Joy and Anguish


Brother John and I trailered the MX bikes to Lincoln Trail Motorsports in Casey IL on Sunday. The weather was to be great, and track prep was promised. I got up early to load the car and trailer. It’s a long drive for us – a little over two hours.

frame grabs from video of Bill on TC449 at Lincoln Trail MX

Husqvarna TC449 is fun at the MX park

I worried out loud, about 30 minutes from our destination that I grabbed a helmet when I was packing that I thought was mine, but I didn’t check it; I realized that Helen’s helmet is stored in an identical bag. “Wouldn’t that be awful if I brought Helen’s helmet instead of mine?” I said.

After paying gate fees at Lincoln Trail, we unpacked and quickly found my fear to be true! No helmet for me! Auuuughh! I was so angry at myself. My brother consoled me. We would take turns riding, and I could use his helmet and goggles. It wasn’t ideal, but it was at least a way for both of us to enjoy the day to some degree.

So we took turns. And we had a great time. I enjoyed watching John ride, and he was happy to watch me. Neither of us has any real endurance for motocross, so our riding time wasn’t diminished much.

Then the second bad thing happened.

The newly rebuilt motor on the YZ gave out.

I distinctly recall being alarmed at the sound the Yamaha was making as John went by on his last lap. It was wheezy, with a kind of dull clatter instead of the deep thump of a healthy MX motor. “Ugh” I thought. And as he came by, right in front of me, over a low tabletop jump, the motor seized in mid air. John saved it somehow, landing with the rear wheel locked, he was up over the bars, feet off the pegs, but he didn’t crash. Thank God, I thought. What a total disaster this day had become.

I probably messed up the wristpin clips or something during the piston installation. Only a teardown will reveal it. No sense speculating. The next step is to pull it all apart.

On the way home, I tried hard not to be morose. We had actually had a very good day. Lincoln Trail is an excellent facility. I wish I lived closer. If it was half an hour away, I’d be there twice a week, I’m pretty sure. The Husky was fabulous, easy to ride, confidence inspiring, and fun. John enjoyed his first taste of motocross immensely. It’s all overwhelmingly positive stuff.

Now if I could just remember my helmet, and not botch my bike builds, we’d be sitting pretty…


How could you not?


Sixty four degrees in the first week of January. Saddle up the Z1000 and feel the warmth of the sun while you can!

Kawasaki Z1000 in the sun on a January afternoon

Have to ride when you get weather like this


Family Tradition


It’s New Year’s Day! Time to ride!

Helen and bill ride their TT-R s in the back yard

Daughter and father enjoy excellent New Years Day riding weather

In our family, we try our hardest to get at least a short ride in on New Year’s Day. Today, it was easy – temps in the mid 40’s, only spoiled by wind over 20 mph. Helen, and Henry, and I started off the celebrations by riding around the back yard on our off-road equipment – I on my TT-R 230, Helen on her TT-R 50e, and Henry on his Kawasaki branded Fisher Price PowerWheels KFX quad.

After a half hour of circulating the back yard, we all had lunch. Then Helen and I rode the Kawasaki Z1000 over to her cousins’ house to wish them happy new year. Road speeds and the wind proved more uncomfortable than our suburban trail ride in the back yard. But that’s all part of the New Year’s tradition – ride the ride, even if it’s a little uncomfortable.