Friday, August 1, 2008

Tommy Norton's "Team Mirage" KX125

While out in my old studio a couple of days ago to take photos of those "Demon" sculptures, I had to take a snapshot of this cool vehicle, a memento of the days of "Team Mirage" back in the 1990s, when I sponsored a motorcycle racing team. This is one of Tommy Norton's hare scambles bikes, a modified Kawasaki KX125.



Tommy was the first person to win the notoriously difficult Blackwater 100 off-road race on a 125cc motorcycle (this was some years before he was part of Team Mirage). I had the pleasure of going trail riding with Tommy once -- the dude was amazing. He was easily riding over fallen trees and other obstacles that would have had me scratching my head looking for a way around, or simply turning back.

The Turtle graphics on the bike's gas tank were designed by me -- these are actually the second year's graphics, as the first year I had designed a more abstract look which, while incorporating the basic elements of a TMNT head profile, just lacked a certain something. -- PL

9 comments:

  1. I have a Team Mirage sticker designed by Jim Lawson somewhere. Or I should have, at least - I haven't been able to find it for awhile. :p

    BTW - Have you watched any of Ewan McGreggor's and Charlie Boorman's motorcycle adventures? I love Long Way Round and Long Way Down, and just recently I watched Race to Dakar, which was actually a whole lot more interesting than I was expecting it to be. My parents report that they're popular amongst their motorcycle friends. Good stuff.

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  2. -->> Rose, was that sticker the same design by Jim Pete showed on his 'BLAST - ' years ago ??

    >v<

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  3. Tokka - Nope, it's different from that. If I ever find it I'll be sure you're among the first to see it. :)

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  4. It was great to see the old bike again. The wife and I were watching old footage of me racing the blackwater 100 on this bike. Our son thinks we're completely insane (could be right). I wish I'd kept one of them, maybe the original Honda 125.

    I'm heading up to Peru, VT tomorrow to test out the new Adboivin Explora kit. Could be the way to go for this old man. I have a yamaha phazer I got from Randall that I could always modify. But I think the wife will have me living in the garage if I bring one more toy home.

    If you want to go snowmobiling, I've got a couple. I promise not to wheelie it down the road.

    Tommy, Cheri and little Tom

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  5. Are there still any bike related sponsorships happening these day?

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  6. " Jason said...
    Are there still any bike related sponsorships happening these day?"

    No, but maybe in the future...! -- PL

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  7. That is a cool bike, it looks as if it didn't get that much action. What I really like though is the RC 30 in the background!
    I'm an old friend of Tommy's and I remember him telling the story of the two you you going street riding. He took the full dresser Harley. He said he impressed you with a huge wheelie with it.

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  8. "Onkel Germany said...
    That is a cool bike, it looks as if it didn't get that much action. What I really like though is the RC 30 in the background!
    I'm an old friend of Tommy's and I remember him telling the story of the two you you going street riding. He took the full dresser Harley. He said he impressed you with a huge wheelie with it."

    It's true! I'm not sure which impressed me the most -- that big wheelie on the Hog, or Tommy's amazing woods riding skill. -- PL

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  9. I just happened to stumble across this through a Google search. I write and make videos for Offroad Junkies and my personal website covering the GNCC and other offroad races (additionally I shoot for RacerTV at the GNCCs)

    Anyway, if you happen to have anymore photos and maybe some from some of the races let me know. I'm working on an article that highlights some of the history of the sport... Or, if you could put me in contact with Tommy for an interview or something, I'd appreciate it.

    My email is jbolton@offroadjunkies.com

    Oh, and for the record, I've enjoyed looking around your blog. The Turtles were a big part of my childhood and still like to pull out some of the old video tapes once in a while, so I've definitely enjoyed your posts!

    Thanks!

    -Jared Bolton

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