HS Shop Class Team for VMD V1/350GP

Discussion in 'WERA Vintage' started by YoshiHNS, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. YoshiHNS

    YoshiHNS Mr. Slowly

    Looking for thoughts/issues/contructive comments for this plan.

    Background info. I'm a member of Skidmark Garage in Cleveland, OH. It's a "community garage" where you pay a membership fee and get access to space/heat/power/tools/ect for working on bikes. Part of the garage was set aside for running the high school shop class program, where kids would come down and learn to use tools via rebuilding CB350s from engine components to a complete running bike. The shop class is now spun off as it's own entity called MotoGo still run by the garage owner. Instead of having classes mainly at the garage, the high schools have set up an area in their own facilities to have the classes, and the instructors travel between locations. It's still growing and expanding, with the limit being qualified class instructors. I believe they service 7 different schools from private all-girls schools to a separate non-profit program for kids with rough home situations.

    One of the great topics is how can we take it to the next step, where the kids go beyond just working on a motorcycle. Dream end goal would be to have a path to get them riding a bike, but lots of legal stuff in the way of that. So the idea was brought up to run the completed 350s at VMD. As an extra bonus to the students completing the bike and having it running, they can watch it being raced. And maybe this gets them to buy a bike after HS.

    What we have:
    large 20ft+ trailer that we have been using to bring workbenches and lifts/tools
    Handful of members with solid mechanical ability plus welding and machining resources
    One ex club racer, a couple track day riders, and a flat track racer
    Somewhere between 12-16 CB/CL350s from various years in various conditions plus spares
    Space reserved for the MotoGo/Skidmark tent space/work area via AMA

    The general idea:
    Students build bikes per normal shop class routine
    Adults build or pick out engines good enough to run the races
    Adults do race-prep work for bikes after classes over (race fairings, suspension, safety wiring, testing)
    Maybe students help with paint
    Deal with parent consent/travel arrangements/ect
    4 students per bike with 1 adult per 2 kids as chaperon excluding racer (students not racing)
    Students at VMD for race day only
    Kids act as pit crew with supervision/guidance (no idea on what needs to be done)
    Do a pit walk to show off other bikes/setups/things of interest
    Find a spot for students to watch the race
    Post race clean-up/packing
    Students out of pits after race and either taken back home or released to parents.
    Side idea to see what Volunteer positions they could participate/shadow
    Different group of kids for each race day Sat/Sun.
    Maybe something where they get to see the enduro/non-tarmac racing as well depending on schedule

    We thought this would be a realistic way to get more kids exposed to motorcycles and get them bit by the bug. We would like to start getting things in motion so we can do this for 2020 VMD. We aren't looking at coming in to win races, just to have fun.

    We are looking into how we would have to handle things on our end, but we don't know enough about the racing half of it.
    A guide on mods and prep work specific for the 350s would be great
    An idea on what and how much we can actually have the kids do in the pits (checked by adults of course)
    Getting them around to a good spot that they can watch the race from.
    Finding volunteer racers willing to trust and ride the bikes
    An idea on budget. Funding would be separate from the shop class and garage. We could figure out entry fees and that, but an idea on parts costs/fuel usage/tires would help us figure if we can raise the money for it.
    Are we better off building a specific bike for GP class instead of V1

    Any thoughts or help are greatly appreciated.
  2. Mongo

    Mongo Administrator

    Kids in the paddock is no problem, no need for them to be on hot pit lane for sprint racing. If you rent a garage there is a balcony above them to watch from - also lots of great space around the entire track as well but you may want some sort of pit vehicle for that one.

    Build them for V1 and come out to Nelson as well as VMD. I'm sure we can do something on gate fees there, not so sure on VMD but once you get things more firmed up let me know and I'll reach out to some people about that one.
    CharlieY likes this.
  3. Robin172

    Robin172 Well-Known Member

    There is a plethora of people with info about racing 350 Hondas on this board. That Charlie guy who liked your post is one, you could do worse than contacting him.
  4. joec

    joec brace yourself

    There was a guy from Ohio who taught a shop class who did this same thing probably about 20 years ago. A buddy of his was an instructor at another local school so they had a little competition to build racebikes. They posted thier builds on the caferacer.net board before it was sold but there are folks still there from that period of time who im sure can point you to those couple of guys or maybe the threads are still archived. They did take at least one of them to mid Ohio.
  5. kenessex

    kenessex unregistered user

    I'd race one. That is me on a CB350 at Mid-ohio in my member picture.
  6. jksoft

    jksoft Well-Known Member

    This sounds like a great idea and I'll be around next year to help out if needed.
    I would think some of the kids would be interested in the whole build, including the race-prep. Not sure how they could be included in that as it may not fit into the normal shop class routine.
    I met some of the kids that were there in the tent last year rebuilding 350 motors. Nice kids and quick learners.
  7. CharlieY

    CharlieY Well-Known Member

    Hello, as Robin172 stated, I would be interested in riding. I like racing V1 CB350's, even tho I'm never the fastest guy out there, but I can hold my own when needed........Plus, Mid-Ohio is a bucket list track and event for me.....maybe I can follow Ken around. :beer:

    My WERA License is current, all gear is good, Its just me that's out of shape...... I last ran the WERA "Concour-de-competition" in June. First time I've raced a 2 stroke. What a great time riding one of Ron Ravens museum pieces!

