Thursday, August 16, 2007

2007 Moto Memories

2007 was a re-creation year that started the MX racing blood flowing again after about 30 years away from the sport. My kids have all learned how to ride a dirtbike over the past couple years (with my learned experience) and they too began racing for the first time in their lives this year. It's been alot of fun and I would love to devote alot more time to the sport if any of them really want to get involved with it. Neither of my girls seem to be 'real interested', but my son Scott has taken a liking to it and I think that as he progresses in development of skills and time on the seat he will become a permanent member of the MX "blood-brotherhood". Whatever they want to do, I'm happy with supporting it and enjoying it also. Afterall... I'm the adult now I can go race or ride anytime I want!...

Sunday, May 20, 2007


The whole family went out to the Hangtown Motocross Race this weekend and saw all the Pros in their own world.... This was awesome!... is all I can say, what a great opportunity to see Ricky Carmicheal in my own 'backyard' here in Sacramento and running on such an outrageous track.
We also just got a new digitial camera this weekend also so the mixture made for a great amount of enjoyment overall. I filled a 1 Gigabyte CF card out there this Sunday alone... over 250 photos! Here are some of the "Money Shots"

Heres Ricky!!!

Heres Ryan Villapoto, with his new Lights Championship #1 Plate

And heres Bubba Stewart rippin through the turns in awesome style!

Ill post some more later when I get time to upload them... it takes forever!

Monday, April 16, 2007


Sierra OTHG presented Round 1 of the 2007 Nationals at The Oatfield in Turlock, California

Race Report:
This event was off-the-hook in everything imaginable that the promoters and Mother Nature could throw at us. The event was very well represented by the number of pre-entrants (well over 200) from Sierra, Bay, Reno and South Chapters and the gate makeup in almost every class was filled to the brim. This made for some great overall racing for all the riders and the spectators got to see a lot of things going on from their awesome vantage point as well. I got an opportunity to watch a lot of the races in between my motos too. It was very exciting.

First of all it was my very first time out at The Oatfield and I had heard many stories, good and bad, easy and dangerous!... but it all came to pass after experiencing it first hand. The track soil makeup is mostly sandy loam with filtered dirt, it’s not clumpy and it breaks up and moves around very easily. The track design includes a 24 bike starting gate with a wide uphill right hand sweeper that goes from about 100’ wide to about 20’ wide in about 20 yards… and then drops you into the main course on a hard right hand banked turn. This definitely sorts out the leaders from the followers and it turns into almost single file racing immediately when the ruts start to appear. There are five double/triple jumps that you can choose to either clear the double or clear the triple. There is a whoop section that is pretty smooth and manageable at speed without too much trouble and then a huge step-up platform jump right in the middle of the track that is very daunting to look at, but easily do-able from my experience with it as a first timer. The double/triple jumps were harder because they weren’t table tops and you had to either choose to make the jump or roll over it, which was so much slower and more dangerous too with traffic jumping from behind.

Saturday Races: The track was prepped beautiful for Saturdays beginning events and with cloud cover and no wind at the time it was perfect conditions to keep it moist and very pliable. AMP didn’t do any watering at all during the first half of the day. My first moto was good, I got off the line very well and ran the outside of the sweeper all the way around the riders that chose the inside and had to slow down to make the turns. I ended up in about 7th or 8th and then just worked my way up through other riders. The course was already rutted but very easy to lay the bike into the turns and throttle out with lots of traction everywhere. Most of the beginner riders were rolling over all the double/triple jumps and I was too, I flat landed a few times into the bowls below and that was beating me and the bike up like crazy, I had to try something else. I tried jumping one of them and cased it bad and almost went over the bars from the recoil of my rear suspension, but saved it and kept on going. The big step-up was great; I made up a lot of time on it and all the banked turns. I got up to about 5th place and that’s where I finished out Moto #1 in Race #3, 45+ Beginner Class. There were 3 guys from South Chapter that were ‘ringers’ because they had half the track on the rest of the field. They were definitely not beginner riders and I’m not sure exactly how that Chapter defines a beginner, but it’s not the same as ours.

Scott raced in the Under 100cc Support Class in Moto #14 and it was after the rains started coming down. There was an accident in Moto#13 where an Old Timers MX rider tried completing a triple jump on the uphill back side and did a face plant into the ground instead. I understand he has a broken femur and not much memory of what exactly happened at all. He was life-flighted out and that took up a great amount of time. When Scott's race finally got started I told him to just survive and do the best he can and he’ll make it through. He was soaking wet when the starting gate dropped from the rains coming down and the track was already turning to mud and getting slippery in some sections. The kid did a great job out there, he got off to a decent start and I think he finished 6th out of 10 kids in that group.

MUCKFEST: We were all waiting for the call by the "Higher-ups" to end the day before the second round of motos started and I do believe that NO ONE really wanted to go out in that muck and try to race. I think if I were making the decisions I would have played it safer and actually competitively better for everyone’s advantage and called the races for the remainder of the afternoon. Let the Moto #1 standings be the total for the day and save the track for the next days events. We could have ran Moto 2 for fun if people really wanted to go out and get muddy, but please… nothing that occurred during any of the second motos could be remotely considered any type of “competition” under the definition of the word! It was only survival of who could stay on the track and find there way through all the muck and mire to the finish line.

The track deteriorated very quickly and the rains were coming down pretty steady now. The ruts filled with water and there were lakes of water crossing the track by Moto #3 of which I had to contend in since I was defending a 5th place finish in my first moto. I had to line up. We made it around the start sweeper just fine and then onto the main track into mud that was the consistency of freshly poured ankle deep concrete… and the slipping and sliding started… I was in a group in the front 5-6 guys and made it over the first jump and into the front grandstand straight and then ran into the main rut that was filled to the rim with water and muck and my bike came to a fleeting halt, Just Stopped! Back wheel spinning, my pegs must have landed on hard pack and lifted the back off the ground and then I just fell over sideways in the rut and was pasted with mud. I got the bike back up and moved on, still more people piling up everywhere in all the mire. The bike just would not track, the front wheel was going one direction and the back wheel was going another… I cross rutted again and again everywhere I went and almost lost control a few more times. I was done, 1 lap was enough for me to say “Sorry this just isn’t worth my injury or destroying my bike over” I had a DNF (Did Not Finish) for Moto #2, Race #3 45+ Beginner. This was gonna hurt my overall really bad. I think there were only 16 people that either showed up to race in my class of 24 or that is all that finished because there were quite a few of us that had DNF’s or DNS’s.

Sierra OTHG puts on a huge raffle at these events and they give out some pretty nice prizes. There was no exception here; many great sponsors supplied some truly awesome prizes that anybody would be proud to take home. I was not lucky enough to be one of those people enjoying their new winnings... They gave away a Pit bike, a helmet and some new boots as grand prizes and an all expense paid trip to Moto des Nations.

Sunday Races: Waking up to wind and clouds on Sunday morning, we didn’t have great expectations of anything being very good on this day. In fact we were getting ready to pack it up and go home if things looked as bad as we were imagining. We went trackside and the Azevedo guys had performed a near miracle already; the muck had been scraped off and the track was flat and the jump faces were prepped and it was as if God himself had taken mercy upon us all!... Practice even got started on time, albeit not many people were out there for the first practice but we were all trying to see what it was gonna be like before trying to ‘perform’ out there ourselves. As it was, there were many slippery areas and many covered up ruts that were simply filled with slop but if you didn’t hit those then you could pretty easily make it around the track decently. The first 5 races were pretty tricky but those were the Pros and the Experts because the race schedule for today got flipped around. I was to be in Moto #11 and Scott was in Moto #14. So it was looking good for us. The wind was blowing pretty steady and the Sun was out in force. The clouds had moved on and it was shaping up to be a good day. We stayed.

We got to watch a lot of great racing and as the time approached for our Motos it was a game of deciding how to prepare the bike. Tire pressures for the mud, half mud, half dirt, some hard pack, some muck…. What to do? Oh well, just go out and do the best you can with what you got. That was it.

Moto #3, I lined up in the gate next to Christina Ellis #38 from Reno Chapter that I was chasing after in the first moto on Saturday but never got past her. I met her in the pits Saturday afternoon and she was funny and nice, enjoyed racing with her and told her I’d be after her again. So anyway the gate drops, she gets the jump on me, so I follow in close behind because she has a good line with the front 4-5 guys and I’m right behind her. We come out onto the main track again and the prep is nice, lots of ruts to contend with and then all of sudden she checks up and I’m right on her back wheel, I have to hit the brakes to keep from running her over… my bike stalls right in the turn and then she keeps on going with the pac while I begin getting pummeled by all the guys coming around and and stacking up behind me. Sorry Guys!

