Cover Bike Owners

Rod Mansaw and His 2010 Suzuki Pro Mod Drag Bike

May 31, 2010
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Our June 2010 cover bike is owned by Rod Mansaw from Kansas City, Missouri. Rod is a professional drag racer and the owner of Mansaw Racing. Rod was the 2009 PMRA Funny Bike Champion and recently made some engine and body upgrades and had his bike repainted by the talented custom bike painter and airbrush artist Chris Cofield of CC Custom Graphics. Chris contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if we could get Rod's bike into our studio for a photo shoot with the new paint job before his first race. We were excited to put together a shoot on fairly short notice to help showcase Rod's new and improved drag bike.

During our photo shoot I asked Rod if I could also interview him for this month's issue and he was happy to oblige.

CC: Rod, what is your occupation?
Rod: I'm a truck driver/owner operator.

CC: Do you have hobbies other than motorcycling?
Rod: Yes. I enjoy basketball, bowling and shooting pool. I also enjoy riding my pit bikes around with my 11-year-old son (see photo below).

CC: Why do you ride?
Rod:I love speed, and I also enjoy hanging out with the guys, traveling to all the races and being competitive.

CC: How long have you been riding?
Rod:. I've been riding for more than 25 years.

CC: What was your first bike?
Rod: It was a Honda CB350. My first drag bike was a 1260cc Suzuki (see photo below circa 1989 at the IDBA Finals in Memphis, TN).

CC: How many bikes have you owned?
Rod: Oh wow…I've probably owned over 20 bikes.

CC: How many bikes do you currently own?
Rod:Just my Suzuki drag bike.

CC: What do you like most about your drag bike?
Rod: I love the new Busa body, the new 6 inch extension, and other modifications I recently made for a more comfortable ride.

CC: How did you get started in drag racing?
Rod: I was first introduced to drag racing by Gerome 'Jake' Taylor and Ronald Williams when I was only 18-years-old. Ronald use to race his 900cc Kawasaki up and down the street and showed taught me how to race. He let me ride his 440cc Kawasaki, which was a great bike to get started on. Thanks guys!

CC: What is your most memorable riding experience?
Rod: Winning the 2005 Black Sunday drag race in St Louis, Missouri.

CC: Do you have a least memorable riding experience?
Rod:Not really. I've been blessed and have never hit pavement.

CC: What motorcycle rallies and events have you attended, and which is your favorite?
Rod:. My favorite is probably the National Bikers Roundup. I also enjoy participating in the Soul Bros Drag Racing Series, the AMA Drag Bike Finals, the Dallas King of the Street in Crandell, Texas and I was also the 2009 PMRA Funny Bike Champion.

CC:Tell me about your tattoos.
Rod:I have three tattoos. I have a Mason sign on my left chest, a muscle man that says Raw Horsepower on my left arm and a motorcycle on my back that says Mansaw Racing.

CC:Who is your favorite tattoo artist?
Rod:Grandview Tattoo, but they're no longer in business.

CC:Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Rod:Yes. I would like to thank Larry James of James Racing in Kansas City, Missouri for everything he has done for me over the past 15 years. He's always available to help solve any problems I may have with my bike. I also want to thank Jerry Cooper of Cooper Racing for building motors that run and stay together, and to Anthony Grant for all the tune-ups. A special thanks also goes out to Curt Sexton from Wichita, Kansas for all the great work he's done to help me out, and I also want to give a special shout-out to Tim Porter and Debbie Pasker with O'Reilly Auto Parts, and Mr. Don Plesser of the PR Factory Store for getting me those hard to find parts in time for the build.

I also want to acknowledge my race team, which is called Team Interference, and send out a special thank you to my crew members Tony Parker, Roy Sears, Vernon Miller and my brother Big Nod. You guys are awesome!

Rod also wanted to thank the new sponsors he recently picked up: O'Reilly Auto Parts, Gates BBQ and Chassis Werx.

CC: Thanks for the interview Rod, and good luck on this year's drag racing season!

Interview by Mike Schweder

Photos by Bruce Stimpson with Stimpson Photography.

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Published in Cover Bike Owners