Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1980's

Cycle News 1982 04 13

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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-EATER N 00 en ..... Bob Tausts. pu~ i!1 the only completed run to take first place Modified. Taustas goo's through Mud Bog II and wins By Mike Bishop BUELLTON , CA, FEB. 7 Mud racing has always been a part of central California farmers' lives. They race tractors, pickups, jeeps and now three-wheelers. Three-wheelers of all .sizes and tires were in evide nce a t th e Mud Bog II , th e second m ud race of its kind in Buellton, about 50 miles north of Santa Barba ra. The turnou t surp rised even the promoter Tracy Stephen . They expected a bo u t 1,000 people, but when 4,000 showed up it was far beyond a nyone 's expectations . All profits went to th e Sa nta Ynez Valley 4-H Clubs to help finance th eir projects. The race co ns isted of a p it dug 100 feet by 15 feet wide , filled with a gooey sticky mud , not your everyday dirt mud but a mixture of adobe cla y and wa ter. It was so sticky th at a nyone blundering into th e pit had to be pulled o u t by two or th ree ot her people. Starting this type of race is unique in tha t on ly on e vehicle a t a tim e is allowed in the race pit. Each th reewh eeler is given a 15-foo t head start before it gets to th e mud. Most threewh eelers were a ble to ge t into second gea r before th ey hit the mud. From then on , it was a questi on of power, trac tio n a n d ski ll. T h ree -whee lers ca me in all sizes a nd config uratio ns from a H onda 90 frame wi th a n 80cc Suzuki, to a Honda 185 fram e wit h a n XR500 engine and d ua l tires., Once agai n, H onda was th e most prominent mak e of three-wheeler there. Ou t of 25 bikes, 20 were Hondas . There were,two Tri-Motos a nd three Suzuki-powered units, including Mike Norcutr 's TM250 with full suspen sion. It was hard to classify many of th e three-wheelers so only two classes were allowed. Stock class consisted of stock engines with few modifications a nd two rear tires , to modified with unlimited engine and tire combinations. It was a scientific approach that won this race. If you had too much traction, you would get stuck because of not en ough power to pull. Many bikes with duals and large paddle tires went no further than th e dead , stoc k bikes. The exception wa s Bob Taustas , Honda 500cc in a 185 frame, with over 40 horsepower and two paddles a nd two knobby tir es on the rear. H e had th e on ly three-wheel to go the full distance. Taustas took top eliminator early in the day, giving everyone else a goa l to shoot [OI. .U nfortuna tley, no .on e ca me even close. In the Modified class after Taustas was Mike Norcutt o n his homemade 250cc Suzuki a t 65 feet . Norcutt had a good combination with pl enty of ground clearance, power a nd paddles. In the Stock cla ss, the team fro m Santa Barbara ATC Club swept the field. Sponsored by Richard's Imports in San ta Barbara , they definitely ca me to wi n . First pl ace went to Lee For she y of Goleta on a 250R Honda with a di stan ce of 63 feet, foll owed by Mike Bishop of Santa Barbara, al so on a 250R, a t 62 feet with third place going to Mark Laudon of Goleta on, what else?, a 250R with a distance of 60 feet. All two-stroke bikes had a problem with loading up between runs. Future races will ha ve to have a sta ging a rea to clea n ou t the engi nes before each race to ass ure maximum horsepower. Each bike that went into the pit had to be pulled o ut by a winch ca ble, a wait tha t proved fata l to peak performance. Four-stroke bikes did quite well for the ir engine size. These engi nes have a lot broader powerb and , a nd it was evident when they star ted to ge t stuck. Two-strokes carne off the pi pe quickl y a nd died, while th umpers had much more torque a nd lasted longer. The o n l y reason th e 250Rs did so well is they had more momentum built up a t the start of the mud p it. Many riders made th e mistak e of popping wh eelies into the mud which brought them to a n a brup t stop . The secret seemed to be lean far forwa rd at the start and th en shift your weight rearward as you hit the mud, a llowing th e front tire to ska te through th e mud. Another tip: don 't take off the cha in guard as th e mud carries small pebbles that get caught between the chain and sprock et , co nt ribu ting to broken chains. Towards th e end of the day Taustas' 500cc monster bike went out of cont ro l a nd wh eeli ed into the crowd . Luckily, no one was hurt unless you count Taustas' pride and white pants. The cent ra l coast three-wheelers will get tog ether again soon for some more good clean fun in about six months for Mud Bog Ill; we will keep yo u informed as to when a nd wh ere . Results ATf MOD: 1, BobTausta (Hon): 2, Mike Norcutt (Suz), STK: 1. Lee Forshey (Hon); 2. Mike Bishop (Hon); 3.M.rk Laudon (Hon). . • • • • • . . .. . , j Odyssey pilots do it in cagE!$! 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