Tuesday, September 22, 2009

This Month's Polini Cup Races

Pocket bikes, gokarts and dirt bikes aren't my thing either. Ignore them. Two strokes aren't all made with plastic, or at least they didn't used to be. The Polini Cup held at The Tom Dash Memorial Speedway in Atwater, California is a demonstration of how much intelligent 20 to 30 year old's have taught themselves about 2 stroke engineering in the last 15 years. The best example and culmination of this autodidactism being Motomatic's extraordinary made-to-order exhaust pipes which can be seen with devastating results in this video, Motion Left Moped's amazing custom builds which need no introduction in the moped scene, and a certain Nate Bandit's "Burt Munro-esque" monsters. In resent years the Moped Army has, in a sense, reinvented the entire story of motorcycling, from its early days as minimally powered bicycles barely breaking 25 mph to highly technical grafted, mutated, experimental fast bikes now going upwards of 70+mph. That's a lot when your talking 65-80cc's. This may sound counter-productive, but for those of us who have experienced the joy of buying a cheap 70's moped and then learning by trial and error, through friends, old lawnmower mechanics, and word of mouth the ins and outs of engine porting, timing, carburation, expansion chamber acoustics, or best of all happening on Graham Bell's "Two-stroke Performance Tuning" it has been an infinitely rewarding experience. Riding a 80-100lb bike at over 50mph is one of the most exilarating experiences I know of. Plus, anyone can ride a Harley they bought and pay someone else to fix, you have to be care-free and with the knowledge that you can fix just about anything on your bike to sit at a traffic light on a bike with bicycle tires that weighs less than you do. But then the shocked look people give you when you scream by their car makes up for it all... It's all about how much you know, or who you can get to help you learn more, and everyone builds there own bike. After all, if you can't rebuild your mark's engine you won't be riding a two stroke for more than a couple of weeks, especially with any engine modifications. Here's some footage from the latest Polini Cup Race:

Polini Cup September 2009 Moped race 1 from rafter on Vimeo.