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-   -   Not quite a noob, Not quite a Pro, Not quite old man, Not quite boy racer...... (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=778604)

andrewgore 04-03-2012 02:50 PM

Not quite a noob, Not quite a Pro, Not quite old man, Not quite boy racer......
 
I am at a point in my life finding myself making up for lost\missed time. Doing my best to get in as much racing before I feel I'm "too old". I suppose it's best to back things up a bit and give some back story. My name is Andrew Gore. I'm 26 years old and I race dirtbikes. I've got a lovely wife, slightly spastic dog, and officially work as a Mold Designer\Machinist at my Fathers Injection Molding\Mold Making company. I have one goal ahead of me: to race national pro enduro by 2015 (or by the time I'm 30).

I began riding bikes when I was in elementary school. First ride I took, was on a 1974 Kawasaki 175. From then, I went into racing MX at a local track on a 1985 Yamaha YZ125 that was nothing but issues. At the same time I was dealing with that bike, I was also forced to deal with the reality that the area I had to practice\ride was being shut down. It was 1999, I was entering high school & found myself using any free time I had to go skateboarding, with the YZ sitting dormant in my basement. Through high school I went full blown into skateboarding, was shooting video non stop, and gained a great board sponsor out of Pennsylvania, and even managed my own signature board by the end of high school in 2003.

Unfortunately from there, the board company was going under, and I found myself in a position of owning a paintball company with my brother. From that point on, I just didn't get competitive in much of anything. We had separated ourselves from our fathers manufacturing business to venture out on our own, we were both immersed in work, and at the time I just didn't feel any draw back to competition or even motorcycles. This slowly began to change when I moved back in with my parents & back to work with my father.

Summer of 2004 (or maybe 2005?), I don't remember exactly, but suffice to say, I got the bug to ride again. I picked up a 1974 RD350 & had all sorts of fun fogging the area on the thing. One thing led to another, and I found myself road racing a 2004 Yamaha R6. With the help of my brother coaching me, I was picking up speed at a great pace. Unfortunately, as my speed increased, as did the spending from my wallet. A weekend of racing was using up every bit of money I had, especially so after a triple digit crash sent me sliding directly towards my entire family there at the race to watch. I knew something had to give. My funds were essentially non-existent, but the desire to compete was extremely high.
<p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://andrewgore.smugmug.com/Sports/Competition/Road-Racing-Road-America-July/DSC0025-2048/769524208_iMXPp-L.jpg"><img class="aligncenter" title=" 4th of July 2008 @ Road America" src="http://andrewgore.smugmug.com/Sports/Competition/Road-Racing-Road-America-July/DSC0025-2048/769524208_iMXPp-L.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="532" /></a></p>

At this point, my dad had seen some trials events, and inquired if I'd be interested in giving that a go. We made a deal that he'd front the money for a trials bike until I sold the R6. I found a bike (1994 GasGas JT25), and a week or so later, had the R6 sold. I entered my first event and was sucked in. The slow methodical approach to riding, with a delicacy that just drew me in. After my first event, I knew I needed some schooling and in the fall of 2008, I went down to the Trials Training Center in TN. The following year, I competed in the D-17 Advanced class, and won the overall for the season.

<a href="http://andrewgore.smugmug.com/Sports/Assorted-Motorcycle/Trials-Training-Center-10-2008/IMGP2164-1024x768/769560077_8kvq3-L.jpg"><img class="aligncenter" title="Having fun @ Trials Training Center 2008" src="http://andrewgore.smugmug.com/Sports/Assorted-Motorcycle/Trials-Training-Center-10-2008/IMGP2164-1024x768/769560077_8kvq3-L.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="535" /></a>

The following year had me feeling the need for a bit more speed. Early 2010, I competed in a couple trials events at the Sportsmen level, but I was feeling the need for some speed. Maybe it was me knowing I was getting married in a few months, I don't really know. I do know that I needed some speed or change of pace from trials and began giving HareScrambles a go. I had tried a Harescramble in May of 2009. I made it 45 minutes into the event on a bone stock DRZ400S (yes, lights blinkers, everything). I wanted to die, and I was barely half way into the race. Things weren't much different when I entered another event on a KTM 300. I got stuck in a terrible rut, sunk the bike down to its rear axle and just about lost my brain. It wasn't until I entered my 3rd race that I even managed to finish.

