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Apr 28, 2016

​Chris Ulrich Gives Reporters From Major Publications Rides On His Two-Seat Superbike At NJMP

Recently-retired MotoAmerica Superbike racer Chris Ulrich (second from left) with Popular Mechanics magazine's Jay Bennett (far left), Forbes magazine's Jim Clash (second from right) and South Jersey Times/www.nj.com photojournalist Lori Nichols (far right) at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Photo by David Swarts, copyright Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

Recently-retired MotoAmerica Superbike racer Chris Ulrich wasn’t sitting around taking it easy as the MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing series rolled into New Jersey Motorsports Park Thursday. Quite the contrary.

Ulrich, a two-time AMA Pro race winner and multi-time WERA National Endurance Champion, was giving 140-mph rides on his two-seat Team Hammer Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike to representatives of the local and mainstream media to help promote this coming weekend’s event and motorcycling in general.

The list of guests included Lori Nichols, a photojournalist with the South Jersey Times/www.nj.com; Jay Bennett, an Associate Editor with Popular Mechanics; Jim Clash, a Contributing Editor with Forbes magazine; and Clash’s photographer Robert Anderson.

After a two-lap blast around the course, Clash said, “For years and years I drove really fast cars, IndyCars, Bugattis, so I’m not afraid of speed. But my mother always told me to never get on a motorcycle. And so for years and years I never did it. Then I got this offer. I thought, Chris Ulrich is a Pro. I’ll be in good hands. I’m going to go for it.

“You guys scared me a little before I went out there. Putting on all that gear I realized this was a serious endeavor. We had a little bit of humidity and some sprinkles [of rain] so I was nervous, but I felt incredibly in good hands with Chris.

“It was really exciting and a totally different kind of thrill being on two wheels instead of four. I would highly recommend this ride to anyone who likes adrenaline.”

And Clash knows adrenaline, as he regularly writes about adrenaline-pumping adventures for Forbes.

“I’m the Forbes adventure columnist,” said Clash, “so I regularly do adventure [stories], whether it be flying MIGs [fighter jets] or bobsledding with the Olympic team or driving an IndyCar at 200 miles. So we tell people how to make money in most of the magazine, and then there’s a section where we tell them how to spend it. That’s the Lifestyle section. I write for the Lifestyle section. It’s telling people how to buy an experience. A lot of these people have houses and yachts, but you can’t buy an experience unless you do it. To get out there and get on that bike it takes a bit of intestinal fortitude. You can’t buy that unless you do it. So we try to let people know about adrenaline-type adventures, or exotic adventures where they can spend the money they’ve made.”

Asked about giving rides on his two-seat Superbike even though he is now officially retired, Ulrich said, “For one, it’s fun. Giving rides on the two-seat Superbike is really fun for me. It’s great for me to be able to share my sport -- a sport that I’m so passionate about, a sport that I’ve done for so long -- with people who are mainstream media. It was super fun, and I’m super proud that I’m still able to do that. I’ve got to thank MotoAmerica for bringing a couple of big name publications into our paddock to check out motorcycle road racing.”

For over a decade, Ulrich and his team have offered rides on two-seat racebikes to reporters to help promote road racing events and motorcycling in general. Including Thursday’s rides, Ulrich has given 919 two-seat race bike rides since 2003 without a single incident.

Ulrich also uses his two-seat Superbike to raise money and awareness for the Roadracing World Action Fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping prevent racetrack injuries, via an annual fundraiser each Thanksgiving weekend at Auto Club Speedway. For more information on the Roadracing World Action Fund and Ulrich’s fund-raising activities, go to www.roadracingworld.com/actionfund/