Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Dirt Quake USA - CHOPPERS!

We make no secret that the choppers get top billing at Dirt Quake, whichever side of the Atlantic it's held. The heroes with long forks and fishtail pipes didn't disappoint at Sideburn x See See x Harley-Davidson promoted Castle Rock race.

Riders from the USA and Canada took part on heavily modified Harley, Yamaha, Triumphs and some spindly, automatic deathtrap ridden by Portland legend Kenny Bobcat of Moto Galore.

Check out a full class of TWELVE chops racing at Dirt Quake V, King's Lynn, 16 July. More info at dirtquake.co.uk. G

All photos: Yve Assad
Shortly after this photo was taken Kenny did a celebratory seat bounce that sent his machine into an evil wobble and threw both his feet off the pegs onto the floor. He managed to ride it out.
The only bike the Mt St Helens MC tech inspectors had real doubts about, mainly due to the pipes. They let it through anyway. Viva Dirt Quake.
Eric had great dirt track style, even on a chopper, elbow high, hips twisted, toe out...
Hand-shifting in practice. The guy in the poncho was spotted nine hours later jumping the camp fire.
Ashley from Canada stopped off on his way back to Vancouver after a six -month road trip with his wife and baby daughter is an old van pulling an older Airstream, with an even old K-Model Harley shop on a rack on the back. He won a prize in the chopper show then raced the same bike. Class act.
Most of these photos are from practice. The final was under the floodlights. Dirt Quake USA's Chopper final came after a few very heavy crashes in other races, a couple of which needed medical attention. The Castle Rock track was perfect on Saturday night, very 'racey' and superb to race on, allowing experienced riders to push hard and really slide and spin. However, it would let the inexperienced ride up a point, lulling them into a Mert Lawwill fantasy, before catching them out if they took liberties with too much throttle, and not enough body English (read Chris Carr's  superb guide to flat track body English in Sideburn 25). 

I had a quiet word with all the chopper riders in the staging area before their final, as the paramedics gumball lights strobed the track picking up one hapless hero. I wanted to remind them that no one wanted to see them leave the track in an ambulance. I pointed out that they'd already put on a great show, and that they should enjoy themselves. After my pep talk one of the rider's wive or girlfriends appeared, semi-freaking out, telling the riders how frightened she was and, I'm paraphrasing, telling her fella not to be a dick. I think I put it better, but whatever, it was a good race and no one fell off. Result. G

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