Short Notification Event, Help Spread the Word!

Short Notice, last minute update: Looks like I’m going to have to wish you all the best as well guy. Had a rim rupture as I was lacing up wider rims for the KZ440. Got filing to do on the next rim and I’ll be working on it while ya’ll have fun on the track.

Next Monday, the 19th of November, there will be a special one-time event at Talladega Gran Prix Raceway in Munford (Talladega area) Alabama. Derek Kimes is coordinating an event at Lil Tally where in racers with 1980s (or close proximity/looking) race bikes with lots of track time, cameras recording the event and interviewing individuals.

This is going to be a great chance to get some publicity for vintage motorcycle racing. Help us stir up more interest in our sport. Please spread the word and send the Instagram link to those who may  have qualifying bikes.

I’ll have my KZ440 Vintage Superbike Lightweight on the track. Come join us!


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Off Season Preparations

The 350 Honda has been drained of fuel, had the old Avon bias belted tire wheels removed and replaced with the 2017 season Conti Road Attack 2 CR mounted wheels. With the battery removed, Black Bullitt has been put to rest until fresh fuel and a charged battery will make it ready for the track.

The KZ400/440 is about to go through the track-to-street conversion as I may ride it in the Atlanta Veterans Day parade on Saturday celebrating 100 years since Armistice Day ended World War I. Being the Street & Track bike, I hope to keep it running with fresh fuel over the winter. Atlanta winter weather includes many rider friendly days and track testing on the road sure makes for some great motivation.

It’s time to concentrate on the third of the three race bikes in my corral, Red Storm. After the loss of my job in 2013, I spent the season joining my race partner for his races and was happy to play the role of his “pit monkey”. That positive attitude as well as being in the right place (a race track) at the right time I was blessed with a great race bike in need of some TLC. Thank you Sir Richard Oldakowski! It wasn’t until the end of the 2014 race season that Red Storm went from being off by one tooth on the cam/crankshaft timing to blowing smoke and oil out one cylinder. With two good running race bikes ready to go next season, it’s time to breathe life into Red Storm.

As the 2019 schedule information is released by both AHRMA and WERA, I will merge the two and replace the 2018 schedule with new information.

One big new secret learned this year would be the excellent handling capability of the Continental Classic Attack radial tires. I had put together many pieces of the puzzle, but not yet personally tested my theory at the beginning of 2018 when Scott was ready to buy tires for his 350 stocker racer. I had given him my observations of the Conti Road Attack CR 2 race compound tire evolution, added my suspicions, and recommended he trust me and race on the Continental Classic Attacks on the 90/90-18 configuration. Those smallest tires they offer wanted 2.15″ wide rims. Fitted on his stock 1.6″ front and 1.85″ wide rear rims, he would be close to what was specified for those tires.

Later in the season, when it was time to bring the KZ400/440 to Lil Tally, I mounted the exact same tires to stock rims of the same size. After realizing that the proper fit meant that the tire pressure didn’t have to go lower than normal tire pressure, they felt great! After a weekend at Tally and then again at the Barber Vintage Festival, the tires had been worn fairly evenly as Tally is a left hander and Barber is a righty. The amazement came when racing was done for the season and the tires were inspected. These STREET TIRES have the Conti “micro rough” compound. When described in the tire professional world: “Attack has a safe and short tire break in due to its revolutionary micro-rough tread surface”

These tires are nothing less than amazing. The grip was sure on both the 350 with the race compound and just as grippy with the 440 and front disc brake technology.  Am I serious about the tire I asked Scott to trust me about? 2 new Continental Classic Attack STREET compound 90/90-18 tires showed up and will replace the old Avon bias belted race compound tires and I’ll never look back. My research also included the new Conti Road Attack 3 tires which unfortunately are not offered in the 90/90-18 size… YET? As such, the pair I have will be configured on the KZ440 with 2.5 to 2.75″ wide rims as time permits.

The Road Attack 3 claim to fame is a seriously improved rain handling capability. Although 2018 was one rainy April to October, none of the races I competed in had any rain, in spite of the forecasts for each weekend. Take this information and run with it. You’ll be glad you did.



