Beyond Racer Road 5 – the Hot Rod is Born.

The new story on the blog-site is a re-publication of the fifth of a series of “Beyond Racer Road” stories from the late 1970s Cycle magazine. This one is Cook Neilson’s recounting of his and Phil Schilling’s adventures in the 1976 racing season. You can find it on the page VM. Beyond Racer Road 5 – the Hot Rod is Born.

Ask me Anything Session


There was no story this week, but I will have a new one on Monday. In the meantime I am doing a “ask me anything” session on the Ducati sub-reddit, this Sunday (tomorrow). The Ducati sub-reddit is at

My intro post will go up at 2:00 pm U.S. Pacific time (5:00 pm Eastern) and I’ll be back 2 hours later to answer questions people have sent in.

I’m not that familiar with reddit. To watch you may need a reddit login (go to If you want to ask questions you may need to subscribe to the Ducati sub-reddit. There’s a ‘subscribe’ button on the right of the sub-reddit page. You might need to scroll down a bit.

Here’s a chance to ask me anything about my racing adventures during the mid-to-late 1970s. You’re all welcome to join in.


New! An Index.

There was no story this week. I started writing one, a good one, and when I got to about 500 words I thought this sounds too familiar. I looked at the early stories and found that I had already done that one. Whoa.

There are now over 60 stories in this blog, in simple chronological order, most recent first. There’s no organization — it’s just a long list. It needed some kind of index, so I made one instead of writing a story. Of course it took much longer than I expected.

I’ve named the index page “An Index” so it will stay at the top of the page list, while the most recently added page will be listed just below it. Each new page will result in a new entry in the index. Hopefully this will help people find stories they’re interested in, and will keep me from putting in a story that’s already there. Take a look at it — the first couple of paragraphs explain how to use it. You may find a good story that you haven’t noticed before.

Superbike Racer Comparison: 1978 Ducati vs. 1979 BMW

Back to early Superbike racing this week, with a comparison between the late 1970s Ducati and the BMW. A little bit of history. Look for the page titled “YC. Ducati vs. BMW Superbike Racer Comparo.”

Top Ten Crashes

It’s Monday so it must be time for a new page in this blog. This week’s story describes ten of the more memorable crashes that span my racing career, from 1973 to 1980. Look for the page titled “YF. Ten Memorable Crashes.”

Book News: We had a good event at the Oregon Vintage Motorcyclists Show last Sunday. The next book signing will be at the Sacramento Mile at the Cal Expo in Sacramento, CA, on May 30th. That’s less than two weeks from now so get your tickets. If you bring by your copy of “Racing the Gods” I will be happy to sign it for you. If you haven’t got one yet we will have some books for sale. Hope to see some of you there.

Five Thoughts

I’m a day late this week, and I missed last week completely. I blame it on the trip to Texas and follow-up activities from that. I will do my best to get back to the every Monday schedule. This week’s publication is about riding and racing motorcycles. Look for the page titled “YH. Five Thoughts About Riding and Racing.”

Book News
Dee and I will be at the Oregon Vintage Motorcyclists show and swap meet at the Benton County Fairgrounds on May 17th. That’s in Corvallis in less than two weeks. If you have already bought my book “Racing the Gods” come by and I’ll sign it for you. If you haven’t bought it you can buy it at the show (for a special price) and have it signed. Even if you don’t want a signed book drop by anyway and swap some stories of the old days. The show runs from 10 am to 3 pm but I probably won’t be there until noon. By the way, the featured marque this year is Hodaka.
More Book News
Following the OVM show we’ll be at the Sacramento Mile on May 30th at the Cal Expo in Sacramento. I don’t know yet what hours but I’ll keep you posted.

Finding Old Pals at LAX

Post #1 of a 5 part series. All photos by Dee Ritter.

No new page this week. My wife and I and Dee’s son Russ have been in Austin, Texas, at the MotoGP/MotoAmerica races at the Circuit Of The Americans track. The occasion was the release of my book “Racing the Gods.” Instead of my usual weekly story I’m going to post the daily highlights of our trip, one post per day.

April 8th, Wednesday – We flew from Portland to Austin with a layover at Los Angeles. At LAX we run into my old pal and racing foe Steve McLaughlin. There’s time for a drink and a lively conversation. I learned a bit more about the formation of the AMA’s original Superbike Production classes, and I’ll update the “ZJ. Superbikes, a new Racing Class” page soon.

Steve McL at LAX
Russ Granger, Steve McLaughlin, Dee Ritter and me relaxing between flights. It’s the first time I’ve seen Steve face-to-face in about 35 years!

Next: an event-filled Thursday in Austin.

How “Racing the Gods” Came to Be

This week’s story is a personal one. It’s about the long and difficult path taken to get my book written. Most ‘people would consider writing a book to be hard. It is, but unless you’ve actually tried to do it, write it and take it all the way to publication, you have no idea. This story may shed some light on the process. Look for the page “YN. It’s About the Book.”

Early Superbike Heros

It’s Monday which means it’s time for another story. This week I’m doing Superbike history, specifically the formative years of 1976-1979. I tell about the people of the early Superbike class, both riders and tuners. Look for the page titled “YO. Superbike Pioneers. 1976-1979.”