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Sure wish there were some definative numbers for vintage motorcycle racing participation world wide. It appears to me to be seeing a slow steady increase lately. Retro bikes, CafeRacers, vintage racing singles, reproduction bikes, repro parts...all seem to be slowly increasing in popularity. Just in the last few years I've seen more new members get involved in the USCRA than I've seen in a long time. Not necessarily hard core involvement in any of the above catagories...just a larger and larger peripheral interest that seems to bode will for the sport in general.

How incrediably cool would it be if Ducati for instance started producing a 350-500cc single in the old style again....I bet they'd sell a ton of them. If Honda could bring back a GB500 type bike. Although the Speed/Stunter lifestyle still seems healthy...the internet has been both a boon and a bust to them. They get lots of exposure...but they also get tons of riducule from the more serious biker community. I see more young people these days interested in retro bikes than in becoming a gangster wannabe stunter type.

But then that's East Coast....West Coast is still a haven for morons.
JohnnyB

PS. There is a Wikepeida entry for the Honda CB175....I say we take that baby over and fill it full of 175 info and pictures.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_CB175



Edited by - jbranson on Feb 15 2008 2:50:28 PM
 

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speaking of, dibs on the blue ebay 175 in baltimore til tonight.

jc




i dont know shit
 

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shut up joe....almost wish i could out "dib" you just to piss you off.
back on subject...hear hear and here here on the vintage thing. both the race camp and street/tour thing have a strong future i think in part because of the non cookie cutter quality of opportunities to participate. as much as the modern sport bike is such a rush and is so uber potent, they aren't always the best way to experience motorcycling. who thought that sport bikes would become, well, bland. they all sound the same, go about as (too) fast (can't believe i said that), and face it they look the same when you strip away the paint jobs. i'm sorry but cruisers are a joke. they seem to me more about being seen than the actual experience of two wheeled motion. the two wheeled living rooms (gull wings etc. ) have way more cred. with me. it's a wonderful irony that the youth crowd is doing the right thing in the old bike world. once again, it makes me nervous to be aligned with johnny b.
-parks
ps congrads on your 5000th post johnny...love you man. thought your 6th/brown star would have appeared though.




Edited by - parks61 on Feb 15 2008 5:31:18 PM
 

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I do believe vintage racing is on the rise for the simple reason it affordable. How many of you vintae racers could afford to compete with Suzuki AMA? How many could afford to do any sort of AMA racing without a major sponsor? Racing has become a business. Plus there is enough Jap bikes out there old enough to qualify for vintage racing. If vintage racing was restricted to brit iron there wouldn't be any racing at all. Brit vintage racing is alive and well because of the replicas and spare parts availability. You can go to several places and with enough money walk out with a brand new Manx Norton. As long as this remains vintage racing will survive and thrive. Some years ago when there was a revival of single cylinder racing Ducati produced a supermono. Very fast but the price tag was around $30,000. Ducati only made around 65 of them. Singles have been produced by a number of manufacturers but consumers don't want them. The Yamaha SRX was a beauty. I bought one new. The other two that was brought into the dealers sat there for almost a year before they were discounted and sold. As for west coast morons. Hows the snow back there? Today I'm in shorts and a T shirt. Temp outside is mid 70s. I might put a light jacket on and go for a ride or maybe wait for Sunday. Its supposed to be in the high 70s then.

Speak to me and I'm your friend. Race with me and I'm your brother.
 

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who-fart
i'm with yah...i couldn't afford to be competetive in the least on a modern. and the actual speed (of a vintage racer)is down to a point which is responsible (in my mind anyway). don't think my better half or my son would be too comfortable seeing me do quick laps with a 140hp gskcbryzsx.
as much as i love the east coast, i long for your temps many weeks/year.... i won't join johnny in the west bashing...hope i get a chance to do laguna, infineon, or portland one of these days/years.
-parks



Edited by - parks61 on Feb 15 2008 7:16:49 PM
 

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The beauty of old bikes lies in their accessibility to the common man. One need not be rich, or "cool" or kowtow to some stereotype (though many are and many do). Rather, one only needs to be dedicated to blowing whatever spare cash is available on whatever bitsa or aftermarket parts will fit, determined enough to fabricate whatever can't be bought, willing to suffer numb wrists and fingers and a sore back for the sake of a thrill, capable of fixing their shit on the side of the road, and ultimately more than happy to sit around and bullshit about old bikes endlessly. Vintage racers like you lot are the ultimate fanatics of the breed.

