Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes - Page 141 - The Jockey Journal Board

Go Back   The Jockey Journal Board > General Discussion > The Board

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-15-2017, 10:20 AM   #2801
ejkelly
Senior Member
 
ejkelly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: michigan
Posts: 100
Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

Larry Welch 2014. Get well soon!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Larry welch.JPG
Views:	161
Size:	740.9 KB
ID:	231922  
__________________
Never trust a fart.
ejkelly is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-16-2017, 10:30 PM   #2802
frank spittle
Senior Member
 
frank spittle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: cornelius nc
Posts: 753
Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

I got a call from Ron Teson today letting me know he is planning on attending the Mancup race in June and asking if I was coming. We got to talking about his old T/F Yamaha and the article in Cycle World when he let John Ulrich make a couple passes on it which I thought he was crazy for doing so. He said looking back it was crazy and said when they got to the end of the track Ulrich was still sitting on the bike with his leg shaking. "It won't stop shaking" he told them. We had some laughs. I still say both Ron and John were gutsy. I am not aware of that happening before or after. Ron said the same thing.

I am still hoping John Ulrich finds out about this and chimes in.
__________________
"Danger is real but fear is a choice" ~Nik Wallenda~
frank spittle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2017, 01:41 AM   #2803
richbob
Senior Member
 
richbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Toscana Italy
Posts: 1,972
Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

Good stories.
That's called "Disco leg"


Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
__________________
Rush Rush to the Yayo. Blondie

"Ultimately were all dead men"(Oliver Reed.Gladiator)
richbob is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Old 03-04-2017, 02:02 PM   #2804
frank spittle
Senior Member
 
frank spittle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: cornelius nc
Posts: 753
Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

I talked with Larry Welch today and sadly his cancer is terminal. He is in good spirits and says he is ready to go. He is very religious and ready to meet his maker.
__________________
"Danger is real but fear is a choice" ~Nik Wallenda~
frank spittle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2017, 09:17 PM   #2805
frank spittle
Senior Member
 
frank spittle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: cornelius nc
Posts: 753
Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

I just found out Jason "Pee Wee" Gleason passed away. For those who do not recognize his name it is hard to put in words how talented he was at motorcycle drag racing. Those who knew him are probable as shocked as I am. I have not found an obit but it looks like he died of a heart attack at 57.

I first met him at the drag strips around Charlotte in the late '70s or early '80s. He was just out of school and I believe working at the Honda motorcycle dealer. I was racing my T/F Kawasaki and he was racing street bikes. His nickname came from his size. I put his weight at 120 pounds when I was considered light at 165. He was one of the most talented and fearless riders to ever make a pass down a drag strip. Remember, this was the era of the birth of the Superbike. Within a few years just about all the manufacturers hired him test their latest Superbike and when he made a couple practice runs he would lay down a pass that left jaws dropped. And it was never bettered by another rider. He just got everything it had out of it.

When I quit racing a few years later he was the most famous test rider in the world and made a good living at it. Some of his times were in the nines at over 140 mph. I never heard of him crashing and he never used a wheelie bar on those superbikes. One report in a magazine had him in a power wheel stand a foot or more off the ground crossing the clocks at over 140. He eventually was coaxed into racing T/F and Funny Bikes as a hired gun but always went back to testing Superbikes where the money was. The only rider that I would compare him to is Joey Gladstone, the equally impressive 25 year old who I have seen turn times in the 6s at over 225 mph on "no bar" pro street bike that he cranks with the factory starter.

I hope one or more of the motorcycle magazines does a feature story on Pee Wees' incredible life. I don't know where he lived or what he was doing for a living at the time of his death.
__________________
"Danger is real but fear is a choice" ~Nik Wallenda~

Last edited by frank spittle; 03-11-2017 at 11:09 PM.
frank spittle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2017, 10:44 AM   #2806
joe49
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Tonica Il
Posts: 1,083
Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

RIP Pee Wee. Read many magazine articles were he was the pilot for fast 1/4 times.
joe49 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2017, 06:43 PM   #2807
frank spittle
Senior Member
 
frank spittle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: cornelius nc
Posts: 753
Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