I get started after about 3 kicks and get going again, now I’m in about next to last… and I had a lot of catching up to do. I’m running and running as fast as I can and now I decide I need to do some jumping. So I jump #1 double/triple and clear the double, YEA!... and then I get to #2 double/triple right in front of the grandstands and clear that double just fine YEA! and then I get around the whoops up and over the step-up and down to #3 double/triple and go for it… well this one is a bit bigger and it’s a downhill jump and I landed on the crest of the double and it launched me almost over the bars, but I hang on, my feet were off the pegs and only my knees were holding me onto the bike wrapped tightly to the tank… I get up to #4 double/triple and go for it again and landed it perfectly smooth. The #5 double/triple is the one on the back straight and that is the only one that I never tried to jump. The launch was just too steep and I didn’t want to get that much air…. Not today anyway. So by lap three, I was in sight of Christina again and I saw that she wasn’t jumping many of the double/triples, I caught up to her at Jump # 2 on lap four and was ready to pass her there but she jumped it and kept on going… so I just stayed in check and we were coming up to the big turn before the tabletop jump and came to the inside after drag racing her down the straight and slid into the apex underneath her and was ready to take the position, I locked up the rear and didn’t let it go in time and it stalled the bike right there... 3 mores kicks and I was going again, but now she was gone… and I had to just protect my position and ended up 6th place in Moto 3, Race #11 45+ Beginner.

Scott did pretty well in his moto he held out for 4th Place and finished with a big grin on his face, so I think that pretty much said it all to me. He said he was slopping through some of the double/triple bottoms that were really still just full of muck, but other than that he was handling the ruts pretty well and keeping his arms up and his foot up and in front of him in the turns nicely. Great training for him. Hoss from FactoryPhoto got a great shot of him and we bought an 8X10 copy for his memory book of the Oatfield.

My moto #4 went the best of all, I got a great start and didn’t behind anyone this time, just followed the openings in the packs as they adjusted and got a clean start in about 5th position. I started deliberately right between 2 of the South chapter guys because they were cleaning our clocks out there and I wanted to find out where they were doing it.

So I figured I would follow and learn or pass them wherever I could. About halfway through the second lap I passed the one “Southy” that was in front of me the other one was already gone and there was one other rider I could see in the distant ahead of me. I just kept on jumping and trying to get through the turns as fast as possible and was doing everything right it seemed.

I was going through the whoops when I looked down and saw a kick starter lying in the dirt. I laughed and thought “bummer”… then I figured I’d better look down and check to see if mine was missing ya know just in case… and sure enough it was MINE!!!! OH NO!!!!... I better not stall it now… So I had to yell for the turn workers to point out where the part was laying and they got to it as I was racing by…. and trying to direct all that too. By this time the front runners were way ahead of me and I settled in for third place. I caught up to the next rider at the finish gate and it was Christina Ellis again…! I gave her a big thumbs up and said I’d try again next time….

So the one South Chapter “Sandbagger” got first places in 3 of 4 motos and obviously got First Place overall, while the rest of us were left to quibble over the remaining 5 trophy spots. I ended up in 9th overall due mostly to my DNF in "MOTOMUCKFEST #2" which should have never even been scored at all. Half of the time the scorers couldnt even see the number plates! Oh well. All in all it was a good event and it was fun, The Oatfield is definitely a place that I want to visit again and again and learn more from riding on its demanding and changing terrain. The turns are never the same from moto to moto.

Big Thanks to all the supporters and sponsors of this event, AMP, The Azevedo's, the catering crew and of course the track workers... without them all this couldnt have happened.

Thanks to Mike Subocz for some of the pics!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Yamaha Teardown

Well now that the motor went, it was time to tear everything down and do it all over again. Got the motor out of it and sent it over to the motor guy to do his magic... and I got all the rest of it to do. the bike needs an overall clean up of every part hidden within. It needs a new rear fender, Im changing the rear sprocket to a 50 tooth, and I am replacing all the bearings in the rear swingarm, wheels and triple tree just to make it all fresh.

As you can see the motor aint much but it makes this little frame of a bike fly! The engine had to have the kickstarter assembly replaced and both cases. I replaced the piston and ring set, but the entire valve train was perfect.

I'll post some pics of the new engine when I get it all back and together.

All assembly will be with new parts and nuts and bolts and she'll be good as new again...

