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Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming:
"WOW, what a ride !!!"
Today is
-MR Interviews Phil Ketchum!

MR: What is your first memorable moment that involves a minibike, motorcycle, scooter?

That would have to be when my oldest brother Johnny, who was in Vietnam flying Huey's at the time, sent a Bonanza mini-bike w/ 5hp Tecumseh engine, as a surprise Christmas present to my next oldest brother Christopher. Within 5 minutes of uncrating it we'd setup a makeshift jump using a board and a couple of red bricks, and were jumping the septic tank in the back yard.

Who was the biggest enabler that helped you get your first machine?

My stepmom recognized that I needed a bike to try to keep up with my older brothers, and they bought me a used blue1970 Honda Trail 70 for $300. I pounded that poor thing into the ground, eventually cracking the frame under the seat, trying to out-jump my brother Christopher on his 1970 Yamaha DT250.

Read the entire interview here

When to move up, or when not to... Sandbaggers in Denial

Last year I was told I'm a decent Novice rider and now that more battles have been fought and some have been won in the Amateur division, it's starting to be clear to me that I'm not a beginner anymore. So when do you know when you're ready to move up a class from Amateur to Intermediate or from Intermediate to Expert? I'd say it's very hard to rate yourself, but you know deep-down when you're improving from year to Jeff Embringyear and if you're a good racing citizen you realize that you need to get out of the NOV class sooner or later or as an Intermediate, move into Experts eventually, but when?

So how about we explore the motivations and desires of some riders to move themselves up and the desire of some riders to just stay put until they're moved up kicking and screaming? And how about those riders who just don't know when to move up and so let's maybe explore some categories of riders and come up with my kind of unofficial formula for moving up a division. Sounds like it might be useful, so here goes.

Read the entire interview here

The Passion of Restoration!
From the Shop of Chuck Davis #40

From the Shop of Chuck Davis #40These bikes are 1970 and 71 Yamaha DT1 and RT1 MX's, DT 250cc and RT 360 cc first years of Yamaha's Motocross models. The differences in enduro's are 21 inch front wheels, knobby tires, high front fenders, front number plate, expansion chambers w/o any mufflers, different air boxes, cylinder porting, bigger carbs, higher compression heads and closer transmission ratios.

I started with two bikes and while chasing parts. I located others and decided to complete them all at the same time as an assembly line and take pictures as I went along. Pipes and front fenders were the tough pieces to find along with the air boxes.

Read more here...

The Morocross Files

Thoughts on What Determines "Collectability" and Value
in Old Motorcycles
David Russell #832

The two fictitious ads (in this article) are representative of the hundreds & thousands of ads motorcycle enthusiasts/collectors/dealers read. Specifically, they address two over-used and often widely interpreted concepts - "collectability" (not a word you'll find in the dictionary, but used here for lack of a better term) and value. After years of throwing these terms about with similar abandon—but all the time questioning their real meaning - I'll offer my thoughts to you on what these words mean to me, and what may be the basic causal factors in determining collectability and value.

I have an old car. A 1959 Rambler American. Family hand-me-down, rebuilt flathead 6, chipped blue paint, reliable as the sunrise, and not very romantic (being a family heirloom, it stayed while the '66 Mustang GT convertible had to go... but that's another story!). Whenever I drive the car I receive comments of "Hey - that's really a collector car, huh?", or "1958? That must be worth a lot of money!" The first comment addresses how collectable the object may be; the second the value of the object. Let's look at these terms more closely...

Read more here...

'Ugly Betty'- a Totally Trick Honda 125
Built by Aussie Alan Jones

Rick Doughty's Top Ten
Top Ten Predictions of the Future

Rick DoughtyIf you are old enough to appreciate a '74 Honda Elsinore, you probably remember the real estate agent and self-professed psychic, Jeane Dixon. Whenever she spoke, it was front-page news in the National Enquirer and the public ate it up.

Ms. Dixon predicted everything from Presidential assassinations to alien visits. Her batting average wasn't all that great but when she was right; she hit it out of the park.

She predicted, John and Bobby Kennedy's assassinations, Churchill and Nixon's rise to power, the Watergate scandal, the end of the Korean war, the Apollo fire that killed three astronauts and more. Big stuff to be sure.

The fact that she also predicted the second US civil war that was to take place in the 80's or that aliens would visit the earth and teach us how to create a Sun pill that would replace food and power our cars and that (this is a doozy) Canada would become one of the most powerful countries in the world along with Brazil. OK, Brazil gave us the thong bathing suit so I will give Jeane her due on that but the other predictions were proverbial swings and misses.