50 years ago today myself and 3 friends hit the road for Daytona Bike week. Lots of memories from that trip. It was where I met Danny Johnson. The Sportster I took on that trip is on page 2 of this thread posts 22 and 25.
Today I was on the interstate in Charlotte and 6 motorcycles passed me running over 80. IT WAS COLD!!!!!!! Their leather jackets told everyone they were part of the Outlaws Gang. No doubt they were Daytona bound.
__________________
"Danger is real but fear is a choice" ~Nik Wallenda~
frank spittle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2017, 10:51 PM   #2808
frank spittle
Senior Member
 
frank spittle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: cornelius nc
Posts: 753
Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

Surprisingly little has turned up on Pee Wee Gleason's death and this baffles me. Hopefully more will come out. He did a lot of testing for American Turbo Pak but I was not aware his father was part owner. A Memorial race is planned for him soon. This is a 6 minute interview with him on youtube. He was into much more motorcycle racing than I realized. I only knew about the drag racing. It is an informative interview and shows why he was a one of a kind.
https://youtu.be/cDp_cF3qo3Q
__________________
"Danger is real but fear is a choice" ~Nik Wallenda~
frank spittle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2017, 05:16 AM   #2809
nefareous
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: maryland
Posts: 360
Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

I hope he got his wish, to be buried with his V-Max....
nefareous is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2017, 07:31 PM   #2810
frank spittle
Senior Member
 
frank spittle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: cornelius nc
Posts: 753
Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

I believe he still owned that 1985 VMAX that Yamaha gave him that year after he set some records with it. Gleason was paid $1000.00 a DAY for testing 30 years ago. It is believed he made over 6000 test passes in his career.

I am hoping some of you that had dealings with him will tell us about it. I did not because I retired before he started racing T/F and Funny Bikes. Like I said earlier he didn't do that long before he found out testing superbikes was where the money was at.
__________________
"Danger is real but fear is a choice" ~Nik Wallenda~
frank spittle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2017, 08:11 PM   #2811
frank spittle
Senior Member
 
frank spittle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: cornelius nc
Posts: 753
Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by frank spittle View Post
I talked with Larry Welch today and sadly his cancer is terminal. He is in good spirits and says he is ready to go. He is very religious and ready to meet his maker.
I have talked with Larry several time this month and his condition remains the same.
__________________
"Danger is real but fear is a choice" ~Nik Wallenda~
frank spittle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2017, 06:38 AM   #2812
Truckedup
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Western NY state
Posts: 800
Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by frank spittle View Post
I have talked with Larry several time this month and his condition remains the same.
We are all dying, just some know when it'll happen...

This is Larry on a Routt bike? it's a good photo.............

__________________
Lots of junk that runs ok
Truckedup is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2017, 04:42 PM   #2813
frank spittle
Senior Member
 
frank spittle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: cornelius nc
Posts: 753
Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

It has been 32 years since my crash at Piedmont Dragway. It was the only time I got hurt in 21 years of drag racing motorcycles. Facebook. Isn't it great? I had never seen a picture of the bike at the crash site until Troy Bowman sent a message to my wife asking if she was the same Suzanne that was Frank Spittle's wife. He was there. Here is how he explained to me the picture he took.

"I was down at the end of the track on the return road when I heard your bike fire. I decided I would watch your pass before I returned to the pits. You were hauling ass when you entered the clocks (it was the fastest 1/8 mile time in my career 147) and as you passed the clocks you ran off the track and was headed straight at me. I stayed still waiting to see which way I needed to go and then the bike pitched you off and started cartwheeling. I was the first to get to you. You were moaning and I asked if you were ok and you said I can't breathe. About that time the rescue personal got there and administered first aid. I had my camera and took this photo as your crew was loading the bike"
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Scan0007 (2).jpg
Views:	109
Size:	232.1 KB
ID:	234089  
__________________
"Danger is real but fear is a choice" ~Nik Wallenda~
frank spittle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2017, 04:08 PM   #2814
frank spittle
Senior Member
 
frank spittle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: cornelius nc
Posts: 753
Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

It seems some things never change. My old friends T/F Motorcycle legends Larry McBride and Sam Wills met in the final at the first Mancup race of the year in Valdosta Ga. just like they did at Rockingham last Fall. This time Sam beat Larry to the finish line and turned a 6.13 to Larry's 6.23. But Sam left the starting line .001 too soon, giving the win to Larry.

