Building a racing motorcycle can be a great way to spend a lot of money, sometimes with little to show for it in the end if you’re not careful and that’s why it was interesting to see the Team MOMBA (Mid Ohio Motorcycle Build Attempt) project. I had heard of this quite a few months ago and forgot about it until the November issue of Motorcyclist magazine came out with a feature story. The idea, (crazy as it may seem but in a cool sort of way) was to build and race a motorcycle at Mid Ohio built entirely from motorcycles and parts purchased at the Vintage Motorcycle Days swap meet.
For those of you who have never been to Mid Ohio for Vintage Days, let me tell you, the swap meet is huge. It takes over a large portion of the space normally used for parking and if you take your time, you can find almost anything. Similar thoughts must have gone through the minds of a dozen odd bikers and builders from the Milwaukee area because they figured they could find everything they needed right there, where they would buy and transform some lowly swap meet reject into a race bike. A challenge, to be sure.
A lot of thought went into what they were looking for but when they arrived the pickings were a bit slimmer than they had anticipated and after deciding to race in the Vintage Superbike class, the closest bike they could find as a base to work from was an early ’80s Kawasaki 550 LTD, a middleweight cruiser, purchased for the princely sum of $400 and running on only two of its four cylinders.
I won’t go into all of the challenges encountered and overcome by the team but in the end they saw an 8th place finish after all of their work and that is a big win in my book. Congratulations! Job well done.
Link: Team MOMBA