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Thread: Ice Goes Racing!!!

  1. #1

    Ice Goes Racing!!!

    I started racing motorcycles in 1971 when I was 11 years old. My first motorcycle was a Honda Trail 70, but I only had that bike for about 3 month's because I kept trying to race everyone on it and was going to kill myself. Honda Trail 70's do not make good race bikes. My dad quickly sold the Honda 70 and bought me a Steen. This was the nastiest minicycle on the planet at the time and a real race bike. All the other kids were racing Yamaha mini enduros, which were 60cc and had 14" tires. The Steen had a 100cc Hodaka engine, 16" tires, and a frame manufactured by Rickman, who built some of the best frames in the world at the time.

    I won my very first race on the bike and thought I was pretty badass. So I walked into the local dealer, who was Husky Cycle in Holiday, set my trophy on the counter and told them I was pretty badass and they should sponsor me. After they finished laughing they gave me a Husky Cycle jersey and told me they would give me 10% off on parts, at which point I knew I was a badass.

    The only problem showing up at the race track with a motorcycle better and faster than what everyone else was racing is they immediately went down and bought a Steen. In the long run I think Husky Cycle got their money's worth out of the jersey they gave me as it sold a few bikes. I raced the Steen for two years and only ever lost one race, and in that race I finished second.

    My Steen evolved over the two years I raced it. They came with what was known as the Hodaka B engine. Ours (my younger brother also raced one) were soon updated with the engines out of the Hodaka Super Rat among a long list of other improvements. My dad always loved tweaking our race bikes and they were always wicked fast. In about 1973 the Steen was pretty much outlawed as minicycles were soon restricted to 80cc, but by that time I was out of minicycles and ready to race with the big dogs...

    Anyhoo.... that's the story of my first race bike, I'll try to do a piece on every race bike I've owned when I get the time. Hope you enjoyed....

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  4. #2
    Awesome. Would love to hear the stories.


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  6. #3
    A Hodaka Super Rat was the second race bike I ever owned. If you raced small bore bikes before 1973 you raced a Super Rat as they owned the 100cc class. The 100cc class in that time was made up of huge starting fields so big they were usually split. The 125cc class at the time was an afterthought and no one raced 125cc until 1973 and the Honda Elsinore. Before 1973 the 100cc class ruled and was what the 125cc class would later become.

    In the early 70's you also had to basically build your bike if you wanted to win as no one sold a 100cc bike off the showroom floor that was capable of winning.

    The Super Rat in the picture had the frame lower 2", the swingarm lengthened 2", and the foot pegs relocated. The engine had a Webco head and 34mm Carburetor (they came with a 26 or 28mm I believe). A reed valve had been added and holes drilled in the back of the piston to aid the reed valve. The cylinder was ported and polished and additional transfer ports were cut into the cylinder walls to aid the reed valve. Also a 21" front wheel was added as the bikes came with a 19" front wheel.

    I moved up from minicycle to the Super Rat in 1972. My dad didn't want me racing novice as he said those guys were nuts, so I signed up amateur for my first big bike race. I did OK on my Super Rat and won a few races. Probably my favorite win was I took first place at the Widowmaker Hill climb in the 100cc class. If I remember correctly that win was on the old hill the year before they moved west.

    Anyhoo.... I know a lot of the old guys in this group probably raced a Super Rat at one time or another.

    The four pictures are of the Super Rat in my backyard, at 56, at Manning, and on the starting line of Widowmaker.

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  8. #4
    Very cool. I rode out at 56 as a kid quite a bit and also Lark.


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  10. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by accadacca View Post
    Very cool. I rode out at 56 as a kid quite a bit and also Lark.
    I only rode at Lark once and it about destroyed our race bikes. The acid used in the old leaching process attacked aluminum and magnesium. Not to mention it caused carbon steel to rust almost immediately. I raced really a lot at 56 (Motoqa), probably the only track I raced on more was Bonneville. I also did a lot of races at Manning and we rode Manning and the Cedar Fort area a bunch.

  11. #6

  12. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by johnrr65 View Post
    Looks Great!
    +1

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