//ArrowChat Code
  • Long Live 3Wheeling Magazine. A compilation of stories and posts from Dean Kirsten

    Editors note: The following is a compilation of stories and posts Dean Kirsten (Former writer/editor of 3Wheeling Magazine) has posted about on the Forum over the course of several years. His original thread can be found here

    One of the most difficult and largest undertaking we did at 3Wheeling was the famous 200X pipe shootout.... I think we had somewhere around 30 pipes to dyno-test and ride-test on a track. Do you guys remember that one? Well, here's some inside scoop. The ideas was that we called all the pipe guys and asked them to send us a 200X "production" pipe for our testing. Most did agree, and within days, we had a pile of pipes in our backroom that was incredible.

    Two guys held out, for whatever reason; DG and Corba. No pipes, they didn't want to play. Super Trapp sent us a pipe that can only be called a "works, hand-built" unit, but all the rest were looking pretty much production. The day before the dyno test at Jerry Branch's shop, DG and Corba were still stroking us around, so you know what we did? Yup, we went out and bought them from a local retailer! The day of the dyno test, DG called and asked how everyone was doing. We then told them that their pipe was in the middle of the pack.... What pipe? They weren't too happy about that one.

    Anyway, Harry from Trinity Cycle drove up and handed us a pipe for the dyno test. It was the worse-looking pipe ever made, arc welds, terrible bends, but old Harry said it should work. Are you sure? So, it went on the engine and kicked everyone's a##. Go figure.

    The ride-portion came next and each of the pipes went on the test ATC and we all rode the wheels off that thing. I can't recall the all-out winner, but I remember Curtis Sparks and Bassani were way up there. Harry's pipe did well in the ride-portion, but did not win the shootout (maybe because it wasn't a production pipe and it looked like crap?). It was a great experience, and a lot of work. Shootouts are great for the readers, but only one can win, and everyone else is runner up.

    Originally posted here

    Although the following story is about 4wheelers, I think most of you will enjoy it. The best factory press trip I ever took was to the Rubicon Trail, located just outside Lake Tahoe, CA. Honda was introducing the (new) 4x4 Fourtrax, so they decided to take an overnight trip across this famous trail. They chartered a bus for us press dudes, and drove us from Orange County up to northern California. The bus had a full bar with VHS movies going the whole time (no, no porn stuff). We stayed in some up-scale bed and breakfast house, which was over the top (for a bunch of ATV riders). The next morning, they took us to the starting point of the Rubican Trail. Now Honda wasn't sure that either us, or the new Fourtrax 4x4 could make it without help, so, they hired a bunch of 4x4 guys in Jeeps to lead/show the way.....

    Needless to say, the ATVs blew through this trail like a hot knife through butter, and we left those trucks standing! Halfway through the trip, we stopped for dinner, and to make camp for the night. Next thing we know, a helicopter flies overhead and lowers down our gear, and food items. Next, the chopper landed, and let two pro BBQ chefs out (with tall white hats and all). These guys set up a complete BBQ feast, and beer city! It was incredible. The following morning we resumed our trip down this trail, and by mid-day, we made it all the way to the end of the line. All of the Fourtraxs made it without a glinch, and we drove them right into the back of a 40ft. semi trailer, for their trip back to Honda. We then hopped back into that bus, and headed for home (after a hot shower and steak dinner). What a cool trip. Now, is this anyway to earn a living?

    Originally posted here

    Curtis Spark did an engine for our 200X way back when, and it did run extremely well. Now, this was a desert setup, so things would be a bit different in terms of engine tune, and gearing. During the 1985 Baja 1000, our 200X was able to keep up right along side of Curtis and Wax's 200X, even though we didn't have the flat-slide carb, knive-edged crank, larger cam, and more porting. These 200Xs would beat many 250Rs in the rough and in certain sand washes. But in a drag race, those mighty 250Rs would blow by us!

