It Couldn’t Be Better or more Beautiful
I am a man of many strange thoughts. Although, they are predominantly centered around riding free and helping others. I woke up the other beautiful morning and noted how the heat has subsided some and it was a perfect day for working in the shop and getting shit done.
Stage 7 turned out to be one of the better days for the sweep crew since the trailer only carried three bikes into the Harley-Davidson of Tallahassee dealership at the end of the day. After a tasty dinner hosted by the dealership, our gracious hosts opened up their service department and allowed riders to wrench on every available lift and the grateful jockeys took full advantage of the opportunity. From oil changes to rewiring, bikes were getting their jockey’s full attention. While breakdowns may be fewer, wrenching is definitely not ignored as riders fight to keep their machines off the trailer and on schedule.
Though Todd Cameron, #99, still holds first place, the top five ranks have been juggled to now include a BSA, two Harley-Davidsons, a Triumph and a Henderson. And one woman rider! But we’re not going to jinx her. Instead, we’ll point out that this Grandma is steadily gaining rank and scoring well on the daily quizzes.
As riders left the Canadian border 7 days ago, they started out with 44 Harley-Davidsons, 15 Indians, 3 BSAs, 3 Triumphs and one each Velocette, Nimbus, Norton and a Zundapp. As of tonight, there have been 10 drop outs for various reasons, including health.
Weather is a concern now as the group crossed into Florida today with another weather pattern forming out at sea that may bring heavy rain and winds as riders make their way to the Florida Keys.
The American Motorcycle Association Motorcycle Hall of Fame announced this week that they will add five new inductees at their annual ceremony on December 6 in Columbus, Ohio.
Included in the Class of 2019 is Dale Walksler, founder and curator of Dale’s Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, NC. Walksler’s induction to the Hall of Fame pays tribute to his lifelong passion and tireless effort to preserve and promote vintage American motorcycling.’
Walksler’s introduction to American motorcycling came when he bought a wrecked Harley-Davidson Servi-Car from behind a local repair shop. A few weeks later, he rode the machine out of his garage and into a lifelong love of motorcycles. After high school, he opened a motorcycle custom shop and then a Harley-Davidson dealership in 1974. During its 26 years, Dale’s Harley-Davidson of Mt. Vernon was continually recognized as a top 100 dealer, receiving countless awards from Harley-Davidson and industry organizations alike.
Over the years, Walksler continued to add to his personal collection some of the rarest and most historic American motorcycles and collectibles, eventually opening a museum to attract customers to his dealership. When he sold his dealership in 1999, he moved to Maggie Valley, NC to open Dale’s Wheels Through Time Museum. Recognized worldwide for its all-American collection of vintage motorcycles and automobiles, each machine being kept in running and operating condition. The museum has hosted over a million and a half visitors during its seventeen years in North Carolina. Walksler’s legacy includes not only the museum but his own celebrated television show, “What’s In The Barn,” as well as numerous appearances on other programs such as “American Pickers,” “Chasing Classic Cars,” and “American Restoration.”
The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame was started in 1998 and exists to “to honor the legends and heroes of American motorcycling and highlight their achievements and contributions to motorcycling.”
Ken Ford, a member of the AMA board of directors, said, “The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2019 includes individuals who have impacted motorcycling in positive and powerful ways, as both advocates and sportsmen, leaving a lasting impression on the sport we all love. Generations of motorcyclists owe them a debt of gratitude for their accomplishments. We’re honored to recognize them this December 6 at the induction ceremony as the newest members of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.”
The other four inductees for 2019 include Mark Buckner, Kurt Caselli, Ron Lechien, and Wiltz Wagner.
Founded in 1924 with a mission to “to promote the motorcycling lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling,” the American Motorcyclist Association now boasts over 200,000 members and in excess of 1,110 chartered clubs.
The city of Chattanooga sits in a valley between two small mountains, Lookout Mountain and Signal Mountain, and this day of exceptional riding started out with Chase riders climbing out of the valley up above the clouds that engulfed the city below for a breath-taking view as they set out for there 258-mile day. >From the “Rock City” point they rode past, it’s said that seven U.S. states could be seen: Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, but there was no time for dawdling since weather was an issue again as the heat index started to climb early.
