BEST OF JODY’S BOX: THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS AS THEY SEEM

By Jody Weisel
“How big is that engine?” The question came from an angry voice that towered over me as I was kicking back in a lawn chair after my second moto. I didn’t recognize the guy.

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“I’d estimate that it’s 24 inches by 18 inches by 14 inches, “ I said in a joking manner. He didn’t laugh.

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“No,” he said while pointing at my YZ125. “I meant how big is the piston?”

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“About the size of the Starbucks’ double latte,” I said. “Which reminds me of the time Jimmy Mac tried to drink Gatorade out of a YZ400 piston. It didn’t work because it kept leaking out of the wrist pin holes.”

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The guy stopped me from continuing my story by holding a clenched fist in front of my face. “How much does it displace?” he growled.

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“Totally submerged I would estimate that, given its overall dimensions, it would displace about 22 gallons of fluid, but I’m not the one to ask. Fred! Fred, come here. I need to know how much water would be displaced by a object the size of the YZ125 engine,” I turned back to the guy and explained, “Fred is a math geek. He can figure anything out. Give him a moment and he’ll have the exact answer for you. I’m really bad at that whole volume, mass and fluid thing.”

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“I mean cc’s,” yelled the guy.

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“Fred,in cubic centimeters instead of gallons?” Fred took a quick look at the YZ125 and would have had the answer in another minute, if the guy hadn’t shoved him out of the way.

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“I don’t care how much water it displaces. I want to know if that engine is bored?” said the guy.

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“I don’t know about the engine, but I am,” I said.

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“You’re a smart aleck,” said the guy. “Nobody could pull two holeshots like you did today on a stock YZ125. You were 20 feet ahead of the pack going into the first turn and you were the heaviest guy in the class. How much do you weigh?”

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“In pounds or kilograms?” I asked.

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“You know what I mean,” said the guy angrily. “That bike is a 167. You know it and I know it. You’re a cheater.”

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“I’M INSULTED BY THE INSINUATION AND YOU ARE DEMEANED BY IT.” I SAID. “IT MAKES YOU LOOK LIKE AN WHINER, YOUR RIDER A POOR LOSER AND YOUR PARENT’S GENES SUSPECT.” 

That was the last straw. Obviously this guy was the father, friend, mechanic or lawyer of someone who was in the 125 class. He was angry that his rider had been beaten and was willing to impugn my integrity to assuage his rider’s inadequacies.

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“Listen pal,“ I said while pointing a finger at him. “My bike is legal. It is so stock that it hurts. I’ll switch bikes with your rider if you need proof. I don’t know your background in the sport of motocross, but you don’t walk into another competitors’ pit and accuse him of running an over-size engine unless you have proof. That is a serious accusation and should not be done lightly.”

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“No, no, no. I was just asking. I wasn’t accusing you of cheating,” he stammered.

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“I’m insulted by the insinuation and you are demeaned by it.” I said. “It makes you look like a whiner, your rider a poor loser and your parent’s genes suspect. I don’t expect you to understand this, but as much as I have too much pride to run a cheater engine I have twice as much respect for my competition. Had it been your rider who had pulled two massive holeshots, you wouldn’t find me down in your pits making false, slanderous or inflammatory accusations. I’d assume your rider’s talent, preparation and technique were the reasons, not that he was so corrupt as to run a bored-out cylinder.

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“Well, I just wanted to know and maybe I got a little carried away,” He said sheepishly.

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“You owe me an apology,“ I continued. “And should we meet again, I would expect you to act in a more civil manner. I will not hold this against you, since you seem to be momentarily caught up in the crassness that has overtaken our society as of late. Elevate your opinion of those around you and you will be elevated.”

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“Sorry,” he said meekly as he backed out of the pits.

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“Can you believe that guy?” I asked Fred Phalange, who was busy with a tape measure working out the exact measurements of a YZ125 engine.

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“No,” said Fred without looking up from his calculation, “but how did you get those two holeshots?”

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“I jumped the gate,” I said.

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