Read the entire article here

Siege Vintage Motocross Shirts


Built by:
Don Mendenhall of
Back in the Day MX

Machine work & Billet products by
Back in the Day MX
The "LumberJack" would be proud!

Built list and more photos here

Movie Reviews by Randy Smith & Mark Jarecki
Movie Reviews by Randy Smith & Mark Jarecki
New! MXoN: Sixty Years And A Day
MXoN: Sixty Years And A Day

Sponsor Profile

Metro RacingMetro Racing
From the President of a
little company called Metro

Metro Racing is Don and Peg Miller. When you come to visit Metro, our personal photos are on the wall, our bikes are in the shop, and we are usually the ones that print the shirts.

Now, I was not always a motorcycle person. I wasn't brought up around them and feel that I am relatively new to this sport - about 20 years or so. Aside from Evel Knievel showing up on my TV on Wide World of Sports on Saturday afternoons, I didn't know Jim Pomeroy from Mert Lawwill. Then I met my husband, Don, who always had motorcycles in his blood. He had show cars when I met him. Luckily, one day at the Englishtown Car Swap Meet, we found a 1930 Indian Wall of Death bike. It reminded him of the bike that his Dad rode to get back and forth to work in Philly. So we borrowed the $1000 from Mom, which was way more money than we could think of scraping together back then, and that was it.

Read more here...

Tony D. Motocross Schools
Charlie Oxford #20EListen To Me!

You know, those ole' gut feelings that hit you in the pit of the stomach about the time you think of doing something different? Something out of the norm. I get those thoughts from time to time and the trick is knowing exactly when to listen to those thoughts. Sometimes I guess, you just need to listen to yourself.

If you've been taking time reading this site for a while maybe you've read my first publication called “ My Story”. I was just jotting down thoughts one day about my motocross background, you know, kind of “ how did I get here “ story.

If you happened to catch the last edition of McCookRacing you may have read about a dose of reality. I have been racing with the Florida series for several seasons and have success finishing races. One of our fellow racers broke his leg badly in November. The injury put me to thinking about all the things that go into racing a dirt bike. I started writing down all the things that need to happen to have fun and successfully finish a race.

Read more here...


Imagine that you (Fred) bought that long sought after 1977 CR 250 Husky. Imagine now that you live in WV and the bike is in NJ. What to do, what to do?

First, set up a work appointment in Philly. Second, rent a Toyota Highlander on the company American Express card. Third, plan to stop in NJ on your way home from Philly and forget to tell the boss that you are taking the long way home.

Back the Highlander up the driveway and pull Husky out to the car. See that it will not fit as is. OK, out comes the tools...

Now lower the rear seat backs and cover the whole back of the car with cardboard. Toss in an old comforter saved for just this reason.

Now, throw that old clamped out Husky (do not read this Fred) on the stand and pull both wheels off. Aim for the open back hatch and throw Husky carcass into the back. Use door handles as tie down points and stuff the extra parts into every empty spot left in the back.

Feed Fred and send him off on his way.

See how simple it is to get a bike to from here to there? Anyone can do it! Just make sure you have a company AMEX card...

Classic Cycles Limited

from Debbie (Pomeroy) Hyatt
AHRMA race at Diamond Don's Jefferson, Texas - 2002
Brad Lackey, Ron Pomeroy, Dale Hyatt, Debbie (Pomeroy) Hyatt and Jimmy
Read the Letter from Debbie (Pomeroy) Hyatt

Check out these bikes!

Marc Fresco's Killer
1980 YZ125G Restoration
see more photos

Rokon 340 MX 2 "Cobra"
from Mike Murphy
see more photos

A View From Oz...

The vintage movement has come a long way baby. In my twenty three years of involvement I've watched the sport evolve from being a fun yet minor fad into the multi faceted international maelstrom that it is today. I've met the coolest people, built and raced bikes that as a young racer in seventies Australia I could only have dreamed about and traveled the length of my country and the USA racing and in my latter life gig as an ace reporter, chronicling the events, racers and motorcycles that make the world of the vintage off road movement so cool.

