Team Momba at the 2006 Vintage Motorcycle Days

Inspired Lunacy

| November/December 2006

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    Tendering a cracked rib, Wes Orloff gives the Team Momba Kawasaki a shakedown during practice at VMD.
    Photo by Richard Backus
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    To infinity, and beyond: Team Momba members get their moment in the sun on a custom plate fitted to the Kawi’s rear fender, fittingly made from cardboard and an old headlamp rim.
    Photo by Richard Backus

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  • momba2

Classic bike fans have been attending Vintage Motorcycle Days (VMD) for the past 12 years, and in that time it’s evolved into the biggest classic bike event of the year, with an estimated 60,000 bike fans converging on the site July 28-30, 2006.

Held at the Mid-Ohio racetrack in Lexington, Ohio, VMD includes a huge swap meet populated by some 900 vendors. There’s also the track itself, buzzing with classic bikes and racers vying for honors in one of 13 different AHRMA heats held each day.

Mixed in for good measure are an auction tent, bike shows, a factory demo ride area and literally thousands of classic bikes just running around, checking out the scene.

There’s also the paddock, where racers set up shop to get their bikes ready for the track. That’s where we discovered Team Momba, without question the most inspired group of lunatic classic racers we’ve ever met (or is that classic lunatic racers?).

Following last year’s event, members of Team Momba (Mid-Ohio Motorcycle Build Attempt) hatched the outrageous plan to build a bike on-site, get it through tech inspection and race it on Sunday. And if that doesn’t sound challenging enough, they decided to build the bike almost exclusively from swap meet parts.

Planning for the project started in January, when the 14-strong team decided to focus on building a machine for the middleweight superbike category. They did their homework, checked AHRMA rules, and zeroed in on a Kawasaki GPZ or KZ550.

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