2013 King of Motos Ride Report

Discussion in 'Racing' started by RobertoGatos, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. RobertoGatos

    RobertoGatos Go-Go-GatosBros!

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    Chico, Ca
    Well the dust has pretty much settled from King of Motos, but I still wanted to put up a ride report for anyone else thinking about doing it next year. Better late than never I guess!

    First let me introduce the group, from left to right: Dad "Grande", Mike, Jeff, Jesse, and Travis.

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    Our weekend began on Friday, and started off just like our pre-ride of Johnson Valley. We left a bit before dark on Friday, with a 10 hour drive and a bike that was not even close to being ready for Sunday. Before we left I had called about 20 dealerships looking for some parts for my clutch. Finally found a shop that had what I needed in stock juuuust before 5pm. Paid with a credit card, and asked them to suff it in a bush for me outside. After going geocahing outside the shop we found our stash and cruised into Hammertown around 3am.

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    Next morning we woke up and started working on the bike. The main list of things to do went something like this:

    Handguards
    New clutch master cylinder piston
    New chain / Guide
    Change oil / Coolant
    Bleed Brakes
    Install radiator fan / switch
    Rejet carb

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    While I was doing this stuff Jesse gave me a hand putting some cooling holes in my fender while the others went out riding / driving.

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    Was moving right along 'till we realized tech and registration were closing soon. Took Jeff's bike into town to get myself checked in, while Jesse hung back to put my bike back together loosely for inspection. After the second trip into town on my 200 I was all set. Registration, GPS, Tech, all that was left to do was pop on that radiator fan and switch. As I rolled back into camp feeling good about what was left to do, we noticed a small river of oil coming down my fork legs:huh. Shit.

    Convinced Jeff I might need to borrow his forks and put my lighter springs in them, but it turns out closed cartridge WP forks and open cartridge forks cannot swap springs. Jeff weighs 200 lbs and rides a 450. I could already feel the blisters forming on my hands. Double shit.

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    Jeff's forks wound up on my bike with a bit more coaxing, and the unrealistic promise of no rock damage. (Sorry Jeff) The last big thing to square away was the fan. Got a quick coolant facial while pulling the radiator off, but wasn't too worried because we were almost there...

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    Since Jesse was having so much fun with the drill earlier, he offered to put a few holes in the radiator, and rivet on the fan. Generally I would trust him with this sort of thing, but later on I would realize that hovering over him a bit more would have been a good call.

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    After getting the fan mounted to the radiator we started the electrical work. For some reason the power leads by the engine would not make the fan spin, so after a bit more troubleshooting we decided to just run it through the headlight circuit. The fan would only kick on in the higher RPM's (stock stator) but anything was better than nothing.

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    Heres Grande Gatos giving me a lecture on preparation.

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    Got the bike topped off with coolant and fired it up. Although you cant really see it in this pic. I'm contemplating the stream of coolant coming out of my radiator and why Jesse decided to have just a little too much fun with the drill. Triple shit!

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    Started going into panic mode at this point, so mixed my gas, attached some water to it and hopped in the truck. Was somehow planning on finding a radiator at 11am while I dropped my gas can off for the remote pit. Everyone else was having a great time. Crown, beers, and bullshit. Also, lots (and lots) of heckling.

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    On the way into town I stopped at every camp where I saw an orange bike and begged for a radiator. Lots of nice folks willing to help, but finding something that would match was like trying to find water in the desert.

    Our only option came down to 5 year old plumbers quick epoxy.:puke1 Started pulling the small cooling fins out of the way to make room for the plumbers putty.

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    Got a ton packed in there and realistically it was the least likely area for my radiator to spring a leak, but I was pulling my hair out.

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    All that was left to do was change my oil and, rejet the carb. Only left a few small details to wrap up on race day. Crashed out at 1:30 hoping I would at least make the start.

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    #1
  2. RobertoGatos

    RobertoGatos Go-Go-GatosBros!

