HCMC WA Round 2 - by Richard Beatty #67
We live in an uncertain world and the things that moor us and give us comfort against the storms of life are deeply held beliefs that endure, no matter what the current orthodoxy proclaims.
What matters to us as individuals, er, matters, deeply. Without the profound bedrock of a belief - no matter how obscure - our lives lack a measure to gauge how harmonious we are feeling in ourselves and the universe.
Tonight I sit in a Mitsubishi van from the last century, tapping away on my iPhone. On the trailer behind the van there are two motorcycles that have been competing in Round 2. One is in a similar condition to its arrival at the track, the other isn’t. Despite this contrast I am at peace.
Round 2 was seemingly contested at the bottom of a swimming pool, admittedly I couldn’t detect chlorine but it was wet.
Team Retromoto was represented by Derek Jemerson on his P6 CBR250 MC19, Paul Smith on the Laverda 500 and yours truly on the MuZ 660 and KZ500.
The race was due to run on the Collie Long Track but due to an oil spill on Sunday morning the meeting moved to the Short Track and shortened to two 5 lap races.
Team Leader Paul Smith was entering the Laverda in P5 as a test shakedown after a comprehensive rebuild. He came down to Collie in the company of another rider who crashed in Race 1 and then (justifiably) wanted to go home. So Paul only got one race. The Laverda went well and finished second on track and first in class for an overall result of 3rd outright for the day. Paul was content with the performance as you are never going to be able to judge full capability on a wet track. The Laverda performed faultlessly and got track time - a good result.
Derek Jemerson had a day of mixed fortune on his CBR250, a top 10 finish in the P6 500 class was a notable PB, however a couple of crashes in the P6 250 category has left him looking for a new left side fairing. Derek had never ridden the short track before and acquitted himself well- rider and bike will be back!
#67 had a curate’s egg of a weekend - the good was good and the bad was bad. Too much zeal and not sorting out the carbs prior to the meeting led to a slow motion high-side on the off-camber exit to T3 on the KZ in Race 1 of the P5 500. Ho hum, it can all be kicked straight and repainted but lessons need to be learned…
Meanwhile in Premodern a very silly idea from 3 years ago bore fruit. As Jane Austin didn’t begin Pride and Prejudice, but would have if she’d ridden a motorcycle, “It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that a single with good fortune, must be able to compete against all-comers on a wet track”. The MuZ Skorpion 660 got to wear race wets for the first time and this allowed all of its slim and meager 65HP to adhere to the cold and wet track. It fulfilled its wet weather potential in spades, romping home to win the Premodern class and finishing 3rd and 2nd on track against the P6 750s. The conditions played into its hands and it was all and more than we had hoped. Light, agile, punchy, as a lightweight it sparred the heavyweights and shone in the slippery conditions. We always believed it could do it, when less was more than enough, and this weekend the heavens opened, the time came for the MuZ to show how it could compete when it came to riding to the conditions.
I rode a demo MuZ over 20 years ago and deemed it a good thing. Thanks to Scott at Retromoto I sourced this one and he and Paul have turned a 42HP idea into a 65HP ideal. It can’t hold a candle to a well-ridden 90HP bike on a dry track, but let it rain, let it rain, let it rain and all of a sudden basic integrity trumps excess.
The van is snug, the rain taps on the roof and washes the sins off the Kawasaki on the trailer whilst anointing the MuZ. I am more than content with the day’s outcome. Race wets are the ducks guts, I’d never have believed it until I’d tried them , the grip is astounding and I am only a rank amateur. The MuZ fairytale came true. Follow your beliefs, but happy to learn and adapt.