Ah, the Monark days,
I was riding a DKW in the Junior class and when local experts started winning races on the Swedish flyer, we looked into getting one as well. Our local Monark dealer was G&N Cycle in Sherwood, OR and they helped us out getting on board with the Monark 125. Having rode a 125 DKW before this, I was used to type of motor it had and the transmission, racing the Monark definitely made me a smoother rider, shifting had to be precise or you would hit a false neutral and that was not good at all!
The bike also came with a down pipe that was in constant need of repair! Other than that, the bike had a smooth powerband and was a good handling machine. I started winning races in the Junior class, then moved up to Intermediate continuing to hone my skills on the Monark, racing as many as 4 times a week from Washougal (brand new) to Goose Hollow!
Seems to me the jumps and whoops were much smaller then, I must be getting old!
Of course most people remember me from my Pro days and my Second moto victory at the 125cc USGP at Mid-Ohio
Time trials on Saturday were wet from constant watering, then the skys opened up over night and when we got to the track on Sunday it was a complete mudhole! You know I was watching my mechanic service the airfilter that morning of the race and I noticed he did not tape the top of the airbox before the seat went on, a practice we used a lot in the NW on wet days, anyway got a great start passed a couple of riders and was holding the lead on Mark Barnett on his works Suzuki, my Honda ran strong for a few laps then inhaled too much water. I was done for the moto Johnny O" went on to win the moto. Racing conditons were incredibly difficult and the best riders were dropping out left and right!
Cliff White installed a new motor for second moto and this time he taped the airbox! Once again at the start my powerful Honda put me up front with Broc Glover running second after just a few corners, at this point I picked good lines crisscrossed the ruts and my goal was to just keep it off the ground! Rivers and lakes were everywhere as it continued to rain most of the day. I had about a two minute lead on O,mara when I stopped in the mechanics area for fresh goggles and a drink of gatorade. I continued to hold a steady pace until the end of the moto, Rich Coon an excellent mudder from upsate New York was able to pass O'Mara for second.My Oregon mud riding experence was a plus having been uncontested in moto two!
It was fun to race against some the top riders in the world even if it was more a just try to stay up and finish race.
Ron Sun ..