Friday, February 29, 2008

Another Comment

I was featured at Laidlaw's Harley Davidson for the Pomona pre-race party and I watch every race on TV that shows the Pro Stock Motorcycles. I've talked to the people that only watch them on TV and I have come to the conclusion that what every one wants to see is a Girl Winning. All the guys that ride have there fan clubs most are guys that ride now in the weekly drags across the country, but I hate to say it, girls are what most want to see. I myself root for Peggie, Pro Stock Motorcycle and Ashley in Funny car. And I try to catch every race that has Diana. I do believe that some of the girls need someone to help them with what to say, complaing does not look good on TV.
Just another Comment From,

Big Guy

Bryce,

As they use to say , "Right On".

Big Guy

Bryce,
Don't get me wrong, I understand, show and go is a must, 35 years and it's still the same, just cost a bunch more money. I think back and all I had to do was build an inclosed trailier with Harley Davidson printed on both sides, a tow truck the same way and I was high dollar.
Well, enough said about that crap, you guys are doing great no matter the cost. I think you should feel lucky that you are one of the Top Dogs and keep racing, no matter who the rider is.

Just a comment

The Cosmetics of Motorcycle Drag Racing in the Top Ranks is way out of proportion, and it probably needs to be for a prestige point alone. Some of those rigs that are used for hauling the Motorcycle around are big enough for a Funny Car. I’m sure they cost in the many Thousands. I don’t believe it’s necessary for the pit crew and rig for a Motorcycle needs to look like a Schumacher’s set up, it if does that’s a shame. Steve Gibb’s (NHRA) mention to me a year ago that Drag Racing had went from Fun to spending a lot of Money just to compete, shame that progress has turned it to such a thing. But that’s the way every thing is today, fifty dollars used to get you four or five bags of groceries now you are lucky if you get one full bag.
Just a comment,

Kart Racing

I quit Drag Racing "once" for awhile because of cost, and this was a long time ago. Started going Kart Racing because it took in the whole family. Had a great time until the Kart Factorys and retail stores got involved and they had so much better equipment and went so much faster that the same thing happened. Cost got so high I had to quit that too. When I went back to Drag Racing my wife and I decided as long as the race bike payed for itself we would continue to race, it turned into a business before we knew what was happening. Both working to make things work, you get caught up in that sort of thing because you love to race. We were lucky to have turned that first eight second run which got us the start to great Sponsership from Harley. Still we had to go on the road ten months a year to even make that work, and the cost kept going up out of our own pocket, even getting paid from Harley and NHRA. It seemed no matter how good you got it still cost a lot of money. You had to really love Drag Racing to keep going and it was a lot o work. And it goes on and on and on.

Pro Stock Riders

Anybody that thinks the Pro-Stock riders at the National is riding just for the money, you got to be kidding. Riding just for a paycheck, I don’t think so. They can make more on the outside of the arena, just with their names, and I don't know how many of you have been Drag Race Celebrities. Man, that’s worth more than you think. That’s a paycheck in it’s self. I can't believe anyone would think that would make a bad person, maybe a little big headed, but SH+T, that's part of it.

Cost

What ever they get is probably not enough. I matched race and exhibition at the National Events four year straight and you would be surprised how much of your own money you use. Don’t forget, most people still have house payments, etc. The personal appearance always requires some money of your own for something. I know at the end of the year I was lucky to break even and that’s when a gallon of nitro was $4.95. Not everybody gets asked to go to those races and any monies they get is pretty neat to me.

Progress sometimes SUCKS!

I don't think you can compare it to the car drivers, most car driver feel you should just feel lucky to be at one of their races, they may not admit to that thou. If you can get close to just one Top Car Guy at those races things can open up for you.

Any monies a rider gets at a NHRA event is a lot more than any other rider gets anyplace, unless it has change alot. I used to be happy with free entry, some tickets to sell and a free motel room, that was big money in my time and if I was lucky enough to win I could collect that whoppin $1000 dollar payout. If it hasn't changed much from that then progress SUCKS!!!

Try this one

http://quickthrottle.com/HarleyOutsourceOption_files/slide00 01.htm

Have a nice Day

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egCeIwjIuZM

Yeah, Kids

Kids,
I'm over 21!
Tired of being hassled by your parents.
Act Now!
Move out, get a Job, pay your own bills.
While you still know everthing.

HA, HA

This proves that love and romance still abound and that most men are quite romantic.
I was playing Golf the other day with this guy that is 82 years young. He ask me how offten I played, I said couple times a week. He's telling me he plays every day. I told him "that's pretty good for a man your age" how do you manage getting out every day.
He said the first thing he ask his wife in the morning, "Intercourse or Golf Course" and she always says "have a nice day".

Shovel Rocker Boxes

The really big difference on the Shovel Rocker Boxes, they have an F and an R stamped on them for front and rear. Not interchangeable. I found that out the hard way when I ran two rear heads for injector bodies out both sides.

Don't get Your Hackles up

I haven't visit this thread in awhile but reading your post I think if you look one of your postings you said, "but Bonnie ran the first known set of wheelie bars in history". I was just saying Cook ran than sometime in the 60's. There was some discussion in the beginning about who was the first to run wheelie bars, that's all.

Who had Wheelie Bars first

Cook had wheelie bars on a Triumph, I thing it was around 1968 or 69 . I have a picture somewhere but haven't found it yet.

Years ago since I rode

These "guys" today are doing just fine. My God man, it's been 35 years since I twisted the throttle on a fuel bike! (I don't make my text larger for you guys, it's for me, so I can see what I writing). I'd probably sh-- my pants. The Pro-Stockers are going quicker and faster than I went, and they're using what we used to wash parts in and if I was a young man I'd tell you the same thing I told Danny Johnson (rest is sole) in 1973 at Indy when I was runner up. He said "I was going to have to build a double to keep up". I said if I build a double all you guys will be sorry.

Hand operated Sliders

TC and I both ran a hand operated slider clutch in the 70's, TC's was the best. They were so hard to operate that TC had a alloy ring he slip over the handle bar and clutch lever until time for burn out and run. Mine was so hard to pull back I couldn't sqeeze it I had to jerk it back and take a hand full and hold it until I needed it. Man, my wrist would really be sore after a weekend of racing. And don't forget we didn't have wheelie bars to keep the front end on the ground, that was done with the slider. I've always wondered what my bike's would have done with wheelie bars, I really had to fight to keep the front end down. I can see the advandage of the wheelie bars, with the right adjustment you can put more weight on the rear wheel for more traction, WOW! And yes, I have watched the fuel bikes of today and the horse power is awsome, what a ride that must be.
Note: I never went up in smoke on a race run, TC didn't either but we could if we wanted to.

Digital Riding

My God, who rides the thing?????? Sorry, being one of the old guys it looks like a lot of the fun is gone. Mr. Digital has taken over and gets all the credit. Rambling along here.

Clutches

That’s probably due to the slider clutch, if you had a hand activated slider you would get plenty of “react”.

AHDRA, Pomona California

I met Valerie Thompson at the Laidlaw's Harley dealership event where he Sponsored the Pomona event, 2007. I had a booth there showing off and signing pictures for an lot of people. She came over to my booth and gave me this picture. She is top gear, very serious about her racing and has good racing equipment also.

2006 Bowling Green Reunion

Bunch of old guys.
Standing; Frank Spittle (no face), Joe Thronson (same long beard but gray), Mel Disharoon, Sam Wills, Roland Stuart, Bob Davis, "Granddaddy" Joe Smith, TC Christenson, Larry Welch, Boris Murray, Duke McDonald, John Dixon and Don Kummler.
Kneeing from left; Bob Ables, Bob Mauriello, Larry McBride, Dave Campos, Pete Hill

Thursday, February 28, 2008

2006 Reunion

Here is a picture of something I'm very proud of receiving, I had a great time getting it, I would have never been able to make the trip to Bowling Green to receive it without the help of a good friend and the NHRA.


I received an email from a Irwindale Raceway Fan "Auntie Ivy" which I thought would fit right in with it.

http://ghoulixena.spymac.net/Noises/KRLA - Jimmy Rabbit, KRLA Los Angeles, February 27, 1970 4.mp3

You may have to copy and paste in the address bar of your Home Page.

Lions Drag Strip

I just got thru watching 'Lions The Greatest Drag Strip" part one and part two. Boy, is that cool to watch, it's a must especially for the West Coast guys. If you haven't got it you should "get it".






