We're getting there. The first bike is about 95% complete. There's an old saying that the last 10% takes 90% of the time, which we can sometimes relate to, but we're in pretty good shape with the first bike. We just received the bodywork back from paint, by Andrew Swenson, who did a phenomenal job. It's way too nice for a race bike. The attention to detail and overall quality is the best we've had yet – even better than his work last year. It's simply too nice and he matched our branded "Witchkraft" red perfectly, which isn't easy to do. Thanks again to ASD for all his hard work. The bikes are really going to look sharp. Hopefully they stay that way!
The second bike is still a ways off. We're waiting on engine and suspension primarily, which should be done soon. Once that's complete, we'll be busting our tail to get the second bike ready. Given the slight learning curve with the Suzuki the first time around, the second time should be quite a bit quicker. Joe and Doug are heading down to Ohlins HQ in North Carolina next week to get some updated training on the gas cartridges, which we'll be running on one bike, while using the standard Ohlins 30mm kit on the other.
Time is ticking down until the first race weekend, at the start of May. We're hoping to hit Gingerman next week to shakedown both bikes and get a feel for things before the races, the following weekend. Weather is always a mystery at this time of year, so fingers crossed for decent weather.
More pics and info to come.
Well, it's been awhile since I've posted something. Sorry about that. Things have been busy this off-season. Another wrist surgery and obviously the new deal posted below for this season with Honda East supplying Suzuki GSX-750's to race this year, as well as Yoshimura backing the effort. A lot went into the planning of making everything happen and I'm really happy and proud of how it turned out. Now it's just time to put down some fast laps and make it all worthwhile!
The wrist recovery is going well so far. It's been about four weeks since the third surgery, out in San Diego. This one wasn't as major as the previous, but it's still a pretty important one. The screws had been backing out from the plate that was already in place, so they went in and removed the plate and 12 screws – and put in a new, smaller plate with 9 screws. They pulled bone from my hip to pack into the donor-bone in several areas, and also into the gaps from where the old screws had been removed. The hip hurt worse than the wrist, which was perfectly fine with me. I'm back at the gym and working to get motion and strength back. Last week at PT, my left hand grip was measured at roughly 100lbs. of pressure, while the right was at 20! Not ideal and certainly some work to do.
As for bikes and being on the track, that's been frustrating. Last weekend, seemingly everyone I know was either at Barber, Roebling or Jennings riding, racing or testing. And this weekend, the AMA Pro schedule kicks off at Daytona. To say I'm itching to ride would be an understatement. We have both bikes torn apart, with engines, suspension, wheels, bodywork and other random stuff being worked on and prepped. It was a time-consuming task to build the program we have for this year, so we got a late start in receiving the bikes. It's not the end of the world, and it's honestly a good thing as I'd probably force the wrist issue sooner than I should if the bikes were ready, but I simply cannot wait to ride. Switching to a new brand bike in Suzuki makes it all the more exciting, and not being happy with how last season went at a few tracks, really has us focused on a few key areas this season to work on.
From a press release issued by Honda East of Toledo:
February 25th, 2014 – Maumee, OH – Honda East Suzuki of Toledo's rider Eddie Kraft will be competing on Yoshimura-backed 2014 Suzuki GSX-R750's in the upcoming season, racing in both WERA regional and WERA national events. Kraft enters the season with 19 regional championships, two National Championships and over 70 race wins. He most recently won the WERA North Central 600 Superstock, 600 Superbike, 750 Superstock and 750 Superbike Championships in 2013.
Honda East's Sales Manager Gabe Miller commented, "We're excited for another great year with Eddie and Witchkraft Racing, as we enter into our seventh year together. We're looking forward to providing an increased track presence for both the team and our dealership. We strive to offer the best pricing on all our OEM bikes, ATVs, snowmobiles, generators and OEM parts. Our relationship with Eddie has paid off every year we've been together, and we’re ready to get rolling."
Senior Vice President Don Sakakura states, "Yoshimura R&D of America is proud to support Witchkraft Racing in their race campaign for 2014. The team will have Yoshimura’s championship-proven R-77 performance exhaust systems at their disposal, as well as a number of other Yoshimura performance hard parts and engine performance systems. With the team using the Suzuki GSX-R’s this year we feel they already have a head start."