    Later on, Curtis built us a stroker 200X engine, I think was about 240cc. What a monster! We never raced it, since it wasn't legal for SCORE/AATVA. However, in the dunes, look out. We had a lot of fun with it, right up to the day, Honda went out with us to Glamis for some testing. Honda's Tom "blow 'em up" Byan, wanted to take our "X" up Comp Hill. Now, Tom was about 6'-4" 240-lbs+. A giant on a 200X. So, off he goes and we hold our breath. About half-way up, the engine starts to run out of steam, so he down-shifts it and the engine immediately goes to 12-grand! About 15-seconds later, a big boom was heard, the "X" stopped suddenly, and Tom looked down like, "Oh !" Now this was a Honda loaner, so Honda owned it - not us! We rode up to the scene, and all you could see was oil everywhere. The entire front of the engine was blown away, including the front engine mount! The case was cracked everywhere, parts were all over the dunes, smoke was pouring out the top end. It was a real mess. We towed it back to camp, and later on, we tore it apart. The crank was broken in four pieces, the cam was in two, we never did find the piston. We found parts of the transmission inside the silencer. May it rest in pieces.....

    Originally posted here

    Since Dickson is lurking around here somewhere, I might as well tell some stories about him...... I recall, we just got the new '84 ATC 250R for some magazine photos. We drove down to Palm Ave., National City, which was a place that you could ride (before they closed it down..). Anyway, we unload this pristine ATC, brand new, never been in the dirt. Tracey gets into his racing gear, and I get my Nikon ready. Dickson decides to try the trike out for a spin, before we start taking photos... So, he kick's it to life, and away he goes.

    In the very first fast turn/slide, he clutches it, and the front end comes up and spits him on the ground in a New York minute! I can't believe it. A brand new trike and he is already on the ground, with it on top of him. I ran after him, to make sure he is okay, but some young girl is closer, and rides her ATC90 up and gets off to offer some help. Tracey by now is laughing, but still laying on the ground in disbelief (doing the dead cockroach). This girl goes up to Tracey and says, "Aren't you that Tracey Dickson, that rides for all the ATC magazines? Wow, I can't believe I actually had a chance to meet you. All of my friends".... and on and on she goes. Dickson, is still laying on the ground ready to crawl into a hole. So, I come on to the scene, and the girl is still blabbing away. "Boy you are such a good rider. I once saw you race at....." Yeah, okay, but right now Tracey needs to get off his dead-butt and ride this thing!

    Once we get Dickson upright and the trike back on all threes, we inspect the damage. Everything is okay, except the rear grab bar (and Tracey's ego), which is bent to crap. We end up doing the photo session, but if you look closely at the photos, the rear bar is bent at a 90 degree angle. And that young chick? She hung around until we left, admiring the Dickson dude. "Bye-bye Tracey, hope to see you ride again. Boy, you are so good".......... And off we drove into the San Diego sunset. Amen.

    Originally posted here

    Happy 4th of July to one and all. With this holiday in mind, I can remember one such "wild" Fourth weekend, back about 1982, where we traveled to the Coral Pink sand dunes, and stayed in Kanab, Utah. Small town, small stadium, freaky vistors.... I'll explain. If you look back at our report on Coral Pink, we mentioned about going there with a bunch of guys from Las Vegas. They liked, and I quote, "Young girls and old Whiskey," 'nough said? Money was no problem with these guys, they were loaded! Full-time drivers, mechanics, some flew to the dunes in their own Bell helicopter, others flew into the International Kanab airport with their private jet. Limos, motorhomes, enclosed trailers, ATCs, Odysseys, full wet bar, you name it.

    After a few days of duning, it was the 4th of July, and we all went into town to see the "official" fireworks display, held at the local stadium. Randy, one of the bunch from Las Vegas, asked one of the officials if he could light off some of his fireworks after the regular show. "Yeah, no problem".... he must have thought Randy had a $29 box full of Red Devil specials. Little did he know that these guys came prepared for a serious show of their own... After the town's rather boring, small-time fireworks display had finsihed, everyone in the stadium began to file out, and head for home.

    Then it happened, Randy and crew began to light-off everything they had..... and all hell broke loose. Next thing we know, those fireworks, I mean SERIOUS fireworks began to blast-off and explode everywhere! Crap was landing in the stands, lighting fires in the planters, sky rockets were screaming over your head, people couldn't figure out what in the hell was going on! So, figuring that this was another show, many began to file back into the stadium, and sit down. Traffic jam? Within a few minutes, there was a fireworks show like this town had never seen before. These guys had spent thousands of bucks on professional fireworks, which was about three times more than the Kanab Chamber of Commerce had spent on the real fireworks display, twenty-minutes earlier. Soon, the fire trucks began to dispatch, and they were told to stop! "But you told us we could light-off our own fireworks?"

