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Anyone keep up with the GNCC motorcycle racing?

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by AnotherDunneDeal, Jan 29, 2004.

  1. AnotherDunneDeal

    AnotherDunneDeal F1 Veteran

    Jun 2, 2003
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    I was driving by one of the car washes near our house last night and noticed a trailer and several Mean Green Kawasaki racing bikes being washed. Since I at one time raced for the factory team I was absolutely compelled to stop and see who it was. It was part of the Kawasaki GNCC factory team. The mechanic walked over and I introduced myself and asked where they were headed. They are on there way back to Arizona but will be back out here to Texas in three weeks. The rider came over and introduced himself and we talked for quite some time. He is Steve Hatch and is currently carrying the #7 plate. He rode for factory Suzuki last year and finished 4th in the points and secured the #4 plate.

    They were a couple of really nice guys who love motorcycles and motorcycle racing. It was really fun seeing these two guys do exactly the same things that my mechanic and I did as we traveled. Just thought I would pass it along.
     
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  3. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

    May 31, 2003
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    James;

    I was ridding out in the desert with a few friend when we came acrross Destry Abbott Kawasaki Factory and multitime cross country champ. We tried to keep up with him but that lasted for perhaps a minute before all we could see was his cloud of dust off in the distance. That guy is avery talented mad man in the desert.

    Rob
     
  4. AnotherDunneDeal

    AnotherDunneDeal F1 Veteran

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    Beast,

    Somehow I knew that you would pick up on this one.

    I looked very closely at the race bikes Steve Hatch rides and tried to remember what my old bikes were like. Man, the differences are absolutely phenomenal. I had 4 inches of rear wheel travel and his bike has 16. They had them pretty well stripped off for cleaning so I got to really examine them under the covers. At first they were not going to let me get really up close to the bikes but when I explained that I had at one time ridden for the same factory he rides for now he really lightened up and we had a good talk.

    I told him that I used to be the entertainment at the events. The old Kawasaki ad theme of "Let the good times roll" really hit me square. I would hit the ground and roll and hit the ground and roll and hit the ground and roll...................
     
  5. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

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    So that is how that slogan got started :D

    I agree that the modern bikes are night and day above the iron that you use to ride and even my race bikes. The sad thing is that in motocross they are making the tracks smoother and smoother each year. I remember racing at Lake Whitney and just loved how much the track got rutted out and rougher as the day went on, Those were the good old days :)

    BTW did you see the pictures i posted in the Favorite M/C thread???

    And can you recognise the famous rider in this picture??
     
  6. AnotherDunneDeal

    AnotherDunneDeal F1 Veteran

    Jun 2, 2003
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    Would that be "the Hurricane"? Bob Hannah??????

    Where was it taken.

    Love Lake Whitney. Coming up out of the ravine with the quick 90 degree right hander into the retaining fence. I watched from behind as Pierre Karsmakers used Jimmy Weinert for a berm coming up out of there at the 1973 Lake Whitney 250 National..................... And I kept rollin, rollin, rollin..............................
     
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  8. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

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    DING DING DING Give that man an Audi :) Yep it is the man himself Bob "Hurricane" Hannah

    It was taken at Castlerock, Colorado at a track called CDR Tech Track.

    Lets see if you could name this privateer on a Kawasaki Works Bike??
     
  9. AnotherDunneDeal

    AnotherDunneDeal F1 Veteran

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    Ah man, why are you being so tough on me??? Just a wild guess....Steve Wise??? I really don't know, but that looks like Steves style
     
  10. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

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    James;

    Yes that is a tough one i agree. The answer.......

    David "The Little Professor" Bailey

    In 81 he rode the Kawasaki KX250SR because no one else wanted to...

    The Track again is Castlerock Co

    I need to get my collecton of picture from my lake house in NM this could become a fun game :D

    Rob
     
  11. AnotherDunneDeal

    AnotherDunneDeal F1 Veteran

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    I took one of Gary Baileys schools back around 1970. I should have guessed David.......Bring more pictures and I will see if I can find some of mine buried away somewhere.
     
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  13. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

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    James;

    No problem the next time my parents are at my lake house i will have them box up the pictures and send out my way.

