Jammin’ Jimmy – Psyche-out 101 Part II
In part one of our story on ‘70s motocross icon Jammin’ Jimmy Weinert, we learned that the tall New Yorker successfully employed calculated psyche-out tactics to blunt the arrogance of the all-dominant European riders, who back in the day, would use a slower American rider as traction in a heartbeat.
Thanks to a superb article written by Sam Moses in 1975, we also learned about Jimmy’s first run-in with Dutch hard-man Pierre Karsmakers, and how he first threatened Karsmakers then later cajoled the stocky Yamaha ride into a friendship, a friendship that Weinert planned to surreptitiously weaken him.
In true ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’ style, part of the Jammer’s strategy was to move right next door to his nemesis.
Karsmakers wasn’t the only European whose air of superiority got up Weinert’s nose. Another was fellow-Kawasaki rider, GP star Torleif Hansen.
“Last year at the Trans-AMA , Torleif Hansen expected all the best Kawasaki parts just because he was a factory grand prix rider,” said Weinert. “He told me, shaking his finger, ‘I’m the number one Kawasaki rider and don’t you forget it, bay-bee.’ Ha. This year, I’m number one [in America] and he only got fifth in the world championship. I can’t wait to see him over here.”
While Jimmy had all the bluff and bluster in the world to bring a strutting Euro back down to Earth, he didn’t have quite the same success fooling ‘she who must be obeyed’.
After winning the 1974 AMA Championship for Kawasaki, Weinert climbed into in his new white BMW Bavaria to pick up his $20,000 bonus cheque from Kawasaki, and also test the all-new 1975 Kawasaki 400. With a Stephen Stills cassette playing in the background, the Jammer pushed the Beemer up to 80mph on a Los Angeles freeway, and then backed off. “Better not kill myself,” he said mockingly. “Kawasaki wouldn’t like that. I can see the headlines in Motorcycle Weekly: “National Motocross Champ Dies in Freeway Crash on Way to Collect Big Kawasaki Bonus.” He laughs. He’s worked hard for that laugh, wrote Moses.
Weinert is presented with the cheque by Kawasaki USA boss Yoichi Iwata, and made five copies of the cheque on the way to the workshop, and jokes he now has $100,000. He’s in a good mood, despite the new factory Kawasaki 400 not quite ready to test, because his mechanic has had to head down to the local hardware to buy a bolt to secure the hand-built alloy fuel tank to the bike’s chassis. He finally makes it to Saddleback Park, completes the one-hour test late in the afternoon, and heads home.
In the driveway, he ran into Karsmakers who warned him that Weinert’s wife Kathy is a bit annoyed that he took the BMW. “She said you went to the race track, so you should’ve taken the van,” said Karsmakers. “Uh-oh, better not tell her about the Trabuco Canyon run,” Weinert replied.
“Why did you take the BMW?” his psychologist wife asked as he walked in.
“Well…I have to get 500 miles on it so it can go back for its check-up,” Weinert replied unconvincingly.
She tolerantly ignored his answer.
As she prepared dinner, he causally placed his $20,000 bonus cheque on her empty dinner plate. Afterwards, Karsmakes and rising US motocrosser Mark Blackwell arrived at Weinert Manor to shoot some pool. Weinert mixed some Kahluas and milk, including one for Karsmakers.
“I’ve really loosened up Pierre,” said the Jammer. “He hates me for it. He says I’ve ruined him for life. If he wins the Trans-AMA, he should give me ten percent.”
In Part III, we’ll reveal the Jammer’s psyche out coup de grace, and his talent for singing…
Image credits: ClassicMotocrossImages.com
Read part 1 here
Read part III here
More Feature stories here