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Old 03-25-2013, 10:05 PM   #1891
OldTimeBiker
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You're right...buyng an XR 750 ISN'T as easy as walking in an HD dealer and it WOULD cost a fortune...TODAY...BUT...In 1974 it WAS easy and cheap compared to today. As they got scarcer (when 200 bikes were no longer required because the homologation rules changed) and more highly developed and sophisticated along with the value of the dollar decreasing as much as it has since then, it has become very difficult to get one.

As I said...I never heard that Bill Werner was "tasked by the AMA"...it's an interesting quote from a writer and I wasn't intending to dispute you but, I don't always accept everything in an article as gospel. Too many writers using poetic license to keep it interesting distorting facts and giving wrong impressions...I still think I'll ask Mr. Werner his take on that when I get the chance.

Interesting that 30 year old XR's are still competitive and being campaigned but you don't see ANY RS 750's anymore...I bet if there were parts catalogued and available at Honda dealers there would be!

EDIT: As to the restrictors and weight requirements...If they hamstringed the RS 750 so much how is it the bike remained so competitive for so many years after Honda turned its back on the sport AND the RS? Just look at all the races guys like Graham, Poovey and King won with them... Rickey Graham won a championship using the RS 750 AT LEAST 5 years (if not more) after Honda left in a huff without any support whatsoever from corporate!
Like I said in an earlier post...people are going to believe what they want to believe sometimes regardless of the facts.
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OldTimeBiker screwed with this post 03-25-2013 at 10:18 PM
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:26 PM   #1892
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Originally Posted by OldTimeBiker View Post
You're right...buyng an XR 750 ISN'T as easy as walking in an HD dealer and it WOULD cost a fortune...TODAY...BUT...In 1974 it WAS easy and cheap compared to today. As they got scarcer (when 200 bikes were no longer required because the homologation rules changed) and more highly developed and sophisticated along with the value of the dollar decreasing as much as it has since then, it has become very difficult to get one.

As I said...I never heard that Bill Werner was "tasked by the AMA"...it's an interesting quote from a writer and I wasn't intending to dispute you but, I don't always accept everything in an article as gospel. Too many writers using poetic license to keep it interesting distorting facts and giving wrong impressions...I still think I'll ask Mr. Werner his take on that when I get the chance.

Interesting that 30 year old XR's are still competitive and being campaigned but you don't see ANY RS 750's anymore...I bet if there were parts catalogued and available at Honda dealers there would be!

EDIT: As to the restrictors and weight requirements...If they hamstringed the RS 750 so much how is it the bike remained so competitive for so many years after Honda turned its back on the sport AND the RS? Just look at all the races guys like Graham, Poovey and King won with them... Rickey Graham won a championship using the RS 750 AT LEAST 5 years (if not more) after Honda left in a huff without any support whatsoever from corporate!
Like I said in an earlier post...people are going to believe what they want to believe sometimes regardless of the facts.
+1

How much does an RS weigh. I was really surprised talking with some friends that the XR setup was noticeably lighter than other setups (now, not then).

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Old 03-25-2013, 11:57 PM   #1893
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Originally Posted by OldTimeBiker View Post

EDIT: As to the restrictors and weight requirements...If they hamstringed the RS 750 so much how is it the bike remained so competitive for so many years after Honda turned its back on the sport AND the RS? Just look at all the races guys like Graham, Poovey and King won with them... Rickey Graham won a championship using the RS 750 AT LEAST 5 years (if not more) after Honda left in a huff without any support whatsoever from corporate!
Like I said in an earlier post...people are going to believe what they want to believe sometimes regardless of the facts.
No question about it Ricky Graham was an un-stopable force in 93 winning 6 GN races, six years after Honda pulled the plug and sulked away.
I'm not a Honda fan, but there is no question that Harley had more than its share of pull with the AMA.
I am old enough to remember the T100s and other 500 Brits racing the 750 KRs.. But that was when there were a few old fashioned TT tracks on the circuit. I'm not an expert on TT and would like to know where I'm wrong?
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:56 AM   #1894
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Originally Posted by OldTimeBiker View Post
You're right...buyng an XR 750 ISN'T as easy as walking in an HD dealer and it WOULD cost a fortune...TODAY...BUT...In 1974 it WAS easy and cheap compared to today. As they got scarcer (when 200 bikes were no longer required because the homologation rules changed) and more highly developed and sophisticated along with the value of the dollar decreasing as much as it has since then, it has become very difficult to get one.