Sunday, February 24, 2008

Knuckleheads


Really Early Days

Back in the mid 50's there was a rider and bike that I use to have to leave early from home and drive to 2 or 3 different Drag Strips (back then there was that many and more) to look for this guy. His name was Dave Schultz and he raced a Knucklehead. That is me in the far lane and Dave in the near lane. We raced over the early years and he never won a race, used to always go to a track where he was hoping I wouldn't show up.

Are you going to Sturgis

No, Sturgis is a little to rowdy for me these days, to much walking and since I gave up my favorite beverage, it's not as much fun as when I was younger.

Did you like the Fairing

I never did like the fairing I had a better average without the fairing. I blame it on the tracks that had a cross wind, I had to fight the bike in the cross winds and I didn't like that. The bike ran a best without the fairing of around 172, with the fairing I had a couple runs 175. Average was around 168, ETs were 9.02 give or take, that was with 108 Cubic Inch, 86 percent, High gear only, 273 to one ratio. Bike weight 305 dry with 10 lbs on front fork to help keep the front end down. I ran almost the same speeds when the motor was 102 cubic inch, the 108 cubic inch was what put it into the eights and out of the nines.

King Rat

Yes, that's the original King Rat, still has the four inch tire on it. The design on the front of the fairing is after it was repair. In a match race against Boris at Portland, OR there was a large dip about the 1000 ft mark and the bikes would get the front end in the air right about there and on one run mine got pretty high and when it came down the forks collapsed far enough that the front tire took out that part of the fairing. Boris and I were on the road touring and when I got it back from Wixom Fairings they had put that design on there, it use to say Wixom Fairings and Harley Davidson.

King Rat with Fairing


Early years with my second Tour/Tow Truck and the First Eight Second Motorcycle with Fairing.

Ranchero




Here’s an old picture of memories (1969) from the past. My Fuel Knucklehead in my Ranchero, back when Gulf 76 gas was purple.



Brother Hood Race Way

No on the Brother Hood, but Marine Stadium, man that was my Hang out watching the boat races and hands on my girl friend. There was a lagoon close by (can't remember the name) with a diving platform, highest was thirty foot. Always was some great divers there on Satuday night. In the summer time I was there almost every Satuday night, drove my three window 34 Ford coupe there just to show off and pick up girls.
Lions,Irwindale and OCIR man what times, never happen again.
Yeah, I went to Irwindale every Wed. night for fun and testing new stuff, then would make it back Sat. night in the Summer or Sun. in the winter. Then you had those Sat. And Sun. you could make at Lions and don't forget Sat and Sun at Fontana Raceway. I could make 50 runs a week if I wanted to.
What great times.

Thru the Tunnel at Orange County Drag Strip

I heard about that, I thought they put a fence across there or something. I remember getting in the Drive In Movies in that trunk thing until they got wise to it. Why don't you fill your profile in so I know who I'm talking to, Orange County is closed now so I won't turn you in.

NHRA Musuem


This is the Bike that got runner up at Indy, 1973, I had just build this bike, it had a Lenco Trans and a six inch M&H tire, the motor was 102 inches. In high gear it was 273 to 1 ratio. You notice the Sportster Clutch set up including the Sportster Compesating Sprocket. It turned a best of 8.64 at this race.
It's shown here in the NHRA Musuem, it was there for about four years. A guy named Williams of Santa Barbara, CA owns it.


T C ??

I never heard of that 180 TC turned untill just recently, never heard of it at the time I was racing. The day at Ontario they made a big deal out it as being the first bike over 180.

Is this information correct

Yeah, that's right. I just wished I had rode it with the injectors, Fringer was good but I knew what he was doing that kept it back from going a greater number. Fringer also turned 180 with the injectors, in fact the first night he rode it was at Orange County Raceway and he ran a 187 at a 7.98 but no back up. Plus it was no special race, just a regular race weekend. Orange County had a real bad bump just in front of the first light, there was a wash drain tube that ran under the track and it sunk over the years, my single use to get in the air right there. I loved those bikes........
Add on: The first 180 was at Ontario because it was at the time the first at that raceway and the first for a Harley. I was told just recently that TC did it someplace about the same time. It was a big deal that day because I ran three runs over 180, best being 183. I think I had MPH that day and RC had ET.

Press Release

Every National Event in my time the was a room, usually in the tower or the Motel the NHRA was using as Headquarters for the Top Drivers to put their Press Release for the Media to take to help them understand a certain Car, Driver or complete team for there stories. NHRA ask me to supplie that room at each event with a press release of my own. This is a picture of the front cover.

Low Budget

When I fell down in the traps at Irwindale on my Knucklehead, tumbling and finally sliding on my back, my leather jacket rolled up and I ended up with a very big asphalt burn on my back. Shown in this picture how low bucks the Hobby of Drag Racing was in those days. My wife is buckling my jacket to my leather pants so that won’t happen again.
Notice the Air Density gage in rear window of tow car.

Nostalgia Thoughts

Nostalgia Spoken here!
The Knucklehead, 1969
My Wife Pat was really involved in my Drag Racing. She did all the fuel mixing for all my Fuel Bikes. Some times a racer would come and ask her to mix a batch of fuel for them. She also changed the percentage without telling me because she could hear the bike on a run and knew a change was needed. Pat was a good racers wife.

Filling the Stands

That's great news, anything to put spectators in the stands and with you and your fellow racers there that makes you part of the entertainment.
Some one back posted that the reason AHDRA had a lot of spectators that included a lot of bikes ridden in by some of the spectators was because it's a life style event with a race. Sounds like that is what you have happening.
The stuff on ebay, is it that frame, leathers, fairings, etc.? That's been on there quite a bit also there is someone selling my pictures thru ebay.

Puppet

And Pup, I would give my left you know what to go back in time and work with you on my Double!!

You are entertaining Spectators while racing

When you are racing you are putting on a show. The deferents is from the spectators point of view it is entertainment while watching you race and when you sit on the bike it is racing. Just because it's called entertainment doesn't make you lesser of a racer.

Putting load on Motor

About loading the engines. I don't think anybody could have loaded the engines much more than I was doing. I learned about loading the motor standing on the starting line when the Top Fuel cars was running. I notice that certain cars, Big Daddy, The Snake, to name a few, when they left the starting line there motors always had a growl to them that other cars didn't have and after watching them for a while I realized that they didn't have the motors as high in RPM as others leaving the starting line. It was kind of a what they use to call a dead stick leave. In other words the clutch was sit up with more weight on launch and was controlled with throttle. I would spend time on the starting line (before they had sliders) and watch the bikes and a rider would get an exceptionally good ET run and come back to the pits all excited, get ready for another run and couldn't do it again. The reason was because he got the clutch out sooner on the good run and not on the second run, he didn't realize the deferents. That was the advantage I learned in the beginning that I used thru out my racing.
I never blew very many bottom ends due to cases, I took off a lot of top ends due to Hydraulicking a piston, bent rod, pulled pin boss, stuck piston once and that took out the cases. I would use my same pistons over and over when doing a top end.
Some more crap out of my mouth,

200 Doubtful

Yeah, you're probably right. There was a few things that I did that others weren't doing and maybe not 200 but I still think I could have come close. I did go 187 and 188. Don't forget I was running an eight inch tire and the one thing that I found out "then" that four to eight pounds of air was wrong for tire, launch and especially in the top end. I ran 26 lbs of air, the main reason I did that was less tire growth in the top end which meant less tire spin. I started running 26 lbs of air when the first M&H tires came out, Joe Pisano of Venolia Pistons and I came to that air pressure sitting in his office one day. He was a very smart guy and we use to do a lot of bench racing together when I would go in to pick up pistons. Also the tire didn't get on the sides of the tire off the starting line as easy which in my view was the start of shake due to the fact the center caved in and it started to ride on the edges, more pressure stopped that. My tire left the same kind of mark off the starting line as the Top Fuel Cars, they were running the slider I was running. Some of the guys that ran that clutch in the beginning ran a two plate, I ran a three plate and the trans that most bike guys were running was a 45 percent mine was a 35. When I first built my own slider it was made to only take the slip out of the top end, the first time I ran it the Double went faster, my trouble when I went to the slider I lost that part of the clutch that's why the clutch of today, WOW. As far as riding the wheelie bar, I pretty much did that with control lift with throttle. You talk about controlling the bike when it gets on the wheelie bars by using your feet, I also used that to help (combined with throttle control) to control front wheel lift. I'm sure if I had continued to race and as time went by I would have went to wheelie bars, I'm no fool when it comes to that decision. But I still would have done everything I could to not ride the wheelie bar on a run. I watched the bikes at Vegas and I think it is a risk that I personally wouldn't want to have.
That's a lot of crap coming out of my mouth, but that's the way I seen and did it "then". (And some other things).

