Things we think of while riding down the road

Family ties and Vintage Racing

Last weekend was the annual AHRMA Moto Corsa Classica at Willow Springs Raceway here in Southern California. Motorcycle racing, a classic motorcycle show and a swap meet…what else could a proper motorcycle nut want? Great weather (even with the required Willow Springs ‘breeze’..read 35mph wind!!), catching up with old racing friends and making new ones.CIMG5661
When I first started down the dark path of ‘Vintage’ motorcycle racing back in the early nineties, I thought racing a Honda 350 would be an easy and not too expensive way to dip my toes in the water. In my early research I came across the guru of building racing Honda’s, Todd Henning. I spent a good amount of time with Todd on the phone and learned that building a really competitive 350 was not the cheap entry into vintage racing I thought it would be. I learned a lot from Todd and ended up using some of that knowledge on my street-going 350’s. Thank you Todd.

Ten years ago, Todd had a serious crash while racing the AHRMA race at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma California resulting in head injury and a long time in a coma. It took a while, but thankfully Todd did recover. His racing career was over, however. But…the Henning dynasty lives on.

While cruising the pits at the Willow Springs AHRMA races I saw a young man getting into his leathers, the name on his chest, Ari. Next to his truck was a motorcycle I thought I recognized, a very well set up Honda 350. It turns out that Ari is Ari Henning, Todd Henning’s son and it was his dad’s old racebike next to the truck. A quick introduction and asking how his dad was doing, we arranged for a better meeting later in the day. CIMG5660

Ari went on to win both races he was entered in that day. Afterwards we had a good chat about his new career as a moto-journalist with Motorcyclist Magazine and finished up with a call to his proud dad. There is an old racing saying, “age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill”; in young Ari Henning riding his fathers racer it’s the best of both worlds.CIMG5710

Advertisements

3 responses

  1. Some of the most interesting, groundbreaking, or just plain weird motorcycles that have been built over the past 100 years.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:45 am

    • I love the site..thanks for sharing..good info and pics

      June 24, 2009 at 3:52 pm

  2. Sweet! I have never joined any party like this. I think that this is really cool. my Dad is a vintage car collector. He’d definitely love your site, keep it up! Thanks for sharing this with us!

    August 28, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s