What to Buy Your Motorcycle Racer for Christmas

The holidays are already here, so it is past time to find the perfect gift for that person in your life who wants nothing more than to take their motorcycle on the track all day. Whether it’s racing or track-days, I have put together a small list of track essentials that every racer or track-day enthusiast would want.

Not sure what to get them? Suffering from limited funds?

From tools, to the gear, to lessons on how to ride like a champ, there is something for every aspiring racer out there.

When I go to the track I always try to buy the best safety gear there is and the first thing that comes to mind is a helmet. That old saying goes, “Got a $5 head? Buy a $5 helmet.” I recommend the best helmet that you can afford. Recently I purchased an Arai from Rider’s Discount. TJ (866-931-6644 x817) at Rider’s Discount will beat about anyone’s advertised price on almost any motorcycle related component so it’s always good to head over there and see what they have. Helmets I recommend are Arai, AGV, & Suomy for higher end helmets. For middle of the road I would recommend Bell Powersports, Scorpion, HJC, & Icon.nickyallTo go along with the helmet, a skull cap is always a good little gift that you can buy your racer; it’s one of those unexpected gifts. It’s the best way to keep sweat out of your eyes and help keep you cool on those hot summer days. You can buy one of those here. Sportbike Track Gear is another one of those precious sources of racer/rider gear that everyone needs to know about. The people that work there are racers and have tested most of the stuff they use on the race track to insure it really works.Alpinestars_Skull_Cap

A related item to the one above is an undersuit. This article of clothing makes sliding wet, stinky leathers on and off your body like butter. There are several companies that sell them. Buy your racer one or two sets. They’ll thank you for them. PsycleSkins set the standard for suits a few years ago. You can pick one up for about $50 here. Or head over to Riders Discount for a different set here.
PsycleskinWhen I am racing I will easily go through at least two pair of socks a day. What better than to have some socks designed for the abuse and sticky-ness of riding on the racetrack? Alpinestars, in my opinion make some of the best socks. They’re on the pricey side but they are durable and will handle the rigors of racing. Get them here or here.
alpinestarts socksIf you’re like me you’ll have almost two of everything. When you go to the track you can’t afford to go without because it costs a lot to get on the track! I will usually subscribe to the two is one, one is none theory of supply. An example is that I will always have a spare helmet shield in my bag. Can’t just go throwing $40-$50 helmet shields around in the bed of your truck so when my wife bought me this, I was hooked. A helmet shield holder. It’s silky inside will make you want to rub your face on it. lol


Believe it or not, this may seem like a weird gift but when your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/signifcant other/friend smells like gas after they dumped on themselves at third call they will thank you because they will never do this to themselves again. A good funnel such as the one here will save them from those moments of apprehension. Matrix Concepts Racing Products also happens to make all sorts of cool stuff like this for the pits or garage. Head over there and see what other surprises they may have.funnel

Klucky Pucks seem like something that you would buy at some off the wall fried chicken restaurant but they happen to be some of the best knee sliders out there. they come in all kinds of cool colors and can only be found at Woodcraft Technologies, a maker of high quality motorcycle parts.kluckypucks

Someday I will get to go to this but I have so many good things about it I just have to let everyone know about it. Cornerspin — Is billed as “Dirt Training For Road Riding.” All I know is everyone that I know that has gone to this course has come away a lot faster with more confidence. Anyway you can watch more right here:

One day I hope to make it to this Colin Edward’s Texas Tornado Boot Camp. A little on the expensive side but I’m sure a blast.

One thing that I liked that I got was a suit dryer. Now there are $100 suit dryers out there but I have found the price tag doesn’t mean they will dry your suit any faster nor will they give you a hand massage for the higher price. My wife bought me this for Christmas about 5 years ago and it has been a life saver at those hot track weekends that were temps were in the upper 90s low 100s. The HangAir is ingenious, but really very simple. Basically it’s just an over-sized plastic hanger with a built-in motorized fan that forces air through your leathers, drying it out in a fraction of the time it would take to air-dry.hangair

The Tipke 2100 Marine Fold-It Utility Cart is one treasure that not everyone has at the track. What is it? It’s a lightweight nullity cart that carries leathers, tires, gas, and whatever else you want to put in it that you don’t want to or have to carry. Face it, you’re at the track and there’s a lot going on. You’re tired and just want to get back to your pits and out of the sun. This pit cart will help you do just that. It lightens your load and makes carrying tires back from the vendors a lot less painful. P.S. They keep their resale value.

