Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1970's

Cycle News 1979 12 19

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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Page 46 of 47

Daue:Da akas TheWheelie BiDlE By Gary Van Voorhis You'd better be damn good to call yourself the king of anything. Doug Domokos is, and that's why he bills himself as The Wheelie King. Pulling the front wheel off the ground and riding that way for any distance is a feat in itself. Domokos did it for 10' miles while lapping the New Orleans Superdome in a 14 record attempt and only Slopped when the daily media had to meet deadlines. Doing wheelies on level ground is no challenge to the 25-year-old. The real fun, he says, is navigating his way around a MX course, preferably with his Kawasaki KX250 in as near a vertical position as possible. (The bike is fitted with a small electric motor which keeps the front wheel rotating, a larger rear sprocket, a trials bike flywheel. and has the carbs mounted at an angle to prevent leaning out when the bike is in a venical mode.) So what, you say. Well, anyone wbo has seen DomokOl do his thing riding at a snail's pace while dragging the rear fender or, to liven things up a bit, holding a large American flag and using the rear fender as suppon for one foot, has come away impressed. The guy is good. However, what is most impressive is watching him stand a nearly 700 pound Kawasaki KZlSOO on its rear wheel. Domokos doesn't consider this a stunt. "I would have to say that with a bike that heavy doing a wheelie is rather unpredictable as to where I'm going and how long I can keep it up. If it goes over backwards, I'll be just a spot on the pavement." So. why do it? "Why not, it has two wheels," If you get the impression that Domokos is a thrill seeker, you're right. However, some people defme thrill seeker as just this side of being crazy. "Bar beu are a pretty good way to make some money." Domokos says. "The most I ever made for eating a glass," he continues with a smile, "was $250. Many Tripes and Warren Reid each put up $100 and someone else kicked in another $50. As long as you keep your tongue out of the way you sbouldn't get cut." .still, tbat isn't a staple item on most diets. Like a folk bero whose past is filled with many deeds, anecdotes on things Domokos has done also abound. During tbe Seattle Supercross weekend at the beginning of the '79 season he was ready to set a high diving record. The object was to become airborne from the third floor of a hotel overlooking Puget Sound and laod in the ice cold water below. Getting into the water wasn't a problem, getting out alive was since it was early' February. To get up nerve to do the deed and collect a large sum of greenbacks on the line, Domokos filled one of his boots with drinks caged from patrons in the bar and then swallowed the concoction. Jimmy Weinen talked, pleaded and cajoled with DomC?kos not to do it. Finally, the pair wrestled and crashed througb a plate glass window onto the motel room's balcony. Weinen, after dusting himself off eyed Domokos and then said with a straigbt face. "Alright, Domokos, you broke the window, you eat the evidence." Other notable experiences abound like the flaming liqueur episode wherein Domokos singed a good pan of bis face. The trick was to put flammable liqueur in a shot glass, light it and tben - holding the glass away from the mouth - pour It in. "Anyone can do it up close," replied Domokos in response to a question about the incident. "I held it at about arms length, missed my mouth and had a heckuva time putting the flames out. I was tender for a good time afterwards. " First and foremost, Domokos is a performer. Take our cover photo session, for instance. Having pulled the KZ I 500 off the trailer and suited up, Domokos . who doesn't like to do anything unless it's in front of a crowd - proceeded to buzz through tbe pit area at Road Atlanta getting the feel of tbe bike. Getting the feel consisted of gassing it to about 60 mph, locking up the brakes and skidding to a stop. Three or four runs like that and Domokos was smiling. The last run didn't wipe the smile from his face, but it did dim it by about 50%. Zipping past, he again got on the binders hard. However, this time he hit a patch of tarmac wbere there was just some grit. Tires squeeling and rear end hopping, the Domokos skidded toward inevitable as the distance to the edge of tbe parking lot shrunk to zero. Even before the taillight disappeared from view, riders who had been working on their bikes were on the run. Lucltily, Georgia's state weed - the Kudzu vine - enveloped Domokos like . a net only ten feet down the embankment and SlOpped his charge. The result: One slightly bruised ego and a broken spark plug cap. Like he was playing before 20,000 fans, Domokos was up with his hands waving in tbe air. "Had you scared a bit didn't I," he asked. "Hey, if this vine hadn't been there, I would have just ridden the bik~ down." Later, the tune was a bit different. "YOU know," he said, "I could have wrinkled tbe heck out of myse,lf going off that bank." Domokos has come a long way from his days of working at Red Bud Cycle in his hometown of Niles, Michigan. He had the ambition to become a pro MX'er at one time, but that dimmed after one year in the pro ranks. "I

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