Hey Kenny, Happy Birthday!
So, you’re 70 now. Wow. Since I’ve been around for a good part of those years, I thought it might be fun to remember a few snapshots that we’ve shared during some of that time. Some you might remember, some you might not (that’s what happens when you get old, I’m told!).
Racing bicycles around picnic tables with Skip
Loaning me your Mini Enduro 60 for my first race because mine was worn out (I still have this bike thank to my dad)
You draggin the handlebar on my grandfather’s almond hull short track
Going too fast with you in your Trans Am with a low front tire
Straightening out the swingarm on your home-made framed 250 after a race I did in Chico. Just needed to be heat treated as I recall
Being the first MotoGP helmet boy in 1983 for $50.00 a week.
Dislocating my shoulder in Imola
Belgium flying snails
Taught me how to play golf (sort of)
Running the Landcruiser off a cliff with two loaded guns above our heads
Building a Yamaha Vision roadracer to learn to roadrace on only to find out the engine ran backwards, and we couldn’t turn it into a chain drive
Minibikes at the Ranch
Welded bolts to the rear swingarm of an XR100 to use as footpegs so I could drag my knee in the dirt
Taking a TZ250 to Sears Point for my first roadrace ride only to have it seize through T1 on the first lap after you had drug your knee warming it up in your Levi’s.
Building a Deltabox TZ in your garage to take to Daytona for my first pro road race
Selling bikes at Kenny Roberts Yamaha Modesto
Formula USA with nitrous-equipped TZ250’s
Formula USA with 500 GP bikes
New Years Eve with car racing (didn’t work out very well for a few guys)
Beavis and Butthead Czech Republic
Gonna build a three cylinder
Do you want to move to England?
Make our own carburetors?
Offer Mick what?
Banana leaf curry, Whyyyy Not!
Gonna build our own V5
Gonna build a chassis around a Honda V5 (much better)
Are you ready to move back home?
But the one thing that has always stuck with me is when you and my dad came back home from a road trip back east. You had stayed at Gary Nixon’s house and his dog had just had German Shepard puppies. You guys brought two back, one for you and one for me. Shortly after, mine was killed after a battle with a car on HWY 120 and you gave me yours to replace him. To a 6–7-year-old kid it meant a lot then and it still does. You’ve always been a member of our family and a good friend. I started in this industry because of my dad and you. I’m still in it mainly due to the experience I’ve gained with you along the way. Happy 70th Birthday from Debbie, Sarah, Tyler, David, Harper and Henry. We wish you many more.
See you soon.