<a href="http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/38771_430609018752_500933752_4979326_548273_n.jpg" ><img class="aligncenter" title="Exhausted from finally finishing a Harescramble @ Byron 2010" src="http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/38771_430609018752_500933752_4979326_548273_n.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="480" /></a>

I've spent the past 2 years competing in Harescrambles, dabbled into supermoto (finding I needed to be in the dirt), and finally giving an enduro a go this past fall (2011). I've made a HUGE mistake the past couple years, which has been not focusing on an ultimate goal for each season. This season is different. I aim to win the D-17 Open B Enduro class. I'll be racing local Harescrambles as well to help keep my brain in race mode, but won't be so focused on taking the "overall" for that. Something to keep me in shape and in the spirit of racing.

I'm stoked for what's to come this year. I'm on a phenomenal bike (2006 Husqvarna WR250). I've got myself on a tasty diet, and have a workout plan going on. I'll post as I get some more free time.

-Andrew
http://andrewgore.net/

DCrider 04-03-2012 03:02 PM

:thumb :lurk

Deadly99 04-04-2012 01:50 PM

:lurk

andrewgore 04-04-2012 04:07 PM

Past mistakes, future fortunes. (long post)
 
As stated before, I've made some bad choices in the past. The thing that's really killed my racing as of late has been my only constant being change. I've tended to keep a bike for a few short months, complain about something on it, and want to change to something "better". While it was true that each bike presented itself with it's own unique issues, I didn't stick to my "just run it" attitude I had in the past. I assume this is partially because now I could actually get the bikes I want & choose. But aside from causing me to lose money, I lost valuable time in learning my machines.

So it all started back with a 2001 KTM 300exc. I picked this up from another ADVRider member in February of 2010. Prior to this, I had a BMW G650XCountry that I realized would not be a good race bike. The KTM had power, suspension, and at the time, I felt it wast the lightest bike on the planet. I raced 3 races on the bike, and by the 3rd I was thinking it'd help if I had something lighter. I test rode a Honda CRF250R and felt this was the key for Harescrambles. I unloaded the 300exc & picked up a 2004 Yamaha YZ250F. The bike was setup for an A MX rider, far from ideal for the Harescrambles (and the Indy Endurocross I raced it in). The YZ250F was feeling good, until I rode a 125 2-stroke.

This is about where I really shot myself in the foot. I ended up trading a perfectly good YZ250F for a YZ125, thinking that it was going to be all that and a bag of chips. I lost BIG on that deal. I was jaded by lack of lighting, a crew of hillbillys surrounding me, and the sweet scent of pre-mix. I got the YZ125 home and began finding all it's problems. Steering stem bearings were the least of my worries, and after my first real ride on the bike, found that aside from the top end being worn, the bottom end was as Eric Gorr put it "One of the worst we've seen". This was the end of October/ beginning of November of 2010, and of course, I needed to rush to get the thing sorted. 1 Eric Gorr 144 big bore & a fresh bottom end rebuild, and I was ready to rock and roll. Go figure that the day I go to test out the bike, I case a small double at a buddies track, exploding the rear shock, linkage, and along the way, my right knee. Thankfully it was getting towards winter, so I had time to get things sorted.

I rebuilt the YZ144 over the winter, fresh everything. I added a Revloc auto clutch & was ready to get down to business racing it. First race out was awesome. It was up at Aztalan MX in Wisconsin. I took 2nd off the start and was positioned well to be competitive throughout the race. Go figure though that about 30 minutes into the 120 minute race, I flatted my rear tire. I said screw it & continued on. On the jumps, I took it easy to not throttle too hard in the air. By the 90 minute mark, my body was feeling it & I was slowing quickly. I ended up in 4th or so in the race, which sucked, cause the 3rd place rider was right in front of me, I just had no idea on timing\scoring.....Racing and learning.

I continued to race the YZ144 at a couple more local Harescrambles. Somewhere along the way in early 2010, I convinced myself to pickup a BMW G450X. Dealer had a stupid low price & I convinced myself I "needed" one for riding trips in the UP (Michigan). Plated, dirtbike, yup how can you go wrong? Unfortunately I was alternating between racing the 450 & the 144 and just wasn't doing good at all. I was never confident in the races, and just fudging up where I shouldn't have been.

