Originally Posted by kittycactus
Did the Elsinore line starting in 1973 evolve into the CR that we have today?
It's interesting that engine displacement seems to be all over the place with the older bikes. Any particular reason for that or was it just a period of trial and error and growth? How did they lump bikes together for races? Why is there so little off size displacement presently available? KTM is the only one I can think of off hand that has any substantial off size offering with their 105, 200, 300, 530 (I think it‘s 530 now?).
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?
At what point were aftermarket parts readily available (a different pipe for example)? It sounds like there wasn’t much and there was a lot of homemade fabrication going on.
'73 is when it really took off, the Elsinore, (I had 2 of them, the tranny was good for about 50 hours. Then the shift dogs would round off and it would pop out of gear) was the first Japanese bike that could and did put it to the Europeans.
In a drag race, a 250 Elsinore would just walk away from a Husky or CZ. Nothing had what would you call 'handling', except for a Maico. And the Maico was so good because they had figured out you needed to be sitting as far forward as possible. Super Hunky described it as 'The forks seem like they're coming out of your crotch'. Getting the weight on the front tire made it able to carve a turn.
Elsinores didn't turn for shit, I cut 1 1/2" out of the frame to try to get it to turn. Another Dirt Bike mod. They did it and used a CR 125 gas tank, because it was shorter. We just cut the front of the seat off and did it cheap. The tank was $150 or so.
I think the 150, 160, 175, was a marketing gimmick. It didn't cost any more to bore it out, but they could get 10% more for it. Back then Honda built in-line fours of 350,400,500,550,650,750,900 displacement. Other than the amount of metal used, the labor and machining time was the same for all those bikes. But you could buy the 350 for $1100 when the 750 was $1900. So you can see it cost about $500 to build all those displacements, they just made a ton of money on the bigger ones.
They had the same thing at the bottom of the line, you could get 50, 55, 75, 90, 100. It was really different back then.
Where is Wolvertucky? I was thinking Allen Park, Southgate, somewhere down there. But you have dial up, so it's got to be out in the boonies, like me.