Racer Profile: Ron Mousouris

After scratching the vintage motorcycle racing itch, Ron Mousouris found success as a series champion.

| July/August 2016

  • AHRMA racer Ron Mousouris
    Photo by Jeff Barger

Rider: Ron Mousouris
Age/years riding:
Plastics manufacturing and product development
Race bikes:
Honda CL175 on steroids, 1967 factory Honda CB450 Daytona racer
Daily riders:
KTM 690 Duke, Ducati 848, 1971 Honda SL125, 1954 Honda Benly J

Comedian Woody Allen once said that 80 percent of success is just showing up. Success is one thing, but to become a successful motorcycle racing champion requires applying the additional 20 percent that some people (that is, non-racers) might otherwise leave on the table. As a competitor in AHRMA’s highly contested GP200 class, Ron Mousouris left nothing on the table to become the series champion for 2015.

But prior to that and for about 40 years — the equivalent of 80 percent of his time in this sport called motorcycling — Ron was a non-racer. And in racers’ eyes, non-racers leave something on the table. In Ron’s case, it was more than a few wonderfully restored classic Honda motorcycles of 1960s and 1970s vintage before locating a 1957 Honda Benly JC that he restored in 2005. That Benly took top honors at the 2005 AMA Hall of Fame Concours, and in 2006 earned first at the Legend of the Motorcycle Concours d’Elegance. More Benlys followed, and soon enough Ron was recognized as a successful classic bike restorer.

Then one day a friend (and AHRMA racer) asked if he could test his race bike in the drive of the industrial park where Ron worked. “Around the third pass that this outspoken little AHRMA race bike made, something in my mind opened up,” recalls Ron. That little “something” led to vintage bike racing.

Ron already had logged some track time, first attending the DP Safety School conducted by his former college friend Dennis Pegelow at Buttonwillow Raceway near Bakersfield, California. A low rider turnout had allowed Ron to enjoy one-on-one instruction that day, and it turned out his instructor was none other than Steve Rapp, at the time among the AMA’s top pro racers.

Ron became a frequent track day participant for the next 10 years, expanding his capacity along the way. “I also attended all four levels of Keith Code’s California Superbike School,” Ron says. Mix in a series of fortuitous events that led to attending AHRMA’s new rider school at Willow Springs Raceway, and Ron got the itch for vintage racing.

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