MotoHubNW is the brainchild of Mark Simpson, a Northern California native who escaped to the Pacific Northwest in the early 90’s.
I was introduced to the motorcycle world by my Father. In the 1950’s he got out of the Navy and the first thing he did was to buy a Harley Davidson. Well, a box full of HD parts, a frame, and wheels is more like it. He put it together and rode it all over Nor Cal. In the 60’s he took me to flat track races in San Jose, the city of my birth. Speedway was popular also, and was a great spectator sport. But something about the insane speeds of the flat track racers just had me in awe. Standing against the rail and feeling the rush of air as they flew by and the pounding in your chest from the sound of a four-stroke twin at full throttle. This was before the days of the local motocross revolution. My uncle and other friends of my Dad competed in desert racing and enduros on Ossa, Husqvarna, Greeves, and BSA. It wasn’t until years later, after my parents divorce and many changes of address, that I would be able to experience the joys of riding myself.
The first bike we owned that I ever rode was a Honda Trail CT90.
It was a pretty good bike. I mean it ran, almost always. It was easy to get on and off of for a pre-teen boy. But that poor thing. It never anticipated what was coming. My step-brother and I would take it over to various local construction sites in the Vacaville, CA sun. We did about everything you shouldn’t do. But, like duh, we were boys. It was the 60’s. Come on.
It did not take long for two things to happen: 1. We bent the frame trying to jump it, 2. We were both hooked. Lots of our friends started getting bikes and racing. My High School even had a Motocross Team! Time to upgrade…
The only new bike I ever owned in my life was one my parents bought for me in early 1974, when I was 14. I loved that bike so much, but soon found it’s limitations as it didn’t take long for starting gates to be full of very fast CR and YZ 125s, and even RMs. Poor little Suzi couldn’t keep up, but was a great reliable bike and a lot of fun to ride. Of course we laid down the shocks and added Schrader valves to the forks so that air could be pumped in. Even blowing the piston to smithereens wasn’t enough to keep her down for long. Lots of memories, but as always more power beckons…
A best friend of mine, Ted Rogers, was a Nor Cal Pro MXer. He held the CMC Number One in the Open Class for a while. These were the days of Richter, Chandler, Cantaloupi, Turner, Schultz, and others. I saw Ted beat all of them at one point or another. I bought two old race bikes from him, a Husqvarna CR250 and a CR360. Both great bikes, but the 360 was my favorite. Rio Vista, CA had an area where they used to train tank commanders and do war games. It had the best sand, as it was right by the river. So much fun.
These were the Golden Years of motocross, at least in my opinion. They say that over a million dirt bikes were sold a year back then. A small fraction of that is sold today. There was Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Bultaco, Maico, Husqvarna, Ossa, Montessa, Hodaka, KTM, Can-Am, and many more. All with purpose-built motocross machines. Variety and creativity was imbued within the sport. The backyard mechanic was king, as long as he had a good friend with a machine shop. We had a very cool guy name John with a long pony tail and the most pristine shop in his shed. Bring him a six-pack of his favorite beer and he’d have the prettiest cylinder ever seen waiting for you in no time.
Due to circumstances somewhat within my control I spent the next twenty years traveling every inch of this country doing everything I could to save the world. At least that’s what I thought at the time. The experiences were more extraordinary than you could possibly imagine. Throughout all that time the only bike I ever rode was a Honda CB500 four-cylinder that I rode in the rain non-stop from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Raising three wonderful children consumed the remainder of those years.
Fast forward over 35 years and it was time to re-live my youth, while I still can. Against all logic I bought a trashed 2001 RM250. Not the easiest bike for a man in his late 50’s, but I always loved the way Suzuki’s handled.
So here I am. Just trying to make things better. MotoHubNW is just getting started, but I have big plans. It will be the ONE place to go to get all the info you need. Race schedules, track info, trail locations and conditions, and more. It will also be a place to read funny stories, insightful articles, reviews, and much more. We all only have one life to live. Might as well do what we love and live for today. Hope you enjoy this website and get something out of it, something that makes you feel better. If that happens, then my goal is accomplished.