My name is Rich Silva and my wife is Marissa Silva. We started the Good Times Racing Team in 2017. We are a working class race team.
We began racing after attending a Hell on Wheels Steeplechase race at Glenn Helen in mid-2016. The race was held on the trophy truck track. My wife and I attended as spectators. We saw so many people having a blast, but especially in the 100cc mini class. We looked at each other and said, “Let’s gets some bikes and do this!”.
We liked that the racetrack did not have huge jumps. We’re not MX riders, so we saw this as a great entry-level race format. Within a few weeks, we both had Honda 100s. Keep in mind my wife had never operated a motorcycle before. I had ridden ATCs as a kid but her only experience riding was on the back of my Harley. We frequented empty dirt lots to teach her how to operate a clutch & ride a motorcycle.
We signed up and raced the next race at Hell On Wheels held at the same venue and we had a blast coming in last place! If you are looking at getting into racing, get a cheap bike and enter a Hell on Wheels Race. Meatball and his staff are top-notch. They have fun in a laid back relaxed atmosphere. They have a class for any bike you may have called, “Rung what ya Brung”. There are many nice people there, and they’re always willing to lend you a hand and offer their knowledge of racing and motorcycles. If you do end up at a race, stop by our Good Times Racing Pit, we always have cold Brewskis!
We looked at each other and said, “Let’s gets some bikes and do this!”.
We entered our first Flat Track race in the City of Industry with our Honda 100s. It was the Hell on Wheels, Hot August nights 2016. Marissa was in the women’s class and I was in the mini class. Flat Track was a different animal. This was our first time racing that format. We both crashed a few times that night but we had so much fun that it left us totally hooked.
We jumped into the flat track scene full steam ahead. We raced at Del Mar for the IV League Flat track race in Feb 2017. We met friends at this race who told us about the Southern California Flat Track Association in Perris, CA. Marissa and I joined the SCFTA League and our Flat Track Racing life began. I was ready for a larger bike. I picked up a 1978 Yamaha TT500 and raced in open beginner class. In the beginning, I was getting smoked & lapped at every race. Towards the end, I was not getting lapped any longer and I earned a 3rd place for the 2017 Season in the open beginner class.
Marissa ran her XR100 in the women’s class. Her confidence grew on the XR100, which was no longer fast enough for her or the Perris track. We found her a 1984 Honda XL185 set up for Flat Tracking. She finished off the season on that bike as a much faster racer.
Our race team soon added our friend Sara Wristen. Sara had never ridden a motorcycle before either. I taught Sara how to ride on the ol’ XR100. She got the hang of it quick and started racing at SCFTA too! She outgrew the XR100 in no time, and picked up a very nice Flat Track ready 2008 Honda CRF250. Our team attitude is to have fun and it shows on and off the track.
In 2017 we raced almost all SCFTA and HOW races. I earned 3rd place in Open Beginner and Sara earned 3rd Place in Women’s class in the 2017 season at SCFTA. We also raced the Born Free Stampede at Costa Mesa Speedway. Marissa earned second place in the women’s class at the Born Free Stampede 2017. We were all becoming faster and better racers.
We entered the 2018 SCFTA Flat Track league in Perris CA. There, we caught the attention of our friend Chuck. Chuck, works for Law Tigers Motorcycle Attorney. He liked what we were doing and agreed to support our Good Times race team for 2018. I reached out to my riding and camping friend Bill Bryant at Biltwell. I asked if they would like to support us too. He said, “Hell yeah!” We came into the 2018 race season with two company’s supporting our efforts. It is great to have their support. Racing and buying equipment can become very expensive so we appreciate their support!
I entered the 2018 SCFTA race season in the Bomber Novice/Amateur Class on my 1978 Yamaha TT500. I Finally had the suspension set for my weight and size. Marissa entered the women’s class on her new race machine, a 1972 Champion Framed Honda XL250. Sara entered the women’s class on her 2008 Honda CRF250. We raced every race possible race at SCFTA and HOW. We practiced our asses off every weekend at Milestone MX Hell Track. Marissa and I even attended a couple Flat Track classes. American Supercamp with the Biltwell Family and Rich Oliver’s Mystery School. These classes helped take our riding to a new level.
Marissa ended the 2018 race season earning 3rd place in the women’s class. I earned 2nd place in the Bomber Novice/Amateur Class.
Towards the end of 2018, I had a friend ask why I wasn’t racing in the Hooligan Class. To be honest, I was afraid of racing a bike that heavy. Instead, told him I couldn’t afford to buy another bike. Especially a Harley Davidson Sportster for racing. After some talks, I found a supporter to help get me into the Hooligan Racing Class. I got a 2002 Harley Davidson Sportster from Scott Jones & Brandon Gonzales of Noise Cycles.
My hooligan adventure was on its way. I reached out to my longtime friend Tyler Malinky at Lowbrow Customs. I asked him to help me transform this bike into my vision. I like Lowbrow because they make/sell parts for the common-man racer. Lowbrow parts are easy to bolt on with everyday garage tools. He agreed to support my Hooligan racing efforts. Tyler asked me to make a wish list and he would see what he could do to help me. To my surprise, he shipped everything on the list!
Racing is fucking dangerous. Motorcycles are dangerous. People ask why we race, and I don’t know why we do it.
My goal was to assemble a bike that had a flashy chopper look and paint job. I wanted the bike to be as shiny as the wire wheels on my dad’s low rider. You know… looking like a bike that does not belong on the track. A bike that came in right off the street. I figured I’d bring a lil’ chopper show-n-shine to the Hooligan Class. There are a lot of nice high-end race bikes out there, but I didn’t see many that looked like the vision I that was in my head.
Eric Jackson painted the tins and Cathy Mejia hand-lettered them for me. A few stock brackets were missing or removed. Josh Lopeman re-created these and welded them for me. I accomplished my goal with the bike. I will be racing Bomber Novice/Amateur & Hooligan Amateur Class for the 2019 Race Season.
Our 2019 Flat Track Race season looks promising. Along with myself, Marissa and Sara, we added a few more friends/riders to the Good Times Racing line up. Daniel Ito & Joe Veare joining us in the Bomber Nov/Ama class on their Yamaha TT500s. Brad Martin in the Mad Dawg Class on his 2003 Honda CRF150. Marissa and I are entering the world of Old School MX Scrambles racing in 2019. We’re excited to give this new discipline a try.
Racing is fucking dangerous. Motorcycles are dangerous. People ask why we race, and I don’t know why we do it. There is something about pushing your limits. How does that quote go? “If you’re not living on the Edge, you’re taking up too much room”. I guess it goes with the punk rock attitude of doing what you want to, no matter what others say. Racing has been a positive influence on our lives. We have had our fair share of injuries in the past 2 years.
I love spending garage time with my wife. I am lucky that she jumps right in, helps me and is always learning how her bike works. The comradery through the flat track racing world is top shelf. Getting your bike ready for the next race is fun and challenging at times. It brings us all together to work on these machines on and off the track. In the end, I guess we do it for the love of riding motorcycles and having fun.
Follow the Silva’s and friends on Instagram here: @goodtimesracingfamily
Photos by: Jonathan Griffin and Eli Iverson.