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Old 05-09-2021, 03:51 PM   #1
Rest In Peace
We will never forget
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Rob Goldfarb AKA: SportTechCycles

Originally Posted by budman


Some of you saw my other thread about Wob’s declining health and that he peacefully slipped into to Gods service as his personal Suzuki wrench.

I felt after a few tequila shots and a couple beers in his honor a real GBNF RIP thread was due. Wobbie and I were good friends for a long time. So excuse a trip down memory lane on how we became friends.

First met him at Cycle Imports in Santa Clara owned by Mike Glisson a passionate and fast AFM racer. Rob was deaf so he pronounced his own name Wob and some other words became a trademark. He was cool with it and overcame it like a rock star.

When he went to work for the Terry family at South Bay Suzuki that is when we slowly became friends (1986). I was a lightly sponsored Motocross racer for California Suzuki in Mt View for the Terry family. Mom, Dad and three brothers working the moto biz. Good peeps. They obtained or started South Bay Suzuki and grabbed Wobbie to work for them. They sold CA Suzuki and focused on the bigger store. All three bros rode and raced. Solid family stuff.

Sam Arena JR was a sales dude there and he was cool as hell. His Dad a famous motorcycle racer. Some of the Bay Area racing legacy ran thru the arteries of that shop.

I switched to road racing in ‘85 and as I got better approached Jack Terry about sponsorship to go road racing for his shop. Spent a lot of time sucking up .

Jack had bought a Suzuki Skoal Bandit Gamma 4 cylinder two stroke grey market 500 he bought from Jim Doyle (historical too) after he broke his wrist on the bike. I dug the bike and Jack said it was too much for him really and I said "Let me race it bro". Of course he said "No way!". It sat in his shop as a show piece. I did not give up visiting often to hear Sam’s story’s buy shit and bullshit. Always... "Come on.. Let me race it Jack. I am a solid top ten 600 hundred dude now". After a couple more tries he said "What's in it for me?"

When I said to Jack “What if I get a radio station to sponsor me and give you 10K of free advertising and you let me race the bike?” He laughed.. “You have never won a race”! Good point. Ha!

“Yeah I know but I am a poor boy with 2 kids racing a stock bike in the most fierce classes in the AFM and in a year I am already on the front row with Jim Jepson and the other fast dudes. I just need a fast bike”.

A few more visits and tired of me asking he said “Sure. Get me ten 10K and you can race my bike”. I knew he thought fat chance. I wrote proposals to KSJO, KOME and KRQR.

The proposal was titled “The Triangle is Success”. A motor sports sponsorship proposal.

1. I race and represent your station to the cool kids that love Rock 'N Roll in the badest sport ever.

2. You give my sponsor 10K in advertising that basically costs you nothing and

3. He lets me race this bad ass bike that you will be proud of. Custom paint. Custom leathers. I come to your events and represent.

I got call backs from KSJO and KOME. Went and interviewed with the station managers. Jack was blown away I got and interview with one let alone two. Wobbie was "WTF your not that fast".

After the interview with KSJO I got a phone call from Bob Jenkins calling me back. He told me I gave him the best Motorsports sponsorship proposal he had ever received and with my personality we had a deal handing me a contract I was stoked and went straight to the shop.

Wobbie was blown away. I think that was the first time he said "You fucking pretty boy I am faster than you!".

Jack was shocked. He did not think it would happen nor really wanted me to race his pretty prize of a bike. He said "OK I will sign but if you wreck it you pay me 7K". That was not part of our agreement but I said yes of course. I wanted to race that shit!!

Wobbie was assigned as the bikes wrench (and was not all happy about it). He race prepped it and helped service it in its short racing career. It was bad ass. Better than my skill set but I adapted quick. Wobbie did not help me at the track. He was racing Taduki 750’s.

After the races I would take the bike to Wobbie so he would service it. I don’t think he liked it and only put up with me. I was a super nice guy (always have been) and he warmed up to me. Still did not help me at the track. I think it was because he was a bad ass fast boy and his friends thought I was not worthy after only a year and a half of racing the bling KSJO Rock Bike and doing promotion shit with KSJO DJ’s. I looked like a rich kid racer but was broke as fuck Dad. I borrowed money from my Mom to buy the custom leathers and boots “Don’t tell your father”. I leveraged the KSJO thing to get a free paint job on the body Work and a $25 material only custom helmet paint job (Serrano I think). Got free photo’s from Rob Hardy (Action Photo) tire discount from Michelin. I smiled a lot and weaseled my way into more support to help me keep racing and keep my kids fed. I began to weasel my way into Wobbie’s heart too.

