Racing: My First Year

By QT Road Test Writer, Heath “The Chief” Cofran
PHOTOS BY Sam Westre – Etech Photo 4TheRiders Photography

AHRMA Pacific Crown LGWhat really can be said about such an amazing learning year of racing motorcycles. I went from placing 4th in my very first race to doing a record of 4 first place finishes in a row! It’s the team that I had behind me that helped me achieve this. Well, It’s the bike, the guys and of course me giving everything I have out there to learn to be the best rider I could!

Go back to me sliding off that cliff that new years day and saying I would never ride like that again and learn to save it for the track, and now finishing the 2013 AHRMA season in 4th place and clinching the PACIFIC CROWN #1 Title! That is pretty damn sweet! The best part is I didn’t even know I did! Mike Blankenship another competitor that I race against told me congratulations! I wrote him back huh? What are you talking about? – He said man you won the Pacific Crown, nice work! Anyways, I am damn proud of myself considering I was only able to do 8 races this season. Perhaps next season I will be able to do more? We’ll see!

IMG_4510British American Motors / Ba-Moto, helped me live out a dream I always had of being a motorcycle racer. They built me a bike out of 2 crashed bikes, we did a track day and I got my Racing License and then step by step I ended up getting some amazing people to help support my passion for the track. Scorpion EXO had faith in me as a rookie and gave me my first race suit, helmet and gloves. For that gift, I am forever grateful. Ricky Brown a friend and professional AMA road racer, got me my first pair of Alpinestar Boots. British Customs stepped up and helped us out with some amazing parts for the race bike and for helping us get our bike to Barber. Deus Ex-Machina is a fantastic supporter of what we do and really stepped up to the plate HUGE in helping us through out the entire season. Thank you to Race-Tech suspension. Boss Printing helped us when I had the idea of doing a custom WRAP for the bike and really made it look bad ass. I mean really I am so thankful to all these companies and people that had faith in me this season.

IMG_5465Really it’s the family atmosphere of AHRMA (American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association) that really made this season so fun. My intention with every race was to go out, do my best and no matter where I placed, as long as I did everything I could to be the best racer possible; I didn’t care where I ended up. Of course it’s nice when you can finish well in the top 5 or better, but really I am out there to enjoy pushing that bike and myself to the limits. AHRMA has given me a great platform to perform in. To fly around turn 8 at Willow in 5th gear wide open shitting your pants around the corner is the biggest thrill racing a motorcycle. Heading up the blind turn 4 at barber is such an amazing thrill I wish more of my riding friends knew what it felt like. I know I’m getting off the point, but really it’s just an amazing feeling you get from riding on the track and when you can do it with some of your best friends riding inches apart with the full trust of each other pounding lap after lap you realize what an amazing sport this is. I have a new racing family now that I look forward to see next season. 90% of them are all across the country and it’s going to be like that holiday where you see everyone and you all hug and say, what the hell you been up too man!?… HAHA. RACING brings FAMILY.

I really have to take this time to thank ANDREW COWELL for helping push me and guide me for the 2013 season. He is one of the main instructors for the new racers school at AHRMA. I would go to Andrew before every race and just brush up on pointers and ask questions if I was doing things right or what lines might be better or how to control my bike better. Thank you so much Andrew. Another coach I had early on was Ricky Brown and CJ Weaver, both AMA pro’s that really are the reason I pushed to race after spending some time with them last year at the track. All of the other Thruxton Cup racers , well most of them are all seasoned veterans and I’m very lucky to have had them to race an mentor with. Wick, Fast Fred, John, Paul,Mike… you guys rock and I am lucky to get to share the track with you guys.

I just wanted to take a moment here to thank everyone who help make this all possible and for Nate my team manager for putting all his time and effort into pulling this whole thing together.

heath-cofran-charlie-cofran-baby-portrait-samuel-westre-114I want to say hello to my sweetheart in the sky Karla Munoz, a fellow rider who we lost just after the willow races. She was so proud of me and the 2 first place finishes I had that weekend. She met me for a celebration drink and hug that night we got back and ended up passing away the same night… Think about her before every race now and always look up and ask for her protection every time I put that helmet on.

I’m looking forward to the 2014 season and seeing how we can do next year!

RUBBER SIDE DOWN is soooo much better. With the occasional knee slider of course. 😉 I would also like to give a big hello to my new son Charlie.

Chief 26x.

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