Vintage Dirt Racing on a 350 Honda Twin

Discussion in 'Racing' started by LC Garage, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. Loud Al

    Loud Al .

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    Well that is a nice way of calling them old :D
    #21
  2. LC Garage

    LC Garage On Any Sunday

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    Those of you who have been following along have heard me mention my friend Brian at Wide Open Motorsports and how much he has helped with this (and other) projects. As I have gotten to know a few of you, it occurs to me that some of you appreciate how much friendships mean and might enjoy the story on how Brian and I came to know each other and become life long friends.

    When I was 27 and no longer racing in any way (I had flat tracked from age 18 to 25 and was pretty burned out) a group of young men that were trying to build a race track at the local fair grounds approached me and asked if I would help them. They needed assistance working with the local fair board and were having trouble making any headway. I decided to get involved and before you know it was working with the fair board and then actually building a race track (it is still there in St Helens, except it is car only track now).

    During the race track bulding process, a man walked up to me and said "I've been watching you for a few days and have a son who is ten years old and really wants to learn about racing. I want you to take him under your wing and teach him." After a moment of surprise, I decided I wanted to meet this young man, so told the dad to bring him over. He went and got his son, I asked him a few questions, mainly would he do as he was told and work hard. He gave all the right answers so I told his dad we would give it a try and see what happened.

    As it turned out, not only was Brian a good worker, but also a dedicated young racer who had good success for many years and eventually came to ride quads at a fairly high level, appearing on televison as the captain of the Seattle team when the quads would battle during intermissions of the monster truck events. It was all just a show but his riding talents were (and are) for real.

    So back to 1981, when the flat track season ended, my enthusiasm for riding had returned and once again began riding but vowed to only do it if it was "fun". We would take Brian with us trail riding and to some of the grand prixs and mx races we competed in. 30 years later, Brian is a devoted family man, a great husband and father who works a day job and then spends most everynight in his garage building motors and repairing motorcycles and quads. We have worked together in our regular work careers, raced an open wheeled modifed as a team and even go fishing when time allows. He is a great friend and I am proud to know him.

    Wide Open Motorsports

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    #22
  3. Ladybug0048

    Ladybug0048 Bug Sister

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    That's a great story, Rick.
    #23
  4. never2old4fun

    never2old4fun Been here awhile

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    It's nice to see someone taking those bikes out to do battle.
    I'll have to see if I can dig up some of the pictures of the my 350 SL. In the mid 1970's I ran TT scrambles and flattrack with it and had a blast:clap.
    #24
  5. LC Garage

    LC Garage On Any Sunday

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    we would love to see your pictures!:D

    #25
  6. LC Garage

    LC Garage On Any Sunday

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    950
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    Columbia County
    This weekend I picked up a parts bike that has several good pieces that will help upgrade the old twin before Chehalis. This bike was last raced several years ago and I'm told blew the transmission. One interesting twist; this bike is said to have my original powroll 400 kit! When I went to pick the bike up, the prior owner was there and he said that he had bought the motor from the guy who had my bike for all those years. The SL350 community is small and everyone seems to have some information or a bit of history to add to each of these machines, it keeps it interesting. :D

    The rear shocks are Works Performance and will be a big upgrade from my bargain basement SW's, the low swept exhaust and smooth side panels will help slim the bike and lower the center of gravity and the TT500 rear wheel will reduce unsprung weight and give more sprocket options. It even has the same Elsinore forks and front wheel I was already running so will provide some spares. Over the winter I'll tear down the motor and if the 400 kit is in decent shape will add that as well for next year. :evil

    Here are a few pics of the new parts bike;

    [​IMG]
    right front view

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    left front view

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    rear; exhaust, shock, rear wheel

    [​IMG]
    elsinore front end
    #26
  7. oregoncoast

    oregoncoast Racing Like a Noob

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    Duh!
    score!!

    Lots of great stuff there!! :clap
    #27
  8. LC Garage

    LC Garage On Any Sunday

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    OC, haven't heard back from the AHRMA rep yet, but reading thru the rule book this weekend makes me believe your rear shocks will be legal..........:freaky

    #28
  9. never2old4fun

    never2old4fun Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    549
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    Joliet, Illinois
    So I've tried to put up the pictures I have, but a message came up about some type security issue.
    Hope to get them up as soon as I figure it out:D.
    #29
  10. never2old4fun

    never2old4fun Been here awhile

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    OK, lets try this again. Remember these are 35 year old Polaroid Pictures my Dad took so the quality may that great.

    Attached Files:

    #30
  11. never2old4fun

    never2old4fun Been here awhile

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    It won't me put them all up at once so I'll do them one at a time.

    Attached Files:

    #31
  12. never2old4fun

    never2old4fun Been here awhile

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    Next one. In line to go out.

    Attached Files:

    #32
  13. never2old4fun

    never2old4fun Been here awhile

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    On the track, in the turn.

