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Chuck Ergle
01-05-2010, 10:40 PM
Honda RS125. 1994 at the WERA GNF at Road Atlanta. I bought it sight-unseen from Lee Parks; 1993 model, Geo Storm yellow paint job, with tons of spares. $7500, when they were going for $13,000 new with the full spares kit. I put it on a credit card. Lee had a reputation, deserved or not, for throwing money at go-fast bits on the cheap, and another reputation (deserved or not) as Lee Parks-It (as in corners).

He gave me lots of tips, and I had Johnny Hodgkiss, Billy Wiese, and Doug Carmichael to brain-pick for tuning advice. I had some prior skill with two stroke tuning, having ridden YSRs since 1988.

I jumped on the thing in the first practice, started it, warmed it up per instructions, and rode out, taking the first couple of laps easy to get used to it and to warm the tires up (tire warmers were hideously expensive then). Then I got on it, and kept pitching it into corners too soon and too slow (coming from "normal" bikes like 50s, 400s, 750s, and 1000s, this was totally freaking me out). Lap after lap I kept braking and turning in later, and lap after lap the bike kept pointing up the inside of the turn. I think I rode through about five levels of panic, and the bike kept going "ho-hum" and asking for more.

In the Formula III Expert Sportsman Final, we were gridded towards the back in the second wave behind (I think) D Super Novice. I only know that there were a ton of bikes to weave through on the first lap (after the little two stroke with the tall first gear got going). I saw a 125 ahead of me after weaving through the pack, and tried to chase it down; I never got really close, but by the checkered flag was within 100 or so feet. That guy was Jim Struke, who won the race.

I was hooked. The RS was the best handling bike, and the biggest grin producer, I had ever ridden. It was downhill from there, and I spent the next few years trying to go as fast as it would, including in 1996 buying Mike Carter's 1995 (new style) model because it was better. Won two 125 championships, and got two WERA National sprint podiums. Spent WAY too much money (in 1997 over half of my take-home) before I realized these stupid little things were two-wheeled crack. Sold out and concentrated on big/mini endurance, and on mini sprints because it was less expensive.

To this day I still get an adrenaline rush when I think about riding a 125...

Christopher Corder
01-05-2010, 11:13 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Chuck Ergle</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
To this day I still get an adrenaline rush when I think about riding a 125... </div></div>

this is exactly why I am willing to ride around looking like a Shriner thus betraying my usual super-coolness.

Linz Leard
01-06-2010, 09:46 AM
I hear ya, Chuckster! Like the late, great Elmer Keith said, &quot;Hell, I was there!&quot;

Now, many years later, age has crept up and my knees just don't bend like they used to, but I still like being subjected to the torture of an RS (although back in those days I favored the slightly more spacious, though usually slower, Yamaha TZs).

Chris Randle
01-06-2010, 11:23 AM
Great story Chuck! I probably will never know the joy of riding a 125, since my knees won't bend like that. <<GRAEMLIN_URL>>/smile.gif
&quot;Lee Parks-It&quot; LMFAO!

ROBERT BLEVINS
01-06-2010, 12:44 PM
. Spent WAY too much money (in 1997 over half of my take-home) before I realized these stupid little things were two-wheeled crack. Sold out and concentrated on big/mini endurance, and on mini sprints because it was less expensive.

Chuck I have been working on motorcycles for over 35 yrs I think that this has been a problem with most people that own gp bikes or that have been interested in them. I maintained Conners rs125 ,rs250 and a crf250 in 2009, the two stroke are the simplest bikes to work on and maintain of anything I have ever worked on. They just need TLC,and proper understanding (tear down after each use check inspect and dress the top end as needed ) Everyone is always saying how expensive it is to run a gp bike for 2009 we spent a total of $2100.00 to maintain all three bikes this covered one rebuild kit for the 125 three pistons, two pistons for the rs250 and a crank and piston for the crf250 witch it didn't really need. The key is proper understanding and mat. I constantly see people putting new parts in a motor not understanding what caused the failure in the first place.

So if your are wasting a lot of money ask for help and find out what the problem is. my 2 cents

Keith Hertell
01-06-2010, 12:59 PM
Chuck meant the price of all his travel, race fees, fuel, etc.

Chuck Ergle
01-06-2010, 08:20 PM
Exactly, Kiefer. And I also don't miss the 20 hour plus drives with my father from San Antonio to Las Vegas, Gingerman, Putnam, IRP, Road Atlanta, etc. etc. etc...

Oh yeah, and the point of this exercise was to get people talking about THEIR first rides ever on a(an)...

marcus mcbain
01-07-2010, 09:07 AM
The first time…I ever rode a GSXR-750!

In 1991, Jimmy Swearingen asked Jeb Bridgeman and I if we would like to endurance race his “New” ex-Rick Kirk GSXR 750. WE SAID, SURE!