Maybe 200

KNOWING THE WAY MY DOUBLE WAS RUNNING AND THE THINGS THAT WAS HOLDING IT FROM BETTER TIMES, IF I HAD THE FUEL CONTROL AND CLUTCH, I KNOW I COULD HAVE GONE 200!!!!! THERE WAS ONE SIZE BIGGER TIRE TO GO TO AT THE TIME.

My Friend Frank

Good Golly, Frank. You Sure know how to make a person feel very Humble. I'll be afraid to make a posting now for fear I will let you down. If I do, you be sure to let me know because I don't know everything. I do know I have met some pretty descent people thru this forum and a lot of different Drag Racers, some who have became really good friends thru the INTERNET system. I'm sure I have made a few enemy's, but those are what made a few good competitors in my day.

Thanks for the great complement

Todays Technology

Todays technology used in launch, shifting, fuel control, clutch, Boxes. Will someone explain how those things work. Anything that takes the place of complete rider control. I don't understand how they all work.

Look at the AHDRA Spectator Gate

I don't know what else to say, the thing we lost is the "All Bike Meet" instead of this segregation we have now. I don't see it ever coming back, that's what I meant by this post.

My Example: You could have 50 bikes of different classes, and have 100 spectators, throw in 10 Fuel Bikes, get another 100, throw in 10 Funny Cars get another 100, throw in 10 Top Fuel Dragsters, get another 100 and in my day, throw in 10 Fuel Altered and get another 500. The more variety of pro stuff you have the more spectators you have and still when the street stuff comes to the staging lanes the stands began to empty. It's been that way since drag racing started.

The AHDRA has replaced this with an all Harley Field and fills the Bleachers in a good fashion. Maybe that's what the Oriental Bike side of Drag racing should do. As far as West Coast Motorcycle Drag Racing goes, it will never get any better than what you've had. It was the same in "my day", if I wanted to race I had to travel and if you think it was all paid for my Sponsors you are out of your mind. I had a house payment, car payment, insurance's and paid someone to watch my belongings at home for the ten months a year while I was gone. Not only did I race while touring I also work in sales for a few company's, it wasn''t all glory. As far as the entertainment I felt I was doing it was also to help keep Motorcycle Drag Racing an interesting Sport to the Spectators so that we could keep racing. That along was payment enough for me.

The Big Picture

I give up, some of you just don't see the big picture, you just keep banging away at all the little sh*t, acting like someone is out to take something away from you.
This started out about wheelie bars and as usual it got carried away about other crap, I'm just as much to blame because I got caught up in it too. Sorry!

Spider



Why do you think the Man and Machine looks like this. He wants to look Professional (as he is) to his fellow racers and the people in the Bleachers. He is a Drag Racer that Thrills and Entertains Spectators.

Don't get it

You Guys just "Don't get it". I guess it has to be some one that's done it to understand.

Empty Stands

To all those that don't believe they are entertainers while racing.
While you are busy racing, doing the thing you probably love to do. You are entertaining the Spectators, why do you think they pay all that money to watch you. So be on your toes, make good launches, win if you can, because you are the ones that are being watched. Unless the stands are empty.

Not entertainers??

A good entertainer is only entertaining during the act of entertainment so you will be watching for nothing. According to your Web Site, it shows a lot of entertainers from your camp, you've been in the entertainment business all this time and didn't know it. I'm happy to bring this to your attention.

How many

You would have to check with AHDRA but I would say there was 8 to 10 thousand at Las Vegas. It's a shame we lost that track.

Life style event

You may be right, but it was a hell of a lot of Spectators. And when the big boys ran they were in the stands. They also had an event that had over a Hundred entries of a little bit of every thing on an index race that took the length of the event. Winner was $25,000 and runner up was $10,000. I saw the last 14 or so races for the win, I thing the bike that won was a V-rod and the runner up was a Dresser. Anybody can correct me if I'm wrong. I have to admit it was exciting as hell. I believe there was even some bikes in there running fuel but I can't be sure.

PS I watched some Fuel Bikes run well over 200 and in the six's. WOW, it was my first time.

Two or more

You're right on that Pup, it seems one person or group own more than one machine in there class. And that includes all the big Pro's at the Nationals. Maybe there running out of knots in the rope.

Spectator Count

I was at the AHDRA Event in Las Vegas. The last time I seen that many Spectators was years ago when I was at the Winter Nationals in Pomona. I didn't count them but I would swear there must have been 5000 spectator bikes that were parked in the outside parking and in the pit area. I lost count of the Pro bikes entered to race. I guess I should just feel happy that the Harley's have a big turn out when they put on a big meet.

Manufactures

I whole heartily agree, all Manufactures are pretty much in the same mode when it come to Stock Street Motorcycles or Automotive sales. That hasn't change in all of Drag Racing History. That's how they make there profit off of Drag Racing. Which by the way is free advertisement for there industry. It would be a great Idea to get the Motorcycle Manufactures to start putting up a good size purse for the street bikes especially if they could care less about how they do it.

Entertainers

Drag Racing, yes it is a hobby for most of all entries simply because there is always only one winner in any class... Over the years it HAS been the street classes that have supported the sport on a weekly basics. But you have to admit on a regular basic on a regular night or day at the races the stands are empty. You can see it in a lot of the videos on youtube and a lot of personal videos; the camera is on the bike or car and in the back ground going down the strip the stands are almost empty. You could have 1000 entries of nothing but street bikes and the stands would still be almost empty. Ask your local track Owner/Operator how many Spectators it takes to make a profit. A spectator takes 18 inches of the seat he is sitting on, how many 18 inches do you see left in the stands. In the old days Bob Daniels of the NHRA could count the row of seats in the stands and tell you almost to the count how many spectators was in those stands because of those 18 inches. It’s not just the street bikes that have supported the races it’s also the street cars, you need those entries to keep the tracks open. The tracks make there real money when they have a big race that includes the Pro stuff, exhibition stuff, match races and especially the Fuel stuff. Why do you think over the years there has been so many different Associations that have disappeared, you don’t suppose it’s because there’s not enough 18 inches filled. NHRA, IHRA, all the big Racing Associations have depended on those 18 inches being filled enough times during the year to stay a float. Look how hard is to keep the Pro Stock bikes in the Nationals, how much is going on right now among those guys with rider changes and Sponsors. It’s a tough racket, Drag Racing has gotten so expensive it’s just plain hard to be a DRAG RACER.

Still Wheelie Bars

I'm sure some bike events the spectator stands have a lot of local loyal people that come to watch street bikes run, that's good. But at a large event where there are different classes of pro bikes and top fuel bikes and you are sitting in the stands and all the pro classes are done and the street bike classes are called to staging why do the stands began to empty? Don't get me wrong I not against "no wheelie bar" racing, I did it all of my racing career. But don't tell me they are what make spectators, been there, done that. Personally it hard to call some of those bikes street bike, some are going as quick as I went on my Top fuel bike in the 70's and the guys that ride them without wheelie bars are either awful good or nutz. I can understand if the track has nothing but really fast street bikes with no wheelie bars, maybe the spectator is waiting for that wheel stand to see if the guy can make it, that could draw some fans.
My Example: You could have 50 bikes of different classes, and have 100 spectators, throw in 10 Fuel Bikes, get another 100, throw in 10 Funny Cars get another 100, throw in 10 Top Fuel Dragsters, get another 100 and in my day, throw in 10 Fuel Altered and get another 500. The more variety of pro stuff you have the more spectators you have and still when the street stuff comes to the staging lanes the stands began to empty. It's been that way since drag racing started.
Wheelie bar or no wheelie bar, just have a class for each. I think it's kind of hard to discuss because we have the V-Twin and the In-Line which are two different kinds of racing bikes.

Gambling while racing

Street racing is illegal and yes every time there is an accident on the street that involved racing the media would call it "Drag Racing" , still do. You must be talking about riders that ride there bike to the drag races. If so why not make a set of collapsible quick disconnect wheelie bars and carried them somehow to the races or a set that folds into a sissy bar. It could be done, maybe someone should manufacture something like that. Night racing where they turn off the clocks, why would you want to do that, to make it like street racing, still sounds illegal. There must be some sort of insurance problem for a lot of the Drag Strip with some of these ideals. To me a real street bike has nothing to do with racing, it's illegal to race on the street even if it has a turbo. Today they sell race bikes right off the show room floor and every body that owns one is looking for someway, someplace to race them, you can see that in the morning going to work on the freeway/interstate when the traffic is moving 15 MPH and some guys goes by you doing 60 MPH white lining it.

