It has been a while since I last raced. Somewhere around two and a half years actually. A few months back I attempted to race and my stupid mechanic (me) made a mistake when putting the bike together late at night leaving a part on the floor of my garage and my bike unrideable when I got to the track.
This time I woke bright and early (5:45 am) and headed off to Valley MX (formerly and to me still Morelands MX). After a few stops along the way to get a couple of things I needed I ended up getting to the track only 7 minutes before practice (9 am). I got signed up for the 25+ and Open A classes, wondering how badly I was going to get smoked on the day as I watched the first practice I was supposed to be in. Walking around the pits I recognized almost nobody, its crazy how fast things change.
I made it out in the vet practice and felt quite a bit better than expected. Lack of riding and track variety usually leaves me feeling very uncomfortable at tracks I haven’t ridden in a while. There wasn’t really much to base how well I was actually riding on in practice though.
First moto of the day was Open A, which I was happy about, because I honestly had no intentions of winning and thought it would give me a chance to figure everything out for the 25+. It turns out my riding was a bit better than anticipated, the whole moto I battled it out with the leader, but couldn’t quite make a pass. The 450 had more of an advantage on the TM 300 than I expected. The soil is a sandy loam - not full out sand kind of an intermediate sand mix with a couple tight hard-packed corners and I really noticed the extra power of the 450 while getting pulled on the long straights and up the hills. I was taking weird lines in every corner, trying not to follow and trying to make a pass, by the end I was pretty worn out. It takes a lot more energy when you’re not hitting any lines in the corners.
The 25+ class ended up dropping with the 16-24 class (great), which had both the winner of the 250A class (on a YZ 250) and the winner of the Open A class (this time, for some reason on a RM-Z 250) in it. This ended up being the easiest moto of the day. I pulled the holeshot with the winner of the 250A class right behind me. I never pulled any sort of huge lead, but I never felt I had to try all that hard either. I honestly had no arm pump or fatigue at the end of this moto and so far my TM MX 300 had been great all day.
In the last Open A moto I knew if I didn’t get the start I would have hard time getting around the 450. I also knew that it was going to be very difficult for me to get the start uphill, in sandy loam against a 450. If I didn’t get the start my game plan was to scare him out of the mainline coming into one of the first few corners, not really planning on actual contact, because I’m really not that serious about it. Guess What? I didn’t get the start. In my attempts to scare him out of the main line I stalled the bike in the third corner. Pretty much the end of that race…
Somewhere during intermission, before the second Open A moto, I was ready to get out of there. My meal planning wasn’t the greatest (2 cliff bars and a hot dog) and I was ready to get some decent food. So for the final 25+ moto I was a bit tired, very hungry, and ready leave. Once again I pulled the holeshot with the 16-24 guys right on me. The guy on the YZ 250 pressured me the entire moto and I was really struggling. There was no energy in the tank to find better lines or ride any better. From the second lap (when my arms started to pump up) on I was looking for the white flag, honestly hoping the guy on the YZ would make the pass and let me relax. That didn’t happen, I won the moto and at the end I was glad that I stuck it out, not that it would’ve changed my results on paper, but it was nice to end the day on a high note.
Ok, the whole point of this series is to keep you up to date with how the bike is working. Is it a POS? Is it competitive with other bikes? Is it better than other bikes? Since the last story, I haven’t had any problems and really not much to talk about. It’s definitely a good bike, no less competitive than any other bike on the market. If a 9-5 desk jockey who hasn’t raced in two and a half years can be competitive on it with the fastest guys at the track, there’s no reason it won’t work for everyone else.
To read more stories in this series CLICK HERE