At this point, I was really getting down on my abilities in racing. I knew I could ride faster than my friends when we'd race around. I knew I could keep up with A riders at times, but it was like I had A skills, with the fitness of a C rider, and the mental lapses of an 80 year old. Flashes of brilliance while racing, peppered however, with more poor riding. This is just chalked up to not having raced a whole bunch. Nerves and the like. (Un)Fortunately at this point I had a buddy of mine ask me if I wanted to give Supermoto a try. I was a bit worn out on the off-road riding\racing & more or less just needed a break. I had a good first weekend in that, really enjoyed having proper brake markers & keypoints on a constant track, but just didn't "feel" it for the road type racing again. This brief foray back onto the road racing cost me some valuable off-road race weekends, but I needed to do it to know for sure.

At this point, I was beginning to feel that I should be sticking with the 450 for racing, but was still switching back and forth between it and the 144. I went down to race a GP on the 144 and was just downright pissed about my performance. I've only myself to blame, as my tires were destroyed and half way into the first race, I lost all rear brake. I thought I had it fixed for the 2nd moto, but it was all but gone, not my way to ride, but not much I could do. I was getting to be quite sick of that YZ144, and just fed up with how things were going for me.

It was at this point that I finally decided to finally give an Enduro a go. I figured there were no other Harescrambles going on at the time and it'd let me see if maybe I'd like the format of these types of races over whatever else. I loaded up the 450, signed up for Open B class & just figured I'd go and have fun with it. And fun was had! These enduro's actually started on time (pet peeve of mine from Harescrambles), I got to race for all day long, and best of all, I got a great finish in my class. I had some issues, but I loved how my bike felt, I felt positive with how I rode, and basically went home feeling happy. At this point, I was dead set on racing the 450 the following season, in the Enduro's.

This past winter was spent prepping the 450X for a committed D17 Open B Enduro season. I had scored a great bigger tank for the bike, I revalved the suspension just to my liking, and had it completely fresh for the season. I got one early ride on the bike and just felt great on it. Again, my brain began to wander. Deep down I knew that for 2013, I'd want to be back on a 2-stroke. One thing led to another, and here I am now on a Husqvarna WR250 2-stroke. It was a relatively easy decision for me to make. I had no real complaints with the 450X, but things fell into place, so I rolled with it and am now on a bike that just feels wonderful.

I've learned some really key things this past year, and despite how much I had wavered throughout the year, it's really helped me focus in. In 2011, I had no set goal. I had no set plan. Yes, I wanted to race Harescrambles, but I wasn't yet at a point to really push to be competitive. I was jumping around from bike to bike, discipline to discipline This year I feel renewed and confident. I've got the clear goal to compete in the D17 Open B Enduro class and I feel I'm on the best bike for the job.

This season, I'm going in with confidence! - More to follow!

-Andrew
http://andrewgore.net/

Tork 04-04-2012 06:53 PM

Andrew , love the spirit. Best wishes for your upcoming season!
:clap

jburroughs12 04-04-2012 08:52 PM

This guy can't ride. He's a hack. :deal

Can't wait for UPKAR, dude! I'm rocking the hell out of that 350. :freaky

Stagehand 04-04-2012 09:47 PM

:lurk

Tbone 04-05-2012 05:58 AM

Good luck and remember this is supposed to be fun !

andrewgore 04-05-2012 07:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jburroughs12 (Post 18381966)
This guy can't ride. He's a hack. :deal

Can't wait for UPKAR, dude! I'm rocking the hell out of that 350. :freaky

This guy is a big part of the reason I got back to racing. I picked up the DRZ400S for him that I raced in the first Harescramble I did. A week later we spent 10 days in the UP getting lost in various trails. We'll be doing something similar next month. Our poor bikes will be getting one heck of a workout. :D


Quote:

Originally Posted by Tbone (Post 18383781)
Good luck and remember this is supposed to be fun !

I'm making myself sound worse than I should. The only time I'm not having fun is if I didn't do well in a race, and even then, it wasn't that it didn't have fun, I just knew I could do better. If that makes sense.

The first ride I got on my WR250 was up at a friends property. It's a great loop with a nice mix of open & technical sections. Sorry for the ghosting on the video. I need to re-encode it properly.
<object width="640" height="360"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/OJEYhhwP0_E?version=3&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/OJEYhhwP0_E?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="640" height="360" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

My fastest lap time that weekend was 5:45. My ultimate goal is to bring it down to 5:00 flat. It'll take some work as the next time out at the loop, I only dropped 15 seconds to 5:30. More gas...more going faster.

