Article & Photos1
Three-Wheeler’s Have Their Day at Cahuilla
By Steve Caro
Photography by Kathryn Caro
Anza, CA. March 14, 2015
From the time they were first introduced to the U.S market by Honda in 1970 (which included a starring role in the 1971 James Bond Movie DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER) until their demise under the pressure of a growing litigious atmosphere in the late 1980’s, the three-wheeled ATV was a common sight wherever off-roading occurred and evolved into potent racing machines capable of outstanding performance in the hands of a skilled rider. Used in virtually every form of competition, it wasn’t until the advent of the quad class ATV and the growing refusal of sanctioning bodies and promoters to allow them into competition , that the iconic machines were relegated to sheds or as occasional use vehicles on family trips to the desert.
In a manner not too dissimilar to what two-stroke powered machines face today, a core group of enthusiasts continued to ride and compete with their three-wheeled “outcasts”. They were brought back to the foreground of competition about three years ago with their inclusion in the regularly scheduled events of the premier vintage racing club on the west coast CALVMX. An enthusiastic band of racers have taken to the track on a regular basis ever since at virtually every CALVMX event. It seemed a natural progression then that the machines be given their own exclusive event. 2015 marked the second consecutive year that the three-wheeler community had their own national event.
With event sponsorship provided by Duncan Racing, a well know shop located in Santee, California that has a well known reputation for getting maximum performance from both three and four-wheeled ATV’s, an enthusiastic crowd gathered at Cahuilla Creek MX Park’s VET track for their second annual national event. Trikes ranging from virtually bone stock on up to highly modified pure racing machines filled the pit area on the warm sunny day.
The Open Expert machines led off the day, with an extra incentive for the first moto. BTD Motorsports posted a $100 gift certificate for the winner of the holeshot. Cashing in on a perfectly timed gate, David Ham (Hon) took the prize and led the pack into the back straight. CALVMX regular Tom Decrescente (Hon) was in hot pursuit of Ham and executed a perfect pass on the back half of the course. Behind him, John Brady (Hon) slid his way into second, with Ham holding onto third. Decresente kept up a torrid pace throughout the moto with perfectly controlled power slides marking his pace. Brady remained in second and never backed off his pace as he slowly reeled in Decrescente. As the pair rounded the final corner to the checkers, Brady found the opening he was looking for and took the lead just as the checkers flew. Decrescente took second, with Ham in third.
Brady was a non-starter in the second moto, which eliminated one challenger for Decrescente. Timing the gate perfectly, Decrescente blasted up the starting hill and proceeded to absolutely dominate the moto. His closest challenger was Tanner Pies (Hon), who kept Descrescente in range as the two powered around the track at a pace that easily rivaled that of the two-wheel racers. At the checkers, it was Descrescente with the overall, followed by Pies and Ham.
Other winners on the day included Ed Hicks (Hon) who topped both motos in the Vintage 4 Stroke class, with Dave Swinger and Larry Proctor rounding out the top three. Hicks immediately returned to the track for the Vintage 197-240cc class and swapped moto wins with Tom Decrescente, with Hicks snaring the overall by topping the all important tie-breaking second moto.
Vintage 241-310cc Expert action saw the always formidable Tanner Pies (Hon) trade moto wins with Paul Proctor. The two were never more than a few lengths apart in both motos as they threw their powerful trikes from side-to-side as they circulated the course. The final tally for the class saw Pies topping the field, followed by Proctor (Hon) and Bryan Ditch (Hon).
The Novice division of Vintage 241-310cc hosted some close quarter racing in both motos. Tim Coulson (Hon) took the first moto, with Steven Johnson (Yam) second, with Edward Anker third. The all-important second moto ended with Johnson taking the moto win and the class overall victory. First moto winner Coulson only managed a fourth in the moto, but his combined 1-4 scores earned him second overall. Jason Lohrbach (Hon) finished second in the moto, which combined with his fourth place in the first moto, garnered a third overall for the day.
Photos by: Kathy Caro
2nd Annual 3 Wheeler National
Pit Photos 3/14-3/15
Article & Photos 2
Cahuilla Creek Hosts
March Vintage Moto Madness
By Steve Caro
Photography by Kathryn Caro
Anza, CA. March 15
What a difference a mere three-weeks made in weather conditions for the VMX caravans’ return to Cahuilla Creek. After enduring the searing cold and Artic like winds during their February visit, conditions returned to more typical Southern California temperatures and clear skies for their March event.
