Oct 3, 2013
© 2014, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by John Ulrich
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Kenny Augustine, R.I.P. Well-known cylinder head expert was 66 years old and died at his shop in San Rafael, California.
San Rafael, California-based cylinder head specialist and airflow magician Kenny Augustine died September 19th following a heart attack.
Services are pending.
Roadracing World received the following via e-mail from former racer Lennie Combs:
Thanks for the interest in Kenny. Steve McLaughlin suggested I write you.
Kenny Augustine passed away Thursday, September 19 after a heart attack. Kenny was one of the top engine development people in the country.
His contemporaries are Jerry Branch and C.R. Axtell. Kenny probably had over 100 motorcycle titles credited to his work and thought.
He got his start with the BMW Superbike team in the 1970s. One of BMW factory rider Steve McLaughlin's favorite Kenny Augustine stories is when Steve sent French (TZ750) rider Patrick Pons to Kenny for him to make (intake) restrictors (required only) for the Daytona 200. "Patrick complained to me that 'Kenny charged too much money,'" McLaughlin wrote. "Later that year in Europe, Patrick told me that the restrictors worked so well that he raced with them always. Kenny was a serious talent and I was lucky to have him as a friend."
(AMA officials had required TZ750s to run intake restrictors in an effort to slow the bikes down at Daytona. Augustine's venturi-shaped restrictors actually improved the throttle response and powerband of the TZ750 engine, making it easier to ride and faster around a racetrack.)
Kenny's work helped me finish second to Kevin Schwantz in our last 600cc race at Daytona, from the third row; (I also turned) one of the top privateer lap times in the 1987 (Daytona) 200, out of 132 riders.
Memorial services are pending a family decision.