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Completion of the 2018 Race Season

Just three weeks after the Barber Vintage Festival where we all kept under the shade of canopies, buildings, and trees in the 90 degree temps, the WERA Grand National Finals were held, also at Barber. However, the very chilly weather had us looking forward to reaching that predicted high of 62 degrees ASAP. Rain on Friday still hadn’t cleared the Birmingham area until after the sun had come up on Saturday.

The 500GP race was schedule as #6 of 13 after a morning of practice and the lunch break. I had done what it took to get just three points behind Jerry Duke with his 120 points towards national standing and my 117 right behind him. Of the 10 racers who participated in the 500GP, only three made it to the GNF. Scott Kulina who was in the 4th position going into the race was looking forward to his presence at the GNF and the double points value to take him to the 3rd place ranking nationally.

Vintage 3 class racers who had made it to the GNF included Sir Richard Oldakowski of Farmville, VA who travelled 14 hours with 3 collision related traffic jams along the way. Mr. David Hurst from Rutledge, TN was on his V2 two stroke machine (racing in the V3 class). Mr. Mark Morrow of Raleigh, NC on his winning 2 stroke power house, Mr. David Clark (DC), of Killen, AL was also on a 2 stroke race bike.

The Vintage 5 class had 7 racers registered, but only the first four made it to the grid. V6 HW had two entries and one DNS. V6LW had 5 racers registered with two DNSs.  V6MW had one entrant and same for V7HW. V8HW had a nice grid of 8 registered racers and only one DNS while the sister class of V8MW had 5 racers start the race and only one didn’t finish.

Practice had some thrills to reveal. My old Avon bias belted race tires didn’t like the cold temperatures of the track. At their 5 year old mark, they spent all this season on the bike due to the multiple number of predicted rain race weekends that I face this rainy season. However, NOT ONE of the races that I ran this year had ANY rain, in spite of weather predictions. By the second practice session the temps had warmed a little with some direct light on the track as gaps between the clouds revealed a beautiful day above.

As Scott went to go out to practice, the functionality of his clutch lever evaporated as he was heading to take the track for the first practice session.  Clutch adjustment ensued to no avail and then I saw it. The clutch actuator housing had cracked and was now in three pieces. Seems that this damage was not identified with the prior repair required to the front sprocket mounting. With no spares on campus and none of the materials required to make the repair, I set out while Scott was disassembling the front sprocket cover for repairs.

Rich Oldakowski contributed the brake parts cleaner, modern bike #124 supplied the JB Weld, while the guy pitted next to us had the fancy red grease for when everything was put back together. Scott had been riding the bike since the front sprocket incident so we had a good chance of putting it back together in a manner that worked, again.

The part in question holds the grease pack that keeps the actuator lubricated, so all grease had to be removed to clear way for the JB Weld epoxy-like adhesive. When the best attempt was completed, the cover was reintegrated with the motor again and the engine was started multiple times before race #6, the 500GP, was time to run. Scott decided to give it a try and it worked, so he started with us on the grid. Rich, David, Mark and DC were in front of us on the grid. They represented the first and second row of the second wave of race 6.  Scott, Jerry and I made up the one line of the 350GP bikes racing in the 500GP race.

When the second wave received our green flag, I popped the clutch for a slight wheel lifting surge of a great start and still watched Jerry take off down the track. Six of the 250 Ninjas that past us before and through turn 1. David Hurst was the target I had directly in front of me by the time the dust settled. The tirest were behaving much better in the warmer weather so I was giving the bike all it had to offer.

David’s little DS7 was performing much better, as shown at Lil Tally and the Barber Vintage festival, since he had installed the front disc brake system. He would pull away from me in the straights and I’d catch up in the turns. The 7th Ninja 250 passed me just after the museum turn and gave me something to draft behind for a while.

DC and David had a V3 battle going on in front of the camera and I was doing all I could to be a part of it. After a few laps of chasing David I was able to pass him in sight of Norton Hill and draft DC through the last turn.  The drafting continued through the front straight, turn 1, turn 2 and up the gravity cavity headed towards Charlotte’s Web. Exiting the Web, DC poured on the 400cc two stroke power and pulled away from me heading toward the museum turn.

The excitement became too much for the camera to handle in my chase to pass DC that it popped off the camera mount and turned around to show me upside down. With my wine cork camera riser as the foreground, my full face helmet, visor closed, showed my FBF tech sticker from the Barber Vintage Festival just three weeks before.

