Friday, May 29, 2009

Building "Ultamazzera"

So, Ed and I are building another Pantah to Race in the WSMC. It has some really nice upgrades that my current bike doesn't have. It has lighter wheels with a 180 rear tire, NCR frame, Mono shock(Penske)with a aluminum swing arm, better front end, and we are currently building another 650 motor for it. I'm working on cosmetic stuff while Ed builds the motor. I have changed the set up from bars to clip-ons, moving the rear sets back, and adding a upper vintage faring. Of course, I have to add my "Rattle Can Rick" paint and graphics. haha Here are some pics of our progress.

Custom fabricated faring stay. Fancy aye! Clip-ons mounted.

Before, This is how Ed had it mounted. I had to fix that first thing. haha


So, I was trying to put a little vintage pantah flava to the bike, and that is why I'm painting the upper faring this way.

I still need to pin stripe between the white and red plus add some numbers.
More pics to come.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

WSMC May 2009

1st in Vintage Light Weight
2nd in Vintage Heavhy Weight

Leading in points in both classes. Kara,my trophy girl, and I

WSMC Race Report May 2009

First off, I would like to give thanks to Ed Milich, Pierre, Kara, Jesse Pompilio, George Beavers, Alice, Jeff Tigert, Friends, Cretins Motorcycle Club, LA 2 Wheel Social Club, The Alazzurra List, and the Pantaheads Club for supporting my racing career. With out your support and help; I wouldn’t be racing.

It was hot, sunny, hot, clear skies, and hot at Willow this weekend. Let’s just say it was hot. In past few months racing has been a constant addiction and dedication as well as probably the most challenging and rewarding time in my life up to date.

Since last month, In WSMC, losing to the 1990 650cc Honda Hawk, Russ Stranger, has pushed me mentally, physically, and required me to make my bike faster. This was the mission for Ed and I. Ed, of course as always, has given up his time to help me up keep the valve lash, lighten the bike, and replace worn or broken parts to the Ducati.
In the last race at the AHRMA, the two weeks before, I had no clutch and the transmission was mission 4th on the down shift going into turns. So, a good used race clutch was installed with the proper free play, a new master cylinder was replaced, and I adjusted the shifter inner linkage. Ed and I insisted on making horse power this month, and we took some measure to help improve that. Nothing drastic, but some things that would get us faster before next month. It seems as though Russ and I have a race on hands as well as a few RZ’s that have been showing up each month. Beating him this month and getting a first place finish was all I thought about since last month’s losses to him. Russ is no longer a guy running three seconds behind me; he’s running just as fast as or faster than me. I know that his bike probably has many advantages and hp on the old ducati, but skill and persistence can help finish first. Right?
Well, I was stressed out up until the green flag drop and the checkered flag flew.

George Beavers allowed me to borrow his electric roller starter for a few months, and so here is a big thanks for that. Pushing that Ducati would suck in this heat and plus it would be pretty hard to do. Brian Catterson gave me some good pointer to think about while practicing around Willow that Saturday before the race.

Friday the night before my girl, Kara, flew into town for the races. Jesse was willing to ride up on his bike, since no one else wanted to drive the 90 miles up and I only have a two seater. Saturday morning, we over loaded the S-10: the duc and the CT, Kara and I, Maggie on the floor, and Jesse Rolling up on his Gsxer. As soon as we got over the hill; you could feel the heat of Antelope Valley. It is summer time, and this is what makes men out boys.

Saturday practice, the bike was sliding in two around the apex and the exit. It was also sliding at the apex of 8 and in through 9. It was kind of scary especially when both tires slid at the same time. I would just slightly let back on the throttle and keep it on the edge.
We experimented with tire pressure by adding a few psi because the track was so hot. The tires were gaining more psi on the track than usual there for causing the tires to almost over heat. You don’t want much more than 20% increase in psi from cold to hot.

After a frustrated and hot day at practice and the shifter falling off during the last practice, Kara and I took off to Lancaster to the Antelope Inn. Once we got there; a needed cold margarita and some chips/guacamole was on the list for things to do. The Antelope Inn was quite and felt remote since the no one was there, and the pool and hot tub was appealing. Later that night we coasted in the lounge were we ended up hanging out with the time keeper Dennis and his son who was doing the announcing Later, more WSMC officials rolled in and apparently buzzed, and it was a lot of fun.

Sunday morning, cold eggs and bacon from the continental breakfast provided by the hotel. Aargh!
Starbucks and away went toward the track.
Jesse stayed at the track that night before; he fixed our broken shifter and the pits were all set up and ready to go. A much thanks to him! Good job buddy! I went out in practice and ran my best lap time of a 1.36.08! This was good because it gave me needed confidence for the race. Jesse found out that Russ was running slicks today, and that kind of bothered me. I purposely did not run a transponder during practice, and I notice Russ did the same that morning. The race is on!

We ran the Vintage Heavy Weight race first. I started on the front row on the outside. The 750 built Honda Hawk and the Russ’s 650 Hawk had more low end off the start, and they entered turn 1 ahead of me. Next thing I knew a fast RZ 400 came around me before turn 2. The guy was driving like a maniac. He ended up passing Russ as well. I kept my eyes on Russ and tracked him through the first lap. Braked late into 1 and pass him on the outside. The RZ wasn't too far away, and Russ was on my tail. I passed the RZ on the outside of 8, but then soon enough he passed me again. All three of us were dicing while the 750 took off ahead. Through out the race Russ and I diced for third, but by half way through Russ seemed to have some engine problems or maybe gave up. I pass the RZ again and never saw him again. So, we ended up finishing 2nd place. It was a great feeling.

