Kage Tadman appeared up in Sideburn for the very first time in the current issue, SB50, when Cory Texter chose his as one of five amateur racers the was tipping for future. The 14-year-old Californian was brought to our attention again this weekend, when he won he class at the Moto Beach Classic riding a 40-year-old two-stroke framer. The bike's owner, David Ehrhart, explains more
Action photos courtesy of Karen Ott.
I met Kage when he was about 11 years old, racing his 65cc bike, and noticed straight away he had serious flat tracking talent. I then met his family at Willow Springs 3/8 mile dirt track and rode over on my 1981 Champion framed 250 Kawasaki two-stroke. It's the very same bike that I raced as an AMA pro in 1983/84 at the famous Ascot Park and other tracks across the country. My bike is very similar to what Eddie Lawson , Wayne Rainey and others raced as Factory Kawasaki riders.
I asked if Kage wanted to ride it, but he thought it was a bit much so I took him for a two-up ride and got it in top gear with him sitting in front of me. I made him a promise then that when he was ready and had the desire he could ride and race it. That day came last weekend at the RSD Red Bull Moto Beach Classic in Huntington Beach. I ran into him on load-in day and asked him if he was ready to ride the 'Light switch' as I affectionately call her.
He looked at his dad inquisitively, who responded 'It's up to you'. Kage smiled. It was gonna happen. He entered into the vintage air-cooled class where he would be competing against Triumph twins, TT500s, Rotaxs and the like. It took him a few laps to get cozy on it and understand the dynamic of the bike. We were all hoping for a podium, but were just excited to see him out there.
The biggest challenge is learning to adjust to the instant power when the 'switch' is flipped. You can't let off because it takes too long to 'wind it up again', so you just have to hang on and let her dance. That's something you just have to go with. I did think Kage would do alright because he does have some experience riding a two-stroke. I was surprised he did so well his first time out. He has a mountain of talent and follows instructions very well
Much to our amazement he went out in the main event and was in the lead by the end of lap 1. He held off all the hard chargers and finished on the top spot of the podium! Kage is an amazing young man and a very humble individual. When he turns 16 he will be joining the ranks in the American Flat Track series and will be a force to be reckoned with there. Thank you, Kage.
David and Kage celebrate the win.