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MAKING THE MONSTER MILE                                     Sept 30, 2003

William Van Dyke

So much happened this weekend around the world and here at home that  my little achievement in Maxton, NC seems minute somehow. As I try to look back on this weekend right now, "Life and Death" the "Struggle" be doing well. I got the word Saturday night in Birmingham, AL at a benefit/funeral for Red Dog/Hair DDMC from an Indiana Brother that my dear and long time friends and one of the finest Harley Davidson Family's in the world suffered a tragic loss a few days ago when Jim and Nella Kersting were involved in a bike crash that cost Nella her life and busted Jim up pretty good. I guess I wouldn't have a twin-engine Harley if Nella had not have loved her Harley riding husband as much as she did. It was twenty-five years ago when I first  saw that wonderful lady give me a less that approving look while Russ and Jim and the Coulie brothers were hatching some kind of deal to make another weird concoction of parts go down the road. The bike I been riding since that time and even the frame of the double shovel and both it's engines were originally built there mainly by Russ Hendron, and he remains the shops top wrench and the best kind of friend a man could ask for. I saw her this summer on my way north trying to get the twin tuned up in Michigan. Kerstings Cycle Center right there in Rich Grove Township, IN, and it be a hard place to pass by without stopping. It's more like a Motorcycle Mall than just a shop anymore and their rep for service is second to none. Nella raised her daughter and two sons that run the place now, nourished the whole bunch, including me once in a while, right there under them beautiful Indiana Oaks and Hickory's. We talked about the old days and she wondered at the wisdom of me trying to go real fast on all them old Harley parts at my age. Of course I came up with plenty of reason's and after a while she smiled warmly and said "You boys and your toys, well go ahead if you must but, be careful!"…
  Well Nella, I made the mile this past weekend and went 103 point something on the only pass I got to make before it rained and I had to leave for Birmingham. Even though the rear engine ran rough and the clutch started slipping, It was a solid ride. When I passed through the traps I figured  I was doing at least a hundred MPH and the bike handled well and it braked fast enough to make the first turn back to the pits. I was pleased to say the least. When I read the time card 103.539 MPH and was informed that I set the record in the A/GP 3001+ class, needless to say I was tickled pink. Sometimes when we try to explain LSR racing to folks it makes it easier for them to understand if we remind them that this is a test course, time trial and proving ground. It's fun for sure but the winning comes from doing and being a participant and reaching a goal set in your heart, not in belt buckles and trophies made in China. And yes I run all kinds of Chinese parts and they work good. The Old Farts On Speed racing team got a few more points and my old XA-90 Harley Mini Bike for a pit bike that I got from Randy Kersting a dozen years ago and Ken helped Margie and me with the property taxes and insurance payment so's I could race. Life is good and even if I would have gone slower, this man and machine made the Maxton Monster Mile at long last, on a real neat, home made Harley and look forward to doing it again.
  Anyway Nella, enjoy Heaven and take your rest, you sure earned it. I'll stop by the shop from time to time and look in on your folks, they sure treat me and my machines good. I will miss you and we all, will be along, by and by…

  Now for the rest of you guys, what I learned at Maxton's Monster Mile in the past three events are as follows:

  1. The motorcycle handled well and although it took three trips to Maxton before I ever made a test pass I discovered that it was worth the wait.
  2. My primary chain oiling system works too well and I need to cut the flow back to keep the clutch from slipping. Need a new set of Barnett Iron Plates and steels as well for the ECTA meet next march.
  3. The rear engine spark plugs were running super lean and that accounted for the rough running at high rpm cause the float level was off enough to starve it at sustained high rpm. Got that on again off again feel. Need another one of the Pro Bowl Holly float adapter's from Ron Trot that Brad from B&K figured out and already gave me one for the front Super B.
  4. Although the front engine ran well man, and it has for a long time, it be needing rod    maintenance for sure. 5" wheels like the rear engine has is the natural next step but that added torque almost demands an outer bearing support for the rear engine sprocket shaft.
  5. You can't do it by yourself. OFOS Racing made this pass possible, in the end, we fired it up, we pushed it to the starting line and there OFOS gave the final thumbs up for the launch after the flagman waved me off. I needed them guys and they came through.

To each of my sponsors I say thank you from the bottom of my heart!


 
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