A 2003 -07 version, less the new frame of course!

Monday, April 02, 2007

CMA Round #4 LaGrange

This last event at LaGrange SVRA Park was the final round of the CMA Pacific Coast Pro-Am Championship Series and it was a very good day. Scott got his first podium finish in racing and I got my first holeshot off the startline. I was running on a graciously loaned 2007 Yamaha YZ450F by Rob Dresser, Thanks Rob! It is a beautiful bike!.

It was a nice day but got somewhat warm by the time our races started in the early afternoon. I had a holeshot off the start in Moto#1 and lead for the entire first 4 laps, and then I just ran out of physical energy and I started faiding fast. The last lap I was just exhausted (not enough water and gatorade in me) and with one guy still directly behind me and the rest of the group within striking distance, I had to muster up just enough to get to the end. I got passed by the second place guy and then went down in the next to last turn and that brought the second place guy past me and I ended up in third place.

My moto#2 was 180 degrees of my first... I stalled the bike off the starting gate and had to play catch up through the whole field of 11 guys to try and have any chance at getting in the top 3. I got all the way to 4th place and was on the rear wheel of the third place guy right at the finish line but couldnt get past. Got a 4th Place overall finish for the day.
Scott on the other hand had a second place finish in his Moto#1 and a third place in Moto#2. He had a tough field of 85cc expert riders he was running against, but kept on the going. He also had to do 6 laps around a very long course. He endured and it payed off for him. That got him a Third Place Finish overall for the day!... Great job Scott!!!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Exploded Yamaha!!!

So My bike decided to let me down on my last race day at Hollister hills. With a big backfire and little pressure n the kickstarter this piece of the engine case decided to exit the place it was suppose to be at to make my bike operate properly.

Here is the area of the case where the piece is missing. Right behind the kickstarter shaft. It is part of the Right Case Engine half.

Here is another view of the case where the shaft would have met with the outer shaft housing. The housing has a 'cup' in it to hold the shaft end.
More on this later...

Friday, March 23, 2007

Protect Our Riding Areas

These are the local riding areas in Northern California, as you can see theres a mix of Public and Private riding areas. We are very lucky to have so many choices to ride around this area. There have been measures taken at some of the local SVRA and OHV parks to limit our riding access. Two places that are closed right now are Foresthill SVRA and Mammoth Bar SVRA. Both of these areas are closed due to trail destruction and their are no monies at this time to repair and maintain the riding trails according to the National Forest Service which manges these sites.

A Senate Bill (SB742) has also surfaced that is going to possibly mandate that all RED STICKER bikes not be allowed onto PUBLIC PROPERTY after January 1, 2008. This includes 2-strokes and 4-stroke bikes. It is also redirecting funding of the GREEN STICKER program to other areas that are not part of the original OHV plan. We need your help to fight this battle against taking away our right to ride on PUBLIC TAXPAYER OWNED property.

Please write to your State Assembly person and Senator and let them know (respectively) how you feel and how how this affects your family. Thank You.

If you need more information on how to go about doing all this (locating your Senator and Assembly person and letter writing) you can find this at the NCMX Land Use/Legislative section.

Thank for your help, Keep California Riding Trails, Parks, Tracks OPEN!!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

CMA Round #2 Hollister

March 10th was the CMA Spring Series Round #2 at the Hollister Gran Prix Course in Hollister, CA. I hadnt been racing at Hollister for about 30 years...

This event was actually promoted by UMA and they were a bit under the gun in organizing this event in most peoples opinion it seems. We arrived for the first practices of the day and the track appeared to be pretty well prepped, groomed and watered. But it was apparent by about the third group of bikes out there that the hard pack had not been ripped correctly and it was simply turning into a concrete pad with some dirt layed across the top of it. This makes for some very slippery racing conditions. It was very dusty and although they tried to make some of it work, there were areas that they just ignored.

The track itself is a good design with many elevation changes, high banked sweeper turns, some very easy tabletops and even some off-camber turns that will surprise you if you aren't careful. The track is very fast and the slick turns made for some good 'flat-tracking' moments but most MX riders aren't looking for that. The hillside turnarounds rutted out just a bit but not real well and the lines were deceiving.