David eventually passed me and gave chase to DC and the Vintage 3 race battle continued to the checkered flag. The faster Clubman racers actually lapped us twice shaving off tow of our 8 laps on the finest track I’ve ever been on, as many times as I can. I later heard that Jerry was playing around with the 250 Ninjas most the race. He took first, I took second and Scott took third in the 500GP, doubled points, GNF final race of the year. That was also the order for 2018 national standing as well.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the vicarious track time with me and the guys. Come on out and join us!

As you put your motorcycle project work into motion, remember Sirius Consolidated Inc. for your parts, accessories, and motorcycle apparel needs. The product selection continues to grow faster than I can keep up. They also sell  Jack’s 350 Honda twin combination solid state regulator/rectifier, a must if you plan to go to lithium battery technology.  Enjoy the exciting final 500GP race (or about half of it) of 2018.

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“Cocky: It felt good while it lasted”

Barely making the registration for the Barber Vintage Festival 2018 racing after the first weekend racing the KZ400/440 and getting a 2nd place on Saturday and a 3rd place on Sunday that propelled me into the Vintage Superbike Lightweight class to 10th position in a class of 25 racers. I thought this was great and that I’d be playing near the front of the pack. Little did I know the realization I would experience while racing with the full sampling of the race class at the grand finale in the splendor of the most beautiful “campus” we go to race at, Barber Motorsports Park. “The Real Guys” showed up!

Still shaking out a few bugs from the bike… I began to experience a high speed break up on the much larger track in comparison to how the bike behaved on the “Lil Tally’s” sprint track. Checking the fuel venting by breaking the seal at the rubber gasket did not solve the problem. Pulling off both float bowls and cleaning what really was begging for a good flush didn’t solve things either. So, I went through the process of “finishing” the mods I had made. When I got to the velocity stacks, I remembered that they came with a diamond patterned “chicken wire” grill to keep rocks out. I removed one that only required the lightest touch to extract. When I got to the second, it was already removed and shaped differently. More of a curve and the outer diameter of the grill was smaller than the one I extracted. As I didn’t get to this step until after the last practice session, I had to console myself in that I had found what had to be the problem and would experience the benefit on Race Day.

The rest of the Festival was in full swing and I had the Buell Blast as my pit bike to cruise throughout the park. Checking in at Norton Hill, I set up my “other” abode with the Norton folks and made the rounds. Friends from all over the world, including Mexico and Germany, were on Norton Hill and I made it a point to say hello to each and every one. I’d like to give a very special “YAY MAGGIE!” to our den mother/event promoter/memorabilia maker/etc… She and Barney were instrumental in what like many years before turned out to be the BEST BARBER FESTIVAL YET!.

Saturday morning, race 4, I was gridded in the midst of the pack as a late entrant. Just like at Lil Tally, In front of me was Patrick McGraw, limbering up for our thrill ride on the track. We were in the third wave of race 4. This meant that the faster bikes were given a head start to ensure those fastest among them would lap earlier in the race. A cloud of smoke in the distance ahead with the “Wave 2” track worker moving aside indicated Wave 2 was ready for their green flag. Their cloud of smoke and the Wave 3 sign being taken out from in front of us meant it was our time to look at the number boards and wait for the green flag…

As all those behind me flew past and we headed down the track, I believe that Patrick was the only one I raced past before turn one. Patrick is running his own KZ400, but it has the original KZ400 motor whereas mine has a 440 motor installed giving be 40cc more displacement to work with. Neither of us have played with headwork, cams, valves, or larger pistons. Going into turn 2, I edged past M53 (researching name) and raced down the mini “Gravity Cavity” headed toward the front straight.

The pack was pulling away from me as I raced towards Charlotte’s Web. Braking as late as possible, I caught up to and passed a Suzuki GS450 846 (researching name) through the most significant left turn on the mostly right turn track. He took the lead before the museum turn/hump as did M53.

Pulling out of the museum turn I noticed that I had full used of the redline range. Removing the chicken wire from the grill of the velocity stacks made all the difference in the world. My stock carbs were now able to do all they possible could do. The pack was pulling away from me as I was setting up for the first zig zag of Barber’s back track section. Staying on the throttle up to and through the last turnset, I had more than a half dozen bikes in front of me bunching up for the other most significant left hand turn on the track, the last turn before the start/finish line. One full lap completed and I had some good footage to show.