    So, for a few minutes back about twenty-two years ago today, an ATC group went where no other ATC group had ever gone before.... in Kanab Utah. Enjoy.

    Originally posted here

    Another bedtime story from the old 3Wheeling vault. Remember Phil Beckman? The former editor of 3Wheeling? Well, one afternoon, he was flying to cover a race somewhere on the east coast.... He was sitting in a window seat, with some young lady sitting in the middle, holding a new baby boy. Well, sooner or later during the flight, the little "brat" let one loose, and mom decided it was time to change junior's dippers. But where? In the rest room in the back of the plane? No sir. Right there in the seat next to old Phil Beckman. He was trapped, with no where to go. It wasn't bad enough that Phil had to sit through a loaded dipper switch, but when she lifted the little "brat" up, guess what happen? Yup, he pissed all over Phil! So, you wanted to be an editor huh? Good night all.

    Originally posted here:

    About the R&D departments.... I tried several times to get a trip to Japan and see what was going on behind the scenes. But no-go. I really don't have much scoop on that segment over seas, other than once these Japanese wiz-kids came out with something, they would send it to California, and have some of the Team riders, or hired racers, to ride them to death (the ATCs, not the riders). Tim Orchard did a lot of testing for Honda on the Pilot and late Odyssey. He would go around a set course, at a set speed, with a lap full of sensors plugged into all kinds of areas. Again and again. Every time he would hot-lap the Odyssey, the Japanese engineers would bawl him out for trying to f-up their testing equipment. Tim said it got very boring after awhile, since he could not go out and have fun. Just the same course, over and over again....... Ron Hasle did testing on the 250R, as did Craig Peterson.

    Since we would do much of our testing during the week days, we often ran into a box truck out in the middle of no-where. These Japanese engineers hated to see my Toyota truck pull up! I remember one time Suzuki was testing a pre-production Quad 80 with a bunch of kids, and dads in a field near Escondido. I was tipped off about the test, so I showed up as Joe-Blow. One of the engineers asked me if I would like to give it a spin? I of course, smiled and jumped at the chance. I went out and rode the piss out of that thing, hanging my legs out, power-sliding it around the turns, and beating that prototype to death! After about a dozen laps (which they video taped), I pulled over and handed it back to them. They looked at me with a puzzled look, and asked, "Who are you anyway?" I don't think they expected an adult to go out and thrash their new toy like that. It was a blast.

    Originally posted here

    That whole idea of a backward 3-wheeler was a real crock of you know what. It was thought up by Dirt Wheel's art director, Dennis West of all people (a real 3wheeler enthusiast)..yuk, yuk. That thing was totally unrideable, and was a real joke among the people involved. It couldn't do anything right, but they did get some semi-slide shots and a jump for the cover thanks to the Wolfman. I will give Dirt Wheels a lot of credit for creating a magazine that would sell.... forget the truth, just publish a nice looking package that people will buy. They are still in business, and 3Wheeling is not. Enough said.

    The strangest trike by the factory? Hmmm. I would have to think about that one for awhile. Most likely, from Kawaski. They seem to have come from outer space on some of their ideas back then. I recall when Lee Rogers was in their R&D department, he build a 250cc 3wheeler race model for the SCORE Riverside Off-Road Championships in '82 (way before the Tecate was out).At the last minute, he took the trike out of the trailer and hauled ass up to the starting line. After the first practice, we took off looking for it in the pits. It was no where to be found. Turns up, they didn't want anyone to look too close up, so they ditched it right after the race was over. It was a hand-built 3-wheeler, built by their skunkworks black options department.... Top secret, need-to-know basis, I'll have to kill you if you see it in person... that sorta thing. I talked to him months later, and he said he saw us searching around the pits and he knew we were searching for his project. Years later, that project became the backbone for the Tecate.....

    Originally posted here

    Donnie Luce still works for White Brothers, and has for years. He did have some sort of support program with Team Green, and like you said, with Harry Klemm, he had all the right stuff. Donnie is a hell of a nice guy, and was a great rider. He once gave a Christmas party for all the local hot 3-wheeler riders at his house. As everyone sat down in the living room with a brew and something to eat, he turned on the VCR, and showed some recent ATC race footage. Unknown to all of us, he had edited together all of the parts where he was leading races all on one tape! It was great to see Jimmy White and Stevie Wright slowly catch on to what was happening! Every race, Donnie lead out of the gate, every turn, Donnie was ahead, and what final laps were shown, guess who won? Fun night.

