Monday, March 31, 2008

Working with kids in the old days

That's a great picture; I always loved working with the kids in my day. Did a lot of stuff with the Boy Scouts, gave safety talks at High Schools, and was even on a Kiddies Show once. Always had fun doing stuff with kids and telling about Drag Racing.

Posting across the Pond

My first Eight Second Bike, Four in Slick and High Gear only.

Crew for Triple Engine Honda

Right on Gordy, that was Slim, RC's number one guy, especially around the Triple Engine Honda Days.

I knew Cook had that bike about that time. Sweet little Triumph. I remember when he showed up at Fontana with those wheelie bars. They continued right down from the down tubes to the rear axle area. He took a hack saw and cut them off after a few runs, they were way to short to be any good.

Puppet, you know how sensitive Jerry is about HAIR, you should take that in consideration more.

Posting from across the Pond

Paso, my friend from the other side of the Motorcycle Dray Racing Fast World. Good to see you make a visit to Mr. Powe's Thread, hope there are many to come
Sorry Fastlane, No that's not Gordon, this is s a another tall and lanky guy.

The Triumph was build by Jim Cook, a guy that got out of racing way to soon. He was the original rider of the Boris Twin Triumph, back in the day when that bike had a Harley trans and clutch on it. This Triumph was probably the first built with a dual back bone (top) in it and it might be the first bike with wheelie bars, not sure.

A bike from the past

Jim Cook's Fuel Triumph with wheelie bars, 1967 or 68 I think, Gordon Kateley should remember what year.

Remember this guy

Any body remember who this is, what's his name and what famous Top Fuel Bike was he the Main Pit Crew Guy.

Other Talents

Just wanted every one to know, especially Puppet. I had other talents, I wasn't always a Motorcycle Drag Racer. You can tell how long ago that was by the picture.
I would have post a Bike Picture with this but couldn't find one that old to fit.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Indy, big MPH

Indy 1974, the only other time the bike went over 180 was at the Ontario Supernations 1975.


Good Golly Ivy, Forest, no one says that word anymore. Sales Manager in the old days at Laidlaw's Harley, he retired and move to Kansas years ago from the old store.

Every time there was a scene in "Along came Bronson" that required some trick riding they thru in a Sprint, they were plenty around to keep replacing the broken ones, they were all waiting parked on a hill so they could get them started.

I have to admit I use to ride one home from the shop once in awhile...Do you still have that Sprint?


Yeal, the Sprint days. Harley's answer to something but no one knew what it was when that mess showed up on the Show Room Floor.

Two Old Guys

Thanks Jerry, really cool that you are thinking of guys like Pup and me, but picking on us has got to stop, we could report you to the AHDRA or the NHRA and maybe throw in the IHRA for the Harassment of the OCDRA (Older Celebrity Drag Racer Association).

I understand the fine is really severe. Six months of riding a Harley Sprint with no seat and you can’t park in on a hill.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

You should have looked at some Limey Bikes

Sorry if I lit your wick, didn't know there was a first real eight second twin, never heard or read about it. I had to use American help; it was the only country I knew of that sold any race parts back then. My crew was my wife and I couldn't ask her to lift both ends, that would have been ungentlemanly of me and I hated getting cut off back then.

I remember in the early 70's there was some fuel bikes that showed up from your area at Indy, none even qualified, sorry.

Top Fuel Bikes are Bigger today

Hi ya Pup,
Yes, the Fuel Bikes back then were a lot smaller. When I went to Vegas to watch them for the first time in 30 years I couldn't believe how big they were. My First Eight Second Bike weighted 305 dry with the engine and Trans as far back as you could get and have tire clearance but that was with a stock Harley Trans with nothing in it but High Gear. Over the years I never weight it but it did get heavier because of the different Trans, clutch, rear wheel and tire, etc.

The Double weighted 580 when I first built it but gained weight in the two years I raced it. Back then weight was so important that ever nut and bolt I could replace was alloy. There was a big Hardware (warehouse) in Los Angeles where they had everything like that you could buy at 40 cents a pound, it’s also where I always bought my Fuel Shut off valves, they were all Army and Navy Surplus and really cheap. The place was so big that the first time I went to buy something I was there all afternoon and never seen it all.