I passed another bike in the last turn and tucked down for the long run to turn 1 where I passed another with ease. As the size of the track tends to separate riders with different lap times, I still had a pack of 3 chase into Charlotte’s web and gain on them. Edging up to 846 (researching name) I paralleled by, but only for a few seconds. He pulled away heading toward the museum turn and I had to fly through it to keep up. They all pulled away initially leaving me to go WOT until the second set of zig zags near Norton Hill, where again I caught up with the three in front of me. I was playing cameraman as best I could and it looked like I had found the stars of this video. I was definitely out powered. Each time the track straightened out, they would pull away. Each time there were curves to race through, I had to in order to get the right angle to record their turns.

Going faster than the stars in turn one, I brought the camera closer to the subjects ahead of me. M53 (researching name) became the star nice and clear as we zoomed through the gravity cavity and raced to Charlotte’s Web. Swooping up behind him on the outside, I passed and closed to position for the museum turn. Before we got there, he took the lead again. I tucked in behind him for the draft and we raced to the museum turn where I had to check up momentarily as M53 (researching name) had let off the throttle exiting the turn and I was following his lead. That slight hesitation on the throttle left me delayed entering the zig zag leaving me spending all the curves at speed to catch up by Norton Hill. As I did, M53 (researching name) went wide and I swooped in and passed him. By the time we got to turn 1, he’d taken the lead with me hot on his heels.

I was so focused on the best line to catch back up during Charlotte’s Web that I was taken by surprise when the leader of the 1st wave came flying by during “our” battle. For more than a full lap, I was getting different camera angles of M53 (researching name) while the fastest of the first wave went flying by us and a much greater speed. The cat and mouse game continued where I would watch him pull away in the straights and I’d catch up in the curves. After the white flag (one lap to go) I took the lead again in Charlotte’s Web and I was passed before the museum turn, again. We gave each other a reason to push our bikes hard and our skills even harder. Having my friends on Norton HIll there watching gave me all the encouragement I needed to gain on my playmate in the last turn set.

Approximately one second after M53 (researching name) took the checkered flag, so did I. This was just one of the many highlights of the greatest Barber Vintage Festival… so far. However, when I took a look at the results, humility set in. I was 15th of 18 racers in my class. So, unlike my previous expectations may have been led to believe, I’m still the guy on the $1,500 of motorcycle AND tires AND all the race parts added having a GREAT time on the track with guys who are putting a bit more into their budget. COME JOIN US!

Thank you to Mr. Martin Mattes of Sirius Consolidated Incorporated, my race sponsor for more than a decade.

The great race video can be seen at this link:

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Just Hours Before Barber Vintage Festival

The following is an announcement about the state of Georgia and it’s unconstitutional actions taken specifically against Vintage Motorcycle Owners NATIONWIDE.

Dear BoS friends,
It has happened! The state of Georgia has finalized and fully adopted the chain of registration Ex Post Facto law into full on collision intent.  No Title, No Registration without a completely documented paper trail back to the last registered owner, a requirement that WAS NOT IN PLACE just months ago. You have just had your rights violated, by the state government, for having done no wrong to nobody else… and you set the precedent.
Below is a quick update for a vintage motorcycle sale that had to dissolve. I am picking up the bike at Barber Vintage Festival to return to the seller after the owner for more than ten years, is not able to register a bike he’s been riding on the roads for years.
Perhaps you’d care to join this libertarian out for justice facing the state of Georgia?
The actions of which are U.S. Unconstitutional are, so far, running unchallenged.
What will it take for your couch potato self to become active as the encroachment nears your “pursuit of happiness”?
Just how subjective does it have to be for you to stand up and SAY NO TO GOVERNMENT?
The state of Georgia is violating the Constitution of the United States of America and you’re just going to sit there and let it happen?
The bike in question is one I sold more than a decade ago to a guy that worked at the place where I worked. He wanted something cheap and my 350 Honda resurrections had just broached the $1,200.00 minimum. The fairly stock CL350 Scrambler had been brought back to life and all functions tested and adjusted for optimum functionality. He rode this bike along the Clifton Corridor to his home not far away. I resurrected the bike and left a pair of my already tested carbs to prove proof of life, and a great idle as well. Delivered to buyer at Roebling Road Raceway and was coordinating the final tank and seat configuration as approved by sending images and text.

