As luck would have it, the person I got this bike from took really good care of it. Darwin included a FMF and Pro Circuit pipe and silencer, so
I would do different combinations depending on the circumstances. I liked the FMF pipe for the extra
revs in the sand, but most of the time I used the Pro Circuit. I seemed to
get a little more low-end with the FMF silencer, so I ended up using that all the time. Other than that, I kept it fairly stock, did the regular
maintenance frequently, and rode it often. The "can't get it started" nightmares from the evil thumper were soon fading into repression.
This was quite an improvement over my 1985 CR250 , which being 15 years newer would make sense. A more recent reference for me would
be that it was like my 89 YZ250, but without its shortcomings, and best of all in my mind, it felt like a Honda. It handled well and the suspension,
once it was set up for my weight, worked great. The stock engine with the aftermarket exhaust was all the motor I needed. You could get away with
short-shifting it, to some degree, or revving it out.
At the start of 2001, I started riding more with Jason Boche, someone who was also starting to get back into racing again, and who lived a few
blocks away. I advanced to B class, and raced 25+ and or 30+. The 25+B class was rather poorly attended, as was Jason’s class, 25+C, so by
starting and finishing quite a few races in a row, we were both suddenly within sniffing distance of the top 10. From there, Points Fever
had struck and we started going to the races even on the nasty weather weekends.
It was somewhere in this time period that marked the humble beginnings of what would become the anti-viral internet sensation, MXBob.com (1998 – 2016).
I was the webmaster of District 23 web site for a while, and saw how I could turn my personal site, which was essentially a place to dump random things
I had written over the years, into something useful to Minnesota amateur racers. That was the original idea, anyway. The
2001 results were fairly crude, but much more extensive than what was otherwise available on
the internet at the time.
Despite not being the fastest rider in my class, or even mid-pack really, I excelled in showing up, and starting and finishing races. Finally
through the attrition I had been expected to benefit from years earlier, I was able to ride to year-end glory with a stirring string of 5th of
6 and 7th of 10 finishes. I climbed to 7th in the points by year end, and won my first year-end award. I could
have checked that off my list, sold the bike, and moved on with my life. It didn't quite work that way.
By the start of the 2002 season, I had "qualified" for the 40+ class. Many men get all bent out of shape about turning 40. They buy sports cars,
grow ponytails, maybe go as far as looking for a trophy wife. I had no such desires. For a 39 year-old racer in the 25+ and 30+ classes,
the chance to race the 40+ class looked like a welcome pool of easy pickings. Unfortunately, I seemed to be on the cusp of a wave of fast old guys
getting back into the sport. That 40+ class looked tougher, and better attended, the closer I got to it.
Relatively speaking, I did better in 2002 and went to enough races to get another year-end award. I wasn’t going to go to as many races as the
previous year, but mid-season, I was again stricken with Points Fever, and was racing (starting and finishing of course) a race somewhere every weekend.
My web site moved off the ISP's space (remember when people did that?), and to its own domain name, MXBob.com. The
2002 results were shown in the same format as the previous season, but other sections of the site
began to sprout, most notably the track pages and the event calendar.
The start and finish streak was interrupted late in the summer when I went one race too many on a chain (stupid, stupid, stupid) and put a hole
in the cases. The counter shaft guard ripped out, pretty much causing what it was supposed to prevent. I was wondering why I saw a lot of people
riding without them.
This is when next chapter's 125 came into the picture. I finished out the last few races on it while the Honda got repaired. Going into 2003, I had
both this bike and the 125 ready to ride, and the few-month overlap plan had somehow morphed into a two-bike stable.
In 2003, I advanced to A class, and was hoping my 2001 25+B strategy would pay off again. This is one of three bikes I rode that season. I rode
this one primarily in the first half or so, occasionally riding the 125 instead.
You have to go to quite a few races in District 23 to stay in the top ten, at least when finishing towards the back like I did at first, so I must
have put a few hundred hours on this bike. Other than the chain mistake, it held up well. This bike even outlasted the upstart 125.
This was sold late-summer of 2003, a deal brokered by a former 500c National qualifier who'll I refer to only as T-man (not because anyone calls
him that, but because it sounds cool). Last I heard (which was quite a while ago, as of 2017), the bike is still being ridden regularly in the
mountains of Colorado, and the owner has continued the pattern of compulsive maintenance and cleaning set forth by the two previous owners,
and if possible, has surpassed both of us.
Previous Bike Bike List Next Bike
Grantsburg Motocross Park, early 2003, a rare dry day
Revised October 2017