do you remember?

Zaknavage,

I remember all the things you mentioned in addition to Hodakas, CZ, the first japanese production dirtbike with LTR (75 1/2 RM 125), Marty Tripes, Heikki Mikkola, Roger D. and Jeff Ward on XR75s. I'm 41 and beginning to relive my childhood. How about yourself?

How about Gold Belt kidney belts, Jofa mouthguards, High Point boots, Super Seer goggles, and one big, long, forward falling starting gate.

KC

Oh my god this is a great thread!

My first bike was a Hodaka 100, it ran when we went to pick it up used in Watsonville, the next day it wouldnt start and my dad and I couldnt figure it out,it never ran again, so a month later we went and got a honda XR-75 with an XL-100 engine stuffed into it (a big deal back then)it was fantastic, I learned to ride on that bike, I rode it to death cause we lived in Carmel Valley and I could go out in the morning and take off on the bike and only come back home for more gas, my next bike was a Kawasaki 100 enduro (orange) brand new off the showroom floor at Peninsula Kawasaki, my great grandma bought it for me it was the most fantastic gift I have ever received up until my kids were born, after that my day and I acquired a Rickman framed Zundapp 125 that was a fire breather (back then) we're talkin 1974 here fellas, I was 12 then, the Zundapp was brand new and state of the art, my dad got it from his friend who owed him a big favor, he also owned Taft Harley Davidson at the time (near Bakersfield) and I was THE MAN, nobody in my area had an exotic at the time, and every grown up friend of my dads almost looped the thing trying to ride it! I rode up Carmel Valley Road with my buddies to a Zen buddist paradise called Tassajara every summer, which was only 17 miles up the dirt road from my house at the time, those memories make me teary eyed some times because of how "pure" it was to be a kid back then, I learned how to rebuild a top end on that Zundapp by the time I was 14 just me and my dad "figuring it out", went on to race Monterey County fairgrounds (short track) with that bike, and then on a Taft Harley Davidson prepared "Rapido" 125cc 2 stroke Harley YES 2 stroke Harley! flat tracker that was a bad ass son of a bitch, had a 72 tooth rear sprocket as I recall and was complete with candy apple paint ghost flames, Airhart mechanical disc brake, Akront rims and all, we ran Blendzall as well, (GOD I loved that smell), those were genuinely the best days of my life and I struggle to give my kids the same kind of childhood, but it is so worth it and I am really gratfull to you Freestyle for starting this thread, what great memmories! P.S. I had a Joffa face guard, Preston Petty fenders and linemans boots too! Wow!........Wow! what a good one!

GOd I just gotta add this too: I worked at a hot dog stand at Laguna Seca Raceway as a kid back when Harley Davidsons couldnt be touched in the world of road racing, my dad's buddy would bet me $1.00 on who was gonna win the race, He picked the 2 guys on Harley's (I think it was Cal Rayburn and Gene Romero?) and I got all of the other bikes combined! .......he won....it was the hardest dollar to part with in my life....I recall it being the only one I had!

I remember buying my first gallon of gas for my XR75 at the age of 12. I rode my bicycle 6 miles to town with a 1 gallon can. I don't know why I remember but I'm pretty sure it cost 54 cents. My friend had a Honda SL70 with a wood board for a rear fender. Those were the days!

Heh, heh, heh,,,, 3 weeks ago, I got determined and got the 85 RM250 in my garage running (and yes, it has holes drilled in the airbox). It hadn't run since 1988 when I abandoned it in my parents garage when I moved to Chicago. Got it back a couple of years ago, made a half a$# attempt to get it running, then let it sit. Now that its running, I've had the fire rekindled. I've been riding twice in the last 2 weeks (not bad for a working dad) and can't wait to go out again this weekend.