My Single was so light I could put the front end in the back of my Pickup myself, needed help to lift the rest in. Yes, they were small and light back then, what a ride.

Bikes that won 1971 Indy

Indy 1971, Winner and Runner up, Top Fuel. Both bikes owned by Joe Smith. Joe Smith Winner on King Rat and Jim Cook Runner up on Rat Too.

My Dad is 60, just passed his license test

Bronze Star,

I envy your Dad, give him a big congrat from Old Joe Smith!!

Is that three brake master cylinders on your Double


They were all three brakes Mike. The one on the left handlebar went to the rear wheel, used to load the clutch and also if I felt the tire get loose off the line I could put a little load on the rear wheel and eliminate smoking the tire. Also using it to load the clutch it gave me the feel as using a clutch to launch with, good for mental timing.

That's one heck of a Starter


About the starter is on this page of one of my blogs.

Show or Entertainment

I can understand how you feel about the show part. I always felt there was two parts to entertainment. If I accept a Match Race from my Booking Company it was usually against a car, usually an impossible win, I consider those as being Shows. If it was a Match Race against another Motorcycle it was usually a Challenge by someone that thought they could or might win, thats what I consider as Entertainment. I loved doing both and I was very good at both. Racing with no bar, if I needed to carry the wheel for a little more excitement I could, therefore enter the Show.

I just wish I could still do it, Entertainment or Show, I loved them both.

Between Rounds

Yes, that's what I had at the NHRA National Exhibitions, they wanted the show, long burn outs and they loved that starter for my Double. Even Danial's one time wanted to make sure our uniforms were nice and clean and most of all they wanted me to take as much time as possible to fill in so the next round could get ready. To make more time, at National Trails is where they started having me take the starter right out to the starting line and we were suppose to take all the time we wanted to make the run, perfect time for Joe Smith to show off.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Show or Entertainment

I can understand how you feel about the show part. I always felt there was two parts to entertainment. If I accept a Match Race from my Booking Company it was usually against a car, usually an impossible win, I consider those as being Shows. If it was a Match Race against a another Motorcycle it was usually a Challenge by someone that thought they could or might win, thats what I consider as Entertainment. I loved doing both and I was very good at both. When I was racing with no bar, if I needed to carry the wheel for a little more excitement I could, therefore enter the Show.

I just wish I could still do it, Entertainment or Show, I loved them both.

Columbus and National Trails Raceway

When I was in Columbus to Exhibition at National Trails Raceway I sometimes put my Drag Bike on display at the local Harley Dealer. This is Columbus Harley Davidson and the bike is sit up inside, they wanted my truck sitting right where it is.

At the time it was owned by two very Young Owners, I was surprised that there was no one working there that was over 25. There special room (as they called it) had a bar, juke box, carpet, pillows on the floor and very dim lighting. On the wall was that large Black Light Poster of my Eight Second run that Harley did.

Always had a great time there.

Russ and his Monster triple engine Honda

Hey joe got any stories about this guy?

Russ, now there’s a guy that’s done it all, I have a lot of good and bad memories about my friend Russ. I’ll relate to one that comes to mind mostly because it short and to the point.

It was at Irwindale Raceway on a Saturday which runs all day into the night. Russ had his triple Honda (ugh) there and having a lot of trouble getting it down the track. There was a lot of Bike Clubs at this race, The Hash***, The Var***, just to name a few. Now these guys bet big money at the races when it gets down to Harley against Honda, especially if it’s between Russ and Me. Russ and I have this Friend/Competitor attitude when were at the same race and the Spectators think it’s an Enemy/Competitor attitude which raises the stakes in the betting. Because of the round coming up was against Russ, I had already been approach by some of the clubs asking me how I felt about the upcoming race, you know, do you think you will win, will you get this guy, shit, blow him away? I understand that day there was around Ten Grand bet between two clubs alone.