As I said...I never heard that Bill Werner was "tasked by the AMA"...it's an interesting quote from a writer and I wasn't intending to dispute you but, I don't always accept everything in an article as gospel. Too many writers using poetic license to keep it interesting distorting facts and giving wrong impressions...I still think I'll ask Mr. Werner his take on that when I get the chance.

Interesting that 30 year old XR's are still competitive and being campaigned but you don't see ANY RS 750's anymore...I bet if there were parts catalogued and available at Honda dealers there would be!

EDIT: As to the restrictors and weight requirements...If they hamstringed the RS 750 so much how is it the bike remained so competitive for so many years after Honda turned its back on the sport AND the RS? Just look at all the races guys like Graham, Poovey and King won with them... Rickey Graham won a championship using the RS 750 AT LEAST 5 years (if not more) after Honda left in a huff without any support whatsoever from corporate!
Like I said in an earlier post...people are going to believe what they want to believe sometimes regardless of the facts.
First off, compared to doing up an XS650 Yamaha doing an XR in 1974 WAS costly. A rider had to tear them down immediately to clean them out and also to do the necessary modifications. We had two local juniors who were rising through the ranks and one went Yamaha due to cost, the other went XR. That is where we learned about the costs - from them. We had understood (not seen) that it was possible there was still some debris in the engine cases from the casting process and that an immediate tear down was manditory if they didn't want to scatter the engine. The Harley wasn't inexpensive by any year of measure.

And you WERE intending to dispute what I pointed out by your implications with your name dropping which you did again. I take it you must have Werner on speed dial. That and I guess Cycle News and Sportbike are both liars and yellow journalists. Besides with your knowledge why didn't you already know that was the driving force behind the Kawasakis, being friends and all.

Fact is if Honda had been given the equal opportunity to dominate for a decade as Harley had from 74-84, you might have seen a lot more of them. After all, look at what just Honda has done with motocrossers and (through Montesa) trials. For a long time if a privateer wants one of the best rides in MX they can be there with a Honda. If a rider wants a competitive trials bike they can do it with a Montesa. Right now it is in a slump, but if a rider wanted a competitive 600 they could do it with a Honda. Now add in the other Japanese companies and you have the privateers in MX and road racing riding Kawasakis, Suzukis, Yamahas, and Hondas they can buy off the floor. In motocross they can darn near run a box stock bike with the suspension dialed in and be in the top 20 with a good rider, top ten with a few more tweaks.

So, what makes you think Honda wouldn't feed the market if there was a market to develop in flat track, possibly even have done some better street tracker based motorcycles? They at least brought out two bikes in that vein, the two Ascots.



Now as a salesperson in the 80s I wish they'd done the VT750/700 as an Ascot, it would have sold. the 500 was just not enough power for the US market and the twin was just too physically small in the rider ergos. The 750 might just have been the ticket, especially if the AMA allowed the kind of latitude for the RS as they did for the XR in the 70s. Might have even drawn in a few other manufacturers.

I've seen the same thing happen again to an extent. The Supermoto thing started to develop, really based on the excitement of the SM series, but the racing division of that time and the new DMG have dropped the ball on one of the most exciting forms of racing on par with dirt track. Now the market for the supermoto bikes has died off in the U.S.

Racing can and does pull the market as has been shown in both SM and 600 supersport. Apply that possibility to flat track and you see what might have been. Harley never developed any market for a bike style with the XR and probably wouldn't lose any market if the XR disappeared. But the Japanese have been instrumental in building markets with racing. They were why MX boomed through the 70s up till now. They were the reason for 600 supersport and Superbike. They fed the market both in racing and on the street.

Kind of makes one wonder what if the RS had kept running strong and able to build in numbers. Maybe be able to walk in a dealership and actually buy a closer version of a street tracker 750 instead of that cruiser version Honda has built. I think that is where the market might be, not among the Harley buyers, as the sales of the XR1200 has demonstrated.

Imagine this on a showroom:




Instead of this:



I just kind of wonder sometimes...