Round three of the 2015 CALVMX/100% VMX series returned to a well prepared, vintage friendly, Cahuilla Creek MX Park Vet track. Continuing club tradition, long time lady racer Lori Payne was saluted for her four plus decades of involvement in the sport. The sister of the inaugural U.S. Women’s Motocross Champion, Nancy Payne, Lori is a regular competitor in both women’s and the regular classes at the monthly CALVMX events. The weekend was extra special for her as she celebrated her birthday with family members present and participated in the special Marty Smith motocross clinic on Saturday “My best birthday ever” she was heard to exclaim in the pit area.
In another first for CALVMX, a second sidecar entry was registered. Pat Wilkening and Phil Revilee teamed up to man the Norton-Wasp combo generously provided by Mark and Kathy Wood. Although they were only able to finish one moto due to mechanical issues with the rig, the pair showed extremely good form as they negotiated the challenging Cahuilla course.
50 Plus GP Experts featured two dominant performances by Maico mounted Brad Morrison who led every lap of both motos in convincing style. The first moto saw Morrison rocket up the starting hill with the distinctive low-throated bark sound of his German mount echoing off the nearby hills. Entering the main portion of the Cahuilla course, Morrison was trailed by Ron Ratigan (Hon), Ed Tashjian (Suz) and Carman Cafro (Suz). Morrison kept up a torrid pace throughout the moto and by the white flag had around a ten second lead. Behind him Ratigan put some distance between himself and the duel for third between Tashjian and Cafro. Morrison crossed the finish line uncontested for the victory, with Ratigan second and Cafro emerging with third place over Tashjian.
The big Maico didn’t let Morrison down in moto two as he repeated his first moto holeshot and led the pack into the back half of the course. Ratigan once again locked into second, with Honda mounted Brad Roysdon and Tashjian vying for third. Morrison’s classic Teutonic steed never faltered and he sped to an easy moto and overall victory. Ratigan’s consistency netted him second overall, while Roysdon captured the final podium spot with his 5-3 moto scores.
For the past several season’s the Vintage Sportsman 250 class has been the standard bearer for the original concept of vintage racing; the preservation and use of the short travel pre-1975 machines. In the Intermediate division, Travis McCaw swept both motos on his way to the overall aboard his well-prepped Honda Elsinore. In the first moto, McCaw powered his way into the lead as the pack headed towards the back portion of the course. Behind him was Suzuki mounted David Perrpperato and Jim Barker (Hon). By the end of the second lap, McCaw had done the classic “check out” on the rest of the pack as he built up a multi-second lead. Barker moved into second, with Tim McIntyre (CZ) third.
McCaw was never challenged for the lead, and in fact his pace was such that he had moved to within striking distance of the Expert ranked racers who were on the track at the same time. Behind him John Woolsey (Yam) staged a late race charge and passed into second, followed by Barker. At the finish of the moto, McCaw took an easy win, with Woolsey and Barker second and third.
Five laps were all that separated McCaw from taking the overall victory as the riders staged for the second moto. At the drop of the gate, Woolsey made things interesting by taking the lead exiting the starting area and led the pack thru the first part of the course. McCaw was close behind in second with Barker and McIntyre following. McCaw powered his way into the lead by the end of lap three and proceeded to lead unchallenged for the rest of the moto on his way to a sweep of the class and another overall win. Barker gave Honda a 1-2 sweep, as he took second, followed by McIntyre with the final podium spot.
Clark Jones (CZ) was the star of the 50 Plus Vintage Experts as he out dueled the Can-Am of Steve Ellis in both motos to take the overall, while fellow CZ pilot Mark Wood used consistent 3-3 scores to take third overall. In the Intermediate portion of the class, long-time campaigner Norm Himaka out-paced his competition with wins in both motos to take the overall, followed by the CZ of Dave Scourfield and John Woolsey in the third spot.
Birthday girl Lori Payne celebrated her day with an impressive fourth overall in Women’s Intermediate and first place in the Adult Mini Stock class. Also taking home gold was Dave Scourfield in Vintage Sportsman 500 Intermediate, with Frank Maney (Suz) and Steve Roach (CZ) second and third. Tanner Pies nabbed the overall in the Three-Wheeler Stock Open Expert over Tom Decrescente, while Ed Tashjian used 2-1 scores to take the overall in GP-1 500 Expert over Brent Koble (Husq) and Carmen Cafro.
VMX will make a return to Perris Raceway for the first time in several years for their April event. Adding to their return is the specter of the event being a night race! Perris has been a favored venue for vintage racing dating back to the early 1990’s. A strong turnout of entries is anticipated and all riders, be they first time beginners or seasoned former pro’s are urged to join in on the fun of racing classic bikes on April 11th.
Further photos and race coverage can be found at: