Hi ya lads. A long one, but hopefully worth reading and thinking about.
I'm back in the land of the giants (Singapore of course) and pleased to see you are all in such fine spirits .. hick !!..
Yesterdays session at Molly's was a hoot and it is something that will have to be done on a regular basis .. so there you go....Mollies at 7pm onwards every Wednesday from now on ... until further notice. We could chat further about day, location .. bla bla ... but we can do that there. The point of it is not to get pissed (yet right !! .. hahaha) but simply to start a way for us to all get together on a regular informal basis to do what we enjoy, which is talk shite about bikes.... no need to call each other, no need to post in via emails or on the forum....it's a fixed event and if you can make it choice! ... if you can't no worries... anyway, unless noted otherwise.. I'll be there so hope at least one of you can join me each week!
Now then, on other issues .. like the direction and future of the club...which came up last night and is becoming a common (and boring) theme. As far as the 'future of the club' is concerned, from where I'm standing it all looks quite good actually. Sure, the numbers are down, but down compared to what? .. last years numbers? ... most of the members we had last year never turned up .. to even one event!
Nope, as I see it we are now back to the core members of the club, and as such the direction and focus of the club is much easier to define and much easier to be agreed apon and influenced by each and everyone of you. I think if you look with hindsight at early last year, you will see a large number of local and expat (don't you just farking hate that 'label') lads that turned up to the Mollies Superbike nights and we all talked the talk. We were into track days and we had some top internally organised track training days, followed by more track days and weekend trips .... then the 'racing' started... and by fark what a great time it was to be a part of this club!
I think it would be fair to say, that everyone who participated in the 'racing' will never forget it and do not regret it regardless of each persons personal experiences. Who could EVER forget the MotoGP support race (even for those who just watched it) or your first 'race' and lining up on the grid for the first time!! Even the people who have crashed (and there has been a few) still love the fact that they gave it a crack (sometimes literally) and are either still keen to try it again, are still doing it or have decided it's track days from now on.
Still ... this change in focus to 'racing' changed the club, from my persepective. See ... the tricky thing about 'racing' is that it is against other people i.e there is a level of competativness that you simply can't get via track days. Sure ... it is addictive, it is MASSIVE fun, you will ride faster in a race and have a much higher emotional experience than you ever could at a track day ..... but ... BUT ... by default, racing makes you compare yourself to others via lap times, qualifying position, finishing position ..... and this is where I think as a club we crossed a line and lost something.
The point of this club, and I will stick to this forever, must .....MUST .....be to simply enable us to have a farkin right good time and enjoy what is one of the passions in our lives ... which is SPORTBIKES.....
This passion can come from many or all of the following things: ownership, freedom, riding and the feel and sensation of speed and the power of a modern sportsbike (which you CAN get simply riding on the road), track riding, commradery and yes, even racing.... and I am sure there are other aspects of Sportbikes that gets the blood flowing for each of us, and for each of us it is a personal thing and not easy to describe and catatagorise.
The problem with the 'passion' that comes from racing though.... and I guess it's like drugs and lovely Thai 'waitresses' .. is that once you have had a taste, everything else becomes bland by comparision!
So, how did the 'racing' make our club cross a line. One of the greatest riders of our time, Foggy, once said that he farkin hated bikes, he farkin hated racing even, he simply did it cause he LOVED winning, and when he could no longer win, he would quit. Foggy's 'passion' then ... was winning, not Bikes.
Lets face it, most of us are farkin shite riders, but we are shite riders that give it a go. So then, if you are out there 'racing' but are not actually having the time of your life, and you only define how much enjoyment you get by the place you get or the latest 'time' you have at PG or Sepang ... then WTF do you expect the club to give you .... 'fun'??
It can be all to easy to become intolerant of others that get there 'passion' from Sportbikes, not from 'racing'. How many top riders that we all watch fortnightly actually own and ride bikes on the road because it is their passion? ... Fark all I think .. although I am sure there are the exceptions (we miss you Barry!).