One of the most rewarding aspects of doing what I do is having the opportunity to meet the riders who were the kings of my motocross universe during the Wonder Years. Among others, I've interviewed and drank beer with Roger De Coster, bar hopped Santa Cruz's seedier taverns with Billy Grossi and drank Margaritas with Jim Pomeroy and Brad Lackey. I've discussed Maicos and prostates with Super Hunky and spent a weekend with Bugsy Mann. To a man, all of these icons have been genuinely nice people, all proud of their achievements but refreshingly normal. In April I added another legend to that list. I finally met the motocross icon to top them all, the great Joel Robert.

Read the entire article here

From our friends at VMX Magazine
Issue 37!
VMX Magazine

The Saipan Soiree Saga

Last issue we unveiled the previously unreported tale of the 1969 reunion of motocross legends PJ Read, Nigel Holingsworth and their money man Trent Farlowe in far away Taiwan and the birth of their plan to bring pride back to the Taiwanese motocross industry (and themselves) with the Saipan GTR-X ‘Read Replica' 250 and Gemini NH360 projects... The story continues.

After a fortnight of reliving past escapades and getting to know the hoi poloi of Taiwanese society, it was time for us to get down to work. Hollingsworth was unusually on top of his game and had set up a state of the art R&D and race shop in what had previously been the old Mayfair Hotels extravagant ballroom. The highly polished parquet dance floor that had once seen a generation of aristocratic British expats fox trotting away to then popular dance bands such as Jack Brindle and his Trocadero All Stars, was now home to row after row of stainless steel work benches fitted out with the best tools and equipment Taiwan could produce. The former cloak room now housed an engine dyno and the ladies toilet had become the quaintly named “Dremel Room” in which former Equipo Madre Trato tuning wizard Enrique del Vasquez Jr. wielded his exceptional spanner skills on race engine assembly. I took on the task of hand picking the race shop employees and I left no stone unturned in finding the best people.

Read more here...

Aussie DirtTrack Medical Support Team... Hmmm...

VMX Club Profile

Klub Kevlar
Sydney, Australia

Hammer & Tongs logo

Klub Kevlar was formed in 2002 to give a particular group of grumpy old fart vintage racing veterans a sense of belonging in the world of new millennium Vintage Motocross.

The name concept came to fruition at the second VMX Classic Dirt event in Kyneton, Victoria during a much earned between ride beer break. While sitting around whining and complaining about the disgraceful state of our beloved modern motocross and the downfall of vintage racing since they started allowing bikes with actual suspension, Freddy Mercury lookalike Alan Jones strolled into our beautifully appointed pit wearing his shiny new black Rickman Kevlar riding pants. Our old New Zealander mate Mike Jolly, ever quick to throw a sexual innuendo hardball, accused Alan of looking like a gay street crawler cruising for some tough boy leather bar action in his lovely black race pants. Alan quickly retaliated that he was actually looking for a Kevlar Bar. We all had a bit of a laugh, took another sip of Kozel and before the bottles were empty, Klub Kevlar was born.

Read more here...

Your Mamma's next CR500! Yikes!

I've Lost My Bearings
Part 2 of 2

Fritz Guenther #22TIn the previous bearing article we discussed the importance of using quality bearings and where to find them. In this installment I'll explain how to decode the numbering system currently used in rolling element bearings and provide some installation tips.

To understand why different bearings are used in different locations on our bikes first we need to understand how fast the bearing is going turn and how much of a load it's expected to support. Bearing loads can be applied in the radial direction or perpendicular to the bore of the bearing. Bearings can be loaded in the axial direction, commonly referred to as thrust which is parallel to the bore of the bearing or a combination of radial and axial loading referred to as angular loading.

Read more here...

Addicted to VMX

*Addiction (Noun 1. Being abnormally dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming (especially alcohol or narcotic drugs). 2. An abnormally strong craving).

*Asset (See, Michael McCook).

Rich Fogel #45

Ok, lets start with the word asset. Michael McCook is to VMX as air is to humans. Mike has put together this awesome online VMX magazine for all of us VMXer's. I, being a friend of Mike's and wanting to do my part have agreed to contribute to as many issues as possible. I decided to pass along as many secrets and tips as possible when dealing with old dirt bikes. With this issue you should be reading about my first attempt at wheel building and what I learned, both right and wrong. Hmmm, no such luck.

Addiction, see above.

I have been addicted to VMX since 1997. I was first introduced back in 1991 and it took six years for me to catch on. What a fool I was. But, of course, for all the good there is in the VMX world, there is the dark side. A side well hidden and so dark they we will rarely share it with the wife for fear that she will try to cure us of this horrible, dark, dark thing. What is this darkness I speak of?

