WR400 Versus R1 - Guess who won!

Sunday morning, 10:00am. Bloody cold weather in a place called Marysville, 100km outside of Melbourne.

I rode the bike in areas that are about 3000 feet above sea level and she ran like absolute "sheat" (HA, can **** that one.. :)) Refer to the earlier post about AIRBOX Update.

Anyways, I decided to ride in areas that were a little closer to ground level. So, I rode the infamous and most dangerous roda in probably all Australia, the Black Spur. What makes it dangerous is the lack of corner speed sign posting, the unpredictable weather , changing road surfaces/contours and wet patches. Unfortunately, for road bike riders, this is the Grim Reapers Run. I will come back to this a little later.

I had never ridden this road although I have driven the road many many times. I left Marysville at about 11:30am and commenced my cold run to Healsville. A little hesitant to begin with but all of a sudden the voice in my mind began to speak. A voice I had not heard from in nearly 9 months. The voice that haunted me in the past. The voice that I'd hoped would never come back again. That voice was my racing voice. That voice of immortality, that voice that cried from the roof tops... "you are untouchable. You are the fastest mother humper on the roads". YEAAAHHHHHH. I'm back!!!!!!!

The ride was incredible. Sideways through corners. Breaking late and throwing the bike into a sideways slide into the corner. Hands working furiously to keep up with my mind. Clutch, throuttle, back break, front break, body position, foot extended, all in the matter of a millisecond. All motions fluid, timed and confident. My Rain Road Race tires were holding upto the pressure they were under. Cars on the road became witches hats, still, motionless obstacles that were there for my mere pleasure. Well, that all lasted about 2 minutes as I came back to reality. Discussions with people like Bill, Chris and Bryan began working through my mind. "Ride within your limits...". But, i was, I was within my limits. The only difference is that I was hiding behind my fear for a while.

I rocked upto the Healsville, stopped, had a coffee and a few cigs to calm my self down. I then left and filled the bike. Just as I was getting back on, I saw a group of six riders go by: CBR250RR, GSXR600, GSXR750, R1, CBR900 and Firestorm/VTR Twin. So, I raced out of the garage and jumped on their tail. OK Mitch, stay calm, breathe, concentrate, focus and ride within your limits. THis is not a race, it is a fun Sunday out. :D

We reached the 100km/h zone and twists and turns. Time to real them in. The bigger bikes had a jump on me so I had some work to do. 20km of tight and twisty roads and six bikes to pass. The 250RR was easy, just blew by him on a short straight. The GSXR600 was 2 turns ahead so I burried my heart in my shorts and took off after him. Three turnsd later and I was right on his tail as I braked into a corner with the back end skipping. Coming out of the turn onto a fast left hander down a dip, then a slight uphil into a medium speed right with a dip into a medium left. Well, I came up next to him on the fast down hill left. He looked to his right and saw me. A guy on a WR400 motocrosser sitting next to a GSXR600. He was pissed. But, at that point, he broke and I kept on the gass and broke a second later and pitched the bike into the corner and then lined up for the left. I was outta there.

The VTR was next. A series of tight left and rights with the foot out on the corners and I bit him on the outside of a left as I was positioning into a right. SEEEEYA.

The R1 had a run. We approached a series of high speed little left and rights that was virtually straight. His horse power was an advantage but there was also traffic. I began concentrating on my breathing and focusing on the turns. As he passed a car I passed two cars. Slowly, I began realling him in. BEfore I knew it, he was only one car ahead. He looked in his mirror and then shot passed the car infront of him. I too made the effort. Geared down and rolled on the throttle. WHAM, two cars passed and on his arse!!!!! :D

Short straight, 400m to a medium left, then a short 200m straight to a tight right. He surged forward after into the medium left, I broke later aqnd closed the gap to a few feet. He looked at me in his mirror than powered out of the corner and sprinted to the tight right. I also poured the power on. Give the shortness of the straight I was able to almost keep up. He was uinable to use the monster power of the bike. Under breakes I had closed the distance to nothing and was alsmost pushing him along. He looked in his mirror expecting to not see me, but I was there and he all of a sudden gave a quick second look in complete astonishment. How could a dirt bike keep up with an R1!!!!!!! Well, I squared off and passed him on the inside and took off after the CBR and GSXR750. They were just approaching some cars as I came up on their rear wheels. We were in a line of 4 bikes behind two cars. I was in third and approaching a tight right handdeer with a slight uphill. You could see through the trees at the road ahead. It was clear. Time to finish the job. I stepped out on the inside lane, dropped the foot and powered underneath the bikes and the cars in the most fashinable way. Front wheel in the air, a few inches with the back end tracking around the corner. I then broke hard for a tight left and never saw them again.

