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Old 01-23-2008, 05:59 PM   #76
Valleyrider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Hombre
Valleyrider, why don't you explain why there is the black tape on the fork legs?
That's some real HI-Tech mods done by the factory mechanics!! Most everything on the RH and RN was basically one off/handmade. The fork tubes were so thin that these were the early version of rock protectors.
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Old 01-23-2008, 06:26 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtothef
handling. hmmm. straight line awesomeness. cornering, well, sort of the anti-maico. look for the berm, forget about the inside line.

DAMHIK



1977 250 CR


I don't know who/what I am chasing!
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Old 01-23-2008, 06:38 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valleyrider
That's some real HI-Tech mods done by the factory mechanics!! Most everything on the RH and RN was basically one off/handmade. The fork tubes were so thin that these were the early version of rock protectors.
Have you ever put it on a scale? Rumor back then was 168 pounds. For a 250, not a 125.

When no one else could keep up with it, the FIM made a minimum weight rule. 208 pounds?
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:06 PM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nachtflug
more than one might think. the magazines (and dealers) played a bigger role then. as far as when, for me its harder to pinpoint, but someone who saw the 60;s blend into the 70's would probably take a good stab at it.

a few biggies that did just fine without todays marketing juggernauts and no internet.

Preston Petty fenders. Moto X Fox. Even Hooker Headers. And in a lot of cases, the last thing you needed was an aftermarket pipe, (TM 400 ) etc.

But again a good question. When things were "the hot setup" everyone got one. The Whirlpull Throttle 0r Gunnar Gasser. Hi Point boots. But these are 70's. Like a lot of things back then you would mail 50 cents for a catalogue from whoevers stuff you had an eye on.

Tough one to answwer definitively...

great thread!

Interesting thread, to say the least. I grew up in Southern California, graduating from High School in 1970. I remember the GYT kitted Yamahas at Trojan speedway, and at Elsinore and Parris.

Fresh out of high school I got a job porting cylinders for the once famous EC Birt, owner of Precision Cycles. Precision Cycles was a small shop that sold Macio, Rickman, Hodaka and a few obscure brands like Zundap, Puch, & Carabela. EC had a reputation for speed tuning, you told him what kind of rider you were and he developed a package for you that typically included a port job, custom expansion chamber, head work, and carburetor. Long before the factories used reed valves EC had picked up on them from the kart racers. We were making tons of money converting piston port bikes to reed valves. One of the more popular reed valve conversions were for the CZs being sold up the street by Joe Kubacheck. One thing you have to remember was that most of the 2 strokes being sold were really mild in their tuning. With little effort at all in the early 70’s you could double the horsepower of a stock bike. Bikes that werent too mild were too wild (Suz 400 cyclone) there you made money by building a pipe with more center section and mellowing them out. The guys who bought our stuff thought we were magic. EC had a huge ego and somehow he figured out that magazines have no clue as to anything other than selling magazines and that they were always desperate for something to write about. EC came up with the idea of inviting a magazine into his shop so he could share his “Hot Tips” and secrets. OMG, the sales went through the roof! We were cranking out a half dozen port jobs and a dozen pipes a day.

The down side was that EC was a pain in the ass and a real jerk to work for. His main mechanic was pissed off enough and had a good enough relationship with the customers that he decided to open his own speed shop. He started in a garage he didn’t even attempt to try to pick up a dealership. I used to port for EC during the day and then at night I would go over to my friends business in the garage and port at night. Oh yeah the mechanic’s name Donny Emler. In a very short time, one of his best customers bank rolled Donny into business as Uncle Donnie’s Flying Machine Factory.

All of this happened just about the same time the Honda Elsinores took off. Honda had done their home work and the “You meet the nicest people on Honda” took motorcycles from Hells Angles to the guy next door. Southern California was exploding with motocross. You could race 4 to 5 times a week if you wanted to. The 125 Hondas were easily improved with a port job and a pipe. Uncle Donny took full advantage of EC’s magazine techniques and soon he was off and running selling all we could make via magazine exposure. The biggest thing to happen for Donny and what became FMF was that one of the riders he had sponsored as a young gun got picked up by American Honda. That young gun, Marty Smith, demanded that his bike use a FMF pipe, and as such, FMF became the first after market pipe on a “works” bike. I guess it was kind of good for sales eh?



Well, my glass of Scotch is empty and the rest is a blur anyway, so I'll leave it at that for now.
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:53 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan-c
Don't forget reliable Maico's usually had to be dialed in after every moto. The Jap bikes, you just changed the plugs.
Interesting thread. So many memories from way back then. In some ways riding was different then in the sense that the land was still pretty much wide open: Just go ride. When people first talked about closing off parts of the desert for something called "ecology" whatever we just laughed because the desert was public land and public land belonged to everyone so you couldn't close it.

We (Bultaco racers) used to say that Maicos used the finest mahogony bearings money could buy. Of course Bultacos were the very model of reliability.

Happily, riding now feels just as good as riding 40+ years ago; crashing hurts a little more though.

Below, that's me in my traditional "middle of the pack" race mode circa 1970 at a motorcross race in La Mesa, CA:



Something here that I wrote a few years ago about "trail riding" as a kid.

