RideApart 16: Vintage Motocross

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“Want to go race some vintage motocross tomorrow?” read the text from Jamie. Umm, OK. It wasn’t until the morning of that I realized I had zero experience and no idea what to expect. Won’t lie, I got pretty intimidated by the whole thing on the way out to Cahuilla Creek. But, I shouldn’t have been, turns out CalVMX runs about the friendliest, most accessible real motorcycle race there is. Motocross is fun too! We’ll be back.

  • PenguinScotty

    Oh man, that’s some great stuff.

    It’s insane how much fun you can have with underpowered and undersuspensioned bikes. However, i’m claiming that Jamie cheated by having a good bike. Wasn’t it that the new guy gets the good bike? :P

    Love the stories you hear from those events. Guys have have been racing longer than you’ve been alive.

    Sadly, no vintage MX bike here, but it seems like i’ll have to get rid of a newer one and get an older one!

  • NewOldSchool

    Once the Catalina GP is back next year you guys HAVE to go.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      We plan on it. I’d like to get a little faster so I can actually race for position.

      • PenguinScotty

        Personally, i find racing to survive much more entertaining.

      • NewOldSchool

        So down! Definitely not going to take it that seriously though.

  • mchale2020

    Dear Lord, Jamie is a beast on that Yamaha.

    Great video, btw! Makes me yearn to join the local flat track club here in Huntsville.

  • Frosty_spl

    My dad lives in socal and just bought a 74 CZ, now I gotta convince him to let me race it.

  • Jesse Oakes

    Looks like a blast!! I traded for my first dirt bike a couple months ago and love it. I know they have hare scramble’s around here and I def plan on trying one sometime. Great episode guys!! I’ve enjoyed the new ones this season and look forward to seeing what’s next!

  • HammSammich

    I grew up riding “vintage” dirt bikes (back then they were just “used”) and bought a 74′ Yamaha DT400 basket case 3 years ago. It’s fixed up and running well now, and that 400cc 2 stroke is a screamer (it’s an enduro, but I think the same motor as that YZ you were on). I generally keep it off-road, but I’ve ridden it around town a few times and it cracked me up to see douchey “loud pipes save lives” Harley guys nervously looking over their shoulders at what the hell was coming up behind them…

    • parkwood60

      Vintage DT Yamahas were both street bikes and credible racers. If its the twin shock bike I’m thinking of about the only difference between the street bike and off road DT400MX is a 21″ wheel and a high mounted fender. Most organizations would let that bike run with the vintage classes, even if they are using a 1973 cut off, as it essentially the same as the earlier model.

      • HammSammich

        Yeah it’s got twin shocks…good to know that I might have the option of racing it…but that’d take a lot more work on the suspension and exhaust first.

  • parkwood60

    Wes, get yourself a smaller bike, you’ll learn faster. If you practice on a Honda CR or MT125, or a Yamaha AT1 you’ll get much better at cornering and jumping without having to worry so much about the explosive power of an opened class bike. My Husky 400 always feels like trying to autocross a Crown Vic versus the smaller lighter bike when I’m on the MX course.

    I’ll be back out there next year as well, and Catalina too.

    • Scott-jay

      Or, get a 1-1/2 turn throttle. : )

  • Campisi

    Reminds me of the ’77 Yamaha GT80 I used to blast around on in Florida. The vast majority of our motorcycles are eligible for vintage motocross by merit of being what was cheap when we were in the market for them.

  • Kevin

    Heh… “Wez.”

  • TimG

    Great video. It is very inspiring to go and do what you want to do without over thinking things. What is the name of the song/artist featured in this video?