Dirt Bike History 101

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by kittycactus, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. ecubed

    ecubed LFC Cat

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    Ha ha, same, from the event.....Marty Tripes !
    [​IMG]
  2. Scootern29

    Scootern29 Been here awhile

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    Sep 4, 2012
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    545
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    In the hot, hot, dezert
    It made me feel real ill to where I threw up in my mouth a little bit.:puke1
  3. MotoMike

    MotoMike Washed Up Desert Racer

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    The Black Palm Springs
    I was at that race and I knew the guy that took that picture!
  4. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer

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    Behind the Redwood Curtain
    Years ago... one of the guys in the FarWest motorcycle club dented his Honda tank...
    one of the other guys thought you could blow the tank up with air, pound on the dent
    and it would come out.

    They maybe used a bit too much air and turned a 2 gallon tank into a 4 gallon tank...
    damm... I wish I had the photos.

    [​IMG]
  5. earling

    earling moto-xer turned trailie

    Joined:
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    The Berkshires, land of the fire road
    I am late to this thread, but I think I can contribute to the "history" lesson.

    I started practicing offroad in about 1972 when I got a Honda 50. I used to ride it at the Arnspiger's track on Brainard road, in the middle of cornfields, in Naperville, Ill, a few miles from where I lived. Kurt and Casey Arnspiger were up and coming motocross amateurs, both really talented (Kurt eventually turned pro on an Elsinore 250), and their engineer father used to mod out their bikes in the big garage overlooking their home made back yard track. They had some pretty radically altered Hodakas with Dad-designed pipes, longer swing arms, ported to the moon, god knows what else. By the time they let me store my bikes there and hang out they had graduated to a Rickman and a Monarch, both Sachs engined 125s, top of the line European stuff in those days, and both required HUGE amounts of setup. Which was all totally expected in those days. Wired spokes, ductaped airboxes, upgraded shocks, beefed up frames, on and on. Meanwhile I was out there jumping my Honda 50 (hard tail!) off of three foot drops, experiencing some truly hellacious wipe outs, and breaking the frame at one point. After a few in-betweens (Suzuki 90 with "hop up kit," Honda MT125 (dog)) I graduated to a 125 DKW with a leading link fork. That bike had an iron barrel Sachs engine, big chrome tank, amazing suspension, I laced up a set of Akront rims (hot setup at the time), shimmed the tranny one winter with home-made brass shims and a set of calipers, got a Dremel for christmas, ported the barrel, shaved the piston, etc etc. I was about 15 at the time. That bike handled great but wasn't a real barn burner even after the mods. After that came the Elsinore, which had just come out and set fire to the 125 class. I got one cheap from a buddy who went from that to a Bultaco Pursang for some reason (he was a total squid, rich kid). The Arspigers were kind enough to forward mount my shocks (the hot setup in 1974/5) and I started racing in 1974 at Elkhorn, wisconsin, and a few other midwestern tracks. My friend Jerry and I used to sleep overnight at the tracks in his Volvo in the reclining seats, which, at my present age, would literally kill me--let alone let me race two motos the next day. Youth. Unreal. Anyway, my buddy Jim had a 125 Maico that was always broken, but not a bad bike when running. I ran over his leg and tank when he wiped on an uphill once, WOT, weight back.... ruthless at that age. I typically got a 4th or 5th place start, then fell a lot, usually about 3x per 15 minute moto, but always came back to end up around mid pack. Weighed about 125. Total adrenalin. No earplugs. The tracks were much smoother, and more natural than most are now, wooded, no commercialism, no Red Bull, fire pits, privateers with funky vans, just the smell of Penzoil and Castrol wafting through the trees, sunny summer days, Maicos, CZs, Zundapps, Montesas, TMs, Elsinores...
    Heaven, man.
    And, whoever posted that you used to run those 125s flat out was correct. I only knew one throttle position. And you didn't touch the clutch. Second gear starts, throttle all the way open, stomp on the shifter. When in doubt, gas it. This was a difficult thing to un-learn whenI got a KTM450 EXC and tried to ride it in the woods 35 years later. Owee.
  6. nachtflug

    nachtflug infidel

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    so true. great post, great insights.
  7. nachtflug

    nachtflug infidel

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    again so true. I remember seeing the yellow tank CZ's for the first time at races. Husky's and Bultaco's we knew cos they were sold locally. But seeing real pits back then with the smorgasboard of euro bikes mixed in with the japanese along with the odd psycho on a SL or Sprint or even a Rokon. the smell. I like todays races when the expert class rolls by a lot of them are running race fuel and you can smell it but the smell of the bean oil back then. the sounds. the get off's. todays riders start younger and develop skills so the truly spectacular wipe outs we all were so good at are few and far between today. gloves? didn't need them. nothing like the sight of a yamaha enduro converted to MX duty going over a jump and the seat flopping up in the air on the hinges and slapping back down. would it kill todays riders to break a frame every now and then? I went to Unadilla's first VMX this year and got to rub elbows with Weinert, Lackey, Hansen, Stanton, Barnett, Guy Cooper, Gary and DeWayne Jones, Lechein who even made me like him after years of not. Great stuff...
  8. Rusty Rocket

    Rusty Rocket Life behind "Bars"

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    nothing brings back the 70's clearer than that smell today. Ahhhh. Castrol R.