Fold-It Cart

Finally, I bring up one-piece race suits. Why? Because this is the first thing that meets the pavement when your loved one crashes. If and when they crash why not do it in one of the safest suits available: AGV  Sport. You can buy them at Motonation for a steal and with it, comes the best service in the industry. Plus they have a suit for almost every budget. agv suit

Other gifts that are on the list to buy are:

There are tons of things to buy someone that goes the track. I hope this short guide helps in your decision. Most of these are things I use and personally have.

Can you think of anything that should be on this list? Let me know in the comments.

Woodcraft Technologies


I would like to welcome a new sponsor for the upcoming 2016 season, Woodcraft Technologies. It’s a small company located out of Winchendon, Massachusetts, and make products for race bikes and street bikes. More specifically, they make controls, such as clip-on handlebars and rearsets (foot controls). Their products are so well made that I have been using them, without the benefit of sponsorship, since I started racing in 2005. Their components are that good. They are the standard by which all other hard components are measured.

The clip-ons are a virtually crash-proof design. The bars can be replaced in minutes. In all my years of racing I have only bent one clamp. The split design is a makes adjustment and installation a breeze.


The rearsets been a staple for me since the I began racing in 2005. They were introduced to me by other racers and are the standard by what other’s measure quality by. Many parts from other years fit later years. The platform is stable and there is just enough adjustability to make them comfortable.


For the case covers this is the only design that makes sense to me. The replaceable skid plate design makes this the right choice for protecting vital engine components. It’s also beautifully designed and machined out of a solid piece of billet aluminum. This makes the parts able to be designed with a high degree of precision and structurally, the parts are stronger.


This is the first time I have used Armour Bodies. The fit and finish was on the mark but the primer used did have some kind of coating that made the first paint job I put on it not adhere to well. I ended up having to re-sand and repaint the bodywork. I owe that up to being a rookie at painting more than anything. Unfortunately, I was able to test the crash worthiness of the bodywork after a high speed low-side in T10 of Roebling Road Raceway. Besides the scuff marks the bodywork came out almost better than any other part that was damaged. I am in the process of repairing the bodywork.



The modular design of the frame sliders makes it a perfect choice. It is super easy to replace the crash pucks without having to disassemble multiple pieces. They’re also not too long that they’ll catch something and send your bike into the junkyard and not too short where they do no good at all. They’re just about the best insurance you can get when crashing your bike at high or low speeds. Framesliders350

One item I cannot wait to try are their tire warmers. I have a set on order and I will be able to review them after Christmas. (wife’s rules lol)tirewarmers

The company is currently taking applications for sponsorship. If you’re interested follow this link. SPONSOR ME WOODCRAFT!



Do-It-Yourself EXUP Removal, 2006+ Yamaha R6

When I first bought my Yamaha R6 I knew that it had Yamaha’s revolutionary EXUP Valve system installed in the exhaust. One of the first things I did when converting it to a race bike was to eliminate the EXUP so that a full-system, higher performance exhaust could be installed.

According to Yamaha…

A variable valve system that eliminates “valleys” in the torque development curve in 4-stroke engines. With continual improvement since the first adoption on the ’87 model FZR400R, the latest version is used on the YZF-R1.Yamaha Technology 1987: Exhaust Ultimate Power Valve - EXUP

Luckily for me the instructions were posted on the R6 Forums with pictures to boot!


Here are the procedures:

Brief Description: This guide will cover how to remove the EXUP cables from the EXUP butterfly valve on a STOCK 07′ exhaust, and how to create a bypass for the EXUP servo in the EXUP control box to eliminate the check engine light and diagnostic codes #17 & #18 from appearing. The entire process from start to finish will take approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour. (Note: This same process can be used with aftermarket exhausts and slip-on’s to eliminate the same check engine light and error codes). This is the $2 EXUP fix DIY rather than paying $70 for the Graves EXUP eliminator, both work and both are essentially the same thing.

What You’ll Need

  1. 8 mm or 10 mm adjustable wrench
  2. Phillips Head Screwdriver
  3. Wire Cutters
  4. Allen Wrench (s)
  5. Adjustable Crescent Wrench
  6. 4.7 kOhm Resistor 1/2 Watt
  7. 470uF 35v Capacitor
  8. Soldering Iron (w/ Solder & Flux)
  9. Electrical Tape

The resistorcapacitor, and solder can be purchased on Amazon very cheaply and any tools needed your local hardware store for under $20.00.

Step 1



Remove the EXUP Butterfly Valve Cover from the Exhaust by removing bolts #1, #2, and #3. This will give you access to the EXUP cables so they can be removed (as shown below).



