Dirt Bike History 101

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

  1. kittycactus

    kittycactus Banned

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    Shit! I was waiting for the picture to load and realized I was getting a pop quiz! :eek1

    1979?
  2. kittycactus

    kittycactus Banned

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    Okay - I wasn't sure what to call it. But did it come from the factory like that or did they guys do it for racing?
  3. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad n00balicious

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    Naw, thats stock.
  4. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad n00balicious

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    <o:p> </o:p>
    I vaguely remember Mckee, the fastest Hodakas with the TT crowd in So Cal were built (IMHO) by Daryl Bazzani. Keith Miller raced a Bazzani built Hodaka at Parris and <st1:place w:st="on">Elsinore</st1:place> sporting a 32mm carb, which for a standard piston ported 100cc, was outrageous. Bazzani now makes car exhaust systems for “Rice Burners” aka NOPI racers.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    If you raced against Don at Trojan, it was before I met him. When I met Don he was riding a Rickman Zundap, sponsored by the Rickman importer John Steen. I think he rode a Van Tech framed Suzuki prior to that, but I’m not sure. I also seem to remember an American Eagle (Zundap motor in a knock-off Rickman frame) sponsorship in the mix too. His last real race bike he campaigned was a “Frankenbike” he put together after leaving Precision Cycle he called the “Pendap”, a 125cc Zundap motor in a Penton frame.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Many of the early 2 stroke race bikes were built by someone who made frames and they used a motor from an outside supplier. From England Villers made motors that DOT (Devoid Of Trouble), Cotton, and Greeves used. From <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Germany</st1:place></st1:country-region>, Sachs motors were found not only in the Sachs brand but also Monark, Penton, and several other brands. Companies like Rickman used motors from Hodaka, Zundap, Triumph, BSA, and Montessa. There were also companies who took bikes like Hodakas and made upgrades/modifications like pipe, forks, and air cleaners and then sold them as a Steen’s Hodaka or Eddie Crowl Hodaka, similar to say a Roush or Saleen Mustang car today.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
  5. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad n00balicious

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    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.
  6. dan-c

    dan-c Undescended Testicle

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    Here's another good web site. No cut and paste though lots of pretty motorcycles :deal

    Shazzam!
  7. TheBigO

    TheBigO aka The Big Square Head

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    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.
  8. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad n00balicious

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    Indeed Rocket Rex Staten put one on the podium in 76 or 77.
  9. Curvy

    Curvy Lost Planet Airman

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    http://www.motorcyclemuseum.org/classics/bike.asp?id=76
  10. Gordy

    Gordy Team Listo

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    [​IMG]

    I sold a couple of those and somehow I ended up with an extra motor/tranny.:scratch

    That motor hung around in the way for years and I finally hauled it to the dump.:cry
  11. TheBigO

    TheBigO aka The Big Square Head

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  12. vintagemxr

    vintagemxr old fahrt, nobody special

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    "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
  13. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad n00balicious

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    Very well said indeed!!!
  14. nachtflug

    nachtflug infidel

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    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??
  15. vintagemxr

    vintagemxr old fahrt, nobody special

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    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. :ricky

    Doug
  16. Joe S.

    Joe S. Been here awhile

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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.
  17. nachtflug

    nachtflug infidel

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    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.

    [​IMG]
  18. nachtflug

    nachtflug infidel

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    paging German trick...
  19. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad n00balicious

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    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.
  20. gonridn

    gonridn Been here awhile

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    was that the guy in san pedro? i had one of the first snake pipes at saddleback on my 75' 250 pursang. looked cool.