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TOPIC: Weekend at the Races

Weekend at the Races 17 May 2019 21:08 #101

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May is a busy month. The following weekend after that race in Arizona, my wife and I drove from our home near Portland, Ore., south to Carmel, Calif., to attend the Quail Motorcycle Gathering show and ride. This is the fourth time that I have attended this show and the third time that I have displayed a bike. We took along my bright orange 1975 Yamaha RD 350. It's a nice machine - mostly original condition with some minor refurbishments. It looks good enough to place on a show field with some high end restorations but it isn't too precious to ride.

While my wife went sightseeing on Friday with a friend, I participated in the pre-show ride. Around 100 riders follow a 100+ mile route through the hills in the area, ending up at the Laguna Seca racetrack. There, we got to make a few fast-as-you-dare laps around the track before heading back to the starting point for lunch. The ride and track laps were shepherded by a couple of CHP motor officers who blocked intersections so the group could proceed unimpeded and they totally disregarded the posted speed limits. Those guys tore on the roads and around the race track with their lights flashing. What a hoot! The tacho on my RD spent more time in the red zone in one day than it normally does in a year. At a post-ride dinner that evening, motorcycling legends Mert Lawwill and Malcolm Smith were honored for their accomplishments. I did not take any photos during the ride or at the race track.

On Saturday, about 300 vintage, competition, and custom motorcycles were arranged on the show field at the fancy Quail Lodge & Golf Club. Brough Superior, a British brand, and the Honda CB750 were featured, celebrating their respective 100th and 50th anniversaries. There were many fine examples of each. A CB750 took Best of Show honors. Awards were given in several classes. My favorite bikes are the obscure small-displacement Italian machines with their oddly shaped fuel tanks. I saw only one Yamaha Enduro in the show and another in the spectator parking area. I failed to get a picture of either one. I entered my RD for display only, but not for judging. I do not go to many car or bike shows. I like this one because of the ride and race track laps, and also because the show is so open and inviting. There are no ropes or barriers between the spectators and the displays, and not a single "do not touch" sign in sight. The price of admission includes a really nice catered lunch.





















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Last Edit: by Tom S..

Weekend at the Races 17 May 2019 21:22 #102

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More awesome pictures Tom. The picture of Jeff Ward looks exactly like him as a little kid. (he was never very big, compact?)

I will try to dig out the mini bike mag as soon as possible.

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Weekend at the Races 19 May 2019 10:09 #103

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do you know of the dodge bro racing.....

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Weekend at the Races 19 May 2019 15:23 #104

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dchallenger wrote: do you know of the dodge bro racing.....


I am acquainted with Tony Dodge. He hasn't shown up much at pro races in awhile. I see his occasional FB post. Dodge Bros. have supported a lot of good riders over the years.

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Weekend at the Races 19 May 2019 17:29 #105

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Got home from the bike show in Carmel and had two days to put things in order before heading to southern California for the So-Cal Half-Mile flat track race at Perris Auto Speedway on May 11. It was overcast and cool when my plane landed in Ontario, and it rained a bit in the days before the race. The possibility of more rain had the organizers on edge. Unlike motocross and road racing, this is a dry weather sport. But the weather improved and it was perfect for the event. Perris is a banked clay car track with concrete walls and tall fences. At this race they ran the usual two classes for single and twin cylinder bikes, plus an intermediate class for slightly less potent twins, and a fourth class for modified street bikes called Hooligans. It was a long day of racing.

The premier twins class win went to Brandon Robinson, a journeyman racer on a privately entered Indian. A factory team Indian finished in second place, and to everyone's surprise one of the factory Harley-Davidson machines finished in third place. It was their best finish so far this season. H-D has really been struggling for the last few years.

Wins in the intermediate twins class and singles class were taken by Yamaha-mounted riders. Yamaha has come on strong recently, and last week the company was announced as a new series sponsor. First and second place in the Hooligans class went to riders from my home area, one on a Harley an the other on a KTM. It's always nice to see the local riders do well at away games. The H-D rider who took third place in the premier class is also from my area.

I was supposed to go back to Calif. again this weekend for the Sacramento Mile, the first of a string of races on mile-long horse tracks. Heavy rains were forecast so the organizers cancelled and rescheduled it for early August. I'll miss the next round in Illinois on May 26, but I'll be back to the races at the mile event in Lexington, Kentucky, on June 1.



















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Last Edit: by Tom S..

Weekend at the Races 19 May 2019 19:21 #106

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Great stuff... thanks for sharing Tom!

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Weekend at the Races 22 May 2019 20:38 #107

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I hadn't been to SoCal in a couple of years, so while I was there for the motorcycle races I also I allowed time to visit two of my favorite places, the NHRA drag racing museum in Pomona, and the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

The NHRA museum is at the LA County Fairgrounds, in building constructed in 1939 as a Works Progress Administration depression-era project. It is filled with drag racers and memorabilia to explain the history of drag racing in general, and the NHRA's role specifically. The cars are presented with detailed descriptions, and the walls are lined with cases full of photos, hardware, trophies and more neat stuff. There is a cutaway funny car that you can sit in to have your picture taken.

The Petersen Automotive Museum is housed in an enormous four-story building that was originally a department store. It sits at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue in LA. The bright red walls are covered with ribbons of stainless steel. According to the designers, the facade is intended to "make a visceral statement that evokes the imagery of speed and the organic curves of a coach-built automobile." Sure.

This museum has a selection of thoughtful permanent exhibits that describe the history of the automobile and motorized transportation, with a California point of view. There are always lots of movie cars, hot rods, and racers to see.

I've been to this museum several times before, so I sort of breezed through the familiar permanent exhibits. I was mainly interested to take the Vault Tour of excess cars, and to see the temporary exhibit “Winning Numbers: The First, The Fastest, The Famous”, from the collection of competition cars belonging to Bruce Meyer, a California real estate developer.

The Vault Tour takes you through an underground parking lot. The area is packed with cars, ranging from US and foreign classics to Can Am and IMSA racers, and a few motorcycles, too. Some have been on display upstairs before, while others have not. Many of the cars are restored and some are in heavily deteriorated original condition. The tour was 45 minutes long and we saw just a portion of the cars. It would take hours to see them all. I was disappointed to learn that no photography is allowed in the vault.

The Bruce Meyer collection is a stunning assembly of historically significant race cars from diverse disciplines. There are several LeMans winners, including the Porsche 935 (41) that took overall honors in 1979, becoming the only 911-based vehicle to win OA and only the second production car to win since WWII. I really liked the bright red 1965 Bizzarrini w/Chev power (3), the silver 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa (11), and the white 1960 Corvette (2). All are LeMans class winners. The yellow hemi-powered Greer-Black-Prudhomme dragster was said to have a record of 237 wins and four losses from 1962-1964, running sub-8s and 191 mph. There are a few vintage lakes racers on hand, too.





















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Weekend at the Races 22 May 2019 20:53 #108

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I'm pretty sure that I built a plastic model of the twin-engine Dragmaster "Two Thing" when I was a kid. Anyone else?

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