Above is a close up of the nuts holding the EXUP cables in place to the butterfly valve. Remove nuts #1 & #2 first so that you can remove EXUP cable #2, and then remove nuts #3 & #4 so that you can remove EXUP cable #1.


Before the cables can be completely removed, you must also remove a small bracket holding the cables in place. To do this remove screw #1 with a crescent wrench (Yes this picture is without the EXUP butterfly valve cover removed, I forgot to take the picture during the process and did so after I completed the bypass)

Now that the EXUP cables have been removed from the bike, you must remove the EXUP control box (Housing the EXUP servo and motor).


To do this remove bolts #1 & #2 using an 8mm crescent wrench (or 10mm for 2010+ models). After these bolts have been removed, along with the previous process for the EXUP cables the whole assembly (EXUP Control Box and Cables) should be easily removed by pulling out the right side of the bike. You will have to remove the EXUP control wires from the EXUP servo connection before doing this (Picture shown below)

It should look something like this:


Step 2

After completely removing the EXUP Control Box and EXUP Cables from the bike you are ready to rewire the servo using the 4.7 kOhm 1/2 Capacitor and 470uF 35v Capacitor. Set up your soldering iron so it can heat up and complete the following directions.

First remove the rubber cover around the EXUP Control Box


Once the rubber cover has been removed it should look like the above picture. Next remove the EXUP cables from the EXUP control box. Now we must remove bolt #7. To do this use an adjustable wrench at #8 to hold the bolt in place, and use an Allen wrench to remove bolt #7. After this has been completed use a Phillips head screwdriver to remove screws #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, and #6. After removing the above bolt and screws the top cover of the EXUP control box should be easily removable.


After removing the cover from the EXUP control box the internal components should look something like this. Remove the plug, motor, gears and pull all of the components out of the housing.


Next, cut all of the wires as shown above. Don’t worry too much about the green and red wires as they will not be used for anything, but do make sure you have enough orange, black and white wire to strip the ends of them. You can discard the motor and gear control.


Now we will rewire the servo to trick the ECU into thinking the EXUP is still connected, but effectively removing the check engine light and #17 & #18 warning codes. To do this strip the ends of the black, white and orange wires. After this has been done solder the black and white wires together. Also, I recommend taping off the green and red wires with electrical tape to prevent any arcing.


Now solder the 4.7 kOhm 1/2 watt resistor to the black and white wires as shown. Be sure to connect the correct end (shown by a gold strip on the side of the resistor that is connected to the black/white wires). After doing this, solder the 470uF 35v capacitor to the orange wire as shown (The black strip on the capacitor with the negative sign, denotes “negative” – be sure to solder this side to the orange wire). And finally solder the positive side of the capacitor to the correct end of the resistor (shown by a yellow strip on the side of the resistor that is connected to the capacitor). Once you are done it should look like the above picture.



Once the bypass has been made I recommend taping off all bare wire with electrical tape to prevent any arching. Not sure if it matters if you cover the resistor or capacitor, but just in case I did not.


After completing the bypass install it back into the housing, making sure to properly insert the EXUP connector back into the plug housing. Also, don’t forget to re install the white plug that holds the EXUP connector in place. Once this has been completed, refer to the above steps to re install the EXUP control box cover and rubber cover. Plug the EXUP wire on the back of the bike back into the EXUP Control box (EXUP Servo Connections) and reinstall it back on the bike. Also, if you havn’t already remember to re install the EXUP butterfly valve cover that was taken off at the beginning of step one.

I followed the above procedures exactly and have had no problems at all. I take no credit for this as it all belongs to the R6 Forum. Thanks to those guys for such an awesome website and passing so much information. 

Honey Stinger Waffles

I’ve been a long time user of Honey Stinger Waffles. I was first introduced to a similar snack when we were visiting Switzerland for a ski trip. When I got back to the states I looked for them and found Honey Stinger Waffles. Whenever I would run triathlons or participate in running events, I would bring one or two with me as energy while I was exercising so when I was offered a small sponsorship opportunity, I thought why not? My favorite and probably best tasting flavor is the Organic Honey Waffle. It’s described as,

A thin layer of our classic honey sandwiched between two thin waffles. Our number one selling waffle flavor will satisfy your taste buds and keep you going as an afternoon snack, during your favorite activity or go great with your cup of coffee or tea. Certified USDA organic..