I waited a few k's down the road and they pulled up behind me. The guy on the R1, Chris, was smiling ear to ear and was excited that the bike performed that well. His friends were not that impressed. Their bike were putting out in excess of 120Hp and they were passed and were being kept up with by a guy on a dirt bike that only puts out 50Hp. They were not smiling, they were pissed. :D

Now, lets go back about 10 minutes. Remember the guy on the CBR250RR, well, he tried to replicate my corner speed and ended up crashing. He avoided hitting the on coming car, but his bike was not so lucky. Another biker told us about an accident as he noticed we were waiting. The six of us then raced back to the site. I arrived first. I did not know the guy, but I felt bad as I was there. I genuinely feared for the chap. I arrived as the ambo was taking him away. Pretty grazed up, but apparently laughing to the ambo drivers. I explained to his friends which hospital he was being taken to and that they should follow him there for more reasons than one. Witnesses saw us all racing and were explaining that we were part of the group. The police officer I spoke to about the young man gave me a "guilty" glare, but did not make any comments as I appeared genuinely concerned. I gave the others my condolences and indicated he was alright and I suggested they leave before the police questioned them. I left.

The ride back was filled with mixed emotions. I was elated by my riding but the fear and reality came back rather quickly so I rode back in a very subdued fashion.

Remember all, riding is dangerous and always ride within your limits. This Sunday, I can safely say I was.


The good news-- You are a much better rider than the average sportbike rider :)

The bad news-- With equal riders your wr400 wouldn't be a spec in the R1's mirror :D


'99 WR400

'92 GSXR 7/11

Visit my photo album AT YOUR OWN RISK!! My photo album

Anyone here a sportbike fan also? Then visit us here at www.insanespeed.com

[This message has been edited by MotoGreg (edited 07-02-2000).]

Motogreg, I have to agree, it really comes down to ability and risk. I know a guy who used to own a ZZR600, why I don't know, because I would have been able to blow him away on an XR250 with knobbies. Then on the other hand I know a guy who used to be able to power slide his CBR600 out of every corner, and some times at 140km/h, with the front wheel hovering off the ground.

Mitch, you showed them how to ride, and I am sure they now know that they have a lot to learn when it comes to riding fast in the twisty's. :)


RodH Canberra, Australia<A HREF="http://www.400thumpers.oz-au.com" TARGET=_blank>

400 Thumpers Australia</A>

2000 WR400F See Photo's and Modifications

Hey Greg,

Actually, I am embarrased that you think I am that good. Thank you. :)

As far as your second comment: "The bad news-- With equal riders your wr400 wouldn't be a spec in the R1's mirror". Well, that is not that true either.

Whilst living in the US, I would ride with many AMA racers, unofficially, on rides like the Sunday Morning Ride or the Squid Hunters Ride. On the bike setup I have I would actually beat these guys who rode R1's and the like on roads similar to the Black Spur. For instance, Hwy1 to Stinson Beach. Tight and twisty roads. :D

My most memorable ride was October 3rd 1999. (How I remeber the date: I had a very serious crash on the 10th, the following Sunday that almost killed me) This was to be my last ride in the US. So, I wanted to go out in style. I bought a blow up doll, you know, the one we deviots use for sex and strapped it to my back pack. There were approx 30 riders. All varying in skill from novice to professional. Well, I left at the back of the pack and managed to pass everybody, including several riders who have raced the Isle of Mann TT (names to remain annonymous) before the first meeting point before Stinson beach lookout. The lead rider had a 1 min start on me.... :D

So, yes, it is the rider, but the bike certainly helps. Look at it this way.

1. Lighter bike - Later breaking

2. Better ground clearance. Better for sliding and leaning the bike over, sometimes beyond the limits of the tires. Thus, the sliding.

Greg, I have only been riding road bikes for about 3 years. Granted, those three years equate to about 10 years as I rode every single day of the year for several hours. I dont consider my self to be very good. Although, what I have been told is that I am a natural that has passed his expiry date. I look at that as a compliment with both joy and dissapointment. Dissapointment, well, maybe I could have been somebody. That is why I am so desperate to Race in the Super Motard Class. To be somebody in my eyes. Does that make sense. We always ride to sompete with our greatest competition. Ourselves. I enjoy riding, for me, it is life. It is what makes my days special and makes me smile. My wife does also and I love her more than life itself. But, riding is in my blood. It is something that drives me and absorbs my time. Honey, if you are reading this.. I love you.. :D

So, Greg, that is my story and I am sticking to it... :D

One other thing.

I grew up on dirt bikes. So, my transitiuon to road was difficult. When in panic situations I would throw a leg out on a road bike. That always spells dissaster!!!!

I learned to put the knee out and sometimes, I could even drag the knee.. YIPPPEEEEE. But, I could not ride as quick. I am told I was quick, but it is hard to judge. Afterall, friends and friends for that reason... :)

When I got onto the SUper Motard, all that I learned growing up suddenly became applicable on the road. So, in panic situations, I was able to think dirt bike solutions and ride the bike as such. I hope I am making sense.