Riders ended their day at the very welcoming Harley-Davidson of Macon, Georgia. The family owned dealership celebrated Grover Sassaman’s 98th birthday earlier this year but you’d never have guessed he was closing in on the century mark. As founder of the company, Sassaman first attended Harley-Davidson® Factory School in 1939, establishing a life-long relationship with the Motor Company, and he was happy to share the particulars of how he came to be the longest owned independent dealership in the world. Quick and witty, Grover talks motorcycles with the best of them, sharing dates, details and tidbits that held the group in rapture.
Grover cruised the property on his scooter greeting the CCC group and offered great advice to riders, including rider #35. Jon Dobbs had his 1939 HD EL in the service bay due to coil problems and Mr. Sassaman offered tips on what could be causing the trouble since the EL has consumed 4 coils since the start of the run. Dobbs later started the bike and rode it out of the dealership, so we’re betting the problems are solved.
Grover rolled through the Chase bikes outside and was particularly smitten with the 1939 HD EL owned by rider #61, Bob Zeolla, because he considered it to be one of the most original of machine on the run. Tomorrow’s route will take riders 249-miles down the road to end at Harley-Davidson of Tallahassee with bikes being on display between 4:30-6:00 pm. Come join us, you never know who you might get to meet!
Stage 5 means we’ve hit the half-way mark for the Cross Country Chase, leaving just 5 more days of competition. Today’s tour started off with incredible narrow roads through the gently rolling hills of Kentucky where the wheels of time seemingly stand still before riding deeper into the lush thickets of Tennessee’s backwoods. As the shortest day of the course, riders enjoyed the dense scenery as well as the interactions with locals.
The entire day’s route was mesmerizingly beautiful, but it was also pushing 100-degrees out and the intense temperatures, coupled with oppressive humidity, took its toll on both the jockeys and their machines. A nice grilled lunch was offered by Bumpus Harley-Davidson before riders set off to tackle the twisties and make their way on to Coker Tires in Chattanooga, Tennessee for a hosted dinner. The group then scooted over to the iconic Choo Choo Hotel where they found a thousand things to do and see around the historic train station-turned-hotel. The terminal was originally built in 1908, remodeled into the current hotel setting in 1973, and riders were delighted by both the history and the ambience of the cool old property. The sight of the ornate, historic station surrounded by smoking, wheezing antique motorcycles that are in the process of making modern day history just seemed to add another layer of cool to the experience.
By the end of the day, the sweep truck was filled to capacity with broken machines and made for a long day for both staff and riders. Tomorrow’s temps are predicted to be much the same. The top four places are taken by riders from all three classes and, as we have witnessed, it could all change in a day. Check out the scores below and…Stay tuned!
I am Rogue’s 2009 Harley FLHTC and I am using the name Dirty Girl for this article because well I am, Oh not that kind of dirty girl silly. Some years ago, after returning from our ride to Sturgis, Rogue said, “Damn Girl Your Dirty,” and the name sort of stuck. To tell the truth I wear it like a badge of honor.
More Twists and Turns, Projects and Priorities
By Bandit with photos by Wrench, Barry Green and Gene Thomason
The new Salt Torpedo body scoops came in, and Jeremiah figured out where they should be placed. I started to work on the body brackets this weekend, but I need another set of hands in the shop to drop the lid into place. I started to collect brackets.
Hunter Sills Racing Earns Four World Records and One U.S. National Record at the AMA and FIM-Sanctioned Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials With Their BMW S 1000 RR Motorcycle
Associated Press | WENDOVER, Utah – September 10, 2019 – ( Newswire.com )
Hunter Sills Racing captured five records with its BMW S 1000 RR at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah, during the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials event held Aug. 24–29, 2019. The team also earned Top Time of the Meet and Fastest Naturally Aspirated Motorcycle and increased the speed of their world’s fastest BMW motorcycle to 238.398 mph. Both riders, Erin Sills and Trev Richter of Hunter Sills Racing, earned 1000cc FIM records aboard a nitrous-powered BMW bike affectionately known as “Snoopy.”
With improving track conditions over the week, the team was able to set records early, then progressively improve them over the event. Ultimately, Sills piloted the Alpine Performance Centre-built BMW S 1000 RR to 237.287 mph to earn the FIM kilometer record in the faired, naturally aspirated 1000cc class; a record that was previously set in 2014 by her late husband Andy Sills, also of Hunter Sills Racing, at 221.863 mph. Erin was later able to improve her own FIM mile record set in 2018 on the Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia at 229.265 mph, making the new mark 236.889 mph.
