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The Long Struggle To The Top

An Interview With Andy Moore

by Simon-Pierre Smith

Some racers in the pits are young up-and-comers. They're on fairly new equipment, and for a couple of years, rise toward the top of the ranks. Finally, a maxed-out credit line, an injury, or a spouse, sends them on another path in life. Others seem like old salts, but aren't. It can take a developed career and a midlife crisis to make some people take the plunge and start on such an expensive hobby.

Someone who's been around the paddock a long time, though he seems ageless, is Andy Moore. He's ridden through the era of bias ply tires, air cooled motors, the times where bikes had to be highly modified to be at all fast, and has raced at Pacific Raceways before the life saving "bus stop" chicane was installed. Today he races a clubman's GP dream - the Honda RS 125.

In 2002, Moore took the number one position in the GP125 class in the Northwest. What follows is an interview with Moore during the 2003 racing season.

Above/right: Andy Moore makes his finest moves in the turns, seen here overtaking another racer at Pacific Raceway.

SPS: When did you first race?

AM: In 1984. I was on a Suzuki GS450. I only raced it a couple of times. Then I bought the new GSXR 750 in 1986 as a street bike, but I did race it once. Soon after that I was racing a 600 Ninja that I shared with 2 other riders. It was very low budget, but if anyone crashed, all three could be out of luck. Then I got a Kawasaki EX 500 and raced it in 650 twins against the likes of Del Knysh.

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Andy Moore
Shop-side Facts

Andy Moore is presently the lead tech at RMC Motorsports and one of the most respected ones in Puget Sound, taking RMC to a top 5 position in the 2002 Sound RIDER! dealer survey. Here are a few things you may or may not know about Mr. Moore.

  • Rode his first bike at age 16 in 1980.

  • Studied Motorcycle Mechanics at Lake Washington under Jim Osmondson.

  • He's factory trained in all makes and models of current Japanese bikes, ATV's and Watercraft. Also knows his way around other power gear like lawnmowers and generators.

  • Other techs he's admired over the years include Jack Mills, Cedric Smith, Marty Dahl and Rocky Phoenix.

  • Currently developing race specialty offerings that RMC will provide racers in Fall of 2003

SPS: As I remember, that EX500 was fast, but somewhat temperamental.

AM: It had all the typical hot rod things done; cams, big bore, compression. It was pretty fast, and I managed to get a number of second place finishes on it. I was always working on it though. That's why I got the GS500 Cup bike.

SPS: The GS500 Cup involved racers on identical bone stock Suzukis, all with the same Avon tires mounted. Dynamometer runs after the race made sure the bikes were all even. Suzuki was paying cash in the series, which brought out a number of fast riders like Adam Faucett and Scott Moon. How did that go?

AM: I could never get accustomed to how really badly they handled. Other riders were able to shrug off the bouncing and wobbling to go faster. I ended up about mid pack. Under the rules, there wasn't anything you could do to fix it. It did get my photo in the national magazines though. Cycle World sent a reporter up to race a GS500. I was about the same speed so all the photos showed me in the pack somewhere. I think we were running about 5 th through 7 th.

SPS: After that you bought a Honda RS125 and started getting faster. Why did you go with the 125?

AM: It was sort of a progression from the EX500 that I had to work on all the time, through the GS500 that the rules didn't allow any modification to be done. After the time spent on the GS I decided I wanted a bike I could tune on a bit, but not too much. It took a while to figure out, but in 2002 I was class champion in 125 GP and second in Open Single.

SPS: What are your plans for the future?

AM: If I can make my bike more reliable (as we talk, a seized piston hangs out of the motor) I plan to race the Grand Prix Racer's Union (GPRU) event in Portland. After that I don't know. I'll never sell the 125, but I'm thinking about racing sidecars. I bought a stronger tow rig that will hold a 125 and pull a trailer with sidecar. There's definitely a bigger investment in equipment with sidecars.

SPS: You've been working at RMC Motorsports (Renton Motorcycles) for quite a while now. Do you get to work on many race bikes?

AM: In the past we've focused on current market machines like street sportbikes, cruisers and tour bikes. We do get some variety with snowmobiles. Occasionally I race prep a 600 class machine but that's about it. We aren't really a race specialty shop yet, but we will delve into in detail when we move to our new location in fall of 2003. SR!

TM/Summer 03


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