I don't know how much longer these icons will want the rigorous duties that are a part of racing (it is very hard work not to mention the danger) at their age, Larry is 59 and Sam is 65, but neither one are talking retirement. It will truly be a sad day when they hang it up.
__________________
"Danger is real but fear is a choice" ~Nik Wallenda~
frank spittle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2017, 08:51 AM   #2815
ejkelly
Senior Member
 
ejkelly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: michigan
Posts: 100
Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

I went to the Valdosta race too. Not only the age issue, but the costs and stamina required to get these bikes down the track. Sam was on his third engine and Larry brings all six of his. These guys and their teams are working nonstop to meet the qualifying and elimination ladders. Ian King had a valve issue on Q2 and had to remove the head. I think he only has the one engine. Kind of makes you wonder how he gets by with a single engine and uses Gulf 20W-50 as his race oil! John Gregory is in the picture with Ian's bike. Was an excellent race, but missed Chris Hand.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Sam Will chute.JPG
Views:	66
Size:	747.6 KB
ID:	234330   Click image for larger version

Name:	Ian King Fuel Bike and John Gregory.JPG
Views:	75
Size:	738.6 KB
ID:	234338   Click image for larger version

Name:	Dave Caudill.JPG
Views:	96
Size:	738.2 KB
ID:	234346  

Click image for larger version

Name:	Bradley bike fire up.JPG
Views:	66
Size:	734.9 KB
ID:	234354  
__________________
Never trust a fart.
ejkelly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2017, 08:00 PM   #2816
frank spittle
Senior Member
 
frank spittle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: cornelius nc
Posts: 753
Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

Larry Welch continues to fight cancer with the same voracity he used in his racing career but he is getting weaker. We talked briefly today about Larry McBride winning the first Mancup race this year and also the popularity of the T/F Harley class at NHRA Nationals and their first ever TV coverage of qualifying and eliminations. Welch seems to have the same interest he always has. He was one of the best.

It reminded me of the '97 Reunion we had in Virginia when Larry was welcomed by all who attended. It was the first time he had attended. I will never forget Russ Collins telling Larry he was his hero and it was him he wanted to be like when he first started racing. I will also never forget the smile on Larry's face.
__________________
"Danger is real but fear is a choice" ~Nik Wallenda~
frank spittle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2017, 09:24 PM   #2817
frank spittle
Senior Member
 
frank spittle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: cornelius nc
Posts: 753
Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

Larry passed yesterday May 4th about 6pm. The pain is over. We will truly miss you my friend.
__________________
"Danger is real but fear is a choice" ~Nik Wallenda~
frank spittle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2017, 08:47 PM   #2818
frank spittle
Senior Member
 
frank spittle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: cornelius nc
Posts: 753
Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

I talked by phone to several former Fuel Bike racers to notify them of Larry Welch's passing including Joe Thronson, Bob Mauriello, Dave Campos, Mel Disharoon, John Dixon and Bob Chantland. They are all doing well.
__________________
"Danger is real but fear is a choice" ~Nik Wallenda~
frank spittle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2017, 10:24 AM   #2819
rigidpanman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: hopewell va
Posts: 181
Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

Frank,i never met mr.welch but i will offer you and his family my condolences and i hope you are well too.

Sent from my R1 HD using Tapatalk
rigidpanman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2017, 06:34 AM   #2820
Scott Commins
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Woodstock New South Wales Australia 2793
Posts: 2
Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

Click image for larger version

Name:	fuel drag bike 1992.jpg
Views:	21
Size:	105.8 KB
ID:	235714
This picture taken of me in 1992 is at Mildura, Victoria, Australia.
It is the first year I started racing Nitrofuel.

There is some other pictures and videos via this link that are
of me on the same bike and some other Nitrofuel bikes but in the following years.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater
Scott Commins is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:17 AM.