....and from here on I will just talk about me cause who the fark am I to criticise anyone else, and I do it as a member of our club, not as the sexy secretary than I am.
I started 3 years ago buying an R1 from Joes. By all accounts my riding then was shite then but by fark did I have a ball riding that baby round Singapore and I STILL think I farked up by selling if for the latest model! My first track day was a farkin laugh, but I still rode like shite, and my first 'race' was a laugh but I still rode like shite. After my first race, that was me .. I was hooked! I had plans for 2003 that included the 'works' based on my shite budget .. which was a race fairing, Ohlins shock et al so that I could really give it a go... but then something strange started happening. People around me started having a shite time, and not having much fun, and people started crashing and shite .... all of which seemed strange but not overly affective of my enjoyment. No, what I noticed was that I started thinking I should be able to 'beat' Nils and/ or Carl and/or Bill, and if my times where not like theirs, I started listening to people that said I should go better that I was, and my smile started to fade. Shite !! ... they were right .. !! ... so ... I stopped enjoying the experience of going round the track... unless I was going faster than them. No longer was a trackday about 'fun' or 'passion' .. it was a means to improve my laptimes so that eventually I would be able to have 'fun'. I also looked at people that owned Sportbikes but did not go on tracks but rode them on the roads and added Ohlins this and Carbon that as complete caaaants ......opps ...
So then, where to from here for our club I hear you ask ?
The Racers: We need guys in our club that get their 'passion' and 'fun' from racing. These are the hard arse bastards that ride like gods and tell us we can go faster, that we should be doing better than we are ... and that we are riding like poofs. They may not give a fark about their bikes and as such are prepared to ride at 105%, 105% of the time. If you have a close look now compared to our club at the beginning of last year ...when our club was 'better' you will see that we have a larger number of these 'gods' ... and by fark do they ride better and faster now than ever before. None of my burbble above applies to these guys. For these guys they crossed the line I am talking about doing 275kph and arn't farkin lookin back and god help any of us should they try! These guys add the cream to the club. For us mortals they are there give us motivation, inspiration, insites and advice, farkin great stories and a degree of pride ..... who didn't feel proud a bunch to know that our 'clubs' times are not bad by Superbike or even GP standards round Sepand at the MotoGP (umm ... ok .. Suzuki and Kawasaki 'standards').
The Others: What the rest of us need to remember is we are not 'The Racers', and for this club to be successful we need more 'The Others' than 'The Racers'. If you want to be considered one of the 'Racers' then joys await you and I will worship you...but... accept that you may get little, if any, joy from simply watching videos, talking about bikes over beers, riding to the track, going on track days or even racing. You may primarily get satisfaction and 'fun' from how well you do when you race. The club for you may simply be a means to ensure you are able to get adequate track time to improve lap times .. maybe. As for the rest of you, what is and should the focus of the club be for you. If it is not to enhance the joy and shear 'fun' of it all, whatever that is for you, because of your 'passion' for Sportbikes, then what is it?
So then, I expect to see you on a semi regular basis at Mollies on Wednesdays, I expect to see your presence on the club forum ( https://www.sportbikeworld.com/forumd...s=&forumid=174
) and check out the web site (http://www.sbr.com.sg/
) every now and then. There is talk of going to PG for a wee blast this Sat or Sun, and the Endurance Race is on this weekend (I think) so if your not racing .. are you going up to support it? ..... and of course .. in a few weeks there is the MotoGP again ... who's going? ... I'm doing my best to go, and I think there is some space still at the Concorde KL (and some lads are there if you would rather not just hang out with me..). Before you know it we will be having a few more organised track days and fingers crossed ... a 'training day'. There are enough 'gods' now that we could probably do a day with one-on-one tuition !!!!
So ... until we meet again, or I can be farked sending out another HUGE email that no one reads ....remember that if you are not having fun simply cause of your passion of Sportbikes, then you need look no further thanyourself to figure out why our club may not be doing it for you.
Dave 'Legend Belly' Murray ...