National Motorcycle Racer -

Photo Gallery
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PAZZO Racing made me some custom levers this year.

Quite possibly the best levers in the world

Bruce Galvin from Kawasaki USA

The 600

Portland tradition, 1st night team dinner at Mars Meadows

Dale Zlock

Brian Pinkstaff

Brian Moe

The Pinkstaffs

Elaine from ACME wear

Tom Young

Three Canucks
Allan Schmidt, me, Shawn Miletich - Check out Al's website here

Josh with Pirelli

Chuck with Pirelli

Dave Hodges
GP Suspension

Mr. Mike Sullivan
Mike's Riding School

Mike Castro & Don Beck
Sullivan's engine & chassis boys

Check out the NEW Joe Rocket Gloves - AWESOME

Aarin "Kevin's fiancé"
(Note: Zlock Racing logo on big toe)



OMRRA Round 1


Series: OMRRA
Date: April 13th

Classes raced and results
600 Supersport -
650 GP Twins - 1st

600 Superbike - 6th
MW Superbike - 1st


It’s 6:30 on Monday morning. I’m on a BC Ferries’ sailing headed home from a busy race weekend that had some success and some frustration for me. It was the opening round of the Oregon Motorcycle Road Racing Association’s 2008 series in Portland where the track has been completely repaved and also slightly revised. Fortunately I can say I have had the opportunity to ride and race on racetracks all over the world and the surface at Portland is now WORLD CLASS. It’s billiard-table smooth with a grip level so high it is almost indescribable.
Also, there are some pretty special people in OMRRA, such as Janice Logan, Tom Young and others, who are the foundation of the club and why it runs. So, it was good to see these folks for the first time this year.

Before I go over all that occurred during the weekend I have to thank some specific sponsors for their extended efforts. Thanks to everyone at Joe Rocket for all you do to keep me safe. Thanks to EBC Brakes, specifically, Garry Gallagher for the amazing stuff they provide. I tested some new brake pads for EBC this weekend and they were the best I’ve ever used.

Also, I have to thank PAZZO Racing for its continued support with levers and other tidy bits for the bikes. As a “treat” they made some “Oliver” branded levers for me this year. (See photo on the left).

Also, in my first report this year, I failed to mention some key sponsors who are such a crucial part of what we do. So, thanks must go out to Hindle Exhaust, specifically Lee Hindle, for always coming though with the best exhaust systems possible. Our 600 sounds amazing at 15,000 rpm through Hindle’s megaphone exhaust.

Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank our team painter Rob Burns. (Paint by Burns Motorsports) “Burnsey” works his tail off to keep our bikes looking “bright.” Thanks Rob, you’re the best.

To these people and to everyone else involved in our race program—thank you, we wouldn’t be able to do this without your support.

Also, I want to congratulate our friend Brian Moe for getting his first race wins this weekend. Riding Zlock-built SVs Brian “whooped his competition like a rented mule.” GREAT stuff Bri, we’re proud of you.

Anyway, on to the racing at hand.

Notes on practice:

Practice went quite well as I focused on setting up the bikes to be able to put them where I wanted on the track. I’m really enjoying riding the bikes right now as I have a clear picture of the things I need to work on as a rider and with Dan’s help we adjust the bikes to make things happen the way I need them to. And this folks is just another reason why Dan’s talent is so huge. He does what few in this business do—he keeps it simple. He focuses on the foundations of how to get a motorcycle around a racetrack efficiently, while eliminating almost all the background “noise” that usually comes into the picture. He’s taught me what to look for, and more importantly, how to convey my experiences clearly and effectively. His best advise to me when I started riding for the team was: “Unless you can tell me what the bike is doing to slow YOU down, we’re not changing a thing.” That might sound “harsh” but it’s the best way to summarize how we work on developing a bike. Basically it starts with me and, as a rider, I need to ride well enough to get things to this point. Ninety-five per cent of the time, the only nut that needs to be adjusted on the bike is me. We made some minor changes to the 600 and even chased down a slight misfire ultimately caused by the quick shifter “failing.” In the end we took the unit off to solve the issue.

Race 1
600 SuperSport
Weather conditions – warm & dry
Tires front / rear – Dot, soft front & rear
Total laps - 12
Result – 5th

To say that I had my work cut out for me in this race was an understatement: unfortunately for me, the OMMRA grids everyone in order of last year’s point standings. As I had virtually none, I was gridded well back in a large field of riders—the back of the fifth row to be specific. Now, I can occasionally pull a rabbit out of my “ahem” hat and make up one, maybe two, rows on a start. Assuming things go very well that is. But four is a big task in a class full of guys that took my lunch money in high school. I launched the 600 very hard off the line, probably cutting the clutch life in half.

Somehow I managed to get in the top five on the first lap, right behind Mike Sullivan. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Sure enough, Mike and I had another phenomenal battle for the entire race, and he was blowing me away going into turn one.

I couldn’t believe how late he was braking going into turn one and he also had speed on me through turns two and three, where I’m clearly missing a few tenths. However, I was slightly stronger on the back section and with this we were able to scrap back and forth for the entire race. I knew it was going to come down to a last lap pass. I worked my way right up to Mike through the back and got the best drive ever out of the last turn in an effort to draft by him at the line. It ended in the closest finish I have ever had in my career, with Mike taking the win by less than a foot. Awesome race!

Race 2
650 GP Twins
Weather conditions – warm & dry
Tires front / rear – soft - soft
Total laps - 12
Result - 1st
I didn’t get the best start in this one but the power of Dan’s SV enabled me to lead the group to turn one. From there I just focused on hitting the exact marks on the track, lap after lap, and managed to get a small gap to second which we luckily held to the finish. Honestly, I can’t seem to make Dan’s SV protest in any way. It doesn’t do a thing to slow me down so it’s just up to me to pin the thing everywhere I can.

Race 3
600 SuperBike
Weather conditions - warm & dry
Tires front / rear - soft DOT front - med DOT rear
Total laps – 12
Result 6th
Yet again I had my work cut out for me on the start with another fifth row grid position. Somehow I got lucky and managed to improve on the earlier start getting to within striking distance of the lead four riders. I ran them down in the first four laps of the race and I thought I would have something for them, but in the end I just didn’t make it happen. I was losing crucial ground through a key section of the track and was becoming a bit frustrated. When I pushed harder it just led to a few mistakes. No excuses though, it was down to me as I had the equipment to do the job. Dan and I talked after the race and really dug into why we are losing time there. If we get that section squared away, we’ll be more of a threat. Next time.

Race 4
Middle Weight Superbike
Weather conditions - cool & dry
Tires front / rear - soft dot front - soft dot rear
Total laps - 12
Result - 1st

This race came up right after the 600, so I was already all spooled up. I got a decent start form the second row and once again just focused on hitting my marks and putting the bike where it needed to be. Riding the SV is actually helping me in other areas of my riding as the bike tends to be much more susceptible to things like headwinds and elevation changes on the track. I’m noticing how the details of my riding on this bike affect it in such big ways. Again each time I go out I look to glean a little more insight into how to go just that much faster. It’s a game you never master.

Again, HUGE thanks to everyone involved in our race program!

Next race in Seattle - May 3 - 4.

Stay tuned