"It's a new challenge I'm really excited about," said Eddie. "The Suzuki will provide a fresh outlook on our racing program and help us improve as a team. Honda East has really led the charge in making this transition happen with Suzuki and I can't thank them enough. These new bikes, together with Yoshimura backing is more than I could ask for. I've wanted to work with a company like Yoshimura for some time and to be able to have their support now is absolutely huge. I flat-out cannot wait to get started."
About Honda East: As a family owned and operated Ohio motorcycle dealer, Honda East's philosophy is to treat each customer like a family member, every visit. Our award-winning sales staff will strive to meet and exceed your expectations, whether you are purchasing a new vehicle, calling with a question, picking up a part, or just looking in our shop. Located in Northwest Ohio, Honda East is the #1 ranked dealership in both Ohio and Michigan; offering a full line of sport bikes, cruisers, dirt bikes, ATVs, scooters, watercraft and snowmobiles not only by Honda, but Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Aprilia, Indian, Sea-Doo, Ski-Doo, Can-Am, Kymco, Bombardier, Polaris and Artic Cat. Honda East prides themselves on the best out the door deal, period. No games, no hassles.
About Yoshimura R&D of America: Yoshimura is “The Leader in Performance” and has been for more than 55 years. With unmatched skills, knowledge, and passion for racing, Yoshimura is on the forefront of the aftermarket exhaust industry. Yoshimura pipes are race bred and feature the same legendary performance, fit and quality that has been their trademark for more than five decades. To learn more about Yoshimura and view their wide variety of performance products, visit www.yoshimura-rd.com.
Witchkraft Racing would also like to thank their 2014 sponsors: Pirelli Tires, SportbikeTrackGear.com, MCJ Motorsports, Oakley, GoPro, Dynojet, Motul, Moto Liberty, RS Taichi, Shoei Helmets, NGK, Worldwide Bearings, Chicken Hawk Racing, Ohlins USA, Knox, Vesrah and Motion Pro. Also Performance Cycleworx, Pit Bull, Sharkskinz, Samco, Hammer Nutrition, Spider Grips, M.C. Designs and Andrew Swenson Designs.
For more information on Honda East, visit hondaeast.com. For information on Yoshimura, visit yoshimura-rd.com. And for news on the race team, please visit witchkraftracing.com.
Thursday, January 30th, 2014
I'm happy to announce we're with GoPro again for the upcoming season. They have really stepped up in helping us this year. We have some great ...
Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
I'm really fortunate to be wearing an RS Taichi suit again for the coming year. Thank you to ...
Friday, December 27th, 2013
The latest news on the wrist isn't ideal. The above photo shows the x-ray right after the previous ...
Friday, December 20th, 2013
Merry Christmas from everyone here at Witchkraft Racing!
Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013
You know, I don't know why this bums me out. Whether it's all the media reports, or photos going around, I can't stop reading and being saddened ...
Press Releases All
EDDIE KRAFT TO COMPETE ON YOSHIMURA-BACKED SUZUKIS IN 2014
Tuesday, February 25th
Honda East’s Eddie Kraft Wins Six Races and Clinches WERA Championships at PIRC
Friday, September 13th
Sponsor News All
Merry Christmas from WKR!
Friday, December 20th
Paul Walker and Roger Rodas
Tuesday, December 3rd
Quote of the Day
Monday, November 11th
WERA ’13, Grand National Finals – Barber
Thursday, October 31st
Wednesday, October 2nd
Wednesday, September 25th
Monday, September 16th
WERA ’13, Round 7&8 – PIRC (Near Perfect)
Tuesday, September 10th
WERA Grattan GoPro Videos
Tuesday, August 27th
Free Yamaha YZ/WR Demos
Thursday, August 22nd
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- WERA '10, Round 1: Nelson Ledges (Hammer Down) 19 comments
- WERA ‘10, Round 2: Grattan Raceway (Momma Said There’d Be Days Like This) 13 comments
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- Representing at the AMA Mid-Ohio
Team Challenge 9 comments
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