    I used to burn it and drive in circles just to get whiff.
  9. ecubed

    ecubed LFC Cat

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    I drip the bean oil on my lightbulbs in the livingroom.....ahhhhh, aroma therapy...
    I also do this with Hoppies #9.....:evil
  10. nachtflug

    nachtflug infidel

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    :poser:oscar:rofl
  11. snooter

    snooter Adventurer

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    Mar 5, 2012
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    86
    bought my first bike in 1974 for $25...whopping 3 horse tecumsah minibike (i think a former monkey ward brand) that came home in a couple of boxes which we rebuilt..been all down-hill since,,1st run in with the damn cops was shortly there after,,mucking with me on a damn minibike..eventually got so bad dad would just laugh when i came up the drive pushing my bike with the mucking cop following....any how here is a couple pics of my many old skol dirt bikes

    [​IMG][​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    building this one when i have time

    [​IMG]
    i am building my rig right now (old IH scout) as i wanted old skol kewl for the street as i hate mucking street bikes..picked up too many damn dead bodies on the side of the road over the course of my job..oh well it is what it is
  12. KansasBob

    KansasBob Been here awhile

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    Apr 27, 2008
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    515
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    Topeka
    FOUND IT!

    [​IMG]
  13. Rusty Rocket

    Rusty Rocket Life behind "Bars"

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    Good work! Now, find out who campaigned the #73 Carabela.:D

    Seeing that Carabela, made me remember the bike I lusted after in '72.
    [​IMG]

    ended up with a Puch instead

    [​IMG] mine had lights.




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  14. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad n00balicious

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    Here in the US there were 4 of us who had "Factory" Carabela rides: Tommy & Cordis Brooks in D-37 Desert, and Bob Brooks (no relation) and myself in So Cal MX. I raced like 3 races and gave the bike back. My only full sponsored ride ever and I just couldn't do it on one of those POS.
  15. Rusty Rocket

    Rusty Rocket Life behind "Bars"

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    ^^ :lol3 ^^

    There were a ton of oddball brands coming into the U.S. in those days.

    A dealer in the next town from me started selling Cooper motorcycles. They had a Mexican (I believe) engine, Moto Islo. ( we called is Motor IS SLOW).

    Dealer was demonstrating a 250 in his parking lot and the engine blew up.

    I don't think he ever sold one.
  16. GalacticGS

    GalacticGS 1200 GS Rider

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    Aug 27, 2006
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    2,405
    Location:
    Camas, WA
    Billy Grossi on a Carabella

    [​IMG]
  17. Tech23

    Tech23 Been here awhile

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    Oct 31, 2007
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    475
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    Arizona Desert
    And those were the days too. When I was a kid my local dealer was a Suzuki, Rickman, Ossa, Hodaka, Triumph, Royal Enfield, Indian, Ital Jet, Greeves dealer. This was a small town Mom and Pop shop too. I miss shops like that.

    Tech23
  18. Rusty Rocket

    Rusty Rocket Life behind "Bars"

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    Trying to leave CT
    Yes! I miss them too. I worked at a Suzuki-Kawasaki-Maico-Hodaka-DKW-Puch-CanAm- Steen Allsport Dealer.

    With SkiDoo, MotoSki, ArcticCat for the bad season.:D

    And that was before computer inventories. You looked up the part in the book, looked up the bin location in another list, then looked up the price in another book. Wrote out the sales slip, totaled the price, figured the tax. After the sale you went to a card file and logged off the part from inventory. If you hit the minimum quantity, you turned the card bottom side up and the cards had a corner cut off at the top, so parts that needed re-order had a little corner sticking out. Then at the end of the week, you went back to the card file and ordered, by hand, all the parts you needed. Then you called the manufacturer and dictated your order. When the parts came in, you logged them on the card and flipped it back over and the process repeats.

    But hey, I was working at a motorcycle dealer and getting a discount on my race parts and accessories.:clap
  19. dorkpunch

    dorkpunch Oops...

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    Aug 2, 2006
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    5,406
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    Blackfoot, ID

    Looks suspiciously '78 CR250- ish? :dunno
  20. Motoduc1

    Motoduc1 backtrackvideo.com

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    995
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I love this story! No wonder it took so long to get a part...lots of time spent standing at the parts counter!

    Keep sharing those memories! More stories!