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Thread: A Weekend with Vintage Bikes

  1. #1

    A Weekend with Vintage Bikes

    This weekend was all about motorcycles for me. Vintage motorcycles.
    It all started back in December with a picture I posted here http://www.beginnerbikers.org/showth...ey-In-Training
    The bike is now restored – 1965 Italjet Conquistador 50cc (two stroke)
    The plan for the weekend was to head to Willow Springs Raceway out in the high desert of Southern California to watch some friends race at an AHRMA event (vintage bikes) with the possibility of being able to do a lap with the Italjet and me as the monkey. Marcello (owner/restorer of the bike) had this bike and a 1954 Ducati 175 Gran Sport Mariana entered the mini Concours that was part of the weekends festivities.
    It was somewhat up in the air as to whether or not we would be able to get out on the track. There was a session of demo laps planned for several of the bikes that were not racing on Saturday. All was dependent on timining of earlier events in the day – on time start and end of morning practice sessions and the racers meeting. Everything went as scheduled and we did our lap . . .


    This was absolutely a fun ride, even though not too fast. Between myself, Marcello and our gear we were asking a 50cc two-stroke (same size as my little NSR50) to haul about 300 lbs around a track with a pretty good uphill section. Supposedly there was a on-going commentary by the track announcer as we headed out and around. We headed out around Turn 1 and 2 and as we went to turn 3 the uphill segement began. It starts just before what is called “the omega”. We crawled up the hill slowly – I beginning to think I needed to hop off and push. Just as we reached the summit of the omega, the engine started smoking a some, but we got around and headed down the hill picking up speed.  The winds made things a little dicey as we headed though the rest of the track, which really meant – no leaning as that might just aid in blowing us right on over. As slow as we were, it was over way too fast for me. Later in the day we took a long spin around the paddock area where there were no hills. Lots of people wanted to take pictures of us and the bike as we went around the track and the paddock.
    Suzie
    '13 KLX 110L - "Kermit"
    '04 NSR 50
    GWA Member

  2. #2
    Some more pictures of the Italjet and the Duc 175





    Suzie
    '13 KLX 110L - "Kermit"
    '04 NSR 50
    GWA Member

  3. #3
    The rest of the day was racing for various classes of cool vintage bikes. Marcello and his son were racing a CB160s and were entered in 3 races for Saturday. They would run these same three on Sunday. A CB160 GP race with Le Mans Start, GP200 and GP250.
    I don’t remember exactly how it happened but there was an offer to take me out on one of the racing sidecars before racing was to start for the day. Of course I couldn’t pass up the offer. There were definitely different styles of side cars. The one I rode in had the monkey sitting further back and behind a raised fairing. I got the basic instruction of “hold this with your left hand and don’t let go”. It was a handle on the right side of the monkey pit. So as seated in the side car, my back was facing the outside of the track. As we took off, the pilot gave me hand signals of which direction to lean or “hide” behind the fairing. What a blast. No one I knew was around with a camera and I didn’t have mine so the only picture of the sidecar I rode on is the white and red one to the right of #3.

    Now the real racing begins. A few shots of Marcello (red bike) and Damian (green) bikes.



    Note that there is no windscreen on Marcello’s bike. He had a minor off track excursion during Friday practice and broke it, so racing without one.
    Suzie
    '13 KLX 110L - "Kermit"
    '04 NSR 50
    GWA Member

  4. #4
    A shot in the hot pit waiting for sighting laps to start so that they can grid for the race. (don’t remember what races they were waiting for here).

    The first race was the one with the Le Mans start. With this race, they head out from the hot pit and do a sighting lap and head to the starting grid. Riders are lined up on one side of the track – one bike per row. The bikes are on the other side of the track angled toward the starting line with someone from the pit crew holding the back end of the bike. At the start, the riders run across the track, hop on and start their bikes and off they go.


    Not positive on placings, since there was some lapped traffic that made it a bit difficult to keep track. This was Damian’s first race weekend. Races 1 and 2 he finished about mid pack. Race three – he ran onto the dirt at full speed in the omega which resulted in a nice tumble for he and the bike. Biggest problem was straightening the front end, but that got worked out in time for Sunday. Otherwise, broken left footpeg/break and dented tank, broken windscreen and some damage to the front fairing. We all signed Damian’s tank.


    Sunday was more of the same, but results weren’t as good since the wind picked up which really affected their races. The bikes with fairings were getting pushed around, especially in the final two corners of the course, a bunch more than those without.
    Suzie
    '13 KLX 110L - "Kermit"
    '04 NSR 50
    GWA Member

  5. #5
    The highlight for me on Sunday was getting to ride a Velocette – not sure of the year but I believe somewhere in the 1920s. I did a short cruise around the paddock on this one. I can actually touch the ground – and yes, I know, I was definitely not following ATGATT, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Since I normally don’t ride or pillon in anything but my full suit, this was kind of weird, but still loads of fun.




    The guys – Daiman (far right), Marcello (next to Damian) – everyone else is the guys they pit with – racing, sharing stories, helping each other out.
    Suzie
    '13 KLX 110L - "Kermit"
    '04 NSR 50
    GWA Member

  6. #6
    Great write up! Looks like loads of fun.
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  7. #7
    RiderCoach 10,000 Posts! NoCo Gal's Avatar
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    Wow Suzie, I want to be you! Nicely done, and that looks like it was an absolute blast!
    ~Teri
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    I don’t want to beat any record, I want to soak up the world which becomes more clear at lower speeds...Besides, you can’t buy adventure, you can only experience it – “Ride Your Own Biography”. From Triumphratnet
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  8. #8
    What a cool weekend!
    "...you cannot have harmony without a commitment to ethical behavior." Jon Kabat-Zinn

  9. #9
    RiderCoach We've stopped counting... twizted1's Avatar
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    Very cool pictures & weekend! Sounds like a hell of a lot of fun!










    And does whoever wrote the Roman numeral date realize they dated it as 2010?
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by twizted1 View Post
    And does whoever wrote the Roman numeral date realize they dated it as 2010?
    LOL . . . I noticed that too. It was "dad" that wrote it. He was so worried about getting the right date (23rd or 24th) that he screwed up the year.
    Suzie
    '13 KLX 110L - "Kermit"
    '04 NSR 50
    GWA Member

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