"We are getting the bike back together," said Hope, who rides in the Pro Bike class. "Other than some new wheel bearings the bike is about the same."
The rider of the Lil Hope Racing team has competed for about 15 years, and for 2013 will once again be aboard the Kawasaki, which features a 1500-cc dual-plug engine sitting in a custom-made chassis by team owner and crew chief Bill Hope. The bike is capable of mid-eight-second times at speeds of 150 mph down the quarter-mile.
The Fast by Gast fuel system employs 40-mm Lectron carburetors, and a five-speed air-shift transmission is fastened to the engine. Along with Bill Hope, the crew members include Karen Hope, Taylor and Samantha Hope, and Mike Jaskot. Sponsorship for the effort is provided by 402 Bikes.
Hope said he missed his year away from racing, and is looking forward to returning. In April of 2012 Hope was diagnosed with leukemia, spending a great deal of last summer battling the disease. Fortunately it is in remission and he has regained his health enough to get back on his motorcycle.
"I am keeping it monitored and I am trying to get past it," he said. "It happens to people but I want to stress that you can bounce back."
While his diet and lifestyle have changed a bit, Hope added he is looking ahead and plans to go forward.
"I missed the racing a whole bunch," he said. "I also missed the camaraderie with the teams. It was great to talk to all the people last year, but it will be nice to meet them at the line for some racing."
The 2013 PBSS season kicks off May 10-11 at the US 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan, one of six events this season.
The Thunder Nationals will begin Friday, May 10 with qualifying at 6 pm. Qualifying will continue Saturday, May 11 at 2 pm with eliminations scheduled to begin at 7 pm. Also featured will be Jet Car action, Top Fuel Dragsters, and Super Stock racing.
US 131 Motorsports Park has been in providing top drag racing for over 50 years, and this year's Thunder Nationals is the track's 30th running of this popular opening event. For more information, go to www.us131msp.com
The Pro Bike & Sled Series, www.PBSS.ca, also competes with its two companion series, the Pro Modified Racing Association, www.PMRA.ca and the Quick 32 Sportsman Series, www.Quick32.ca providing fans and exciting and complete experience of drag racing action.
For more information contact: