September 2007

Sunday, September 09, 2007

DynoTech : Kevin Cameron's new book TDC


Kevin Cameron (KC as he signs his correspondence) has written an excellent book about some of his past motorsports related experiences—a thoughtful compilation of Cycle and Cycle World TDC and other articles, plus past and current technical and social narrative.  I received my copy from (also available signed from last week and enjoyed finishing it in two nights. The last time I read that lengthy a book in two nights was when, at the age of 12, I discovered a paperback copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover in my older sister’s stuff in the attic. TDC was equally absorbing, but in a way even more enjoyable for a 58 year old with two-stroke oil sludge under his fingernails.

We DynoTechies are fortunate to have had Kevin Cameron as a friend, advisor and contributing editor for more than 15 years. In the DTR archives there are maybe 30-some TCD (The Cellar Dweller) articles that dealt with then-current issues, to help us understand the mysteries we encountered. Many archived TCD articles on our web pages are part of our current understanding of things relating to two-stroke performance. But it’s still good fun to go through them once a year for refreshment and enjoyment. New difficult-to-comprehend issues continue to arise, and KC continues to help us. When he doesn’t have an exact answer, he tries to find that answer from someplace or from someone who does. All performance snowmobilers are fortunate that KC has chosen two-stroke engines/ design/ racing to be one of his favorite fields of ongoing study, instead of Tournament Bridge.

But how was KC’s built-in encyclopedia of two-stroke ideas and theories created? And who were and are the people in his life that have helped add chapters/volumes to his encyclopedia, and even today provide ongoing sources of answers and information when we bug him for that?

Kevin Cameron is a modest person, and rarely discusses his own past—he seems to be more interested in the backgrounds of people he’s with at the time. But in TDC we get to see rare glimpses of KC as a young man in his home cellar workshop, rebuilding from the ground up perfectly O.K. new factory two-stroke racebikes, hopefully to make them better. We get to understand his relationships with people like Erv Kanemoto who did amazing things out of tiny garages to make racebikes racier and engines more powerful. And there are more, equally interesting relationships with volunteer teammates, unknown and well known motorcycle racers, many of whom began their event travels as privateers with Kevin in rusty vans with malfunctioning heating systems, and a very few of whom would ultimately wind up in million dollar Prevost motor coaches. A lot of that, and lots more technical information is in his book TDC. And very few can tell those stories like Kevin Cameron can.