    Mentioning Skidmark rang a bell for me.......I talked to a good friend, Mark Prosser from Ferris State U.....He and Fuller both mentioned doing one of their welding seminars with you guys recently, but it didnt quite work out......???? those are some great guys, I've known them for decades.

    Anyhow, Prosser gave you guys a big thumbs up! Sounds like a great thing you are doing, and your passion is evident.

    Sounds like you have alot going on.....what do you need from me (us?)

    Good luck with this:rock:

    Hey, be kinda cool to see Scudder (Robin172) on a 350:rolleyes:
  8. Robin172

    Robin172 Well-Known Member

    It wouldn't be the first time.
  9. ScottyRock155

    ScottyRock155 A T-Rex going RAWR!

    Go Bulldogs!
    CharlieY likes this.
  10. YoshiHNS

    YoshiHNS Mr. Slowly

    Thanks for the replies and messages. Going to get the ball rolling on this project :)
  11. 90kacoupe

    90kacoupe Novice seeking Help

    I'm not in the area so I can't help much in the prep much, but if you need any help at VMD let me know. I'll be there racing. I'll be a competitor in V1 but would love to help in anyway. I love what y'all are doing!
  12. riversbikes

    riversbikes Well-Known Member

    I'm doing the same thing with grade 7&8 kids with my Street Triple racer build. We've built 2 cafe racers over the years as well. As a school principal, amazingly rewarding and a way to keep my hand in teaching.

    The race bike this winter is a bit of a catalogue project -- we need to strip the street stuff, and aside from putting Daytona forks and R6 calipers on it, the rest is very straightforward (race bodywork, side covers, etc). I even painted the fairings myself as it's not cool having kids deal with automotive clearcoat, even in a aerosol can. I want to send them off to high school (where the shop is located) at least knowing the basics (righty tighty, lefty loosey) and shop safety. I also want to get some of the kids in arts class to design a race team "logo" incorporating the school mascot -- basic principles of graphic design.
    Winters are long up here in Canada, gotta have something to do when we're not playing hockey!
    Taking them to the track to watch me race is a possibility as well -- the track is 3.5 hours away and a bit "rustic" in the amenities... I sleep in the back of the vehicle myself...
    The 1st cafe project was a result of a donated xs650 and some seed money, but it was highly stressful for me when I was keeping the books. The Triumph build will be my own ca$h so I get to decide what to spend and only have to answer to my wife. Good luck with the project!!!
  13. CharlieY

    CharlieY Well-Known Member

    I mean a "REAl" 350 racebike, a Honda CB350 :D......not some Eyetallion moped! :Poke::beer::)
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
  14. CharlieY

    CharlieY Well-Known Member

    BRAVO Sir!....beautiful work.

    I make no bones about my age (old, get off my lawn). I've watched our society abandon trades and mechanical abilities for sitting in front of a keyboard, and it deeply saddens me.......same thing with kids "Actually Playing" vs "Virtual playing", sitting in front of a screen.....I've watched the scales tip towards a digital worlds favor, and it aint right!

    I like the actual real world. I also believe digital is a part of it.....just not the largest part or all of it.

    What you (and skidmark / motogo) are doing gives me hope! Again, bravo! Maybe we arent doomed:beer::bow:
  15. Robin172

    Robin172 Well-Known Member

    Raced one in the UK, raced one over here.
  16. CharlieY

    CharlieY Well-Known Member

    OK, sorry man.....I was just messing with your ducati-riding-self. :(
  17. YoshiHNS

    YoshiHNS Mr. Slowly

    That's pretty cool you are getting to do it in grade school. How many of them are asking for their own bike afterwards? Technically they would be old enough for a moped.
  18. riversbikes

    riversbikes Well-Known Member

    Not around here, unfortunately -- nothing with power until you're 16. A few of them are farm kids who then work on their dirt bikes or snowmobiles... a number have also taken the high school vocational courses when they get old enough... and they've remembered the basics at least.
  19. CharlieY

    CharlieY Well-Known Member

    Hey Sean....just a question to be sure....

    Wera or AMA rules?.....I know there was a "cross reference chart" at one time. I see the above "Build them to V1" but dont want to take that out of context.

    Just don't want to follow the wrong path here.

  20. Mongo

    Mongo Administrator

    What do you mean WERA or AMA rules? They're the same for VMD with regard to V1 - only difference there is we run other classes that we don't run normally all year long. They're in our rulebook anyway but with a note by them saying VMD only.

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