Been there, done that


Proper Racing Shoes

Shoes or boots that go above the ankle have always been mandatory I thought. They were in 1970. I don't believe Shoes, Boots, Bars or no Bars make a lot of different, it's all in the out come of that particular crash. If you land on your ass and stay there then you're safe but your ass is in a lot of trouble. Any other way you land and it could be your last landing.
The problem lies in the fact that today if you have the money you can buy any MPH or ET bike you want, and that a lone puts a lot of riders at risk.
No offense meant to any one.

Wheelie Bars

I don't know, I guess I'm just lucky. I crashed six times in my racing career, (twice in the traps). Broken collar bone (both), punctured lung, broken ribs, crush right hand, broken right foot, numerous stitches, bruised chest cavity, whole lot of rash burn. I walked to the ambulance every time and I think the worst thing is you love Drag Racing so much that you keep going back. And by the way I wore boxing shoes. Plus none was ever from a wheel stand off the starting line.

Big Tire

I have one question. If you took off the big tire and put; say a street tire on the back that was four inches wide in the same alightment front to rear and both wheels on the ground (as long as the frame didn't bottom out) and let go of the bike, would it fall to one side or the other?

Alternate Fuels

The way they are looking in the future to alternate fuels.
It could happen, maybe sooner than we think.
I'm sure there are things in the fuel world that we nothing about.

No Nitros Oxide allowed

Drag Racing started with Gasoline, Alcohol, Nitro and the igniter, Propylene Oxide.
It should still fit the classes it was used for in the beginning, you want to go faster go up to the next class or all the way.

The cheating part, that's how Nitrous got introduced to drag racing, hidden in some body's car truck.

No offence guys.

Ringing Ears

Yeah, my ears ring all the time and I can't hear sh*t, I'm due for a hearing aid but keep putting it off, my favorite word is "Huh".

That's what I get for spending so much time on the Starting line in the old days with Starter Buster Couch watching the Funny Cars and Dragsters. My special perks ruined my hearing. Sometimes I couldn't hear my bikes during a run at all after spending time on the starting line.

History of Fire up road to hand held Starters

This will tell a little about starters and rollers.

http://joe-smith-drag-racer-true-bench-racin.blogspot.com/2007/07/my-double-engine-dragster-starter-motor.html

Big Mo

Yeah, I redid one of Marion's motor's for him at home back when the was riding a single and almost threw up when I opened the motor up. He for sure had no finesse when came to building a race motor. The one I did for him had .250 clearance between the rods and flywheel and it was done with a bench grinder. Even so he's a great guy.

Be nice to get Roy Strawn in here, he had a lot to do with Motorcycle Drag Racing. That's him on the left, the tall fellow is Gordon Kateley and My Daughter Patti.
The Winner Circle at Freemont Raceway.

Rollers and Sportster Blow up

Yea, those car rollers were a killer. I always hated them, if the guy operating the car didn't know what he was doing there could be trouble. In my time I've seen two people get broken legs because of them.
By the way, Sportster's were known for blowing the top end off while trying to start them, I think every body that had one probably had it happen at least once. I've seen it happen to Danny at Indy, Campos ( don't think thats spelled right) just a couple and they were some of the top guys.

Yesteryear

I've been searching for weeks for a picture of one of my Knucklehead's with this Carb. on the bike. I ran them on Gas mostly, turned a best of 125 MPH, 10.80 ET. Did some trick stuff to the Carbs and ran a best of 152 MPH, 9.62 ET on fuel. This is the only picture I could find, not very good but you can get the ideal what Carb. it was. Pick up on the name on the tank, ah youth, it does so much to you

Top Fuel Kaw

Kosman built the Chassis

Top Fuel Kaw


This was one of the first Kaw Top Fuel bikes being built around 1975-76. Do you know who built it.

Bakersfield, California

Any Fuel Harley's going to Bakersfield March 1st or 2nd.

Picture of bike in a Motel Room

That could be just about any Motel room any place back then, of course it was always on the bottom floor as far as I knew. That bike looks familiar, I don't know about the legs. Some times when I was traveling to a race and there was time I would pick out a nice little Motel along the way and spend a couple days and rebuild the back motor in the Double. Some of those Motels had a nice little fishing pond out in back, it always gave my two kids something to do, and me before we left.

Motel in Bowling Green

When I went back to Bowling Green to the Reunion and you drive out to the track you go right past that Motel that TC use to reserve. I don't remember how many units it was but I remember he would reserve that whole thing in a year advance for all his Buddies that rode out there. They did so much damage to it one year that he had to give a large deposit to make that same deal again and after that year they didn't want him back. The year you are talking about was the only year I stayed in town, and yea, every room had a bike in it being worked on, my Coors never last any farther than there. Wasn't there one year just you, Fringer and I went by our selves and we stayed in that Motel where TC did? After that I started getting one of those two bedroom Mobil Homes out at the track. I changed a lot of motors, transmissions, etc. in Motel rooms in my day. Hell, that was part of Drag Racing back then.

About Knucklehead in 1956

That bike was a stock 74 Cu In with a race cam that didn't need any head work and a carb on each head that I fitted brass tubes to and had them oven brazed on and then I ported them. It went 105 MPH is all I remember. By 1958 it was an 80 Cu In with Robin Pistons, Barnett replacement clutch plates, a 550/16 Dunlop car tire out of a junk yard (they were natural gum rubber), automotive points, condenser and coil. I don't remember a lot, Oh yea, It raced under the name Smith and Johnson (Barn Job fame). It held a few Gas Records, best being 123 MPH, 11.08 ET and it had won Top Eliminator of the Day five times. Clem and I did some stuff to the carbs and one night at the very old Colton Drags we mixed 80 percent nitro and ran 10 runs over 138 best ET 10.80. In late 1958 I got hurt on the Barn Job and quit racing until 1963, raised some kids and was working for a Sail Plane out fit where I learn to Heli Weld, it's where I worked when I started racing again. I made and welded my first chassis before I quit there. That's the best I can remember without making this a book.

Garlits open trailer with just the Blower covered


This is my first Tour Year, it covered more than the blower but same idea.

About 1956 or so




I can go back a little farther than that, one of my first Drag Bikes, date is on picture.

It wasn't like the Tow Rigs of today

I know the Race Tow Rigs are really something now, some are big enough to live in 24/7. But this was one of the Top of The Bunch back in yesteryear. At one time I worked designing and building Sailplane Trailers and this one is an exact copy of a Sailplane trailer except smaller. It held both of my Singles and all equipment.

It's called the Monster Motorcycle, weights 13.6 tons and crushes cars.

What did he do with his feet

I probably should let Gordon answer this but I posted the picture so I will. Gordon and Boris were both tall thin people but they always seemed to wrap themselves around there race bikes with ease, kind of like they were part of the bike.

Gordon's nick name is Spider, he got it (I think) because of the way he use to sit on the 30 gallon barrel beside the parts window in the Service Department at the Harley Shop. He would walk up to the window and while he was waiting for them to get his parts he some how would get both feet on the lips of the barrel and sit there like a Spider.

Lions Drag Strip




Lions Drag Strip, around 1968. Gordon first ride on a fuel bike. Leathers and helmet borrowed from Boris , standing shading eyes, that's me on the ground, can't remember if I was praying or just watching.

Talking about building the Double

Yeah Gordon I remember that too. I drank Coors all the way from Indy to California while we built that bike with talk. That was the year at Indy that the Headlines read, Smith Snoozes, TC Looses, I was so sure I had Mauriello beat I let him hole shot the crap out of me. The bike we were running was the one I just put the lenco trans and a 5 or 6 inch tire, golly I can't remember. I think we ran a 8.64 to get TC. That was the race that Danny told me I was going to have to build a Double to keep up, I told him if I build a Double they would all be sorry. Next year we won Indy with one.
Man, those were good days though.

Staging on inside of lane

When you staged close to the inside it was easier to look straight down the track and see the tree without turning your head or shifting your eyes. Some thought that was an advantage.

