Bikernet Blog Search Bikernet
Ride Forever - Bikernet.com
Thursday Edition


Salt Torpedo Chapter 25

Prepping for Bonneville 2022

By Bandit with photos by Wrench
7/22/2022


Share this story:





Salt Torpedo Getting Ready for the Salt

We’re beginning to prep the Salt Torpedo for the BMST event from August 27 until September 2 in Bonneville, Utah on 65-square miles of salt.

This event will take place just a couple of weeks after the historic Bonneville Speed Trials for everything on wheels. The BMST was developed by Dennis Manning solely for us grubby bikers. Okay, so let’s back up about two years when I decided to sell the 5-Ball International Headquarters located across the street from the Port of Los Angeles in homeless torn and tattered Wilmington, California. Originally a whorehouse and hotel built 100 years ago it did the job for the 5-Ball Racing crew for 17 years, but it was time to get the hell out of the city.

A major endeavor involving crates, moving companies, fork lifts, skidsteers, and Haul Bikes ensued. We were ultimately fortunate in all Zen respects to afford this endeavor and survive without major injury to staff or the shit. It involved a handful of players including Haul Bikes, who picked up and delivered unharmed about 10 bikes and the Salt Torpedo.

New Smithy lathe delivered.
New Smithy lathe delivered.



We finally landed permanently in the Black Hills around May of last year, but we had no shop and a brother brought us the Covid from the coast, so Bonneville was out. With the help of building designer Patrick and young contractor Jason Anderson the shop was completed in July of 2022, like yesterday...



I also worked with Tim Crandall to create a gantry to be able to lift and move the Salt Torpedo. So just two weeks ago we threw our first Team meeting. What team?

A week after the final concrete was poured, we started to move in.
A week after the final concrete was poured, we started to move in.



For a minute that was a good question. I would have responded, “Me and Micah McCloskey.” Unfortunately, Micah also moved away from war-torn Los Angeles to Auburn California, but that didn’t help the team business. He was still 1259 miles away.


New Smithy Lathe in place, almost...
New Smithy Lathe in place, almost...



But suddenly, out of the blue team volunteers stepped up including a sharp builder with multiple building talents from bikes to home construction and machine shop talents, Cabana Dan, a Sturgis Hamster, who is currently building trophies for Marilyn Stemp for a rally bike show. Then a local construction worker, Luke stepped up, so a meeting was scheduled in the new shop.




I started a to-do list, and we went to work. Here goes:

I had to dig up and test various chain hoists and trolly apparatus to work with our new gantry.

With Tim’s magnificent gantry in place, we could lift the rear of the trike, remove the rear tire and take it to Deadwood Custom Cycles, another Hamster establishment. Jason would remove, replace the tire with another properly speed-rated tire and balance it. That’s currently in the works.



I attempted to bring the new Shocker battery back to life, but we were forced to leave the Torpedo outside during the winter, while the shop construction proceeded. I disconnected the battery during the winter and connected a tender to it as soon as the snow faded. The freezing temps also killed the rear tire after it went flat.
 
 

I took the battery to Jason’s shop but that didn’t help. We bought a new battery and battery strap which also cracked in the harsh weather.



I finally, after somewhat of a struggle was able to register the Salt Torpedo, the pilot, Micah McCloskey, and the two team members with the BMST crew. But Micah received a note that our number 50 was no longer available, but 5 was, even better. But I needed to order a new set of large vinyl race numbers. I made the call to Spearfish, SD. They are on the case.



It just dawned on me to have our class designation made out of vinyl, although classes can change. Sometimes it’s better to use duct tape and a felt pen. I put in a call to Drew Gatewood and left a message. He just called me back. Get this. Our FIM class sticker must read: CAP.I GRP.B3 DIV.C TYPE V CLASS 2500 CYL.2. I need to know what the required configuration is and the font size of the letters. Another question for Drew.



Dan noticed the certifications on the 5-point seat harness. The date had passed, and we needed to remove the seat, and I sent the belts back to the company for their re-certification process. In less than a week the belts were returned, restored and ready.







