July 31, 2006

MotoLiam rocks the Super-Moto with Motostrano!

Yesterday I managed to get in a little bit of riding - and managed to get in a little bit of everything else, too!

Sunday welcomed me with sunny skies and beautiful clouds, and although I had something of a late start, once I got my head in the game it was go time! Immediately, I went to pick up my web-guru and all around video genius, Evan.

Golden Gate Bridge always looks majestic, and the route to Evan's place takes you through the Presidio, a decommissioned Military area with a huge park amidst rolling hills and lush forestry.

As with all things in life, you must cross over and under bridges to get anywhere.

To get to the racetrack, you have to cross the Bay Bridge over to the Oakland side, then head inland towards the hot, hot expanse of nothingness. I was headed to the land that birthed the Roberts' clan - near Modesto, California.

Ahhhh, the shipping docks at Oaktown. This is actually very little, nothing really, of the huge area that receives shipments from the world over. I like large industrial structures, so as we zipped past on the freeway I managed to snag one shot.

Success! Evan and I reached the track with all our equipment intact and with some American sized road drinks.

We drove quite a while to get to Stockton Motorplex, and despite the boring scenery along the way, once you're there it's always worth it. You get to see action like this!

I was here to check out Paul Giani's new ride! Pauly is an old friend of mine who used to race with me on mini's in Fremont. He's been working with Motostrano for the last few years and we've always stayed in touch to go riding, check out the SF Supercross, or just hang out and play Gran Turismo. Because of my involvement in so many different types of motorcycling, I naturally spent a lot of time kicking it with the guys from 'Strano, and we've all become good friends now. When they mentioned they were doing a SM Hooligans Trackday at Stockton, I just had to go!

Paul's new KTM SMR 450 has all the right parts, starting with the obligatory Red Bull radiator overflow bottle!

And it's got some wicked cool stickers, too.

"My Pants are Tight."
Naturally, I rolled up to the track in shorts and slippers, and had no intention of doing anything but eating and watching some great ontrack action. I even brought out my big gun (the Canon 350 XT) to take some action shots. But after watching a couple sessions, I had no choice but to find some gear and get to riding! This awesome girl loaned me her Axo suit, gloves, helmet, and pink googles. PINK! I was surprised I fit the suit (apparently I'm a women's size 6/8) and although I had some masculine concerns, once I hopped aboard the bike nothing else mattered by the tires and the track.

Huge thanks to Mike for loaning me his clean Suzuki DRZ 400, converted. The Pirelli Diablo's were shagged and ragged, but I figured at my rusty level I wouldn't be pushing it very hard. Boy, was I wrong! Since I was incognito (no signature helmet or gear) I thought I could just sneak out onto the track and spin a few laps. Naturally, people had to give me a hard time about wearing a girl's suit and pink googles - but you know what? It rocked anyway! If there was a little more room in the crotch, the suit would've been perfect, and if the front end was a little firmer and lowered two inches, I might have actually ridden well. Hahaha, actually, I was rusty as heck, and it showed. There were corners I used to kill at Stockton, but today I was a total goober on the track. There was only one section where I felt comfortable pushing it, and it's the long left-hander that I always find a way to crash in.

Look at him go!!!!

I'd know that hunchback anywhere! Even ripping around the track it's pretty evident my body was built for one thing only. Motorcycling.

There's nothing I love more than pushing the rear of a bike, unless it's that perfect combination of front/rear push. I couldn't get a handle on the front end of the bike, so I was content to repeatedly back the rear out coming out of the left hander, lap after lap. Eventually, I knew it would step out a little too far, and this time, it did. Thankfully, someone got it on camera and emailed me the pics. Thanks Tim!





Oh, and the best thing about Super-moto? Even laying it down is a good time! I took a great slide on my hands and knees, 180 degrees, and the whole time I was thinking, "WOW! This crash is going awesome!".

Nothing like a day at the track to build up some Man-Hunger! What's the nicest way to wind down after a hot day? See for yourself!
Strawberry Blintzeses, yo!

Oh, heck yes. Pecan pie with ice cream drenched in espresso. Perfect-o!

I have a bunch of action shots I'll be sorting through and adding later in the week, but for now, I'm getting ready to take yet another fantastic voyage. It's all part of Liam's Wild Ride!


I'm still not tired of reading your version of the SMH trackday :D

Again, it was great meeting you, and I'll be sure to have new tires and set the suspension stiffer next time!


Great shots Liam! I think I crashed at that very same turn at my last SM trackday.

Great to finally meet you my man. Had a blast playing around on the track with you. I think you cursed my clutch though- as soon as you asked me about it and I told you it was sweet it starting acting really wonky @ the end of the straight. Ah well, good fun.

aka weak_link

Hey, Liam,

Saw the "lie-down" on BARF. I was gonna take you mountain biking here in Barcelona but I'm not gonna let you use my bike now! Haha!


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