Would Vet riders still be riding MX if?

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7/12/2017 7:22 AM

Would us Vet riders (52 here),still be riding MX (tracks) if 4 strokes didn't take over? I asked this question of my riding crew,most of who are 50plus,with two youngsters,43 and 42 yrs.old. The guys over 50 said probably not.
I've been riding MX since I was 5 years old and, in the 80's,90's,I don't remember seeing many Vet riders. In my late 20's,early 30's I owned a couple of CR-500's. At 52, I would want nothing to do with a 500 2stroke on a MX track for more than 2 laps!
Hell,at this point I want nothing to do with a 4T 450 .Currently on a 350 and the fun has returned!

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7/12/2017 7:29 AM

Yes.....I would much rather be riding a 2 stroke......sounds and smells mmmmmm

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7/12/2017 7:35 AM

On just about any Friday out at Pala's vet track you can find Bill burning laps on his 86 CR250R.

Bill is 80 years old.

Rock on Bill!

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7/12/2017 7:36 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/12/2017 8:33 AM

I think you are right that there would be fewer vet riders without 4 strokes. However, I am 49 and am still riding because I got back on a 2 stroke and started having more fun. No 2t 500 for me. I ride a 125 and 250.

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7/12/2017 8:10 AM

43 never really switched to 4 strokes. Too heavy for me.

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7/12/2017 8:16 AM

There would be less vet riders because of the increased danger factor and skill it takes to ride a 250 two-stroke half way decent.

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7/12/2017 8:25 AM

Even though I am a 2-stroke lover, I am usually recommending a pig for beginners, women, and old dudes. Or just any non-agressive rider.

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7/12/2017 8:30 AM

sdmx wrote:

I think you are right that there would be fewer vet riders without 4 strokes. However, I am 49 and am still riding because I got back on a 2 stroke and started having more fun. No 2t 500 for me. I ride a 125 and 250.

I don't agree. I have no evidence other than my own personal observations, but the 4 strokes "taking over" are the reason why A LOT of guys don't even bother anymore. When I first got back into it I purchased a 4 stroke. I was told, "Everyone rides them now." Turns out that wasn't true. I sold that thing within 4 months of buying it and purchased a new smoker. Been having fun ever since. I love the fact that I can rebuild any part of it with the knowledge I already have. I love that I can rebuild the top end in a few hours - taking my time - on a Saturday. Anyhow, that's my take - your mileage may vary.

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7/12/2017 8:39 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/12/2017 8:40 AM

I would still ride, Just pull out the Old 490 Maico & ride the heck out of it!

Hell I raced it until I was 56 years old, I might even do it in November at the Rio Bravo AHRMA race.

Shouldn't be that bad in the 60+ class, I hopewink

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00' BMW K1200 RS
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7/12/2017 8:50 AM

sdmx wrote:

I think you are right that there would be fewer vet riders without 4 strokes. However, I am 49 and am still riding because I got back on a 2 stroke and started having more fun. No 2t 500 for me. I ride a 125 and 250.

Harry Backmon wrote:

I don't agree. I have no evidence other than my own personal observations, but the 4 strokes "taking over" are the reason why A LOT of guys don't even bother anymore. When I first got back into it I purchased a 4 stroke. I was told, "Everyone rides them now." Turns out that wasn't true. I sold that thing within 4 months of buying it and purchased a new smoker. Been having fun ever since. I love the fact that I can rebuild any part of it with the knowledge I already have. I love that I can rebuild the top end in a few hours - taking my time - on a Saturday. Anyhow, that's my take - your mileage may vary.

I look around the pits at my local tracks,I see 95% of Vet riders riding 450 4T. I agree with you on 2T. I have a 08' RM-250,Love it,easy to work on,it's a fun bike. Hell,for some odd reason,it's even easier and faster to wash than my 4t! But,Its a lot of work on the track. Just curious,what do you mean,a "new2stroke". 16'-17' KTM/Husky?

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7/12/2017 8:58 AM

There weren't many Vet guys in the 80s because the sport only really started in the USA in the 70s with a majority of young guys. So by shear mathematics most of the teenagers/20 something's that started in the 70s wouldn't have been 30+ until the 90s.

