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A Perfect Day ? (long but from the heart)


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I had a fantastic day today, it started with me placing a call to a guy that I went through new racer school with at Willow Springs a few years ago named Jason Curtis, he and I have become really close friends and I value his friendship like no other, Jason is currently a factory sponsored Honda rider in the AMA competing in Formula Extreme and 600 SuperSport, his team mate is "Dr. Smooth" (Doug Chandler). I drove up to Jasons house today and, after exchanging hugs and catching up I looked at some video of he and Doug on their (Factory) CR450F supermotos which was nothing short of spectacular, specially when combined with Jasons narration of that very day when Carlos Checa (MotoGP fame) put the hurt to EVERYONE at the track riding a BONE STOCK Yamaha WR426 complete with lights and all! I need to preface that statement by saying that Doug's CRF is nothing short of completely amazing, it is bored and stroked and currently displacing 509cc's, and putting close to 75HP to the ground (his claim not mine), sporting Ohlins forks and suspension that has received the magic touch of Stig Stiegler (if you dont know who Stig is thats ok, hes been laying hands on some very impressive and very famous road racers machines for decades).

The point I am trying to make here is that I have been to the mountain top, I have seen the burning bush, the tablets of stone or whatever other words you can think of and I have been humbled, a guy who can take a BONE STOCK ANYTHING and spank WORLD class guys on factory prepped madness with surgical precision like I saw Carlos do is....well..... "the messiah". Anyway after those formalities and the usual catching up of 2 friends who havent seen each other for a few months, we hopped in my truck (forgoing the offer to ride in Jasons Z06 vette) and headed over to Jasons parents house, I enjoy Jasons parents almost as much as I enjoy Jason as they are 2 of the nicest people you could ever meet, from there we went down to a local sushi bar where it was all you could eat for $22.00, and we talked about Jasons year so far in the AMA Road Race

scene, I couldnt help but get all adrenaline rushy hearing the stories and learning about the track time Jason gets to spend with Freddy Spencer and Jeff Haney, Jeff Haney is Jasons coach, he is also a Freddy Spencer instructor, Jeff Haney is probably the most talented rider on the planet who does NOT compete, if you ever get a chance to take a Spencer school you will see what I mean by that statement, it is not uncommon while on the track after one of the classroom sessions to have Mr. Haney pull up beside you in a corner while you are completely committed only to look over and see him with his knee on the ground and the rear wheel sliding with his LEFT hand on the throttle while he is pointing at you signaling with his right hand that you are off line or not on the throttle early enough, and in his frustration he will wheelie his bike off the corner still looking at you with his LEFT hand still controlling the throttle and his right hand up in the air in disgust! Now if you dont believe me thats fine.......take a Freddy Spencer class.....you will never be the same again....ever.

Back to Jason and I, we stuffed our faces with sushi and headed back to his house, and I unloded my 426 off the truck, Jason pulled his CRF outta the garage and fired it up, I fired my bike up, we put our helmets on and went out for some hooliganizm's, now you gotta remember here, Jasons bike is race only, no headlight, brake light no nothing, pure race, nothing less.

We head down the street into town and find some winding roads nearby and head up and over trying to out wheelie each other and out slide each other into and out of the turns down these sleepy residential streets, it was a gas, I dont think we obeyed one law, cant tell you how many we broke, with the stoppies, wheelies and total disregard for the posted speed limits, let alone the fact that Jasons bike doesent even closely resemble street legal....not even a little bit.

We pull up to the stop sign and switch bikes, and I get a chance to ride the "thoroughbred", I am a bit excited...no alot excited....no &%$#@! it, I am beside myself.

Anyway we head back up and over the same way we just came, it (his bike) was fast, not overwhelming, but fast, I liked it, it was not what I expected it to be, probably because the power was so "linear" but I liked it alot, Jason has a bit of a different riding style than I do so consequently his bike is set up totaly different than mine is, his forks are sticking up out of the top of the triple clamp by more than 20mm, he also has 20mm offset triples and no steering damper, the bike felt extremely "nervous" to me, not the engine, but the front end, it was a far cry from what I am used to on my WR which I find to be absolutely planted in the corner and extremely predictable, Jasons CRF felt more "flickable" than my WR but it also had abit of a tendancy to stand back up in the corners while trailing the front brake which is how I ride, yet it was not uncontrollable, just really really different than I am used to.

