Thursday, December 31, 2009
in the early to mid 70s, I had the pleasure of seeing Kenny 'The King' Roberts win
his second AMA Grand National Championship at my very first flat track race at Terre Haute
back in August of '74. Corky Keener won the race on one of Bart Markel's XR's, shared in the
normal revelry in victory lane, and then watched as I did, a virgin to the sport, as the AMA
handed the #1 plate and standard laurels to The King for clinching his 2nd Grand National
Championship that day. From that day on, I was not only hooked, but realized I was seeing
history in the making. If not re-writing of the history books as they pertained to motorcycle
Today we wish that same man a VERY Happy Birthday, and celebrate his two AMA Grand
National Championships in '73-'74, his three 500cc World Championships in '78-'80, and his
clinching of three 500cc World Championships as a team owner with Wayne Rainey in '90-'92 as well as his 250cc World Championship in '90 with John Kocinski. Among many other highlights
throughout his career. If you would like a quick synopsis of that career, read on here:
We want to thank The King as well for all the years, all the memories, and all the kickin' a..
and taking names he has done over the course of the last four decades. It has been a great run, and after seeing you hot lap at Indy on the TZ replica some four months ago, we can't wait to see
you back on track as an owner, or even wowwing the fans doing demo laps again soon. If not
for you, motorcycle flat track and road racing wouldn't even be a shadow of what it is today!
God Bless, Happy Birthday, and Long Live The King!
The shots for this momentous post today were taken during the '75 season at Terre Haute and
at Louisville during practice and qualifying for those events. I hope you enjoy as we celebrate
the birth of The King. Thanks for stopping by and we'll see you all next year!
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
the track. From the time I first got into this flat track and road race thing, in early '74
for the sake of argument, I had heard of the exploits of one Mr. Rayborn, the type of racer
and person he was, and what a sheer master he was on the track.
December 29th marks the 36th anniversary of his demise, and Dean Adams over at his
great site http://www.superbikeplanet.com/ has a very poignant story and article about the
late and great Mr. Cal Rayborn that is a must read for any and all motorcycle race fans.
Please take the time to check it out here:
Thanks again Dean for a great historical look at one of our heroes of this wonderful sport.
I threw in the shots above that I took of 'the' streamliner that is talked about in the article.
This little piece is now on display at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.
In late 1970 this machine was used to break the land speed record that held for some five
years. The pilot--Cal Rayborn. So journey on to those wonderful days of yesteryear and
take a look and a read on this piece of motorcycle racing history. And I added a couple of links
below for you to read more about this man who touched the sport in the mid-late '60s until his
too-early demise in late '73. RIP Cal Rayborn and thanks for setting and keeping the bar
Friday, December 25, 2009
of Kevin Schwantz' Suzuki RGV500 '93 World Championship winning motorcycle as is now
currently being displayed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. You can read all of
the other details and non-details as I posted about in yesterday's post, along with the 'official' releases about when this wonderful piece of machinery and racing history was put on display
towards the end of last summer. These are just a few more shots to keep the adrenaline
flowing while another end to another wonderful Christmas Holiday winds down.
Thanks again to everyone involved in making this display at IMS possible, including #34
himself, Kevin Schwantz. And thanks for the great memories as well!
And thanks to you for taking the time to drop in and share your time with us here at
Stu's Shots. God Bless, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and thanks
for riding by to check us out. It's been a pleasure sharing all of these wonderful racing
shots and memories with each and every one of you!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum one of THE very bikes that he won the '93
World 500cc Championship with. As the story goes, thanks to the fine folks at
http://www.cycleworld.com/, Suzuki had presented this one to #34 after he had won the
championship. After some work done by one of his former mechanics, the bike was
ready to go again for his demonstration laps on August 30th. Sometime just after having
completed those demo laps, the bike went into the museum at the speedway, and has
been on display there since.
I was fortunate enough to be able to get some shots of that very bike this week, and wanted
to post some of those today and in the near future. Looking at was then over a million dollar
motorcycle was awe inspiring, and being able to behold the craftsmanship and details of this
sweet piece was very fulfilling and an honor.
