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Old 01-24-2008, 11:53 AM   #106
dan-c
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Here's another good web site. No cut and paste though lots of pretty motorcycles

Shazzam!
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:43 PM   #107
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Even H-D tried to break into MX

If memory serves, I remember H-D even entered the MX world back in the late 70's with their MX-250.

Growing up in the northeast I never actually saw one race, but did see one on static display at the local H-D dealer (I might have been 12 years old).

If I remember, it was kind of a mutt of a bike with the engine built in Italy (Aeromacchi maybe?) with other European/Japanese components (I think the electrics were Japanese).

I remember my Dad talking with the dealer and him saying it ran like "a raped ape" and put 30+ HP at the wheel. Of course, he's a dealer what's he supposed to say. The price, especially compared to the Japanese bikes was prohibitive (at least for me).

My old man gave me the "you can buy a Honda, all the gear, and a trailer for what you'll pay for the Harley" speech.

And he was right, and I did (except it was a Yammie).

I don't think the production run was more than a year maybe two and then H-D killed it. Of course this is when they were owned by AMF and most of their product lines were either killed too early or ignored altogether.
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:55 PM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBigO
If memory serves, I remember H-D even entered the MX world back in the late 70's with their MX-250.

Growing up in the northeast I never actually saw one race, but did see one on static display at the local H-D dealer (I might have been 12 years old).

If I remember, it was kind of a mutt of a bike with the engine built in Italy (Aeromacchi maybe?) with other European/Japanese components (I think the electrics were Japanese).

I remember my Dad talking with the dealer and him saying it ran like "a raped ape" and put 30+ HP at the wheel. Of course, he's a dealer what's he supposed to say. The price, especially compared to the Japanese bikes was prohibitive (at least for me).

My old man gave me the "you can buy a Honda, all the gear, and a trailer for what you'll pay for the Harley" speech.

And he was right, and I did (except it was a Yammie).

I don't think the production run was more than a year maybe two and then H-D killed it. Of course this is when they were owned by AMF and most of their product lines were either killed too early or ignored altogether.
Indeed Rocket Rex Staten put one on the podium in 76 or 77.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:09 PM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBigO
If memory serves, I remember H-D even entered the MX world back in the late 70's with their MX-250.

Growing up in the northeast I never actually saw one race, but did see one on static display at the local H-D dealer (I might have been 12 years old).

If I remember, it was kind of a mutt of a bike with the engine built in Italy (Aeromacchi maybe?) with other European/Japanese components (I think the electrics were Japanese).

I remember my Dad talking with the dealer and him saying it ran like "a raped ape" and put 30+ HP at the wheel. Of course, he's a dealer what's he supposed to say. The price, especially compared to the Japanese bikes was prohibitive (at least for me).

My old man gave me the "you can buy a Honda, all the gear, and a trailer for what you'll pay for the Harley" speech.

And he was right, and I did (except it was a Yammie).

I don't think the production run was more than a year maybe two and then H-D killed it. Of course this is when they were owned by AMF and most of their product lines were either killed too early or ignored altogether.


http://www.motorcyclemuseum.org/classics/bike.asp?id=76
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:24 PM   #110
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I sold a couple of those and somehow I ended up with an extra motor/tranny.

That motor hung around in the way for years and I finally hauled it to the dump.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:25 PM   #111
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Google is my friend.

Damn that internet is good stuff.

And, holy hell I almost remembered half that shit. Must be the Ginko Biloba or the New Castle Brown Ale. Which do you think?
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:01 PM   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nachtflug
I think the biggest question is...are todays young guys faster riders or are they just riding faster..

talk about the $64K question.
"Third hand info" but still interesting: I did some minor web stuff for Rick Doughty at Vintage Iron several years ago about the time VI did some work for Roger DeCoster. Rick told me he asked asked DeCoster about the "then and now" speed thing. DeCoster told Rick he could still hang with the Team Suzuki kids (Greg Albertin back then, I think) for a couple of laps but they quickly got him on endurance. The fact that a guy 50 years old could hang with Albertine for even a couple of laps says something.

I think the fast guys are always fast, the bike is only a tool.

Doug
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:51 PM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagemxr

I think the fast guys are always fast, the bike is only a tool.

Doug
Very well said indeed!!!
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:22 PM   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solaros1
The first "real" dirt bikes that many of us old guys ever experienced were very far removed from what anyone could consider as a dirt bike today. Back before my time the Harley Sportsters and Triumph Trophys were considered dirt bikes except for a few English 350cc and 500cc singles.

For those of us who entered motorcycling in the mid-sixties the first dirt bike we were exposed to were the Honda CL72's and CL77's (or the Trail 90). The Honda 305 Scrambler was a high piped 350lb twin with a generous 3-1/2" of travel in the front fork. It won Baja, introduced thousands of us to off-road adventures, left burn scars on the inside of our left leg when it fell on us and made a glorious sound unlike any bike before or since. They were big, (relatively) fast and looked cool and it was my first motorcycle. It was true pig off road but when you're sixteen who cares - it was fun.

Yamaha changed the world when it introduced the DT-1 250cc in 1968. Sure there were other two stoke dirt bikes out there (who can forget Hodakas?) but the DT-1 was the first mass produced, relatively light motorcycle that was available in huge quantities to feed the growing off-road market. At one time almost half the guys I knew who had motorcycles owned a DT-1 (myself included). They didn't handle that well and you fell down a lot but they really dragged a lot of guys into the sport.