Then, just before Barber time was gearing up, the sale fell through. Seems that although he bought the bike 11 years ago, this new rule now applies retroactively to then and beyond!  If we don’t do something about this, all the bikes that do not have a complete copy of copy of copy of bill of sale back to the last registered owner then we all own parts bikes and vintage bike race frames.

From one of the most recently affected:
“I have the the same pic of the vin plate and took off from work and took it to the DeKalb vehicle registration office at 8am sharp this morning and they searched the records in any way possible, by vin, by my name, address etc.  This is no record of that m/c ever being registered in my name going back to 1/1/1977 when I moved to Atlanta. They showed me a list of every vehicle I have ever had registered in the state of GA.
The registration office said that I could not have registered this bike back when I bought it from you if you did not supply me with a valid registration in your name or someone else’s name.  Bottom line, the registration office said we had to prove a solid line history of purchase ownership of this vehicle in order to get current registration.
I rode it on the road only to/from Emory rehab a few times, 1 mile away.  Since it looks like I tried to register it and couldn’t because I had no previous registration/paperwork from you or any other seller.   The few times I rode it I prob used the tag from my 550cc Honda that was registered, insured and licensed at the time.  I do remember running out of gas on the 350 once in my only 3 or 4 trips to Emory, and I had to.bring it home on a trailer.  I rode the 550 routinely for several years and still have that registration now and tag sticker right up.through 2018.
Looks like I need to get registration from you or the previous owner to make the transfer to the new owner.  And as you said, can’t be something written on the back of a napkin, lol…”
So there you have it. The state of Georgia is now behaving as if this law is affecting transitions from 10 plus years ago.
So what ya gonna do about it?
Jack Houman
Vice President GANOA
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A Great Time Had for a Great Cause

Saturday had nothing to do with vintage motorcycle racing. As a matter of fact, the two motorcycles involved were both from this millennium. The American Legion Legacy fund raising event was held at the Snellville Post 232. My race partner has had issues with his V Strom 1,000 ever since the last time he went to change his oil. His drain plug threads stripped away and the recommended repair failed. So, I was in the process of setting him up with the newly acquired 2002 Buell Blast 500 and I was going to ride the newly configured race bike, the 1979 Kawasaki with the 1980 KZ440 motor installed when I realized just how loud the exhaust system was. Among all the other civilized bikes in the ride, I was going to be the police-magnet for the db levels I was emitting.

With only one option and one full day, I decided to attack the long dead SV650 that had been neglected since the battery died. Having drained the Buell Blast of 3 year old fuel as the first step in the resurrection process, I decided to do the same for the SV. When lifting the tank off the bike, I felt like the fuel tank was much more full than I expected. After setting up the vacuum pump on the petcock, I noticed that the liquid coming out of the tanks was beading up on the gas can. Taking a whiff of the liquid, I found no smell. My tank had become full of water.

The SV650 sits outside in the weather, in the driveway. I’ve been out of state for more than three months this warm cycle. We’ve had a noticeably rainier than normal amount of precipitation this year. And, the seal on the gas cap appears to have given up the ghost. Rain got in, sunk to the bottom of the tank, and the gasoline floated to the top where the hot sun would evaporate the gasoline until the rain would return and fill the tank while displacing the gasoline. I was quite fortunate having chosen to drain and clean the tank. Had I simply changed the battery and tried to start the bike, I would have sent the grungy water into the carbs and causing the next unnecessary phase of the project to add to the list of things to do.

After a tank cleaning and the replacement of the battery, I applied the choke to the carbs and pressed the starter button for 10 seconds and then let the motor rest while the vacuum allowed fuel into the dry carburetors. 30 seconds later I pressed the starter button and the bike fired up without any “dead spots” through the range of RPMs. A little work on the hydraulic brake master cylinders and a thorough cleaning and Keith was upgraded to the SV650 for the poker run and I was to ride the Blast.

