MotoHubNW Partners

Month: September 2018

Two-Stroke Glory: Reflecting On The Golden Age Of The 125

by Mark Swart

 

Why do racers who came up in the 80s and 90s get so misty-eyed every time we think about 125s? The answer is simple for this age group; we grew up in a sweet spot of history and technology that could easily be called the Golden Age of The 125.

Of course 125 two strokes were around long before my generation, but by the mid-80s a seismic shift was underway for 125s. This shift was driven in part by Supercross. In the early 80s, riders who wanted to race indoors jumped straight into the deep end of the premier 250 Class. Sensing a need for a better development system, promoters added 125s to the Supercross schedule as two separate regional support series. This is a format that we still follow to this day. Eddie Warren and Todd Campbell became the first East and West 125 Supercross Champions that year, and the stakes went up quickly as factories began to provide more and more emphasis on the class over the next few years.

At the Motocross Des Nations in 1986, Johnny O’Mara made the “statement heard around the world” for 125s: he hunted down 500cc World Champion David Thorpe’s full works RC 500 on a U.S. spec, production based CR 125. Charging the turns and out-braking the world champ, the O’Show ran through the pack to pass every other 500cc rider on the track except his teammate David Bailey. The ride was even more incredible because O’Mara hadn’t raced a 125 full-time for years, and the bike was borrowed from Honda’s 125 National Champion Micky Dymond. This historic ride opened a lot of eyes to what 125’s were capable of in the right hands.

Expanded Supercross exposure for 125’s meant more star power in the class. I’ll stand by the argument that Damon Bradshaw was the first true superstar of 125 Supercross. Groomed by Yamaha from a young age, this phenom skipped the “paying dues” mid-pack seasons when he turned pro and went straight to the front of the 125 SX class. Thanks to the production rule, kids my age got to see Damon and other pros running 125s in the big show that looked like almost like ours. If I had a dollar for every kid on a YZ 125 who wore Fox Zebra pants in 1989, well, let’s just say I could buy a lot of Fox Zebra pants! Money talks and the 125 rider demographic became a true consumer force, due in part to Damon’s star power.

As the 125s achieved a more serious role on the professional scene, they also provided a manageable and natural progression from the 80cc bikes in terms of weight and power, and were more friendly for beginners. A new 125 in 1990 cost right around $3,000. By this point the manufacturers’ priority on their development was on par with 250’s, sharing many of the same components and appearance.

The 125s rise to glory became unstoppable with the demise of Open Class bikes in professional racing. Suzuki pulled the plug on their RM 500 in 1984 and Yamaha essentially ceased development of the air cooled 490 in the late 80’s. That left Kawasaki and Honda with legitimate 500cc race bikes, but in an effort to play nice with all of the manufacturers (and also mirroring changing consumer preferences of the time), the AMA killed the National 500cc MX class after the 1993 season.

The transition was complete and 1994-2004 became the true golden age of the 125. For the next 10 years they provided a platform for up-and-coming stars such as Ricky Carmichael, Kevin Windham, Travis Pastrana and James Stewart. Iconic images of 125s such as Bubba’s first scrub, Brian Deegan’s ghost ride after a SX win, or even Pastrana jumping into San Francisco bay at the X Games will never be forgotten.

However, the writing was on the wall for these exceptional machines in the early 2,000s when manufacturers developed 250 four strokes to run in the 125cc National class. Given a 100% displacement advantage it only took a few years of development before the 250F took over. Fittingly, the true swan song of the 125 came in 2004, as James Stewart (possibly the best 125 rider to ever live), decimated a field made up mostly of 250Fs. A 125 would never win another professional championship after 2004.

The author at 23 on his RM 125, and then reliving his youth (with a slightly larger waistline) on the same bike in 2018.

 

My Generation of racers lived through all of this, and on top of it we cut our teeth riding and watching these “angry bumblebee sounding” machines ourselves. No wonder we still love them, and our ears perk up when we hear one to this day. It is no wonder that two-stroke classes, vintage racing and “Dream Races” have popped up. Today’s fuel injected, electric start, four-stroke machinery is amazing, but I feel bad for the young racers of today who will never experience 125 life. Coaxing a 125 out of a turn and over a big jump is an art and an entirely different riding experience than ‘point and shoot’ four stroke power delivery. They are lighter and easy to control when they get out of shape on the track. Anyone who can ride a 125 without smiling even a little may not have a soul!