But during the 90s groups like Over the Hill Gang out in here in California were huge.

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7/12/2017 9:04 AM

My old man is 68 and loves his 350. He hops on my 250 smoker from time to time, only to get right back on his thumper...

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Tomac and/or Anderson for 2020.....

7/12/2017 9:04 AM

KirkChandler wrote:

There weren't many Vet guys in the 80s because the sport only really started in the USA in the 70s with a majority of young guys. So by shear mathematics most of the teenagers/20 something's that started in the 70s wouldn't have been 30+ until the 90s.

But during the 90s groups like Over the Hill Gang out in here in California were huge.

Good point.

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7/12/2017 9:10 AM

You old guys needed to jump on the KTM 200cc two stroke train when it was in the station. Lightweight like a 125cc, power close to a 250cc and much lower maintenance than a 125cc. Close to dirt bike nirvana for me but not enough sales to keep it in the marketplace; a real shame cause I can't buy one now unless this new Beta 200cc I've heard about pans out. At 58 yo old, I'm probably gonna looking to the electrics for my next bike.

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7/12/2017 9:15 AM

47, and still on a 2T. But, I think the bigger problem is track design, so indirectly that might be a 4T symptom. Track design has me second guessing what the hell I am still doing out there (though just practice days for me).

I wouldn't worry as much if there were more natural terrain tracks with safer/more reasonable jumps that I didn't have to huck-n-hope as much on.

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7/12/2017 9:35 AM

Since many of us "Vet" riders have kids riding it usually means we ride less due to time. A thumper is much easier to jump on a feel comfortable on and in my case a 250f doesn't wear me out as much since I'm not int he shape I once was. I see friends buying 250 2-strokes trying to bring back the glory days and hating them. I do enjoy a 125 session now and then but a 250f is my go to. if I wasn't buying bikes for two racing boys I would probably have a 350.........

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7/12/2017 9:40 AM

KirkChandler wrote:

There weren't many Vet guys in the 80s because the sport only really started in the USA in the 70s with a majority of young guys. So by shear mathematics most of the teenagers/20 something's that started in the 70s wouldn't have been 30+ until the 90s.

But during the 90s groups like Over the Hill Gang out in here in California were huge.

This sums it up. My dad raced in the 70's and he was racing a CR500 at Carslbad in the late 90's. He then went to a CRF450 till about 55. Now he rides maybe once a year.

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7/12/2017 9:48 AM

Interesting question. I ride all clay/blue groove now, and it's unquestionably more difficult at 55, than it was 20 years ago. Having said that, I rode on the hardest baked track on Sunday, everything was clicking, and it was a blast. Not carrying championship speed, but better than a lot of days. I'm still riding, because I love riding, period. Guys can also say they wouldn't be riding now, but how can you miss something you never had, if 4 strokes hadn't come along? The answers given may be skewed.
Also rode my 07 450 for a few minutes, and it was head and shoulders better than my 96 CR. Looking forward to getting that trans issue straightened out. If you want to go out and just cut laps, and not get tired and frustrated, add 2 strokes.

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7/12/2017 10:02 AM

SwingHard wrote:

Would us Vet riders (52 here),still be riding MX (tracks) if 4 strokes didn't take over? I asked this question of my riding crew,most of who are 50plus,with two youngsters,43 and 42 yrs.old. The guys over 50 said probably not.
I've been riding MX since I was 5 years old and, in the 80's,90's,I don't remember seeing many Vet riders. In my late 20's,early 30's I owned a couple of CR-500's. At 52, I would want nothing to do with a 500 2stroke on a MX track for more than 2 laps!
Hell,at this point I want nothing to do with a 4T 450 .Currently on a 350 and the fun has returned!

I do totally get why some older guys wouldn't want to be on the 2 strokes. They " can " be a handful I guess on some tracks. The 250F's are definitely a very popular Vet bike , and for good reason.

I'm 49 now and will be 50 this coming January. I have a Husky 125 ( 2017 ) , which is my first tiddler bike in 30 years , and it has been a blast re-learning how to ride one. I totally believe it's re-teching me certain things I have forgot all about. Now my 2006 RM 250.....it really depends on the track. If it's hard packed , blue grooved with big knarly ruts every where....it can be a handful at times. BUT....on good , moist dirt days , on a good track layout where I can open her up and let er' rip.......there isn't a bike on planet earth I would rather ride.

