Motorcycle Words

a motorcyclist's blog

Category: Misc

MotoAmerica Plans Big Changes for 2018

Big changes are coming to the MotoAmerica racing series for next year! They have announced there will be changes to its class structure for the 2018 season with the addition of three new classes and the rethinking of two others.


First, what is going away: The 2018 season will see the demise of Superstock 1000 and Superstock 600 with those two classes no longer incorporated into the Motul Superbike and Supersport classes. The Motul Superbike class will be just that beginning in 2018, Superbikes only. The official explanation given for this change is help fans avoid confusion with regard to what rider is racing in a given class. It is a valid point – with the Superstock bikes being run at the same time as the premier class, there often just isn’t a great degree of separation between them. Not having two classes on the track at the same time makes sense. The Stock 1000 class becomes the feeder to Superbike, giving riders a chance to gain experience on the liter class machines.
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Some Unfortunate Spills from Saturday

Saturday’s 600 and 1000cc races resulted in some unfortunate crashes. In the 600 class Shane Richardson (26) and Max Fernandez (128) collided in turn 5 resulting in both riders going off the track. Max comes off his bike pretty early on while Shane seems somehow to come out of and then land (nearly) back in his seat  during the slide off the track. Both riders escaped receiving major injuries.  The somewhat blurry sequence of images below gives you an idea.

In the second lap of the 1000cc race for the afternoon, Sylvain Barrier (28) had highside going into turn 5. You can see below where his rear tire is heavily loaded up and the front looks very light. The next frame shows the bike tossing Barrier into the air to eventually land just ahead of his machine in the grass and gravel. Sylvain stayed down after coming to a stop in the gravel trap and was taken away on a backboard in the ambulance. We understand this morning that he is already back here at the track and he might have a fracture in the foot. Hopefully that is the extent of his injuries as from my angle it looked like it could have been a lot worse.

 

The above crash brought the race to a stop but the drama didn’t stop there. The second start of the race had David Anthony (25) and Josh Hayes (4) both having crashes with Anthony’s bike reaching the airwall after the first turn and promptly catching on fire. I understand that the fuel pump may have kept pumping and sprayed fuel spreading the fire in the space including onto the airwall catching it on fire as well.  Bother riders escaped any serious injury but the stopped the race again and set us up for a third start.

From the third start the race proceeded to the end with Roger Hayden (95) taking the win followed by Matthew Scholtz (11) and Josh Herrin (2) in second and third respectively. Toni Elias (24) managed a fourth place finish despite an off in Turn 5. Looking at the sequence of images below you can see his left foot hanging off free from the peg. His foot can be seen nearly dragging the ground and then he goes into a low-side carrying him into the gravel trap. Elias is quickly back up on his bike and is soon back on the track to make his fourth place finish.

      

 

Risky Business – Being Seen

In my previous installment of Risky Business, I looked at being vigilant and acutely aware of the hazards  when riding on the street. This time let’s take a look from the other perspective, making yourself visible to other vehicles on the streets with you.

How often have you heard someone involved in an crash say “I never saw the other driver, rider, etc”. More often that you would think, this is actually a true statement. The driver may have actually been looking right at motorcycle and their brain never registered the bike as an object to avoid or be concerned with.

Drivers can get used to just looking for cars and other hazards on the road. Let’s face it, motorcycles just aren’t as plentiful on the roads as cars and trucks. It’s hard for some motorcyclists to understand this but as riders, we often take note of other bikes. Being on a bike seems to make us “tuned in” to see other bikes where drivers of cars simply aren’t.

So what can one do as a rider to mitigate this phenomenon? Let’s learn how to be seen. The following are some ways to improve your visibility on the road.

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6th Annual Fallen Soldiers March – 07/29

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Photos from the 12th Annual Vintage Festival

vintfest-2016_0033I like spending time inside the track at Barber when I’m here, but during the vintage festival there’s always excellent opportunities to get photos of cool, awesome, and sometimes just whack motorcycles. The vintage festival is a melting pot of motorcycle enthusiasts ranging from cruiser riders, sport bike enthusiasts, vintage experts, off road and trial riders, and just everything motorcycle. Take a few hours to walk the paddock, the swap meet, and the fan zone and you’re bound to see something you’ve never seen before (or maybe never wanted to see). Hit the continue reading link to see more photos from our first day here at the vintage festival.
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One of Ten | A Teaser

Sears Dreadnoght - Bill KurtzKevin and I had the very unique opportunity to see and hear a 1913 Sears Dreadnought Deluxe motorcycle this morning here at he Barber Motorsports Park this morning. This weekend Barber is hosting their 12th annual Vintage Festival and while there are plenty of “old” motorcycles around the facility and grounds right now, this particular bike is a living piece of history.

It is estimated that there are only ten of these bikes in existence at this time with one of them currently residing at the Guggenheim. For this weekend at least, we know where a second of those ten are.  As we walked the paddock this we came around the corner facing the BMW Motorcycles of Atlanta tent. Out front we saw Bill Kurtz, a master technician and vintage specialist for the dealership with the Dreadnought already started and running.

Kevin was keen to find out more about the bike, which at the time we had no idea what a treasure it was, so he walked over to discover more about the Dreadnought and Bill. We had a great conversation with Bill and Kevin is busy writing up his thoughts to be published here later this weekend. We have some video footage of our time with Bill too but it was very loud in the paddock so we’ll see what we can make out. In the mean time here are a couple of photos of the machine and the man in question.

vintfest-2016_0005            Sears Dreadnought - Bill Kurtz

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