But this isn’t about the debate between two-stroke versus four-stroke. All I know is that when I ride a 125 nowadays it makes me feel young again. I move around a lot on the bike and hang off the back looking for more speed and traction, charge into turns faster and let off later, and often hear myself laughing out loud at some of the stuff it lets me get away with. Kids might see an old guy on a slow bike making a lot of noise and going nowhere, but for me and most other racers my age, the 125 is a two wheeled time portal to my youth. I may have newer and faster bikes today, but if I have it my way, there will always be a little 125 in my garage for the days I want a reminder of what pure joy on a track really feels like.

 

(Author’s note: As of 2018, the Pacific NW Vintage Motocross club added multiple 125 classes for years 1982 and up. This should help preserve older 125s in our region as race bikes for years to come. It also provides an inexpensive gateway to racing for those interested in starting, or returning to, the sport!)

The Top 10 American Motocrossers of All Time

Hey everybody, it’s another Top 10 List! Just what the world was asking for, I know. Another good excuse for an argument between moto-buddies. But hey, this one’s pretty good. At least in my opinion. This is my list of the Top 10 American Motocross Racers of All Time. You may agree or disagree, but this is MY list. You can go make your own!

I tried not to make this a “favorite racer list”. For example, Tony Distefano was a three-time back-to-back 250cc National Champion AND one of my favorites. He did NOT make this list, but he would have definitely made a Top 20 List. There are some racers who I was quite surprised to see near the top. In order to be more objective I did use hard numbers as criteria.

Here are the objective criteria I used.

  • Number of National Moto Wins, including Supercross (includes 250sx East & West) and the old 125cc Class
  • Number of USA Championships, including Supercross (includes 250sx East & West) and the old 125cc Class
  • Number of FIM World Championships

I then added some additional, more subjective, metrics. I wanted to reward racers for their impact on the sport and the historical significance of what they did.

Here are some of the subjective criteria I used.

  • Historical Significance
  • Career Longevity
  • Influence on the Sport

I put all this in a spreadsheet and weighted the criteria to create a balanced scoring metric. (by the way, my real job, besides this blog, is as a Data Analyst at HP) I assumed that I would tend to lean towards the racers from the 70’s, since that’s when I raced, but the objective criteria actually created a somewhat balanced list. However, it is light on racers from the 90’s. Four of the racers had their peak years from the mid-70’s to the early 80’s. Two are from the mid-80’s to early 90’s, and four are from the modern era of the late 90’s all the way to 2017.

When you think of something like historical significance, that will naturally lean towards the racers from the infancy of the sport. Motocross is a European sport, just as baseball is an American sport. Those few who broke through the European dominance and set the stage for American supremacy should be recognized for that. So that’s probably why it’s light on racers from the 90’s. Also, as you go back in time racers would race more than one class, and there were more classes. There were 500cc, 250cc, and 125cc outdoor National Championship series back then. Rare are the racers who won championships in all three classes, like Jeff Ward and Broc Glover did, but it DID happen back then. From the 90’s forward there was much more specialization. Some racers started to stick to one class their entire career and some are good at Supercross, but not outdoor Motocross, and vice-versa.

I have to note that the most dominant Supercross racer ever, Jeremy McGrath is not on this list. Despite his phenomenal success in Supercross he never had significant success in the outdoor Nationals. Again, he would easily make a Top 20 List. He probably belongs here, but impact on the sport overall and lack of strong competition during that period made me think twice. If you have him on your list I wouldn’t argue with you.

I know that there are a lot of worthy American motocross legends left off this list. The names and faces go around my brain like a whirlwind. But in order to come up with the Top 10 All Time I had to forget about all that and really take the time to look at the numbers. Doesn’t mean that these are the fastest American racers ever, or even the most popular. Danny Chandler was probably the fastest racer I ever saw, when he wasn’t crashing his brains out. But that’s for another list. These are the racers who either dominated their era to some degree in terms of sheer wins and championships, or made history by doing something no one else had ever done. The sport of motocross is, therefore, eternally indebted to these elite racers. The Top 10 American Motocross Racers of All Time…


# 10. Kent Howerton

National MX Championships:        3
National MX Race Wins:                23

The Rhinestone Cowboy, so named for his love of colorful tennis shoes, was a favorite of mine. He had a long, successful career. Howerton was one of a group of legendary riders out of Texas which included Wyman Priddy, Steve Stackable, and Steve Wise. He earned his titles on Husqvarna and Suzuki, like many others of that era. Great style and grace, but also a relentless and extremely fit competitor. At the time of his retirement in 1984, he was second on the all-time AMA 250cc motocross win list. His battles with Bob Hannah are the stuff of legend.

