Oklahoma Cross Country Racing Association, the premier off-road racing series in Oklahoma, will be hosting Round 3 of the series in Konawa, OK. OCCRA races dirt bikes all over the state of Oklahoma in places that are often not open to riding except for the race each year. This is a family-friendly event with young kids, parents and even grand parents racing motorcycles and 4-wheelers across the fields and trails of Oklahoma. The terrain varies from the rocks of the east to the sand of the northwest to the clay in central Oklahoma. Practice is on Saturday while the racing is on Sunday. Bring your tent or motor home, camp out, have fun with friends and enjoy the awesome off-road riding in Oklahoma. Classes are available for all ages and skill sets.

Konawa has a mix of terrain ranging from loamy dirt to embedded rocks and even some deep sand. Expect hill climbs and descents, wide open stretches and tight single-track cutoffs for the bikes. Heck, Konawa has a little bit of just about everything!


OCCRA Hare and Hound in Erick,Oklahoma

OCCRA race in Guthrie at Make Promises Happen

OCCRA race in Guthrie at Make Promises Happen


One of the things I knew I wanted in my new shop was a tire changer. I’d had more than my fill of crawling around on my hands and knees in my garage, wrestling with tire irons, busting knuckles, doing all manner of crazy shit just to break the stinking bead, and generally practicing and expanding that portion of my vocabulary which I can’t use in polite company. I don’t regret all those difficult tire changing sessions … well, okay, really I do … but they were necessary to build the skills required to change a tire anytime, anywhere, which is pretty damn important given the places my buddies and I often ride. (I mean, you don’t think Danny and I could have hauled along a tire changing machine to Alaska, do ya?)

Having used the machine now, I can say that it ought to be illegal. Tire changing absolutely should not be this freakin’ easy. The motorcycle police are surely on their way to arrest me. This sort of thing simply can’t be tolerated. I never broke a sweat. Used not a single tire iron. Never had to mess with silly little plastic do-dads to protect my wheels (in fact, I never once even worried about scratching the rims on my CBR1000RR or ZZR1200). Time spent on my knees was minimal — damn near zero, in fact.

The machine I bought is from Cycle Hill. I’d heard too many bad things about the Harbor Freight model everyone buys because it’s inexpensive (read that as cheap). The one everyone raves about is the NoMar Tire Changer, but it’s like $500+. But wait, believe it or not, the Cycle Hill model appears to actually be made by NoMar and it’s damn near the same unit. And I’m here to tell you that the damn thing absolutely works, exactly as advertised. Check out the videos on their website. They aren’t exaggerated. It was just that easy for me, first time out of the box.

Here are some photos.

Cycle Hill Tire Changer awaiting its first use.
First order of business: get the CBR1000RR to levitate so that we can remove the front wheel.
Remove that pesky valve core.
Break the bead on the tire. This was oh-so-easy, even though that's the OEM tire on the CBR -- never been off the wheel before. And this is the only time I was on my knees.
Mount the wheel on the changer.
Give the tire a couple quick squirts of lube.
Use the handy clamp contraption to tuck one side of the tire down in the deep part of the wheel (a job previously performed by my poor, complaining knee), insert the nylon (no scratch!) tip of your bar and run it around one quick time. Voila! Repeat the process for the lower edge of the tire and that puppy is off in like two seconds -- I kid you not!
Now for the new tire. Another quick squirt of lube. Then another handy, hands-free device tucks a bit of tire onto the rim, while the clever design at the other end of the bar is run around the rim, seating the tire in much less time than it's taken me to type this photo caption.
Re-install the valve core. A little air and that exciting double-POP! that tells you everything's okay, and the wheel's ready to go back on the bike. Quickest and easiest tire change I have ever done! As I've always said, there ain't nothing sexier than brand new rubber. šŸ˜‰
Just to prove it wasn't a fluke, I changed the front tire on my ZZR1200.
If anything, the second time was even easier...
On and off in a snap!

Just back from spending the weekend in Eureka Springs with a very special passenger: my amazing 16-year-old daughter Summer. She, Danny, and I rode out of Oklahoma City Friday morning and spent most of the day in rain. We had a gorgeous day Saturday riding around in northwestern Arkansas, then meandered home today. This was Summer’s first multi-day outing on a bike. She seemed to love it. Not one single complaint — not even Friday in the pouring rain — unless you count her telling me to go faster in the Arkansas twisties. Ha! Summer obviously takes after me (not her mom, who is always telling me to slow down). She even thinks she wants a sportbike. We’ll see…

Stylin'. wish I could make my helmet look that good. LOL.
Ready to roll...
A slightly nervous Mom snapped this photo as the dogs escorted Summer and me down the driveway.
All geared up for Saturday's ride from our motel in Eureka Springs. Ain't she a beauty?
Our cozy riding group from Saturday in the Ozarks. L-to-R: Greg Davenport, Gadget Steve, Danny, and Summer. I'm behind the camera, of course.
Summer at the Cliffhouse Inn just south of Jasper, Arkansas.
You keep your eyes on the horizon, kiddo. I know the sky's the limit for you.