Brian Berney (56), on his Yamaha RZ500, leads Steve Campisano (123) on a Honda VF750 through the hairpin turn at Indianapolis Raceway Park around 1984 or so. Both bikes are V-Fours, but that’s where the similarities end. Berney’s RZ was a two-stroke 500cc machine based on the world championship winning Yamaha YZR500 Grand Prix bike, while the Honda VF750, a 750cc four-stroke, had a championship pedigree as well in AMA Superbike competition. Berney went on to have an epic battle with Kevin Schwantz in the C Production final at the GNF in ’84, with Schwantz, riding a Yamaha FJ600 making a move late in the race to take the victory.
Cycle Tech Racing pits for repairs during a WERA National Endurance race in 1985 at Blackhawk Farms. John Kocinski (right) crashed the bike in the rain damaging an engine side cover. Joey Osowski (helmeted) prepares to take his stint on the bike while a third team rider David Aldana (on left in white shirt) looks on. Dave Zerkel is in the middle working on the bike. Cycle Tech with Kocinski (an early-season replacement for Wes Cooley, who was injured in an AMA Superbike event at Sears Point), Osowski and Aldana went on to win the WERA National Endurance title that year racing a Suzuki GSX-R750 and year before the bike was introduced in the U.S. Anyone who ever raced Blackhawk in the old days in the rain can empathize with Kocinski. It was perhaps the slickest wet racing surface in the world.
These have to be the best looking Moto Guzzi motorcycles I’ve ever seen. I want one!
For my money Billy Eisenacher was one of those rare riders who could have easily made it in the pro ranks (he scored an eighth-place finish in the Road Atlanta 750 Supersport National in 1994 in one of his few AMA national appearances), but the problem was Billy was making too much money chasing contingency dollars in the club ranks to bother with the AMA Pro events. This photo is Eisenacher racing a WERA event at Putnam Park in west central Indiana. As I recall Billy cleaned house in the Yamaha contingency races that day.
It didn’t happen very often, but in the ‘80s Cycle News would call me on occasion to shoot and report on bigger motocross, off-road or hillclimb events around Indiana. Sometime in the mid-1980s I reported on an AMA National Hare Scramble event in Southern Indiana. Tom Buckles was one of the big off-road stars in the area and according to the caption on this photo he won the event that weekend at Stoney Lonesome Motorcycle Club, near Columbus, Indiana. Buckles rode for the American team in the ISDE several times in the early-to-mid 1980s.