Monday, 13 February 2012

motocross: part one

Just had a deep thought about my motocross bikes and how I miss them. So I tried to dig up some photos to give me something to do here.  Here is some of my history. Some bikes I couldn't find pics of currently. But enjoy what I have posted for now. I have a ton picked out for part 2 already.
I used Derek's Nikon to shoot this one at a spot called Galetta. Chevy commercial? Geeze, I miss my S-10 too. Derek's bike sits beside mine. His was just a few years older.

first bike: 1971 Honda CT70 air cooled 4-stroke. Special edition 4 speed with clutch from Cali. I put 900 miles of abuse on this bike through the full winter, jumps, and even the 4ft deep creek numerous times. It had the gas tank under the flip up seat, and fold down bars for easy storage. It stupidly had rubber pegs and I stupidly wore rubber boots. Any drop of water and my feet would slip off and burn my leg on the overly exposed exhaust. I was 12yrs old.

1977 Kawasaki KE175 air cooled 2-stroke. I hated this bike and my Dad traded the CT70 for it. Naturally I was too hard on it but my father insisted I needed these trail bikes. I should have been on a race bike from day 2. More rubber pegs on this one. I would drive this bike so hard I would over heat it regularily. Fuck I hated this bike.

I saved up really hard and bought my to-be-brother in law's 1984 Yamaha YZ80 liquid cooled race bike for $350. It came in several milk crates, all in pieces. I was 14 yrs old and I rebuilt the whole bike and even re-did the top end of the bike by myself. I had it running well and rode it hard. I should have been on it for the 2 years prior, but at least I got a taste of the race bike. I jumped the shit out of it. It was a loud fast bomb of a bike.

Here I am jumping my 1986 Yamaha XT600 air cooled 4-stroke. That's right, 600 cc's. My Dad again convinced me I needed a big trail bike. This bike was a nightmare and I was a nightmare driver. I was 15 or 16 and I took this bike FAR past it's limits. This bike was about 300lbs and I was jumping 35ft tabletops on it. I was cracking the frame, the oil cooler, everything. Not to mention I had to fully rebuild the motor right after buying it. This bike should have never left the ground. But I learnt to do nothings on it. I was furious and sold it as soon as soon as I could because I knew what I wanted to do.

And you ask why no footed can can are so easy? Here I am 16yrs old on my 1992 YZ250 2-stroke liquid cooled race bike. I sold the 600 and got this off a crazy hockey buddy. I was in heaven. It could jump, was speedy as hell, and weight about 70lbs less than the 600. This was as serious as a bike as you could have back then. It was wicked fast. I blew the top end after a while and had to send the cylinder to a shop to have it bored out for the new piston. Thos bastards bored it out without the power valve inside, so when I rebuilt the top end, the rings were rubbing. I knew the bike wasn't running right, but I was stubborn and summer was a wasting. This photo is from the last day on that bike. It broke for good and I couldn't afford to fix it. I can't remember how much I sold it for, but I spray painted it black right before and sold it in pieces, also in milk crates... to a friend who said he would rebuild it and never did. I got into bmx because it was the closest thing to motocross, watching Jay Miron, Chad Kagy, Joe Rich, and Brian Foster on x-games dirt. Before this bike broke I was featured on a website several times that was about freestyle motocross. Imagine that? This sport was just really just starting, I was actually doing tricks before they came out. I even invented a few and named them, but never did them. I was a somebody for a year in mx. A few years later, guys were winning the first freestyle contests with trick I could do, and tricks I invented in my head haha.

what? I thought this bike gone? 10 year later in the Glebe I decided, "hey, I have cash, let's get a dirtbike again." I checked kijiji for a while and came across this. I emailed the guy and told him where he bought it from. He denied it for some reason, but I knew. I recognized the parts on it, the bent fender, the crumpled exhaust haha. everything. I spoke to him on the phone and I told him a bunch of stuff about the bike, and then he admitted that it was obviously mine. I couldn't resist. I knew I should have gone for  another one, but I had to have it. Murphy's law kicked in. I let Jorden ride it, flip it and bend and crack the bike up a bit more. Then I blew the motor right after. I had only ridden it a few times. I opened it up and realized how I got screwed. The guy rebuilt the bike and took the cheap route, setting me up for failure. The problem with these bikes is (especially when you are giddy like me) they kick so much ass, they just grenade on you. Hardly a warning sign. Perfect, perfect...dead. So I rebuilt it properly and was happy to part way with it, but this time on MY terms. The new owner has no idea how much history this bike has. It ran perfect when I let it go for a trade.

1993 Honda CR125 2-stroke liquid cooled race bike. I initally bought this when I still had the YZ250 because Brenna wanted to give mx a go. The YZ broke and then I started riding this. I then realized how much of a beast the 250 was, because I was twice as fast on this bike as i was on the 250. With some practice I was doing tricks on jumps again and I was ready to race amateur. I never did, and I regret it. I do doubt I'll ever get to race now. I loved this bike so much I kept it and traded the 250 for a better bike for Brenna. This bike was a Honda and ran like a charm. Such a classic era for Honda in Motocross. I felt like I was a part of that early/mid 90's radness.

2002 Honda XR200 air cooled 4 stroke. This was Brenna's new bike that I got straight for the YZ250 and I didn't mind because it was in stellar shape. She gave it a good go and ended up taking hard slam. It was pretty scary and made her think that perhaps this wasn't the best sport to jump into. It took her out hard. This bike ran really well. Jay came out one day and took it for a good rip in the pit, jumping it and all. He could get good at mx in probably a few months. I sold this bike when the we knew were getting the house in Casselman. Some lucky owner has it now. I wish it still sat in my garage, just to have it kicking around for people to hammer it.

2004 Yamaha YZ250F 4-stroke liquid cooled race bike. Well before we were looking at a house, I sold the 125 and bought this beauty. This bike was a high revving 4-stroke that races in the 125 2-stroke class. The classes now are based on 4-strokes and the 2-strokes have actually been phased out for the most part. I got really good on this bike and kept it top shape. The house was more important and I parted ways with this bike to help with the down payment. These things are worth a pretty penny, so it was significant. I miss this one the most. So rad. It would redline at about 11000 rpms. I did temporarily have another bike while in Casselman. Kinda house sat it for the summer before selling it for a family member. Not nealry as fun, but a 1995 Kawasaki KLX250 4-stroke liquid cooled. Absolutely mint, but not even close to as much fun.

this is how I spent my time in high school. Drawing dirt bikes in class. Goalies, sharks, and tanks were so elementary. That was me doing a nac nac on my YZ250.

1 comment:

  1. Cool Rich.

    From the small world category...

    I want to see a picture of the YZ80!!! I also worked and saved to by the exact same bike when I was 14yrs old. Only I did it a decade earlier LOL and got it right off the showroom floor. Man that thing was fun. I entered two races with it but didn't finish any. My favorite was jumping the creek that went through our riding area. It was in a flat smooth spot and the jumps were really mellow so I wouldn't even slow down. I spent a week with a shovel making the jumps so I could jump it both ways. I hit them every day on my way to my job washing dishes at the local restaurant.

    Shit, now I need a dirt bike again. Shelley is going to be less than thrilled.