An Index

Updated each time a new page is added, which is once or twice a month.

I started this index by making seven categories. The content of the first three should be obvious.

  1. AFM Club Road Racing,
  2. AMA Professional Road Racing,
  3. Sporting Street Rides,
  4. Technical and Wrenching Stories – stories about race preparation, bike modifications, analysis, comparisons, etc.,
  5. “Racing the Gods” book-related content –- excerpts from the book and adventures while promoting of the book,
  6. Interviews and People – stories about racers and racing people but not necessarily about racing,
  7. Other – the things that don’t fit elsewhere.

Then I sorted the stories into the categories. Some of the stories appear in more than one category. Instead of scrolling up and down a long list you can use this index to find stories of particular interest. Each one is listed by its page title and a sentence or two about it. The page title is a link directly to the page. Let me know if any link doesn’t work correctly.

Stories About Club Road Racing:

First race shot --the Diana

Stories Of AMA Pro Racing.

8.9bThis is a relatively short section because most of my AMA adventures are in the book.

  • ZN. The 1977 Superbike Manufacturer’s Championship. There wasn’t an AMA manufacturer’s championship in 1977, but what if there had been? Five brands won the seven races that year. Who would have been top brand? I worked it out and published the results on this page.
  • ZJ. Superbikes, a New Racing Class. My take on why the Superbike class was created and how it got popular so quickly.
  • ZH. Tracks I’ve Raced. A trip down memory lane for me, describing the tracks I’ve raced, including all the AMA Superbike race tracks I rode.
  • ZE. Rollin’ and Tumblin’. Top Ten reasons racers crash, illustrated by crashes of my own and others, including some crashes at AMA Superbike events.
  • ZD. Early Superbike Iron. A mildly technical analysis of the AMA Superbike racers of the 1976-1979 seasons.
  • YX. The Heat Race. The 1977 AMA Superbike heat race at Sears Point. An excerpt from the book “Racing the Gods.” I nearly crashed, ran off the track and still won the 5-lap sprint. Woo!
  • YO. Superbike Pioneers, 1976-1979. Excerpted from the book “Racing the Gods” then augmented a bit, these are personal looks at the people who put Superbike Racing on the map. These were the Racing Gods I competed with and against. Pridmore, Nielson, McLaughlin, Pierce, Emde. It also looks at the tuners like Schilling, Leoni, and Newton.
  • YF. Ten Memorable Crashes. Ten of my most clearly remembered crashes, including some AMA Superbike tip-overs.
  • YC. Ducati vs. BMW Superbike Racer Comparo. I write about the differences between the Dale Newton Ducatis I raced in AMA in 1977 and 1978 and the ex-Butler & Smith BMW I raced in 1979.
  • WJ. Notable Superbike Teams of the 1970s. Seven rider/team combinations that won AMA Superbike races or championships in the 1970s.
  • WH. Ask me Anything. A re-print of the more interesting questions and answers from my reddit.com’s “Ask Me Anything” session. It contains items about club racing, pro racing, and street riding, and more stuff the defies classification.
  • WD. The Evolution of Style. This story includes both AFM club racing and AMA Pro racing. It’s about how racing styles change over the years.
  • WA. My Fantasy A short story about one of my racing fantasies.
  • VZ. Racing Starts. Observations about race starts, both club and pro level.
  • VQ. Beyond Racer Road 3 – Overdog! – For the 1975 season Cook and Phil switched from a 1972 Ducati 750GT to a 1974 Ducati 750SS. They raced it in club races as well as the new AMA 750 Production class. It was the fastest 750 by far (hence the nickname) able at times to run with the Open (1000cc) class bikes,
  • VO. Beyond Racer Road 4 – A Square Four Two-Stroke – This doesn’t really fit in AMA Pro Racing because it’s about a 500cc FIM Grand Prix motorcycle.
  • VM – Beyond Racer Road 5 – The Hot Rod is Born – Cook Neilson describes his and Phil’s 1976 racing season, both AMA Pro and some club racing. They converted the Ducati 750SS from 750cc to 883cc and went after the AMA Superbike class.

Stories From and About the Book “Racing the Gods.”

