We go to the Hill Climb
Went to the last Hill Climb in Michigan for the season on Sunday. My brothers (Kaw Concours and an 85 Honda 700 V Twin), sister in law on her 95 K75S, and nephew on his Honda 750.
Since I was the navigator I took us all to the wrong location. But fortunately for me the day was perfect (sunny and 75 or so) so adding a few extra miles didn't hurt anyone's feelings.
We finally made it to the correct site and were treated to some hardy men and women working their machines up a big dang hill.
Here is a long view of the hill they were climbing.
Obviously the action starts at the bottom of the hill. There is a lot of playing around with the ruts. Some riders are content to just jump into one or another. Other riders are more particular - some started fresh and others would have a shovel full or two of dirt put in the trench before take off.
Not too far from the starting line is a nice jump. These torgued up machines tear out of the starting box and then they had to quickly tone it down so they didn't wheelie too much over the jump. There is another jump near the top - just so the riders don't fall asleep on the trip up!
One poor guy jumped on the throttle and turned his bike upside down without covering more than 10 feet of the hill.
This guy had a decent run. He made the trip in about 4.5 seconds. The fastest time we saw (we left a little after the second round started) was 3.5 seconds. I would not have believed such a time possible if I hadn't seen it with me own eyes! The rider did everything perfect, not too much air and straight as an arrow up the hill.
Most of the racers were in the 6-7 second neighborhood and the good ones were 4-5 seconds and then the 3.5 second effort blew the doors off.
A view of the jump from the other side of the hill.
I could not get too close to the action. The club that puts this on is not very media savvy at all. I called in advance looking for names of riders from the greater Grand Rapids area so I could focus a story on them and get it into the paper. Called three numbers and left 3 messages, no one called me back. They didn't respect my press credentials at the gate so therefore I was just another spectator. I had fun anyway, but they missed a shot at publicity in Grand Rapids (45 miles South of the event).
This is not your grandfather's Harley....or maybe it is.
There were various classes for the adults from 125cc and up. There were a few of these modified Harleys, one Triumph, and some four stroke Hondas and such in the 750 and up class.
Geez - didn't see one Boxer going up the Hill!
The agony of defeat.
As you can imagine, not everybody made it to the top. This guy tore out of the box and then threw his chain on the jump. (If you look carefully you can see the chain dangling where it not ought to be dangling). This happened to several racers.
Gee- how come they don't use shaft drive on the hill?
They had another hill they were climbing the day before we got there. They call it The Wall for obvious reasons.
Funny, I didn't feel any desire to try to take a bike up this little beauty. How about you?
Here is what The Wall looks like from the top down. DANG!
Were those the longest bikes there Cliffy? We have an annual drunken Harley fest at a place called the Devil's Staircase, a legendary hill climb not toofare from where I live. Some of those guys have bikes that have to be at least 10 feet long. It is a true testiment to courage and lack of brains, watching these guys go up that huge hill. Thanks for the report, you are one hell of a cubby reporter, and it looks like you actually have sun up there in Michigan too! I would like to see it someday:p
were not any really, really long bikes yesterday. Nothing approaching ten feet, but there were some a bit longer than the ones in the pics.
Yes, we do have sun....just not when you are around. In fact, I don't think it has rained once since the 4th of July!!