AHRMA National Cross Country Ride Report/Barber Motorsports Round 18

Jim Cook

Platinum Level Site Supporter

I don't have time for writing a long ride report right now.
So, here's the short version.

I had to work late, and in my haste to get things loaded for the trip,
ended up pulling a muscle in my back while connecting the trailer onto
the truck.
I then drove to Little Rock to pick up Bob Diffee, his bikes, and his gear.
Even though we didn't waste time, because of my start time we didn't
leave Little Rock until 9 pm. This blew our plans for a comfy motel room
on the way to Birmingham, Alabama.

When we arrived at Barber Motorsports Park (Birmingham, AL) it was 3 am.
We just parked in the visitors' parking lot and slept in the truck cab until
the gate admissions opened at 6:30.

Sign up and tech inspection for the Cross Country race started at 7 am.
The sighting lap started at 8 am. My pulled muscle was giving me some trouble,
so I skipped the sighting lap.
When the Vintage cross country race started at 9, I was slowly getting
ready for the start of our race (Post Vintage) at 11 am.

We left for the start at 10:30, and arrived in time for some
fellowship with the other riders. "Is your zipper on your pants up
good and tight? I want some traction when I run over you." :D
The fellow lined up to the right of me was on a pristine '83 Husky
500 Auto. He is a rider from the North Alabama area and is a AA SERA
enduro and hare scramble rider.

Let me tell you all a bit about the race, and my reason for being
there. My friend Bob Diffee was tied for the lead in our class for
the AHRMA CC PV+50 class (for the year). He had to win this race to
win the series. I had promised him that I would make sure that he had
company for the race trip. (I also made facetious comments about
blocking the other rider for him, and even taking him out; but I never
really intended such actions. My back was hurting too badly. )
(A side note: Bob told me that if I just completed one lap, I would
have third place in the class for the series sewed up. I still don't
know the validity of that statement. We will see.)

In light of all that, my hurt back and low requirements for success, I
was not in the mood to push myself very hard as I sat on the venerable
'82 Husky XC250 at the starting line.

We were on the forth row of starting bikes.
When it came our turn, and the starter said"Go!" and dropped the
flag, my Husky again started first kick, ready to race.
It was the first bike to fire up.
I, on the other hand, was busy watching the other riders trying to
get their bikes going, especially one Bob Diffee. (Damned KDX! )
I saw no need in slowing Bob down by getting ahead of him at the start.
I just sat and waited until all the bikes on our row had left, except for
Bobby and the Husky Auto, which was giving it's rider a bunch of
pre-race exercise. :)

Bob finally got the KDX 200 running and blasted off into the
woods, as much like a "bat out of hell" as a rider on a 1985 KDX200
can go. He was wound for sound, and definitely had his race face on.
I decided that I had waited long enough, and piled into the tight
woods trail right behind Bobby.

At my "safe race pace", Bob soon left me way behind, as he berserked
through the tight woods singletrack, passing riders in quick
Traction was great; the soil was sandy loam, and the trail flowed
between the trees as it wound up and down the short steep hills. Yeah
Baby! It was tight, but tight is my preference, and my long legged
Husky XC was begging for more.
(The bike looks like it is racing when it is still on the stand.)
I just revved the piss out of it in first, second, and third
gears in the wooded sections; slipping the clutch as needed.
The old Husky 250 loved it.
Forth and fifth gears were only used in the short fire lane sections.
Sixth gear, I left for this coming weekend's race in Arkansas,
and it's more open terrain.

I was thinking to myself, "Whoa! This is some damn fine trail!"
I got to having way more fun that I had expected, and by the
end of the first lap, had picked off everyone in my class (that
was in front of me), except for Bobby and the fellow who Bobby
was racing for the series leadership (who was on a '83 Husky WR250).

Just before the scoring barrels, a white blur flashed by me.
The Husky 500 Auto had finally cranked up and it's rider was flying
between the trees; dancing to the rythm of the trail.
I have never seen anyone, except for Terry Cunningham (and maybe
Kevin Hutchinson), ride a Husky Auto in the tight woods any smoother
or faster. He was cooking with gas!
( I have a strong feeling as to which bike that rider was using when he
won his AA rating. )
I was only able to keep him in sight for about 15 seconds, and then
he was gone in a cloud of dust.
(I wish I could still ride like that, if indeed, I ever could.)