    Attached Files:

    #33
  14. never2old4fun

    never2old4fun Been here awhile

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    And again.

    Attached Files:

    #34
  15. never2old4fun

    never2old4fun Been here awhile

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    In third place.

    Attached Files:

    #35
  16. never2old4fun

    never2old4fun Been here awhile

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    Thats where ended up, 3rd. Pekin Illinois 1975.

    Attached Files:

    #36
  17. LC Garage

    LC Garage On Any Sunday

    Joined:
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    Great pictures! Were you running in the AMA Pro Junior class? The reason I ask is the Juniors used to run (and maybe still do) yellow plates with black numbers. Either way great pics. :D

    I was having problems with the picture posting until Oregon Coast (Paul, who rode the Mexican 1000 this year on a 1972 SL350) coached me thru the process. First you put your pictures on a photo sharing web site (like SmugMug) and then when you are on SmugMug you hover over the picture of choice, right click and then left click "copy", then you just drop your cursor into your reply on ADV Rider and right click and then left click "paste" it then drops the link in for your photo and the picture appears. This way you can also post multiple pictures in one reply, and it is easier than I make it sound.

    Thanks for sharing and feel free to post more. Are you still riding? Any of the old twins still laying around? Take care!

    #37
  18. never2old4fun

    never2old4fun Been here awhile

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    Thanks,
    The pictures were from when I was an amateur. After that I went pro, but two years into it I got married, but that made married life rough so stopped racing. After that were the work injuries and it took me a long time to even get back on a bike so I don't compete any more, two back surgeries, rods and screws holding me together, plus two rotator cuff surgeries, both arms screws in those also.
    I only ride the street now on a KTM 950 SMR, but most of the time I'm busy working on bikes. Older bikes like the 4 SL 175's I'm getting back together. My friends 1971 BSA Thunderbolt that were making into a street tracker and when called I do welding and fabrication for a friend mine who has held the number 1 plate in the AHMRA flat track series in the dinosaur class for many years, so I'm always having some kind of fun with motorcycles.:D
    #38
  19. LC Garage

    LC Garage On Any Sunday

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Columbia County
    Tonight I started stripping both the new donor bike as well as my regular ride. This allowed me to start test fitting the pieces to see what will and won't work. The Works Performance shocks will definitely fit, and although they are sprung for a much heavier rider, it looks as though the SW springs might fit and would be a little softer. The nicer seat went right on, but the CV carbs interfere with the forward edges of the hand made side panels. Since I am considering changing to the slide type carbs that may not be an issue. The exhaust should go right on, but I want to get new exhaust port gaskets before bolting these on. I think after I get everything test fit and decide exactly what to use, I will tear it all down and give it a good cleaning before final reassembly. Still pondering whether to continue on with the "barn fresh" look, or go ahead with some fresh paint and detailing.

    On another note, I did talk to PNW AHRMA rep Randy Skiver today, to see what will or won't be legal to use and determined that the TT500 rear wheel is too new to use. Other than that, the only other real issue is to check travel front and rear and make sure it does not exceed 4" rear and 7" front.

    [​IMG]
    #39
  20. LC Garage

    LC Garage On Any Sunday

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    950
    Location:
    Columbia County
    So today was one of those rare days with only a few chores and lots of shop time available, so took advantage of the opportunity. As I was working along and my natural ADD was kicking in, I began to realize what a mess the shop was. Several bikes in pieces, exhaust systems, shock absorbers and springs, tools, hardware and more spread out all over the place, yikes! :puke1

    Before cleaning up the shop (or the bike for that matter) I decided to take a picture of everything as it was (this is just a small portion of the debris field);

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    So I took the bike outside and gave it a good bath (had not been cleaned since PIR) and then cleaned up the shop.

    At this point I have checked the rear wheel travel with the new shocks and right now it's at 4.25 inches, after installing bushings on the shock rods to limit compression should be right at 4 inches, and the front end checks at just under 7 inches. :clap

    Took all the springs off my extra shocks and discovered none will fit the Works Performance shocks, so tomorrow will call and order springs tailored to the bike and my weight. At the same time will get the compression limiting bushings and after that is all assembled the suspension should be good to go.

    Got the exhaust all test fit with the lower pipes and mufflers, they are lighter than the scrambler pipes, will reduce the center of gravity and have a nice sound too. Found the alternator wiring had begun melting on the back of the scrambler pipes, so will be doing more harness repairs. May end up using the donor bike harness as it is very minimal and appears well built.

    Still plenty to do but making progress, have decided to continue focusing on the mechanical side of things and will set aside paint and detailing for the next winter. The "Barn Fresh" look lives on for at least one more race!

    Still to do before Chehalis;

    Finish shocks
    Finish exhaust
    Repair wiring
    Change carbs
    Check tune up
    Change engine oil (to synthetic)
    Replace some of the cables
    Change front wheel (it's cracked)
    Replace rear brake shoes

    Right now I can't wait for the first test ride with the new shocks! :D
    #40