Bad Astra Per Aspera: The Sea Beast Finale


Participation trophies presented by Editor Fellenstein and my nephew, Fisher.

This is the final entry in a six-part series detailing Shane Powers' restoration of a Honda CB350, also known as the Sea Beast. Start at the beginning with Part 1.

The motto of the great State of Kansas, where I have lived my entire life, is “Ad Astra Per Aspera,” a Latin phrase meaning “To the stars through adversity.” This seemed like a fitting sentiment as I reflected on the happenings of the Topeka AHRMA event.

On Thursday before the race weekend began, Editor Hall and I pulled into Heartland Park with the Sea Beast in tow. After much deliberation, we decided on our pit location and began the familiar process of assembling our event booth. We made pleasantries with the neighbors, one of whom told me he had been following this project. I was flattered to say the least. I’ve always assumed a few people outside my immediate circle of friends and family had read this blog, but I can’t say I ever expected to actually hear that directly from them. As it turned out, these amicable neighbors were a group of gentlemen also racing CB350s. Scott Wilson was racing Production Lightweight AND Heavyweight on his CB, David Miller and Bill Howard were racing their own CBs in the Sportsman 350 class. Supporting the group was Chuck, whose last name evades me (sorry, Chuck), the wrench behind Rebel Dog Racing. These guys were friendly, they were fast, and they became a corner post in my race campaign right off the bat.

David Miller (right) and Bill Howard (center) on the Sportsman 350 podium.

I was extremely nervous about passing tech inspection; I had never done it before, and it was kind of the final exam of my project. I asked one of my new pit-neighbor friends if they would mind taking a look over my bike to see if anything glaring was going to cause me to fail tech. With tech opening at 7 a.m. on Friday morning and race school beginning at 8, failure was not an option. David took a walk around the Sea Beast and pointed out a handful of fasteners that the tech inspector would want to see safety wired. I made the recommended alterations and got as prepared as possible for the long day ahead before I tried to get some rest.

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