You can read the official story from CW below, and I tossed in some other significant links to
this post from the great folks at http://www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com/ that will take you to the speedway information homepage, the official stats of Mr. Kevin Schwantz' career thanks to the
great people at http://www.motogp.com/ and the official link to the official website of the '93 World
Champion himself, http://www.kevin-schwantz.com/. You can read up below!
I wanted to share this with you today and to wish you a VERY Merry Christmas and a VERY
Happy New Year as well. Thanks to all for taking the time to come by and check out Stu's
Shots as it is a work in progress, but it has also been a boatload of fun to put together. And to share this stuff with the masses is to share our stories, our love of the sport, and to pass on
to others, as in life, what you have learned and gained from as you enjoy another moment. We
all know that some of this great pashion that we share in this great sport of 2 wheel racing is like a drug but we also know that it is what keeps the adrenaline flowing and gets us through our 'normal' life until the next horsepower and speed event comes around to give us another thrill.
God Bless to all and have a SAFE and HAPPY Holiday! And enjoy!!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
More often then not when going to all these different races over the years, we've also come
acrossed some pretty cool street bikes along with the usual array of high performance--and
high dollar--racing machinery. The bikes that pique your interest may be different then the
ones that pique your buddy's. But that doesn't make them any more or less significant, just
unique to what YOU or THEY consider unique, rad or sick. And they don't have to be some high dollar Euro machine, or some over-chromed virtual boat anchor, nor some high performance
rice burner that sings like a chain saw on acid. They can be your normal run-of-the mill breed,
a low dollar home-build, or even a rare-or getting rare as you get older-model you coveted as
a child or a teenager in lust.
One of those for me was the early to mid '70s Yamaha R5 and RD series bikes built on the 250/
350/400 2-stroke platform in the day. They were relatively inexpensive, easy to maintain,
and gas AND oil were cheap in those days. Think cheap--good gasoline, before ethanol blends,
could be had for less then 50 cents a gallon. And even based on a bike that would get 30-35
miles per gallon, at that price you didn't even THINK about fuel mileage in those days.
I came acrossed this hybrid-built bike at Elkhart Lake back in '06. The attached story from
Florida Steve's http://2strokebiker.blogspot.com/ site will tell the full story behind it, but
wanted to show you another shot of this beauty I took as it sat next to an early '70s Honda
CL175 that was immaculate as well. A stark contrast in the bare bones but very well built
Honda high-pipe Scrambler, which appeared to be bone-stock, right down to the tires even.
And the RD-inspired street tracker with the hand machined rear sets and radical look
stingers on the expansion chambers in a flat track-themed rolling chassis. BOTH very sweet
and both quite the bike for their day. And even today!
So take a read at what Steve has to say as he is the 2 stroke king knowing these bikes, and then
what I had to throw in from when I took the shots. Maybe someone out there will recognize
this sweet piece and contact us and fill us in on it. And being the old 2 stroke head that I have
been, that would just be SMOKIN'!!
Thanks for coming by, and thanks again and as always to Florida Steve for helping to diplay
some more of my stuff. Check his stuff out as he runs an ultra sano site with some ultra
sano pics and info. I just can't stop drooling...or smokin'.......
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all! And to all a good night.....
Saturday, December 19, 2009
That sound you are hearing is pretty much like the one you hear after flushing your toilet,
as it was announced yesterday that Kawasaki would be pulling out all support, direct or otherwise, in AMA/DMG Road Racing in the U.S. Whether you attribute that to the
lackluster economy or the way the dominoes have been falling with the DMG-run AMA Pro Racing series is up to you. They did state in the official release that it was due to the poor economy, but one can't help but feel that the hot potatoe of AMA Road Racing as we have
seen it run by the Damaged Motorcycle Guys could or would have some major significance
to it as well. That is purely speculation and me just talking out loud.
The worst of it all is the fact that it leaves two more highly qualified riders without rides for
2010 season--Jamie Hacking and Roger Lee Hayden. And with the current situation here as
well as the global economy being major factors, and most teams having contracts and teams
in place for the upcoming season, that can't be good. For anyone, but especially now Jamie
Hacking and Roger Lee Hayden. You can read the official release here thanks to the super crew of people over at Dean Adams' http://www.superbikeplanet.com/. We appreciate their efforts!
