Racer Profile: Wes and Leah Orloff

Meet WFO Racing, comprised of Wes and Leah Orloff and Dale Coffman.

| March/April 2017

  • Wes and Leah Orloff and Dale Coffman (standing).
    Photo by Jeff Barger

Riders: Wes and Leah Orloff
Age/years riding:
48/25; 43/25
Occupation:
Harley-Davidson engineers
Race bikes:
1967 Honda CB450, Moto Guzzi LeMans Superbike, Kawasaki KZ750 Superbike, Buell XB12R Firebolt, Kawasaki KX500 ice bike/1973 Honda CR175, Honda RS125, Suzuki SV650
Daily riders:
2009 Buell XB12XP “Polysses” (police Ulysses), 1985 Honda VF700F Interceptor/2008 Buell Ulysses, 2004 Ducati 749 Dark

This is a love story about three people. No, not that kind of love story, although two of the players happen to be husband and wife. Rather, this love story includes motorcycle racing, with an emphasis on vintage bikes.

Meet WFO Racing, composed of Wes and Leah Orloff, with a little help from Dale Coffman. WFO was formed by Wes and Leah to give some off-track substance and meaning to their racing, and their venture includes various other players, too. Phase 1 of the WFO saga actually originated in Japan in 1962 where, as a young GI, Dale and two fellow soldiers raced motorcycles during their military time off. The local Honda distributor sponsored the trio, and they competed with more than a fair amount of success. After his military discharge, Dale continued racing in America, eventually earning AMA Expert ranking, wearing 74c on his bike’s number plates. By the time he hung up his steel shoe for good, Dale also was entrenched in a career as a high school shop teacher. He eventually retired, but still dabbled with motorcycles, a passion he never relinquished. His journey took him to vintage road racing, where he competed on a Honda 450.

Phase 2 that led to the WFO’s genesis was set in motion when Dale decided it was time to give up riding so he could concentrate solely on tuning his bike. Some friends introduced him to Weston Frederick Orloff (thus the eventual WFO team moniker) at about the time the world ushered in the new millennium, and at this point we’ll let Wes take over the tale: “We [he and Dale] met at a race one day, and during my race I proceeded to crash — right in front of him!” Wes pauses for effect: “But we still managed to hook up [as rider and tuner].” The seed that eventually became WFO Racing sprouted that day.



So where does Leah factor into all this? Good question, because even though she and Wes didn’t meet until 2004, their paths up to that point had all but crossed several times during their lives. Item one: Both grew up in nearby Cleveland, Ohio, suburbs during their formative years. Item two: Both are Ohio State University graduates, each receiving Buckeye engineering degrees a few years apart. It gets better: They both were hired by Harley-Davidson within a year of each other, although they had yet to meet.

Wes had been competing in vintage motorcycle road racing for more than a few years by that time, and Leah joined the old-bike racing ranks in 2003 with her aging Yamaha FZR400. That put them closer yet to each other until, the following summer, they officially met. As you now know, that union led to wedding bells, and the rest, as they say, is history.



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