The OTHG moto's were setup with all Beginner Classes running together which included all 30+, 38+ and 45+ year olds at the starting gate together. The 30+ and 45+ would start in Gate 1 and the 38+ would start in Gate 2 about a half track behind us. So my first moto was alot of fun, I got out of the starting gate and went very wide, I came around the outside of the main group of bikes on the power when alot of them had to slow way down to make the turn. I went into Turn #1 making up all but about 5 places. There were I think 14 guys at the start gate. I battled it out for places in that first lap and remember rubbing wheels with a Kawasaki 2-smoker in front of me and thought I was going down at one point but saved it into one of the tables. I passed him finally and kept on going for the ones in front of me. They must have been some younger guys cause they were movin'!!! I settled into I think 3rd place overall and thats where I finished out the race. Found out later that it was 1st Place in my 45+ Class !!!!! so that was really good for me. So all those guys in front of me were 30+ and they finished 1st and 2nd overall and in Class.

By the time Moto #2 came around, the tractor was out there and ripped the turns up where it was hard packed and re-watered the whole track. This made it so much better then the first round. The turns werent as slippery and you could really get on the throttle even with the big 450's.... without sliding completely sideways thru the turns.

I started from the same position at the gate and did the same exact thing as I did in the first moto and ended up about the same in 5th place coming out of Turn #1. This time I kept up with the group and kept the battle going on the entire time during the race. There were 2 other bikes and myself hooked up in a wheel to wheel race. I went past the first guy and then gave up the position again to him, and then getting it back again right at the start/finish line on lap #3 and then went after the guy in front of him. I caught him entering turn #1 of the final lap and went inside of him down low and then we were going through the tabletops side by side into about Turn #3 where I went around on the outside of the turn and passed him for good at that point and ran to the finish line. This was some great racing and the guys ran clean and gave room to race and thats what its all about. I gave them both a big thumbs up as we left the track. Our finishes were good for 4th, 5th and 6th Overall against the other guys. I got 2nd in class for this race. I never saw the guy in first.... So we did pretty good.

So I ended the event with a FIRST PLACE Overall in the 45+ Beginner Class for the first time since starting to race again. COOL!!! I know that its just the beginner class but we all gotta start someplace...

Hollister is a beautiful setting for racing and the track can be very competitve. It requires some good care and no matter what the conditions are, its good to be out there racing and enjoying this awesome sport. Its good to be back there after all these years.

E Street Final Round

March 4 was the Final Round of the WINTER SERIES at E Street MX. This is the day after my 2nd Place Win down at LaGrange and about 200 miles of driving roundabout. The whole family went out to this one, both Scott and I were gonna be racing this day. Myself in the 45+ Beginner OTHG and Scott in the 85cc Beginner class.

It was a beautiful day out and there was a pretty decent turnout, but nothing quite as close to what was at LaGrange. Maybe people were tired, who knows. They missed a great event.

I finished 4th place in both my motos on this day and got 4th overall so it wasn't as grand as my day before winnings, but the racing was just as fun. The track was nicely setup in its mostly original configuration, it was pretty fast and technical and I didnt crash, so that makes for an awesome day overall.

Scott had a pretty decent day too, I think he went down one time in his second moto, but he finished up before the last bike got off the track, so thats better then what he did at Carnegie.

As this was the final round of the E Street Winter Series, the final points standings placed me in 8th Place overall of 22 Riders for 4 events. I rode in 3 of the 4 events and had a great time.

Thanks to E Street MX, Scott and Lyndsey Davis and all the crew out there for making it a great series. Also thanks goes out to Roseville Yamaha for supporitng the series too.

CMA Round #1 LaGrange

March 3 we were out at the LaGrange SVRA track in LaGrange, CA located down near Modesto. This was Round #1 of the 10th Annual Pacific Coast Pro-Am Spring Series put on by CMA and the Bay Chapter OTHG. First time for me at this track and it was very well setup. I was competing now as a Beginner in the 45+ Class and the turnout for this weekend was phenominal. These are setup with practice in the mornings and then racing in the afternoon, so you dont get much time to figure out the track before the moto's start.

Practice was pretty good, but the track was a bit hard to remember with all the turns and technical portions to try and master all in the course of about 2 hours. After my first practice I really didnt know if this was gonna be a good idea or not. But I overcame by inhibitions and headed out again and again.

When Moto 1 started I was ready as I would ever be and just figured on doing my best. There were 22 guys out there at the starting gate and the track was gonna be fun. I think there was about 12 guys just in my class and I got a bad start off the gate. That was short lived because on the uphill to the first turn I made up alot of ground and ended back up in about 5th place overall.

