Monday, September 14, 2015

Flat Track Saturday

I went to the flat track races at Frankfort, IN on Saturday. Instead of taking I-65 south, I ambled down US 421 out through the country - nice day for a drive. I hadn't been that way in a while but I had a lot of relatives down that way when I was growing up and we used to go through Monon, Reynolds and Monticello on a regular basis. Brought back some good memories. Also pointed out that summer is pert near over when I saw a couple of fields where the corn has already been picked. And that I should probably be home working on projects rather than going to the races.

There weren't a lot of people or bikes there but that actually made it pretty nice. They had several classes of the flat trackers running plus speedway bikes and four wheelers. Admission was twenty bucks but that included a pit pass. 

Most of the bikes were of a motocross origin but there were a few purpose built Rotax powered machines, a couple powered by Yamaha 4 stoke singles and a couple of "old timers" like the Bultaco pictured above.

I could have brought this one home for $3200.00. Honda powered, Knight frame and a plastic bin full of gearing, etc. I've mentioned before I've had a hankering to try flat tracking but I've worn enough plaster in my time and don't walk with a limp. Best to leave it at that.

Not very often you get a chance to see Speedway bikes in action. I had a nice chat with two of the racers. I didn't realize that they had a couple of different configurations of these things. Short track bikes are rigid framed, single speed but for longer tracks they use a sprung rear, longer wheelbase and a two speed. 168 pounds, single cylinder engine making 58 horsepower, running on methanol. The one guy I talked to said he used to run flat track with the big boys but he does this because it's fun. Says it's nothing like riding a flatracker. There's a big footpeg on the right side of the bike and you stand on that more than you ride sitting down. I've seen these things run and I'm not so sure fun would be how I'd describe it. Long tracks like this one maybe. But those little bull rings, have to be a handful. Especially with no brakes.

I came across this one as I was walking into the pit area and recognized it right away as belonging to the guy who writes the 520 Chain cafe blog. As I passed by later I saw a few guys gathered around the bike and figured one of them had to be the owner - sure enough. I introduced myself and we chatted for a bit. He was kind enough to ask about my wife and we talked a little shop. Seems like a real  nice young man - he does nice work too, judging by the Sportster. He's got a bunch of nice photos of the event at his blog, by the way.

I also met a guy who does pinstriping. He's not too far away from me. He had a few things on display that he had done while there as well as a book of his work. I want to get a couple of things done on the 900. Some type of design on top of the tank and on the leading edge of the front fender. I'll see about getting things painted before it gets cold and then hook up with him for the striping.

It was possible to walk around the back part of the track and take pictures without any fence to obstruct your view. A 1/2 mile track is just about perfect for the 250's and 500's. For an amateur event there were some guys there who could really ride. Need to see if the promoter has a website or what needs to be done to stay informed about these events. Be nice if Surly and I could get out and ride to a couple of these. 

Glad I went. I needed to get out.

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