Did you ever try dual carbs on single motor

Yes, naturally my Knuckleheads had a Carburetor on each head. I started with I think they were M48’s, something like that, the early Brass Carb. They had cork floats that the nitro would eat the varnish off and they wouldn’t float any longer, I took the cork floats out and mounted Amal (?) floats beside the Carb and adjust the fuel level in the Harley bowl with them, worked alright; I went 149 MPH with them. Then I change to that early Sportster Carb that looked like the S&S looked when they came out with it. I Went 158 MPH, 9.30’s with them after extensive work to them. After that it was the Shovelhead with one Carb. I did put two rear heads and Cylinders on once with an S&S sticking out both sides mounted to the heads with stock intake O-ring and bands. That really worked except not with a four inch tire and I should have put a front rocker box on the front instead of leaving the rear one on there. I finally blew that engine trying Pete Jackson Injectors. The engine with the two S&S fuel carbs was so responsive I couldn’t do anything but smoke the tire with no control at all. Just sitting on the block in the pits and pop the throttle and that light front end would jump off the ground. I should have gone back to that later, but when you get something that works well you sometimes forget about other things.

Wanting to see some pictures

The rear engine thing I was building was in the start of a jig frame, the engines, trans, front forks and rear wheel were set up and I was working on the engine plates when NHRA called and said I could only run it as one of my exhibitions bikes. I wanted to race it; I already had two exhibition bikes. So I stop with the ideal, always had it in the back of mind but it never got past that point, I never thought about taking any pictures as I wasn’t far enough a long. The only rear engine thing I know about is one Kosman did. You will find it on here, that's where you seen the one you are talking about, you sent this to me.
Dale Walker Racing

Rocket Bike Opinion

I've seen them all and yes a Rocket "anything" is impressive. I think for most "Drag Racers" after a couple run's you would much rather see a Top Fuel Harley make one of those three wheel runs instead. With the burn out and the launch from the line into an immediately “on the wheelie bars” and run over 200 MPH has got to be more impressive than any hissing Jet Bike run. Why not the Jet Bike builders stick to building something to race against some class that is already sanctioned to run instead of something that they know they will have a hard time getting on a Drag Strip. I think Dixon’s great runs and Larry's poor timing and judgment put an end to the Rocket Scene. And from what I’ve been reading there seems to be a question on fuel for the engine. And for the ones that are interested in building a rocket bike. I’m sure they would impress most spectators but before they get to far make sure you already have some drag strips that would allow you to run and any two could probably put on some exciting match races. I still believe that a engine must have the appearance of a factory build engine, can be called a Factory Build Name or they are in a class by them selves and aren’t eligible to race against class already established.

Lookout for this one

http://quickthrottle.com/HarleyOutsourceOption_files/slide00 01.htm

Rocket Bikes

That link on Larry was sent to me thru my Web Site. He says he and the guy that had something to do with that Rocket Bike are both building Rockets bikes right now and the ideal is when finished is to race each other. I could be more accurate but I deleted his mail by accident.

Worth looking at

Here's something that might be of interest to some, you might have already seen it. I never have.
Rocket Bikes

Special Thanks for Pictures Posted

Thanks, yeah that was 1975 when that picture of Danny and I was taken. That was prior to race Day during qualifying; I drew Danny on three of the runs that I turned over 180. Leo Payne, what can you say about that man, he was such a quiet person that sometimes you forgot he was around. He was a great tuner and rider in his time and I learned a lot from him about early day tuning. If it hadn’t been for Leo it would have taken me much longer to understand that I was running way to lean in volume, he was the one that help me to understand the word “lean” when it came to volume or percentage. He always said “you can’t lean a motor down with percentage’ you only add Black Death to pistons. He must have known what he was talking about because I could go a whole season without changing pistons on my singles just rings. He showed me how to remove any Black Death that you got just below the Oil Ring on the thrust side of the piston. He was a funny little guy to understand sometimes. In the very early days his big thing was street racing for money, not many knew about that, I learned some of his personal early life when he stayed at my house for a couple of weeks when he came to California to Match Race me and my Knucklehead at Irwindale. The nasty pictures, the one of the rear engine "nasty" with the Carb's is the one that started me thinking about retiring.

Freemont California

Yeah, you got it right, it was Ron riding. That was the race that was suppose to be "off the trailer" no tune up runs and Bernard and Teson talked the track into a single run. All my match races were off the trailer or I wouldn't do them. I felt if you were match racing you were professional enough not need them. It made Fringer so mad he talked me into letting him make one, I was against it but we went ahead. Fringer made a burn out that was almost half track and I'm running down the track hollowing don't touch the throttle but he did and up it went. That double made the shortest burn outs than any bike out there but he was so upset he got carried away. The injectors was pretty new to me at the time and it was over rich in volume for that kind of burn out and fuel got past the pistons, probably the rear one and kaboom. If he had let the thottle alone it would have either quit running or cleared out. I had been thru it myself a few times and learned the hard way with my singles, he had been told about it but he was over excited. He knew he was suppose to make short burnouts.



This picture is old and turned yellow, I did the best I could fixing it. Can anyone tell who that is standing in the pits in his jockey shorts (underwear)?


Leo Payne is the guy standing there in his shorts, and I mean underwear. Leo was a good friend but he did some strange things sometimes. He thought nothing of walking around in his shorts. Rest his Sole, even in his underwear

Heres one for you "Frank ", me and Danny Johnson at the Super Nationals. I turned 180.36, 8.02 on this run. I'm in the left lane.

Pop goes the motor


This was the worst motor Blow up I ever had right off the starting line, front cylinder blew on rear motor, blowing me in the air above the bike in a ball of nitro and oil flame. OUCH

Boom

A really ugly picture.


Took out the rear front cylinder and head and top of frame, Ron Fringer riding at Freemont Raceway.

From my Mate Down Under


This photo was taken at Surfers International Paradise Raceway in 1970. Pommie Pete Allan is on the Twin Engine Supercharged Triumph and in the far lane is Fast Eddie Castle on the X-Alf Hagon Supercharged V-Twin JAP both running high gear only with a 4 inch M&H slick. Pete built the bike in England in 1967 and ran a 10.19 E.T. at 157 MPH at Santa Pod before he immigrated to Australia. He later ran a 9.16 E.T. here in 1971; Alf Hagon ran a 9.45 E.T. in 1968 or 69 in England. He later took the bike to an airfield and set a new British top speed record at 206 MPH.

From my Mate Down Under

Ever hear of this guy.
http://www.velocette.org/html/crazy%20george%20disteel.htm

Answer to Puppet

I knew about the rear tire slippage in the top end because I could feel the bike grow in the back during the run I had no ideal how much slippage there was because then there was no available computer to figure it. I found out how much my tire grew by installing a 1/16 inch bolt at the bottom of the rear section of the frame where no one could see it and could adjust it 1/4 inch at a time and found the tire grew 3 3/16 of an inch in the center during the run, I figured that was thru the lights so I guess there was some tire slippage even back then. I would get front end lift about the first light, I found there was a deferent’s in the front end lift, one was from a light front end as on my singles and the other was lift at the rear axle. Sliding forward to keep the front end down didn't work but if I slid back which lower the center of gravity it put the front end back on the ground. I never figured if it was from the front end being light or rear axle lift but it work. I tried a coupe different size little wings on the front of the bike which seemed to work some on my singles but it caused ill handling. I wanted to work with motor height but never got to it. I wish I had the tech-knowledge when I raced that there is today, I might have went 2oo with my double before I quit.

Money and the drive, what would you build

It's a difficult question to answer. Not living thru the period of the motors getting much bigger (inches) would make it hard to start over. But with the motors today and talking about Top Fuel I would probably lean toward High gear only and I would defiantly work on getting the front wheel on the ground a lot sooner. I keep thinking that wheelie bars were put on Dragster and such just in case the front end got in the air and to keep it from flipping over. That usually happened due to lack of horse power or clutch set up wrong. The head set up of today with the injector coming out both sides, man that something I wanted to do years ago but at the time there was no tire to handle that kind of power. Pro-Dragster, I would go injector for sure. I always felt 50% percent of how well your bike runs is riding ability and you could almost dial the bike in with just the tire sizes that are available today. Sitting in the stands at Vegas I was amazed about the Top Fuel bikes that ran, not seeing them in so many years it caught me off gaurd. They would make great Burn Outs and then when the bike dropped back to idle it sounded like it went on one cylinder, then they would stage and when the got the green light and they turned on the throttle it went right back to two cylinder sound, the bike would raise up in the back an get right on the wheelie bars and some almost made to the lights that way. Amazing!!! But it something that I would work real hard on not doing. I don't think I answered your question, but I had fun talking about it.

