DH367, on 15 April 2012 - 12:27 PM, said:
not really , Im sure he could have stuffed me in the next turn if he thought I had it coming , I was kind of joking about expecting him to say something.......... just sharing my experiance with RD , and I get what you say about being doubted on here , it's the nature of the internet beast , there are so many BSER'S on here a lot of guy's first reaction is to doubt what they read , pretty sad really that you almost can't say anything anymore without someone calling you on it
I'll give you guys a moto history lesson that I experienced and any one correct me if I'm wrong. I met Eric Crippa at Chowchila during a CNC race and Honda come ride with us day and again at Hollister on another come ride with us day. We hit it off and he asked me if I was interested in doing some testing with them. I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed but I got that one right and said HELL YEAH! I gave him my info and never expected him to call but he did in the winter of 90 and I flew down to LA. Steve Lamson was at the Chowchilla race and came to test at the same time as well as Ron Turner the vet champ at the time. Not only was Roger there but Bruce Oglevie many time Baja champ was there too. Stanton was supposed to be there but never showed. It rained like hell the few days preceeding the testing and Stanton went home I guess. I had to test at Perris, Carlsbad and a desert location that Ron Turner knew of. I think we were supposed to go somewhere else but I forget.
I had to sign a huge disclosure agreement and Eric would transport me around to the places where they were going to test. It was like living a dream. I got to go into Honda race HQ where few get to go. They searched me for cameras at the gate and reminded me of the disclosure agreement that i had signed. I saw Rick Johnsons #13 bike with the camel hide seat cover as well as Stanton's and Bayle's National bikes. To be honest, aside from it being Hondas shop, it was just another warehouse stuffed full of shelving, a machine shop, a dyno room and an assembly area. All the secrets and trick stuff was well hidden and put away. One thing they take very, very seriously is their privacy as any technology that got in their competitors hands could cost them millions. Eric told me that he actually had to destoy all R&D mules as well as all Honda race bikes after they were done with them. Because someone sold tricks parts one time, Honda sent a witness with him to watch them being destroyed.
We went to Carlsbad to test and we were waiting for the track to dry out and Cycle News or one of the street bike mags showed up to use the drag strip and you should have seen it. They immediately, literally threw all of the bikes into the trucks as fast as they could and split before the magazine got wind of what they were doing. Intense! I was bummed because I was so close to riding Carlsbad and got robbed! The statute of limitation has run out on the agreement I signed but I will honor my original agreement ,respect Honda's privacy and not tell what kinds of bikes were being tested or what was done to them.
Testing bikes for a living is HARD WORK! You drive for hours to get to the place, pound on a bike for an hour or more, fill out a detailed questionaire and do the same thing over again for as many bikes as they have. It doesn't pay that much and you have to be ready when they call. It might be different these days, I don't know. I'm pretty sure I could have gotten a job in R&D but between all the secrecy, the traveling and the insane hours, I made more money at home with a lot less hassle and I was p*ssy whipped at the time. Oh well.... I have nothing but respect for those who do it though! A major turn off was sitting in southern California traffic for what seemed like eternities at a time and seeing 8 lanes in either direction for as far as I could see just parked there. I don't know how they do it!
For those that don't who Eric Crippa is, he was Kent Howertons mechanic when Kent discovered the clutching technique that is so popular today and won a bunch of national titles aboard a Mag 250 Husqvarna. He was also Chuck Sun's mechanic when he won his world title as well as Andre Malherbe when he won his. Eric was responsible for many of the developments that took Honda's CR125 to many national titles as well as being a part of the XR600's many Baja wins. He is also a multi time Golden Wrench winner and deservedly so. (Some punk ass stole his golden wrenches out of his storage and I hope he got them back or re issued.) He has been totally committed to dirt bike racing, Honda and his job and spent countless hours working on engines and other things. He is a cool guy with a wicked sense of humor and likes to have a lot of fun. The man has a rare understanding of motorcycles and it was a true delight to make his aquaintence. He told hilarious stories and my favorite was the one where he wrecked the Husqvarna bus up in Washington I believe. The thing that I liked the best about him is that he was down to earth and just a regular guy. I hope that he and his family are well and he is in a happy place.
ALL HAIL ERIC CRIPPA!!!!
Edited by vidarapido, 15 April 2012 - 06:16 PM.