“If you want something done right, do it yourself.”
You’ve probably heard that age-old saying a time or two in your lifetime, and it was most likely uttered by your father or uncle, along with such other gems of wisdom as “don’t do that, it’ll put your eye out” and “because I said so, that’s why.”
For Richard Stanboli, owner of Attack Performance and Josh Herrin’s crew chief on the Attack Performance/Herrin Compound/Yamaha Superbike team, the saying is modified slightly.
“If you want something done in time, do it yourself.”
Due to various circumstances during MotoAmerica’s off-season, Stanboli and Herrin didn’t form their team until long after most of the other Superbike teams in the paddock were already well under way with bike building, not to mention crossing the “t’s” and dotting the “I’s.”
“We got a late start,” Stanboli said. “Because of that, we were faced with building a Superbike in less than eight weeks.”
And, when Stanboli says “building a Superbike,” he means that literally from the frame up.
Stanboli has been a fixture in American road racing for nearly two decades, and he’s worked with riders like Jason Pridmore, Josh Hayes, Eric Bostrom, JD Beach, Blake Young, Steve Rapp, and Josh Herrin. He knows how to run a team, and he’s got one of the largest Rolodexes in the business, with connections to parts suppliers all over the world. He knows as well as anyone else in the paddock that it’s not possible to buy everything you need to build a Superbike in just eight weeks. For some of the critical parts, you just have to make them yourself.
Stanboli has done it before. He hand-built a one-off MotoGP CRT (Claiming Rules Team) bike on which Steve Rapp competed at the 2012 Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, qualified 21st, finished 14th in the race, and scored two World Championship points. That CRT bike was a beautiful machine, with several components, including the entire frame, custom-built by Stanboli himself.
“For Josh Herrin’s Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike, we fabricated the fuel tank, the engine oil pan and baffling, and the swingarm. We’ll be adding some other smaller components like case covers, etc., when we have time as the season progresses,” Stanboli said.
Fabricating the swingarm was an especially tricky and time-sensitive task because Stanboli had to obtain some of the other components first and then build the swingarm to fit those components. Stanboli explains, “We had to have the engine done in order to fit the Graves exhaust we’re using, and then, we needed the exhaust before we could build a swingarm that would clear the exhaust. Plus, we had to make sure that the swingarm would fit properly with the Lacomoto bodywork that we sourced from Freddy (Carswell) at Superbike Unlimited. And, we also needed the rear shock before we could build the swingarm. We literally got some of those components into the shop just a few days ago. At that point, I was able to fabricate the swingarm from a combination of formed sheet aluminum, along with CNC-milled billet (aluminum).”
Like everything Stanboli creates, the swingarm on Josh Herrin’s still-in-progress Superbike is an absolute work of art whose beauty is only surpassed by its functionality…or at least that’s what Stanboli hopes when Herrin is finally able to test the bike.
With Road Atlanta looming on the calendar and the first Superbike qualifying practice session set to commence less than a week from right now, when will Josh Herrin finally be able to test the bike?
“If all goes right, QP1 will be our first test of the bike.” Say that again, Richard?
He didn’t even have time to repeat himself, and it’s not something that Richard Stanboli likes to do, anyway. Besides, you heard it right the first time. When Josh Herrin leaves the pit wall a week from today at Road Atlanta for Superbike QP1, it will be his very first time on the bike.
If you want something done right, do it yourself. Stanboli did it himself, but was it done right? By this time next week, Josh Herrin, Richard Stanboli, and all of us will know, for sure.