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    Chico, Ca
    Woke up the next morning around 5:30 and started getting put together. First thing to do was fill up the radiator (with fingers crossed) and fire up the bike. No leaks! STOKED! Put on on some crusty gear and went for a cruise. Came back feeling really good. No problems and it ran great. Last thing to do was scarf down some breakfast.

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    Race was starting soon and I was a bit worried about never using a Voyager GPS. Didn't have time to play with it the night before, but luckily it was super easy to use. Got the hang of it pretty quick-like on the starting line.

    After last night I was just really happy to be at the start. Was funny thinking that the hard part has not even begun yet...

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    Had a good start on the outside, maybe somewhere in the middle of the pack.

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    After the first turn there was a nice bottle neck. Kinda had to wait it out.

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    The rest of the race really cleared up from there, at most you would be stuck behind one or two people on the same obstacle that everyone had to go over.

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    Managed to tip over less than a quarter mile into the race. Sign of things to come I guess. At least everyone got to see the first crash.

    What I didn't realize at the time was that the bike landed on a well placed rock that managed to rip the gas cap off. That would be an issue later...

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    #2
  3. jesusgatos

    jesusgatos fishing with dynamite

    Joined:
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    hah! Sorry about that radiator robo-boogie, guess it got away from me...
    #3
  4. VxZeroKnots

    VxZeroKnots Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,970
    Location:
    Durango CO
    :lurk Yes!

    This is some good shit man! Keep it coming!
    #4
  5. RobertoGatos

    RobertoGatos Go-Go-GatosBros!

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    Chico, Ca
    Need to organize a few more pic's. Also, someone asked for GPS tracks. I'll try and get those on here somehow.
    #5
  6. AngryShawn

    AngryShawn Punchbowl Pooper

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    405
    Location:
    Sonoma County, Ca
    Your style of race prep is giving my OCD fits :rofl
    Looking forward to the rest of the story, thanks for sharing!
    #6
  7. Kanista

    Kanista Grown strong enduring

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    59
    Location:
    Swiss
    Dude, how can you fail so hard in being preparated for a race? :rofl
    Anyway a nice story, and im waiting for it to continue :clap
    #7
  8. D.T.

    D.T. Difficult but useful

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    12,283
    Location:
    Moneyapolis, MN
    Yeah, live and learn man.

    Nice report. Some of us like learing the hard way...:lol3
    #8
  9. jesusgatos

    jesusgatos fishing with dynamite

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    You guys would have to know Robo-Boogie to understand. A few years ago he decided to race Vegas-to-Reno, solo, having never done any kind of desert racing before. Got a call from him at about 5pm the night before he had to be down there for tech, asking if he could borrow my new bike (that I had just purchased a few days ago and had not even ridden yet). Took him until about 2am to get the bike kinda-sorta-halfway-prepped and he and our buddy Jefe crashed for a few hours, then got up and drove straight to Vegas. Think they made it to tech about ten minutes before they closed. Of course this was all so last-minute they hadn't made any kind of plans, so they just slept in the back of the pickup truck on the starting line the night before the race. Robo got up a half-hour early and took my bike for a quick spin that morning to get a feel for it. Jefe drove like a maniac and pitted the whole race for him, single-handedly. This is just how it goes with them. I think they're idiots. But I love them for it.
    #9
  10. jesusgatos

    jesusgatos fishing with dynamite

    Joined:
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    #10
  11. AngryShawn

    AngryShawn Punchbowl Pooper

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Sonoma County, Ca
    Now that you bring this up, I'm gonna put my old man pants on for a minute here...

    We all love an underdog, but not for these reasons.

    This level of disorganization and unpreparedness, regardless of a competitive environment or not, is dangerous and disrespectful to everyone involved.

    I know because I helped get his bike off the course in the V2R you mention.
    He was wasted, his bell was rung, and his bike was lying in the middle of the course.
    This kind of poor decision making gets people seriously injured and/or killed.

