Bubba Shobert's 1972 Kawasaki 100 | The Bike That Changed My Life

RIDER: Bubba Shobert
THEN: Future three-time AMA Grand National Champion and AMA Superbike Champion
NOW: Making the best beef jerky in Lubbock, Texas, or anywhere else

"Way back when my dad took me to the AMA National at the Houston Astrodome for my birthday, I said, 'That's what I want to be when I grow up.' Early on, I had a Chibi mini-bike. We swapped the Bridgestone engine for a Kawasaki 90, but it still had those little 8-inch wheels. Then I got into a big speed wobble on a fast local short-track and that thing pitched me off-bent the frame and everything else. With that much motor, I'd need bigger wheels.

"The 100 was my first full-on flat-tracker. Delbert Price, the local Kawasaki dealer, built it with my dad. It's in a stock frame that was lowered to turn better. The first time I raced it was indoors on concrete, right here in Lubbock at the Fair Park Coliseum. I looked like an ant lined up with a bunch of horses. After the start I was running third and fell down, low-sided.

"When I came back to Texas for a party after winning my first AMA Grand National Champ-ionship, Delbert and my dad rolled out the old Kawasaki 100. They'd refurbished it for me! That was really neat. I wish I had more of my old racebikes, but you never think about quitting while you're racing. You're always looking up the ladder, not down."