“After the poor track conditions presented by Mother Nature during Speedweek, we were looking forward to seeing how our bike would perform on a better course,” said Sills, rider and owner of Hunter Sills Racing. “Shane Kinderis of Alpine Performance Centre put together an incredible motor which performed beautifully with the Wizards of NoS nitrous system. I also found the AirTech fairing to be incredibly stable and grounded at speed.”
“Our senior race technician Curtice Thom worked alongside Shane Kinderis again, a pairing that has proven to be very successful over the years. They did an excellent job of keeping the bike in peak performance, and I’m very pleased with our results. As always, we owe a great amount of success with this project to our many technical partners,” added Gary Orr, owner of San Diego BMW Motorcycles and Hunter Sills Racing team member.
Richter, known previously for his “Race For Relief” charity effort World’s Fastest BMW GS (http://huntersillsracing.com/race-for-relief-2018/), also saw much success in his first event racing the BMW S 1000 RR, winning back a record the team lost in Bolivia in 2017 to Nick Genet. Richter increased the FIM and AMA 1000cc naturally aspirated un-faired (“naked”) mile record to 195.674 mph and the FIM kilometer record to 196.206 mph.
“Riding the over 275 horsepower motorcycle without a fairing presents a unique physical challenge, but the team gave me a bike and suspension set-up that enabled me to reach my goal of earning World and National records in my first event,” said Richter.
Hunter Sills Racing is also proud of its contributions to the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials racing community during the week. With the express permission of the Bureau of Land Management, the team built and donated a mock “Bonneville Salt Flats” sign which was installed at the entrance of the Salt Flats for the week-long event. Following the event, HSR auctioned the sign, earning $4,000 to benefit a fallen rider who needed help with medical bills. Erin Sills also continued her Shemoto Scholarship, awarding $2,000 to the Buell Sisters team of Ashley Woodford.
The next event for Hunter Sills Racing will be in support of the Women Riders World Relay, a year-long around-the-world journey of over 10,000 female motorcyclists. Erin Sills will participate in the WRWR’s United States relay Oct. 2-12, 2019.
The team would like to thank their sponsors who make all of this possible: Top 1 Oil, San Diego BMW Motorcycles, Alpine Performance Centre, Colorado ADVmoto, WomenRidersNow.com, BMW Motorrad USA, Helite Airbags, JBA Speed Shop, Motochic, Moto-Skiveez, Ohlins USA, PitBull Motorcycle Stands, Racer Gloves USA, Remus Exhaust, Schuberth Helmets, Sprint Filter, Wizards of NoS, Worldwide Bearings, and Wunderlich.
About Hunter Sills Racing:
Hunter Sills Racing is a female-owned professional land speed racing team including motor builder Shane Kinderis of Alpine Performance Centre, Gary Orr of San Diego BMW Motorcycles, race technician Curtice Thom, and riders Erin Sills and Trev Richter. The team races in memory of the late Andy Sills. Together, the team has earned over 40 World and National records, two Guinness World Book records, Mojave Mile 200 MPH Club membership, Mojave Magnum 200 MPH Club membership, BUB 201 MPH Club membership, Bonneville SCTA 200 MPH Club membership, El Mirage SCTA 200 MPH Club membership, top average mile speed to-date of 238 MPH, and title of World’s Fastest BMW. When not racing the Salt Flats, Richter and Sills both serve as off-road adventure motorcycle riding coaches. Erin Sills has been named 2013 Advertising Age Woman To Watch, 2014 American Motorcyclist Association Female Athlete of the Year, 2014 University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business Distinguished Alumni and is a retired executive with Facebook, Inc. A frequent speaker on behalf of the sport of motorcycling, Sills also serves on the board of directors for the American Motorcyclist Association Hall of Fame Foundation, the FIM Women’s Commission, WomenRidersNow.com and is the founder of the Shemoto Scholarship for females in the sport.
Free motorcycle safety courses are again being offered at Spoon River College this fall.
It’s open to anyone 16 years or older with a valid car license. Motorcycles and helmets are provided.
Call the Spoon River College – Driver Training Office at 647-2794 for more information.