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5-Ball Racing Salt Torpedo Chapter 11: Aiming at 2019

The List Is Growing Like Crazy

By Bandit with help from the Industry
10/27/2018


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What happens to time? We are now looking at the winter of 2018 and I was determined to be on the salt in August. One of the best years, salt conditions wise and we didn’t make it.

Atomic Bob drew this concept drawing, which I gave to Ron for his help and friendship.
Atomic Bob drew this concept drawing, which I gave to Ron for his help and friendship.



We started on the Salt Torpedo in 2015. With Dennis Manning and the FIM we were able to kick off a Trike class for Bonneville. And we were going to build the first streamlined trike thanks to a Denny’s (on the way to Sturgis) breakfast with Bob T. (who was a member of the Jammer Streamliner team in the ‘70s) and Larry Petri, who scored an original WWII Belly Tank and is now a member of the Hessians MC, but I can’t tell you where.

Okay, so what happened between 2015 and now? It’s just life. Ol’ ladies run off, parents die, health issues, the economy shifts, you name it. But the good news is in front of us. When we didn’t make it to the salt in 2018, I was determined to get the Torpedo back to the Bikernet Headquarters and see what I could do.

Here's the Paughco touring swingarm and the Chip Foose designed MetalSport rear wheel with a giant 13-inch rotor. I'm working with Jeff Cochran on the dual-caliper braking system.
Here's the Paughco touring swingarm and the Chip Foose designed MetalSport rear wheel with a giant 13-inch rotor. I'm working with Jeff Cochran on the dual-caliper braking system.




As it turns out, the Paughco team did make substantial progress, but then staff got sick, other staff left and the skeleton crew scrambled to keep the lights on and new products developed.



This last weekend, October 16, 2018 Rick Krost of U.S. Choppers and his 11-year-old son, Conner, flew to Reno with me, rented a box van and rolled to Carson City, Nevada to hook up with Ron Paugh, the Paughco owner.



Rick’s been wheeling and dealing with Paughco ever since I introduced him to Ron. He needed a solid source for his U.S. Chopper, boardtrack custom frame and Ron was the man. Rick has been wheeling and dealing with Ron ever since.



Every couple of months recently I asked Rick if he was making the run to Carson City, and this last weekend we saw an opportunity and blasted north to make the run and score in the dark shop on a Saturday night. Steve Massicotte and I loaded the Salt Torpedo while Rick played poker with Ron in his private apartment above the Paughco factory.



We blasted into town, crashed for the night and peeled south. Rick’s son kept giving us time reports. “We’ve been driving for six hours,” he said and the 11-year old looked for the next chow stop. It took us 12 hours to drive almost 400 miles down the winding picturesque Highway 395 into the notorious city of Los Angeles, but we made it safe and sound.



I couldn’t wait to set up the shop and put the Salt Torpedo back together. As usual, I have a plan, or several plans. We need a tubing bender right away, and Charles from Strictly Hawgs arrived today and told me about Raul’s Tool supply. We will start making mods and bending tubing right away. Charles may have a steering box for me.

Paul Aiken, of Aeromach, shot at the Mojave Mile after doing over 200 on his bike.
Paul Aiken, of Aeromach, shot at the Mojave Mile after doing over 200 on his bike.



James the Tileman came to the shop first. I needed a shorter rider to slip into position. I needed to shorten this puppy to keep it inside the belly tank. James is 5’11” and that worked. Paul Aiken from Aeromach immediately volunteered to be the pilot. He’s 5’10. That may be even better. James also brought over a thick chunk of plywood for lift modifications.



James and Jeremiah showed up just in time as I was preparing the headquarters for an industry party during the IMS Show in Long Beach. Jeremiah helped with patching walls;l Aubry, the local artist painted like crazy and James helped me put plywood extensions on my main lift.



I’ve studied the AMA/FIM rulebook and asked Steve Massicote, of Paughco about the tubing rules. We will make the frame out of thicker-wall tubing than the rules call for.



As of this coming week, we will shorten the frame, see about the steering box, study the rules, order tubing and find a bending solution.



I would like to have some frame elements started by the middle of November, the frame shortened and the bottom of the belly tank in place. Hang on for the next report.




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Reader Comments


Why not look for a rack and pinion assembly out of a catalog somewhere? I don't remember what compact car used one? I think it was a Mazda. Just trying to help out.

gearhead
CA
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Editor Response We are looking at every angle.
--Bandit
Wouldn't it have been easier to extend the belly tank skins than shortening the frame? That way you could have fitted for the infamous KRB.

Gearhead
Torrance, CA
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Editor Response Good question. In a sense being on the salt is all about cool. Remember the coolest kid in school was small. It's all about being sleek and small. Let's see what this week brings. Nothing is etched in stone yet. Still looking for a dragster frame.
--Bandit

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