#10 was the hardest decision. Eli Tomac is almost there, as well as a few other choices.


#9. Brad Lackey

National MX Championships          1
National MX Race Wins                  16
World MX Championships              1

Some might be surprised to find “Bad” Brad Lackey here in #9. I weighted the criteria for World Championships and Impact on the Sport very highly. Since he didn’t race many Nationals or Supercross it hurt his overall score. But it is hard to deny that Brad may have had more of an impact than any American racer in mx history. In the early 70’s the idea of an American winning the FIM 500cc World Championship seemed like an impossible dream. Decoster, Mikkola, Wolsink, and Weil dominated and were years ahead of any Americans. After winning the very first AMA National 500cc Championship in 1972, he set his sights on the FIM World Championship. In 1982, after coming so close so many times, Lackey would finally achieve his dream and win the 500cc title. He is still the only American to ever win the 500cc FIM World Championship. His impact on American motocross is immeasurable.


#8. Broc Glover

National MX Championships         6
National MX Race Wins                  35

Broc Glover had a very impressive career. Broc earned six AMA National Motocross Championships, a record which stood for nearly 20 years until 2003, when Ricky Carmichael finally eclipsed the mark. Glover won all of his titles riding for Yamaha, creating an iconic image for that era. Glover won the 125cc National Championship in his first full year riding as a pro in 1977. He defended his crown in 1978 and 1979. He moved to the 500cc class in 1981 and won the national championship in his first year. He added 500cc championships in 1983 and 1985. When he retired after the 1988 season, Glover held the AMA all-time wins record in both AMA 125cc motocross and 500cc motocross.


#7. Ricky Johnson

National MX Championships          7
National MX Race Wins                  33
Supercross Championships            2
Supercross Race Wins                    28

Ricky Johnson was a racer’s-racer. When I think of flat-out, balls-to-the-wall guys Rick easily comes to mind. Johnson dominated the 1987 season, winning both the 250 and 500 crowns. In 1987, he also won what is considered to be one of Supercross history’s greatest races in the Super Bowl of Motocross at the L.A. Coliseum. After crashing in the first corner Johnson came back from near dead last to pass Jeff Ward, and eventually privateer Guy Cooper, on the penultimate lap to seize the win. Johnson followed this performance by adding the 1988 Supercross and 500cc National titles to his name. Rick started the 1989 season strongly but suffered a serious injury when he broke his wrist in a practice session. He would never fully recover from the injury. He soldiered on for a few more seasons but the injury proved too debilitating. He announced his retirement at the beginning of the 1991 season. At the time of his retirement from motocross racing at age 26, he was the all-time leader in Supercross victories.


#6. Ryan Villopoto

National MX Championships        10
National MX Race Wins                   31
Supercross Championships             5
Supercross Race Wins                     52

Ryan Villopoto is one of those guys who comes from a moto family and grew up on bikes. Extraordinary drive and will to win are what stands out to me. He put in some of the most impressive performances ever at the Motocross des Nations. Never one to seek the limelight, RV was somewhat private and guarded during his heyday. This may have limited his popularity somewhat. But throughout much of his career he was THE fastest racer around, just like Eli Tomac is currently. If only his run at the 450cc FIM World Championship had occurred a couple years earlier. He might have joined Brad Lackey as the only American to win it.


#5. Bob Hannah

National MX Championships          6
National MX Race Wins                  37
Supercross Championships             3
Supercross Race Wins                     27

Bob Hannah is an original. He would be very happy to know that I ranked him ahead of Howerton. He burst upon the scene like a banshee n 1976, leaving other racers in his wake. Brash, bold, and rebellious, he always went his own way. His race wins and championships alone would put him on this list, but it’s also his personality and the huge impact he had on the sport. He was the one you either loved or hated, yet couldn’t ignore. And that’s just the way he wanted it.