    Please, if you give a sh!t about this guy, try to steer him in the right direction.
    I'd hate to see him, or worse yet, someone else, suffer because of his lack of judgement, preparation and common sense.

    rant over, lets hear how this adventure turned out...
    #11
  12. jesusgatos

    jesusgatos fishing with dynamite

    Joined:
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    Trust me, we've had that conversation. Seems like after every one of these races. haha.
    #12
  13. roadracer

    roadracer Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    346
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Disrespectful to everyone involved??? You should worry more about your own racing and not his preparation.

    #13
  14. jesusgatos

    jesusgatos fishing with dynamite

    Joined:
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    Seriously though, Rob's got a pretty good head on his shoulders. Wasn't for lack of preparations that he wadded himself up in V2R. He was riding well all day, conservatively, but maintaining a good pace. Think he had about a 20 minute lead on the next guy in his class when he crashed, about 400 miles into the race? Said he was feeling great and just hit an embedded rock in the silt. That sent him cartwheeling he was done for the day. Could have happened to anyone. Where was the bad decision in there that was so disrespectful or dangerous though? Not getting enough rest the night before the race? I don't see it.

    There were/are a lot of things he could do differently to prepare for a race, but what I've taken away from talking to him about it is that it's all time/money/motivation. He's got so much going on with school and GatosBros and everything else in his life, there isn't much left over to put into any kind of sincere racing effort. Barely even a half-assed one, evidently.

    By the way, thanks for helping him out at V2R.
    #14
  15. RobertoGatos

    RobertoGatos Go-Go-GatosBros!

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    Chico, Ca
    You were the guy on the XR650r behind me? I hope you got to see some of that crash! And thanks for picking my bike up! Never had the wind knocked out of me quite like that! I left the bike behind a boulder that would have brought a trophy truck to a stop. So I don't think that was disrespectful or dangerous.

    V2R is actually the only race I've DNF'd and I wouldn't say it was for my lack of preparation. On that note its obvious my bikes could use some more prep work, but racing is a hobby for me right now. I'm in school, and starting up GatosBros takes all my time and money. Most my friends stopped riding during college because they cant afford it, and are too busy. I'm glad im still out there, and racing even though its half assed. Plus it makes for better stories. :freaky

    Gotta finish up my pesky Friday classes then I'll get back to the RR.

    #15
  16. Southest US Thumper

    Southest US Thumper Extreme n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,116
    Location:
    As Far South and West as you can get in the USA
    Well, Yeah!!! Awesome tale, please finish it up soonest! :clap

    Sure it was a sketchy prep session but YOU were there, of the 230,000 folks registered on this site I'm willing to wager a $20 that you did better than a fair amount of the rest (Almost All).

    Study hard! Get a Boring Job. And then you too will be able to comment on grass roots efforts from the safety of your keyboard.:rofl:rofl
    #16
  17. RobertoGatos

    RobertoGatos Go-Go-GatosBros!

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    Chico, Ca
    Maybe 5-10 miles into the race I happened to glance down and notice my gas cap got knocked loose. It got jammed in a halfway closed / halfway open position. Judging by my soaked pants and wet seat / gas tank, it leaked more than a bit. Wrangled the cap back on and crossed my fingers. Guess I should have done better prep work on my gas cap. :rofl

    Jesse, Grande, mike, Jeff, and Travis all headed out to spectate right after the start, we probably saw each other about 5 times. The spectating was really good they said.

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    This was the first place I saw them. Right after what I think was Spooners.

    Pretty much settled into a groove, and rode near the same group of people. Kept crossing paths with these guys. That trials bike was looking really nice...

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    Only one girl entered, Louise Forsley. Pretty awesome.

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    Never thought I would see a rock as comfy looking as the one Jeff was napping on.

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    Here is the winner of the expert class, Steven Deines. Ran into him at a gas station on the way out of town and chatted for a bit. Seemed like a real nice guy.