Time for the race, every spectator there had filled the stands and along the fence, anticipation was at a high, the guy in the tower was really talking it up over the loud speaker. Russ and I are coming down the fire up road, both lit off and come around behind the starting line. There is a large group surrounding Russ getting him ready for the Burn out, I have my teenage Son ready with the colored water ready for our burn out. Both Bikes make great long Burn Outs. I have to stop here and remind every racer to remember the correct way to stage, (back then anyway) one lights a light and then the other, now it’s time for the racer that lit the first light to light his and so forth. Well, this big Triple Honda has to warm up a little longer than the rest of us and were both at the staging area and I’m look over waiting for Russ to get ready and were sitting there and sitting there and these two crew guys are running around his bike looking things over and this Monster is Idling around 4000 thousand or so, smoke coming from every place. Now, every body knows my Double Idles so low (just under a thousand) that it’s impossible to hear especially over the Honda’s three motors. Finally Russ stages a light, I pull in and stage my first light, then it begins, every Spectator thinks it’s a burn down. It’s time for Russ to stage is other light, waiting, and waiting, finally I see what is going on. My Double will lean over on the out board bearing support for the clutch and sit up right so I lean it over, stand up and cross my arms and look over at Russ and he is bend down ready to go, looks over and see’s me standing and pulls in and lights is last light. Now it’s time to race, I immediately stage, we get the go and Russ right out of the gate smokes the tire and I’m gone.

As it was, I won the race, turning an 8.10, 176. After the race Russ accuses me of doing a Burn Down on him.

Was it a Burn Down, what do you think????

Granddaddy Joe Smith

Joe's so old he gets his mail by floating bottles

I know of four Bottle Notes that I never got an answer too. One was to the MAN up stairs asking for a 190, oh well.

Jerry, I know about you guys, don't forget I have a Video and Yes, your Team does look Professional, nice team uniforms too.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


This is one of my favorite pictures, it's called a Puptoon. Pup thinks this is the way I look now but I'm really a lot better looking than that.

Drag Racing and Entertainment

A long time ago, I mean a long time ago. Most racers, Wives, Sons, Daughters and helpers wore team uniforms and didn't even know it, they are called T-Shirts. Just about every body wore them to match what ever bike, owner, rider, Manufacture they were with, no one seemed to harp about that.

My team: Wife, Daughter, Son and myself wore team uniforms at the start of 1971, my wife made them herself and we looked pretty good. Boris and his family did the same thing and it wasn't long before every body was doing it.

And every time there is a crash at the Indy 500, Nascar or Open Wheel it sure as hell entertains them thousand of race fan. The even get excited when one of the Winners climbs the fence in celebration of their win.

Article on Elmer Trett

Yes, thank you Ian King for that article.

For all those racers that was arguing about not being Motorcycle Drag Racers while also being entertainers, read on. Of course not all are of this caliber.

This is the First Eight Second Bike with the Fairing.

The Bait in the rat trap is a Twin Engine Triumph

Bowling Green

Every year at the big Bowling Green Bike Meet I would drive over into Indiana and hit five TV Stations to advertise the up coming race. This is one of the two that was done live.

Old guys need their rest

I only come one way, OLD!

Young at heart, disguised as an old person.

Broken Fairing

Match race with Boris Murray at Portland OR. Big dip at 1000 foot mark and this is how the fairing look before Portland.

This is after wheel stand at that dip, front tire took out a portion of fairing.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Old guys need there rest

I only come one way, OLD! Young at heart, disguised as an old person.

Across the Pond

If I understand, this is a 200 MPH Club, has every one that logs on gone 200 MPH or is that just a name. I've only come close to that in the 70's so I guess I'm a member from a past dream.
I've looked at some of the postings and see, I think, that posted pictures always go to the bottom. It will take time for me to understand how your forum works. Is there a way to edit after posting? Does the picture download only show up after posting? If I post pictures most will be something I have already post on another forum. I know a lot if not most of you also read that forum, so let me know if it gets boring.

Here is a picture I found recently, taken when I was doing Exhibitions for the NHRA. It was the strip near my Home Base in the East during my touring years, National Trails Raceway in Columbus, Ohio in 1975 I believe.