    Originally posted here

    Well gang, I've been away too long, so here's another story from my past.... I recall one of the AATVA races at Des Moines, Iowa, where Jimmy White was there and is also his hometown. We flew out there to cover the event for 3Wheeling, and hooked up with his family and met his (now deceased) dad, Wolf. What a character!

    On Friday night, a bunch of us went out to dinner somewhere, and I can tell you there was a decent amount of booze consumed that night.... Anyway, we were on our way back to the motel. I was driving your basic rental wreck, and Wolf was driving his decked out Chevy van, with Jimmy, Rhonda and more.

    I came up to a traffic light and got the red. I was the first in line at the intersection, and Wolf was right behind me. As I watched the traffic go left-to-right, all of a sudden, Wolf nudges me from behind. So, I looked in my mirror and all I can see is Wolf and Jimmy smiling away.... Next thing I know, they're pushing me into the intersection! So, of course, I stood on the brakes, but to no avail. That huge Chevy is too heavy and had too much power for my weak-knee rental.

    As our car was pushed into the crosswalk, our tires were squealing, the next thing I know, our front end is now past the crosswalk and going into the intersection with busy cross-traffic.

    At first, we're all laughing and having a great old time, but after awhile of tire smoking, I began to wonder, how far are these crazy Whites going to go? We are now heading closer and closer into the first lane of traffic, and soon, cars are beginning to drive around us.

    Just about the time, we began to flip them off, the light FINALLY changes, and we're off! It's a drag race to the motel and to avoid any other intersections! We made it in one piece.... Those days were just too much fun. Deano

    Originally posted here

    The year was, I can't recall, but Jimmy White was riding for Kawaski, and we were all in town for the big event at Santa Cruz, Calfornia. Jimmy by that time, had a full time contract and was making over 100K a year..... Daryl Bassani was still his engine builder, so the Super Crew was still all together, and giving Wes McCoy fits! By this time, rental car companies had Jimmy's name on their no-rent list, so, they used Dave Jordan's rental, who was a big-wig for Kawasaki at the time (basically, JW's boss). So, here we are, riding in Dave Jordan's rental, Bassani was driving, JW and Rhonda were all in the front seat, and Orchard and myself we in the back..... During the course of the weekend, we drove to and from the race track, back to the Holiday Inn in Seaside a million time.

    On Friday afternoon, Team Honda was setup in the Holiday Inn parking lot, working on the trikes, and getting things ready to move to the track the following morning. Now, Wes McCoy was as about as high-strung as you could get, and everytime JW and Daryl were around, Wes freaked. Honda had some serious competition then, and Wes had a lot of pressure to win the 250 class.

    So, here we were driving down Highway One south, going back to the motel. Daryl is driving about 110mph, weaving back and forth in traffic, and at one time, slammed the car into first gear. Smoking was pouring out of the wheel wells as if someone lite the car on fire. Cars were scattering all over the place and no one wanted to play with Bassani. At one time, as we exited the off-ramp rather rapidly, the car got airborned. Luckily for Bassani, Dave Jordan had rented a car with a center-pull e-brake handle, which he often used to set the suspension up for the next radical full-thorttle turn. I recall one time, we were back on the freeway, and he set the e-brake at 60mph, and locked up the rear tires. Smoke was pouring out the backend. It was great.

    Now, going back to the motel after dinner and few adult beverages, we hit the off ramp at speed, then wheeled around the frontage street and aimed towards the Holiday Inn parking lot entrance. With a loud crash, the front end bottomed out on the dip, and we charged into the Honda pits sideways. A perfect 3-point slide. Wes McCoy had a heartattack.

    By the end of the weekend, Dave Jordan's rental was "thumping" down the road with square tires and a whining transmission. Brakes? None left, thank you very much. Bassani was a master of the rental car.

    Sorry I have been away too long, enjoy!

    Originally posted here

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Long Live 3Wheeling Magazine started by oldfart View original post
//ArrowChat Integreation Code //