We started this vinmoto group here last summer. Fuckers came out of the woodwork. Nobody gave a shit WHAT anybody was riding. It was all about bench racing and b.s.'n. Couple of times some squids stopped by and shot the shit for a while, by the next week they'd dragged out, tuned up and rolled in on their old bikes.

Sorry if I'm preaching to the choir here, but maybe there's some lurkers reading this. If you're in a town with a vinmoto "chapter", go. If not, talk to Rick at ChiVinmoto and he'll gladly set you up. You'd be surprised how many people out there who have an old bike and just need an excuse to ride it.



Honda go sideways!

http://groups.google.com/group/co-ohvinmoto
 

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I hadn't thought about the speed Parks61. Speed really is irrelevant when you are trying to beat someone. I used to race a 50cc Kriedler. Its top speed was only around the 112 mark but when you were stuck in with a couple of others the speed didn't matter, All that mattered was beating the other guys. Bash away. I don't give a rats. I'm not up to my "ahems" in snow. Sunday is forecast for high 70s, low 80s. Bash away.

Speak to me and I'm your friend. Race with me and I'm your brother.
 

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who f.
the uscra has a superb vintage 50 cc racing thing (which has grown to include modern 80s). i had some spectacular races on a puch 50 racing really close at speeds which seemed to be just above walking pace. as you mentioned, it's the act of racing which has the yahyahs...not neccessarilly the speed. when and where were you racing kreidlers? any pics.
parks
 

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Formula 160 for 160s and 175s is one of the fastest growing classes out here. We've got 20+ bikes on the grid every race now, with at least 60 or more bikes built that we know of between Oregon, Washington and California. A far cry from the 4 that were racing when I started. At one point it was the fastest growing class in WMRRA and might be for all I know.

Certainly cost and accessibility makes a difference for a lot of the folks, plus the race ethic we pound into the newbies is a bit more "mature." And vintage bikes are just plain cool too. Most of us are older and have real jobs and lives, we don't need some punk running us off the track "for the glory."

Feel free to stick a tire up inside me - if you've got the nuts. I won't pinch you off agressively, I'll leave you exactly one foot of pavement to use. That's all you'll need. And if you try to drive around the outside of me I won't run wide - you'll have plenty of room to crash yourself without my help... I certainly won't back off though. We preach hard but clean and safe racing (if there is such a thing). 5 or six wide braking(!) for the corners and 3 wide through them is pretty common.

>hope i get a chance to do laguna, infineon, or portland one of >these days/years.

Do it! And if you get a chance do Seattle as well - one of my favorite tracks of all time. And Thunderhill rocks too. And - if you're a real man, you'll try to get out and race at Mission, BC. Have you ever had over a dozen fans stop by your pits and thank you for showing up? Had multiple fans invite you to their place for dinner? Gotten a standing ovation for your race? Had a race club bend over backwards to accomodate you and make sure you're having a good time? Talk about hospitality - those Canuks are the bomb.

>But then that's East Coast....West Coast is still a haven for >morons.
>JohnnyB

We love you guys too...

Michael
 

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michael
saw the cycle world spread a few years back on the west coast 160 thing. it seemed to be all about the best things i love vintage racing. great tight racing, fair play, and it didn't seem like the kind of crowd which had people getting pissed off....sounded like everyone came in smiling. the bikes ranged from grunge to industrial designer polish. the canadians out this side have that knack for kind hospitality as well. we yanks should make a point of being reciprical. post a pic. keep us updated this summer as your season develops.
-parks
 

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Parks61, I was over in Ireland for a while. Hated the place except for the racing. Nothing beats real roads. This is the Kriedler at a short circuit meet at Mondello Park outside Dublin. As it was a short crcuit there is no fairing. Saving weight etc. For road courses I used a full fairing.

By weslake at 2007-10-30

Speak to me and I'm your friend. Race with me and I'm your brother.
 

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Hi Parks -

There's a pic of me in my old crappy leathers on the front page of www.batemanracing.com. I haven't raced for several years as I haven't been able to afford even vintage racing, this season is shaping to be about the same unfortunately. It'll probably be all about the "sponsored riders" I've been helping out. This last year's main sponsored rider Tim O'Mahoney ended up winning every race he entered after I helped him sort out his motor.

Maybe by mid season I'll start making dough again and get some insurance sorted out - that's all it'll take to get me back on the track!

You're right about everyone smiling - friendliest bunch at the track. Everyone pitches in to help out anyone having trouble too.

Michael
 

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Sorry Parks, I'm dumber than dirt when it comes to this computer. Maybe someday I'll figure how to post photos here.