Jeb and I had been endurance racing together for about a year scrounging up rides where we could get ‘em. I remember it was at San Angelo in 1991. I had never ridden anything above a 600 before. I was instantly 4 seconds off the track record. I came back in and Jimmy told me I was running 1:31’s. I was thinking…NO WAY…I wasn’t even trying. Well, it was raining on endurance day and it was an eight hour. I was nervous and told Jimmy I would go ahead and ride. I was the only one to not back out of starting the race…so I started the race. There were a lot of fast guys that day despite the small field…Doug Carmichael, Mark Black, Bryan Hanson, Fred Provis, etc.

I started the race on some worn out street tires. The combination of the mud on the track, bald tires, and not knowing what a 750 would do scared the hell out of me! By the 3rd lap though I had the overall lead. By the end of the first hour I had lapped up to 3rd place and lapped 5th place twice. I loved that bike. We ended up losing the race when our “Hired Gun” broke the key off in the gas tank and we had to hotwire the bike. It took about 8 minutes to fix (I still remember that). We lost the race by a ½ a lap.

I ended up riding with Larry Locklear on that bike a couple of more times. Larry and I would build a big lead…and Jimmy would get on the bike…but we still would finish on the lead lap/on the overall box…lol.

I have loved GSXR’s ever since. Although they have had their ups and downs, I always enjoy riding the 750’s and 1000’s.

marcus mcbain
01-07-2010, 09:09 AM
I guess while we are at it….lol, My first time I rode a CBR-600f2 OR, “why buying the fast guy’s 600 is not always the great deal!”

In 1992, I was getting pretty quick and was really needing a good bike (because I had no idea how to setup a bike). Colin Edwards bike was for sale. Gordon Miller had bought it and was selling it for $3800.00 which would be like about $13,000.00 now (so working as a parts guy didn't really allow me to &quot;comfortably&quot; buy this bike to say the least). So, I put a $1000.00 deposit and ride it a few laps at Oak Hill. By the third lap, I am turning 1:32’s in practice (like turning mid :24’s at the hill today). So I decide I will buy it. I tell Gordon that I am going race it, and he can keep my FZR-600 until I pay the balance at the end of the day. Well, I am running easily as fast as anyone. As I am working to pass Pete Martins (on his slow [censored] GSXR-600 lol) I tuck the front in between T2-T3 at Oak Hill. Well, the bike was pretty well destroyed, but I still rode it back to the pits…ran fine. Why I crashed is still in dispute! &amp;#61514; , but suffice to say Gordon and I work it out where I will pick up the bike from him the next week and pay him the $2800.00. Well, the bike sits at a certain shop. The reason I wanted the bike is it had the HRC Cams, and all the other goodies (like the pipe that was ceramic coated on the headers, etc.). From the time he takes it to the time I pick it up…The bike barely ran when I picked it up. Well, I start working on it…and clean the air box and I still can’t figure it out. Bryan Hanson pulled the valve cover…and then the head off and found the valves were now MYSTERIOUSLY touching the pistons. The STOCK cams were a complete tooth off. After questioning several people, no one ever owned up to anything or denied anything going on.

By the time I get the bike repaired and working…the season was over. At that point I had paid 8000.00 to have a decent 600. I did ride it the first race of 93 and ran up front turning 1:29’s (my best laps by far…lap record was 1:28). I won the 600 superbike race by 15 seconds only to be docked 5 spots for “jumping” the start…no meatball flag, just docked 5 spots. THAT WAS A SIGN I GUESS. I was riding so well that I got an HRC letter to try out for their NEW 125 program, but I was so broke I didn't even have gas money to go and then was so disgusted I had to quit for a couple of years to financially recover. OH WELL, that is racing.

FWIW: There were no hard feelings about the CBR. It was a big learning experience to say the least. I will say that the ex-Greg Abbott R-1 was the only bike I ever bought &quot;AS ADVERTISED&quot;.

marcus mcbain
01-07-2010, 09:35 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Chuck Ergle</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Exactly, Kiefer. And I also don't miss the 20 hour plus drives with my father from San Antonio to Las Vegas, Gingerman, Putnam, IRP, Road Atlanta, etc. etc. etc...

Oh yeah, and the point of this exercise was to get people talking about THEIR first rides ever on a(an)... </div></div>

That is BS Chuck...the best part WAS ACTUALLY MAKING IT TO THE RACES! lol

Do you remember me having to drive that POS Yugo to the races for a year! lol

I then traded up to a 600.00 Chevy box van that leaked exhaust fumes in the cab...that I later traded for a 800.00 Dodge &quot;Mystery Machine&quot; van...lol

Nothing better than going to the races wondering if the wheels are going fall off! <<GRAEMLIN_URL>>/smile.gif

Derek Thomas
01-08-2010, 12:58 AM
I ever rode.....a fat chick...it was 8, maybe 9 seconds of sheer terror....right up to the point my head hit the wall of the double-wide and I lost consciousness! I'll never remember that night!

Jesse Davis
01-08-2010, 10:34 AM
i think we should change the thread title to &quot;Hey Marcus, Please Tell Us All Your Boring Racing Stories.&quot;

Keith Hertell
01-08-2010, 02:08 PM
<<GRAEMLIN_URL>>/laugh.gif