Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Carl's bike rides again

I still call it Carl's bike but I reckon I own it now, at least in physical form. I was happy to make her my own and carry on with it where Carl left off. First up was a new race body so as the original could be preserved. I am happy with my spray paint job and 1993 ZX7 design but Scott my neighbor who runs Vinyl Works knocked it out of the park with the Ninja font Newbold's Motorbike Shop decals. I mounted up some remaining Pikes Peak tires and before heading to the track I stopped by Carl's old house. His garage was completely as he left it with a few pieces of yard work and miscellaneous house-work junk now starting to pile up on what he left behind. His vintage triumph dirt bike's top end lay neatly scattered on the work bench with two years of dust now settled onto the job. I riffled through his race parts bin hoping to find the kit harness computer link cable I needed to operate the kit ECU. I grabbed a cell phone chord out of despair but later found it would not hook up to anything kawasaki. I got a bit weird feeling when I started to find things I knew Carl was treasuring. I found sprockets and brake pads and other bits for the ZX10 but with nobody to ask if it goes with the sale of the bike or not I left it all. I grabbed the service book, the ZX10's tire warmers and left. A few minutes down the road I realized I left without grabbing the spare set of wheels that came with the bike. The main thing I went there for. I didn't know if I should turn around or what I should do, I just went to the race track; doing the only thing I ever know how to do. My first few outings on the bike went well. I was overcome with the bikes speed but very pleased with how it kept it's composure and instantly I felt more at home on it than any other racing street bike I have ridden. Fuck is it fast though. Practice sessions completed and I was amazed at how easy the bike was to ride. Then My race came and after I did the warm up lap I gridded on the back row as I have not raced in almost a year and had no points. I launched at the start light but the bike stayed in some sort of limiter mode. Computers. Not having a book for the kit ecu or a computer I could not find any faults. I drank two beers and went to sleep in my little old shitty camper I love so dear. The rain came down hard while I slumbered and I hoped I was not going to need the rain tires that were still sitting in Carl's garage. I awoke to a brilliant sun rise over the corn fields surrounding the race track. The bike ran spot on in practice and I was only left now with the premier race of the day. It was my first time racing the premier class, my first time on a liter bike, and my first time racing short course in almost a year. As I staged I noticed I was the only bike without a brand new tire mounted. Again, I gridded last. The start light went out and I got pinched out in the first corner. I saw elbows bumping in front of me and bikes checking up. I hit my apex onto the long back straight and as I grabbed gears I felt the sensation of flying. The bike is a missile! I out braked and made my way around a few bikes. A few laps in and I was passed back by one of the racers. I figured I was done to settle in the back of the pack with my lack of experience and un sure of my stamina for the 14 lap money class race. But then I started to gain on the rider so I passed them back again, I caught some other riders and passed them as well. I was pushing hard but I felt like I was with in my limits. At the end of the long straight I missed my brake marker at what must have been close to 180mph but I kept it on track and kept the hammer down. My rear tire was giving up the fight as I snarled my way up out of the corners, the traction control keeping things in check. I pushed on and finished my fastest lap of the race right before the white flag came out. 15th place out of 26 expert racers. Plenty of room to improve. The world has much to offer. Fuck yeah! I did it. I raced a liter bike. Carl's liter bike. My liter bike.

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