Then came "On Any Sunday" and Huskys became the thing to have - a friend of mine got a Husky 360 - he was the fastest guy in the pack without question. I bought an Ossa - it came equipped with knobbys and better suspension than the Yamaha and I stopped falling down so much. The dirt bike world exploded with new models coming out faster than you could keep track but I'd say those old 305 Hondas were the seed bike for a lot of us fifty-somethings.
good post, its always interesting to hear another time frame perspective. even 5 years (your 1965ish) (my 1970ish) makes a big difference. by the time I came along 160 and 305 Honda's were snickered at by my homies on our 100's and 175's jap products. Who would ride a Honda? Offroad??
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:36 PM   #115
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Laugh

Speaking of "On Any Sunday", you guys that have not seen the movie, especially you younger guys, should watch it a few times. Besides being the best bike movie ever made it's a real time capsule of motorcycling-at-a -turning-point since the movie was filmed in 1969-70. Look close and you'll still see a few four stroke singles in the mx scenes and some interesting sleds in the desert racing stuff too. That 10 years between 1970 and 1980 must represent one of the most dynamic decades in motorcycle development, especially suspension. Getting the big two strokes to make power wasn't that hard, getting it to the ground and living to tell about it was different matter. I knew a Bultaco dealer who sold the same Bultaco Bandito 360cc three or four times as it was traded in by a succession of frightened owners.

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Old 01-24-2008, 09:20 PM   #116
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When I started with dirt bikes I was in Junior high and went from a mini-trail to an sl100, then a 185 Suzuki an sl350 and later a Suzuki tm250 and finally a Bultaco 250 Pursang.
None of the people i rode with were racers, we were just Oregon high schoolers that ran around on logging roads and fire trails. We would do what most trail riders did: look for the biggest hill you could climb (or not). Since none of us had any real money we needed stuff that didn't take much maintenance and didn't break down thus a lot of Japanese enduro bikes.
We saw and learned a lot of fun things, probably they sound better looking back.
My best friend demonstrated for us that a 2 stroke will indeed run backwards when his Suzuki 90 stalled on a hill, then restarted as he rolled a few feet back and took off at near full throttle. He actually rode it for a few feet.
Motocrossers of the day turned out to not make particularly good trail bikes although they were big sport on logging roads where the peaky power made them good sliders.
Two stroke moto-crossers also weren't always the most cooperative. My Suzuki was a fairly easy starter but the Bultaco always needed a fresh plug in the morning to kick start or the more likely tactic of making sure to park the truck up on a hill so I could bump start it.
My bikes tended to be whatever one could scrounge as well. My cousin had a Yamaha AT1 that had been used as a flat tracker, later a Zundapp 100. Another friend had a very pretty Bultaco Alpina and our other friend Monty had a Yamaha RT360.
I didn't really ride a dirt bike to speak of after about 1976 when I transitioned to street until I got a DR350 in 1998. As much as i miss the times and enjoy looking at those old bikes I was amazed at how much advanced even an average dirt is over our machines.
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:08 PM   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagemxr
I knew a Bultaco dealer who sold the same Bultaco Bandito 360cc three or four times as it was traded in by a succession of frightened owners.
another example of the difference in reference points in just a few years. the first shop I spent time getting to know bikes was a Kawasaki/Bultaco shop. We saw Pursangs, Matadors, Alpina's, but the only Bandito I ever saw was a 60's bike that was so trashed that it was just a rusted hulk. People rode those thought I?

but actually a CLEAN Bandito will bring much better money on EBay than just about any Pursang by a long shot. Gotta love the fiberglass.

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Old 01-24-2008, 10:09 PM   #118
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paging German trick...
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Old 01-25-2008, 07:23 AM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nachtflug
another example of the difference in reference points in just a few years. the first shop I spent time getting to know bikes was a Kawasaki/Bultaco shop. We saw Pursangs, Matadors, Alpina's, but the only Bandito I ever saw was a 60's bike that was so trashed that it was just a rusted hulk. People rode those thought I?

but actually a CLEAN Bandito will bring much better money on EBay than just about any Pursang by a long shot. Gotta love the fiberglass.

Of the open class (251cc to open) two strokes racing D-37 in the Desert, the Bandido was fairly popular during it's hay day. This was in addition to Greeves and Husqvarna. However, after the 400 Husky came on scene with JN Roberts and Whitey Martino Huskys ruled the class in the dez.

The worst open class two stroke to ever hit the dez was the 400 cc Suzuki Cyclone. Stupid "light switch" power band and ZERO handeling. Most of the time the bike broke before it could kill anyone.
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Old 01-25-2008, 07:56 AM   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strong Bad
Many (if not most) race bikes came with down pipes. It was a real problem for us desert guys. But there just wasn't room around the frames or air boxes to run a pipe. Bultaco Pursangs and Ossa Stelletos or the little Rickmans are prime examples. The pic of the Husky is a good example of an aftermarket pipe trying to use up as much room as possible before moving it's way towards the back of the bike. A friend of mine used to make pipes for Bultacos he called "snake pipes" because they came out of the motor and then wrapped around the frame in front of the bike.
was that the guy in san pedro? i had one of the first snake pipes at saddleback on my 75' 250 pursang. looked cool.
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