ZY. About Me

Posted 9/9/2013

I started riding motorcycles in 1968 when I was in college. I was a street rider, a rank beginner with a lot to learn. I discovered I loved riding, then found that I liked riding fast on curvy roads.

A painful accident caused me to consider racing, trading the dangers of the street for the relative safety of the race track. I started road racing at the club level in 1973.

In 1977 I was invited to race Ducatis owned and tuned by Dale Newton. We surprised a lot of people by winning the Sears Point AMA National Superbike race, my first professional race. Later that year we backed that up with a fourth at Laguna Seca and third place at Riverside.

In 1978 Dale and I raced in five of the six AMA Superbike races. In chronological order our finishes were DNF (mechanical) at Daytona, a fourth place at Loudon, another win at Sears Point, DNF (crash) at Pocono and a close second place at Laguna Seca. I ended up third in the championship that year.

In 1979 Dale couldn’t sponsor a bike so I choose to ride the ex-Butler & Smith BMW, then owned by San Jose BMW. We did not do well. After a couple of club races in 1980 I retired from racing. I was 32 years old and it was time to concentrate on career and family.

Between street riding, club racing and Superbike racing I’ve managed to collect a few stories. I’ll tell some of them in this blog. Watch for updates from time to time.

5 thoughts on “ZY. About Me

  1. Through a quirky turn of events, I have found you — without looking! — and read your book. I’d like to connect with you, and I’m hoping that this won’t be a “public” post, but I have a scrappy feeling that it is. Doesn’t matter, more importance in the reach.

    • Marie,
      I tried contacting you through the email address that came with your comment, but have received no reply. I’m trying a reply to your comment. Let me know if you get this, as the ‘uninima@gmail.com’ didn’t work.

  2. HI Paul, have you ever thought about doing a blog on Ron Grant? I am working on researching his background for a future article for Kiwi Rider magazine but finding results is difficult. I have discovered some of his results in Britain before he went to the USA in 1962, and also have some of his AMA National results (from combing through the AMA journal ‘American Motorcyclist’ – which is searchable on-line at
    http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/For-Members/The-Magazine/Magazine-Archive). PROBLEM is, the AMA has not posted its 1967, ’68 and ’69 journals, and 1973 and 1974 are not available either – crucial years as that was toward the end of Ron’s on-track racing activities.

    Ron clearly did a lot of racing in California and other western states before joining the National scene around 1966 racing a Manx Norton. He raced the Manx in California events and also raced a Parilla 250 (and probably anything elsse he could get his arse onto!).

    I take it you have access to AFM event archives so it would be interesting to see what his results were there.


    Michael Esdaile

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