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Author: Geoff & Barb Nickless

Through The Lens- David “Bones” Aldana

For those who followed American motorcycle racing in the 1970s-80s, David “Bones” Aldana will be a familiar name and rider of the time. Born November 26, 1949 in Santa Ana, California, Aldana raced both flat track and road racing in the AMA Grand National Championship and Superbike Championship respectively. A fierce and colorful competitor on both the track and dirt, Aldana even raced in the 1970 Trans-AMA Motocross series and did some speedway racing as well. Aldana gained notoriety for a set of racing leathers he designed and raced in that were solid black with a white human skeleton on the front. He earned the nickname “Bones” with the one-of-kind suit, and fans loved it. The AMA, however did not, and threatened to ban the man if persisted in wearing them in sanctioned races.

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Through The Lens- Rob North’s Brit Triples

Camaraderie is contagious, so we stopped for a chat and to ask some questions about their entries. Geoff had noticed the “letterbox” style fairing on the nose of one of the bikes and upon further inspection he noticed that the 750cc four-stroke road racing bike had three cylinders. He complimented the group on what he assumed were beautiful replicas of a Rob North BSA Rocket 3 and a Triumph Trident. We knew that Rob North had motorcycles in the Barber Museum. That was when he was corrected by Chantelle who replied, “Those are the real thing and my dad, Rob North, is right there!”

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Interview with MotoAmerica Champ Jake Gagne

Race days are exciting for everyone, but a MotoGP race is palpable! The sound waves from the paddock are the first thing to hit you. Mechanics revving the engines to listen for the crispness of their tuning and the buzz of riders, teams, and fans gathering before the race is electric. Circuit of the Americas (COTA) did not fail to disappoint all who gathered for this event April 8-10th, 2022. Upon arrival to the MotoAmerica paddock early Friday morning, everything was ready to go, and the teams were already into their race routines. Jake Gagne was relaxed and obliging when asked if he could spare some time to chat with Road Dirt. “Of course, anytime!” was his reply. The following is our conversation that morning in the Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing tent.

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Through the Lens: Wayne Rainey

As motorcycle racing series are all revving up for the 2022 season, we thought it appropriate to shine the “Through the Lens” spotlight on Wayne Rainey, multi-year AMA and GP World Champion, and founder/president of the MotoAmerica motorcycle road racing organization. We’ve covered MotoAmerica since its inception and launch in 2015, and have personally interviewed Wayne on several occasions. Humble and friendly, Wayne is also focused and driven, from his early racing successes to restoring American motorcycle road racing to its former and future glory.

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Through The Lens: Kenny Roberts

Kenny Roberts is a legend in American motorcycle racing. Born in Modesto, California in 1951, Kenny took to racing at a young age, quitting high school to compete in dirt track and going pro by the time he was 18. In 1978 Roberts became the first American to win a Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing world championship, now known as MotoGP. A two-time winner of the AMA Grand National Championship here stateside, Roberts is only one of four motorcycle racers in AMA history to take the coveted AMA Grand Slam, with wins in the mile, half-mile, short-track, TT Steeplechase and road racing.

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Through The Lens: Wes Cooley

Geoff Nickless is a legend in motorcycle racing photography. Snapping flat track, motocross and road racing since the 1970s, Geoff has captured the greats of the sport, and has a museum-worthy collection of extraordinary photos from the golden age of American motorcycle racing that is unrivaled. He’s shared some of his favorites here before, and when we learned of Wes Cooley’s passing last month, we reached out to Geoff for his favorite Cooley photos over the years. He wholeheartedly obliged.

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