I worked my way into 4th and then found a racer that I was pretty much equal to as we went around the track at least twice wheel to wheel and I couldn't find a clean passing area to get by. A faster rider came by us both on the downhill jump and wiped out in the bottom turn causing the 3rd place rider in front of me to go off course also. I inherited 3rd place at that point and finished in that position. I was scored in 1st place because the front two riders were actually moved up into other classes. So Whooo Hoooo, A 'technical' first place, but I will take it.

My second moto of the day was about the same, My start was a come from behind to the top of the hill and made up all but the front 4 spots and then it was just a workout to try and run the front guys down. I kept up with 3rd place and finally passed him and then tried to save some energy for second place but it wasnt to be. He was still about 20 yards ahead of me at the finish line and I couldnt make it up. So that was an honest 3rd place finish giving me a Second Place Overall for the day!!!! My First Podium as an Old Guy!....

I am so glad I stayed and put my fears behind me because I had a great time out there. We have another event out there at the end of March again. Im looking forward to it!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Magura Hydraulic Clutch Kit

I just installed a Magura Hydraulic clutch kit on my 2003 YZ450F. The Magura "Jack" kit I purchased from Motosport is pretty nicely setup with everything you need to do the job for about $199.00. First of all make sure to get the right kit. They sell 2 different ones. Kit #0120529 is the right kit and #0120490-20 is the WRONG kit. The tubing is too short in the wrong kit and it won’t reach to the clutch arm.The Magura perch comes with a hot start lever integrated into it and connects right up to the stock cable with no issues. I had a Works Connection perch originally with the hot start cable end and it had a plastic cover on the end tab that I had to remove to fit into the new one.You have 4 parts at the engine end to deal with: The actuator cylinder, the clutch retaining bracket, the actuator rod retainer and the clutch arm. Installing the actuator cylinder at the clutch arm is just a little difficult in that you have to get the tubing routed away from the exhaust and keep it there. Get it into the retaining bracket and then get the rod retainer for the arm installed all in one step...

Read this and practice this a few times before cranking everything down... Oh yea and the retainer didn’t quite fit onto the rod so I had to file it down a bit with a jewelers file until it did.
Read all the directions supplied by Magura closely. This is what I did:

1. Take off your front number plate, right side plastic shroud, plastic air flow vent for the radiator and loosen the right radiator from the frame. You do not need to remove the tank.

2. Remove your old perch, disconnect the clutch cable and hot start cable.

3. Disconnect the clutch cable from the clutch arm at the engine by using a long screw driver to operate the clutch arm and release the cable end from its seat. Then remove the cable from the retaining bracket.

4. Now you can remove the cable from the bike, make sure that the cable is out of the mount near the carburetor. Pull the cable from the engine end and watch as it goes through the holders and other cables along the frame that it doesn’t get caught on anything.

5. To install the new perch; fit the hot start cable to the new lever with it removed and then re-mount it. Mount the perch on the handlebar and adjust to fit your hand. DO NOT Disconnect the line from the actuator cylinder, but run it through the forks behind the number plate area and down to where it will go along the right frame side. The cylinder will actually fit through the frame brackets if you just loosen the banjo bolt slightly and adjust the tubing so it’s straight and then re-tighten. (You don’t want to get any air in the line or you will have to bleed it afterwards) Fit the tubing behind the radiator and run the actuator cylinder down into the area of the clutch arm.

6. Get the actuator cylinder into place near the retaining bracket, this is where you will have to adjust the tubing by loosening the banjo bolt again and getting it straightened out so the banjo bolt/bleeder valve faces upwards and the rod is facing the clutch arm. Retighten the banjo bolt.

7. Pull the rod out of the actuator cylinder as far as it will come and see if it lines up with the bracket and the arm. Loosen the retaining bracket and insert the actuator cylinder into the retaining bracket. Attach the rod retainer that comes with the kit onto the rod end. Leave everything loose at this point.

8. Using the long screwdriver operate the arm to move it into place to fit the rod end into place at the clutch arm. Be very careful not to BEND THE ROD or the cylinder will leak. The retainer should drop into the arm and then release the arm slowly and let the actuator cylinder fall into place. Check your ‘play’ at this point per instructions. Retighten the retaining bracket.

