Jim Watson, aka Joe Welder, at the AMA Pro Flat Track Motorcycle Races

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October 24th was the perfect SoCal Fall night at the Pomona Fairplex for the 2009 finale of the AMA Pro and Gen Romero’s West Coast Flat Track Series.

IMG00004-20091024-1809I was excited to be back at the races again watching the bikes line up on the front straight-away for the rider introductions in front of an overflow crowd.

The pits were jammed with bikes in a variety of classes from the AMA Grand National Pro, including 2009 Champion Jared Mees on the #21 XR 750 Harley-Davidson,  West Coast Experts, Amateurs, and Vintage.

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I walked the pits and visited with some old friends and met some new ones too.

I love flat track racing because the bikes are custom built for one thing — speed, whereas in motocross racing, you buy a factory-built bike and  slightly modify the engine and suspension before you are ready to ride.

Flat track bikes are purpose-built from the ground up with hand-made TIG welded chromoly frames, custom-built exhaust pipes, CNC machined wheels, and hand-laid fiberglass tanks and rear fenders.

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Each bike is made with the rider’s personal wants and needs in mind,  from the handle bars down to the tires.  A perfect example is Jimmy Wood’s #37 BMW powered machine.

This is a beautiful motorcycle and it looks even better in person!  Made me think about breaking out my old skid shoe!

One of the coolest bikes I saw there was a Grand National Replica street bike.  I had a similar flat track styled bike that I put together — it was based on a Harley-Davidson 883 Sportster, but I ended up selling it to one of our reps…

Take a look and let me know what you think!

— Jim Watson, aka Joe Welder —

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