Speak to me and I'm your friend. Race with me and I'm your brother.
 

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Hey California Racer -

Did you race at Seattle or spectate only? Awsome track from the riders perspective - I love the downhill braking to T3. I can pass almost anyone modern or vintage there. One of my favorite tricks is to shift down a bit too early and dump the clutch coming into 3, let the engine revs go to 11 and the back end waggle back and forth sliding around and howling. Guaranteed that anyone near you will hit the brakes and give up the line. It settles down in plenty of time for you to turn into a wide open corner... :)

The first pic (best tow rig) is my partner in crime Tim Fowler. He's one of the original 160 racers and one of the guys that got me into racing 160s when I was racing 125 gp bikes. I mentioned to him and Simon-Pierre Smith after a particularly spirited practice at Spokane Raceway Park that the 160s looked like fun. They were like crack dealers - "it is - wanna try? We have a spare - first ride's free..."

Tim and I travelled all over the northwest for several years together wreaking havoc and tapping virtual cigar ashes on unsuspecting modern bike riders. "Have another bowl of slow flakes slugman - move over real racers coming through..." There's some good pics of Tim (#219) on the site at www.groupwracing.com - woefully out of date and no pics of me on my own site - I'll have to work on that.

You should see one of the big bore vintage guys race hauler - an old Rolls Royce in beautiful shape - hauls a Norton (I think) behind it on a 3 rail trailer. Had it on the Salt at Bonneville last year I understand. One of the 160 guys used to bring his racer to the track on a sidecar rig modified as a bike hauler.

Michael

Michael
 

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As an aging vintage racer (both me and the equipment), Amen to everything stated above. My racing experience has been on four wheels, not two. But after reading all this I'm feeling frisky enough to think I need to build the BSA into a race bike. Thanks.

Cheers Y'all- Leo
 

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Branson,
right on. The numbers are up, in the US at least, with no signs of slowing. I have taken to asking the folks at AHRMA/ WERA/ USCRA for member numbers when I join. Seems for the USCRA you see at least a !0% growth each year for the past 2-3. WERA and AHRMA I think it's even a bit more. USCRA might only have 100 members out at the track but has a bulk of members who just support the cause. I don't remember off hand but you can ask eve. It's more than you'd think.

The signs are there, a LOT of companies are starting to cater to the look and aesthetic of the vintage 60's and 70's bikes. Look at the success of the ducati classics and triumph lines. The GB500 and wr650 were ahead of their time. Bikes like the SRX's slipped through the cracks. The singles racers trickling down would kick ass too. I would fucking sell off everything I owned for a street version of the Ducati Supermono if one ever came out... supposedly the design is done and shelved.


You can attribute a part of the rise in interest and attendance to the interweb making the process so accessible. Oddly enough I think the other important aspect is just the opposite. People fed up with 'virtually' doing everything. The hands-on/ D.I.Y. ethic of vintage racing is something often lacking in our society. It's a feeling for a lot of people miss or never had. Nothing better to get zen again than sitting down and tinkering.

or something like that. Evil, please edit.

Hoof, always great to see your pics!

Keep 'em coming.

To the west coast brothers and sisters of f160: you are an inspiration!
Solidarity!

BORN TO LURK, FORCED TO WORK.
www.NYCvinMoto.com
www.VinMoto.org


Edited by - ROSKO on Feb 16 2008 01:11:05 AM
 

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Rosko, Thanks very much for helping. I read somewhere that Ducati only made 65 of the Supermonos. The price at the time was outrageous but they sold. BTW did you ever get that Triton? More affordable than A Ducati.

Speak to me and I'm your friend. Race with me and I'm your brother.

Edited by - Hoofhearted on Feb 16 2008 01:43:16 AM

Edited by - Hoofhearted on Feb 16 2008 01:44:43 AM
 

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I'm going to try again. I found this when digging for 50cc photos. I took it on the way to the Isle of Man. We were going over to race at the Jurby road circuit(4.7 mile lap. Beautiful course). It a very young Robert Dunlop and Cal Crowe. We are sailing out of Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland. The boat is the sme one that carried Joey's works Hondas. And the same boat that sank in the lough with Joey's woks Hondas on board. The Hondas were later salvaged. As far as I know the boat is still at the bottom

Speak to me and I'm your friend. Race with me and I'm your brother.

Edited by - Hoofhearted on Feb 16 2008 01:53:43 AM

By weslake at 2007-05-18

Edited by - Hoofhearted on Feb 16 2008 9:03:31 PM
 
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