Old Time Board Racing

Yeah, that is really some footage, can you imagine racing like that, Wow! I only posted that little goodie from some email I got from Barry; he's the one we have to thank. Some of the stuff he sends me is just amazing; he is a genius at finding and putting this kind of thing together. I’m lucky to have met you Mr. Barry Taylor; you often make my day with your email and DVD’s. And Jerry, the guy you think is using a cell phone, I think he's just picking his nose.

I was woundering if you ever get the itch to ride

That's a hard question for me to deal with; Yes and No. When I retired from Drag Racing I had to get clear away from it. It drove me crazy still being in the Motorcycle Industry, but I had to make a living and that’s all I knew how to do well. It broke my heart having to sell my bikes especially the Double, but I had that same problem a lot of us had, Money. I tried a short stretch in the Hi-performance business but I was burned out on building stuff especially for other people. And then there was the feeling that I had reached a point in my riding that the odds were catching up and I began worrying about a last crash to come, as I know some riders might have in the back of there mind especially if they made as many runs down a drag strip as I had. Yes I guess I do think about riding, but it would have to be something I built, that was what made Motorcycle Drag Racing great, you built it, tuned it and rode it. I never could have been just a rider. I used to sit on other bikes in the pits and knew I could never ride that bike, it didn’t fit me. It wasn’t what I would have built and I had a hard time not telling the owner about his bike. I still think about how bad straight handle bars are to me, they keep your elbows in the air which is not a natural precision when sitting on the bike. I always had to have mine bent down slightly so my elbows were folded down tucked in out of the wind. Anyway, if you are thinking about me riding today, I would have to say absolutely not. I haven’t been on any kind of bike in thirty years. I’m way out of shape for that kind of excitement, body and mind. It was even hard for me to sit in the stands at Vegas and not be involved.

My Mate Down Under

Here's one from BAZZA..
http://www.jockeyjournal.com/?p=235

My Mate Down Under

I just had a great phone call! It did take a few words from my caller for me to understand what country this call was coming from and then I realized it was from “My Mate down under”, Barry Taylor. What a wonder surprise and Xmas present that was. In the short time we talked we got in a little of every thing, Drag Racing and History being the main conversation. Pup, we talked about the copy of the video that I going to make for you, Barry said something about a different program or something they use that may be the reason I can’t copy it so I will be looking into getting it done in the next few days

Slide Show

2006 Bowling Green Reunion
http://www.photoshow.net/view/yAiyztLug

Can also be seen on my Web Site

Did you spent any time with Ray at Las Vegas

Ray was the first guy I talked to when I got in the Pits, he was really the only racer that I knew there. We had a short conversation and he wanted me to come back a little later and do some bench racing but I went up there after having the flu and I guess I wasn't quite well because I started getting sick again while I was there. And don't forget he was doing some drag racing, I intended to stick around in the evening but no could do. I did get to see some of those "three" wheel Top Fuel Bikes though, Wow!

Las Vegas





Some other Big Boy bikes at Vegas.

Las Vegas


Doug Vancil, World Champion

That's some rig Price has

I remember the first week Harley gave me a new 1972 Dodge truck, I switched everything over including my Camper. Loaded up and headed for Denver, Co next weekend I was in Atco, NJ, the next weekend I was in Yakima, WA. The next weekend I was in Bowling Green, the next weekend I was in Portland Or, and then Indy, now that's how you break in a new truck.

I wish we had got together at Vegas, I probably walk right past you in the pits and didn't even know it. And no body recognized me because I was disguised as an old guy.

Las Vegas


Picture I took at Vegas, Ray Price race rig. When I walked the length of it I thougt it would never stop.

I have your double as the screen saver on my Cell

That's quite an Honor for me for someone down under to remember me enough to use my Double as a screen saver. I have the same thing, except mine is in my head, I loved that Double. I have another very good friend that I met through the internet system down your way, Barry Taylor is my mate from down under, and he sends me all kinds of great things to look at from your Country. On my Web Site on the first and last blog that is listed is a Map at the end of the page that you can clip on and see of the different hits I have had from all over the World. It amazes me when I look at those maps.
Thanks for the complement

Xmas Posting

I have read about some of the History and growth of Motorcycle Drag Racing since my time. I have seen that not much has changed about the great Sport of Drag Racing, which incidentally motorcycles were the main contributor in its infancy. Fighting for recognition seems to still be the main factor in the NHRA ranks and they will always have control over what happens with any invaders. Sponsors are the big racers today, without them you are left out and the ones that obtain them are the lucky ones no matter if there is someone better just around the corner.

There are still devoted Motorcycle Drag Racers and you can read about many of them on Forums. Some are classes that are still fighting for existence in the sport, looking for someway to make everything come together just for another race. And you can’t leave out the many providers of race equipment, engine and frame builders that have kept things moving toward greater speeds. The owners and riders that are still the backbone of the sport, the ones that keep the ride for greatness alive.

I see that most of the Bike Races are still toward the eastern States, that hasn’t changed and never will, if you live on the West coast and don’t want to wait for the few good races that are available then you must travel to race. I hope the West coast racers are able to make some of those races and show that there is still some talent in the West.

I want to apologize to anyone that I might have offended in the past months for postings made on any forum.

MERRY XMAS, HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL INVOLVED IN MOTORCYCLE DRAG RACING.

MAY EVERY RUN IN 2008 BE SAFE AND REWARDING?

DVD "Lions Dragstrip PT2", 5 seconds of you

Was that how quick I went, or was I just showing off for five seconds.

Far North





This Great Puptoon has been added to my Web Site.

Acceleration Archive

This is how I had to get it, worth looking at.

http://search.freefind.com/find.html?id=30864631&pageid= r&mode=ALL&n=0&_charset_=windows-1252&bcd=%F 7&query=bikes

Panhead verses Shovelhead

Actually, the pan head was a good head for porting and dual carbs. The trouble was the lousy rocker arm set up. In “the” day the Shovelhead was the head to use but there were a lot of problems then with hardware. The only place to get good stuff was from Burkhart Engineering but he was about as reliable as an old shoe. I used him in the beginning but eventually started making my own stuff. If you wanted 4140 cylinders you had to go to Burkhart, there was none better back then. Valve springs were a real problem, in the beginning I use Offenhouser valve springs but later changed to Chev because they were taller and easier to get the right coil bind set up. Burkhart valves were stock HD with the stems ground to 5/16, you could see the split line in them where they were welded together. I finally went to Manley when he started making them and used Winona Guide Coils, made my own 4130 guides in the beginning until MTC started making them for me.

Las Vegas

Well I finally made it to see the Top Fuel Bikes. I took the trip to Las Vegas to the AHDRA Races. I only got in a Saturday because the darn flu I had put me down again and I couldn’t get back for Sunday, ending up heading home in the middle of the night.

I did get to see the Top Fuel Bikes make runs and I’ll tell you it’s something to watch especially if it’s been as long as it has for me. I also got to see an old friend “Ray Price”. That man’s set up cost more than the house I live in and I believe it’s bigger.
I was really impressed with the AHDRA, very professionally put together and they had a tremendous crowd. I was surprised to see so many colors worn there and how many Biker Clubs there was and I’m sure that’s why so many law enforcement. They were walking in twos, in patrol cars, on Motorcycle and even on horseback. The Saturday I was there every thing went smooth in that department as far as I could see.
I got to see some six second runs and some over 220 MPH, scary is the only way I can put it. Too have to make fast runs like that and most of the way on the wheelie bars. After watching that I was pondering why someone hasn’t designed a bike that would keep the front end on the ground, the cars did it. I don’t know if it’s possible but if I was racing it would be something I would be working on constantly. The men that ride a Top Fuel Bike today has plenty of guts, I’m not saying that I wouldn’t get on one if it was 35 years ago but today you would have to knock me out and tie me on the damn thing.
Mr. Craig Tharpe (AHDRA) took good care of me; I had a free pass at the gate and was allowed to drive any place in the pits I wanted. I really wish I had felt up to power and made it back Sunday but just getting back home was enough of a problem.

Putting Booth together

Guess who that is talking to me in the back gound, an old friend and great Drag Racer from the past, Ron Fringer.
Pictures are not to good, I'm still using my old Lap Top. This is just before the party started, still putting the booth together and the lights up. Had a great spot, just to the left of the main entrance to the store.




