|Production & Endurance Racing... AMA & AFM Riders: Michael Green, Bret Morshead, Chris Quinn, Bud Riddle|
|Here is the rest of the story
Production racing was great fun in the 1970s… AFM was good about their rule enforcement, keeping “production racing” just that. So here I am racing a ’69 Trident against old and new Honda 750s, Ducati twins, and everything else you can think of. One my second outing in May of ’78 I had a good day, finishing mid-pack. What I wanted to do was compete in the 4-hour race at the end of the season, and to do so I would have to have at least 2 races under my belt. I’d hit a couple more events during the season to gain valuable track time for machine and me.
As November neared I knew I’d have to make some improvements to the bike. Chris Quinn re-laced an alloy rim to the front wheel for me, then we removed the Continental tires in exchange for Dunlop K81s (UK version). I bought a new café seat and fitted the 3-into-1 pipe (and jets of course). Now all I needed was some teammates.
Chris Quinn would be the obvious choice as a teammate, and he said he’d get another rider signed on soon enough. Enter one Dave Neal, local Norton hotshoe. I’d seen Dave race during the season, and he was quick. So come raceday, Bret and I show up in the Land Rovers, with the Triumph in the back of one, and tools, wheels and equipment in the other. I hadn’t planned on racing in the rain, nor did I have experience of such. After Paul Ritter tested the track on his 750SS Ducati did AFM call the race for the day, we’d try again next Sunday.
The following Sunday we find ourselves at Sears Point. Practice in the fog was something new and interesting, to say the least. By race time the skies had cleared and the track dried out. We got the Triumph tanked up and pushed it to the grid. Dave Neal would start the race and run for 1-hour, then he’d pit and we’d re-fuel; this would give us a chance to calculate the fuel mileage. With the green flag down the Annual AFM 4-Hour was underway. At the end of lap one we were 4th overall, ahead of us was big competition; Paul Ritter on his 750SS Ducati, Dave Emde on the San Jose BMW, and TT-Motors Triumph Twin. After an hour we were still in 4th. Emde pitted on the BMW with one of its carbs hanging in midair by the throttle cable! Moments later Dave pitted, Chris and I filled the tank while Bret checked the tires and catch bottle… and I took off. With a load of gas I was off down the pit lane flat-out. Three laps later our day came to an end in turn-6 when I holed a piston. So much for that.
|Left: The Trident awaits the 4-hour after a rain delay.
Above: Raceday, AFM 4-Hour 1978; Dave Neal is getting ready to go. Mike Green at right, Chris Quinn & Bret Morshead at left of bike.
|For the 1979 season I’d get a new number, #150. After watching and helping the previous season, Bret Morshead had now joined the AFM, he’d be riding a BSA A65 Hornet in 750 Modified Production. Like me, Bret wanted to race at the Annual 6-Hour at Ontario in April.
Right: #150 Mike Green takes the Trident out to practice at Sears Point, March '79. Bret, along with Chris Quinn and Mike Green would team up on the Trident at the, now titled, "On Any Sunday-II/AFM Onatario Six-Hour" .
|After cooking a piston at Sears Point it was found that one set of points had worn a bit further than the others, hence changing the timing ever so slightyly. For 1979 the Trident would now sport 11.5:1 Wellworthy pistons, MegaCycle cams, and courtesy of Lucas, a new electronic ignition system and gas Girling shocks.The 3-into-1 was removed in favor of gutted '71/'72 type exhaust system, and Dave's big complaint, the pegs moved up and back. Just a day before leaving for Ontario Quinn shows up with my newly built rear wheel, the 19" now being history, we fitted a WM3-18" alloy with a 425/85H18 K81.
In both practice and quaifying the Trident was fast(!), it's only problem was we couldn't stop the damn thing into turn-1 and the hairpin at the end of the infield straight... twice I went off into the grass trying to get it slowed down. In the end, it was the lack of a suitable front brake that sidelined us yet again. It should be noted, that Cook Nielsen followed me around for about 4 laps on the camera bike -shooting film for the new "On Any Sunday" movie. Alas, I ended up on the cutting room floor. By seasons end I'd sold the Trident, after the engine locked up from an exploding oil filter at Laguna Seca. Late '79 I'd own a Triumph 750 Twin... thanks to then boss Don Jensen at East Bay Yamaha.
|Above: Bret practicing at Ontario 1979.
Left: Mike Green qualifies the Trident on the third row; ahead was Wes Cooley, Dave Emde and Harry Klinzmann.
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