Racing the Gods 1_8 Cover-1 resized larger plus OP logo

  • YX. The Heat Race. The 1977 AMA Superbike heat race at Sears Point. An excerpt from the book “Racing the Gods.” I nearly crashed, ran off the track and still won the 5-lap sprint. Woo!
  • YV. Shift When it Gets to F Sharp. This is the corrected version of the story from the book. I claim I had two races on a 6-speed Yamaha RD125. No such thing, it was a normal 5-speed. I remembered it incorrectly. I tried to fix it before the book was printed but it was too late.
  • YS. The Magic of Muscle Memory. Twenty years after last wrenching on a Ducati single, I discover that my hands still know how to do it even after my mind has forgotten.
  • YN. It’s About the Book. This tells why and how the book came to be, and how it evolved through six versions until it became good enough for publication.
  • YK. Road Trip! Oregon to Austin. Not really a story, just a note about why there is no story.
  • YI. MotoGP at Circuit of the Americas. About our trip to the MotoGP/MotoAmerica races at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin Texas. The book’s publisher, Octane Press, is headquartered in Austin, and the book debuted that weekend. We had some interesting adventures while there.
  • YD. Sacramento Mile 2015. The page documents the people I met while there and the Flat Track race itself. We were there as guests of promoter Steve McLaughlin.
  • YA. Repetitions of a Theme. Excerpts from three different parts of the book that illustrate one of the themes that has run through my life/
  • WX. Meeting Old and New Friends at Laguna Seca. We went to the World Superbike-MotoAmerica races at Laguna Seca to watch the races and sign books. During the weekend we met a bunch of cool folks, including Ducati’s Vicki Smith and Quentin Wilson, Yamaha man Bob Starr, Randy Mamola, Cameron Beaubier, Josh Hayes, and to top it off, Wayne Rainey. Wow.
  • WN. Adventures in Alabama. Dee and Russ and I flew to Birmingham for the Barber Vintage Festival this year, for fun and to promote the book. It was a great trip.
  • WN. Tires Matter. Some experiences with tires, including an excerpt from the book.
  • WG. A Terrible Gift. Thoughts about a phrase in Joe Gresh’s Book Review of Racing the Gods.

Interviews and People

John Williams

  • ZT. An Interview With Pat Hennen. Taken from a 1976 issue of the Lap Times. Talking to the first American to win an FIM 500cc GP race, about his adventures in New Zealand and the upcoming season racing as a teammate to Barry Sheene.
  • ZA. Fathers and Sons. It’s all in the family: a list of American racers whose sons followed in their footsteps. Emde, Roberts, Ulrich and Pridmore are just some of the names.
  • YZ. In Memory of SSMark. This page is a tribute to Mark Alpen, a good friend who was killed while riding in 2014. He was the original Squidicus Sandbagerus. I miss him.
  • YY. The Berkeley Burner. Mostly borrowed from Larry Lawrence with my own personal observations added, this is the racing story of John Williams. John was unique, an African-American who loved motorcycle road racing, and was good at it. It’s an inspiring story.
  • YU. Young Randy Mamola. Now famous, Randy started road racing with the AFM when he was 16. I was able to watch him grow both in stature and racing skills. It describes what Randy was like before he became famous.
  • YP. Wester Shadric Cooley, 1932-2015. The father of the 1979 and 1980 AMA Superbike champ Wes Cooley, the elder Cooley helped keep the AFM going during the late 1960s, and I felt his passing should be noted.
  • YO. Superbike Pioneers, 1976-1979. Excerpted from the book “Racing the Gods” then augmented a bit, these are personal looks at the people who put Superbike Racing on the map. These were the Racing Gods I competed with and against. Pridmore, Nielson, McLaughlin, Pierce, Emde. It also looks at the tuners like Schilling, Leoni, and Newton.
  • WR. The DKG Frame. This frame was used by a number of top AFM racers in the late 1970s to early 1980s. Doing research for the article I called and talked to its inventor, Dave Garoutte. The story is part technical analysis and part interview.
  • VN. The 2016 Barber Vintage Festival – Our 2016 trip to Alabama. Conversations with Cook Neilson, Brian Slark, Peter Egan, Leo Gofff, and others,

Technical and Wrenching

4LS Drum

Sporting Street Rides

1.3

Stories that don’t fit the Other Categories.

Photo Credits:

  1. VA
  2. Bill Mullins
  3. Octane Press
  4. Larry Lawrence
  5. victorylibrary.com
  6. Author

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