Last weekend, I stayed up in the UP. I intended to test out some routes I had drawn up, but it was cold, I was riding solo, and I ran into more dead-end\private property blocks than I felt like dealing with. So, I went over to an awesome 25 mile singletrack loop not far from my friends cabin. I figured I may as well get some riding practice in. I knew I didn't want to push myself, as I was riding solo, so I kept my riding at 50-70% my usual pace. First time I did this loop was with jburroughs12. It took us 4.5 - 5 hours. Granted that involved a nice kartwheeling crash done by myself, but it was still a long event. Last fall when I rode it with another friend, the trail was in perfect condition, wide open the entire way, and it took us a little over 1:45. This last trip, I rode it in 1:45 again, but not once did I feel I was pushing myself and knew I had plenty on reserve. It made me very happy with how I rode. I was tempted to ride another loop, but the riding solo thing crept back into my mind and I knew it was smartest to not push things. Here's a clip of the last 40 minutes. Around the 2:45 mark, was a hill climb that normally was a royal pita. It was nice just running up it, and not thinking about it.

<object width="480" height="360"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/NaDbQ3hwtIw?version=3&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/NaDbQ3hwtIw?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="480" height="360" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

I got more to add, but got some work I gotta accomplish first. :lol3

Andrew

jburroughs12 04-05-2012 09:24 AM

We need to do Bass Lake again. Now that I have actually ridden a dirt bike recently, vs. not having ridden in about 8 years last time we went. I think I might be able to muscle the xr through there in about 1:45. I'm much better than last time....but still slow and on team MGH!

Waiting with bated breath for the rest of the thread.

andrewgore 04-05-2012 03:21 PM

Enough about me. What about the bike?
 
I've spent a good deal of time on my mental end of things with my racing. I figure it's about time for some info on my weapon of choice. I hopped all around the board in years prior. My buddies ride KTM's and get all giddy just thinking of orange things; just not me. I thought my KTM was good, but honestly, they pull an extra $1000 premium right now, and there were plenty of other options out there, and I'll add in a bit of spite as my final reason for not going pumpkin. I knew that I had to go 2-stroke. Granted I loved the power of my 450, I knew that I could get similar power out of a 2-stroke & not have to think about valves, yadda yadda yadda.

Much consideration went into the possibility of sorting out a Japanese 250. I liked this idea, as there are plenty of bikes around, for extremely cheap. I know how to revalve suspension, so that wasn't a huge thing, but in the back of my mind, I knew I'd still have to get some lights (even if "not working"), some Enduro parts, and all that nonsense. My brother, the wise man that he is, asked me a simple question: "Why not buy a bike that is built for what you want to use it for?" It was at this point I knew I had 1 of 2 choices. Husqvarna or GasGas.

I'd read mixed reviews on the GasGas bikes, and finding one that appeared in decent condition around me was a bit of a stretch. The Husky was about the same situation, though I knew that I'd seen plenty at the races, and they sold a 300cc 2Stroke which is really what I wanted to get. I had a line on a nice 2007 Husky, though a WR250. It needed some standard items (hand guards, protection, bigger tank for longer rides, etc). It was then that I recalled a friend had a 2006 Husky WR250. I had seen it on some rides we did, but hadn't thought too much about it at the time. This led to that, which led me to buying the bike off of him. Mint condition bike, I was in heaven.

Fresh from JZEE
http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-...89369837_n.jpg

Like I said, the bike was\is mint and ready to rock. I posted earlier what was my first ride on the bike. I knew after that first outing, that I needed to scoop up the 1 item that I will refer to as the "ultimate cheater". The Rekluse EXP 2.0. I had an auto clutch on my YZ144 and really enjoyed it, but nothing existed for my G450X. I've found this to be one of the best $ I've spent on this bike (almost). The auto clutch saves me when I miss the clutch going into a turn, or have a bobble somewhere that would normally stall the engine (which really sucked due to the bike having such a goofy kickstarter).

I opted to not spend a dollar on any sort of engine upgrades. The bike rips pretty well, and had an all around good feeling (slight carb tweaks required, but a given with any carb'd bike). I decided that despite looking new, I had very little to no confidence in the front. Before I would dive into suspension valving, I figured a fresh tire would help things out, and I was quite right. The next time out on the bike, I felt very confident in the front end, and felt I could push the bike much better. I didn't have 100% confidence, but that is coming along with the more I get to ride & know the machine.


Just after the Bass Lake Loop
http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-...36228249_n.jpg

After my last trip to the UP, I felt the bike could handle a little loving' to the fork valving. Not much, but a bit. Thankfully this isn't the first set of forks I've massaged into better handling units. I revalved my YZ144 & G450X, both with awesome results. On the Husky, I focused on the base valves, and found that the OEM valving was a bit on the wonky side. It's damping curve, despite appearing linear, was far from it. I added in some shims, smoothed things out, and got fresh oil in there. I'm ready to ride!

