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Re: Whoís still racing? You saw my post last night....making the comeback! I wouldn't say we are crazy as we enjoy being out on the track but as we get a little older we "attack" things from a different perspective.

Mentally I'm ready but physically I'm shot. I know that will come with seat time and actually going outside and doing more physical work but this weather will not break and I do not feel like working on the R with freezing fingers.

So, whats the set up for this year Ryan? Any major changes to the machine?

April 06, 2018, 07:16:03 AM
D6 Evansville race report This past Saturday I had my first race in quite a few years and I have to say it was worth it! Before I get to the report let me back up a few weeks. My local track runs a supercross style series and that started last month and they allowed quads back for the 2018 season. I was pumped and ready to get out there. With anything in life that we enjoy doing it always easy to be mentally prepared but physically, well thatís another story. As we get older the mental part is not an issue but the physical part seems to be harder and harder to not feel like youíve been hit by a truck. Then comes the part where you need to have your machine ready. For years this was never an issue as it was my thing to do over the winter to pass time but I havenít touched the R in years and she let me know it!

   Two weeks ago I was going to pull the R out, throw some gas in it and go racingÖÖÖ.That didnít happen. After taking what seemed forever to get it started it didnít want to run and did not sound healthy. I guess we arenít going racing. After further inspection I found cracks in the frame, leaking head gasket, front caliper seized and a few other odds and ends that have been neglected over the years that I forgot about. At this point I stood there looking at the R saying ďwhy in the hell do we do this?!Ē ďWhat is the fascination with throwing your leg over a 30+ year old machine and beating the crap out of your body one moto at a time!?Ē Iíll answer that in a bit. I was frustrated at first thatís for sure BUT as I started to tear the old girl apart it becomes this wonderful balance between frustration and pure satisfaction. What an amazing, simple, fun piece of machinery that was built so long ago that still turns heads and gathers a crowd when itís in town. Before you know it the old R is back up and running, several hundred dollars later, sheís back! Letís go racingÖ.

   Finally race day is here and Iím ready, mentally but not physically! For some reason I pack the entire garage when we go, I donít know why but for some reason I shouldnít need to bring a spare quad in parts with me but I do. We arrive early to get a decent spot and I have to say the weather is perfect, the dirt is perfect, the track is amazing and you really couldnít ask for anything more. Get unloaded and go sign up. After the $50 AMA card, $20 district card, $45 to race and canít forget the $20 to get in, the ďI donít know why I do this crapĒ starts to pop up again. At the drivers meeting they say we are going to do 6 laps of practice and then start racing right away. Im Like OK 6 laps isnít bad but let me see what the race order is going to be like and find out what race Iíll be in. RACE 1Ö.the first freakin race!?!?! Maybe they didnít get the memo that I need oxygen just to put my boots on. This will really change the way Iím going to practice. With that in mind I put in a few good laps in for practice, make sure I know what a doable jump is and what Iím NOT going to jump. Came back a little tired but all went well. Bike ran great and I even felt pretty good. Letís do this!

   Moto 1: I lined up as I always do, nervous, anxious and everything else in between but Iím ready, I love the start. Something about the gate drop that gets the blood flowing. For me itís this adrenaline rush that is like no other. They did a split gate for us as we had the 25+ class with us as well, we were second gate. Oh yeah I forgot to mention, they watered the track right before we started! NiceÖÖNot! Luckily I had plenty of tear offís. So, first gate blasts offÖ As the 2 min board goes up for us I quick check my fuel to make sure it was on as soon as I reach for the petcock the board went sideways and the gate dropped! Guess who comes into the first turn last? Yep, the old R. We had 5 quads in the 40+ class and the oldest of us, 51, pull this amazing holeshot but somehow ends up in 4th in front of me and I am eating dirt. By this time the top 3 guys are pulling away and Iím stuck behind the mast blaster of dirt. The part the my brain was having issues with was the fact that this guy can race so his pace was perfect for me BUT Iím eating dirt and too much of it. After about 1 lap of trying to pick the right line to pass him I finally decided to not block pass him but just take his inside line away and force him to tuck in behind me. Once I got around him it was clear skies cuz the rest of the pack was long gone. I guess I need to pick up the pace. I want to say I was gaining on them but more than likely I wasnít but Iíll tell you that I was! LOL. I ended up finishing 4th and I was OK with that. I wasnít dead, didnít get lapped and nothing broke. Iíll take it!

Moto 2: Apparently the quad was overheating and Iím just finding this out now. My buddy mentioned that I was blowing out coolant for practice and the race. Hmmm maybe thereís a problem oh well! I checked the coolant and it was low so I topped it off and started the quad to see if coolant was flowing. It wasnít with the occasional blurp out the top. I think I still have a head gasket issue. No time to fix it now. With my experience from the first race I was not going to come out of the gate last no matter what. Same as before split gate and the first class is goneÖ.. Here we go! Shift into second and wait for the gate.                        Click and Iím gone! I managed to somehow force my way into second and Iím hanging with this guy. Holy shit Iím in second and keeping pace. Letís see how this goes. I stayed with him for the first lap but man on man arm pump was setting in and my legs were burning. The track had a really fast downhill section that you could gain some time but you really had to be on your toes. I thought I could use it to rest up but no way. You would come off a double, hit another double then rail this long tabletop for a long, fast right hander. It was a 4th pinned, leaning on the nerf type of turn. I loved it but no time to rest. So I was trying to use that section to stay with the leader but the guy behind me was not letting up so I couldnít find a section to relax. By lap 2 I knew I wasnít going to pass the leader so next tactic, keep second. Arms are mush, legs are shot and I know my lap times are dropping fast. I said to myselfÖself, you make sure you block any line he has and make sure he eats your roost to fend him off. Make him work for second. This worked for lap 2 and some of three. Right after the white flag I knew I could keep him at bay and pull off a second for overall. Once I cleared the tabletop at the end of the long downhill I was yelling to myselfÖĒdonít you quit on meĒ ďStay in the game FókerĒ Breathe damn it, BREATHE!!!!!! I was laughing as well cuz I know people had to hear me. Anyway it worked as he was fading and I just had to hold on a little longer. After the long downhill sweep you have to work your way back up and there is a double, a big tabletop and then another double. By the time I hit the last double my body was shot. I couldnít hold the bars and I couldnít stand up. I made the attempt to jump it but came up a tad short and I got jolted on the bike and the kill switch came off. I thought the bike blew. I pulled over and lost second place. I sat there in disgust thinking why now only to look down and see the tether just hanging. I might make something out of this race after all! Hooked it up and off I went. 4th place rider was gaining on me fast so I needed to make some space between us but I was so tired I just did what I could to make it the last few turns. As I see the last turn before the checkered flag jump the quad starts to die. Sheís overheating and not wanting to go. All I could think of was Iím going to have to do a Chad Reed move and push this thing up the jump. Luckily it ran just enough to make it over and I finished 3rd and got 3rd overall.

   It was an amazing day of racing. I loved every minute of it. All the crap with fixing the quad and spending the money it was all worth it. Iíve ridden and raced the 4 strokes and although they are powerful there is nothing like riding the R. You become one with the bike unlike a 4 stroke where it feels like the quad is going to either blow up or just bite me. All in all it was awesome and so glad to be back on the saddle. Looking forward to the next race and maybe have no mechanical issues. Iím off to fix my head gasket issue and curse the 30+ year old machine for being so damn fun!!

April 24, 2018, 04:19:37 PM