Finally at my 4th race a decent showing at Sears. 5th I think and disappointment with an 8th at Willow Springs I got a second row start based on points. I rocked it to 3rd by T7 and felt I was on for my first win. I was jiving with the bike and I knew I the dudes in front were up for a battle when the bottom fell out. Lost the rear and crashed. Got my leg run over and smooshed the bike. Back to Wob. He took it apart, gave me the body work to fix and rolled his eyes the entire time. "You not good enough for this bike".

Another race or two in I wadded the bike on the Saturday practice day after hitting oil in T1 at Sears. 120?? 125mph?? Dunno. Fastest part of the track. Wob was there when I handed Jack a check. Every dime I had. No money to fixed the fucked up bike. Lucky to not be seriously hurt after slamming the tire wall at 60? 70mph?? Race season over. I watched Wob and other friends race. Totally bummed that I blew it. Best deal ever. Gone.

The Terry family sold the shop to Mike Glisson later that year and I was still broke. Thought I was done. KSJO was still up for ‘88 but I had no bike and no money. Glisson stepped up and said I will let you race a Katana if you can’t get me the KSJO $$. Katana's were not selling real well so I think that and free advertising felt like the right thing for him.

I agreed and Wob was stuck with me again

Finally he began treating me like a real racer. He would say "You never gonna win on that peed of shit". He was right, the bike sucked but I looked good and still finished in the Suzuki Cup money a few times made the Suzuki Cup Finals that year but with 3 kids now I had zero $$ to go to Atlanta.

Wob was surprised when the Bay Area Fast Boys took 3rd in the WERA 24 HR at a Willow Springs. “Fuck that Kanatuna! You need a Dixxer 750!! Then you can be up front”.

Glisson said I am not giving you a 750 to race. They were hot sellers back then so I got it. He said race the Katana. I was with Wob. I got a bank loan and bought a 750. Glisson had hit a hard spot and was only providing Wob’s help and I weasled leathers, helmet gloves and some other track stuff still so appreciated. RIP Mike. The bike would remain stock except for a shock and fork springs. Food for the kids was more important than performance mods. I still had a good year, but with Devaux, Wensloff, McDaniels, Adams and a bunch a really fast dudes in the class I was lucky to sniff a top 5.

Wob encouraged me to spend money I did not have. Still some bright moments in my last year. At the AMA National Wob wrenched at the track for me the first time. I borrowed a pipe from Sean Hummel so at least the bike would sound like a race bike. Sean came out to help too. So did the rookie racer on the Cycle Imports Team. Danny Fernandes known as L8Braker here. He too became a great friend and brother. KSJO provided some crew shirts and James Stephen’s joined me for the AMA 3 hour endurance. We had a good run. 4th in the Open Superbike class and 7th overall. James was a top National 250 racer and 45 lbs lighter than me. There was no way to get the suspension right for each of us. Wob tried.

The next day was 750 supersport. Wob always the kind one said "You're going to get smoked!". Chandler, Scott Russell, Tom Kipp etc made sure I did. The fast AFM boys were there too. The only advantage I had was it was a long race and I was in really good shape. 25 laps was no deal.

With some luck for me and bad luck for the really fast AFM guys I moved forward. Deveaux, Wensloff a McDaniels all crashed out. They were all solid in the top ten and hauling ass the other 3 or 4 that usually beat me came into sight as they tired. Slowly I moved up to 14th nipping Geep Terranova at the line with Jason Pridgmore right behind us. 14th ain’t shit really but that day it was the top AFM result.

That day I earned Wobbie’s respect. “Budman you fast now”.

Wish I could have got him to come the the 24 HR that year. The Bay Area Fast a Boys won the 600 class at Willow Springs on a Kanatuna no less.
I retired after that broke as hell with 3 kids.

Wobbie gave me shit “You finally get fast and you quit?? Your a puddy”

Took a while to shake off being broke and when I went back to track riding Wob continued to help me with my bikes. My R6 went to Sporttech often. My sons remember going there with me and mentioned that they liked the naked girl pics on the walls.

After he sold the shop he recently help restore my Kawi 500 triple out of his garage. He helped out some other barfers too. When you went there his eyes always lit up talking about what he was working on and wanted to talk detail. We texted often and went to lunch as he started to have health issues. As it got worse Danny and I would visit him in the hospital then Covid took that away. A last little outting together in a fellow racers back yard the last time I physically saw him. Since he was deaf texting was the deal. As Mir brought Suzuki a Championship we really enjoyed the banter. I would grab pics from the GP threads here and send them to him. He dug Rins and Mir, but always love Schwantz the most.

Wobbie pulled no punches. He called it like he saw it.
He heart was filled with moto passion. It was his life.

Glad I got to share part of that.

He was a damn good wrench and friend. Godspeed Brother.
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