Rider: Geoff May
Then: 17-year-old high-school senior
Now: Erik Buell Racing/AMSOIL Superbike racer
“I started riding dirtbikes at age 4, but as a kid I never thought about racing motorcycles. My dad raced SCCA, so originally I wanted to race cars. Right before I graduated from high school I got a gray ’88 Hawk GT, and that’s the bike that changed my life. Once I found streetbikes, I was hooked! A few months later I watched the Big Kahuna at Road Atlanta and was like, ‘Man, maybe I should just race bikes. Those guys don’t look like anything special!’
“I went to Las Vegas at the end of ’98 and took the Freddie Spencer High-Perform-ance Riding School. I had only been riding for six months, but I was instantly quick. Freddie said, ‘If you stick with this, you will have a career at it.’ I bought one of his leftover school bikes, a bone-stock CBR600F3, and started racing CCS in ’99. That’s why I run number 99. I started winning right away. Everybody said I was crazy to start racing on a 600—the ‘meat grinder’ class—but I never considered racing my Hawk. I started racing to go fast and the Hawk wasn’t very fast!
“I needed the money for racing, so I sold the Hawk. It got passed around to a couple guys at a bike shop I worked at, and then disappeared. I wish I still had it today, though. I’d like to have another.”