Friday, March 14, 2008

National Trails Raceway Exhibition

When I was doing my Exhibition's for the NHRA, this was one of my favorite Drag Strips. My Home Base in the East was in Gahanna, outskirts of Columbus at my Father-in-laws home. Always had a great time a National Trails Raceway. Track was a little short back then but always got stop just before I rolled off into the grass. The first great final round with Big Daddy and Cha-Cha was lined up on the fire up road right behind me to run after my Exhibition run. Man those were the days. Cha-Cha was so nervous she had tears in her eyes sitting in there tow truck waiting to run.

Any body remember who won that race.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

All Bike Meet

Joe Smith wrote:

Personally, myself I could see the writing on the wall, there was no way that when they got those 'other" bikes working we were going to be able to compete with a bike that maxed out at 6000 RPM against a bike that could turn 12000 RPM, no matter the engine size. They were in line Automotive Engines that would very easily except a blower and ideal for a Slider clutch that would be all over a Harley. Guys like Russ Collins and Vance and Hines proved that to be true.
That switching over to all Harley came much further down the line and in the process we lost the All Bike Meets.

That looks like an ALL BIKE MEET . . .

Yes, kind of:
I been trying to get down there to one of your races. Even though I live in California it's a long way for an old guy, but I've had my eye on this one.

AMA and Motorcycle Drag Racing

Does that mean you have to be a AMA member to race at AHDRA Motorcycle Events??

If it does, as time progresses there will be rules you will need to follow and meet in order to be an AMA (Drag Racing) member that will probably affect Motorcycle Drag Racing in some order.

I know I would be as I'm sure the people that are involved on the Motorcycle "Drag Racing" side of this new adventure will stay on top of all issues.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Harley guys got upset?

I don't know if we got pissed off but I can remember when the "other" bike showed up at Irwindale and they made more runs in the back of the pit area than down the track and they were constantly wackin the throttle, which has this dumguy, dumguy, dumguy sound over and over, it kind of drove you nuts.

Personally, myself I could see the writing on the wall, there was no way that when they got those 'other" bikes working we were going to be able to compete with a bike that maxed out at 6000 RPM against a bike that could turn 12000 RPM, no matter the engine size. They were in line Automotive Engines that would very easily except a blower and ideal for a Slider clutch that would be all over a Harley. Guys like Russ Collins and Vance and Hines proved that to be true.

That switching over to all Harley came much further down the line and in the process we lost the All Bike Meets.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lost Cause

Hey Pup,
I'm still for something, but I don't know what it is anymore!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

More Wheelie Bar Stuff Q8Zu-A-LB

Wow, that's a lot of wheelie bars.

Some one back there was telling Pup they had 50 entries of 9.50 ET bikes, I guess comparing spectators or something. If you had 50 entries, you would need 10 friends to each entry, to have what?

I think we have got away from the whole thing. The more entries you have is good, period. But if you had a variety of entries with good advertisement, the bleachers would be closer to being full, I think that is a bad word. You could use full at a Indy or English Town NHRA National. Or almost full at a AHDRA Races.

But, the people in the bleachers wouldn't give a sh*t about wheelie bars or no wheelie bars, they would still be waiting to watch the Fuel Bikes run.

Would you ride one and Who brings the Spectators

Yeah, I have the same feeling today, but if you could take one back 35 years I bet I could make some great runs.

You have to admit it takes all kind of racers, drivers and riders to make Drag Racing what it is today but it would be a pretty sad if every one rode only what you ride, there would be no Drag Racing, not today, maybe fifty years ago when thats all there was around but stock cars and bikes.

It seems that the argument right now is mostly between riders from the past and Sport class bikes from the past and present, the ones that buy and ride a street bike and just because it is a fast bike at the drags it's still just a street bike, the same bike you can ride to work every day. Don't come back and tell me it's because you did this to it and that to make it go faster and quicker because that's exactly what the bikes up ahead of you in the bigger classes do to make there bike go faster, being it fuel or what ever. Isn't that what Drag Racing is all about. I wouldn't want the Top Fuel and Funny cars today to go the same speed and ET as the one you buy off the show room floor that it is representing.

I said before, I raced my whole career on a Top Fuel bike without Wheelie bars but wheelie bars that's how they do it today. A Harley, whether the parts look like a motor or not that runs in the sixes at over 200 MPH and "Spiderman" that just ran another ET in the fives and has gone almost 250 MPH, well I don't know how you could put that any place but the thing that every body's wants to see.