Doug
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:51 AM   #81
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Another thing that sunk the big British singles and twins and pushed the 2 stroke forward was changing tracks.The old bikes were made for natural terrain tracks...just a few pegs in a paddock and you had an MX track.The old bikes were made for sliding out of a wide flat turn with thick loam as a surface,they jumped long and low on jumps that were just natural hills.

Then came man made tracks....still in the paddock,but tighter turns with man made berms.The jumps were man made too,with much steeper ramps so the bikes now jumped high.The bikes became shorter to turn sharper,lighter with better suspension to jump higher.As bikes became better,the tracks became tougher to make it more competitive.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:54 AM   #82
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[QUOTE=Steady]Few photo's of my Dad taken in the 50's. Sadly he is no longer around but perhaps someone knows what these bikes are, all British I presume.





A Velocette I would think.
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Old 01-24-2008, 05:18 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strong Bad

Interesting thread, to say the least. I grew up in Southern California, graduating from High School in 1970. You could race 4 to 5 times a week if you wanted to.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The roots of "dirt bikes" in the US are deepest in California.

From what you could glean from month old magazine information, you wouldl realize that in California, they weren't just doing it on Sundays.

totally incomprehensible for northeast mindset back when we'd be snowed in for months and then had to deal with MUD for months and then the heat and humidity in the summer along with green overgrown trails that the ungloved hand would become a pin cushion of prickers from.

and here and there someone would move west, to california...the name looms as large as any in the history of .."dirt bikes"..
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Old 01-24-2008, 05:31 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gonridn
that bike was considered an 82 1/2 model. nicknamed the " Silver Bullet" for the beautiful silver paint job. the last of the polished knee panels style tanks. the first ones came with a giant 44mm mikuni carb. the white 83 models went to a 40mm. it was only available as a cr version with a 4 speed transmission.
bingo. I never quite know how to vocalize the Husky tanks. thats as good a job as any. there was/is a pretty sweet one for less than $3K not long back on the VMX BB. of course in...California...

I remember them now as 4 speeds. I'll be those bad boys will keep the front end light at the appropriate times.
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Old 01-24-2008, 05:33 AM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motu
Another thing that sunk the big British singles and twins and pushed the 2 stroke forward was changing tracks.The old bikes were made for natural terrain tracks...just a few pegs in a paddock and you had an MX track.The old bikes were made for sliding out of a wide flat turn with thick loam as a surface,they jumped long and low on jumps that were just natural hills.

Then came man made tracks....still in the paddock,but tighter turns with man made berms.The jumps were man made too,with much steeper ramps so the bikes now jumped high.The bikes became shorter to turn sharper,lighter with better suspension to jump higher.As bikes became better,the tracks became tougher to make it more competitive.
I think the biggest question is...are todays young guys faster riders or are they just riding faster..

talk about the $64K question.
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Old 01-24-2008, 05:38 AM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordy
DAMHIK
sweet. I'd relink the pic but our poor thread starter is on dial up. not sure if it would even matter?
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Old 01-24-2008, 06:28 AM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nachtflug
I've said it before and I'll say it again. The roots of "dirt bikes" in the US are deepest in California.

From what you could glean from month old magazine information, you wouldl realize that in California, they weren't just doing it on Sundays.

totally incomprehensible for northeast mindset back when we'd be snowed in for months and then had to deal with MUD for months and then the heat and humidity in the summer along with green overgrown trails that the ungloved hand would become a pin cushion of prickers from.

and here and there someone would move west, to california...the name looms as large as any in the history of .."dirt bikes"..
And reading in those same magazines 'We don't care HOW they do it in California'. Those were in the letters to the editors from the REST OF THE WORLD.

I was in Michigan, graduating HS in '70, moved to the Bay Area in '76, lots better out here, for all the reasons you mention.
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Old 01-24-2008, 06:35 AM   #88
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Revisting the forward shock movement for a bit:

When the first Elsinores came out they had standard mounting for the shocks. We moved the top mounting forward to get a few more inches and this seemed to work OK with the stock forks. But you know how if a little is good a lot is better? We then moved the bottom mount (on the swingarm) up as well, and this gave us about 10.5 inches in the rear, IIRC and a wicked rake angle in the front. Lots of trial and error finding a spring that would work with the increased leverage. At first, we would just install a stronger spring and did nothing with the damping. We had no clue. This is when Fox Shox (you know, the guys with the clothing line) came in.

In those days, if you could find a welder, you had a "works bike"!

This is also when the the problems with chain tensioning began.
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Old 01-24-2008, 06:38 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by nachtflug
I've said it before and I'll say it again. The roots of "dirt bikes" in the US are deepest in California.

From what you could glean from month old magazine information, you wouldl realize that in California, they weren't just doing it on Sundays.
Same in Phoenix. I moved there for a bit and we could race on Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday mornings. There were guys doing that regimen in two classes!
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Old 01-24-2008, 07:38 AM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Hombre
Have you ever put it on a scale? Rumor back then was 168 pounds. For a 250, not a 125.

When no one else could keep up with it, the FIM made a minimum weight rule. 208 pounds?
Never got a chance to weigh it. This was back in the early 70's. The bikes arrived by airfreight from Japan and left the same way. They were very light, not sure just how light. Joel broke several frames. The frames were so light they would grow in wheelbase several inches over the span of a couple of motos.
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