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Posts Tagged ‘Racing’

The partners took an extraordinary low profile and didn’t want to be like other projects who banged the drum for support until a real plan came together.

But, the time has come to ‘shine a stronger light’ on a new racetrack being built a few hours north of Portland.  It’s time for motorcyclists to support this new race track facility in Mason County as the Ridge Motorsports Park project faces its last and final step: the special use permit hearing.

The hearing will be at 10AM on April 6th in the Mason County Commissioner’s chambers at 411 North Fifth Street, Shelton, WA. 98584. It will be in front of an independent Special Hearings Examiner, who will set the conditions under which the track can operate based on the testimony of the public hearing.

I want to encouraging as many people possible to show up and support Ridge Motorsports Park by attending the hearing. So come in force and let all the motorcycle groups know.  Getting as many people as possible to show support for the benefits of responsible usage of a new road course and drag strip facility is key.  The Special Hearings Examiner has ten days after the hearing to submit a ruling, after which construction can begin immediately!  If you are looking for more information there is a great write up at the WMRRA.

Please attend the hearing if you can.  Of not, then take a drive up to Shelton to show our collective spending power in the community and eat lunch at one the fine restaurants in downtown.  You might tell them why you’re eating lunch in Shelton and ask “Have you heard about the Ridge?

Thanks for all your support.

Photo courtesy of Ridge Motorsports.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog
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Leslie Porterfield

Bonneville Salt Flats.  It’s no stranger to speed records.

And if you stroll through the race pits now days you’ll probably notice a lot of ponytails beneath helmets.  And they belong to women racers!  Racing in general is no longer a male dominated sport and motorcycle racing is no exception.

Harley-Davidson has made no secret of their strong interest in the female motorcycle market.  From support of the Women Riders Month, the International Female Ride Day to the dealer garage parties, Harley is helping women all over the world to join together to ride and break down any old stereotypes.  In some ways this is old news because in 1915 the 20-year-old Effie Hotchkiss drove from New York to California on a 3-speed Harley.  Or if you prefer during WWII, Bessie Stringfield rode from Army base to Army base as the only woman in the Army’s motorcycle dispatch unit.  Solo women motorcycle riders are revving engines as much as the next guy.

Now we have the world’s fastest woman on a motorcycle, Leslie Porterfield (34).  Not only does she hold the world record as the fastest female on a motorcycle, but she owns and operates High Five Cycles (Dallas, TX).   And, among many other accomplishments she has become the first woman to earn inclusion in the prestigious Bonneville 200 mph Club.  The first woman in its 61 year history.  After a nasty crash in 2007 she came back in 2008 to set the land speed record of 232MPH in the 2,000cc turbocharged class (on a 2002 turbo-modified Suzuki Hayabusa) and in the 1,000cc production class (2008 Honda CBR 1000) set the record of 192MPH.  Then at the 2009 International Speed Trails she claimed top speed of the meet award with a 240MPH pass.  Motorcycle tuning is performed by Scott Horner (Heads Up Performance) and Rhys Griffiths (APEX Speed Technology).

It turns out that Ms. Porterfield is featured on the cover of MyTekLife Magazine’s current issue, and for those lucky enough to be in the area she will be visiting Buddy Stubbs Arizona Harley-Davidson.  She is the honored guest during the Hogs and Dogs event on June 26th.  The location is 13850 N. Cave Creek Road and the event will include an opportunity to get autographs, and hear Ms. Porterfield talk about what’s next and going faster.   As a sidebar, Mr. Stubbs has an extensive racing career too which includes winning the Daytona 100 mile race in 1963.

For reference — the world’s fastest motorcycle crown belongs to Chris Carr and Denis Manning who logged 367.382MPH through the measured mile.

Photo courtesy of MyTekLife Magazine’s

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Santosh Electric Pocket Bike

A pocket bike is a miniature motorcycle.  Often referred to as MiniGPX or “mini-moto” and first made popular as ‘pit-bikes’ for drag racers to travel around in the pits during races in the late ‘50s.

These days pocket bikes are available in both gasoline and electric versions with engine’s ranging from 40cc to 50cc.  A typical mini-moto is about ¼ the size of a standard racing motorcycle and there are Pocketbike races across the country on tracks used for kart racing.  There is the Northwest YSR-50 enthusiast HERE or YSR Racing HERE.