Rod, thank you also for the compliment. I am sure that on an Enduro adventure I would be humbled by many of you. I ride road and moto-X. I am OK at both. But, hearing the stories of the log and rock hopping and the torturous hours of constant on the gas racing through bush, hills, swamps and the like without even knowing the course... :D Well, Leave me at the camp site minding the beer and call me the "Pit Beach"... :D

I started riding dirt bikes from 7 years old, and when I was 15 I begun to ride dirt bikes with dual purpose tyres on the road, and I think when i bought my first road bike I didn't have much trouble on it, as I had already mastered the art of "the road bike"

Mitch, funny how it is with eveyone and there prefered riding. I don't do Motocross, and really don't want to, but going flat out through the bush really gives me the rush I am after.


RodH Canberra, Australia<A HREF="http://www.400thumpers.oz-au.com" TARGET=_blank>

400 Thumpers Australia</A>

2000 WR400F See Photo's and Modifications


Finally, someone who really understands.

I grew up on dirt bikes. So, my transitiuon to road was difficult. When in panic situations I would throw a leg out on a road bike. That always spells dissaster!!!!

I rode streetbikes for 12 years before I got my first dirtbike and I still can't lose the habit of grabbing a big handful of front brake in a panic situation. Natural instincts can be a bitch when you face plant over the bars:O

Last year my buddy got to go out to Willow Springs with some friends from Dirt Rider magazine. They were testing a wr400 that was a Super Motard racer built by Gary Jones and White Brothers. They were having Kent Kunitsugu, the editor of Sport Rider magazine (and Willow Springs fast guy) ride the wr, he also just happened to be testing an R1 that day. There was no comparison between the two on a fast track like this. Granted, on a tight twisty road with a poor surface it would be a lot closer. I know on a crappy slippery road I'd rather be on my wr than my gsxr if it meant it would be stepping out the rear end.

BTW- You mentioned something about the Isle of Man in your last post... Isle of Man hero Joey Dunlop died in a street circuit race yesterday. Be careful flying around out there on the streets.


'99 WR400

'92 GSXR 7/11

Visit my photo album AT YOUR OWN RISK!! My photo album

Anyone here a sportbike fan also? Then visit us here at www.insanespeed.com

Hey Greg,

Sad story about Joey....

But, I still disagree about the riding. We will have to test that out when I get to the US. We will race around a road circuit that suits your bike and one that suits mine and then one that suits all three... :)

I have religiously followed this thumper site from about 2 weeks after it's original inception, and watched it transform into the entertaining and informative read that it is. From the early days of "Harry in oz" "KEVIN CEE" Nathan in So Cal, and then we had Ray Lebreton and the guru himself Clark Mason. Bryan of course has been there all along. So whats my point? Yes I have sat back and remained largely silent and I have obviously taken in a lot of information, not to mention differing opinions etc during this time. Bryan has done a fantastic job in being moderator and I can only ever remember a few niggles along the way about a KDX220 and the like, which was nipped in the bum fairly smartly. Today though its time to have a winge. Mitch in Oz -- YOU ARE A DEADSET WANKER. How irresponsible not to mention bloody dangerous were your "heroic actions" Good rider are you? I know the road your'e talking about as until recently I was a police officer stationed in the area, suffice to say that I attended nmerous serious and sometimes fatal accidents along that section of the road. Your actions were witnessed by God knows how many motorists and you typify the "Trail Wanker Syndrome" Congratulations on giving dirt bike riders a bad name. Time to grow up, join a club (how about AMTRA)& put something positive in to this sport, after all your goal is to open a shop at some stage in the future. For what it's worth I am now an Ambulance Paramedic so I have seen both sides of the coin. Dont get me wrong I like to open it up just as much as the next bloke, but your actions on the Black Spur were dangerous to OTHER road users.

Sorry Guys.. but this has pissed me off..

Originally posted by Justin (Aus):

I have sat back and remained largely silent and I have obviously taken in a lot of information, not to mention differing opinions etc during this time.

After reading your post perhaps you should stay on the back burner aye?

Today though its time to have a winge. Mitch in Oz -- YOU ARE A DEADSET WANKER.

Who the **** are you to judge?

Were you there?

How do you know they weren't riding at the limit the whole time?

There was no mention of speed quoted.. and if you read correctly he didn't start to 'reel them in' until the 100k zone.

You're gone and judged the guy from a story he has written without even knowing the facts, his personality or his riding style, skill and ability.

Its people like you that give cops a bad name.

Its so typical of coppers to judge on apperance and attitude where in fact they don't even know a 10th of story.

As far as I'm concerned buddy.. you can go back to the hole you crawled out of and keep your opinions to yourself..

Oh BTW... give it a week before you take your foot out of your mouth.



**Ride it like you Stole it!**

Matt Porritt

99 YZ400F

Vist the Rubber Chicken Racing Online Shop

Discounts for ThumperTalk members.

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