If you take the time to list all of the great riders who have ridden for Kawasaki in the last 3
decades alone you would run out of ink. Well, almost. Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey, Scott
Russell, Fred Merkel, Doug Chandler, Eric Bostrom, Jamie Hacking, Tommy Hayden, Roger
Lee Hayden. And that's just for starters for the factory teams. The supported teams includeJamie Hacking and Roger Lee Hayden again, Josh Hayes, Jason Pridmore, Steve
Rapp, Chazz Davies, Ben Attard. And the championships and race wins with these very
informal let alone incomplete lists goes on even longer.
While you are bummin' like I am that the once strong U.S. road racing series is hitting some
very turbulent times--like you didn't think it could get any worse then the '09 season--at least
we can relish in the great memories that teams like the Muzzy Kawasaki effort, the official Team
Kawasaki and Kinko's Kawasaki and Attack Kawasaki have given us over the course of these
last three decades. And to help with those memories I grabbed a couple of shots from the dust
bins to throw in for today's story. Having been taking these pro road racing pictures now since the early '80s, I still have a boat load of scanning to do from the earlier years, so this is in no way indicative nor is it a slam against the rider pics I DIDN'T use on this post. These were handy and seemed good for today so please don't anyone get their panties in a bunch since I didn't have any actions shots of Scott 'The Screaming Chief' Russell or of Doug 'The Triple Threat' Chandler or of a lot of great riders who have thrown a leg over a factory or factory-supported Team Green bike. Again, these were handy and if you have been or will be in the future a follower of Stu's Shots you know I am likely to bring just about anything out at any given time--get your mind out of the gutter as I'm talking about my pics here! You pervs! So just so we are straight on that now, let's take a gander at today's offerings!
Top shot to start off this series is a shot of Doug Chandler's #10 ZXR750 Team Kawasaki Superbike in the paddock at Road America in 2000. Doug won Superbike Championships for
Rob Muzzy and Team Green in '90, '96 and '97.
Next up is Roger Lee Hayden on the #95 Team Kawasaki 600 Super Sport machine while qualifying for the Mid Ohio race in 2005. We then have a shot of Eric Bostrom on the Team Kawasaki #32 ZXR750 while qualifying for the superbike race at Mid Ohio in 2000. Fourth in our series today is Josh Hayes on the Attack Kawasaki ZX10 #41 during the second superbike race of the weekend at Mid Ohio in 2004. And our fifth and final shot today is of Jamie Hacking's
Team Monster Energy ZX-10R Superbike #2 in the Road America paddock in June of '08.
So as you are contemplating as I am that the World Superbike and MotoGP series are looking
even stronger for the 2010 season then they were in '09, let us all take the time to hope and
pray that not only the economy comes back around, but that sometime SOON so does the
AMA Road Racing series here in the good ole U.S. of A. And we can see all of the racers
deserving of a ride and fans deserving of a professionally run series that doesn't come off like
the dirty little red headed step child that it seems to have taken on the look of. But, that's just
Thanks again for coming by and putting up with my rants and opinions and checking out Stu's
Shots. We appreciate you taking time out of your day to drop in and check us out. You rock!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Or at least we read. But that's another subject for another time.....
Thanks to Dean Adams and crew over at http://www.superbikeplanet.com/ for the awesome interview
with '02 AMA Superbike and '06 MotoGP Champion, Nicky Hayden, we can all check in with
Nicky and see what he has to say on his overall season from this year and what he is expecting
out of the Ducati team for the upcoming 2010 MotoGP season. You can read it here:
While perusing the interview-and the other bitchin stuff on Dean's site-you can check out the
pictures to go with today's posting. These are a small offering of shots I took of Nicky
while he was riding for Honda here in the States during the '99 and '01 seasons at Mid Ohio.
