I didn't realize that was you in the picture. What CC was that bike? I had like a 100cc Hodaka when I was a kid for a short time.
When I first started desert racing 2 of my mentors and sponsors were old school Baja bike racers. They also raced the other big races too, but their best stories were from Baja in the 70's. One of them raced off and on all the way into the 90's and I still have his 1993 KX 500 he bought new for the 93 1000 and it last raced in the 95 1000. I took it to Baja twice to pre-run on.
JD it is a 125 cc Hodaka Wombat, I took it off the showroom floor of my dealership, did a few thing for reliability and Bob Brownell and got second, I think we were in the top 20 M/C's, that is why I was looking for complete results, I have class 20 but that is all.
Yes that is me setting on the bike, with the same stash I had since the 70's, but now its grey.
How were your mentors? Did you grow up in So Cal?
I didn't grow up in So Cal. I moved to AZ in 1997 and in 2001 I met Terry Glass and Cuffy Crabbe. They both grew up in So Cal and were childhood friends. They both moved to the Phoenix area in the early 90's. I ended up working Terry for a few years and we are still friends. Terry is also good friends with Tom Morris and helped some with the Toyota race team at times. Todd Martella (sp?) was another friend of Terry's that was a Baja bike racer. Terry and Cuffy helped me get my start in desert racing. I already had two Baja races under my belt as mechanic/crew member, but I started racing desert in AZ in 01. I went on to race a number of Baja races after that until 08 when I moved to Texas.
The stories from back in the day of just trying to make the equipment survive to the finish line are great to hear. So many guys had tricks up their sleeves to make the bikes last.
Funny, how small a world it is, I have heard of both Tom and Cuffy and Todd is a very good friend, we raced the same races, went to Qualifiers together, pitted together, preran Baja together, Todd and I went to Baja to prerun from Bay of LA to El Arco, Todd was a hell of a rider, so we rode that section about wide open Todd maybe a half mile in front so I was out of his dust, after about 15 miles, he stopped and I caught up, tongue was just about in the rear sprocket and Todd says " Now see on that section you can pin it in 5th the whole way except for that one big hole, right?" I looked at him like he had just landed from the moon, this was the 1000 going to La Paz, I would still have about 250 miles before i handed the bike to my nephew, NFW was i going that fast
That's awesome. I didn't know Todd very well. He and Terry Glass were good friends. Todd came to AZ and we took him on a ride in like 2002 and he hadn't been on a bike in years and he was as smooth as glass. He rode effortlessly all day and I could tell he was really fast "back in the day" I know that some of current race courses were originally "hot lines" developed by guys like Todd back in the 70's. He told me he developed one line that saved like 5 miles of race course one year and two years later it was burned in and became the race course.
Bay of LA to El Arco is super fast. The first time I ever saw that section was in the dark for the 06 B1000. I didn't pre-run it because I wasn't supposed to race it, but things happened and I ended up on the bike from San Felipe to San Ignacio. I was on a XR 650 and I was looking for 6th and 7th gear, until I had an extremely close call with a black cow at race speed. I was inches from being taken out and who knows how that would have ended.
Yes it was very fast, we raced a XR 600 that had been breathed on by some of the guys who worked at Honda Racing, it was very fast but had a peanut nut butter transmission, I hit a big wash out about 50 miles from El Arco at speed, saved it but the motor died, I downshifted from 5th to 3rd and tried to pop the clutch and broke 3rd, babyed it 20 miles from El Arco and it locked up, spent the night (about 4:30 to 4 am) with a Mexican family on a little hill, they left about midnight and I gether all the wood souranding that area for about 200 yards. My nephew found me at 4, and towed me to the truck, we were still being pasted by jeeps and class 11's. Two things stick out from that race: 1) if you ever rode a really high compression XR you know how hard they are to start when hot 2) Baja in the middle of November at 2am is colder than a well digger a@@hole.