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Dec 18th 2019, 02:41 PM   #1
 TJRace's Avatar
 
  Jun 2019
  West Linn

  Ducati Multistrada, KTM 300, CR500
Old, Broken Dirt Biker turned Street

As I crafted my reply to the 'What made you love motorcycles' thread I realized I was getting a little long-winded so I thought I'd post it up as a separate 'introduction' thread (even though I've already met a few of the members here).

First, about my screen name... TJRace is a bit ironic in the context of a street-bike forum since my street bike(s) have never seen the track and my name isn't TJ. My dad was TJ. Because he got me into riding I listed TJ's Racing as my sponsor when I tried my hand at motocross and thus the moniker TJRace was born (when motocross forums became a thing).

Now for the long-winded introduction... I started out as a 4 year old holding on to the crossbar of my dad's Yamaha DT as we explored the hills around Roseburg Oregon. <first pic>

That lasted a couple years until I started to steer too much. Got an XR75 for my 10th birthday and spent the next decade riding with my dad and friends, going through a half-dozen bikes along the way. We took a few years off when I moved to Seattle and did the young adult thing (college, job, wife, car payments...). My dad got back into it in '89 and would buy a new dirt bike every year, keeping the previous year's bike as a loaner for when I would visit. He didn't ride that often (other interests) and he was very particular about the maintenance, so I 'had' to ride a practically new, year-old bike. I moved to Portland from Seattle late in '95 and paid a couple bucks for his last loaner, a '95 KTM440. When I found the local trails to be way rockier than what I grew up on, I decided to take my riding to the track and I soon learned that though I was the fastest of our riding group, neither I nor my newly-acquired KTM were prepared for MX. What an eye opener! After a couple races my dad upgraded his '96 KTM360 for a '97 CR500 ('cause they don't make CR600s) so I swapped the 440 for the 360 and was suddenly competitive in the +30 novice class, especially at Washougal which is more like a fast trail ride than the tight, jump-filled PIR I started with. After a couple months of chasing plastic trophies, I told my 56 year old dad (a recently retired dentist) how much fun I was having racing and convinced him to come up to Portland so he could watch Thursday Night MX at PIR and we could both race Washougal. He wasn't exactly a rookie but he hadn't seen an MX track since the 70's. It was fun showing him the ropes (I was a veteran of 3 races at Washougal by then) and leading him around the track in practice. He had a blast as he idled around Washougal in the +40B class to the tune of 2nd place out of about 20 riders. It was a good day. <2nd and 3rd pics>

He passed away a couple months later in November of '96, with his last bike (his still nearly new '97 CR500) in his garage. I raced that bike for a year and it sits in my garage today being ridden only once a year now, on the anniversary of his passing. <5th pic>

The next several years had me feeding my MX addiction and I ultimately got fast enough to get bumped to the +30A class (though I couldn't really hang with the front-runners of that class, at least not for long). That meant I had to do more mx-specific training so while pounding out laps at Albany MX for fitness, I landed on a bike on the 'Sand Lake triple' (no caution flag waving) and woke up in the hospital. That tempered my MX enthusiasm for a while but I must be a slow learner (and not very talented) as it took two more ambulance rides to push me off the track completely. The last incident happened in the first lap of the 2010 Hangover Scrambles on the Washougal Ski Jump that was littered with downed bikes on the landing and left me with a pair of shattered hips, a broken femur, torn shoulder and lots of rehab and bills. The irony is that I was only in that crash because I was no longer 'racing' so I let everyone go at the start. I only needed to beat a few friends I was with and I had them covered due to having 100 times the experience. Ten years later my left side doesn't bother me at all (I can't even tell it's held together with plates and pins) but my right side has always limited me, even after a hip replacement a few years ago. Oh well... you can't be old fat and broken without being broken.

Anywho, that's what led me to the street (as it must be much safer than the dirt, right?). A long-time friend (one of the friends party to my last ambulance ride) had been pressuring me to get something in the sport-touring genre and I ended up trying on a Ducati Multistrada for size and was hooked. We try to hunt out the curviest paved route to some destination and (responsibly) push the pace in the corners a bit while pulling in the reins on the straight stretches (due to fear of tickets and respect for the surroundings, not fear of speed). I love a 50mph road with 10-25mph corners. I can feel like I'm racing without even pushing (much) past the white-sign limit. I never cross the center line on accident and have learned to have a little buffer as I have had to take some evasive maneuvers when oncoming traffic is hogging the center.

My son grew up hanging out at MX tracks while I raced but his first bike was shortly after my first ambulance ride so I didn't want him to race and no way was his mom going to be on board for that. His first ride was a private session at Washougal. He thought it was awesome to have his first ride at such an 'important place' <4th Pic>. He was always busy with the school sports so even though he had a couple play bikes as a kid, he never really got to do much riding. He bought himself a dirt bike a year ago so I swapped my CRF450R that broke me for a KTM300XCW (had to get myself something with the happy button as kick starting takes it's toll on the ol' one-hip wonder). Now I'm back in the woods hoping he will appreciate the times hanging with the old man as much as I did (but hopefully the doesn't end up broken like I am).
Attached Thumbnails
Old, Broken Dirt Biker turned Street-tj_dt_on_dt.jpg   Old, Broken Dirt Biker turned Street-tj_washougal.jpg   Old, Broken Dirt Biker turned Street-tj_cann_washougal.jpg   Old, Broken Dirt Biker turned Street-dt_ry_whoops.jpg   Old, Broken Dirt Biker turned Street-tjs_5honey.jpg  

sunofnun and S1000RGirl like this.
Dec 19th 2019, 10:58 AM   #2
 curve addict's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  Des Moines, WA

  ...1987 Yamaha FZR1000...
Howdy
Dec 19th 2019, 04:21 PM   #3
A2B
 A2B's Avatar
 
  Jan 2019
  Methow Valley

  ATK Rotax, Buell xb12ss, CL160
Hats off to ya for not hanging it all up! Nice choice for a touring bike, the multistrada will do it all with a grin. I don't remember where I read or heard this, but it stuck. When it's time to go, I'd rather go out broken than rusty. Sounds like something Evel could have said...
Probably why it stuck.
Dec 19th 2019, 05:47 PM   #4
 ZXtasy's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Moses Lake, WA

  2013 Kawasaki Concours C-14, 2005 ZX-10R Kawasaki (Nekkid), '99 Yamaha TW-200
Great intro, good on you for passing on the torch that was passed in to you, even though it burned you a bit.
Dec 20th 2019, 10:11 AM   #5
 
  Jul 2016
  tigard

  2013 Ninja 1000
I think I rode with you and Blake and PC back when Northwest DirtRiders was active. Welcome to the forum.
Dec 20th 2019, 12:10 PM   #6
 TJRace's Avatar
 
  Jun 2019
  West Linn

  Ducati Multistrada, KTM 300, CR500
Quote:
Originally Posted by mxmike
I think I rode with you and Blake and PC back when Northwest DirtRiders was active. Welcome to the forum.
Thanks! Yup, that was me. The good ol' days....
Dec 20th 2019, 07:16 PM   #7
 cgt1229's Avatar
 
  Feb 2016
  Bellingham

  Suzuki
Love the vintage photos, especially the first one.
Weird how motorcycles can do bodily harm, yet it's an impossible hobby to let go, even after damage is done.
Nothing really compares to throwing a leg over the saddle again, and getting some.
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