    Rob
     
  14. AnotherDunneDeal

    AnotherDunneDeal F1 Veteran

    Jun 2, 2003
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    I quit racing in 1974 after having a pretty bad off in '73 and missing about half a year. I got out of it totally for about 10 years between '75 and about '85. Missed a lot of good stuff during that period.

    The typical starting line when I was racing was like: Gary Jones, Brad Lackey, Rex Staten, Wymon Priddy, Steve Stackable, Kent Howerton, Rich Thorwaldson, Jim Weinert, Tony Distefano, Marty Tripes, Danny Weir, Jody Foust and a whole bunch more that I am failing to recall at this time. Guys like Ricky Black, Richard Poor, Mark Blackwell, Bill Clements and occasionally guys like Jim Pomeroy, Torsten Hallman, Bengt Abert if they were in the country at the time. LA Coliseum, Astrodome, Lake Whitney, Carlsbad Ca, Superdome in New Orleans, Texas Stadium, Lockhart. I guess I have fallen at all those places....:>)

    I was actually on the track once with Roger Decoster when he was running in the 500cc World Championships. I did not stay on with him long. He dusted me so bad I thought I was a day one junior class rider. I have never seen anyone go so fast so smoothly. He did not get much air on a jump. His belief is that all the time he was in the air, he was failing to get traction. I don't know how he could come up on a jump faster than the competition and still get back on the ground before them. Still a mystery today. I wonder how his riding style would work today with the high flyers we have now.......
     
  15. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Wow James and Beast, what a walk down memory lane. By 1974, I was no longer into motorcycles. Other things were on my mind by then... I can't quite remember what they were, but I know that there was something else...

    Oh, uh, what was I talking about? Back to dirt bikes. I used to race scrambles in the late 60s. This was basically circle track with a few right hand turns. It was a blast. I used to ride a Yamaha MX that had a total loss ignition. Screaming machine. I got out of it just as the Europeans were coming over to show us Yanks how it was supposed to be done. CZs, Huskys, and Bully-Tacos.

    But I do have a question for you. Purely from a collectors standpoint, with maybe a little AHRMA thrown in for fun, what early motocross bikes do you think will have the most collector value? A 250 Elsinore? A 69 Pursang? A pre-70 Husky? An early CZed?

    I just got a Super Rat cause I used to own one, and I'm looking for a new drug. Got any ideas?

    Dr "Dirt Bike" Tax
     
  16. AnotherDunneDeal

    AnotherDunneDeal F1 Veteran

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    Hodaka or Penton........Just kidding on the Hodaka

    Tough question.
    250 Elsinore would be a good choice because it is the bike that changed the face of MX in the US. A nice Maico or Bul also. I hated riding the big CZ but it was tough as a bullet. Might be a good keeper.

    A first year 250 YZ because it pioneered the monoshock suspension.
     
  17. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

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    Dr. Tax;

    A lot of the vintage MX bikes are drawing a premium price these days. I have seen prices in the $2K range for some of them since vintage MX has become a rage on the west coast. Who would thing that a 30 year old bike would sell for double what it cost new.

    Personaly i am looking for a 1979 Kawasaki KX-125 or 250. This was the last of the twin shock Kawis, and the came with there bling bling gold rims and swingarms.

    Rob
     
  18. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

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    James;

    If you watch a lot of the modern riders the top ons like Chad Reed, Ezra Lusk, James Stewart..... Will Whip the bike at launch off of a peeked jump to keep the bike from zooming straight up. So Decoster's style is still in play today. I had a chance to talk with him when team Suzuki brought there transported over to the school a couple of years ago. A very nice and down to earth guy.

    Ok here is you picture of the day. This rider was from your era but is racing on early 80's factory iron. :)
     
  19. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Yeah, I have been noticing on Ebay that prices seem to have gone up quite a bit. So the tip about the YZ is interesting because maybe the bidding crowd hasn't found this yet. Do you remember the first year for a YZ?

    Personally, I have the major hots for a 1968 Pursang, red with the boat tail. I used to race my rat Yamaha against one back in the day. At the time, it was King Kong!