Now we have the world’s smallest electric pocket bike.  Apparently the builder felt that the current generation of electric pocket bikes were just too big so they recently introduced Santosh pocket bike is literally quite small.   The bike is just 12 inches high and 18 inches long. The way Santosh pulled off this compressed miracle was to make the battery pack wearable, rather than mounted on the bike which is capable of running at speeds of almost 10mph.

Talk about a little guy speed junkie!  Check out the video if you want to know more.

Photo courtesy of Santosh bikes.

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“…They may be disappointed now, but someday they will be able to look back and see what great things were accomplished this season.”

This quote from Harley-Davidson Racing Manager Anne Paluso who this past November was commending the racing team after Eddie Krawiec rode a Harley-Davidson V-Rod to win his fifth NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle event at the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway.

Anne Paluso was laid off Monday.  Harsh!  Ms. Paluso had been involved with H-D’s racing activities for the last 10 years and had been with the company for more than 16 years.  I’ve written about other budgetary racing changes HERE.

Harley-Davidson spokesman Paul James was quoted Monday afternoon to say, “I can confirm her position was eliminated today due to budgetary reasons and that she has left the company,”  and went on to say “Racing teams will continue to report to [Vice President of Core Customer Marketing] Bill Davidson. Our plan is to go racing in 2010 in dirt and drag racing, but final plans have not yet been set.”

At this accelerated budgetary reduction pace it’s unclear if H-D can continue to be an influential motorcycle in the professional sport.

Photo courtesy of H-D.

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Just as fans started coming out in larger quantities to watch the races and on the heels of Jared Mees securing his first AMA Grand National Twin championship on the 5/8-mile dirt oval H-D throws dirt in the face of the “Wrecking Crew.”

I’m talking dirt-track racing.  Dirt-tracking is a uniquely American sport, which matured on our nation’s multitude of county fairgrounds horse tracks, but the decision yesterday by H-D was to slash its AMA Pro dirt-track support programs for 2010.

H-D pulled the kill switch tether for “Wrecking Crew” riders Joe Kopp, Bryan Smith and even National Twins Class Champion Jared Mees. H-D will continue to support Ken Coolbeth, why I’m not exactly sure, as the official team rider whose equipment is prepared in the factory race shop.

It’s interesting to me that a typical H-D dealer has no one who cares or knows about flat-track.  This seems like a missed opportunity to evangelize the XR1200s and waterfall information/agenda’s to the various franchises.  Retaining Mr. Coolbeth may be damage control as media outlets would rain negative press on the company for bailing entirely on flat-track given the heritage.

Photo courtesy of H-D.

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Opening scene of Semper Ride

Opening scene of Semper Ride

I’ve blogged previously about the folks in the armed forces, the increased number of motorcycle accidents and dealer responsibility.  The military draws many parallels with motorcycling and with overtly male-dominated advertising the stats are very clear.

Military personnel have a higher fatality rate than the civilian population which is too high!  In fact, Yamaha launched and I commend them for doing so, an ad campaign specifically targeted to members of the military due to the increased number of riding accidents.  And let us not forget that the amount of female military personnel on active duty has increased from a 1.4% in 1970 to over 15% to today.  Although women make up only 10% of all riders they represent about 25% of new motorcycle purchases.

In a broad effort to promote more responsible riding the U.S. Marines have produced Semper Ride, a film and web site designed to catch the attention of young soldiers.  The seven minute movie combines big-action and a message on riding safety from stars such as Jason Britton, Keith Code, Jeremy McGrath and James Stewart.  The movie from One Eyed Bird Entertainment, uses a mix of educational and rider-to-rider advice from experts in freestyle motocross, racing and stunt riding.

The movie is very effective in conveying the message of riding responsibly, no matter what your experience level.  After watching it I felt compelled to purchase a dirt bike and hit Sand Lake!

Photo courtesy of U.S. Marines.

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Dealernews is reporting that Storz Performance, Inc. reached an agreement with Harley-Davidson to acquire the business’ trademark rights for the term “XR 1200”.  Storz had filed a U.S. Trademark application for the term.  Nothing publically was stated on terms because of the confidential nature of the agreement.  Storz Performance introduced its XR 1200 dirt track style conversion kits for Sportster motorcycles in January of 2005.

I previously blogged on Harley launching the new XR1200 only in European markets and how that strategy was somewhat confusing. This sport-bike looks to be popular and maybe this settlement paves the way for the model to hit U.S. dealers.

Photo courtesy Storz Performance.

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