Vintage Light Weight. No 750 Honda in this race, but ones again, Russ and the RZ were lined up. There were about 4 more bikes in the race as well, but I never saw them accept when I lapped them later in the race.
Into turn one again behind Russ ahead with the RZ on my tail. I followed Russ through 2 and the RZ passed me on the inside going into 3. The guy had no consistant line and was changing his lines from left to right. I almost hit him couple of times. Another lap or so later, the RZ was ahead of me. About lap 4, all three of us were still running tight and dicing. As we ran around 8 I was drafting the RZ and was building momentum. He went wide out of 8 and I was about to make my pass on the inside through 9, but then he seem to miss a shift or something and I thought he was going to run into my line again so I held behind him. Russ went on the inside and passed us both! Gutsy move going through 9 Russ and I’m glad you didn’t crash in front of us. I went into 1 again, hot and late braking, pass them both! Took 2 on the edge and felt the rear sliding. The RZ ended up crashing into 3 behind me. Russ was on my tail again. He passed me again on the straight, and was slapping his butt like he was on horse. I ran into one even faster and passed him in a fury. I then started to block lines through 2 and 3. I kept my head down. Slid through 9 and kept the pace right to the edge. After about two more laps; I finally looked back and no more Russ. I don’t know what happened to him. Maybe he was having problems, but when the checkered flag flew…. I was in first. It was amazing! It was one of the best races I had ever been in. We must have changed leaders 4 times or so. I was so relieved. All my stress of not winning was over. All the time Ed and I spent working on the bike to make it better paid off. My constant strives to the end paid off, and we finished first. What a great weekend!!!!
I had run my lap times in 135’s which was over a second faster than two weeks before. In fact, 135.07 was my best time. That’s apparently pretty fast for an old pantah at Willow. Haha

Well, Ed and I are working hard already for next month. We are building up another Pantah that has some really great race components and is lighter, but we may not have it done for the next race. We will just see. It’s going to be another month of being broke and saving for tires. Haha I started this blog site; so that, maybe we can get a sponsor.

Thanks again to all that helped make this a great race weekend. Until next month,
Rick Carmody aka “Highside”

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

AHRMA April 2009 Corsa Moto Classica

Sat: Formula Vintage=3rd
Sportsman 500=2nd
Vintage Superbike Middle=1st.

Sun: Formula Vintage 2nd
Sportsman 500=2nd
Vintage Superbike middle=1st.

April 2009, AHRMA Corsa Moto Classica, Willow Springs.
What a great weekend! Dad came out to help and support my racing career. The Cretins motorcycle club had two new racers and a total of 5 guys racing. We had lots of friends show up to support the club's racers, dad rented me a RV, Awesome party and BBQ, and I placed in the top three in all my races dispite the wreck on my Sportsman 500 Honda CB 450.

I finished with 2 first place finishes, 3 second place finishes, and 1 third place finish.
What a great weekend, and my dad got to experience it with me. Priceless!!

Leading through the omega in front of Ari.

Coming out of the omega on the Ducati

Best Day Ever. My dad came to watch me race for the first time all the way from Texas.

The Family.

This is were it begins.

Leading the race in Sportsman 500

Then the rear tire broke loose

Later Ari!...ouch!

Tore a hole in my brand new leathers that was given to me by Motor Cyclist Magazine, One race later, I put on my old leathers back on, jumped on the Ducati, and won my race.

Eric unloading my wrecked CB 450. I was leading the race ahead of Ari when the rear came around.

Ari Henning getting to race his Dad's, Tod Henning, old CB 350 race bike.

Maggie looking Fast!

Ricky Racer riding around in his new leathers on the pit bike

Dad is talking with Gary Swan, Toad Town Racing about the Harley race bike

Toad Town Racing Crew

Cretins Racing Umbrella Girls

Oh Ya! I had to get a pic with the ladies!

Los Angeles Cretins Racing Team 2009, Corsa Moto Classica Willow Springs

Eric Orr's Honda CB 350 Sportsman bike

My 650 Ducati Cagiva

My Honda CB 200My Honda CB 450 Sportsman Bike

Los Angeles Cretins Racing Team 2009, Corsa Moto Classica Willow Springs

WSMC April 2009

3rd in Vintage Heavy Weight
2nd in Vintage Light Weight.

This month I am racing in two different racing series. WSMC and AHRMA.
First weekend is WSMC were the racing was tight and competitive.
In Vintage Heavy weight, George Beavers showed up on his insanely tricked out GS 1000,and blew the pack away with laptimes in the 134s. I and Russ on the Hawk battled, but I was unsuccessful in holding off second. Russ was able to pass on the outside of 8 on the last lap and pulled off second. Way to go Russ! Great race man!

Well, Vintage light was next, and George would not be running the GS, but one of Ed's Pantah race bikes. We all lined up and took off. The Hawk had some horse power off the line and Clinton on his RZ 350 was in the mix. We all three diced to end, but Russ took off again and lead the race. I knew after the first race that I should have flipped the rear tire that morning. I was sliding all around the track, felt like it would be best to race a little on the safe side since we are racing in two weeks at the AHRMA race. I don't want to piece a wrecked bike back together when I've got 4 races in AHRMA on the Ducati already paid for.
So, I let Russ go, and Clinton started to pull away as well. Running in a comfortable 3rd, I decided to start picking up the pace in the last two laps were I caught back up to Clinton.
I drafted him around 8 and went wide coming into the last turn, and sling shotted past him just before the finish line taking a well ridin 2 second place.

I it was a great weekend and were able to run in the low 136's.

I also brought out the CB 450 for a shake down, and realized that the gearing was going to work. I was topping out before I entered 8. So a large front sprocket will be needed before AHRMA.

So we finished the weekend with 2nd and a 3rd place.

Super Thanks to Ed, Jesse, George, and the Cretins Racing Team.