Featured In the January/February 2020 issue of Roadracing World:
“…The variables in a successful racing equation are enough to drive a team captain like me to distraction: Rider talent, rider health, transporter servicing, trailer tire end-of-life service time, crappy GMC transmissions. And all that just gets you to the track. Once you’re at the track it’s too late for much program development, but you should have already accounted for tire suitability for lap times and durability; fuel capacity; suspension set-up; appropriate horsepower; and, above all else, reliability— chain life, sprocket life, wheel bearings, wire chaffing, transmission shift drum wear, valve train fatigue, shock seal life, cam chain adjuster fatigue.
“Then there is the whole thing of getting tire pressures, fuel, brake fluid, brake pads, grips, and all those other little details correct. Once the race is underway, a big lead can evaporate, for better or for worse, with an ill-timed red flag or a rain squall or a migrating turtle or a bike dropping fluids on the track.
“With a big budget and youthful zeal, everything the team used would be given a service history and replaced on a service life calculation. Valves, bearings, exhaust systems, et. al. would be inspected and rebuilt or replaced at regular service intervals. Unfortunately, the combination of the rise of dopamine-addictive mobile phone apps and the collapse of the general economy in 2007, plus the additional 14 trips around the sun that our team has made since 2005, means that there really isn’t much (if any) corporate support for motorcycle racing anymore. Between time commitments that our all-volunteer (read “conscripts”) team has for other endeavors, and the scant opportunity for sponsorship, we have had to moderate what we know to be best practice for racing versus the resources we have available to us. And that means we are still campaigning our 2012 BMW S1000RRs, named Eva and Brunhilde. In the good old days we would have started with a brand new motorcycle or two each year. Now we rebuild the suspension and wrack our brains for the tiniest improvements we can make to the package to increase our pace over the prior year. Fortunately, Michelin, our long-time tire supplier, had a new line of race slicks called Power Performance…”
—Army of Darkness 2019: Part I, By Sam Q. Fleming
The bikes are older, and the riders aren’t any younger, but when the checkered flag falls in endurance racing in the United States, the evergreen Army of Darkness is usually at the front of the field. Read about the team’s most recent success in the WERA/N2 Racing Endurance Series as told by Army of Darkness veteran Sam Q. Fleming, in the latest issue of Roadracing World!
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