We set up for the evening’s festivities early in the morning and as the last riders showed up and registered, we took off for the poker run. Stops included the VFW in Lawrenceville, the new Will Henry’s location just off Sugarloaf Parkway where we had a great barbecue plate and a beer, the American Legion in Duluth, followed by Dillon’s in Duluth where we had tables waiting and were treated like we were something special. Thank you Dillon’s wait staff. Your service is appreciated. We then took a scenic route through parts of Gwinnett county I’d never seen before on our way back for our final card drawing back at the “Hero’s Clubhouse” at Snellville post 232.

When all the cards had been drawn, many of us were wondering about our chances to pull of “worst hand” the third and final place in the poker run standings after best and second best hands. As it turned out, I took first place with a pair of 10s and 6s, while Keith took second best hand with 9s and 2s. The kitty must have been pretty full as my take would have covered a weekend of race fees while Keith received half that. Then, I noticed Keith back at the registration booth turning in half his winnings to be donated back to the Legacy fund .Next thing I knew I was turning in half mine as well. There are not many causes better than the American Legion Legacy Fund that pays the tuition of children of soldiers fallen since 9/11, and it felt great.

Now, with three legal street bikes (one headed back to the Barber Vintage Festival to race in the Vintage Superbike Lightweight class) I think I will put some more time and miles on the street as well as on the track.

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Second Day of AHRMA Racing for 440

After the successful completion of the first of two races necessary to qualify for racing at the Barber Vintage Festival the day before was quite encouraging. A number of practice laps were also required, so I made it a point to run the full first practice run. Once completed, I sat out the second practice session while sorting and separating 350 Honda race parts from general race parts and then the KZ400/440 race parts.

With the tank topped off, transponder charged, and camera charged with space on the memory chip, I left the bike ready for racing. When it came time to check my grid position I was relieved that somebody had realized that having the race class that was behind us and passing us in turn one after the start was best re-positioned to start in front of us instead. While sorting parts, I had a text chat with John Cook who was one of the racers that crashed  the day before and was resting at home. He made note of the fact that, as he said it, he saw my bike sliding around the track on the 22 psi tire pressure, so I decided to take the pressure up to 25 psi for the next race. Seems I let go of some of that low frequency wobble I was experiencing.

The weekend had already been long and drawn out after a Friday of bike modifications and practice sessions, including a trip home for race parts, Saturday racing and dinner with a handful of racers enjoying a great Mexican meal at Frontera. I set up the ramps so I could ride 440 into position for the ride home in the back of my truck as soon as I got back from the race. Everything was wrapped up and ready for loading.

The end of the sidecar race marked the point where there was just one more race before it was time to ride to the track. Suiting up, I went through the checklist and had everything ready to ride. Not being able to hear the calls, I estimated the end of race 5 and headed for pit out. As we were flagged to take our warm up lap, I started the camera and joined the procession. The new positioning put the Vintage Superbike Lightweight class at the back of the first way where we were more comfortable behind Jeremy Sharer’s class.

Again, I was behind Patrick McGraw at the start, but this time I had a better handle on the position of my clutch friction point so I had a better start. It allowed me to get past Patrick early in turn one where I was gaining on David Hurst. David had switch to front disc brakes on his Yamaha DS7 and seems he’d experienced a bit more confidence in his bike. Earlier during practice, it took me almost two laps to pass him, which was unheard of on my CB350, before he’d switched to disc brakes.

As we traversed through the curves of Lil Tally, John Rickard gradually put more distance between me and him while I was trapped behind a closely matched bike with the rider of white leathers. I took all 440 had and drafted the rider until I could come along side and “show a wheel” before the last turnset before the front straight. He eased off and let me take the inside trail and I grabbed the gap that was left in front of him. Without any interference in front of me, I took turn one with only minimal steering wobble effect, as fast as I felt confident to. As I had no one in front of me, I was free to take the curves at optimum angles and had the track to myself for two uninterrupted laps.

The leader of the second wave came by me just after the start/finish point followed by the second in his wave just before the right hander. About a lap after that, I came up on, and passed a bike just after the right hander. That was the last I saw of anything other than race track go by.

AHRMA Vintage Superbike Lightweight race at Talladega Gran Prix Raceway, Sunday September 9th, 2018.



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