I am also a big fan of their Lemon Waffles and Strawberry Waffles. I think they put crack in these things. Not only do they have tasty waffles that are weirdly easy to digest but they also sell energy gels, chews, energy bars, and protein bars. If you want to know more about Honey Stinger Waffles, visit their site.




CCS at CMP 2011, Saturday,Middleweight GP, Turn 2

CCS at CMP 2011, Saturday,Middleweight GP, Turn 2

I know it says proof but I actually typed my info in MotoHD’s website and it posted it here automatically. I think it is a great pic and thought I would share it. Go to www.motohd.net and look at the rest of the pics from this last weekends racing. The dude took some great pics. Darcie and I had a great time. It was our first time back on the track since last year so we didn’t go as fast as we would have liked but we know which direction we need to go to go faster next round at VIR. I would like to thank Full Spectrum Power, Pitbull, Digital Decals, and my wife for helping me this weekend. She drove all night after staying up for a 19 hour shift the day before to be at the races with me. She then was the 33Pitboss and ran everything the way it is supposed to be run.

Finals Point Standings for 2010

The season is over. After thousands of miles travelled and thousands of dollars spent I have one thing to say. Man, what a ride! I would like to thank some people for helping me out this year:

My wife, Darcie, for being there at every round and putting up with my shit. I can get cranky at the track for whatever reason but she was always the cool head in the paddock. She was there every single time to put on my rear stand, warmers, hand me a bottle of water, help me out of my leathers, make the beds, cook the food, talk to me about how everything went on the track, taking my laptimes, telling me when I was slow, hand me a beer at the end of the day, and a buttload of other things.

Jim Cohrs, who the hell is number 54? He was there as my suspension tech even though he was in the same races as me. He was there to listen to all my suspension issues, talk to me to help me make sense of things, and just general bench racing things.

Rick Johnson, #29, one of the funniest guys in the paddock. My wife and I would lay up at night talking about some of the goofy stuff he said. He was there racing as well but always had time to give advice.

Russ Proctor, is one fast dude and was always there to help, just like Jim Cohrs. Always willing to lend a hand or an ear. Great guy.

Dan Ronca, Gian Bojanovich, Chris Cooke, and Garrett Shifflett, I owe you guys BIG time! You saved my race weekend by helping…hell, not helping, doing…putting my bike together during the last race of the season after I had landed on my ear in T17. Not a fun place to go down but you guys made it so much easier to deal with. I would have never been able to continue my weekend without you guys. Sucks that I crashed the very next day.

Danny and Gian thanks so much for helping me out all season long. I loved pitting with you guys and hearing all of your funny stories. Danny, you saved my race weekend at Summit. I should have listened to you the first time about my fuel pump going out instead of trying all kinds of other crazy things. Also dude, you pushed me and pushed me. I was tired of seeing your tail all year. You definitely made the most improvement out of everyone in the middleweight experts class.

Brett Hickman, Steve Levow, Lory Shifflet, James “JRay” Ray, Kent Marquess, Scott Tucker, Mark Miller, Drew Kessler, Jonathan “Carnage” Elias, and anyone else I forgot…you guys are the best! It was fun hanging out with everyone, racing, bench racing, wrenching, arguing, eating, drinking, or whatever!!!

Willow Downs definitely helped too…so thank you Willow Downs. (JRay knows what I am talking about)

2010 was definitely my funnest year racing and I will never forget it.

Here are my final point standing for each class I was entered in:

Southeast Region

Middleweight Superbike: 7th

Middleweight Grand Prix: 9th

GTU: 5th

Middleweight Supersport: 6th

Heavyweight Superbike: 23rd (only entered in one race the entire year!)

Heavyweight Supersport: 11th


Middleweight Superbike: 8th

Middleweight Grand Prix: 5th

GTU: 10th

Middleweight Supersport: 11th

See you next year!!!

GSXR Clutch ByPass

I got this off the WERA BBS from user m0rtal1ty. It will help you when you try and bypass the clutch switch and instead your bike goes into limp mode. Here are the detailed instructions with pictures. 

Writeup: GSXR 600 clutch switch bypass relay mod w/ pics

I finished up the clutch switch bypass mod on a K6 GSXR with great success. This mod is an alternative to putting a switch on or bridging the clutch wires for starting the bike and also avoiding the limp map the ECU uses under a continuously disengaged clutch scenario. This mod is very easy to follow with some basic understanding of electronics. At any rate I’ll try to make this tutorial fairly clear and comprehensive and I apologize in advance for the length.I originally did this mod out of necessity; I sold my turn signal control pod on my new-to-me 06 GSXR 600 thinking it wasn’t necessary for starting the bike. It was. None of the other bikes I’ve ever had needed the clutch disengaged for starting in neutral… but whatever. Here’s whats involved:- 12v automotive relay, RadioShack part #275-001 or similar
– A few female quick disconnect terminals.
– Soldering iron or some splice connectors.
– Electrical tape and some wire.
– K6 GSXR or bike with similar problem.

