Admittedly, I’ve fallen out of the electric motorcycle fold over the past several months. Well, I follow what’s going on, but I haven’t made time for the quality interaction that the amazing e-moto community deserves. Multiple projects, a bill-paying aerospace job (yes, bad guys still feel the wrath of death from above even in a recession), and the ridiculous quantity of personal interests and hobbies that consume my attention deficit disordered gray matter. Oh, and the fact that I will become a father for the first time (probably this weekend) pours another gooey layer of sticky chaos on top of my stack of mental pancakes.
There are several things I’ve been wanting to write about (non e-racing related), so I’m going to put what I have started to write about or posted in comments on other sites in the last couple of weeks together in this single post. Hopefully it all works.
On the Ducati/DiSalvo Daytona Victory:
A conspiracy theorist might consider the timing of the tire safety-related red flag and JD40’s 848 meltdown a strange coincidence. As much as I dislike the DMG-AMA bureaucracy, I won’t chew that gum.
I’ve been a loyal Ducati rider/fan/worshipper for over 20 years, but I can’t feel good about this win. To overcome radical weather changes and win a split, 147 mile race is a testament to JD40’s racecraft and his crew’s technical skills, but it cannot to be attributed to a machine which actually won two sprint races with two different engines. The 200 is supposed to be where OEM’s prove that their production-based bikes (and top racers) have the stuff to go the distance at racing speed. For me, the racing did not disappoint, but the race execution and the results did.
On the Sustainability of the Daytona 200
I do believe that the AMA wants to wants to do a good job, just like anyone who loves what they do. At least I want to believe that they love what they do.
The root of the Daytona conundrum is the venue itself. The time for a 200 mile race which incorporates NASCAR high banking and concrete walls has come and gone. The AMA cannot blame Dunlop for tire issues. They must hold themselves accountable for continuing to hold an endurance race on a track which is not safe for distance racing on sticky street tires. Let’s face it. Daytona does not hold the international prestige it did just a decade ago. The AMA killed that when they decided not to work with the FIM on creating a date for the race which would allow WSBK riders to participate. Continue sprint races at Daytona if you must, but it’s time for a premier 200 mile race at a safer track which doesn’t place ridiculous demands on DOT tires. Hell, a different track might even allow them to race actual Superbikes on true race tires for 200 miles.
My two cents: Create the Utah 200 and hold it at Miller the same weekend or within a week of the WSBK event, and open up the rules to include FIM spec Superbikes (and fuel, tires, etc.) for that race only. Award AMA series points to AMA racers based on their respective finishing order, but acknowledge the podium no matter what series they normally run. And make it worth while for the WSBK guys to race. Prestige and safety in one package.
On Mark GardinerYeah, I don’t post very often. Has it really been since last August? Oy. So here is a post for the two people (BrammoFan and Plugbike) who actually ever read the electronic smegma that I attempt to clutter the internet with.
On the right side of this blog is a list of feeds that I think are the best (or at least most interesting to me) of motocycle news and moto-journalism on the web (saying that, I realize that I need to get Hell For Leather and Visor Down on the list). Some of these tend to focus on the electric racing scene which I wholeheartedly love and believe in, but most focus on the experience, technology, and soul of motorcycling.
Anyone who has ever read this blog (both of you) knows that I am all about giving credit where credit is due, and I do my best to promote blogging and journalism which I think is particularly outstanding. If you have ever read Jeff Jarvis’ What Would Google Do?, or Guy Kawasaki’s Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions (which officially just came out last week, but I’ve read the pre-release version), you will understand where I am coming from.
In that vein, I implore anyone who happens upon this post to read and support Mark Gardiner’s (@Backmarker on Twitter) Bikewriter.com blog. Unlike me, Mark is a true journalist/novelist/adventurer with the enviable ability to craft his words into an experience. One that draws you into a story and makes you want more. Much more.
I feel a bit guilty reading and enjoying his writing without making my best attempt to call attention to his work. That it's free for anyone to read is boarderline criminal.
Mark created Bikewriter.com after the untimely demise of RoadRacerX.com and RoadRacerX magazine. The quantity and quality of his work since the beginning of the year has been amazing. Anything I write here about Mark or his writing will not do him or his work any justice whatsoever. Check out his work, including Riding Man if you can find a copy somewhere (now on Kindle according to his blog).
Congratulations to Mark on landing a gig with Motorcycle-USA.com and his Megaphone section in Motorcyclist magazine as well. More Mark is a good thing.
That wasn’t so bad. Maybe I’ll write something again soon. Maybe.