February 2007 Louisiana HSTA Newsletter Page 1

Turn One

February weather has continued to be fairly wet and a good bit colder as well. I have managed to get in a lot of miles on the VFR nevertheless. I have added a pair of "Polar Hands" to my riding gear to extend my comfortable temperature range. Tony and I did another track day February 11 and we had a nice lunch ride although only four members attended. It was Mardi Gras however and some members were no doubt were involved in the big party and parades.

In addition to our regular monthly lunch ride I got in on a couple of non-club ride. I rode with Bill and Sherri Ellis earlier in the month for a trip to Natches for lunch at the Pig Out and on Saturday the 24th I rode with a group of Dual Sport Riders of Louisiana to Red Bluff in MS. Despite the name, DSRL is not limited to Dual Sports only. Like HSTA, the word is out that this is a great bunch of people to ride with and they are attracting a lot of sport riders and organize street rides as well as dual sport runs. On this ride, in addition to two GS's and a V-Strom there were a CBR600, a TL1000, a GSXR750 a DRZ400SM and the old VFR Sport Tourer. Check out the DSRL website.

February is almost over and that means the "riding season" will soon be upon us. Racing season kicks of as well with Daytona Bike week in early March and CMRA (Central Road Racing Association for amateur road racers) is coming to Louisiana March 16-18. A Busy schedule oh HSTA regional events also gets underway, beginning with Ride THe Rio. Check the HSTA national Website for the event schedule and make you plans!



February Lunch Ride

by Bob Chappuis It was in the low 30's when I rolled out of bed around 7:30 Saturday morning. I figured it would be a good day to try out the new "Polar Hands" I had just installed on the VFR. I have come to realize I have had lousy blood circulation all my life and it is getting worse with age. I have struggled with numb fingers in cold weather the last few years EVEN with heated grips. So I have decided to swallow my dignity/pride and try the Polar Hands to extend my riding season. I may look like a wuss but at least I can shift and brake when I need to! They look like crap but they work. Anyway, by the time I left St. Francisville at 9:00 the temperature had climbed to 45 and for the remainder of the day I could not have asked for better weather for a ride. Tino pulled is Wee-Strom (sporting new Givi bags) into Starbucks' lot a few minutes after I arrived and HSTA members John Thompson and Ryan Babin rolled in soon after. John rode his R6 from New Orleans, Ryan rode his Aprilia Falco from Shriever. We sat at one of the outdoor tables and drank coffee or hot chocolate and gabbed for a good while, waiting to see if any more riders would show.

Tony was on the Suzuki V-Strom, sporting new Givi side cases. Ryan was on his Aprilia Falco and John on his Yamaha R6. Four different brands represented on this HSTA ride! The four of us hung around Starbucks chatting and waiting for any later arrivals but none showed and at 10:15 we hit the road. Our route took us across the river and Tony led the away over the bridge and through Port Allen. WE hit the River Road on the North side of town and followed it upriver, past the power generating plants and New Roads to Highway one and on to Morganza Here Tony relinquished the lead to the routeplanner and his GPS and we turned West off of 1 to highway 10. We fought some strong cross winds along the way but were blessed with minimal traffic and warming temperatures.

We followed 10 to where it turns off to the Melville ferry across the Atchafalaya and instead peeled off Southward on 77 to Livonia. We gassed up at in Livonia and then made a short run East to the recently opened "Not Your Mommas" restaurant. I had eaten at the place of the same name in Morganza, LA a couple years back on another HSTA lunch ride and the food was great. Last week my dentist had mentioned that the same family (also the family that operates "Your Momma's" in New Roads) had opened a restaurant in Livonia. We decided to give it a try. It was in a large new, brick building on Highway 190, just East of town. There was only one or two cars in the lot. We asked for and were seated at a large table with a few of the bikes. Service was a tad slow, perhaps we were early. But the food was worth the wait. Mine was a delicious fried oyster poboy; nicely toasted french bread overflowing with huge succulent oysters! John and Ryan got huge plates of fried shrimp and catfish, Tony had a fat cheeseburger. I heard no complaints!

After lunch we turned onto 411 and followed the East bank of Bayou Grosse Tete to Maringouin and then switched to 77 along the West bank for the ride to Plaquemine. Both highways have some great twisties and in South Louisiana it does not get much better for twisties riding than the esses by the golf course at Plaquemine.

We split up at Highway 1 in Plaquemine, John and Ryan heading south to their homes while Tony and I took 1 North to Baton Rouge. A really enjoyable ride, 195 miles for me, a bit less for Tony and a bit more for John and Ryan. Hope more of y'all can join us next time!

TIGER TRACK DAYS - NPR - February 11

Tony Crowell and Bob Chappuis survived another one. But our bud, and prospective memmber Keith from MS, hit a chunk of busted concrete curbing thrown on the track by another rider in Turn 8 and went down. He injured his hand and chest and had some minor rash on his shoulder and knee. We later learned he required three days in the hospital with a collapsed lung! Get Well Soon Keith!.