I think we, the ones that have concern for what is happening to Motorcycle Drag Racing should let things lie, and do for our selves, meaning AHDRA, they seem to have plenty of spectators, it sure impressed me at Las Vegas.

Changing Picture for Forums

Randy, Joe K.
There are so many commands in different picture programs to use to make the picture better. Most times I just use the Auto Correct as I did in this picture and it will usually make it look at least 50 % better. After awhile you get to know how to even make them better.

Them Sportsters are going to jump up and get you.

They tried too, at most tracks I raced at.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

AMDRA Pioneer


I keep forgetting it's been 35 years or so since I've see or even thought much about some of us from back then. In my mind it was just like yesterday. Some times the things you hear about racers and the people that were connected with what I did that I loved so much is just scary.

Roy and I never got along and when you hear things like what Jim just posted it makes you want to go back and change some of the things that happened. Even so, my memories of Roy are strong, maybe because of the ill feelings we had for each other

The last I heard about Roy was years ago and he was working at a Honda Shop, I believe was in Long Beach, CA. I hope he got better after Jim talked to him at Atco.

AMA and Motorcycle Drag Racing

The way I read it is the AMA is going to stay out of that department and France is handling it. If that is the way it's going it should work.
Some of the things that was said at the meeting I don't think we would have ever heard about.

What Motor to Use

The Sportster got it's start at the HD Factory, it some how got in the wrong assembly line and they started using old Sprint parts to finish it. The guy that was putting the engine together reading the instruction came to the sentence where it said "for the cam" that's how it got four cams.
They were going to call it "Baby 74" but short people had trouble reaching the ground with there feet. They finally came up with the name "Sport Turd" and because of advertising they changed it to Sportster.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Cost, Cost, and Cost

I don't know Chris, any monies that is paid out seems it pretty much the same as it's always been, it's expected to be paid from the track. It ain't going to happen. I know that when I was racing there wasn't enough money coming from the manufactures . You can take the big performance Cycle as one example, the Harley guys have made them rich. I knew Sr. pretty good and was around in the beginning and watch that family prosper, don't get me wrong, that's the American way but still there was not enough done toward payouts to the racers. I can't complain, I never had to pay for any thing I ever used of theres. They're not the only ones that fit in that category, there was quite a few. Even the journalist that wrote the stories for the different magazine made money off our names, what we got was the glory, which I ate up just like everyone else. And still the more Ink you got, the more popular you were with the racing fans. So where does it end, the answer has been ask since Drag Racing started to be more professional and cost more money. I think that it has got to the point just like all racing, to do it you must be wealthy or have some really good backers.

When I was racing my motors hardly cost me a dime but if you wanted to buy one it would cost you seven or eight thousand dollars (back then). That's how some racers have kept racing and don't spend the money a lot of others do, the ones that have a name that's worth money in action and print spent less money. Today some of that has changed with crew chief, tire guy, blower guy, bottom end guy, head guy, etc.etc. I hate to be the one that has to pay every thing that makes a race team work.

It looks like every one is going to have to try and work with some track close to home and get some thing going because of cost. I see where the Harley guys were invited to run in Sacramento with the "Other" bikes, I seen a add someplace on it

NHRA Museum

The last Single Engine Fuel Bike I built. It had runner up at Indy in 1973.

High cost of Gas to Tour

The answer is to go back to best mileage truck and pull small trailer and go racing like in the old days, yeah I like to see that happening. Or better yet, buy one of those eight second street bikes and ride it to the drags. Damn the high prices, for an old guy living on low budget income it's even worst.

What's happen to the good old USA?-?
Is Hill-la ree or Hus-sane (middle name) going to make it better or how about the X Ass-tro-naught-Hero who is so old he probably won't make it thru the first four years.

Who are you voting for to bring prices down?-?

Gas prices will help local tracks

Very good posting Marion. I agree with you a 100 percent. It's not that hard or that much effort to do exactly as you posted and it can be done. Sometimes it take a group of racers together to commit themselves to that effort, the more working to help the better.

