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Old 12-31-2018, 05:14 PM   #1
Michael Moore
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It is with heavy heart . . .

. . . that I've decided that 2019 is going to be the year I stop renewing my AFM license.

I've held mine since the 1978 season (AFM South, then North in 1980), but the last two times (in the last 10 years or so) I've RR'd have been with AHRMA on borrowed 200GP vintage bikes. My last AFM races appear to have been in 1997. I always hoped I'd get back out with AFM, but the vintage class has been pretty dead for decades and many of the other classes I might consider (small to mid-size singles, twins, 125GP/Moto3 bikes) look to be a lot faster now than they were in the 1980/90s and everyone else got faster while I kept going about the same comfortable speed as always. I also spent way more time building project bikes than I did riding them on the track, but building can be a lot of fun too. I was always at least as interested in building the bikes as I was in racing them.

I've raced the following with AFM: Sprint races on 500 Yamaha (singles, 600SuperStreet, 500GP), 216 Honda (vintage), 250 and 350 Ducati (vintage and 250 Mod Prod), EX250 (250SS), 750 bevel Ducati (750 Mod Prod, 750 SS), 750 Laverda (vintage), 650 Cagiva (650 Twins, 750SS), and RD350/early ZX6/500 Yamaha singles in 4 hour endurance races. I was never a KFG but I picked up a few trophies along the way in the "backwater" classes I liked to race in.

I got to race with AFM at Ontario, Willow Springs, Riverside, Laguna Seca, Sears Point and Thunderhill.

41 years with AFM seems like a good enough run, and I suspect there are few other people who've held their license continuously for longer than I have. I've already retired from racing in the dirt and cleared out all dirt bikes and anything vintage, but I'll hold out a small hope for one or two more AHRMA (I have a lifetime license) RR events (SOS3) at Sears Point if I get a last modern project bike built. But trackdays are likely my best option now when/if I get something going.

It was mostly fun (and usually expensive!) though I didn't enjoy seeing fellow competitors end up seriously (and in cases permanently) injured. I'm 65 now and bowing out while still uninjured seems a reasonable thing to do.

The joy of getting old . . .

I'd like to thank AFM and my fellow (and fellowette) club members who worked the races and raced with me. Road racing (and AFM) seem to have fallen on harder times compared to when I was active, and I'm glad I got to race during what might qualify as "the golden years" (you know, back when there were big grids full of real GP bikes and AFM riders graduated to be National and World Champions).

Best wishes to you all for 2019 and the future,

cheers,

Michael Moore
AFM #364 (for a bit longer)

Last edited by Michael Moore; 12-31-2018 at 05:17 PM..
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Old 12-31-2018, 05:18 PM   #2
budman
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X364.

Hell of a run.

AFM rocks.
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Old 01-01-2019, 09:11 AM   #3
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Michael, Thanks for being a part of the AFM legacy!

Perhaps you can become an associate member now?
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Old 01-01-2019, 10:01 AM   #4
Michael Moore
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Eric, I'm not sure what benefit I'd get from being an associate member. At least with the full race membership I could tell myself "I'll get back out on the track in the future."

I don't attend the races if I'm not riding because I've never been into watching other people have a good time. I'm in touch on-line with a few of the riders I raced with but I don't know any of the current AFMers.

The last time I went to an AFM event was for the 50th anniversary get-together. I walked through the pits and there were some pretty flash bikes and many people were going very quickly, but I 'm not too interested in street bikes on the track (though I've done some of that) and production-based racing has been the way things have gone for decades now. I think I saw one RS/NSR250 Honda that day. There was a lot of visible and frequent innovation going on in the 70s/80s. The last 20-25 years have mostly been a period of evolution, not revolution, and that reduces the attraction for gear-heads. DOHC 4 valve cylinder heads aren't near as flashy when they show up on entry-level commuter bikes instead of being mainly seen on factory GP bikes.

If there was a thriving 125GP/Moto3 class, or a F-singles class full of custom-framed bikes, I could see transitioning to sponsoring/helping a friend with their efforts on one of those bikes (I do help a bit with some friends' vintage bikes and a TZ125 in AHRMA). But what I saw at that last AFM event (mostly pretty stock-looking street bikes) didn't have a lot of relevance to my interests.