    Oh, and if you run accross any 1968 DT1s, let me know. Or, maybe, a 125 MX with total loss ignition...

    What other dirt bikes were paradigm shifts besides the Elisnore? What about bikes from the 80s. Maybe the first CR?

    Keep the rubber side down, DrTax


     
  20. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

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    The 1980 KX models and 81 CR and RM's were the first year for those makes with single shock rear suspensions.

    82 KX was the first year for front disk brakes

    Water cooling came out in 81 and 82

    1985 KX's were called Works Replicas just due to the amount of adjustability in the suspension systems This was also the first year of the production racing rules by the AMA

    Rob
     
  21. AnotherDunneDeal

    AnotherDunneDeal F1 Veteran

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    Let's see:

    He is a Suzuki rider, from my era. On an 80"s bike..........
    He is not paunchy enough to be Joel Robert or Marty Tripes. From my era, he could not be Marty Smith. Kent Howerton was several years behind me. And all these guys rode 250's and the bike in the picture is a big one so I would guess Decoster. Am I even close????

    As for collectable bikes.

    Consider one of the old cantilever front suspension DKW bikes of the 60's.
    A 1973 CZ 250. Had new suspension for the time.
     
  22. AnotherDunneDeal

    AnotherDunneDeal F1 Veteran

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    I don't believe it was Rich Thorwaldson either. Has to be Decoster.

    Some more bikes to think about.

    The original TM400 Suzuki. John Desoto rode one of these like a pogo stick. Hit the whoops and hold on. You never knew where the rear end was going but it had enough torque to turn the Earth.

    1974 Montessa 250 or a 1974-74 Bultaco 250.


    Okay Beast, one for you. Who was the first rider to win a world championship 250 MX event on a Spanish bike. What kind of bike and what race?

    Who rode 500cc support for Kawasaki in the early 70's?
     
  23. AnotherDunneDeal

    AnotherDunneDeal F1 Veteran

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    Dale,

    After some more thought, I think you might also consider one of the 125cc Pentons from the very early 70's. Their frames were bulletproof and the bikes had some of the most forgiving suspension of the day. The Sachs engine was a little pipey but was very strong for one of the early bikes. It probably showed the way for some of the later Japanese bikes. I rode one for one season and loved it. Funny how you forget things with age.
     
  24. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Yeah, I used to really lust after a Penton, bad. But, in my mind's eye, I always see them as Enduro bikes. And Beast, thx for the tips on the early Japanese stuff. I was long removed from motorcycles by 80s, family man, working in the coal mine, that kinda stuff.

    Oh, remember Greeves? Wild Wade Somebody. Wasn't he the first to catch major air?

    Dr. "Walking down memory lane" Tax
     
  25. AnotherDunneDeal

    AnotherDunneDeal F1 Veteran

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    Dale,
    Yes, the Penton was originally considered an enduro bike. However, they were very good early motocrossers because of the stability of the frame, good forgiving suspension and a good engine. In the early days before the development of the Japanese machines they did quite well in the 125cc class. John Penton had a good idea but just ran out of money and found he could not compete monetarily with the megabuck programs of Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki and such.

    I know one of the TM400 Suzukis would be hard to find, especially the orange tank but if you could I believe it will be one to keep. It was the first to use the idea of a super powerful engine in a dirt bike chasis and adapt it to racing. However, the suspension technology at the time was primitive and riding one of these beasts was like bull riding. First it would go one direction and then the other and the whole time bouncing like a pogo stick trying to buck you off. But it ran like crazy in a straight line. Kind of like taking a top fuel car to Lemans. Powerful but not very practical............
     
  26. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Speaking of... did any of you guys ever see the Yankee run. You know what I'm talking about. Where Penton put 250s together into a single case. Now, there is a collectible motorcycle.

    DrTax
     
  27. AnotherDunneDeal

    AnotherDunneDeal F1 Veteran

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    Never saw it. Curious as to how it worked out.

    I had a friend who put the engine from a Triumph into a Yamaha dirt bike frame. Called it the "Tramaha". I rode it once and once only. The name was very appropriate................................
     
  28. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
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    ROTFL Did you dare jump it?
     

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