And Ricky Graham rode so well in 93 he almost could have won on a moped!
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:00 AM   #1895
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the best thing is that they coming by!


Is that a 650 or one of the 500s? The cylinders just look small.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:16 AM   #1896
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Is that a 650 or one of the 500s? The cylinders just look small.
The rider is Jeremy Eischen on a 500cc OHV Triumph. He races it in the AMA Vintage National Series in the 750 Ironman class. It is for bikes from 1951-1968 500cc OHV 750 side valve Hard Tail Brakeless.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:34 AM   #1897
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I think the XR/RS issue has been sufficiently debated.

Considering this is a PICTURE THREAD!
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:07 AM   #1898
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I think the XR/RS issue has been sufficiently debated. Considering this is a PICTURE THREAD!
Agreed. So before then... what about British 500 singles having to race against Harley 750 twins?
Picture included!

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Old 03-26-2013, 09:09 AM   #1899
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Agreed. So before then... what about British 500 singles having to race against Harley 750 twins?
Picture included!

The British OHV 500's didn't have much of a problem against the side Side Valve 750 Harley's. If you get a chance Google Gary Nixon. He made it look rather easy
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:07 AM   #1900
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No question about it Ricky Graham was an un-stopable force in 93 winning 6 GN races, six years after Honda pulled the plug and sulked away.
I'm not a Honda fan, but there is no question that Harley had more than its share of pull with the AMA.
I am old enough to remember the T100s and other 500 Brits racing the 750 KRs.. But that was when there were a few old fashioned TT tracks on the circuit. I'm not an expert on TT and would like to know where I'm wrong?
During the 500 OHV/750 sidevalve era the 500 cc (30.5 C.I.) bikes were quite competitive with their OHV engines compared to flatheads. Triumph twins and BSA singles and a few others routinely won on the fastest oval tracks.
In TT racing the formula was originally 2 classes up to 45 C.I. (750cc) and 80 C.I. regardless of valve configuration. It was changed to lightweight (250cc) and heavyweight (900cc) in the '60's as the market changed and ultimately it was changed to machines from 0 to 900 cc for a few years until it settled on the same as the ovals with a 750 limit for all. When the OHC singles started to dominate TT racing in the 80's it evolved to where we have the 450's of today.

markk53
As to "name dropping"... Information is obtainable from more than a magazine article or press release and when you have the opportunity to go to a first hand source you may not (and usually don't) get the same story. Stating that you never heard something and will check with other sources doesn't mean the point is disputed, but that you want to confirm the point.
The big difference I see is you believe what you've read...I believe what I witnessed. Both are subject to bias and interpretation. As I said...people are going to believe what they want to believe.

Finally...Someting I find very amusing...When you get into the different diciplines of motorcycle racing it's funny how the story is the same but names are changed...In flat track it's HD that is always "in bed with the AMA" but in Motocross, depending on the era it's Honda or Suzuki that is the villian...or in road racing Suzuki has been the AMA's bedmate for several years and before that it was Yamaha...If you go back far enough the HD guys were full of complaints on how Indian had the AMA in their pocket and the Indian guys would say HD was the AMA's favorite.
I'm sure there's at least a kernal of truth to all of it but, the accepted story just never seems to jive with the actual facts.

Just an observation.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:18 PM   #1901
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I agree with going back to Flat Trackers!!!

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Old 03-26-2013, 01:52 PM   #1902
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Originally Posted by z@ch View Post
I think the XR/RS issue has been sufficiently debated.

Considering this is a PICTURE THREAD!
picture thread or not I think the debate here about the Honda/Harley chapter in the book of dirt track on here has been phenomenal. Above all it's stayed civil, both sides of the story have been well represented, well informed, and well spoken. the fact that it continues to generate further information is invaluable in my book. Sometimes threads like these generate productive sub plots and this is a classic case, I think it's awesome reading it could be made into a pamphlet and handed out at an event it's that good.
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:04 PM   #1903
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I didn't mean that it should be culled from the thread, just that it was getting repetitive and tedious.


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Old 03-26-2013, 03:05 PM   #1904
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I agree with going back to the future!
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:12 PM   #1905
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I wish I would have had more time that day. That truck with a vintage bike in it in a different location would have been killer
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