#4. Jeff Ward

National MX Championships          5
National MX Race Wins                  36
Supercross Championships             3
Supercross Race Wins                     23

Jeff Ward did it ALL, then he did a whole lot more. Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Ward’s family moved to the United States when he was four years old. The diminutive Ward was a mini-bike star before bursting onto the scene in 1984 with the first of his many national titles on a 125. A year later, in 1985, he won both the 250cc and 500cc championships in the same year! In 15 seasons, Ward won a total of 56 national races placing him third on the all-time AMA motocross/Supercross win list at the time of his retirement. He won a total of seven AMA national championships, tying Bob Hannah and Ricky Johnson for the most career motocross and Supercross championships at the time of his retirement. In international motocross competition, Ward was a member of seven winning U.S. Motocross des Nations teams. Since retiring from professional mx he went on to a very successful career in Indy Car and off-road truck competition. Look up “racing” in your encyclopedia and you’ll probably find a picture of Ward smiling at you.


#3. Ryan Dungey

National MX Championships:         7
National MX Race Wins:                 46
Supercross Championships             5
Supercross Race Wins                     46

Regardless of your opinion of Ryan, his numbers and consistency set him apart. He is third on the list of all-time moto wins. He was Mr. Consistency throughout his career. Rarely thought of as the fastest rider, nobody can deny his accomplishments over such a prolonged period of time. He had tremendous skill and was a natural, and set the gold standard as an ambassador for the sport. I am somewhat surprised he is this high on the list. But, if I am being objective, it makes sense.


#2. James Stewart

National MX Championships:         5
National MX Race Wins:                 28
Supercross Championships             4
Supercross Race Wins                     68

I originally had James lower on this list. After looking at the numbers again and considering his impact, the spreadsheet put him here in second place. Some will put him at #1, while others will think he doesn’t belong on the list at all. Bubba was/is polarizing, that’s for sure. I was never a huge fan myself, personally, but that shouldn’t matter. I hated Bob Hannah. No one can deny Stewart’s impact on the sport. Andy Jefferson was the first black American to qualify for a Supercross main event in 1982. But very few know his name, as he did not go on to great success. James Stewart, on the other hand, is rightly recognized as the first African American Motocross Superstar. Not unlike what Tiger Woods did for golf, Bubba did for motocross. When he burst onto the scene he blew everyone away with his style of riding and sheer speed. He essentially created the scrub, dubbed the “Bubba Scrub”, that would revolutionize the way racers jumped from there forward. I remember during his peak watching Supercross races and asking my wife afterwards to guess who won. She knew nothing about Supercross, but would always say “that Stewart guy”. He was a household name, and she was usually right. A series of poor decisions, including a drug suspension by the FIM, and a tendency to crash in turns hampered what could have been an even greater career.


#1. Ricky Carmichael

National MX Championships         16
National MX Race Wins                 102
Supercross Championships             6
Supercross Race Wins                     60

Referred to by many as the G.O.A.T., Ricky Carmichael eclipses all other American racers in sheer numbers. More races wins and championships than anyone, not even close. And he did it indoors AND outdoors, something which kept Jeremy McGrath off this list. His sheer dominance prevented a great many successful and talented racers from ever winning a title. The only racer to have three perfect seasons, one on a Kawasaki 125 and two on Hondas, there shouldn’t be any argument here. Just look at those numbers. Case closed.

Trade ya two figs for a banana…

So there’s Ricky….. Doing his thing for his sponsors Fig Newton, Chiquita Banana , and Marlboro….when this young dude pulls up and totally snags one of Ricky’s figs!

Ricky (being the nice guy he is) quickly realized the young man simply could not control his urge to partake during this “star struck” moment for. A frequent occurrence for the Roguester.

Ricky gladly gave this young buck…. Carson Green… or was it Carson White?   no no no, it’s Carson Brown a lil piece of Awesomeness.

Awesomeness lived on this day at The Ridge in Shelton WA.

if you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying

So…. This Tommy Weeck dude decides to line up next to The Radical Ricky Rattlesnake Rogue in the Revolution 2 class of Washougal’s Northwest Challenge .

Well….Ricky noticed Tommy left his bike unattended ..ANNNNND since Ricky is such a nice guy , Ricky did some fine tuning on Tommy’s scooter before gate drop.

FYI ….”if you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying” -RR

HEROES: KENT HOWERTON

I always hated the Dallas Cowboys. I was born in San Jose, CA, so of course I was a 49er fan. I was a 49er fan way before they were any good. Which was a LONG time. Before Montana came along it was a long string of failures, with just enough decent years to build up your hopes. But once they started winning I really hated Dallas. And, of course, Cowboy fans hated the 49ers. It was expected. Hard to blame them, for all the years they had to suffer at the hands of Rice, Lott, and Joe Cool.