Previous bikes include (but not limited to) Yamaha Mini Enduro 60, Hodaka 100, 74 Suzuki TM125, 76 RM 125, 78 RM 125 (the MX years), 79 Husky WR250, CR250, 83 CR 250 and then the 85 RM 250. I was only racing Hare Scrambles from 80 on (anyone remember Blackwater?), but want to start again as soon as I've knocked the rust off and my forearms get back in shape.

Oops, forgot to mention. Next bike will either be a WR or YZ 426. Can't wait.

I remeber working all summer to get my first bike a basket case '72 penton 125 six days replica,i was all of about 12 years old and my stepdad told me if I wanted to ride it I had to fix it!that was about 1979 and sachs parts were few and far between even by then.i got it all back together but,could not get a head gasket so being the crafty kid i was i tried everything to make head gaskets out of,pizza boxes,cereal boxes,gasket paper,ect(pizza lids lasted the longest about 15min.if i remember)i think i rode it for a total of 2 hours that fall(ride it,blow the head gasket and then fix it again).that christmas santa gave me a new bell moto3 carrera goggles(like Lackey had)and a pair of bates leather mx gloves and a well used '76 RM125 (i had to work the next summer and pay my parents back for the bike)it had bright orange mullholland shocks on it with aluminum fins for cooling(TRICK)that bike lasted a couple of years and it taught me quite of few good lessons. aaahhh the memories

jeffro :)

Zaknavage,

This thread just won't end. I too started riding at 11 on of all things a Kawasaki Coyote, which was a pull start 3 1/2 horse power minibike. As soon as I got the mini I got a paper route and started buying bigger bikes. Somewhere along the way, 1973 to be exact, I bought a Kawasaki MD90 instead of an XR75. I think this is still my life's biggest regret. I started racing on that Kaw after adding an expansion chamber and Boge shocks, it wasn't pretty, but I'd usually trophy against all the hot little XRs. You obviously took it a bit further, but I bet we had similar amounts of fun.

A couple of other things have come to mind while reading the other posts:

I'm still wearing High Point boots (blue, circa 1985) most comfortable things I own.

Does anyone remember the face fenders? Snap on units for you helmet that were the predecessor to the full coverage dirt bike helmets of today.

To heck with the long forward falling starting gate, anyone remember the big rubberband starting gates? You only jump the start once with those, the pain stays with you for decades.

Bing carbs, bumper racks, Scott face shields, JT racing products, and piles and piles of old Dirt Bike and MXA magazines(where is Super Hunky now a days?). My cousin and I would reread them hour after hour after hour...

I had a mid seventies (I wish I knew what year, whichever the first year was) yellow monoshock YZ125. I had to work as a busboy for a year for it, saved every cent, I still remember picking it up at the dealer. It was really cool that the pipe came over the top, very modern, unlike most bikes then which ran the pipe beneath the frame and were squashed flat the first time the bike saw a rock. I had only been riding a year or so, and I was a spaz, so it was too much bike for me. I remember I had to change rings and pistons like crazy, I guess from the heat due to air cooling (ie lack of cooling). I remember it was really easy to wheelie when the rings were new, but after a few hours it was tough to get the wheel off the ground. Back then you could tell who rode alot by the size of the silver spot on the metal gas tank where your knees would rub off the paint.

I lived in town and had no way to transport my bike. I had to PUSH it over 1 mile over city streets to a canal trail. Then I had to ride it illegally to the power line trails. They sucked, but they were all I had. One day an older guy took pity on me and took me with him in his pickup to a real MX track, it was 45 miles away or so. Cedar ridge, or something like that. I was blown away by it. It was sooo cool. You could do jumps where both wheels would leave the ground!

Later I entered my first race, I had no clue what I was doing. I must have been 16. It was a hare scrambles, 4 laps of 22 miles each through nasty mudholes, roots, stream crossings. It would have been hard for me today. Only about 10% of the field finished, if I remember right. I destroyed my knee on the second lap. After 6 weeks in a cast, I was pretty stir crazy. I didn't ride for a while because I was running track. Then the bike was stolen in the middle of the night, I went off to college. I didn't ride again until 97. Now I am living out my second childhood. Unfortunately, some of the spaz is still left. Its still fun!