While filling in as a 'wild card' rider on the official factory team in '99, Nicky sported the #169
while riding the RC-45 during the latter part of the season that year. One of the shots shows
him in practice, while the other shows him running high, wide and handsome on the outside with a group of riders during the Superbike final that weekend in turn 14. Others in that shot include team mate Eric Bostrom #32 on another of the ultra radical RC-45's as well as Aaron Yates on the Muzzy Kawasaki #20, with Team Yamaha's Jamie Hacking on the #92 in tow, team mates Pascal Picotte #21 and Scott Russell #4 on the Team Harley VR1000's sandwiching the
Competition Accessories Ducati of #72 Larry Pegram.
Also at the top is Nicky on the #69 RC51 in turn 14 in route to winning race 2 of the weekend
at Mid Ohio in '01, as well as a shot of him having just gotten around '99-'01 AMA Superbike
Champion--at the time--#1 Mat Mladin. And last but not least is a shot of his race winning Team Honda Universal Studios RC51 in the paddock area. Nicky went on to win the Superbike
Championship in '02 while riding for Team Honda America as well.
Thanks again to Dean and company for the sweat and efforts to get this interview for all of
Nicky's fans. We all hope that 2010 brings the same results at EVERY race as what we saw
out of The Kentucky Kid during the Indy MotoGP round. Go get 'em man!
And thanks to everyone out there for stopping in today. Enjoy and take care!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Great news for Colin Edwards and for his fans came from a story from the great folks
at http://www.crash.net/ from across the pond the other day that pretty much confirms that
Colin Edwards pretty much has a job for life with the Herve Poncharal-owned Tech III
Monster Energy Yamaha team. The team owner confided that the relationship with
The Texas Tornado and the team has been wonderful, as have been the results, plus
with Ben Spies coming on for the 2010 season to help firm up Team Redneck--or Team
Texas should you prefer--the number one satellite team in the MotoGP paddock has
a great future as well. And should CE take up Mr. Poncharal on that offer the team will
have a solid leader down the road to take them into the depths of the decade in top form.
You can check the story out here while you are checking out the shots for the day:
And to fill you in a little more on CE's background check this out:
And to fill you in a little more on CE's background check this out:
After having won the '92 AMA 250GP Championship, The Texas Tornado made his move up
the ladder and joined the Vance and Hines Yamaha Superbike team for the '93-'94 seasons,
where he finished a respectable 6th and 5th those seasons, while also going on a roll by winning
3 of 4 of the final events in the '94 season. By '95, he jumped across the pond to field
3 of 4 of the final events in the '94 season. By '95, he jumped across the pond to field
a Yamaha Factory mount in the World Superbike, and won his first WSBK Championship
in '99, and following it up with a second crown in'02 while riding for the British-based
Castrol Honda team. Since the '03 season, Mr. Edwards has been a regular top 5-6
performer in the MotoGP series, capping it off with a 5th place finish this year, the first
'non-full factory' man in the championship. A deed hard and well earned against the
best in the world.
Having watched the man win and compete since the early '90s, I have become a big fan
of the double 'T' and am thrilled he has done so well over the years. The shots I have thrown
in today are of CE from the '94 season at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI. as well as Road
Atlanta in Braselton, GA.
The top shot we have of Colin coming into turn 7 at Road Atlanta during qualifying for the
season ending event that year. We follow that with a picture of Colin leading Pascal Picotte
on the Fast By Ferraci Ducati as they come out from under the bridge down the hill into
the last turn during the final. We then have a shot of Colin leading his team mate, Jamie
James, the '89 AMA Superbike Champion on his #2 Vance and Hines Yamaha as they head
into turn 14 during the final that w/e. Several laps later, CE would bin it coming out of this
turn. We then have another shot of Colin in qualifying at Road Atlanta, and we finish out with
CE in the middle of a pack that includes team mates on the Fast By Ferraci Ducati #21 Pascal
Picotte, eventual '94 AMA Superbike Champion Troy Corser on his #19, and Dave Sadowski
on his privateer Ducati. This shot is also during the Road Atlanta season ender finale as they
come out from under the downhill run bridge.
Congrats to The Texas Tornado on this announcement and to all he has given us race fans over
the years to cheer for and be proud of. And to the man who coined the Team Redneck term
for himself and Ben Spies for the 2010 MotoGP season, go get 'em dude, and thanks for all of
the great memories and rides. You truly rock!
