Chris Alamango's interview with Cycle News
Just do it

After missing the 1998 Vintage Iron World Championships, Chris Alamangos of Laguna Beach, California, vowed to stop at nothing in order to race this year’s edition of the Yamaha/Vintage Iron World Championships.
 For this year, the 32-year-old painter from Laguna Beach, California, had found a buddy to loan him a Honda Elsinore with which he had planned to dominate the Pre ‘75 125cc Novice class. Then the time came to pick up the bike a couple days before the race, at which point the owner sheepishly admitted that the, uh, engine was missing, and he didn’t know where it was.  Instead, the same friend managed to locate a 1973 Suzuki TM125 for  Alamangos to ride. He might have been better off pushing the Elsinore around the Glen Helen course.
“The guy who owned it [the TM] hadn’t ridden since the old Saddleback days,” Alamangos says. “Everything that I touched either broke or fell off. It had no carburetor, the upper left-side shock  clevis was broken, the airbox was missing, and the kickstarter was stripped inside the cases.”
  Undaunted, Alamangos went to work, fabricating an airbox out of a five-fingered, tin “Open House” sign. A 34mm carb was located and shoehorned in place, and anything else that needed  replacing or repairing was completed in as close to workmanlike fashion as Alamangos’ time, talents or treasures would allow, which might explain the strap that was used to hold the top of the left shock in place - it was fashioned from a gar den-hose reel. The damaged kick-starter mechanism rendered the bike push-start only. All the work was completed not one moment to soon, either.
“I wound up jetting the carburetor in a Costa Mesa parking lot at like 11 o’clock the night before the race,” Alamangos says. “Then I for got about the [daylight savings] time change, and wound up showing up at the track so early that I was the only one there.”
With the aid of a ton of between moto maintenance, the bike never faltered, and Alamangos - and the little TM that could put together 2-1 finishes to earn the overall win in the Pre-’75 125cc Novice class, just exactly what he hoped. And by the way, he asked us to say thanks to his pals at Orange County Suzuki for their assistance with his little project.
You gotta love it when a plan comes together.

Scott Rousseau