. Riders & bikes were damn near being walked off the track at the rate they were being let on. People are wacking hale bales going into the TT section. Others go over the high bank lefty from one & bouncing through ruts. Markers are getting rode over. We're dodging frickin' telephone poles they wrap the track around. I don't even know how to describe it.
I seriously saw one guy ride up the back of another bike (I really don't know how to tell you how it happened, or what they hell I saw) but there's an old 185 dual sport honda climbing up the back of a mad dog bike, going off one. Dude on the 185 had his hands in the air like 'I give up' & yet, somehow in some sort of miraculous stunt of motorcycling history they both saved it!
Then a kid behind them is coming down the straight & just falls over. Like his bike fell asleep.
I've seen a few things but this was over the top. This was the sketchiest form of racing anything & I LOVED IT.
I had raised my front end for the jump. I was geared high for the longer straight. You had to hook a HARD left & get her stood up for the jump.
There is no training course for this. Not that I know of. You tell yourself you're going to jump a 40 year old bucket of physical injury with a dozen crackpots inches from you.
And you do it.
She flew like a damn plane!
I came up to the jump wound for sound in second & I know there was no way she was straight. I could barely tell I was off the ground!
Then I looked down. Hmm.
Now I've jumped little stuff screwing around town before on about any thing two wheeled you can imagine (& yes, that includes a full dress bagger) but there was something different about this.
The landing was as good as the take off. Smooth. Just 'pooossssh' (that's my impersonation of the sound when you flop down in one of them bean bag chairs) & kept going! I was expecting Buttons to die at any second & see my carb dangling by the throttle cable but she just kept going! A wheel didn't fall off, I didn't break the frame in two. I didn't get stabbed by a sheared off handlebar. AWESOME!
A wide, tight, WIDE off camber left back onto four you catch a bit of air off the bank & blast down the straight hanging off the bike like killin' the bendies trying to pull her down on the track far enough to get backed in before you eat a pile of hay bales stacked in one.
Again & again & again. By the end of the day I jumped her 26 times. Everytime a bit faster. This is better than most drugs, if not all.
I ended up getting first in the heat. Only by default. I was running mid pack but between crashes & bikes breaking they finally just ended it. I didn't even know I got first until I saw the race posting!
So the main.
I get a holeshot like a mother! Second place out the chute & hard on the back of a TT500 whopping my lid with clods from every corner. Dude was good, way good.
I was getting cocky again & could taste it, literally. Another guy checked in on me on the second lap, first right hander before the jump. If we'd gotten any closer, our cases would have scraped. He got in behind the 500 & first place must've known some serious heat was on his tail.
He started going faster!
I checked behind me & there's my buddy Kyle, but not too close. A corner, maybe a corner & a half behind me. He'd piled it up in the heat so I was hoping he wouldn't wick it up too hard.
I suppose after awhile you almost develop a sixth sense when you ride this hard. In this crazyness there's a certain calm that comes over you. That's the only way I can describe it. It's not obtainable on the street or anything asphalt for that matter. This is TT racing. Absofrickin'lutely insane.
I watched as the leaders of two classes slowly pulled away from me. I know my bike isn't that good. I know I'm not that fast. I know Kyle is sore as I am but somehow I know he won't push it as hard as I will. I know I can out torque him, if only barely. I know he can out turn me. I got to be WFO onto the straight as soon as possible. I've been on this track twice, he's been on it, literally, hundreds of times.
I glance back at him in the right hander (was about the only place I had the time) & he stayed right about where he had the whole race. By this point so much rubber had been put down on the track that I rarely put my foot out. Sometimes I'd get a little too sideways coming into the TT section & put it down out of habit. Once, I felt a whop whop whop! from my back tire.... I had clipped the hay bales, lol!
For the most part, I started road racing, on dirt. If you can believe that! I was hanging off, seat under my thigh, kinda tucked in to the side flat out down the straight.
The half way flag was thrown, everything had kinda settled down. Well, if that's possible. I checked back on Kyle & damn near ran off the track. I felt the click click click! of little yellow plastic markers on my left foot. Rules were, if you went off the track, you had to go back & get on where you came off.
That's no bueno.
Usually, when you go off the track, you just keep in the happy stick & hurtle back on when ya can.
It was the second to last lap. If I went off that was it, I would lose the highest position I've ever been looking at a finish in. I wrestled her down with some extra brake, came up to the jump no where near straight & she bobbled when I came down. I scoot forward on the tank & grab third early to get in the torque. That's when I heard #44x behind me. RIGHT behind me.
He saw my screw up big as day & was coming for me. Rookie mistake, by the rookie, lol.
I rode Button's tits off to put space between me & Kyle again. His exhaust note faded into nothing eventually under Button's new found mufflerless pipe.
The flag dropped. I got second.