And thanks to all of you for dropping in to say high and spending your time with Stu's Shots.
You rock too!!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
I wanted to get your attention to this great series of shots that Dean Adams and his crew
over at www.superbikeplanet.com put up today, so I threw in a shot of '91 AMA Superbike
Champion Thomas Stevens doing a wicked stand up at Mid Ohio in '97 on the Vance and
Dean and company put up the following post of some super road racing stuff from the late '60s
to the mid '70s. Absolutely bitchin stuff as seen through the lens of one Mr. Allen Engel, who
took them all back in the day. Wonderful stuff, and if you have about 10-15 minutes to want
to re-live or re-visit or re-dream about those thrilling days of yesteryear, well, other then
Stu's Shots, this is the place to do it:
Again, a major tip of the helmet to Allen Engel for all of these wonderful shots, and we will be
on the look out for more of this in the future from Dean and his crew at www.superbikeplanet.com. Thanks again to them and to you for stopping by. We appreciate
your patronage and that you are willing to spend your time checking our stuff out. Enjoy!
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Profiles In Courage Pt. Deux: Gary Mathers, Team Honda Road Race and Flat Track Manager, 2009 AMA Hall of Fame Inductee
Most of the time, the guys behind the scenes in motorcycle racing don't get the grand
treatment that the riders do. They are running the team, hiring personnel, overseeing
the budgets, yada, yada, yada......
Last Saturday, one of those guys not only got the grand treatment, but he was inducted
into the AMA Hall of Fame class of 2009 That man, Gary Mathers, possibly hired and sired more winning riders and winning teams then anyone in AMA, or possibly even, world racing history.
Starting with Team Kawasaki in the mid '70s and retiring with Team Honda in 2001, names such as Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey, Bubba Shobert, Ricky Graham, Miguel Duhamel, Jake Zemke, Fred Merkel, Mike Baldwin and Randy Renfrow, were a few of the riders that competed for Kawasaki and Honda under the tutelage of Mr. Mathers. Not to mention tuners such as Rob Muzzy, the late great Sparky Edmundson and Merlyn Plumlee. The list goes on and
on as do the championships fought for and won and earned. The man is a legend to say the least.
To help celebrate this, and all of the grand achievements that Gary Mathers brought to the
world of road racing and flat track racing, let alone all the glory, I have put some shots together
of Gary and Rob shooting the bull at Road America in the paddock in '94, as well as some shots
of some of those riders and equipment.
The second shot in this series is a shot of Miguel Duhamel's RC-51 Superbike in pre-race
tear down trim while a couple of the team wrenches discuss strategy. The third shot in is
Miguel Duhamel on the #1 Honda CBR600RR leading his team mate Jake Zemke on the
#98 as they go about running away with the FX race at Mid Ohio in July of 2005.
Fourth shot in is one of a series of shots I took at the Indy Mile back in '84. This was in the
Sunday afternoon race as Team Honda RS750-mounted Super Team riders Ricky Graham
#3, Doug Chandler #10, and Bubba Shobert #67 do their impression of checking out on
the field in the final.
Congratulations to Gary Mathers and the rest of the 2009 inductees. And thanks for
all the great memories and great racing over the years. You helped put on one heck of
a great show for a very long time!
And thanks as always to the GREAT folks at www.cyclenews.com for the link on the story of
the induction ceremonies, and thanks as well to the AMA Hall of Fame for the official link
on the rundown on Gary Mathers.
Also a big thanks to you for coming by and sharing your time with Stu's Shots. It's great to
have you and I hope you can find time to come back by again soon! Take care and enjoy!
Saturday, December 5, 2009
According to an official release from the great folks at www.cyclenews.com, Larry Pegram
is ready to go racing in the AMA Superbike series for the 2010 season with Ducati again.
After a decade between wins, Larry pulled off three big wins this year one of which was at
Road America, and showed strong promise in the series overall with his showing on the
Foremost Insurance Ducati. With the economy in flux the way it has been and currently is,
Pegram is taking on a big load considering as of yet Ducati hasn't officially announced any
help being thrown his way. Though more likely then not it will happen, Pegram also feels
with the strong support of his other sponsors he should be able to pull off a great effort.