Lee Clemens, an ardent supporter, highly recommended this Super B carb for high speed. We had a terrible time finding the right intake manifold. Finding and sourcing the rest of the parts to make it fly was also on the list, including the flanges, gaskets, phenolic block, etc. This puppy has a 2.25-inch venturi. I am currently working with Lori at S&S.



We also needed to find another velocity stack for the S&S G carb on the Torpedo currently. The original was damaged during testing. Micah bought a new one, but it’s too long, so some machining is required.




Chris Baldwin installed 50-amp, 220-volt outlets. I needed 30-amp. He made me a pigtail, so I could weld. Done.
Chris Baldwin installed 50-amp, 220-volt outlets. I needed 30-amp. He made me a pigtail, so I could weld. Done.



One of my responsibilities was hotel reservations in Wendover. We decided to dodge the Casinos for several reasons and camp out at the Best Western. I’ve had good luck with this line of Hotels and breakfast is on the house.

Also on the list was a trailer. Talk about discussions and options. Of course, budget plays into the equation and our grubby biker budget doesn’t call for anything too lavish, so we are working with another Hamster who once owned Carl’s Trailers in Belle Fourche. We wanted to go with the open aluminum job for rust prevention, weight, salt damage, you name it, but the bastard costs $2000 more than the steel job.

Clearing space for motorcycles.
Clearing space for motorcycles.



Natch, the above subject caused me to consider Sponsors, which is another project altogether and guys who build race bikes would much rather focus on the build than to reach out for sponsors, but it’s the nature of the racing beast. Here’s the link, if you would consider becoming a 5-Ball Racing sponsor for our first run on the salt with the magnificent Salt Torpedo.

https://www.bikernet.com/pages/5BALL_RACING_BONNEVILLE_SPONSOR_PROGRAM_FOR_2019.aspx



Another costly item on the list is our batch of Salt Torpedo T-shirts. Fortunately, we know a guy who is excellent with T-shirt art, colors and placement on apparel, Andy. He’s on the case. Oops, his shirt guy required that I purchase 144 shirts at twice the price from a month ago—another crisis, inflation.

Of course, we need to clean, prep and test all aspects of the Torpedo and during the Sturgis Rally, Micah will spend some time in the shop making sure all is well and ready.

View out the back of the shop. Note: no oil stains, yet. WTF?
View out the back of the shop. Note: no oil stains, yet. WTF?



During our first meeting we discussed salt tent stuff we need to take including tools, coolers, chairs, jacks, tent weights (to hold the tent and tarps down) and running products such as oil.



Just yesterday, while on a Bikernet Weekly News deadline, I worked with a Sturgis fire extinguisher company to certify our two fire extinguishers. I also bought fire extinguishers for the shop and the basement, while learning about the family business in the Black Hills since 2008. Interesting.




This weekend we need to clean and shape the fire wall more, install the rear wheel and battery and then prep for firing this puppy up and testing all the controls. We also need to study, research and discuss body fasteners. Hang on for the next report.



Support Our Sponsors:



5-BALL RACING SPONSORS

Jim’s Machine
 
Advertisement


Hot Rod Underground
 


Paughco
 
Advertisement


BDL
 
Advertisement


Strictly Hawgs
 
Advertisement


MetalSport Wheels
 


Custom Cycle Engineering
 
Advertisement


LowBrow
 
Click for action.
Click for action.



S&S
 
Advertisement


Bassini Exhausts
 
Click for Pipes.
Click for Pipes.




Twin Power
 
Click for action.
Click for action.



Lucky Devil Metal Works
 
Advertisement

 

Share this story:



Back to 2016 Bonneville Effort, 5-Ball Bonneville Racing




Reader Comments


See you on the salt. I"ll be running 2 bikes for my (501c3) Racing For Orphans !

Revrend Jim
Seminole, FL
Saturday, July 23, 2022
Editor Response Look forward to it.
--Bandit
Wow...looks amazing. We all need to be there!

Gary
Sedona , AZ
Saturday, July 23, 2022
Editor Response Thanks, and let's pray for safe passes.
--Bandit

Your thoughts on this article

Your Name
Email
City
Country
v
State/Province
v
Comments
Anti-Spam Question:
Please enter the words you see in the box, in order and separated by a space. Doing so helps prevent automated programs from abusing this service.
Submit
Clear