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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:45 am 
On the main road
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Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:09 am
Posts: 127
Location: Southfield, MI USA
Country: USA
Bikes owned: T500, TR500, T20, TS250, B105P, GS250T
In the spirit of continuing Sundial Moto-Sport’s Suzuki T500 road racing program, I competed at the AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days (VMD) at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. I met up with fellow board members DiamondJ at the track and JeffG at the swap meet. DiamondJ and I reminisced about past VMD’s where we had a large contingent of Sundial members present and how much fun that was.

I prepped the T500 by replacing tires with Heidenau K44 in 90/90-18 front, and K65 110/80-18 rear. I must say I really like the Heidenau tires; they stuck well, wore well, and actually quickened up the steering compared to the Dunlop racing tires I had been using. I really recommend the Heidenau’s for vintage racing.

Upon arrival I realized how many fewer race entries were present for this event compared to the AHRMA run VMD events. Nevertheless I was glad to be there on a track I love racing at; seeing the sights, hearing the sounds, and smelling the 2-stroke exhaust. VMD racing is now put on by WERA, and I must say they do an excellent job of organizing the racing event.

Friday practice went well, I sat out the morning sessions to let the track dry from the previous day’s rains. The afternoon practice sessions went well, re-learning my shift and brake points on the fast 2.5 mile 15 turn Mid-Ohio circuit. As I normally do in practice, I kept the revs down some on the faster sections to save wear/tear on my engine.

I entered two races each on Saturday and Sunday; 70’s GP500 (the actual class for a T500) and 70’s Vintage Challenge, a bump up class similar to AHRMA Formula Vintage. First race on Saturday was the 70’s GP500, I gridded up and learned that the WERA start procedure is quicker than AHRMA; the time between the 2-board and green flag was much shorter. With the surprise green flag I got a poor start, almost killed the engine, so I had to fan the clutch to get the revs up and re-launch. Ran most of the race by myself in 3rd place behind Ryan Hunt (Yamaha RD400) and Scott MacKenzie (Honda CB550). Both these guys were super fast and their best lap times were 10 seconds a lap faster than mine. Race eight on Saturday was 70’s Vintage Challenge; here I raced for a 5th place finish against the faster 750 class machines. I turned my fastest lap in race eight with a 1:59.31 lap time. Sunday racing was basically a copy of Saturday, 3rd place finish behind Hunt/MacKenzie in 70’s GP500, and a 4th place finish in 70’s Vintage Challenge

My T500 ran flawlessly, required no maintenance, and performed great. Once set up the T500 makes a great trouble free road racer. The only change I would make is gearing. I realize now that my gearing at 15-33 isn’t tall enough for Mid-Ohio. I was wound out in 5th gear on the back straight, and well as when cornering thru turns 6-9 in 2nd gear. Having taller gearing would permit me to obtain higher cornering speeds without having to shift mid corner.

So I propose we have a Sundial Moto-Sports reunion in 2013 at Mid-Ohio. Need to get Zook-e out with his race bike and get as many board members there as we can, a party in the Sundial pits!

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Ralph Spencer
Shoemaker Vintage Moto LLC
Southfield, MI USA
AHRMA #798
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:57 pm 
Road race school
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Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:00 pm
Posts: 769
Location: Wharton, NJ USA
Team Sundial at Mid-Ohio 2012:


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