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Old 01-25-2011, 08:18 AM   #46
anotherguy
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Is that the 83 CR 480...? and is that the stock swingarm?
Nah.................that's a Genuine Honda 1980 RC500 works bike. The carb cost $4K if you can find one.The Kaw is Lackey's same year SR500. I can't find much on the Yamaha.

Here's Johnny O's 1982 RC125M. Genuine unobtainium.


Chuck Sun's 1979 Works Husky 430.


Now you have an eyeful of stuff you can't have even if you've the means.
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:26 AM   #47
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I'm a off road rider for the last ten years and this will be my first time on a MX track.


* I've ridden 4 strokes all my life, but, I'm open to trying a 2 stroke.
if the clases are by cc only, and not further divided by 2 or 4 stroke, you will get destroyed riding a 4 stroke.


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* As I said above, NO MX experence...ridden off road for 10 years. I would say I'm a Intermediate (C+, B-) rider. I've ridden a XR 650 R for all those years.
very few skills from your off road riding will translate. sure you'll be able to go around the track, but MX is a whole different world. i'm assuming your series will be on vintage mx style tracks and not modern mx. i would assume since your class break is 1989, there will be some significant jumps.. more than just a tabletop here and there.


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* I'm tall and stocky (6'6", 270 lbs), 48 years old.
you gotta go 250cc or bigger 2 stroke. you can setup most any full size bike for your height.

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Originally Posted by Garthe View Post

Cost:

* Budget, $ 1,000 to $ 2,000. I would like to get a starter race bike. I know I will have to tear it apart and do some work to it (meaning, spend $$$ on it). That's just part of the process. DISCLAIMER: If my $$$ situation improves, I 'might' make the jump to a more expensive bike. $ 2, 000 to $ 3,500. See below for brand of bike.
it should be easy finding a bike in this price range. there are lotsa 85-89 bikes selling cheap, as many vintage series do not allow disc brake (although ahrma is trying disc fronts out in mx this year.) you will spend much more to make it competitive though.......

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Class of racing:

GP Class is what I am looking at. Years of bikes range from 1978 up to 1989. As I said above, I was looking at CR 250's in the late 80's or possibly upgrading to a Maico. But, I'm open to other suggestions.

There is also a GP 4 stroke by 9 class. This interests me. But, I don't know what bikes would have 9" of suspension and I think you can go up to 1989.
this is interesting - so there are disc brake classes in this series? the only way to be competitive is gonna be 85-89 or so. there is a HUGE difference in suspension between 78, 83 and 89. if i was gonna race with these rules, i would go: mono shock, liquid cooled, power valve that worked, disc brakes. to be competitive you would need the closest thing to the rule cutoff possible. anything else would be not competitive, unless you are an extremely skilled rider.

9" suspension class? most bikes had more than 9" travel by 83 or so.

another thing to keep in mind, these rules don't jibe with ahrma rules. so the bike you pick will most likely not be eligible for ahrma races.


i don't race mx, just vintage cc/modern hare scrambles. the vintage classes i run end in 74 and 77... there's lotsa maico's that fit into these races nicely.
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stainlesscycle screwed with this post 01-25-2011 at 11:13 AM
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:35 AM   #48
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If the age restriction is the only rules you really want disc brakes, catridge forks and ~12" of wheel travel.

The '87-88 CR250R and CR500R were great handling bikes with very good suspension as standard (essentially the same 43mm cartridge forks as were on more recent XR600s and XR650Ls). In '89 they got much less flexy, but less well performing inverted forks. However, with a bit of valving work and fresh oil the inverted forks work reasonably well too. Given your size, I'd suggest an '89 CR for the stiffer front end, but the 87-88 would be fine too.

My laptimes are considerably faster on a 250 than a 500 (I've run both back to back at budd's creek). I'm also 160lbs and at the time as racing in the B class. Still, given your relative noobness for MX, I think an '89 CR250R would be ideal for you, though I'm sure you could hang onto a 500 if you want to. I also had an '89 YZ and thought the suspension was rather poor and handling only average. It was nicely built though and I suspect with some really careful valving work could be a competitive machine. The '89 KX was still on the old platform and a bit behind the times as was the RM IIRC (I haven't owned either though so just going by memory of friend's bikes). The euro brands of this era were not all that competitive to my knowledge and parts will be a nightmare.

A clean 87+ CR would still be perfectly competitive in the C and B classes today on a natural terrain course they worked well and have enough performance that you'd have to be a near-superstar of a rider to find their limits. On a modern MX track the suspension will be a bit soft, but still more than sufficent for C-class speeds I would think.

Note that at your weight you are about 110lbs in excess of what these bikes are nominally sprung for (and they came too soft even for that imho). Budget for stiffer springs front and rear and maybe a re-valve. It may also be worth checking to make sure stiffer springs are available for whatever you are considering before you buy.

Have fun!
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:27 AM   #49
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I'm looking at the same bikes right now...need a powerplant for a cafe racer. Found a nice RM400 near me and the RM465, too nice and too much coin to chop up and throw away..$1500. I'm more in the market for a looped out YZ490 for $300 or so.
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:58 AM   #50
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LB, probably of no use, but just in case, a 1990s-2000s era 250 two stroke MX bike will make more hp than the air cooled big bores of old and so so much more reliably in my experience. If you do want a big air cooled two stroke, the WR500 of the early 1990s was probably the most developed (based on the 490) and with careful porting and head work seems to run fairly well and have a decent lifespan. The wide ratio gearbox would also be a plus for street use I think. Have fun
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:02 PM   #51
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LB, probably of no use, but just in case, a 1990s-2000s era 250 two stroke MX bike will make more hp than the air cooled big bores of old and so so much more reliably in my experience. If you do want a big air cooled two stroke, the WR500 of the early 1990s was probably the most developed (based on the 490) and with careful porting and head work seems to run fairly well and have a decent lifespan. The wide ratio gearbox would also be a plus for street use I think. Have fun

Yeah, I know. I want it to look right though, going in a drum braked CB550 chassis and air cooled will look better I think. I'd love to have an IT490 with the five speed.