Suffering from momentary brain fade, I overran a sharp turn into the
woods off of a fire lane, and one of the fellows that I had passed earlier
blew by me. It took me a couple of minutes to catch him, and then I
dogged him for a whole lap, having a ball playing with him. :)
I would lose a bit of ground to him in the more open rough stuff, but
would be clinging on his rear tire very soon after we hit the next batch
of tight stuff.
Finally, the pressure of trying to go faster than me in the tight woods
got to him, and he just pulled over and let me by. Another rider immediately
passed me (an expert that was lapping me; the only one in the race to
do so). Since I now had a good rythm going, I was able to follow his IT200
for most of another lap.

I was really having fun; my back wasn't hurting too badly, and
the Husky was running like a scalded ape. Things were going my way.
It was one of those days where I could feel the rythm of the trail and
was doing a bit of "dancing" myself.

Then, just up ahead, I saw the scoring tent coming up again; letting
me know that my third lap was about to end. I looked at my watch,
which said I was 35 minutes into the one hour race.
I thought to myself, "You only needed one lap, you are riding great
and having fun, the bike is RIGHT, your pulled muscle in your back
isn't giving you too much trouble yet... and you have to drive 550
miles home this afternoon/ tonight.
After the scoring barrels, I took a left, off the track, and headed
back up the path to the campground.
Quit while you are having fun. That is my new motto. :D

Back at the truck, I loaded my bike and Bobby's spare KDX onto the
trailer and changed clothes, getting everything ready for us to leave.
Bobby came in later than everyone else in our class, but was
grinning when he made it.

When the scoring was over, the officials moved the racer on the
Husky 500 Auto to the Expert class, where he still won second place.
He and Bobby were the only two riders in our row to made 7 laps. This
put Bob into first place, giving him the win and that coveted first
place in class for the year. "AHRMA Cross Country Post Vintage +50"

We watched some of the road racing (great, but way too loud) for a
while, and then left for Arkansas about 3:30 pm Saturday afternoon,
arriving at Little Rock at 10:30 pm. We unloaded Bobby's bikes and
gear, and I then headed south for the 130 mile trip to Smackover, arriving
home at the unhurried hour of 1:15 am; happy but tired.

It's a good thing I had Sunday off work, as the pulled muscle in my
back was knotted up too badly for me to move when I woke up; and on
Monday, I was still too stove up for me to go to work before 11 am.

I'm mostly all better now.

We leave Thursday afternoon for New Blaine, Arkansas (250 mile drive
away from my home in South Arkansas) for the ISDT Reunion Ride this
weekend. I am supposed to start the tech inspections and impounding
bikes for the weekend's race at 12 noon on Friday.
Bobby and I will be riding in the race Saturday and Sunday.
You ought to come join us in this old time enduro. It is going to
be a "Hoot!", and one hell of a fun ride.

Good Riding and Racing to You!


Wudsracer/Jim Cook
Smackover Racing
'06 Gas Gas DE300
'82 Husqvarna XC250
I thought I'd show you all a photo of my 1982 Husky XC250 Post Vintage race bike.
In the photo, it's sitting in the back of my truck along with all sorts of other race gear, as I get ready to leave for one of the AHRMA National Cross Country races last year.

I bought it as the second owner in 1985, and it was my primary race bike for about a year and a half. I quit riding it, when I purchased my first 1987 Husky WR430. I rode two of those WR430 Huskys from 1987 until 1996.

Good Riding to you!



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great story jim! I always look for deals on the older huskys,one of the guys we ride with has a bunch always for sale,maybe someday:) I also ran a vintage class at one of the hare scrambles with my 85 IT200 took first,but there were only three guys in the class:D
Thanks Fury.
I'm looking for someone who wants a 17" rear wheel, and has an 18" to trade.
I would like to have a better selection of rear tire. That Cheng Shin C755 Metzler copy has it's limitations.
I might even purchase one, if I can get a good deal on one. I have two spare '87 rear 18" wheels, but the backing plate for the rear brake slides up on a tab on the swingarm on the '87. The '82 uses a brake stay rod. The backing plate on the '87 rear wheel is 1/4" larger in diameter than the one on the '82.

Good Riding and Racing to You!