[ June 13, 2002: Message edited by: mikeolichney ]

Ron,

Thanks for the link, I knew someone would respond. I'd bumped into him on the web a couple of years ago and figured someone on this thread would produce the URL. I bought my dad his book "Monkey Butt" a couple of years ago. Just a bunch of rambling bench racing stuff, but pretty cool none the less.

Does anyone need Amal carb jets? I kept this crap from my Husky CR125.

Yes I still own a pair of the blue Apline Star boots. But my new Tech 8's are better.

Still have a Scotts Goggle face mask that clipped to the bottom of the frame. The is before the days of full coverage helments.

i still have all my i Rick Johnson gear.i wish it still fit[i thought it used to give me super powers].what ever happen to him? last i heard he took Teamscreams job in the hotdog stand at laguna seca and got fired for gambling with the 12 yr olds.

[ June 13, 2002: Message edited by: freestyle111 ]

hey UsedToBeFast,

Forgot all about the Hodaka and CZ. Must me the gray hair draining my brain.

I'll be 45 this year. Started riding at age 11, racing at age 14 and spent three years riding professionally (Vehicle development) at Honda R&D in Torrance Calf.

This is how I got from Michigan to Huntington Beach CA.

Rick Johnson is racing Trophy Trucks for Chevrolet, last time I heard. He did a few videos for Chevy Trucks to explain ABS in the early 90's. I also heard he will be doing color commentary on either the AMA Supercross series, or the Clear Channel Supercross series (I forget which). Now that it looks like they have split, I guess they need two guys.

Dan

By the way, if anyone is interested, check out the vintage racing site of AHRMA at:

www.ahrma.org/

You can use their links to find sites on all kinds of vintage racing iron from Hodakas to Husky, CZ, Rickman, Maico, Yankee, AJS, Bultaco, Ossa, Montesa, etc. You can even buy one if you check the classifieds.

A guy I was somewhat acquainted with in high school, Dave Boydstun, now runs an outfit called AMS Racing in Mesa, Arizona. He's really involved with it from a business perspective. Check them out at: www.amsracing.com/index.html You can find all kinds of vintage races in every part of the country. I'll be spectating at the next big event here in SoCal.

Dan

I can hardly believe the response to this post freestyle. You really touched a nerve. I was never allowed to have a dirt bike when I was a kid. Luckily I had friends who did and they would sometimes let me sneak rides in the woods where my mom couldn't see me. I lived for those days. I remember the shiny steel gas tanks and how COOL the real fork boots looked. Walking to the local dealership and staring for hours was one of the best ways to spend an afternoon. Somehow the $900 price tag for a brand new bike seemed as out of reach as the moon. Of course that was when the monoshock was the newest, greatest thing going and all of the bikes in the dealerships had PRO LINK, FULL FLOATER or similar stickers on the swingarms. Those old friends are still the closest ones and I still ride with them on my own bikes 20+ years later. We still laugh at ourselves as 32 year olds clearing trails with hand clippers and greasing swingarms before the wives get home from work. Thanks for the memories.

USEDTOBE.........man you sent chills down my spine when you mentioned KAWASAKI COYOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!that was my first bike at the age of 8!!!!!!!!!!!i've got pictures of it to this day!!!!then it was on to a gemini SST 60, kawasaki g-4 100 with the 10 speed gear-box (high/low),kawai 175, big-horn 350,and many-many others ive forgotten about, we had a kawasaki dynamite pit-bike with a hodaka 125 motor in it talk about wheelies!!!!!!!man the days.........i'd love to find a coyote now. jimbo

oh yeah USEDTOBE super-hunky is alive and well right here........http://www.off-road.com/dirtbike/ go to the dont-ask section he's still wear'em out.lol jimbo

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