Why I ride…

by Tim Smith

If you haven't seen the latest StarReview or gotten your letter from HSTA, you may not know that the bike giveaway at STAR this year is the new " 25th Anniversary" edition of the Interceptor. It is a red-white-and-blue version, reminiscent of my own 1983 VF750F. Complete with matching bags and autographed by Fast Freddie Spencer.
My initial impulse is to recommend that you not waste your time sending in your entry tickets, for it is MY destiny to own this bike. Since this ploy will not likely work, I am trying very hard to come up with another plan.
Yeah, I know it is a long shot that I would win it, but there is actually something to this "destiny" thing, just hear me out. In 1982, I was fresh out of college and looking for job. Everyone knew I loved motorcycles, but I was still surprised when John McKinney called me and asked if I was interested in working for him.
I was.

In case you don't know, McKinney Honda (Ruston, La) is one of the most successful dealers in America, thanks mostly to ATVs , but also a strong commitment to service. On my first day, I bought my first road bike, a Nighthawk 750. I liked it pretty well until I saw the new V45 Sabre, and I just had to have one. I enjoyed the Sabre and logged about 20K miles over the next year. It was sometime during that year, 1983, when I discovered two things that would change my motorcycling life forever. One was the V45 Interceptor, and the other was Freddie Spencer. Freddie was on the way to "his destiny" of beating Kenny Roberts for the 1983 World Grand Prix Championship aboard that fabulous red-white & blue, three-cylinder Honda.

And Freddie was from Louisiana, just like me. I was in love, in love with the whole thing. I was in love with the road racing, which I had never seen before, and with Honda, for which I already had great loyalty, and yes, in love with Freddie as well. And in the fact that a kid my own age from Louisiana could be world champion in the most exciting sport I had ever seen. When one of our customers traded in an almost new '83 Interceptor with less than 2000 miles on it, I traded my Sabre for it the next day. My black Bell helmet went on the shelf, and was replaced by,…you guessed it, a Spencer replica Arai. There was no Speed channel then and almost no media coverage of racing, so I subscribed to Cycle News ( and every other mag) and followed Freddie's career as best I could, all through1985 when he won both the 250cc and 500cc crowns. During the off-season after 1985, January (I think) of 1986, I met Freddie in Ruston. He had come to a La. Tech basketball game with his girl friend (who was a Tech student) I saw him, and was the ONLY one in the arena besides her that knew who he was. I introduced my self and we talked for a few minutes. I gushed all over him about how big a fan I was, and he seemed genuinely grateful. He told me that he was looking forward to racing at Daytona in March, and then going to Europe again. We even talked about basketball, and I found out that Freddie had played basketball at Grawood School in Shreveport, a team that I had played against in high school. Freddie was obviously much better at racing than basketball, because we beat them handily.

After meeting Freddie, I began making my plans to go to Daytona, only to hear on the way down that Freddie crashed in practice and would not race. Years later I would also go all the way to Laguna Seca, and Freddie was going to race in the 1st ever US Grand Prix. ( albeit on a Yamaha) But fate once again stepped in, as I learned that he would not race due to an ear infection and equilibrium problems. In about 1993, I met Freddie again, and finally got to see him ride. It was in Charlotte, NC in the Superbike series. The race started on a wet track, and Freddie led the whole race on his RC 30 until the sun came out and the track dried and his tires went away. He was passed with only a lap or two to go and finished off the podium. He didn't win, but he was so much better and faster than the rest of the field it almost didn't seem fair. My son Zack and I had passes for the pit area and we got to meet Freddie and take some pictures before the race. My wife vetoed my plans to name my second son "Freddie Spencer Smith" which I thought was a great idea. But still, you can see, Freddie and I have a history, and it is only fitting that I should get the VFR from him. I know each of you will be sending in your ticket stubs just like me, and hoping that just maybe they will draw your name. But when the time comes and they draw MY name, you can smile and say " he told me so". I t just has to happen that way, it is only right, because Freddie Spencer and the Honda Interceptor are probably the two most significant reasons…. Why I ride.


Regional HSTA Events

March 16 - 18 Ride the Rio "El Décimo Quinto" The Hotel Limpia Ft. Davis, TX (800) 662-5517 David Gorham (281) 996-5043 April 13 - 15 T-19 Queen Wilhelmina Lodge Mena, Arkansas (800) 264-2477 Becky Wing (501) 824-3413
April 27 - 29 Helen - North Georgia Classic Motel 6, 8171 SR 75 (706) 878-8888 Helen, Georgia Eric Larsen (770) 422-9433 May 18 - 20 TwiStar Voyageur Inn (800) 444-4493 Reedsburg, WI Ray Kang (952) 476-6677

Local Events

Mark your calendars and look for details soon in your in-box and on our website.

March 16 - 18 CMRA Road Racing
Belle Rose, LA
Saturday, March 24

I plan to attend both Saturday and Sunday and watch several of my track day friends compete and maybe even help out in the pits. I want to encourage everyone to come on out and support our local track and racers! If there is interest, we may organize a ride out there one of the days.

That's all for now. Thanks to regular contributor Tim Smith. Track photos by Brian Noble of Track Day Photography.net and unknown on Rocket Madness
Keep riding & smiling

Bob Chappuis, State Co-Director and Editor chappuis@demco.net