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1st XR100R Flat Track Adventure

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To Start... Hello all, just giving my 2 cents on beginner Flat Track Racing for those that may be following in my shoes.

So to start I went to Mid-America Speedway in Indianapolis last year and started watching the races. It was AWSOME! I loved it. I have ridden a XR80 in my teens around the yard. A bike here and there, so not much experience what so ever. After seeing the races, I said I wanted to try it... So, I bought a "Stock" 1994 XR100R off of craigslist for $500. It was in decent shape but came with a no spark issue. I looked online and what I read came to me buying a stator for about $120. Nope wasn't it. I learned by trial and error if you disconnect the kill switch by the CDI first, you'll know if its the stator that's bad or the kill switch. Remember, I'm learning on my own. So, $10 for that.

Next I wanted the bike to be more like a flat tracker, yelp! There goes the front fender, I removed the front brake lever and cable. I thought it looked great!!! My wife says I'm tearing it up! Lol.

I was having an idle issue and that's when I discovered jetting! So I was able to watch YouTube and cleaned the idle jet. Ran better at that time.

Then came reading on all the web pages the "Mods" I could do. So I started with cutting the air box. It did help some. I then saw where a 26mm carb would help and ordered one of those off ebay that came with a K&N style air filter. Wow! What a difference that made for $32. And it fixed a lot of idling and ruff running issues.

Checking the tracks web page, I seen that I would run the "Mad Dog" class, 80-200cc. It said I could use Dual Sport tires. Found a pair of them for I'm going to say around $70 on sale online. Again another YouTube video to learn how to mount tires. After some blood and sweat, bingo, had them on and was excited to see my baby coming together.

It's birthday time now and when asked what I would like, motocross gear please. So hours was spent online looking for the best deals at stores and on ebay. Here's the list;

Rebel design Helmet- $59

Thor Body Armor- $48

Thor Boots - $120

Thor Pants and Shirt- $80

Scott Goggles- $20

Gloves, I just used mechanics ones I had.

NO! I didn't purchase everything at once. I didn't have a budget for this so it was here and there as I found what I thought was a deal. This is all over about a 9 month period. Again, I am new to "dirt" and "motocross" anything....! = ) so I had to start fresh.

To continue...that was my beginning setup to start tearing up the yard, field out back, and driveway. I felt sorry for my neighbors!!! Lol... Back and forth running as fast as I could for hours at a time. Time is starting to drawl near to start racing! Yeah!!!!

I do have a truck, because I had to start thinking about getting there. So that was a big help. I wanted a truck box for the back to haul my gear in, so started looking at that. About $200 was what it's gonna cost, but, actually as I'm in the store looking to buy, a friend came by and we started talking and he said he would give me one that he wasn't using anymore. GREAT!!!! That rocks!!! So I bought a ramp to be able to load the beast in the back for $50. A lot less than a truck box, but yes... I could have used an old board. But as I'm in my 40's, I wanted a ramp to make it easier.

As I have told my age, my wife thinks this is a mid-life crisis type thing and keeps threatening that if I race, she'll wrap me in bubble wrap! Ya gotta love'm! But, as I said, once I saw it, I fell in love with the sport!

I was "allowed" to use our credit card points to get a "easy up" shelter because if she was going to have to go, she wanted some shade for the both of us. Good thinking by her!

The last and hardest piece of the puzzle was the "Hot Shoe" or steel shoe. That was a trip to lowes for some flat steel/sheet metal and another good friend that had a machine shop and a Saturday to burn. We cut, hammered, and welded for 4 hours to make what I thought to be a good first timer Hot Shoe at the cost of $12.

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Learn to ask for help and call on friends! It's worth it and it helps your friendship even more. By the way, you can purchase a Hot Shoe for around $300. It would be a lot better. But for a noob, this was the way to go.

Now it's Race Time!!! Yelp, practice loading the truck as if I'm going pro and to make it easier when I get there that I have everything we need. And OFF WE GO!!!

After an hour drive to the track. A $10 each pit pass and $30 entry fee, I'm in! I'm actually there and setting up my pit! Whoo hoo!!!! = ) and yes, I had butterflies... I also was back and forth trying to listen to what I needed to be doing and it didn't even wear me out because I was focused.

Now came time to do a four lap practice. We actually ran 2 of those. So 8 laps total. Now came the wait for my heat. 30 heats later. Yes, I said 30, it was time for the mad dog heat to start. I was called to the staging box and watched as there was a race going on. Then it was our turn. As I looked around, it was just me and 2 other guys racing, but that didn't matter to me for it was my time to race!

I was in the middle at the starting line and was given the signal to watch the starting tree lights. Red, yellow, GREEN!!! Crank the throttle and pulled a hole shot! Wow! Went into the first turn and was good to go. Coming out of the 2nd turn there goes one of the other competitors. Into the third turn, there goes the other! Hmmm?!? Lol, it didn't matter. I kept chugging along. I was never lapped and finished 3rd or last. However you want to see it.

After the race I return to my pit with a huge smile on my face and as my wife came down from the stands to watch, I said... I did it!!! I was happy! For the racing itself, I didn't get sideways like most flat trackers do, but I gained valuable experience and track time. I furthermore gained a greater appreciation for all the flat trackers out there that do what they do!

It may be called dirt track racing, but when they wet the track down and after everyone slides their bike around the corners, it gets packed hard and there's rubber that starts getting put down on the dirt which makes it look hard as concrete!!! Your steel shoe rumbles and slaps its way around the corners and is louder than you think it would be.

So not to bore you any longer, if this helps anyone start with their flat tracking experience, it was worth the time to write it all. Tomorrow is another race, so I must sign off and wish all of you on a track anywhere God's speed!

I give my greatest admiration to all you Flat Trackers out there! Be safe!!!

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Nothing like strapping on the gear and having the time of your life...  Racing isn't always about winning, its about competing, its about the friendships you will create, and its about the memories..  Sound like your face muscles are sore from smiling too much...  Good for you, and I'll bet you're ready to race again.  

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For years we had a local track (Sandhill Raceway) that ran Friday night mini bike practice. They run dirt track in oval and TT style. Rode my stock 100 the first time. I now have two fully prepped Engines Only xr100's with 120 motors and all the goodies. Dirt track on 100's is about the most fun I have ever had and the only class I have ever won an AMA race on.

Hoping that Sandhill reopen soon.

Have fun out there running your mini.

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Thanks all... Yes, it isn't all about racing. You're right about that! There's a lot of good people out there on the tracks. They are willing to talk with you and help you on a moments notice. I met people from 12 to 65 that was racing and they all were great. I raced this past Saturday and started getting better and met more people.

I know the XR's 100's are a small bike, but for those like me starting out it's a machine to fall in love with for the simplicity of it and ease to work on.

Just like on the track, great people here too! Thanks for the replies!!!


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