Machine preparation would not have been Kevin's strongest suit but he did keep the wheels of his FJ600 turning. "I used to do my own work, I was OK at the general maintenance, I could prepare the bikes but I didn't know enough to do any tuning. I used to enjoy working on them but I didn't used to strip them completely to the bare cases or stuff like that."
He soon attracted a circle of friends who raced the same sort of events and it just naturally came to pass that they entered some endurance races together, one way or another several of the guys also managed to get backing from the shop for their racing efforts.
"If it was just a six hour race then Kenny Morgan and I would race together, if it was a longer race like a twenty four hour then it would be Kenny and I plus Brian Floores and Brent Trimble. It was Team Hurst Yamaha, they were giving all of the guys parts at cost so there were several bikes out there with Hurst Yamaha on them."
The motorcycle market in the US was still healthy enough at the time and the company had grown to such a size that it could support a few keen kids. Darryl's racing had tapered off so it was natural to get the exposure somewhere else. Kevin had been around the shop all his life, had helped out and worked there from time to time. He left school and had a brief time at college but that didn't inspire him very much as he had by this time become more intensely interested in the racing. So he started working at the shop full time. Unfortunately that could have a down side as well after a race weekend. "We'd get back and if we'd got into any trouble it would be me that had to front up before my uncle or my dad and get the word on how we'd let the shop down."
|Kevin's pristine FJ600, those leathers also look terribly new but at least the turn indicators have been removed from the bike, true race preparation.|
"I guess it only happened a couple of times hut I remember once after the races at Texas World. I think for some reason my friend Vernon was the guest of honour giving out the trophies. I forget why that was exactly but I think something had happened to Lurch. So Vernon didn't get to race and he had spent the afternoon watching the racing accompanied by a cold beer...or three."
Perhaps we weren't taking the prize giving as seriously as some people thought we should. Things got rowdier, we didn't think it was that bad but by that time we had got used to collecting a few trophies, it wasn't as solemn an occasion as it was for some. I had a few trophies to pick up and when I had to go up there'd be a fair bit of noise from our group and Vernon and I would butt chests as he was giving me the trophy."
"I guess there were people there who thought we should appreciate these moments as special segments of history, Sit there and clap politely. We didn't think that much about what we were doing, we were just having fun, that was the general idea of going racing as far as we were concerned."
|Aquafest 1984 a free for all against everything from big road bikes to motocrossers.|
"Brian used to work at the shop as well but when there was trouble they always came to me. They kind of knew that if anything was up it was either me and Brent or me. I was the one most available so I was the one who caught it.
Darryl used to bend my ear, 'We do this for you we do that, we give you tyres you get parts you get all this and you can't even act responsible for five minutes' You know how that sort of thing goes, most of us have got it at some time or another. And I'd say with my sweet hurt innocence, 'Well we won the race.... I thought that was all that mattered'."
"I think that I did learn a lot from that though, sponsors are involved not just because you can win races for them. There is more to it than that. They want you to project a good image and I guess we weren't really doing that then."
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