BRIDGESA COMMENTARY BY DOUG MEYER
Monday March 30th, 2009
Makin' Stories......Makin' stories. That's what it's really all about. That's what comes clearly through in the Bikeland Dragbike Zone Forum threads about The Texas Mile. How much fun would this stuff be if it was easy, if anyone could do it, if most anyone even wanted to do it? If you are a rider, you want to find somebody to ride faster than. If you're a builder, you want somebody around that causes you to do a better build. How else can you prove you're the best instead of the only.
In any endeavor, it's when things go wrong that tests you. LIke the soldier that wants to fight, the racer wants to race, and the builder wants to build- to use his skills to fix what's wrong under the relentless time pressure of a race event .
The totally random and unexpected failure of Karl Gunter's well built engine on his first run at the Texas Mile on Friday gave him and me an opportunity "get in the fight" just to see if we could do it. When Karl said he had parts back in Houston and we looked at each other said "Then let's go fix it! " I couldn't have been more excited. Now we really had a challenge. When we rolled out onto Texas 59 in Karl's ex-cop car white Crown VIc I felt a little like we were Jake and Elwood "on a mission from God".
More than anything, I love assembling engines, and I very much appreciate working with someone else that thinks about it in the same way as I. The silent teamwork that evolves is very satisfying. Probably like a couple of good musicians who've never played together before jamming for the first time. Karl's fitting rings, I'm torquing the cases....four hands silently working to get the cylinder down onto the rings....... ten minutes.... not working... . studs in the way.....not enough chamfer... OK we'll re-split the cases again and put 'em in from the bottom, then the crank after.... no complaints, no drama just another 40 minutes of careful, deliberate work, but when it's done it's done right, with enough confidence that either one of us will get on that bike and pull the 200 mph trigger without a second thought.
Now, don't get me wrong, at 2 AM after 12 hours standing at the bench plus a 3 hour car ride and with another 3 hour Jake and Elwood ahead, I wasn't feeling quite so enamored with the idea, but inside I just couldn't wait to get back to the track. I wanted to get there before anyone else showed up on Saturday, just to really screw with 'em, but the realities of the need for sleep prevailed and we caught a couple of hours. The drive back went quickly not only because Karl was hustling the Vic down the road, but because we were tellin' stories, stories made just this way many times before. I'm very proud to be able to add this one to the book. Running those big numbers was sure awesome but working that hard for it is what really made it great. Thanks to everyone that shows up to race because without each of us and all of us, this wouldn't really be any fun.
Posted by Doug @ 20:36 - Permalink - 5 Comments - 0 Trackbacks
Ding-dang it, you write REALLY well!
Honestly, it was an honor to have you in my garage, working together to get it apart and back together. This'll be a warm memory, a "story" i will carry forever.
I still don't quite understand your aversion to using a 750ft-lb tq IR air impact gun to dissasemble the motor, or use cut beer cans and vise grips to remove studs ;) "uhhhh Karl,,, let me do that..." but i will take your advice (unless i am in a rush :D
Your help and camaraderie leaves me speechless.
Then, to have you take the US record for fastest NA Kawasaki on my bike, OUR motor, makes me soooooooooooo proud.
From entropy on 2009-03-31 03:36 - Permalink
You guys truely are the dream team! 208.7xx MPH!!! Amazing! :bigthumb
From KZScott on 2009-04-01 00:41 - Permalink
Great job guys. Glad I was there to see it.
From osti33 on 2009-04-01 07:22 - Permalink
The ones you work the hardest for, always mean the most........
Heath "Nox" Wilhite
From NOX on 2009-04-02 06:33 - Permalink
congrats again on a kickass job!
From whitehendrix on 2009-04-04 21:26 - Permalink
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Doug Meyer has been working with race engines professionally and as a hobby for the past 45 years. He has built engines for everything from dragbikes and cars to outboard race boats, from the famous Can-Am sports cars and an F-1 car to motorcycle streamliners. He spent many years as a professional race team member and engine builder. Everything from nitrous to nitro, Doug's had his hands in it. He has set 16 Bonneville speed records...
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All photographs by Doug Meyer unless otherwise noted
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