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E.C. Birt

E.C. Birt

1939-2012 "Old two stroke tuners never die; they just grind away".

E.C. Birt passed on March 7, 2012

Who in the hell is E.C. Birt?
Well I'm the 1st born son of an honest to God cowboy in Panhandle of Oklahoma in 1939 that punched cows for $20.00 a month plus house and board... My mother was the cook for 15 plus other hired hands... He was a Bronco Rider and got paid $10.00 a horse to get them ready for others to be able to ride as workhorses on the side... Because of his size his nickname was Shorty... Don't think I called him Daddy or Father more then 15 times in my life... He was my buddy and I always called him Shorty... He couldn't read nor write, sign his name was about as good as it got for him... He never got to go to school, being the 9th one to come along in a family 0f 12 his parents went to a better life at his age of 9... Passed from brother to sister, till he was 15 and went out on his own... Kind of funny now as it comes to me, at the age of 23 he married my Mother, daughter of the Rancher he was working for... They stayed together till the end and at 75 went on to the big shy... With my life style I thought my Mom would out last me... She passed on at 94 years young still cooking her own meals...
When I was in the 5th grade I fallowed his footsteps and he had a custom built saddle built for me and I broke Shelton Pony's for $5.00 for another rancher to get them ready for sale for Kid's to ride... Yes I was always small in size... As I got older I rode 1/4 horses for Rancher's on the weekend jockeying brush meets and they would bet a wad of $20.00's big enough to choke a Mule on their horse... I got paid $5.00 to ride $10.00 if I won plus tip's if they had had enough suds and Jack Daniels... Some weekends I made more $$$$'s in a day then my Daddy did in a month.
We moved to Colorado by the time I was in the 8th grade... By the time I was 15 my interest had turned to cars, and hot rods because I knew they would go faster... Horses and a Ranch Life just weren't for me any more... Still to small to do heavy work I turned my way to building Hot Rods and Shooting pool for $$'s to get thru high school.
With High School over with in 1958 like a lot of young guys at that time I didn't have a clue on what to do with my life... So like Hunky I joined the Navy... Problem was I only weighed 98 lbs... You had to hit the scales at 105 (didn't know that) to make it when I hit the induction center. They sent me back home and said see you in a week for another try. Old 1st class Sailor said eat lots of Bananas before you get back to us... Stuffing myself for a week and a bunch of Bananas the size of a basketball that morning and back to the Navy induction center I hit the scales at 106 lbs... Only problem with the Navy idea was with that I got hurt badly in boot camp... Which led to Hospital Time and let us cut on your knee and fix it, or take a medical discharge... I had already seen to many guy's coming out of the Hospital with a stiff leg... No brainier here, give me the paper work and I'm gone... I walked into here and will walk back out...
I went back to which I knew was bolts and nuts and working in garages and building Hot Rods for fun and living $$'s...
The time had come where in no place USA Colorado, and 1st Wife Connie, and yes she was a farm hands daughter... It was 1962 and there was no challenge left for me there... The word then was if you think your fast go to California...
Ok, loaded up my toolbox, wife and left not looking back... Wound up In Southern Calif., El Segundo 1st stop on the Beach... Did the car thing for the next 4 years...
Some of the guy's in the shop had Motorcycles and asked me to go with them for a Weekend in the Desert and ride with them... Needles to say the first ride on a Dirt Bike I was hooked for this New Action... As soon as I got back to Venice's where I lived then I went shopping for a Dirt Bike...
This led to a new 1965 250cc Greevs Scrambler which after 6 weeks of riding and getting thrown on the ground 18 zillion times I come to realized that at 110 lbs. I just wasn't man enough to handle it... Sold the Greevs and bought A Hodaka Ace 90...
It was bad slow... So I took it to a local dealer and told them to make it faster... Didn't care what the cost, was just do it... After 3 weeks wait time picked it up and went to the desert with it and soon knew it was slower then what it was when I took it to them...
Got the bike home and set and looked at it for hours. Thinking real hard to just sell and go back to what I knew with Racecars... But knew I had more fun with the Motorcycles then anything in my back go for it type of life style...
What the hell only three moving parts in this engine... I said self; I know I can make it faster... So I studied all the 2/cycle information I could get my hands on... Ever page I read I could poke holes in what they were saying and said there has to be a better way... So I took what I knew about carburetion, duration, head port design, exhaust, and all the things that it took to make a V8 faster... Got out my degree wheel and porting tools and went to work...