Irwindale Fan

Glad to see someone that loved the Irwindale Days make a posting. I was wondering when you would pop in. You fixed that old picture a lot better that I did, boy was I a handsome young clean cut guy, way before I knew anything about Drag Racing, that's probably why.
I visited your site on myspace, pretty neat, first time I seen anyone use that picture to link my site. Once I learn how to use myspace I'll probably flood it with my junk.
I really appreciate the email you sent me and the news cast things were great, I used the one on a posting. You should post that video so they can see that speed wobble of Sonny Raz.
After looking at your myspace I'm sure I'll see more postings from you even if it's just to give your opinion.

1968 Match Race

Times, dates are a little confusing for the time of that match race. I think it was when I was building my first chassis and that race was when it was still a stock frame. It says low percentage, I can't remember what it was because when I first went to fuel I started with 10 percent and when I got tuned to that I went up to twenty percent, I did it ten percent at a time so I could learn how fuel worked. There was no charts then, I mixed with a two cup cooking measurer, you know one cup of this and nine cups of that, etc. It was somewhere around 1968, I think and I think I won all three rounds. I don't recall what the AHRA records were we had but I think one of us had the ET and the other had the speed record and I think it was a track record, just can't remember.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Sizing Pictures

Joe k, here you go. You did good on changing the picture, the trouble is it's 107 KB. I compressed it to Web Size, 29.1 KB and went to that resize program I showed you and changed the size to 600 wide, I think you can go up to 750 before it gets to wide.

Free Picture Sizing

Joe k, sorry you are having so much trouble with your pictures you post. I guess photo bucket doesn't know how to do it either. If you know how to compress the picture to get the 55KB needed, preferably less, around 20KB for forum size then you can use this.
It's real simple to use to enlarge or reduce size and it's free. When you get the page bookmark it or desk top it.
By the way, what's a "tits".
I knew you were a swell guy from the very beginning.
PS If you like, send me an email, tell me what programs you have and maybe I can walk you thru to size pictures.

Gas and Fuel Championships

At the Bakersfield Gas and Fuel Championships when I turned the First Eight Second run which was on Saturday, I also ran a 9.12 the day before right off the Trailer

There was another rider there that turned a 9.02 during the first round of eliminations on race day.
His name was Boris Murray.

We raced in the finals, and Boris only had one motor left in his bike. I won the race but I wonder what might have happened if he had both motors?
Would he have won? Would it have pushed me too another eight? Or maybe both into the eights with who knows who might have won?
That's why I love Drag Racing

5.79 E T, new Record

I hope AMA is "not still hooked" into there "old ways" about Motorcycle Drag Racing, which was small print and none.

The biggest star in Motorcycle Drag Racing and no mention.

Story on the Big Guy

There's a really good write up about "Spiderman" on now. Maybe it just takes time for the writer to get to a computer and a cool beer.

Good Write up Dragbike.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Three Stooges

If I remember right the reason that car is behind them was there was a cable that came out the truck with a hook on it and they would hook it to the bike to hold it back during a burnout.

One time Clem got the ideal that the strip wasn't getting the tire hot enough so he had an alloy plate that went under the slick with short cables that hooked to the under carriage of the frame so they could burn out on the plate, being the alloy got the tire hotter.

The Three Stooges

Ever time these guys went to the starting line to make a run, they were like the three Stooges. Clem always rode the bike up the fire up rode and fired the "Barn Job" and made the burn out. That's Lieneweber in the leathers, waiting to get the bike from Clem, Ralph, Clem's best friend on the right.
The three Stooges image always left if Jimmy could get a straight run down the track, times usually made up for it.

New Irving Vincent Motorcycle

4 March 2008***NEWSFLASH ****
2008 AHRMA Battle of the Twins
Rider: Craig McMartin
1st place - 4th March 2008 Battle of the Twins
3rd place - 3rd March 2008 Battle of the Twins

Match Race

It was called Drag News then, sometime between 1966 and 1968.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Marion Owens known as Big Mo.

I received my second surprise phone call in the last seven weeks.

Big MO, Marion Owens gave me another call and we had a great time talking about old and new times. He told me he may be making a trip to California and we would get together and do some real Bench Racing. Marion and I were great competitors in my day.