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Post 278: Racing in Korat

The best things in life seem to happen by chance. I was riding my Suzuki Hayate down to the Night Market in Korat for some late night dining, when I saw a group of larger bikes parked at the side of the road. I turned around, parked alongside them and within ten minutes, I’d been invited to attend the ‘’Korat 80 Up’’ Race meeting at the weekend.

I arrived early. Firstly because the air is cooler in the early morning and secondly, so that any personal embarrassment would be minimised. It was instantly clear that my normal daily riding attire was all wrong. The ACU don’t officiate here in Korat, but they still have certain standards to maintain. Flip-Flops and shorts were not going to pass muster and everybody seemed to think that my beautiful helmet was something of a joke.

Nothing seemed to fit, including the bike, which I think might once have been a Honda Nova. Whatever it had once been, it now sported the number ‘88’ a rather dashing ‘Repsol’ sticker. I wanted to try out a crazy bike like this and I was good to go. A couple of minutes taught me a couple of things. Firstly, skinny tyres feel very different to fat sticky racing rubber and secondly, if you slow down on a bike of this size then you’ll never get back up to speed again. Back in the pit-lane, a few very important adjustments were required. I shuffled through the electronic memory, ‘H’, ‘J’, ‘K’ ... Kaiser Chiefs? .. No ….. King’s of Leon? … Yes, they’ll do rather nicely...... ''Hot as a fever ….. rattling bones … I can just taste it … taste it … if it’s not forever ... if it’s just tonight …. Oh we’re still the greatest … the greatest ..... the greatest ….''

To be brutally honest, Sex on Fire might help to smooth out my lines, but it was going to take more than decent music to transform me from Twat to Triumph. Even just sitting on the bike you could see that I was Crap with a capital ’C’. Riding a 600 Supersport is one thing but this kind of racing is in a league of it‘s own. On a bigger bike, a little know-how and a handful of power will cover up for a multitude of sins, but on a 110cc Scooter you’ve got absolutely nowhere to hide. Style is everything, and style is the one thing that I simply don’t have … you’ve seen the photographs.

‘Korat 80 Up’ is all about racing for bikes with engines larger than 80cc. The circuit used today was a Go-Kart Circuit and is very similar to Three Sisters up the North West of England. Too tight and twisty for the 1000cc Superbikes, but ideal for the little guys. Once I’d had the decency to announce my early retirement before racing commenced, I went on to have an absolutely fantastic day. I have no idea how big this type of racing is back in the UK, but if BEMSEE are looking for a new item for their menu, then they could do an awful lot worse than this.

1 comment:

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