if I had to pick my favorite bike of all time, This Honda would be it. I don’t even really like Honda, but she’s special to me. We’ve been thru as many of the best moments I’ve ever had racing flat track as the worst. She’s spit me off plenty of times, but always took care of me. I never even gave her a name.
Maybe she doesn’t have a name because I blew up her several times, so I guess you could say I got my vengeance. I had talked my way into letting a very kind track owner in Georgia allow me to camp and practice at my favorite 1/4 track in the south in preparation for the Daytona AMA GNC2 opener a few weeks later. It was me and my dog in my van, and my pops in his RV. I had 2 identical 2009 crf450r motorcycles setup exactly the same for pro flat track racing. I rode the shit out of these bikes for a week straight. I rode them so hard, I blew them up on 3 different occasions during the week. The first bike to break down was this one. After I few hot laps I noticed a weird tinking noise coming from the head so I decided to shut it down.
I pulled the valve cover off in my pit and noticed that the weight on the end of the cam for the auto de-comp had broken off. Luckily it was in the bottom of the head, but hadn’t interfered with the valves or cam. I took a break, hopped on the backup bike, and ran about 8 or 9 hot laps. At this point I my opinion riding flat track just about the best I ever had and have in my life. Even my pops didn’t have anything negative to say. On the last lap I was coming out of turn 2 in 4th gear at about 50mph and the rear wheel locked up. It thru me over the high side hard. I had a little dirt-rash but was fine other wise. I walking over to my backup bike, picked her up, and fluid started to pour out of the bottom. I took a peak at the case protector and saw pebble sized pieces of metal.
I got the backup bike back to the pit and started tearing it down to see the damage. It was catastrophic. The rod broke and not only cracked the cylinder but also punched several holes in both crankcases. It was trashed. The only good thing was the head seemed to be ok. I quickly made a plan to swap the intact cam from the exploded bike. It worked. I had this bike up and running again!
I rode the shit out of her for the next 3 days. I was one with this bike. At the end of day 3 I was coming out of turn 4 onto the front straight and the back wheel locked up. I got thrown to the ground, but it wasn’t as violent. When I got her back to my pit, I quickly discovered it was a catastrophic failure, almost identical to the backup bike. FUCK!