So now I sit and wait for the weekend to arrive. I've got the bike dialed in how I want. I'm stoked on the machine, and itching to improve my feeling and abilities on the bike. I'll have more practice footage. Any questions, feel free to ask.

-Andrew
http://andrewgore.net/

(note that the broken radiator shroud happened the day prior at my buddies cabin. I was in the trials mood, doing hill climbs\log hopping & launched myself into a tree. Minor details :lol3)

Pantah 04-06-2012 08:35 AM

Interesting strategy from your Dad when he offered to front the trials bike in exchange for you giving up road racing. That is brilliant! Maybe I try something like that...

http://pantah.smugmug.com/Motorcycle.../IMG0576-L.jpg

I think you have a good goal and it certainly is achievable. You are the perfect age to try too. You have a good background to be quite successful.

I have an older son than the rider pictured above. He was a pro road racer too. He's been retired since 2008 and well along on a successful business career; yet like you he badly missed the competition. He's been casting about for hobby racing of some sort.

Last December he decided to race the Mexican 1000 this month, so he started working out and building fitness. A few weeks ago he bought a new KTM for the race. He ran his first enduro after two weekends of practice. It was a struggle, but he had a respectable finish. Then he ran a HS after that, and will run the Pine Barrons 300 next weekend to polish his navigation skills. The following week he tows to Mexicali to try his hand at a new sport.

He's a long ways from being skillful, but that is what attracts him. He gets to enjoy the learning curve just like he did in his early days of road racing. Plus, it's affordable!

Good luck and say thanks to your Dad for me. I can work with that!

barnyard 04-07-2012 03:44 PM

I would never have guessed from your posts that you are only 26. I figured Vet minimum, possibly even Senior.

Look over the D23 schedule, if something fits your schedule and you want to try riding it, drop me a line. I am 2 hours from the Mn enduros and all that other blah, blah.

andrewgore 04-07-2012 04:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by barnyard (Post 18402336)
I would never have guessed from your posts that you are only 26. I figured Vet minimum, possibly even Senior.

Look over the D23 schedule, if something fits your schedule and you want to try riding it, drop me a line. I am 2 hours from the Mn enduros and all that other blah, blah.

I'd love to ride up in Minnesota some time. My grandpa & I used to stay at a friends cabin up there when I was in junior high. I'd ride my YZ125 all around. Kind of bad idea looking back. I was 12 or 13, had no maps, no gear, and just rode as far as I could remember how to get back. :lol3

I'll take a look at the schedule and see if anything could pan out.

Pantah,
My trials bike is the only bike that I regret selling. I had no idea I'd be in a neighborhood where I could ride it all I want and the neighbors wouldn't care. It would also help keep me honed on my slow speed skills. I will be buying another one as soon as I can.

Unfortunately today while riding we had ourselves an incident. Bike was running great, I was feeling in the zone with the bike. It had perfect power, until I went to pass my buddy. I got on the gas, and hear a WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK. I killed the engine, thought I lost the chain, but so far have confirmed that something not good has happened on the bike.

On the upside I still got an 85' XR350R that I will be racing at the enduro next weekend. I'll dig into the Husky tonight. Sad, but at least it's broken & not me.

Off to dinner for my Grandpas 75th Birthday!

-Andrew

andrewgore 04-12-2012 09:16 AM

Quick update before I get myself back to my standard mold design mode.

What I thought was a top end....then bottom end....then found it to be the primary gear:
http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphot...61615814_n.jpg

Turns out that the single 6mm screw that holds the shifter mechanism in, on the clutch side was not installed with loctite from the factory. It worked it's way out and into my gears. Thankfully I was able to recover all the shards of material that broke, negating the need to split the cases & inspect the trans side. Find a gear proved to be more difficult than if the crank had gone.

I searched long and hard online for a replacement. Dealers could get me the gear, but could only order it WITH the matching clutch basket....for a healthy $$$. After scouring the internet & various other locations, I was contacted by someone with the gear I needed for my bike. Couple days later & my engine is ready to go back together. Looks like I'll be racing the husky this weekend after all :clap

Ahhhh fresh gear:
http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphot...52715955_n.jpg

Quite excited for Sundays Enduro! I'll post how things go. Got a buddy who will be riding with me on a KDX (his first Enduro). Should be a good time.

-Andrew


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