These same type of loyalties also exist in the motocross world, either in the form of favorite riders or beloved bike brands. Sometimes, well many times, it is as simple as a favorite color. Red, Yellow, Green, Orange, or Blue. Take your pick. For me, it all started with Roger Decoster and Joel Robert. Then there was Heikki Mikkola and Gerrit Wolsink, aka the “Flying Dentist”. This was before American racers were able to compete at that level. In the late 60’s and early 70’s you admired and cheered for Americans, but you worshipped at the shrine of the Europeans. They were Gods whose every move was followed in the pages of Motocross Action Magazine.

So I was naturally disposed to be a Husqvarna and Suzuki fan based upon the brands raced by my heroes. My first mx bike was a Suzuki TM125 and I had a couple Husqvarnas also. Once the American racers finally caught up to the Europeans, towards the end of Decoster’s career, these loyalties continued. One of my favorite American motocross heroes from this period was Kent Howerton. Kent rode both Husqvarna and Suzuki to 500cc and 250cc championships. He was one of a group of legendary riders out of Texas which included Wyman Priddy, Steve Stackable, and Steve Wise.

Something about Howerton always stood out to me. He always seemed to be smiling in photos. He had tremendous style. One of my favorite photographs of all time is one I took of him wheelieing his Husky up a steep hill at Sears Point. You can see this photo at the top of the page. He had the nickname “The Rhinestone Cowboy”, because he liked flashy tennis shoes. I always thought it was a mismatched nickname, as he was humble and unpretentious and tough as nails. When other guys were melting in the intense summer heat he just kept going. And he was fast, really fast.

A fifteen year career in professional motocross is a long one. Most careers are a small fraction of that. In all Kent won 32 career AMA nationals and when he retired in the mid-1980s, he was second on the all-time AMA 250cc Motocross win list. In addition, he was the 1980 AMA Pro Athlete of the Year; a two-time winner of the 250cc United States Grand Prix; a two-time member of the American Motocross des Nations team and twice winner of the ABC Wide World of Sports Superbikers competition.

When I was a 17 year-old kid I took a photo of Kent at Hangtown. The year was 1976. That photo was published in Motocross Action Magazine! Pretty much the highlight of my entire high school experience. All those hours in the darkroom at Vaca High were mostly devoted to motocross photos, regardless of Mr. Swinerton’s assignments. That photo is the black and white photo above.

Kent Howerton always did things the right way and raced with fierce determination, but with class as well. He will always be remembered by me as one of my favorite racers ever. If I were to have a beer with any two racers from that time period it would be Howerton and Distefano. Don’t ask me why. Just something about people like that, people whose character is revealed by adversity. And is proven to be worthy of admiration.

‘Stubborn’ Racer Chooses Pain Over Pills

It’s easy to be a role model in motocross when everything is going right, throwing that whip over the finish at the end of a 1-1 race day. However, as Ricky Carmichael used to say, championships are won on a racer’s bad days. RC may not compare to Plato as one of the world’s great philosophers, but he makes a good point: our reaction when things are tough is the true test of who we are and what we are capable of.

Over the past two years I have put in quite a few motos with fellow racer Chris Kinerk. Chris is the manager of The Ridge MX Park, a very quick +30 intermediate racer, and a huge enthusiast of the sport. I practice and race a lot at The Ridge and every time I am there I can’t help but notice Chris coaching riders through different sections, helping people figure out bike issues, and sometimes just high-fiving kids to keep them pumped on moto and for being a part of our sport.

On September 2, at the Top Gun Showdown at Washougal, a start went sour for Chris. After winning his first two motos he ended up getting run over by multiple riders in the first turn of his third moto. The crash left him with nine broken ribs (some in multiple places) and a collapsed lung. In an instant, he went from the highest of highs to an ambulance ride, but what came next is the truly gritty part.

It is normal for patients with severe injuries to receive strong narcotic painkillers to handle the pain. These painkillers are highly addictive and have taken a toll not just on society, but also on many riders at the highest levels of our sport. Injury leads to pain, pain leads to a prescription, and without careful management that prescription can lead to addiction.

