Posted by: caryandjohn | September 13, 2011

Thunderhill Debacle

Cary had a big race weekend on September 10 & 11, with 250 Production races on both Saturday and Sunday due to the rain we had earlier in the season …


I packed the car up and loaded the Honda VTR 250 onto the trailer so we could leave early on Saturday morning …


We stopped in Vacaville to put gas in the car, racebike and gas can …

To put gas in the bike, you take our one ignition key and unlock the gas cap … Which gas cap and key you then have to set down somewhere (most bikes the cap & key are hinged to the tank …

Anyway, can you see where I’m going with this? Yep, left the gas cap and sole ignition key on the open trailer! Argh! Lost forever …


Cary dealt with the situation like a champ, sending me back to look for the key and cap while she rented one of the Feel Like A Pro Ninja 250s for the day … I drove an hour south, back to the gas station and walked both sides of the Interstate for a couple of hours …

I found six gas caps, two cell phones, a wallet and a $20 bill … But not our gas cap and key.



So, back to the track with my tail between my legs … (I forgot to put the cap back … So silly!) Cary got her race in on Saturday and I spent the rest of the day figuring how to start the 1990 Honda VTR 250 without a key … and the even more perplexing task of coming up with a way to cap our tank without a cap …

Whatever Rube Goldberg solution I came up with had to satisfy the AFM Tech inspectors as safe before they would allow the racebike onto the track …

I was about ready to admit defeat when our friend and fellow 250 Production racer, Mark, stopped by to contemplate the gas cap problem.

I’d figured out how to hot-wire the bike but was not coming up with a cap solution.

So Mark, aka “Jackstand Junior” for his ability to change a flat car tire without a jack, came up with a solution, PDQ. He’s also a pilot, flight instructor, and Mechanical Engineer …

Using bits of inner-tube, duct tape and safety wire, and one of the gas caps I’d found on the freeway (which I was smart enough to have kept, he created a friction fit plug that we could then safety wire to the frame. Yay Mark!

So Cary was able to race her VTR on Sunday … We finally got the jetting correct (140 Khins) so that it now keeps up with the Ninjas on the long front straight …



We’re both hopeful that we’ll have a drama free weekend for the last AFM event of the season …


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