Jason is also sponsored by Michelin and I am a Pirelli guy, I have had a couple get off's on Michelins and switched to Pirelli's a couple years ago on the road race circuit and I have been hooked on them ever since.

My experience with Michelins is that they have phenominal grip at severe lean angles while "railing" a

corner but have a nasty tendency to let go under (hard) power while at the same lean angle and I dont like that.

Anyway we ripped around for a while on each others bikes and arrived back at his house, where we discussed what we felt about each others bikes, I described the "nervous" feeling of his front end and he described mine as "harder to turn" but extremely well planted and extremely confident feeling, He liked it and I really liked his, and we both felt that we could get used to the differences if we were racing.

It was an enlightening event for me, it was a killer day in Santa Calrita and Jason absolutely oooozes enthusiasm about his racing career.He admitted that the front end of his bike made him a little uneasy also and that the forks were going back to Stig this week,he would have them back by Thursday and invited me to go with he and Doug to "the track" next weekend and I could ride his bike as hard as I wanted to and see if I liked it any better...after all

he said..."I get em for free"...now....do you think for a minute that I refused that offer?.......um.....no.

I left and Jason sped off in his vette back up to his folks house for a little party that was just gettin under way for a family member, I dont think I "came down" until I pulled into my driveway about 45 minutes later.

I just wanted to share this with you guys because I really feel like I got to do something that few people get to do....throwing a leg over a factory Honda SuperMoto prepped unit doesnt happen every day, at least not to regular guys like me anyway....so I thought the least I could do was share that experience with you guys in my own words, I love this place and I appreciate all of you guys and I am so eternally grateful that we have "SuperMoto"....it's a wonderful life......I want more please. 🙂

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Funny you are talking about Chandler...

I just saw his cr-f heads on my friends Serdi.

+2mm os in and ex.

BTW, my buddy DR Rob Tuluie (Tule-aris fame) has been sponsored by Yamaha and given two yz-f 450's to contend the motard series. Team Yamaha has suggested Woody Kile to build his motors.

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Right on!

I am glad to see the Blue out there in the seemingly endless sea of red (LOL).

I have to admit that I used this day (read upward) to get a feeling about the Honda, I am buying another bike to build for race only, and I have been torn between the Honda and a new WR450, I really tried to be subjective on the test ride of Jasons bike, and while it is certainly more "built" than mine is I have not been won over by the red monster....not yet anyway, next weekend I will have had a chance to ride both on a track side by side and really get a feeling for the strengths and weeknesses of each, one of the cool things about the Honda and it's engineering is the "uni cam" deal which is a cassette type configuration of the cam and followers, so if you lunch a cam or a bucket or what not, the cassette is replaceable and you dont have to spend $700.00 on a complete head like we do on our Yamaha's.

Anyway, my money is still in my pocket, and it will be for at least another week.

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Right on!

, so if you lunch a cam or a bucket or what not, the cassette is replaceable and you dont have to spend $700.00 on a complete head like we do on our Yamaha's.

these heads are rebuildable.

Mike @edco can repair both bucket and cam seizure.

Just an FYI.

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Dustin Nelson will also be racing a YZF450 for Two Bros racing. Two Bros will field one YZF and one CRF (for Andy Harrington).

Matt Wait will also be on a YZF450 (with WR 5-speed trans) as well. I'm sure there will be plenty of other YZF's too.

I've got to believe that anything Dr. Rob the rocket scientist is involved in will be a sweet machine.

Scream, did the CRF you rode have the back torque limiter clutch? If so, what did you think of it?

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Scream, did the CRF you rode have the back torque limiter clutch? If so, what did you think of it?

No it did not Greg, I understand that Jason is looking to get that in his machine soon, Doug Chandler actually uses ALL rear brake to get the slide started, something he (Doug) tried to get Jason to try at the track one day, which he (Jason) did and said: "I wont be doing it that way again" at which time we looked at each other and had a pretty good laugh!

I like the slipper clutch concept alot and wish Yamaha had one ready to go for the YZ, I would invest in it just to try it out, in theory it should work really well for Supermoto me thinks.

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