Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Summer Vacation

I needed a vacation, so I grabbed the boy, threw a spare wheel into the truck, and headed up to New York City. Two long days later, we were in Brooklyn! Got there with just enough time to recover before stuffing into the back of an astro van, on a crate between 2 race bikes, headed off upstate to Lebanon Valley with Hugh Mackie and Van Asher to do some dirt track racing.

Hugh had always talked about racing, and often watched heroes like David Aldana sliding sideways around the tracks in upstate New York. He finally got involved, and of course, it had to be the year AFTER I left NYC. So when he told me they had a race while I was in town, I had no choice.

Hugh brought his Trackmaster Triumph T140, and Van his Trackmaster Yamaha 500. Hugh would run Vintage Heavyweight and 1 more, and Van Vintage Lightweight. The bikes were ready to go, but you need to make sure.
It's a big track. 1/2 mile, and a bit rough.
Time to ride! Practice 1st
The MX race bikes are awesome!

Practice went well, bikes ran great. Hugh and Van got comfortable out on the track. It's cool being able to see both the good old bikes and the brand new bikes out there.
After lunch, time to race! Hugh's 2 races were back to back, so he decided to only race the Vintage Heavy. His main competition was, surprise surprise, a BSA Trackmaster! This guy is an old pro-rider, so he won't be a slouch out there.

Van had an excellent race! He did alot better than he expected, and beat quite a few guys.
Time for the Vintage Heavyweight.

That's Hugh vs. the BSA. They were wheel to wheel the whole race.
Hugh is #703
BSA is #63

They swapped back and forth a couple times, but the BSA made it stick at the checkers.
A 3rd place trophy that was hard fought!
That was our day at the races!
Even though I should have been treated as the guest of honor (ha ha!), I was still put to work!
It was my job to be the video guy. Not really my expertise, but come check it out. Here are the You-Tube links. The best footage was when I was on the back of Van's bike, filming over his shoulder.
Also, check out Van at
And to follow the NY dirt track racing, goto
Here are some of the other vintage racers that showed up

And of course, the parting shot of the day!
These bikes are shown how they sat during the awesome races that weekend, collecting dust in the basement of 6th Street Specials! Shame shame. I should have borrowed one!

Monday, September 13, 2010

My Great Biker Build-Off !

I have 1 month and 10 days
I left NYC 8 years ago with a Triumph bottom end and cylinder head, and have since acquired the rest of this pile. Now I must finally build the bike!

The goal is to ride my bike to the Mods V. Rockers motorcycle rally and win me a prize!
I'm building a 1965 Triumph T120C, but it ain't gonna look like one. The whole idea is to build a bike that I would have built back in '65. I'd like to think of it as a Triumph Special, but you'd probably only call it a bitsa (or something decency won't let me type).

I had to start with a mock up, just to see if all my parts would fit! Now it's time to get serious and turn this pile o' junk into a proper street fighting bastard!

Wish me luck!
and bring me coffee!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


This is a job I've been working on. It's a BSA Rocket 3. One of the first ones, it's got a really low number, and there are a few other clues.

It's going to be a big job, as you can see.

The whole bike is in pieces now. The frame needs a repair, and then all the black goes to the painters. In the Mean (Machines) time, I've been busy with the engine.

Well, that's all for now.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Racing Blues

Me and Henry weren’t thinking about CCS Vintage racing until we got a call from Tash. He got the itch to beat everyone, but needed a bit more than his CB350. He knew who to call.
So a little scramble, and the 2 bikes were ready with plenty of time to spare! Usually we’re down to the wire, but we had 12 hours before we had to leave for the track.

Saturday morning, crack of dawn, we were on our way to Homestead Miami Speedway.

Saturday would be all day practice, and then we race on Sunday.

Practice went great. The Z1R (the blue/white one) ran great for Tash. He has raced the bike in the past and quickly got comfortable. A couple of missed shifts ‘tween 3rd and 4th were the only real issues. Henry was also running good on the bike we call the Rolex (root beer orange). We shook out most the issues at Jennings, but it started weeping a bit out the base gasket.

I was kept on my toes, but had little breathing room. I also had a bit of help from Tash’s son Michael. Thanx!

Sunday morning, race day! Bikes looking good, riders feeling good, Tash looking to win. 8 bikes ready to duke it out in the combined heavy and light weight vintage race. All we’ve got to do is get through practice!

Well, Henry did. Those missed shifts of Tash’s on Saturday(I had heard one- ouch) had taken their toll. Something happened to cylinder #4. I won’t know for sure until the head is off, but I say it’s a broken valve spring. Hopefully the damage is minimum.

Being the gentleman he is, Henry offered up the Rolex for Tash to race. He only had a blast around the parking lot and warm up lap to get familiar, but he was Gung Ho!
Let’s go racing!

Tash took off. Holeshot, first into turn 1. Looking good! Then he ran off track, but got right back into it. Started picking off everyone one by one.
Then it happened, he pulled off early. End of the race for us. The oil from the base gasket wet up his boot, causing it to slip off the peg a couple times. Better safe than sorry, especially since there ain’t no money to be won.

On the bright side, we went racing! I also got excellent input from Tash on both of our bikes. He loves the way the Z1R handles (I have done a lot to develop it), and we now know the Rolex’s engine has the power that Jap George claimed it would have. Thanx Tash. So till next time, which is October 2nd, I believe.
See ya.