Read more here

New VMX Art from Rob Kinsey!

It's the Economy Stupid

Fred '900' GuidiIt is no secret that the cost of racing has gotten a whole lot more expensive this season. At no other time has there been such a spike in race related costs. There are suddenly, “no close” tracks anymore, and one must decide to forego other expenses to just make it to the course. Many have cut back, and the regional and national attendance numbers reflect this reality. And it is not just AHRMA, it's everyone. “Practice Day” numbers are much lower, due to riders not being able to afford making it to the track during the week, and then again on Sunday. Modern events are down sharply, as well, and some folks who ride three classes, are now riding only one. At the modern nationals, attendance has dropped off a cliff. The combination of gas, the escalating gate fees, and the lack of competition, have forced the NPG to regroup. In 2009, these folks will see night races, and a possible one moto format.

Read more here...

McCookRacing Caption Contest
Caption Contest Winner

Tom DeSantis is the winner of the Cool CZ Racing Jersey!

Caption: For Sale - Sight glass "eye" for autolube tank.

Congrats Tom!
Send us an email with your address and we'll get you this Cool Shirt!

Stephen Gautreau #999Memories

A large thank you goes out for the invitation to pollute his fine VMX Magazine known as with my old school, east coast up-yours attitude and foul sense of humor.

After pondering a suitable topic to violate, I settled on memories of riding, the camaraderie and racing (applied loosely) what were then current state of the art motocross bikes and now considered "Vintage". The thrill of racing back in the day was the actual riding and bar banging that we all took a turn at. Some of the other rider/racers we made friends, other's we attempted every time on the track to use them for a berm. Back then we all seemed to live to ride. If we weren't in school, at our part time jobs or sleeping, we were riding. And in the winter we "worked" on our bikes to stay in tune with it and to be sure it was ready as soon as Spring sprung.

I'm sure a number of us started out hanging around the local M/C shop, getting in the way, taking home way to many sales brochures (now worth good money) and generally being a pest. Then being asked to sweep the floor, empty the trash, go for lunch. The usual stuff that we all ended up doing to become accepted at the shop. Eventually being allowed to change tires and oil, under the watchful eye of someone like Al Doane.

Read more here...

The MG Girls!
OMG... The MG Girls!

I'll give you fifty bucks for it

This editorial comes from a number of years of dealing with nice people, ignorant people, folks with no morals whatsoever and last but certainly not least, out and out villains and scum.

I speak of the eternal quest; the hope springs eternal treasure hunt known as finding that rare, priceless gem of a vintage bike for cheap. We've all been there; the Illustrious Mr. Clark even has a name for it that he shared with us in one of his previous columns.

Over the years of buying, selling and collecting stuff, namely vintage dirt bikes given the venue here, I have seen just about every kind and type of shady character, low life, low-baller, take advantage of someone when there down scum looking to buy what you have or sell you something You don't have for either way to little or way to much. Ever notice when you own it and a so-called expert contacts you, it's pretty much worthless. Two weeks later and a coat of Armor-all you see it for sale yet again on some international stage for crazy stupid money. What gives? (I won't mention any names but you people know who you are)

Read more here...

Kathleen Hutson age 17 on a tricked out '69 Suzuki TS250... She was kind enough to Sponsor me at the Nepean Charity Flat Track Race in Oz. What a Sweetheart!
Thanks Kathleen!... and to all the Mates who made my stay a total Trip!
Photos by VMX's Ken Smith. Contributing Editors:

Chuck Davis #40
Raphael 'Tag' Hargrove III #366
Steve Clark #309D
Fred '900' Guidi
Dave Russell #832
John Nicholas #12
Charlie Oxford #20E
Rich Fogel
Terry Frazier #71E
John Putkey #253
Fritz Guenther #22T
Al Conte #48J
Giles Nelson #665
Bruce Rounsaville #9J
Marcus Fresco #88L
Mark Hayzlett #85M
Perry Sconzert #99D

Stephen Gautreau #999
Tom Long #20B
Robert Haag #74Y
Stu Osborn #657
'Firko' Mark Firkin #53
Randy Smith #24
Mark Jarecki #45Q
Rick Doughty
Joe Abbate #43F
Siege #306
Joey Poole #962
P.J. Read #357
Nigel Hollingsworth #356
Michael McCook #41
George Lookenbill #84
Chris Sunkin


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