We were asked to build some Kawasaki KX 500's for the American "Dream Team" who were to come to Farleigh.
Jeff Ward, Ron Lechein and Ryan Hughes were 3 of the biggest names to ever ride in the USA. We were more than up for it. We tried to buy 6 bikes as we figured every rider needed a back up but we fell short and only managed 5. We prepped the bikes ready for the event with complete from the ground restoration work.
Nobody in the history of the event has prepped 5 bikes to the same spec. We ran out of an immaculate SC Sporthome and with all of the bikes built looking identical we made a huge impact on the event.
We ran a story of the build and event in MOTO magazine in the UK. A German sister publication ran the story as well as RacerX Illustrated in the States (the largest circulating magazine worldwide).
Needless to say we got a lot of media interest and coverage.
The event was eventful to say the least. In the first moto Ryan Hughes dropped the bike and got torpedoed in the side only to get back on nearly 1/2 a lap down and come back to take the win on the last corner. Still to this day i think it's the best race I've seen in the history of the event. The thing nobody knows is Ryan had smashed the clutch cover and inner hub in the crash and it was losing its oil and slowly destroying the motor.
In the same race Ron Lechein ran into the back of another rider on the start bending his gear shifter down into the frame making the bike to be stuck in first gear. The bike lasted 3 laps like that before it let go resulting in a huge crash over one of the jumps coming out of the woods. It wasn't the best start.
The rest of the races were less eventful. It's a good job as we were running out of parts to keep guys of this calibre on the track on 25 year old bikes. After all, these guys can actually ride a 500 to its potential.
A nice quote after practice was Ryan saying the bike we built was better than the race bike he used back in the day. Wardy didn't remember his bikes being so fast and Ronnie...well he didn't remember much from the 80's!