I've got an RZ350 mill to go in a future long term chopper build...that one will make power.
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:03 PM   #52
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stainlesscycle if the classes are by cc only, and not further divided by 2 or 4 stroke, you will get destroyed riding a 4 stroke.

Garthe Different classes, my hope would be that learning to riding a two stroke will make me a 'better' rider.


very few skills from your off road riding will translate. sure you'll be able to go around the track, but MX is a whole different world. i'm assuming your series will be on vintage mx style tracks and not modern mx. i would assume since your class break is 1989, there will be some significant jumps.. more than just a tabletop here and there.

I've been told that the home track is designed for a 4" suspension bikes with a 60 + year old rider in mind. They have small jumps...lot's of turns.



you gotta go 250cc or bigger 2 stroke. you can setup most any full size bike for your height.

I'm just worried about going bigger than 250cc, I'm trying to build skill...I just don't think that a 480/490 is the right tool. My XR 650 R is a great bike, but, I'm trying to get away from that power...to learn 'how' to use the power...


it should be easy finding a bike in this price range. there are lotsa 85-89 bikes selling cheap, as many vintage series do not allow disc brake (although ahrma is trying disc fronts out in mx this year.) you will spend much more to make it competitive though.......

Spending $$$ is part of the fun...I'm ok with that.


this is interesting - so there are disc brake classes in this series? the only way to be competitive is gonna be 85-89 or so. there is a HUGE difference in suspension between 78, 83 and 89. if i was gonna race with these rules, i would go: mono shock, liquid cooled, power valve that worked, disc brakes. to be competitive you would need the closest thing to the rule cutoff possible. anything else would be not competitive, unless you are an extremely skilled rider.

GREAT comments...I need every advantage I can get...I'm NOT extremely skilled...at MX...off road, different story.


another thing to keep in mind, these rules don't jibe with ahrma rules. so the bike you pick will most likely not be eligible for ahrma races.

That's ok, this is something local...for right now.


i don't race mx, just vintage cc/modern hare scrambles. the vintage classes i run end in 74 and 77... there's lotsa maico's that fit into these races nicely.

I would LOVE to get a Maico...but that will have to wait. I need to 'earn' that, by going through this process.

Garthe screwed with this post 01-25-2011 at 01:54 PM
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:09 PM   #53
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It sure is nice to read some good, experienced advise from you guys! It most all makes good sense to me!
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:32 PM   #54
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I'm just worried about going bigger than 250cc, I'm trying to build skill...I just don't think that a 480/490 is the right tool. My XR 650 R is a great bike, but, I'm trying to get away from that power...to learn 'how' to use the power...
a well tuned 250 2t from the late 80's will make almost the same power as your xr650...... but it'll deliver it in a whole 'nother fashion if you want to learn throttle control, clutch control, and proper braking, a 250 2 stroke will teach you to respect all 3....

the bigger 2 strokes from that era (360 and up...) deliver power quite a bit different - they do have more hp than a 250, but they are generally more tame on delivery, and have way more torque... the big bores have more top end of course, but they generally aren't snappy like a 250. that's why you can be faster on a 250 - of course it depends on the track...
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:44 PM   #55
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I never noticed that tunable full floater on Johnny O's works bike before!
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:45 PM   #56
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Myself I'd rather have a cool bike, air cooled mid eighties just for the coolness. I was riding 490's when I was a 100 pound 13 year old though, I'd probably kill myself with a 4th gear stand up wheelie through mud puddles now.

Look for a trail oriented bike, Jim. They have better trans ratios and are easier to ride, KDX or an IT in the 250 class would be a great way to get into the game.
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:45 PM   #57
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It sure is nice to read some good, experienced advise from you guys! It most all makes good sense to me!
Agreeded...GREAT stuff.
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:23 PM   #58
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another thing to keep in mind, these rules don't jibe with ahrma rules. so the bike you pick will most likely not be eligible for ahrma races.

That's ok, this is something local...for right now.
ahrma has races all over.. and lots of series use ahrma rules. i wouldn't limit myself to just one series with your bike choice. you potentially would have to buy another bike to run a different series
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:24 PM   #59
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As an adult racing I made significant progress in MX after a weekend at Gary Semics school. I understand Ohio is a long ways for you so search one out close to home. No matter what bike you choose attend a good school.
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:32 PM   #60
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Look for a trail oriented bike, Jim. They have better trans ratios and are easier to ride, KDX or an IT in the 250 class would be a great way to get into the game.
The bike that I buy for this V-MXing would not be taken on the trail. I have a Montesa 315 that I'm going to be doing Trials events with this year as well(I've been playing around with this bike for a couple of years). AND, I'm hooping with the experience of V-MX and Trials...I will get a KTM 300 XCW for off roading when I think I'm ready...


I lived my first 41 years in the city of Chicago. I've been working my way back wards for the last 13 years...

Started out (dirt bike wise), R1100 GS then, XR 650 L then, XR 650 R then Montesa 315 R (NOOB) then...working on this V-MX (PRE NOOB) thing...then...?
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