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    Bike pretty much ran great the whole time, the main problem was that the fork top caps kept working themselves loose. When I lowered the rear of the bike, I slid the forks up to match. Guessing since the upper triple clamp was not clamping near the top caps "squeezing them" that allowed it to loosen.

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    Tons of really fun sand washes, not everything was totally rock infested.

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    Best part of the course was going up Jackhammer. Got passed by these two guys:

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    Was really impressive watching them go by. They kept momentum over everything. Couldn't have asked for a better place to spectate.

    Started getting really worried about gas not too far after J.H. Switched to reserve and every person kept saying the fuel stop was about 6 miles out. Every time I asked it was only 6 more miles to go. After that happened a few times I went into ultra-economy mode, coasting down stuff with the motor off and bogging everywhere.

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    Was super beat at this point, had been pretty good about not pushing it too hard and taking breaks to eat / drink but I started feeling a bit puke-y and had a good headache. Decided to take an on-the-bike-power-nap to regroup. Started feeling better so I pushed to make it to the gas stop. After all, it was only 6 miles away right?

    Wrong. Finally ran out of gas at the bottom of Chocolate Thunder. Laid the bike on its side, tried the choke, kick, kick, kick, nothing. Kick, kick, kick, nothing. She was bone dry. Awhile later, I got saved by the help of two people. The first were my friends on the trials bike, who couldn't give me gas, but did have an empty bottle. The second was a guy on a YZ250 with a big o'l desert tank. I still owe them both beers! Got a half gallon of gas and was back in action. Only 6 more miles they say...

    Turns out Jesse, Jeff, Mike, and everyone else were right around the conner the whole time. Hah.

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    Finally made it to the gas stop. It was not exactly Nascar fast, but a needed break.

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    Added some gas / water to the bike.

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    Ate a quick lunch.

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    Then started digging through the trash to find a bottle to hold extra gas in.

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    Found a nice Gatorade bottle an topped her off.

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    Last thing was to smear some chamois butter on my paws to fight the blisters off. This totally saved my hands.

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    The helicopter had constantly been buzzing about during the whole race, but it decided to follow me for a few miles on the single track outside of the gas stop. That was pretty neat. Fortunately he got one of my crashes on camera, so hopefully someone saw it!

    A little while later I came across a guy on a broken down Beta. Think it was Peter Weiss? He needed a master link, and luckily I had one in stock. He was back up and running. Gotta love good karma on your side.

    The rest of the race was much faster than the first half. Still some technical climbs, but mostly whoops and sand. My GPS had died but luckily the course was not too misleading. The last tricky section was coming down a canyon that dumped you onto the lake bed. Not sure what it was called but that was for sure the most technical part of the course.

    Came through the finish line at 7hr:41min:42sec. Was really happy to finish, and better yet wound up in 10th for my class. Stoked. Even with all the crashes I didn't manage to break any of our parts so I was even more pumped on that.

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    Hung out at the finish line / jumbo-tron for a bit, then went looking for everyone back at camp. Guess they were still out on the course waiting for me. They eventually found me by going to the IRC tent and tracking me to the back of Jesses trailer where I was taking a nap.

    I grabbed a shower while everyone packed up, then we started the 10 hr drive back to Chico for our 8am Monday classes.

    Cant thank everyone enough for helping, Jeff, Mike, Jesse, Trav, Dad, couldn't have done it without you all!

    Looking forward to next year! Hope to see more of you out there. This is an awesome race, and there is nothing else like it.
    #17
  18. Luke

    Luke GPoET&P

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    Awesome!

    :clap
    #18
  19. Tbone

    Tbone off-ramp slayer

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    Dec 29, 2003
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    Tampa
    You are THE man !!!
    #19
  20. fuggy

    fuggy Canyon Explorer

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
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    696
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Nice report and photos! Great job on the finish, what a great accomplishment.
    #20