Posted by: caryandjohn | December 20, 2010

Jonah Street Sendoff Party

Jonah Street and mechanic Niles Folin

Jonah Street and mechanic Niles Folin

Phil Bowman rented the San Francisco Motorcycle Club’s clubhouse for Team Rally Pan Am, so that the United States only Dakar Rally team could hold a sendoff party for Jonah Street and his mechanic, Niles Folin.

There were about sixty people over the course of the evening, with a short time leading up to Sunday night since the party was announced, and rainy weather, perhaps keeping attendance a bit lower than in years past.

As promised, both Jonah and his bike made an appearance. Jonah left his home in Washington and drove 12 hours to attend the party. His bike was in fact being met by a truck at the clubhouse, and was loaded up at around 9 pm to make the drive down to Los Angeles where it would be shipped by air to South America.

Jonah, on the left, Niles, and the Yamaha WR450 in JVO rally trim

Jonah, on the left, Niles, and the Yamaha WR450 in JVO rally trim

About fifty people stayed for the traditional question/answer session

About fifty people stayed for the traditional question/answer session

I think this may have been the sixth time that Team Rally Pan Am had a send off party at the SFMC clubhouse for Jonah …

Jonah Street's Yamaha WR450 Rally Bike with JVO rally kit

Jonah Street's Yamaha WR450 Rally Bike with JVO rally kit

A view of the roadbook ... still a lot of stuff to be mounted here ...

A view of the roadbook ... still a lot of stuff to be mounted here ...

Niles will have his work cut out for him when he meets the bike down south. The Darkar organization will provide the team with a GPS and Sentinel, which will have to be mounted and wired into the bike’s electrical system …

a view of the JVO fuel pannier tanks and tail tank ...

a view of the JVO fuel pannier tanks and tail tank ...

Jonah's #7, reflecting his finish last season ... still needs the headlight

Jonah's #7, reflecting his finish last season ... still needs the headlight

And Niles will also need to install the headlight …

The WR has a start button, back up kick start, and cut out the kicker

The WR has a start button, back up kick start, and cut out the kicker

About fifty people stayed until 8:30, when Jonah and Niles began the traditional question and answer session that ends the evening …

Niles talked a bit about the work still needing to be done with the Yamaha … installing the rally-specific GPS and Sentinel device, which warns the rider of an approaching rally car … and the headlight still needs to be installed.

Jonah spoke about how excited he is this year to have a 450 racebike that has been the most rally proven and tested to date, the Yamaha WR450. He and Niles will ride with the JVO support team. There are two spare engines that have been supplied by Yamaha as a part of the support package they are providing to Jonah this season, as well as a comprehensive spare parts inventory.

Jonah rode a WR450 in the Mongolian Rally earlier this year, an event he lead on every stage. The fact that he was in front at every stage gave him a chance to practice his navigation on a course without any fresh tracks to give him a hint as to which way the course is going. This gave him a fantastic opportunity to hone his navigation skills, which are already very good thanks to his previous rally experience and the rally training courses in which he participates as an instructor with Rally Management Services.

Jonah and Niles talked a bit about the tires he will be using, Dunlop 908s, a tire I think of as a dual sport tire for heavy adventure bikes like the KTM Adventure 9x0s … the Yamaha will be fitted with mouses, which, on a 450 single, with its low weight and power, will almost guarranty that Jonah will not get a flat tire on any of the special stages, which would normally be a disaster. Jonah talked a bit about how some teams have the financial resources to “age” their mousses by “dating” them, which provides for a mousse that will act like an intertube with a lower air pressure. He talked a bit about some of the tire failures he’s experienced in the past, coming into the bivouac on the cords of a tire after losing the knobbies … on that occasion his mousse was fine.

Jonah talked a bit about Quinn Cody, who will be riding a Honda 450 for his first Dakar appearance. Jonah said that Cody, as an experienced Baja desert racer, was a good fast racer, and that Jonah expected him to do very well in the upcoming Dakar rally. Someone in the crowd asked Jonah what he would do if Cody, who is an inexperienced navigator, tried to hook up with Jonah during the race in order to follow Jonah’s line … Jonah said with a smile that he didn’t know what he’d do in that case …

Jonah and Niles ended the evening by thanking all their sponsors … Niles pointed out that the Riff-Raff accounted for their second or third largest sponsor. The Riff-Raff is a sort of club that people may join by contributing $100 to Jonah’s team. In exchange, Riff-Raff members get a bunch of cool swag.

An older ex-Dakar KTM racebike, ridden to the party by Charlie

An older ex-Dakar KTM racebike, ridden to the party by Charlie

A view of Charlie Rosseo's navigation set up on his old KTM rally bike ...

A view of Charlie Rosseo's navigation set up on his old KTM rally bike ...

We all had a great time at the party. The fact that there were fewer people this year made for a relaxed atmousphere, with plenty of time to talk to Jonah, Niles, Charlie, Robb and all of the ADV’ers who showed up, including Super Suz and Dave Peckham …

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