For those that haven’t been keeping track on Asphalt & Rubber, the Brap Talk podcast, and on social media, we are spending more than a little bit of time at the track this year, racing with the Oregon Motorcycle Road Racing Association (OMRRA) to chronicle what it means to become an amateur racer.
I have already outlined my reasons for wanting to go racing, but I wanted to spend the next two article mentioning what I am racing with, both in terms of machinery and gear. First up is an introduction to our racing platform, which for this season is a Kramer HRK Evo2 S.
We have already talked about Kramer’s ready-to-race single-cylinder motorcycles, and in fact our race bike for this series is the same bike featured in that article’s story.
Previously a demo bike for Kramer in the Pacific Northwest, this “S” model machine found its home in my garage, and as you can see from the photo above, it has been on quite the journey since.
Episode 17 of the Brap Talk podcast is now out for your two-wheeled audio pleasure, and this is another topic-packed show that runs the gamut of the motorcycling experience.
As such, this show is full of highs and lows, and we start out with a conversation about a motorcycle that is near and dear to both our hearts, as the Ducati Streetfighter V4 prototype has finally broken cover. Ready to race at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, we speculate about what the production version could look like.
From there we talk about racing at the Bol d’Oregon – a six-hour endurance race outside of Portland, Oregon that is put on by the Sang-Froid Riding Club. An event we highly recommend, there is nothing more fun than riding a slow motorcycle fast.
I had to hit the archives to find the photo above, because it is a photo from one of my first track days roughly 11 years ago – just before the idea of Asphalt & Rubber started to crossed my mind.
I was just a track day junky back then. Motorcycles were an escape from the endless studies that come with a legal education, and going to school in Pennsylvania meant really only being able to ride on the track, since street riding came with too narrow of a window with the weather for my California-spoiled tastes.
I caught the bug hard though, and through school I probably did a dozen track days a season. I’m not saying some of my massive student loan debt went to fueling my on-track pursuits…but yeah, it did.
In a way, I guess that worked out, as it was a year after graduation that I started doing A&R full-time, and the rest they say is history.
With all that time doing track days though, it is hard to believe that I haven’t done any sort of racing, but there are several reasons for that, and why now is a time I’ve chosen to bite the bullet.
Episode 15 of the Brap Talk podcast is now out for your two-wheeled audio pleasure, and this is another marathon show to sooth your two-wheeled aches.
We start the show off when Shahin’s first impressions on riding the Zero SR/F electric sport bike, which leads into a discussion about making premium motorcycles and what our expectations are for those bikes.
Episode 14 of the Brap Talk podcast is now out for your two-wheeled audio pleasure, and while it took us a while to get this show out, it is packed with all sorts of fun motorcycle talk.
We start things off with some news, particularly a new legal ruling that makes chalking tires unconstitutional. We then talk about the upcoming Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and how Triumph just produced its most powerful motorcycle ever – the Triumph Rocket 3 TFC.
Over the course of this year, we are going to bring you a number of motorcycle stories that focus on the experience of going motorcycle racing at the amateur level. We call the series “Gone Racing”, and if you have been following us on Instagram or listening to the Brap Talk podcast then you have likely already been privy to some of the preparation for these features.
The concept is pretty simple, yours truly will be competing here in Portland with the Oregon Motorcycle Road Racing Association (OMRRA) – as a true blue novice – using a Kramer HKR EVO2 as a racing and testing platform.
The goal of the series is to give a glimpse into what it is like to go from a track day rider to novice racer, and to use that experience as a springboard to explore various topics, like getting a race license, what gear to use, setting up a bike for racing, preparing as a rider, and so forth.
For our A&R Pro readers, we will also have some stories that take a deep dive on various technical topics, like the number of fuels available to racers (aka the cost-benefit analysis of MR12), how to read your tires (aka the dark art of the black round things), and the real difference between braking components (aka why does the Brembo GP4-RR cost as much a decent track bike?).
If I said that there was an 81hp track bike that weighed less than 280 lbs ready to race, would that be something you’d be interested in? If so, say hello to the Krämer HKR EVO2, a purpose-built track bike from Germany.
Built around KTM’s 690cc single-cylinder engine, which is found in KTM 690 Duke and Husqvarna’s 701 series of bikes, the Krämer HKR EVO2 features a bespoke steel-trellis chassis, custom bodywork, and a host of top-shelf components.
The real tasty part about the Krämer HKR EVO2 though is the attention to detail and the purposefulness of its design – take for instance the 12-liter XPE plastic fuel tank that doubles as a subframe, which has integrated crash sliders, and a sighting hole for easy adjustment of the rear shock damping.
Up-close, the build quality is excellent and the bike feels incredibly light. Oddly enough, the riding position is even comfortable for riders over six-feet in height, and as such we are itching to get some ride-time in the coming weeks.