Laidlaw's Harley Davidson

Here's a picture of Valerie Thompson, Bob Laidlaw (Laidlaw's Harley Davidson) and me at Laidlaw's pre-race party of the Pomona AHDRA races. You can catch Valerie on her Web Site www.vtracegirl.com. I don't know the dogs name but it liked me a whole lot more than Valerie did.
Man oh man, what a list of great times for Top Fuel Bikes. I'm really sorry I missed all of that. It looks like everybody got in a full pass.
The sore throat, I'm working on that, I can't believe how sick I got with the start of a sore thoat. Now I'm just plain SICK, I have another go with the Doctor this afternoon. I wonder about all the people at Laidlaw's, did they get sick with every picture I signed, I hope not. Yes, I'm hoping I will be well Vegas time, I think my Daughter made res at one of the Hotels.
Anybody that does a little praying, add me to it will you.
http://www2.ahdra.com/liveupdate.html

No Drag Strips out West for Fuel Bikes

Here's a good one. You can compare the number of Drag Strip East verse's West that run Motorcycle's and Special Events for Bikes.
http://www.staginglight.com/links/trackfinder.html

The golf cart is canadian

I don't know, that looks like an "Easy Go" Cart which is made in Kentucky.

Puppet on my Web Site

I'm just a little disappointed, I brag about your Web Site and all the great Bikes you have built and still building and that is the best you can do with a golf cart. Oh well, that’s OK, I still love the first one, it’s great and I plan putting it on my Web Site to brag that I know Puppet.
Isn’t any one going to post and tell a sick old guy what happened today in Top Fuel?

A Puptoon


That's a great Puptoon, I like it. I'm glad you gave me that cane because I told you not to make me look fat and old. I'll need that cane if I ever see you. Whop your head with

Do you need money for a ticket

From 1971 at Bakersfield to the day I retired, I never paid to get into any Drag Strip. Spectator or as a contestent and I still feel the same way. I wasn't able to get a ticket and pit pass. But I am sick with a sore throat and fever. I went to Urgent Care today and got a prescripion for an antibotic but I don't think one night will do it.

Missing Pomona Races

You were pretty close about what you said about the Laidlaw thing, I had a great four hours. Of course Bob Laidlaw took care of me, I had the best spot for a booth, and he had it already set up with lights, table and chairs. My Daughter Patti went with me and took quite a few pictures. Right now my good computer is being looked at and as soon as I get it back I will post some of them. I'm using an old Lap Top which is shy of memeoy and drive.
The bad news is the night before I went to Laidlaw's to show off I started getting a sore throat, so there was a lot of trouble answering question and talking, if fact I didn't go to the microphone to talk to the crowd because of it. I took a look at my throat this morning and I've got tonsil problems can you imagine that, at my age. I'm afraid I won't make it to Pomona because of it; I was really looking forward to meeting some special people Saturday.

Draw one, Draw one!

And Pup, if you do draw a picture of me as Jerry mentioned don't make me look like some OLD FAT guy. I'll be pissed.

Lack of Postings

If all of a sudden you don't see any posting (which I'm sure will make some happy) or comments it will because my computer crashed again, it's doing the same thing it did last time it happened. Please don't think I dead until you know for sure. HAAAAAAAAAAAAA

The 8..02 E.T. Debate










This will settle the 8.02 ET things; I found a photo I used to give away at Press Release Parties.

Guy that told a guy he bought my Double

First of all I have never been to a Show & go Cycle and don't know anything about some race for money and never been to Yello Belly Dragstrip.
The guy that bought by double drove to California and bought it right out of my shop. If all this is an untrue story it like I said in an earlier posting, more people made money off my name than I did, espeacially after I retired.

Might be my old Double

I would swear this is my old double with a big tire in it. Every thing looks the same except for some cosmetics. They have it listed as my old bike for sale. If it's not some one sure knew how to copy, thats my fuel tanks, oil tank, from the other side it shows the Crower Clutch. Sh#t I don't know anymore.

First Motorcycle License

When I got my Bike License I didn't own a street bike, the only street bike I ever own till I quit Drag Racing was an old Indian Scout for a short time years before. I wasn't really a street rider but I was Sales Manager at Fullerton Harley Davidson at the time and needed a license and the Sportster was the only thing available at the store that day. When I took that test you are talking about, a girl was the one with the clip board in her hand and when I got done she said park right here. Well not thinking about it I just pulled up where she said and parked. I did well on the test but got a mark against me because where she said park was a piece of a curb and you were suppose to back into the curb to park a bike, I knew that but this was in the parking lot and I didn't think it counted, but it was like some of the trick questions on the written test. I past though because that was the only thing I did wrong, riding and written.

Picture is 37 years old

I remember this picture, I still have that tool box. That thing is 37 years old. I don't know who that is in the Laidlaw shirt, I'm sure I did when it was taken.

Cycle Magazine

Cook Neilson use to write an article for Cycle Magazine. I remember him well **#@*$ lets see, yeah well.

Did you ever own a Sportster

I rode a Sportster once, it was when I took the test for my street motorcycle licence.

Nitro

The Nitro we use to get was 99% cut with 1 % Benzsene, state law or something then. I cut mine with Methanol and a little PO when needed. I didn't buy much Fuel, I always got a 55 gallon drum from one of my Sponsers every year, Torco Oil and enough Oil Product to last the year.

Could this be your old Double

I don't think that's my old bike, it's hard to tell from the picture. My bike didn't have a tank up front, not even for the injectors and I didn't have that much rake, that bike must have a tremendous amout of trail. That's the kind of starter I had but my I believe was longer than that. The one over sea's, those guys say its mine old Top Fuel Bike. It has what looks like my fuel tanks and frame look the same too. The motors have tha single pump drive on the front motor just like mine and both timing covers are Burkhart Enginer. I know the guy in Texas put a big tire in the frame that came with my bike.
Marion Owen's has the other double engine frame I built.
I'm going to say the guys overseas has my old bike, until I see

Top Fuel Bikes to be called Pro Stock Motorcycles

Money talks, and sometimes you have to take from others; after all they already have Pro-Stock (CARS). If they say, Pro-Fuel Bikes, that's Ok "if they run fuel", but to say Top Fuel Bikes to build more interest, then I will never ever be a NHRA person again.
Of course I'm on the last rung of the latter, so however I feel is just my pride talking.

Heritage Racing Series

I just sent an email to Steve Gibbs asking if there was any chance of some past Top Fuel Motorcycles in the Heritage Racing Series. He is a hard man to get a hold of, never know what part of the USA he is in. So far he has always answered my emails.
Lets see what happens

Answering Question from old and new Friends

In the old days I felt the same, I thought I was good enough to do just about anything I wanted to do, and probably did. But I've kind of lost that "steal the show" ideal, especally with friends like Bob Laidlaw. We go back a long way, a lot of good and bad things in the past which makes it imposible to just show up. I'm sure there are some people that would remember me (we all have that) and would maybe make a trip to Laidlaws to say Hello, but if they don't know I'm going to be there I believe I would just be sitting there looking out of place. But thanks for the good words.

Yes, Elmer was another one that set some great standards in Top Fuel Motorcycle Drag Racing. I believe he was the one that really change the way Top Fuel was looked at, from my day to his day. I knew Elmer, but not well, I wish I had know him as a friend, it would have been a great experiance.

The sound of my motor? My Double, the years I rode that bike I never thought to much about the sound it made until I had Ron ride it and I stood on the starting line behind it and then I knew what every one was talking about. I think I was the one that was the most amazed. I had stood behind all of the Double Harleys at the drags but none sounded like my, strange isn't it, the things in the drag race world that never change, just the plain fun it is.
I thank you for the very kind words.

I did get invited

Thanks, that's pretty neat, lot has gone on since my time in the Spot Light. You know the funny thing, Bob Laidlaw is an old friend and he is Sponser to the race in Pomona next month. He's having some big deal at his store, fuel bikes on display, big party for that race, even Peggie is suppose to be there. I didn't even get an invite, sad, some of the ways that things go. No matter how good or big you were, you are soon forgotten by some. Steve Gibbs once told me it only took about ten years to be forgotten and left out unless you stay involved with Drag Racing some how.
That's OK though, if I was there I would probaly steal the show, Oh yeah. Ha Ha!

Letter from Gibbs


You may need a magnify glass to read this.
Here's another interesting letter if you can read it. It was my last year, they tried to get me back for another year. But they didn't want Ron Fringer to ride in my place.

Another Older Drag Racer

Yeah, 47 is a good age, I was world Champion at 47 and looking for more.
Look out, I told Puppet "what can't get up, can't get out" and you're approaching his age. Even so, I've done a lot of research and Pup has built some great race bikes so it's alright to age a little.

