Jack Sisemore Tribute Street Tracker
Story and Photos by Dan Jacobson Sr.
AMARILLO, TX, DEC. 8, 2012
“When I saw the great work that Bill Hofmeister did on replicating the Grand National dirt-track bikes, I thought about all the wonderful times we enjoyed at the races around the country each weekend, all the great friendships we have had through the years with all the riders; I thought that there was no better way to remember those fun times than to design a tribute bike as a gift for my dad, who had given so freely to the sport of motorcycle racing,” said Trent Sisemore, rolling out the ultimate Jack Sisemore Tribute Street Tracker from the Bloomington, Minnesota, headquarters of Grand National Replica’s SHR Enterprises for the long-haul delivery to AMA Pro Flat Track legend Jack Sisemore of Amarillo, Texas.
Billy Hofmeister’s dream-come-true motorcycle puts you as close to the feel and look of a real AMA Pro Grand National bike as it gets for the street.
Checking over the last-minute details, we stopped by Faribault Harley-Davidson for a run on the dyno. After hitting some comfortable numbers in the 80s, we reloaded the bike and aimed the van for Amarillo.
This bike duplicates the features of the GNC rides with a single-shock racing-frame design, with a slight degree change on the steering head for road-riding control. The bodywork (seat and fender) and tank are the same as the Harley-Davidson XR750. Equipped with powerful front and rear hydraulic disc brakes this mount is a fun and comfortable-handling performance motorcycle.
Owning a custom Grand National Replica one-of-a-kind motorcycle completes the statement for Jack Sisemore, who has 134 AMA Pro Grand National Championship wins to his credit; the list of tracks on which he’s won adorn the tail section of the bike. Jack’s racing history with flat track was achieved over decades, through 10 riders chasing the GNC number-one plates with his friendship and support.
Timing was everything, as the goal was to unveil the SHR Street Tracker at Jack’s annual Amarillo Christmas Party, at which he hosts more than 400 of the who’s-who of the business, legal and medical fields. His friends filled the Jack’s warm home to view the Grand National Replica purchased by Trent, Jack’s son. Everyone received a warm welcome from Jack and his girlfriend Debra Anderson as they entered, ready for a festive occasion of food and Christmas spirit and love.
“When we traveled west, we would stop by Jack’s,” recalled former AMA National number 42 and current AMA Pro Race director Steve Morehead. “He would fill our vans with gas and take us to the Stockyard Restaurant for the biggest steak on the menu… Then he introduced us to a Texas specialty, Calf Fries; little did we know they were the sliced-up balls. He would get the biggest kick and laugh from our surprise.”
The response from the guests was over the top as they admired the one-of-a-kind motorcycle. The 10 Grand National numbers proudly placed on the tank were matched by those in the decades’ worth of signed photos of racing’s best that cover the wall of Jack’s six-car garage. Like the new bike, Jack is truly one of a kind and a special person.
“I had a great time with Jack,” Bubba Shobert recalled. “He treated me like I was a rock star! When I was out with a broke arm, we flew to the Indy Mile in his private plane; it was great! Those are times in my career that put the icing on the cake.”
The motorcycle tail section listed the many tracks across the country where the 134 victories were achieved. The message of Jack’s decades of AMA Pro Racing and Formula USA support is clearly conveyed: Ricky Graham, Hank and Gary Scott, Terry Poovey, Steve Morehead, Bubba Shobert, Mike Hale, Billy Herndon, Scott Drake and Bill Brown all had the hand of Jack Sisemore helping them forward.
“I think my best times with Jack was our trail-riding to Chicken Creek and back on the Red River,” recalled Hank Scott. “I had so much fun cutting up with Jack. He used to get a kick out of riding that route down to and back at the river with the National guys who stopped by Jack’s Amarillo home. He liked to joke about how fast he was.”
Terry Poovey was injured badly at the Springfield Mile years ago and still suffers from a brain injury, but through his brother Teddy, he said, “Jack is a good guy and a great sponsor.”
Bill Brown left us in 2006. He was killed in a car when a drunken motorcycle rider hit him in the driver’s door. His daughter Stephanie said: “Jack was a great friend to my dad, and Dad was to him, too. They had been lifelong friends, and there is nothing that either of them would not do for the other. We can all hope to have a friendship like they did.”
Obviously, the flat-track family is a very special group of people.
As is racing, putting together a Grand National Replica bike is a steady work-in-progress in the quest to find performance perfection. With the help from the XB-1200 Buell/ Harley-Davidson engine for power, the lightweight chrome-moly-tube single-Penske-shock frames look like the XRs at the track. The electric-start-and-lighting package creates the magical excitement of a lightweight big-motor V Twin on the road. Part of the fun is building your personality into your Grand National ride. This is a perfect custom for corporate or personal use from another National number 67 – Billy Hofmeister, owner of SHR Enterprises.
As Jack Sisemore told us: “There isn’t any amount of money that would get me to sell this bike.”