AHRMA to add more 100cc VMX Classes this racing season!
At least one
official in the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association (AHRMA) has announced that the Northwest
region, which has had growing participation from small-bore riders in recent years, will be adding more 100cc Classes in
Pacific Northwest events. Ric Tipton, Northwest Post-Vintage Coordinator announced recently that volunteers Dirk Williams
and Siege will team up to handle race Post-Vintage Coordination in the Pacific Northwest, covering the states of
Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
Siege, along with Bill Grubin, the Gas-It-n Go Racers, Jim Conway, Marvin Newton have, for the past two years helped the
promoters (track owners) of Washington’s Hammer & Tongs series at Longview & Eddieville (Goldendale) have always
included a 100cc Class. Reportedly this is his largest and fastest growing event, with 20-25 small-bore racers. The
effort to put 100cc bikes on the nationąs MX courses in an AHRMA national point series is the dream of many small-bore
riders. After being told over and over again by AHRMA officials that they could not, or would not add a 100 Class, it
looks as though these two promoters will do just that, institute a 100cc AHRMA points series in the Pacific Northwest
which would include races in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. AHRMA has always resisted change with respect to adding
classes by giving the reason that adding more motos to an already full racing day wouldnąt be feasible and challenged
those who wanted 100cc classes to organize races on their own. Bill Grubin went out and did just that and “Hammer &
Tongs” was born.
“AHRMA is member owned.” says Siege. “It says so right on their website home page in the first sentence -
but try to change something, and you will run (as Thal Anderson described) into a rock wall. Now (at “Hammer &
Tongs”) we don't have to jump through hoops and argue with anyone. We can simply give the racers what they want”
(a 100cc Class).
And apparently AHRMA is beginning to get the hint. It started in 1998 when the aforementioned Randy Smith, a Hodaka racer
in Missouri met Curtis Harper and the MOVMX race promoter at the time, Jim Thompson. When asked how the MOVMX 100cc point
series got started there Randy said, “I had my 1970 Rat in the truck with a broken transmission but asked what class
it would qualify in if I could race it. I was told they didn't have a 100 Class so I would have to race with the 125's
unless there were more 100's. The season was over so I didn't worry about it until the next spring. I think it was early
April 1999 and I showed up with my Rat and sure enough, I was the only 100 there. I was placed with the Classic 125's and
Classic 250's and much to my surprise, I went two for two in my motos and would have won overall but I was given first in
the 100 class as I was the only entry. But with a little pleading these (MOVMX) promoters had the insight to try out
something new, something that the racers wanted and it worked.”
So in 2003, Promoter Curtis Harper allowed a 100cc Class for adults and Paul Stannard of Strictly Hodaka sponsored the first
Memorial Day 100cc Nationals that had three 100cc classes and somewhere around 20 entries per class. In 2004 the MOVMX
100cc Class continued to have as many entries or more than some of the other classes and according to Randy,
“Everyone comments on how much fun it looks. The 100 Class is an excellent place to loosen up the rust on an old
Guy’s (or Gal's) body and try out Vintage Racing.” But a fully built 100cc bike and the right rider can compete
with the 125's so it’s always been a “Catch-22” with AHRMA and their decision was final. According to
AHRMA officials, there was no need to add another set of national classes since the 100’s would run and compete
head-to-head with the 125’s. And so it stood, until recently.
Brett Ritter from PRO-FLO, a sponsor of Hodaka Days held yearly in late June at Athena, Oregon started a topic on the
non-official AHRMA bulletin board last month about a possible AHRMA 100cc Class, saying, “The time had come.”
Dozens of posts showed up in support of the idea and one racer said it best: “The number of 100cc bikes currently
entered into 125cc races under existing rules is not a reliable indicator of how much interest/participation there would
be if a 100cc class were to be offered. It is at best an indicator of whom, as a vintage racer, desires to race 100cc
bikes in the 125cc Class. I would also venture that the second group is orders of magnitude smaller than the first.”
So the question remains: If a majority of amateur MX racers want a national AHRMA 100cc Class, WHY NOT? As he did in 2004,
Paul Stannard of Strictly Hodaka has stepped to the forefront of this issue and has begun pulling strings with AHRMA
officials in the Northeast Region to get a 100cc Class at the upcoming National point race in Syracuse, New York. Paul
asked for northeast 100cc riders to pre-register last month saying, “I spoke about this with Northeast AHRMA head
honcho and trusted friend Alex Moroz. Alex has a great AHRMA national planned for July 1st, 2nd and 3rd in Syracuse,
New York and has tentatively agreed, pending approval to run a 100cc Class. Vintage racing will take place on July 3rd.
This is going to be a huge event. Not only to promote Vintage Motocross but especially for me, incorporating a 100cc
Class is very close to my heart. There are a couple of things that I want to do this year, and seeing a national 100cc
class is one of them. The only national avenue that I can see this happening is through AHRMA.”
Paul wraps up the feeling of many when he says, “There are differences between all the different groups and
organizations but the goal should be the same. Make racing and riding fun and accessible to everyone willing to put in
the time and effort for this great sport. We all need to WORK TOGETHER TOWARDS THAT GOAL. I truly believe this.”
Stu Osborn is based in Seattle, WA., and is a future AHRMA 100cc VMX racer.