You can read the official release from CN below as you check out the shots I have attached
Starting from the top we see Larry on the Competition Accessories-sponsored Ducati at Mid
Ohio during the 2nd Superbike race of the 2001 season. He's chasing Doug Chandler on the
Kawasaki factory #10 while Tommy Hayden on the Team Yamaha #22 tries to keep in touch.
We then have a shot of Larry Competition Accessories Ducati in the paddock during the AMA
weekend in 1999, followed by a shot of Larry getting his Ducati flat tracker ready for the Indy Mile back in August of this year.
And the last two shots are of Larry's Leo Vince-sponsored Honda CBR1000RR painted in the
'80s retro colors from a paddock shot at Road America in '06, and finally the Foremost Insurance
sponsored Ducati from the '09 season that was on display during MotoGP weekend back
in August of this year.
Congrats to Larry on not only a super year. He's been around the road racing and flat track
scene since the early '90s and is finally tasting and feeling the success that has eluded him on
a high, let alone regular level that he has deserved. Always one of the nice guys in the paddock--
and when hanging and partying with the fans in the campgrounds--it's good to see him doing
so well. We wish him all the luck in his pursuit of the AMA Superbike Championship for the
2010 season and also hope to see him at some dirt tracks kicking it up as well!
Thanks for coming by to hand out with us and we hope you can come back by again soon!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
With all due respects to Brett over at http://www.triumphflattrack.com/, I want to take the time
to profile 2009 AMA Hall of Fame Inductee Mr. Chuck Palmgren, former National #38,
former Triumph factory rider, and former Indy Mile Winner.
When I first got into this dirt track thing back in the summer of '74, Chuck was one of the
hot shoes on the scene and had been so for quite some time. Having left Triumph at that
point, he was riding the All American Racers--AAR--sponsored Yamaha twin. Having a guy
sponsored by legendary racer/tuner/engineer Dan Gurney in motorcycle racing was big
to a kid like me at the time of 18 and having lived and loved Indy car racing for years, knew
about DG. And as naive as I was at the time and just a newby to the sport, I figured the guy
was probably pretty good. And I wasn't wrong. He won several nationals and was always in
the hunt and had already won Indy a year or so before I actually found the sport. And the guy
was a jewel to watch as you knew he might just be running it at just about any spot on the
track to make that Yamaha work.
So today we salute Chuck Palmgren for his past accomplishments and for being one of the
nice guys in the sport, and for his being enshrined this coming weekend in the AMA Hall of
Fame. Mr. Palmgren, please take a bow. Congratulations to you and to those that helped
you along your journey to make it to the big hall. And thanks for the great memories!
I threw in the link to Brett's story over on http://www.triumphflattrack.com/ as he actually has
a real nice shot of Chuck on the Triumph. And after reading his story, I thought it would
be better served to include his story on this legend. And I also tossed in the official release
as was sent out by the AMA Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame. You can find those links
And while you are checking out the official news on the ceremony for this w/e, you can also
check out the shots I have added to help salute one of the heroes of flat track.
In the top shot you can see Chuck running it in on the outside hard going into turn 3, just
hammering Steve Morehead #42 on a Triumph right behind him, while coming up the inside
is #68c Steve Freeman on his XR.
In the second shot we have Chuck going into turn 1 at Terre Haute in 1975, followed by a
shot of him on the Yamaha 360 short tracker during practice for the Pontiac short track race
In our fourth shot we have #84x Ted Boody, #11 Don Castro, Chuck, #62 Corky Keener, as
well as #86 Ken Springsteen running together in practice for the short track at Pontiac in '76.
And last but not least we have a shot of Chuck at Syracuse in '75 as he leads '69 Grand
National Champion Mert Lawill on the #7, with #92 Steve Droste on the HJ Products-
sponsored XR right behind.
Again, we want to thank and congratulate Chuck Palmgren on his induction this weekend
and I want to thank everyone for taking the time to come by and hang out. And I hope you
can come back again soon! Take care and enjoy.