As said earlier I’ve done this on an ’06 GSXR but I imagine other bikes are similar if not identical.

Start by removing the turn signal control pod and selling it on eBay. Was already ahead of myself there. You could get about $40 for it but hurry up before everyone else does this mod and floods eBay with used K6 gixxer control pods. As there’s no need for it on a race-only bike you can use that space for something like a switch, camera mount, or a GPS if you get lost during your race. Anyways.. The rest of the work we’re going to do is under the seat.

Next, unplug both of the main battery cables and remove the starter relay and wiring from its mount. Go ahead and unplug the black wiring connector from the relay and make a cut down its wiring sheath to expose the 4 wires; two red wires for power, a yellow/green one from the start switch, and a black/yellow wire from the clutch switch. Both of these yellow wires also plug into the ECU so it knows whats going on with each of these.

What we’re going to do next is trick the ECU into thinking the clutch is disengaged every time you push the start button. *Caution: This will also make the bike start when its in gear. That could make a very embarrassing or very hilarious situation in the paddock depending on which side of the bike you’re on. Mmmkay?

We need to tap into the Y/G and B/Y wires since we’ll be plugging those into our RadioShack relay. You can use a number of types of splicing connectors but considering the space and that we want this to work 100% of the time I decided to solder the wires on. Cut some of the jacket off of both the Y/G and B/Y wires to expose the copper wire, but don’t cut the wire. Just like in the movie Speed with Sandra Bullock and Neo. Then solder your two pieces of wire on (white wire in my case) and wrap it tight in electrical tape then crimp your disconnects on. I drew a black line on one indicating it was the clutch wire. We haven’t got to this part yet but the black wires with blue disconnects is the ground wire I put together.

We’ll continue with the B/Y clutch wire next. We want to plug this into our RadioShack relay. Since this is the wire we want to be grounded when the starter is pushed we’ll plug it into the 87 terminal on the relay. The other end of this circuit, 30, will be grounded to the battery all the time. If you have a double throw relay you can ignore the additional terminal 87a.

The remaining Y/G wire will be plugged into the 85 terminal and the other end, 86, grounded to the battery as well but it should also work in reverse although it didn’t with mine for some reason. What will happen is when the starter button is pushed and +12V runs through the Y/G starter wire it will activate the relay and bridge the B/Y clutch wire to ground and then release it when the push starter button is depressed and the starter wire deactivates. If you’re in doubt on which wire is the starter switch-connected wire you can start to poke around with a multimeter. With the ignition ‘on’ but the engine switch set to ‘off’ look for a wire that has about +3v standby which then outputs +12v when the starter button is depressed.

Make sure both ground terminals are grounded to the batteries’ negative terminal. Below is a cable I made with a ring terminal on the battery end and two female quick disconnects on the relay end. I soldered the additional wire in place for a rugged ‘Y’ connection to both grounds on the relay. You can do this a variety of different ways though.

Try to start the bike and see if it works. After it does go ahead and stash your relay in the subframe out of the way. I zip tied mine to a wiring harness in the tail for some shock absorption so it will continue to work after I inevitably crash on the track I did all this work for.

Now put the new clipon space to use. I put a start/run switch from a CBR on mine to power a data acquisition setup and I also have a free momentary switch for something else.. like a horn that plays dixie. Or not.

This setup either works or it doesn’t; check your wiring if it doesn’t start or if the relay makes a buzzing noise. In other words… if the bike starts up and promptly proceeds to run away into the nearest tree, parked car, pack of school children or gaggle of church nuns then you’ve done something wrong. If you’re reading this now and its actually worked then be sure to report in with any comments or petitions for addendums or any funny stories about the bike running away into arbitrary things the first time you started it and forgot it was in gear.


VIR End of Summer Cyclefest 2009

I made it to my second race weekend of the year. It was pretty uneventful but I did manage to get some pictures snapped of me and some friends. Now to get ready for next year. I can’t wait! During this event my wife got to get a two up ride with Steve Broadstreet. Pretty sweet if you ask me. Be sure to check out my Useful Files For Racers page. Also for all the stuff you need for your bike at a great price visit Sportbiketrackgear.com