9. Follow the instructions to have at least 2-4mm play in the retainer.

10. Reassemble all of the plastics, radiators and numbers plate parts you removed, check again where that tubing is routed and then check the clutch with the wheel off the ground on first startup. If it doesn’t disengage then you’ll have to bleed any air out of it.
Once on mine worked nicely, it’s pre-filled with fluid from the factory so if you don’t break any connections and lose fluid you will not have to bleed anything. It’s self adjusting so no need to make any adjustments. It uses mineral oil not DOT fluid so it will not absorb moisture. No need to change any fluids annually. That’s it!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Round #4 Racing At E-Street

Round #4 of the E-Street Winter Series was hosted at their home track February 3-4, 2007 and it was a good showing with the Bay and Sierra OTHG having had their Round #2 Races here also. I missed that race but was going to be ready to run this one. This would be my first time out at E-Street for any event or practice. So it was going to be a learning session for me overall again.

E-Street MX Racetrack is located in Marysville, California and ran by ex-pro racer Scott Davis. He is well known in the area for his impeccable track preparation and design and people come from all around to enjoy what has become best known as "Estreet". The track is sandy loam which gets most of its content from the Yuba River which runs right through the area. "It is a great track" as testified by many pro-riders and amateurs alike that come out and ride here.

This being my first time at Estreet I was asked quite a few times by other people if I thought it was a hard track? And although I don’t think of it as a 'hard' track I do think it is pretty technical and you have to do allot of thinking about what you are doing out there. The sandy soil also adds a certain technical aspect to your riding demeanor and thought process. In the turns (that are ever changing) this is really apparent.

Saturday morning practice was really nice, not many riders at first and the track was prepped great. Thanks to Hoss at for the photos. He takes some great shots.

During my first "Checkout lap" I ran into the berm at the front jump near the main grandstand cutting too close to the inside edge. No big deal just scrubbed it and got back going and it was all good. Then again in a later practice I hit the berm again... this time was allot harder. I dont remember the exact HIT!, but was quickly made aware of it as I bounced off the berm and felt a searing pain in my knee. My head hit the ground pretty good and I was clearing my vision as people were coming around to help me out.

It started when I came around the first turn leading to the double and single jump right in front of the grandstands and a kid went down head first and his bike was upended rolling over him; I almost ran over him as I passed by so I waved at the flagger and was pointing backwards when I went over the jump... I went into a verticle standup position and when the bike hit the ground I must have hit the throttle and it launched me into that berm on the righthand side..... AGAIN!

Roseville Pete said all he saw was my bike doing a cartwheel in midair with nobody on it!!!! My knee was barely working but I walked it off. I went out for my next practice but I couldnt really make anything work, both my legs, my back and my arms were hurting. I packed it in and went home.

The knee was puffed into a grapefruit by then and so I iced it up. The Next morning.... Race-Day, wasnt much better. Needless to say I didnt make it back to the track to run my motos on this weekend. My left knee, right ankle, right thigh, right ribcage were all not feeling in top form.
Overall I like E-Street, there’s allot of jumps maybe 15 total but a mixture of tabletops and doubles and a couple that some could maybe triple...(?) Not me. But for me with all the jumps it makes it allot more work then something like Carnegie was. I don’t have allot of experience on tracks in recent years and I have probably forgotten more about riding techniques than I can remember at this point in my life. I had a real hard time with the slushy right hand turn down by the river before the whoops, too much sand; I just couldn’t find the right throttle, gear or speed thru there. That was probably my worst turn on the whole track. Most everywhere else I could manage to keep the front wheel under control and keep it coming around.

This place is a work out most definitely!.... I see some physical training in my future and probably some lessons from you guys that know better.

Friday, January 19, 2007

E-Street Winter Series @ Carnegie

Races for the SIERRA OTHG started the weekend of January 21st out at Carnegie OHV Park in Tracy, CA. The series is being put on by E-Street MX and it's a 6 race series of which only 4 of them will be part of the OTHG races. I will be trying my hand at MX Racing again after almost 30 years from being away from it. It's perhaps one of the most exhaustive of all competive motorsports but I have been needing a little cardio workout lately (so the wife says!) Maybe this will do it for me. After car racing for many years and being very comfortable (and competitive) doing that, this may not come so easy though. We'll have to just wait and see.