I raced MX, trials and RR from 1971 to 2016 so I think I can honestly say I've "been there, done that" and I've got three or four big drawers of period t-shirts (and a couple of nice AFM event and series trophies on the mantle) to prove it. It would have been nice to have gotten more use from my AFM license these last years, but I was actively racing AFM for almost 20 years before I ended up with race projects that became less urgent as time passed. I saw a lot of people who came out for a season and then left to do something else so I think I had a pretty good run with AFM.

I hope club road racing can survive, but with the ongoing economic situation that many people are having to deal with for the last decade or so it looks iffy to me. In days of yore you had to go racing if you wanted to be on a race track. With all the track days available now there's a lot less pressure for people to go racing if they are mostly interested in getting some track time. Roadracing, compared to track days, has a very poor ROI for $/track time.

cheers,
Michael
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Old 01-01-2019, 10:34 AM   #5
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Congratulations on a life well lived! I last raced in 1998 and just haven’t got around to it again. I did some corner working to stay close but now a rare track day.
The beauty of BARF, doubtful we’ve met and I understand and admire your motorcycle life.
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Old 01-02-2019, 01:49 PM   #6
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Well, you've held a race license as long as I've been alive - that's a pretty solid run Still neat to hear the stories from way before my time though!
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Old 01-02-2019, 02:12 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Michael Moore View Post
Eric, I'm not sure what benefit I'd get from being an associate member.
There isn't one for you, but the club keeps getting your money.
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Old 01-02-2019, 03:36 PM   #8
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There isn't one for you, but the club keeps getting your money.
I disagree. I will probably renew this year, and I haven't raced in several years. It makes me happy that the club gets some financial support from me and keeps on trucking, plus it's a great source of take offs..
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:24 PM   #9
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There isn't one for you, but the club keeps getting your money.
Club has a different meaning to different people...
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:37 PM   #10
Michael Moore
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Eric, it looks like 2000 was the last time I raced AFM with my EX250 SB and I'm not sure if I did any events after that. So the club got about 18 years of full race license fee for those years in which I hoped to eventually get back out but was willing to keep the license current and let the license fee serve as a donation if I didn't make it to the track. I think that will be enough for now, so no need for the associate membership.

cheers,
Michael
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:24 AM   #11
KazMan
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I can respect that Michael. Hopefully someday you'll come out to just watch some races with us again. Although I'm with you in the fact that some type of 2 stroke blend in the air just says racing a bit stronger.

Cheers and best wishes for ya!
Eric
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:30 AM   #12
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Much respect. You don't have any photos you'd like to share of the glory days, do you?
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:18 PM   #13
Michael Moore
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I can do that.


First some shots of high tech transporters and bike support gear in the Sears Point pits. The one with the 364 on my bike is probably 1981 or 2 as my Yamaha has the William's high-level exhaust on it, and the tires are Goodyear slicks. Note the Monotrack bodywork on my friend's RD350. We rode the RD350 in a 4 hour at Sears, when I had my front wheel taken out in Turn 2 and learned that there is water in the ditch on the outside of the corner. The 464 photo would have been 1980, my first season with AFM North. Notice the bevel Ducs in the background.

Next I'm on my 750GT Ducati at Sears. I suspect the sport compound Metzler ME77/99 combination wouldn't seem too racy today. I rode the bike in an AMA BOTT 750 Modified Production at Sears and was surprised to get $50 for a 5th place finish. I thought I was farther down than that, but I wasn't going to argue with them about it.

AFMer Don Conklin 451 and me in an AMA BOTT at Laguna. Don's 750 Sport is ex-Paul Ritter.

The 764 photo is from 500GP at Ontario, probably 1979 before I moved north. This is my TT500 with K. Roberts frame, Vesco fairing and a TD3 4LS front brake. The red Dunstall Norton Commando tank had sharp corners at the back and I always had bruises on the insides of my thighs after a race day.

cheers,
Michael
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:23 PM   #14
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Very cool.!
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Old 01-17-2019, 06:46 PM   #15
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Much respect. That is some OG racing stuff right there.
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