Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cooley, Pops and the gang

Wes Cooley GS1000 tribute bike

Wes Cooley was the premiere rider for Yoshimura in the first AMA superbike race of 1976 in the Daytona 200. They took 4th and only got better from there with 3rd the next year in '77 . Cooley's unorthodox riding style wowed the crowd by coming into the corner with the back tire skidding and smoking only to gunn it out the other side on the kz1000. After a few seasons Yoshi switched over to Suzuki as the factory team in 1979 and dominated with a 1-2-3 sweep consisting of Ron Pierce, Wes Cooley and Dave Emde. Unlike the Kawis the Suzukis had power and a chassis that handled which showed when Steve McLaughlin won the '78 title on a Yoshi built GS1000 and Wes won the title in '79 and '80.

Hideo 'Pops' Yoshimura was born in Japan, and served during the war. Trained as a mechanic with a first love for motorcycles he continued to work on them after his time was served with people flocking to him to gain power out of stuff they already had on the bike along with something he could add. With his eyes set on the fabled Daytona 200 he made his way to the U.S and opened his first U.S. shop in LA in '71.

Pops with the crew

Garage of a race

No comments:

Post a Comment