Shawnay and Heather wait for their turn to get some track time.
The first all girl Speedway sidehack team known as Syck Bubblegum Racing (named after the Rob Zombie song) is about to wreak havoc on the Southern California speedway arena. Heather Rowe and Shawnay Aguilera will be making their debut this 2013 racing season on a classic New Zealand born sidehack with a 1980’s Kawasaki Police KZ1000 engine roaring beneath them. For Heather, formerly the “monkey” of team Superbeast Rowe, this will be her first season as the rider and for Shawnay, this will be her first season as the “monkey” or person who hangs off the back while Heather drifts the sidehack sideways through a corner.
Their KZ1000 sidehack, formerly known as the “beast” was used as a loaner bike for newbies looking to get a taste of sidehack madness through the years. But now in the hands of the girls, it has been completely rebuilt from the frame up by guess what, mostly WOMEN!!
Heather is so dedicated to speedway racing, she had Corey Miller tattoo a replica of a race photo taken of her and her husband during last year’s season on her stomach.
Syck Bubblegum Racing Info:
Riders: Heather Rowe (operator), Shawnay Aguilera (monkey)
Mechanics: Joe Jones, Rachael Maltbie
Gas tank and body painted by: Suzanna at J&S Customs
Powder coating by: B&B in Riverside, CA
Diamond plating cut and fitted by: Heather Rowe
Sponsors: motoinked.com, Six Feet Under
Tracks Syck Bubblegum will be racing at: Pirate Speedway, Costa Mesa Fairgrounds, Victorville Fairgrounds, Industry Hills Grand Arena
Heather is excited for the upcoming season. She says, “I wanted to have this all girl team to set an example for all the little girls and women in the audience to let them know they can do anything they want! Racing has nothing to do with testosterone! I think woman are better listeners and more graceful in their movements on the track because after all, you want to be smooth!!”
And when it comes to having a new monkey, Heather is confident. “Shawnay and I felt in sync out there. She’s very smooth in her weight distribution and the bike responded well to her. We still have a lot to learn and we will be learning every time we get out there. The only thing that is important to us is that everyone has fun and walks away safe from every race!”
Race Schedule, rider profiles and points standings can be found here.
Stay tuned to motoinked.com to see upcoming race photos, interviews and videos from Syck Bubblegum Racing.
Here’s a look at how the “beast” transformed to “Syck Bubblegum.”
The beast before it was girl-y-fied.
The carbs had quite a bit of dirt floating around inside them, so they needed a good scrubbing!
The first order of business was removing the plate that secured the valve cover to the frame. What did we do? HIT IT WITH A HAMMER!
Initially the engine was leaking oil from the base gasket and need some TLC.
A bird’s eye view of a very dirty, well used machine.
A look at the KZ’s pistons was a dead giveway this engine has had several hands fondling it’s inner parts.
With the top end removed, the engine was then pulled from the chassis.
At this point, the beast returned home for further disassembly.
After a few more hours in the garage, Heather prepped the pieces for powder coating.
The beast, now in peaces and ready to be powder coated.
Since the KZ1000 was an aging engine, it was difficult to secure new stock gaskets from Kawasaki, so we made our own.
Painting by Heather Rowe of Syck Bubblegum’s team logo.
Once the frame was powder coated bubble pink, Heather cut and attached the diamond plating herself.
The finished chassis, ready for the motor to be reinstalled.
A little sunbathing while naked.
The motor was just a tad difficult to get back into the frame, but it was running in no time.
With the motor in, we ran into a few snags with the wiring.
Heather doing some final tweaks on the top end before transporting the sidehack back to Joe’s for final adjustments to the wiring.
Our MotoInked logo gracing the third wheel cover. Done by Junior at Kingstar Printing.
Reassembled, it almost looks race ready!
Small skulls were ghosted into the paint by Suzanna at J&S Customs.
The sidehack went back to Joe Jones for some final touches to the new wiring harness.
The finished product after weeks of hard work by a team of people.
Heather and Shawnay’s racing vests, also stitched and crafted by women.
Here are some photos from Heather and Shawnay’s initial practice runs. First race is April 13th at Victorville Raceway.
Shawnay getting a taste of monkey-dom before Syck Bubblegum was finished.
Notice Shawnay’s perfect form. Go girl! And thank you to Heather’s husband, Jeff for piloting his R1 and loaning his back seat to Shawnay.
Syck Bubblegum ready and waiting.
Heather getting used to Syck Bubblegum after all the changes.
Heather and Shawnay’s maiden ride on Syck Bubblegum.
A rear shot of Heather and Shawnay at practice.
Video from Heather and Shawnay’s first practice