1997 Open Bikini Shootout

Do You Need A Mistress?


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Open Bikini Shootout Girls Kick Ass: Notes From The Better Half 

By Jane Galliano, Contributing Writer

After a couple hours of watching racer Shawn Higbee and Editor-in-Chief Brent Plummer flog the three Bikini Models into submission at LACR (I know what you are thinking, and it just ain't what happened), I was asked if I wanted to take a crack at drag racing. I've got a lot of street miles in the years I've been riding, but no actual racing. Male egos swarmed that day -- Higbee and Plummer were getting intense about who'd be fastest, like it wassome sort of manly ritual to be fastest on each bike, every time. It was quite amusing, especially since they both pretend like they didn't care.

Anyway, while the boys shrugged and giggled, I mounted up on the White Lighning -- it's the only bike I felt comfortable doing dangerous things (like wheelies) on since it's got the lowest seat height, and the saddle is very, very narrow: Standing only 5'3" tall, I can reach the ground on the Buell without sliding off to one side and balancing the bike under one thigh. The Ducati was close, but the seat is wide and stands over 30 inches off the ground. If you're short, forget about the Triumph -- the seat is both high (31.5 inches!) and really wide, with hard, square edges that I found quite uncomfortable.

"Once saddled up on the Buell, I ripped off a run that would make my father proud - 13.038 second quarter-mile at 109 mph."

Silence. Two runs later I was down to 12.443 at 109 mph. The remaining staffer-boys who had previously planned on making runs were now looking anxiously at their watches and asking if maybe we weren't running late. Ha! Nobody followed me down the strip.

Overall, the White Lightning made my respectable runs pretty easy. Considering the astounding torque produced by the new engine, I should've known it'd instantly wheelie off the line, but I wasn't prepared and let out a healthy scream at the 30 foot mark -- of course the guys won't let me forget it. After all, there's no screaming in drag racing, right?

 Never one to turn down a challenge, Jane declares "Yeah, I could do that." We found out later that this was her first time (poppin' a wheelie, that is).
"That's fast."
"That was really fast!"
"She'll kick your ass"
"Yeah, I think I'd like that" Jane's fastest run was less than a second off the outright fast time, and only .44 off the Ducati's best. (Girls get big egos too.)
The Wall of Shame:
Mike "My mom will kick yer mom's ass" Belcher and Mark "My foot hurts" Hammond try to hang out with the real drag racers. Photo by Billy "It's past my curfew" Bartels. (From left to right: Galliano, Plummer, Hammond, Belcher, and Higbee.)

Los Angeles County Raceway

Once again we packed up the magazine and headed out to Los Angeles County Raceway's scorched quarter-mile pavement for another day of clutch-frying fun. Triumph's T509 was ailing from some fuel injection problem that was causing it to stall at idle, so we trucked it up in our support vehicle.

In the past we had grown accustomed to clutches going a little soft after a day at the park, but actually killing one was somewhat rare. Well, the Monster set a new record: 12 runs and it was toast, so we had to return in the support truck. Magically though, the Speed Triple got over its idling problem. Weird.

Shawn "Madman" Higbee

"Plummer posted fast times on all three bikes, best on the T509 was a 11.782 at 115.731 mph."

And we just thought he needed a date: Editor Plummer's hump-the-tank and kiss-the-tach with minimal frontal lift style looked odd, but worked this day. Plummer posted fast times on all three bikes, best on the T509 was a 11.782 at 115.731 mph. M900 Monster turned a best of 11.97 seconds at 109.11 mph before giving up its clutch in the effort. Buell's new fire-breathing S1WL clocked our best time of the day: 11.597 seconds at 115.178 mph.

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