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My first race story!!! (last weekend)

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Thought I'd share my story here and maybe provide a little entertainment (Trust me, it was VERY entertaining to watch I'm sure).

A little about me: I'm 23, been riding on and off for about 10 years now. Started off riding a '79 Yamaha but recently got an '01 RM 250 after being away from the sport for about 3-4 years. Well, my bike is blown up and my buddy Jon called me on Thursday saying that his kids were racing MOVMX (Missouri Vintage MX) and that he was taking his '83 RM 500. So he kinda hinted around that I may be able to race it as he knew I've always wanted to race. So we all go out to race vintage on Sunday and I get a little seat time in on the bike out in the field for a bit and then practice and rider's meeting and it's time to race!!

Except one thing..... During practice I noticed the rear DRUM brake was wanting to lock up and not disengage after I would let off. We messed around with it for a bit and backed off the adjuster hoping that would help. NOPE!..... So I just said I'd live with it and only use it if I REALLY needed it. Since it wouldn't let go until you came to a stop it was nearly worthless.

So here I come ready or not. Ultima 500 Novice class. After waiting on 15 motos (mine being the last, 16th) I line up on the gate to attempt this thing they call racing. My buddy Jon tells me not to worry about trying to get the holeshot..... Yeah RIGHT!!! ME? Not try to get out front immediately? Not gonna happen..... So the flag drops and before I know it I'm first into turn number 1. A bit excited with everyone right on my butt. I hold the lead until after the 3rd turn and going up the muddy hill I get a little loose and get off to the side of the track and lose a position.

Well, it was all downhill from there. Now all the emotions start to fly. I knew going into it that I needed to just ride the way I knew how to ride and to do my thing and ride within my skill level. But let me tell ya, easier said than done and this bike is a HANDFUL. Just working the clutch alone will about wear you out. Much less trying to stay on top of the thing! These old bikes just don't stop like modern bikes do. Although I knew this, I still tried to charge every turn in my way. BAD IDEA. Here I go, overshooting the berm and BAM!! Just lost another position. Making up time in the straights wasn't much problem but stopping this tank WAS. I think I wrecked a total of 5 times in a 5 lap moto. TOTAL KAMIKAZE. Twice in the same turn overshooting the berm and twice in another turn (Same freakin spot!!). After the first couple wrecks the back brake lever was modified slightly and was now mangled up UNDER the frame so no back brake at ALL now. Oh well.

It was a rough ride. I do NOT like to lose which made me push myself even harder. After going down the first time it kinda took it out of me a bit and I never really recovered. 4/5 times weren't bad at all but somewhere around the second or third wreck I went over the bars over the berm and somersaulted onto my helmet. Never ONCE did the bike die, thank God. Starting that beast after it lay on it's side would not have been fun. I did however look like a complete spode the whole time. In the end I finished third while chasing second place for the last 3 turns. The last turn I ran into his back wheel and he definitely knew I was there. Ended up starting in 1st, got passed by a few and worked my way back up from 5th to 3rd, still finishing first in my class. The fella that was in front of me came up to me later in the pit and said, "I wasn't gonna let you pass me for the third time." LOL. We chatted for a bit and we both thought it was pretty hilarious.

My second moto I had already accepted what had to be done and that I had absolutely NO rear brake whatsoever. I started off in second gear this time and launched HARD, took the whole shot again (everyone said I was about 30 yards ahead of everyone in a wheelie going into the first turn). But this time I just rode the way I knew I was supposed to and was only passed once and he got around me very early. We pretty much checked out on the rest of the pack and I chased the 250 for 5 laps. I had an opportunity to pass when he seemed to slow down a little but instead of taking advantage, knowing noone was behind us I decided to take it easy and not get impatient. There was still a good portion to go. I continued to chase him around the last 3/4 of a lap and was ALL over him through many turns. Just couldn't make a clean pass and ended up finishing second. Part of me wishes I would have been more aggressive and passed him. But the other part of me knows that he then would have been breathing down my neck and I may have made a mistake. I rode clean the whole 2nd moto and was very pleased with how I rode. Much more consistent.

First moto: third overall and 1st in my class

Second moto: second overall and 1st in my class

FINAL: 1st in class and 3rd overall out of 14 bikes

I can't complain. It was a GREAT experience. Learned alot and met alot of people. Moral to story: riding a 500 with no back brakes doesn't exactly give you warm and fuzzys. Hope you enjoyed my long winded story. I Know I did!!

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Sounds like a hoot. Congrats! Racing a 500 on a track is "special" for sure.

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Oh my, that brings back memories! i had a n 84 rm 500, man that was way too much bike for me. but i didnt realize it till i raced a couple of hare scramble with it. And yeah, im starting to think the rear brake lever was made to do that, cause the samr thing happened to me in my first HS xcept it was wrapped up and over the right footpeg. that happened within the first 15 mins of a 3hr/12 mi lap. :busted:

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Nice story gave me a few laughs. Sounds like a good time minus the rear break but hey it adds to the adventure.

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