Recovering from an injury like this without painkillers isn’t easy. But this is exactly what Chris chose to do. He has seen the hell that opiate addiction has wreaked on friends, and he believes that it simply isn’t worth the risk. As a track promoter he has also been an ardent supporter of the Live Purple organization (now known as Youth Brigade 7), which promotes fitness as a tool in substance-abuse prevention and recovery, and as a catalyst to healthier living.

“If anything I want to use this to show others, especially the youth, that you can say no, and there’s other ways to manage the pain without risking falling into an addiction.” And of course, as he pointed out in one of his social media posts the day after his crash, “I’m stubborn.”

About a week after the injury, I contacted Chris and he said that “as long as I don’t cough, sneeze, hiccup, or make any sudden movements it’s manageable. I was expecting pure hell, but it hasn’t been horrible.”

I know that we will see the 796 bike back on the track again, and he will be there without the worry of addiction. It’s typical to look to our professional riders as role models in this sport, but sometimes role models like Chris can be right there in plain view at our local track, helping us find the good lines and staying out of the rough.

 

Mark Swart

 

You can help Chris Kinerk by going here and making a donation…

https://www.gofundme.com/626qd9k

PNW Vintage MX – Round 6 @ Eugene MX Park

— Lawrence Wernik —
—Reporting LIVE on my experience at Round 6 of the PNW Vintage MX Series at Eugene Motocross Park—

This is only the third vintage race I have ever entered. For all three races a good friend of mine has put me on one of his bikes, a 1981 YZ 465. I really love that bike and we have definitely bonded, but more on that later…

My first observation for the day was how awesome Portland, Oregon, traffic is at 7am on a Sunday! My second observation was that the Willamette Valley is so very flat. It is so flat you wonder how a mighty river can possibly flow through it. My destination was Territorial MX Park in Eugene, Oregon. Never having been there I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I was told this was a beautiful facility, but descriptions don’t do it justice. Very nice track laid out in the rolling hills with plenty of trees all around. Very different than what you see in the flat valley one mile away.

Upon entering the facility, it was very apparent that all the riders and spectators alike take this “Race for A Cure” very seriously. There was Pink everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE, including pink tutu’s and pink streamers laced through the spokes of wheels on bikes. Even the checkered flag was pink! I wasn’t really expecting that, but next time I will have to step up my game and get my pink on.

Rider’s Meetings are usually not a highlight of any MX race. This was a little different. It’s not often you see every single rider attend a riders meeting. Of course, all the normal race track stuff was covered, but then some reps from the American Cancer Society spoke about the alarming numbers of women diagnosed with breast cancer in Oregon. Skeet Hise, who was recently awarded by the club for his splendid work, also had some emotional words to share. He spoke of his cancer-surviving friend, who was also in attendance. I am sure I am not the only one in the crowd fighting back some tears. That turned out to be an amazing gathering of friends.

It is so great to be able to engage in your passion for racing, while doing and experiencing something truly meaningful at the same time. There was a pink MX boot for donations, and of course all the money raised went directly to the Cancer Society. I would also like to offer a big shout-out to Skeet, Oley Glover, Willie Parish, and Linda Parish for all they do. Great people. And did I mention the BBQ? No? It was epic! The best potluck BBQ ever. Truly amazing!

And now, back to the track with your trusty reporter. No fake news here. Did I mention that the track was awesome? No? Well, the track was awesome! The crew did an amazing job of changing the normal layout to accommodate all the Vintage, Evolution, and Revolution bikes. They ripped it up and watered the heck out of it. It is a high-speed track with tons of elevation changes. It really is a fun track! The one common thing I heard from others was that it was very fast. And I would have to agree. I almost blew through a few corners.

Over 20 motos of Vintage, Revolution, and Evolution classes made for some great racing, as you would expect. It blew my mind watching all this amazing “old” equipment getting put to use as it was intended (and sometimes not intended) to be. To see a twin shock bike with minimal suspension travel and a down pipe railing corners and getting hucked is so bad ass!!!

I love this vintage racing and I love this community. Every event seems to be full of surprises, good friends, and great experiences. Now, back to that bike. I have been racing that 1981 YZ 465 Yamaha and feel very comfortable on it. Well, the #22 Yamaha was made available for me to buy! Of course, I jumped right on it. I am in! I just bought a 37 year old dirt bike. Like me, it may have some years on it, but it is still full of life and ready to go. Looking forward to more great experiences on that bike, and in the community. Life is good. See you at the track!

photos by KATHY PATTERSON and STEVE COLLEEN MILES

Scroll to top
X