The resurgence of flat track racing around the world is no surprise; it’s fast, dangerous, fun and great for spectators to watch. Christine Gabler and Marc Holstein have been over in Japan for the Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show but also travelled out to watch the ‘Have Fun Flat Track’ event – which as the name suggests, is a bunch of riders who just want to have fun and go left on inappropriate bikes. We thought we’d let Marc and Christine take us through the event. The wonderful photos and words are theirs:
Waking up super early to catch train all the way out to Kawagoe proved to be quite a challenge in the busy city of Tokyo. We were on our way to the ‘Have Fun Flat Track’ party event which was being held a day after the Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show. The practice was to be held on Monday but it rained heavily all day. Tuesday looked amazing so me made our way out to the track, riding one and a half hours through Tokyo and another 30 minutes by taxi. We arrived on site at around noon which seemed like a perfect time as the track has just dried off.
Inspiration can come at any time. But when you’re thinking of building a Super Hooligan flat tracker, there’s probably no better place to be than at a Hooligan race. Last October, flat track racing-obsessed rider Paul Hartman was watching the RSD Super Hooligans Moto Beach Classic from the side lines, dreaming up his next build. “I had just wrecked my Harley race bike the weekend before at a hill climb event,” says Paul. “I knew I would be building a new bike over the winter, but wasn’t quite sure what direction yet.” So Paul sat back and soaked himself in the day of racing, looking at all the bikes, and by the end of the day he had planned his whole next project in his head.
Photos and words by NinetyNineCo.
Optimism reigned supreme this week as backyard workshops across New South Wales occupied pre 90’s home-builds and excitedly tentative owners, standing hopeful that the weather would hold out for Sunday’s slide fest.
As the weekend came into focus, the only evidence of the midweek downpour was a lake of muddy water, smack-bang in the center of the Nepean Raceway. But lucky for us, that lake was surrounded by a halo of glorious dirt, just begging to be kicked up – this Sunday wasn’t going to be a day of rest.
One of the biggest revivals happening at the moment in the motorcycle scene is vintage flat track racing. Events like Dirt Quake, Hell on Wheels, Dirty Sunday and Australia’s up and coming Sunday Slide are bringing this sport back to a wider audience. Sure, most of these races aren’t very serious, but they are introducing riders to a sport that hasn’t been very accessible to those without a healthy budget. But the main reason these events are being held is that it’s hard to have more fun on two wheels. Let’s be honest, there’s nothing like getting sideways around a corner on a dirt track for the first time.
Last month, Dirty Slide was held by Activa Classic Bike Garage on a grass track in Gers, France. Ironically, this place is famous for its foie gras, but we’re pretty sure the riders were only eating dirt and grass. Looks like there was a great mix of motorcycles racing from dirt bikes, customs, choppers, sliders and even a few sidecars getting sideways.
The event went all day and ended up going well into the night with the ‘ring of fire’ being set up and the adventurous (or the most drunk) took their bikes to the air like flying French Evel Kneivels. Joie de vivre.
There’s still time to register for Sunday Slide this Sunday in Newcastle, Australia. Send us an email if you are interested in registering. All classic styled bikes welcome. Animal suits optional.
[Photographs by the talented David Marvier]