Originally Posted by kittycactus
When the jap bikes were first introduced in the states, how were they received; were people excited about them or were they looked upon with distain like the Chinese bikes now entering our market, some of both?
I was there.
if it's still running, the AMA museum in Pickering Ohio has an evolution of the dirt bike exibition that would have been invaluable for your education.
the dirt bikes were single BSAs and single and twin 4 stroke Triumphs and a couple odd Swedish things....I had a 500 T100C and a bother had a 441 Victor. the race guys were flirting with 2 strokes... Bultacos and such because of the power to weight advantage...what was happening was 125cc 2 strokes were killing 500 4 strokes as riding styles changed from manhandling meat to surfing loose...and folks noticed that...that shifted everything to 2 strokes...it wasn't motocross yet...it was still hare scrambles. when the jappers came in, they already had a hip audience so the bikes were quickly received...blew the old 4 strokes away...at this time it became motocross as suspention travel began to increase...then came the exotic maicos, ossas and the others later.
there was always the buy union American foot draggers that snickered, but the hipper guys were winning...and it's hard to argue with success...the 73-ish CB750 "superbike" changed a lot of minds, but it took a period of transistion.
if you can find mc magizines of the period, I'm sure it's well documented.
I remember Dirt Bike and Dirt Rider...there were others.
it wasn't just the bikes...it was suspention travel, 2 strokes, and a change of riding styles all in a casserole...just as helmet laws came in and exclusionary tactics in county parks and such...motorcycles were always on the fringe, but it became a threat during this period.