The latest image I found of the actual track layout at Carnegie with the race layout 'painted' in. It was more of a Novice to Intermediate Class track so it wasn't too tough. The starting gate was up on the left corner and ran across the main tack into a small tabletop between the first two turns. Down a straight into turn #3, a left hand bank into a short tabletop to turn #4 turnaround, a big banked turn. Another straight with a small tabletop and then into an uphill climb to the first horseshow turn #5. Downhill again onto a short jump and into turn#6 a big bank heading out onto a flat out run up the next hillside to turn#7. Run across the top of the hill and back down at turn #8 into a high bank turn #9, over a small double jump into turn #10 and then onto turn #11 that leads you into the front straight areas with the large tabletops. Turn #12 and #13 are the "S" turn right before the start finish tabletop. Turn #14 is the dogleg left which is also a jump into a straight and jump again into turn #15 and then into an uphill double before the bowl turn #16, down a short hill and another double and into the #17 turn that leads you back into the startgate point.

The E-Street MX Winter Series was a great success at Carnegie Racetrack and we had a really good time. Brianna and Scott finished both of their motos on the largest track that they have ever been on in their lives. They did a really good job. Both of them were in the 85cc Beginner class. I ran with the 45+ Beginner class with the OTHG group of guys. I did decent in my first moto and blew the start on my second moto and didn't even get going after that. So that was unfortunate for me.

This is the starting gate with the 85cc group; Brianna is at the

near end of the pic, She is #9. Scott is at the far end.

Scott on His BBR 100

Brianna on her XR80

Photos by Mike Subocz Photgraphy, Thanks Mike! Over all it was a great time, it was a really fun track and prep was phenominal by Scott Davis and crew. They worked on it at all times. I met both Scott and Roseville Pete for the first time at this event. Nice guys and dedicated to the sport!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ride Day at CLUB MOTO

Club Moto is a privately owned MX track in the Livermore, CA area that attracts many riders of all skill levels. We had a chance to finally go out there and visit with Kirk Smith, the owner and his group of guys that keep this track prepped for all to enjoy. Kirk has been involved in Motocross in the Bay Area for more than 20 years and has a great respect for the riders and the sport. He still rides himself when he's not watering down the track, running the tractor or doing his day job also...

Norcal Motocross website founder Joey Washburn was at the event of which the folks decided to get together and meet face-to-face finally after having many decent (and some not so decent) conversations on the web forum that is provided there. The web is something that is good in that it can bring people together with like-minded interests and they can make of that what they will. There's always another side of the coin and those people just tend to stay away from reality like this so its better for all that way.

The day started out COLD!!! and it was one of the coldest winter days so far this year. It was only 28 degrees overnight and that morning couldn't have been much above 30. I think the day topped out at 48 degrees and started going back down again by 2pm. There was a good turnout of NCMX'ers, we had our own little area preserved for us with signs that said "DONT FEED THE ANIMALS" (no just kidding). But the animals did get fed good... Kirk and Mike put on some good grub that included Tri-tip steak, Italian sausage, Cheeseburgers and grilled corn on the cob cooked to your delight. Everything was on the house, and it was a great incentive to go out and ride to warm up and work up a hunger.

John Connelly from was providing some of the photography at the site and he came up with some awesome shots of everyone. Including Scott and myself. Scott was riding his new BBR 100 this weekend for only the second time and he did a great job out on the big track. I was still nursing a broken left wrist as you can see in the pics... Please no doctors look at the photos!
All in all it turned out to be a great day meeting new friends and other riders in the region. I hope the comraderie continues to grow within Norcal and more riders show up to future events like this one.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

OTHG - No That is not WEB PHONICS!

OTHG stands for "OVER THE HILL GANG" and it is a group of good 'ol boys that enjoy motocross racing and can compete with others within their 'elder' age groups. You have to be at least 30 years old to join the club (men) and only 25 years old for women... Hmmm I guess women get over the hill faster then us guys do... OK anyway, You kinda get the picture.

This group has been around for many years and there are 3 local chapters in the Norcal Area which include (click on the name to visit their site);

Sierra Chapter
Bay Area Chapter
Reno Chapter

There are other chapters down in Southern California too. Im just getting started with these guys and I hope that there will be lots of fun to be had by all. They have a great season lined up for 2007 with races being held at E-Street, Carnegie and Hollister Hills. There is also the National Races that they will put on this year at Hangtown Raceway (Prairie City SVRA)

So looks like Im goin' racing again, only this time it isnt going to be in some comfy racecar, Im gonna actually have to work to win these races.... see ya at the track!