Running the MotoGiro, Part 1

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I’ve featured reader Jim R before thanks to his passion for early Kawasaki singles and that the fact that he’s picked up a couple of them through Bike-urious. He’s a true motorcycling nut, having owned hundreds of bikes over the years. As he puts it, he ‘restores and transports bikes as a money losing hobby and generally has something to do with motorcycles every day.’ I got an email from him a few days ago notifying me that there was going to be a MotoGiro South coming up in the spring. Ever wondered what a MotoGiro is and what’s required to get ready for one? Well, Jim’s about to share his tale with you. Hope you enjoy!

Editor’s Note: I should also point out that I’m going to be flying out to tag along with Jim to check out the festivities in Asheville, North Carolina on May 12-14. As of January 25th, there were still a few spots left for anyone that wants to participate, so reach out if you need to be put in touch with the right people to sign up. Hope to see some of you there! Without further ado, here’s Jim:

Running the MotoGiro
Part 1 – Team Assembled, Bikes Being Prepped

Hiding out in Florida, avoiding the cold weather further north, I check my email and there it is…an email from my mechanic friend and fellow BMW airhead enthusiast Steve H. He was letting me know (drum roll please), that MotoGiro South was announced for spring 2017 in Asheville, North Carolina.

Having run the MG a few years back, Steve and I had both agreed that heading all the way to western Massachusetts to run it was not feasible and if a southern race was announced we would team up and run a 3 man team. Here’s our chance!

I contacted the third member of the newly created Team RVA (for Richmond, Virginia), and he was in without hesitation. We all sent in the form and entry fees, and Team RVA was born – the players are myself, Jim R (electrician), Steve H (mechanic), Mark M (photographer). Now, the bikes:

MotoGiro rules require bikes built in 1968 or earlier, and 305cc or less…perfect!.. I offer Mark one of my 1966 Kawasaki F1’s to run. It’s a beautiful, original two stroke 175cc and the first bike we’re going to prep so that Mark will have plenty of time to get accustomed to riding a rotary shift two stroke.

Steve generously allowed us to all use his well appointed garage for prep of the first bike. I won’t bore you with prep details, but we addressed the wheel bearings, exhaust, and installed new shocks, new seat, and fluids. We took care of many comfort and reliability issues.

Mark enjoying a cigar and a wire wheel:

Steve burns off 50+ years of two stroke crud (the cigar helps keep the smell bearable):

Mark becoming “familiar” with his new Japanese friend:

Steve and Mark discussing the finer points of Kawasaki two stroke operation:

I mostly took photos and smoked a Monte Cristo:

Mark rode the F1 home, and is now getting up to speed with riding and fueling a non-injected two stroke.

Part 2 will cover prep of my 1966 Meguro 250SG. Stay tuned for the trials and tribulations of Team RVA!

[Editor’s Note: Part 2 is now up – you can continue the story here!]

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