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Old 07-07-2020, 12:24 PM   #8
Frame Maker
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Livermore
Motorcycles: sportbikes, dirtbikes, and some odd bikes that I've built myself.
Name: Julian
Originally Posted by SFMCjohn View Post

oh man, those were the days ...

spent a lot of time in the AFM pits gazing at the AK-1 Shawn was campaigning in the late '90s ...

here's a pic of another EX500 based racer from back in the day that I'm guessing you'll remember:

raced it in '99 and missed a chance to test it against your AK-1s, which I regretted ... guess this bike won the 500 Twins class in 1999, 2001 and 2006 ...

re: the OP, returned to the track after maybe 15 years away, and had a good experience with Z2 and Shawn ... could not believe how slow I'd gotten.

just ran in the C group with a clapped out VTR250 ... though anything like speed was gone, my lines were still smooth and predictable, so I don't recall any issues ...

will be interested to see the AK-1 fitted with a two-stroke engine (RZ350?).
Last I heard the plans for the Gibson were an electric motor ...

thanks for the memories and your cool EX500-based bikes over the years ...
always loved that Kawasaki engine ...
John, Its great to hear from you after these years. I think I still have photos of The Gibson taken in your driveway just before it went to Kevin.

Ya, Shawn and Tom had some epic battles with Kevin in 2001. If we hadn't missed the first race of the season the ending might have been different... but that's racing.

Wow, I knew that Kevin still had the bike, but didn't know he was planning to go 'lectric with it. I'm not sure if I like that idea or not... humm?

Ya, the new bikes will use RZ350 engines. I've had so many people asking me about frames for those, and now they are making a big resurgence. With all of the aftermarket RZ/Banshee engine parts available its now possible to get big Hp out of those engines. Since building the AK-1s, I've continued building custom bikes, but none were really race bikes. So these new bikes will be back in that territory.

I'm anticipating exactly what you described going back to the track after many years away.... I still know what to do (and not to do), I just don't think I'll be very fast.

Likewise, thanks for the memories!
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