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Old 11-30-2008, 11:28 AM
rocketman1098S's Avatar
rocketman1098S rocketman1098S is offline
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rocketman1098S Curb Monkey
Default I hope everyone had a safe, happy Thanksgiving! Mine was very interesting...

I went to visit friends at Smith Mountain Lake, near Roanoke. They are bigtime motorcycle enthusiasts. Another of their guests was Udo Geitl. He has spent many years in upper level motorcycle racing and has a million stories. He is also a Ducati rider (yeahhhh!). The weather was decent and we went for a little ride on some of the local twisties. A real blast!
The best part though , was listening to his stories from the mid-70s and 80s. He was the race team manager for BMW when they were doing well in the mid 70s. Turns out, I was at Daytona when they finished 1-2 in Superbike. Almost swept the podium, but one bike died on last lap, valve failure from over-revving I think. I remember they were this odd burnt orange color. It was a big deal to me, because my Dad had flown us down for Speedweek. Neat memories.
Another story from Udo was tragic, but funny. He was hired away from BMW by Honda. They pretty much gave him a checkbook and told him to "make it happen". He was starting from zero though! He ordered all the support stuff. He didn't even have the basic handtools needed! He ordered everything! He even had to lease suitable shop space. He found an empty furniture manufacturing facility and leased it. He also procured nine bike frames as foundations to build on. He was working almost 24/7 trying to get this operation up and running. You also have to understand operations were not as elaborate as now. He was doing almost everything himself. Well , he began modifying the frames, getting them ready. Cutting, welding, modifying. Late one night, while doing this with almost no rest....he fell asleep with a cutting torch in his hand! He burned the whole shop down! Lost almost everything. Evidently, the build-up of dust and furniture finishes pretty much went up like flash paper!
He has worked with so many of the names that I grew up reading about and hero worshipping. Schwantz, Nixon, Romero, Pridmore, Spencer, many more! Really neat guy.
He also had some neat bikes in his garage. He rides a Monster, but also had a BMW R26 and a prototype R90 similar to the one raced at Daytona. That bike had a monoshock suspension, using an F1 shock, before the term monoshock was conceived or patented! It was really great, and interesting meeting and hanging with him.
Google his name, if you want to see some interesting facts..
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