God gives us all a Talent, I just got lucky to be given a brain that thought like a engine and along with that the hands to make what ever it told me to do to get business done...
So here we are in the mid 60's and building small bikes was my thing to do... The Desert was my Dyno and Testing Grounds with the Hodakas... My wife Connie was still putting up with me and was always with me... A bad day in the Desert or on the Moto Cross Track eating my shorts she would haul me into the Hospital... Here it is yr. 2010 and she is still putting up with me...
1966 I bought a house in Lawndale, and was building motorcycles in my garage at night... Still doing the car thing to pay bills...
The garage thing lasted for a couple of years... In 1968 I think it was I opened my first Shop called Precision Cycle in Englewood... By then I had started making a mark in the Motorcycle Racing World with Hodaka 90 and 100cc Bikes, Zundapps 100cc and 125cc, American Eagles powered with Zundapps 125cc engines and Maico 125cc to 501cc Ground Killers... Soon I out grew that small shop and moved to a larger building in Lawndale about 8 blocks from my house... The bigger shop led to more development time and I started building all the pipes for Pabatco the Hodaka Importer and working with the R&D Department... Next on the list was working with Copper Motors the Maico Importer and Team Bikes... It came to a point when we showed up with the Maico's they got dubbed as the E.C. Wrecking Crew... From there it went to Steens Motorcycle shop out in the Valley working with development of their line of bikes... This led to the Rickman thing with Hodaka Powered Bikes and 125cc Bikes with Zundapps in them... Along with those top of the Line Bikes of that time DKW with the Sachs engines become part of the group...
From here it lead to me working with Rick Sieman on Dirt Bike Mag Project Bikes and doing some writing for Motocross Action, Cycle News and Mini Cycle Action... To say it like it was I had worked myself into 7 days a week 12 to 14 hour days Making Racing Faster and Better for all Racers...
In 1974 I moved my operation to Florida and set up as E.C. Distributing... The reason for the move was the Desert was being taken away from the Desert Riders... Saddle Back Park and Indian Dunes had changed from the first time I had put a wheel on them... Along with the point thatVietnam War was over with and Southern Calif. was changing from something I loved to Death to not so neat a place to me...
In Florida up and going WFO I designed the 100cc Reed and 125cc Reed Hondas for Motocross usage and was shipping built E.C. Racers all over the United States... Maico was still my choice of Big Bikes and had a team of them also...
But after awhile the sand and bugs got the best of me and pulling out of West Palm Beach Fla. Was a all day drive to just get out of Florida... Faced with more tow to get to Races from Texas to Canada I moved one more time to Dickson Tennessee in 1977, just one howler away from Nashville... This was God's Country and had gone thru it on my way up North for a race... Now I was in the middle of the Racing World and 8 to 12 hours from any Race coming due any where North' South, East or West...
In the mid 80's due to the changing in Motorcycle Racing and just looking for another War to fight I got into Karting... From there that led me to develop of racing Carburetors for Karting... Made a deal with Tillotson LTD in Ireland to take over the development and importing my designs and sending them World Wide... In a very short time from now a dream of mine comes true there will be an All-New E.C. Intimidator Line of Carburetors for Racing... These carbs will all be built and made in house with the Teknowledge of CNC Machines and 10 Axis Hands of the Best Craftsman in the World... Here's the web address for the shop and a peak... www.ecbirt.com ... We have our own Asphalt Mini Talladega track with a Dirt track in the middle of it for testing usage just off to the side of the shop... Sorry for no pictures of the inside of the shop... That's off limits for photo work, but if your on your way though Memphis to Nashville or going the other way, were out in Redneck Land and just off Interstate I-40... Stop in and we will give you a privet walk thru... Nothing we enjoy more then have Racers stop by for a visit... Yes if you're driving an 18-Wheeler or a Motel Cheater we have plenty of room to park you...
Cut my finger this morning and it still smells like Blendzall... 2/stroke engines was my love life in Motorcycle Racing and with all that I have done with 2/stroke engines of all kinds over the last 45 years I think I can be of a help to you with those little and big things everyone thinks is a Speed Secret. You will have to learn my way of typing, spelling and phrasing of words an the usage of capitals on a lot of my words... In Short I Read, Write and Speak Red Neck Fluently... For my friends that don't read fast I type slowly...
You have nothing to lose, trash my email box askec@comcast.net ... I'm sure I can help put more fun and pleasure into your Motorcycle Needs... I'm here for the Long Haul...

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