winter, Tim would be testing the pliability of the withered floorboards. He
was the sacrificial lamb.
The barn didn’t have any internal
lighting. Slivers of sunlight cut through
the dank air, revealing an unfinished
(or maybe the walls were torn down?)
main room. Tim and I poked around.
It wasn’t long before we found a factory Suzuki RM250 engine sitting on a
shelving unit. The next shelf down supported two sets of factory forks. Heaps
of junk were piled on the floor—only
that “junk” turned out to be factory
subframes, exhaust pipes and several
Suzuki RM-Z450 engines.
At the far end of the room were
stacks of wheels, many with factory
magnesium hubs. One of the wheels
had the name “Dungey” written on it
in black marker. Ryan Dungey used
to train at the GOAT Farm for a spell.
Dungey’s KTM side panel/rear fender
section was discovered in a smaller
room off the side of the barn. There
were enough factory parts to build
several works RM250s and RM-Z450s.
It was unreal.
The crown jewel, at least in my
opinion, wasn’t the Pro Circuit works
carbon fiber RM250 silencer, nor the
Showa forks, nor even the engines.
Nope. I fell head over heels when Tim
Castrone held up a side panel that
was caked in 20 years of dust. It was
a Kawasaki KX80 plate with #167 plastered on the side. Ricky Carmichael’s
KX80 number plate holds special meaning for me, because I was introduced
to motocross in 1994. Ricky was the
top Amateur rider that year, and he
rode a KX80 emblazoned with #167.
Do you remember the Oakley and Fox
Racing ads? The moment I saw that
beat-up side panel, I was immediately sent back in time to when I was
a snot-nosed 13-year-old who idolized
Ricky Carmichael. It took all of my
willpower not to hide Ricky’s KX80
side panel under my shirt and peel off
with it. What’s funny is that Carmichael
wouldn’t have known it was gone.
What’s going to happen with Ricky’s
barn and all of the factory parts inside?
Given Carmichael’s disinterest in the
building, it’s likely that a hurricane will
get to the matter of opening the front
door before he does. The rotted wood
will return whence it came. Buried
underneath the rubble will be hundreds
of thousands of dollars in factory parts,
along with the #167 Kawasaki KX80
side panel. Let’s hope it doesn’t come
to that. ;