Now the Director of Product Development

The cool part is it was Willy G. Davidson's little boy at nine years old, that would make him 46 today. I wonder is he works at the Harley Davidson Motor Co.
I would thing he has a different picture on his dresser by now, and I'm sure I'm not his hero any more.

Willy G

A letter I received from Willy G's. little boy, who is a grown man today.

Exhibition Runs at the NHRA Nationals

When I started doing the Exhibition Runs at the NHRA Nationals that was number one on my Agenda, get away from being called Fuel Bike, A/Fuel Bike, AA/Fuel Bike or any other thing else like that. The Exhibitions for the NHRA was to educate the Spectator to Fuel Motorcycles. A lot of the Spectators that went to the NHRA Nationals didn’t go to a lot of other Drag Races and that was the Ideal, show them a Fuel Bike.
The first Exhibition was at the 1972 Winternationals and that was where I got them to start calling my bike a Top Fuel Motorcycle.
Exhibitions after that my bike was called a Top Fuel Motorcycle. I fought tooth and nail with a lot of Big Wigs the following years about that but won out with them all. My biggest enemy was Bob Daniels of the NHRA but he eventually came around. It was a match race (I’ll be damn if I can remember where) against a car and he brought me a NHRA staff lunch to my truck and after that every thing was OK.
Any way we became Top Fuel Motorcycles with the NHRA!

First Time at Indy





Only full pass on Nitro without banging and Popping

That's a very big compliment, thanks a very big bunch.

Top Fuel Motorcycle

When did they start calling it TOP Fuel? I remember a lot of years it was A Fuel. I don't remember NHRA calling it TOP Fuel Motorcycle intil they ran at INDY.
I know all the years at Irwindale it was A Fuel, Jr, Fuel. Even at Old San Gabriel Drags in the 50's when it was 61 Cu In up it was A Gas and A Fuel when they went back to letting us run fuel again. I raced there until it closed and I never heard a bike called a Top Fuel Bike.
Didn't Roy Stwarn call it A Fuel in the old AMDRA, that's what they put on the paper pie plate they had you tape to your back fender brace.
There was no Top Fuel Motorcycle in the early years, it was called A Fuel wasn't it.
I know I personally spent a lot of years trying to get them to anounce my bike as a Top Fuel Bike.

We fired it on gasoline from a squirt bottle

The night I was talking about we used a squirt bottle also but running nitro was so new at that time the jets were way to small and even so it would not start unless the engine was hot or at least warm. You have to imagine the thing when it first started it pop and banged until it got pretty hot, I used to have to wrap a towel around my leg on the exhaust side to keep from getting burned. Man was that a long time ago, thinking about it now, we really looked stupid, but we were the big shots at the drags that night. That's when you used Benz oil (spelling) to cut the mix.

Definately includes Joe Smith.

Thanks for the complement

In 1956 or 57 I raced the original "Double Trouble" twin engine Triumph at the very old Colton Drags and won. It was with my first Knuckle head engine race bike. That night we made 10 runs over 130 MPH, fastest being 138 MPH, best ET in the high ten’s. At that time I raced under the name of Smith and Johnson. It was so far back that we had to fire the bike on Gas, shut it off and cover the engine with a blanket to keep it hot to change the jets or it would not fire on fuel. That’s before 1960.

Back to the Pioneer thing, who is and who isn't

From the Dictionary I use almost every day.
Pioneer: An innovator in any field.
Innovator: To begin or introduce some thing new.

Some thing new lets see, I was the first Fuel Bike Rider to run at a chosen number of NHRA National Events to educate the Spectators to that class of racing...
I was the First Man on a Motorcycle that the NHRA recognized as running the First Eight second run in a quarter mile...
I was the first motorcycle rider that crashed at Irwindale Raceway and my body clocked a faster time that my Motorcycle...
I was the first man that ever rode the Barn Job beside Clem Johnson before 1960.
Etc, etc, etc.

I want to be a Pioneer...

Puppet

Congrats on the Birthday.
OUCH 65, I remember that age, OUCH again, I hope you don't hate getting old as much as I do. What they say; "what can't get up, can't get out". Oh Well!!
Twelve more years and you will know what it feels like to be my age. No wonder you are so full of Shi (whoops) WISDOM, it grows on you with age. Now I know why your type is always large like mine, so you can see what you are typing.

No Cheating

Good posting and very knowledgeable about the timing system at the Drags. There was a guy in California that took care of the timing system at Irwindale Raceway that could talk about the lights just like that; every time they broke down he had them fixed real quick. Don’t remember his name but he use to haunt my truck for a can of “COLA” all the time.
Back in the old days when there was a flag guy instead of timing lights I became pretty good friends with the flag guy at Old San Gabriel Drag Strip. When that strip opened Steve Gibbs (NHRA) was the manager. The flag guy uses to visit my truck for a few cans of “COLA” every race day. Back then the top bike race the top car at the end of the Day for Top Eliminator of the Day. I raced in that a lot back then and it was just about always against “Gene’s Brake Shop” Flat Head Dragster, driver “John Bradley”. This car ran a blower and I never stood a chance. The Flag guy made me a deal that every time I raced against that car he would always point the Flag to me first and the minute he turned to go to him I was to go and he would wave a good start.
The Moral of this little story is “Cheating” can be the wrong way, I still never beat that Dragster

Where is Russ Collins these days

Russ told me a couple months ago that he spent all is spare time playing Golf preparing for the full retirement thing.

Pioneering Spirit and Courage of your Career

Thanks for that posting, I'm happy that you understand about the Magazine thing.
I would give anything to put those gloves back on but it's my turn to be Old.

No Sevens in 1974

Thanks, there is a lot of mix up around that time about times turned. Even Leo was supposed to have turned in the 7's some time around that time. I never believed any times in top fuel unless they were turned at a NHRA National event. The reason, I was asked at US 30 one time at an exibition what I wanted to turn that day. We were standing in the timing tower at the time and I noticed a stock bike was making a run and the time he got on the clocks was not the time that was anounced, it was a little bit more than the clocks said. I kept watching while the guy was talking and it was done a couple time more. I told him I wanted the time I turned that registered on the clocks. Always made me wonder!!!!
It's hard for me to research some of the stuff because I lost a lot of Magazines and things I was saving that had all that info in it. Also, around that time a lot of the guys that wrote for Magazines had there favorites and I was for some the least favorite.

10 stitches in the head

Yeah, I remember that bike, "Rat Poison". As weird as Wayne was he really was a nice guy. Glad you knew him and he could help you. Yes, I also remember that thing Vance wrote about Wayne, poor Wayne was kind of the big joke when that happened, first for doing burn outs in the pits and then the stitches. If I remember he was hauled away in the ambulance. At that time the Jap bikes were just starting to show up at the drags and he really looked bad with most racers when that happened. That was before he had his shop I think, you remember what and who had that shop before he got it? I think it was a Chopper Shop.

Wayne Davis Crash

I knew Wayne very well. We became friends the hard way. One night at Irwindale he was making burnouts in the pit area and flipped the bike over his head and landed on his head, laying there out cold and I use my clean shop rags for the blood that was running out his head. I use to go by his shop on Irwindale road for some bench racing.
He was killed on his bike one night on the way home from work. He worked on that Drag Bike a long time and it was going to be fast, probably to fast for his riding abilities.! He told me once that he may get someone to do the riding.

Furious Comptition

Yeah, I did some research, found a little on the 1975 race. I believe how it went was it was all about me until Russ made his seven second run. Gordon was in my pits that day and we had qualified with a low 8 second run, 176 MPH and we put those dual float bowls on for the first time and made a pass at 8.02, 180.36 followed up with a 181.45 at 8.25 and then a 182.55 at 8.12. The big thing was really the runs in the 180's so we were looking pretty good until Russ ran that seven second run. I believe he had low ET and I had MPH that day.
The seven second Harley thing came I believe at Ontario the year I had Ron riding for me. He made a run in the high sevens and my bike was the first seven second Harley. A few runs later Thronson ran a better seven by quite a bit and everyone just forgot about our run.
It's been a long time back to that race and it's hard to remember every detail. The other thing that was going around the pits that day was the three qualifying passes I made against Danny . Every time we came to the rollers to fire he was in the lane next to me. He wanted the lane I had on the last pass and we flipped for it and he lost, but when he fired he crossed over and took my lane, that run was the 182.55 at 8.12 I turned. Anyway, they were great days and furious competition.