Roland Sands was a fast, albeit sometimes wild, AMA 250 Grand Prix rider. It looks like non of that wildness has worn off over the years, in fact it may be more pronounced today. Check out what Roland is up to today by clicking on the ad below:
Tom Wilson was working his way through the club ranks when this photo was taken during a WERA B Superstock race at Indianapolis Raceway Park (now O’Reilly Raceway Park) in October of 1991. Wilson was starting his meteoric rise in racing. In 1992 Wilson launched his pro racing career and by 1994 he was a leading AMA 600 and 750 Supersport racer with Kinko’s Yamaha.
In 1996 Wilson missed out on perhaps what would have been one of the most historic wins in Superbike racing history. Wilson actually won the Mid-Ohio Superbike race on the factory Harley-Davidson VR1000. Unfortunately a red flag came out and scoring was backed up a lap and the win was credited to Pascal Picotte.
Wilson was one of the most level-headed racers I ever met. I saw his patients in action once at the little regional airport in Brainerd, Minn. Wilson was waiting at the gate for a flight for a couple of hours, but when it came time to board the plane he was told he was not on the list because he hadn’t checked in. He didn’t go nuts, he simply asked the airline representative when he could catch the next plane. I offered to let Wilson have my seat, but he told me to go ahead saying something like I was probably busier than he was. Great guy, very fast and perhaps underrated.
This was Honda’s road racing squad ten years ago. Miguel Duhamel and Eric Bostrom rode the V-Four-powered Honda RC45 in AMA Superbike and the Honda CBR600F4 in AMA Supersport. Miguel swept the Daytona 200 and the Daytona Supersport race that season. Unfortunately that was the lone highlight for the factory squad that year.
The Honda CB100, the bike of my dreams in 1973. I was a 13-year-old Indianapolis Star paperboy and my dad said if I could save the money I could buy a motorcycle. I’d been riding friend’s bikes for a couple of years, starting out with a Rupp minibike when I was about 10, so I was more than ready to have my own ride. Of course when you make 15 bucks a week getting up a four in the morning and delivering papers, the 375 dollar purchase price seemed like a daunting task and I’m sure my dad didn’t think I’d do it. But when you’re 13 and you want a motorcycle nothing will stand in your way.
I worked like crazy, taking on extra paper routes (primarily the Indianapolis News, which was an afternoon paper) when my buddies were on vacation. I cut grass, did any little side job I could find and I didn’t spend a penny. I even managed to save some of my lunch money, by eating nothing but a peanut butter-chocolate bar and a carton of milk to wash it down for a couple of months, saving over half of my lunch money.
In a surprisingly short amount of time I’d saved the money and my dad, as promised, took me out and we bought a beautiful, slightly used, blue Honda CB100.
Being just 13 I wasn’t allowed to ride the roads and I stuck with that for at least a few months. I swear I could go just about anywhere in Indianapolis via railroad right of ways, creek beds, alleys and other “non-roads”. The Honda got beat to death enduring hundreds of hours of off-road abuse, something it wasn’t built for, yet it never let me down. I handed the bike down to my little brother when I stepped up to a Suzuki TS185 a few years later. He too rode the heck out of the bike before selling it to a friend.
One of the hairiest moments of my early motorcycling life was venturing out on I-465 on the little Honda. In a full tuck the thing would go maybe 55 mph and that was if the road was perfectly level. I vividly remember a semi pulling up behind me and hitting his air horn. I nearly jumped out of my seat and wisely decided to take the next exit. It was a great bike and perfect first motorcycle for a 13-year-old motorcycle nut.
Scott Russell leads Yoshimura Suzuki teammate Jamie James into Turn 5 at Road America in 1989. This was the year that the duo tangled on the last lap while running first and second, handing the Road America Superbike victory to privateer Rich Arnaiz.
James got caught up in Russell’s draft and had too much speed heading into the turn and just an instant after this photo is taken James impacted the rear of Russell’s machine. The two may have survived the impact without going down, but unfortunately the front wheel on James’ machine wedged in between the exhaust pipe and rear wheel of Russell’s bike. James was stuck and the two tumbled.
Arnaiz passed the carnage, but didn’t realize the implications of the crash until he pulled into the pits and people came up waving and patting him on the back before he was directed towards the podium and told he was the winner.