With all that being said......Come later this summer / fall ( or possibly spring ) , I will be getting another Husky. I'm not sure exactly which one I'll get as of right now. Either a TC 250 , or a FC 250. I plan on running quite a few OTMX rounds when I can.....but I need a bike that will let me finish 5 X 25 min motos.

I already have my RM 250 2 stroke , so I'm not sure I'll want another one. But dang it , I love the 125 Husky so much , I'd really like to have the 250 version of that bike.

Side note : I'm done with 450's as well. I just simply can't put in a hard 25 minute moto on those any more , and don't want that type of power under me when I'm tired.

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And there goes Jeffro. One of God's own prototypes. A super high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.

Pimpin' Ho's , Rollin' fatty's......drinkin' beers , beers , beers!! ~ Ja

7/12/2017 10:08 AM

Aren't most two-stroke diehards older guys? I am.
I agree 450s are great bikes for older guys- you don't have to rev them like a madman. I have found that the extra weight on a 450 will pound you if you don't ride fast.

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7/12/2017 10:13 AM

SwingHard wrote:

I look around the pits at my local tracks,I see 95% of Vet riders riding 450 4T. I agree with you on 2T. I have a 08' RM-250,Love it,easy to work on,it's a fun bike. Hell,for some odd reason,it's even easier and faster to wash than my 4t! But,Its a lot of work on the track. Just curious,what do you mean,a "new2stroke". 16'-17' KTM/Husky?

Swingbro, back in 2013 I bought a new YZ250. Still have it. You can see it in my bike check. I'm going to retire it soon though. I will be purchasing a new KTM 150. I will keep the YZ and run her now and again, but for the most part she will rest.

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7/12/2017 10:16 AM

KirkChandler wrote:

There weren't many Vet guys in the 80s because the sport only really started in the USA in the 70s with a majority of young guys. So by shear mathematics most of the teenagers/20 something's that started in the 70s wouldn't have been 30+ until the 90s.

But during the 90s groups like Over the Hill Gang out in here in California were huge.

Exactly. I remember back in the 1980s we had a guy that was 40 racing. We couldn't believe it. Now it's common. 40 is young these days.

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7/12/2017 10:27 AM

bigmaico wrote:

I would still ride, Just pull out the Old 490 Maico & ride the heck out of it!

Hell I raced it until I was 56 years old, I might even do it in November at the Rio Bravo AHRMA race.

Shouldn't be that bad in the 60+ class, I hopewink

Yep, I remember when our local track would host old timer races in late 70s/early 80s. All of the old guys would show up on awesome open bikes and lug them around the track.......

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7/12/2017 10:31 AM

Side note #2.....The 2 strokes revived my riding and made things interesting for me again. Seriously feel younger on them and smiling from begining to end on a ride.

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And there goes Jeffro. One of God's own prototypes. A super high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.

Pimpin' Ho's , Rollin' fatty's......drinkin' beers , beers , beers!! ~ Ja

7/12/2017 10:45 AM

59 and riding an old 01KX250. I have a 13 YZ450F also. Two different worlds for sure. The smoker is a lot more hyper but I love how light it feels even tho I think this old KX is heavier than my 450. Can get sketchy on dry hardpack days but I need to mellow out anyways! Getting rid of the 450 and thinking newer 250 or 300 smoker.

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7/12/2017 10:46 AM


It's got nothing to do with the 2 or 4 stroke thing.

It's the stupid fucking man made jumps that keep a lot away.
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7/12/2017 10:59 AM

I think we are simply the guys that stuck with it from the era when MX really took off...late 60's thru the late 80's...

As for the bikes, no matter what type of engine, the chassis have gotten sooooooooo much better.

The Thumpers (Namely 350-450) are sooooooooo much easier to maintain (Please, don't go venting about your 2T. Especially when you have neither the number of smokers that I do -nor- the various types that I do: 1979 thru current. Off-Road, Trials and a few Factory Moto bikes).

The bigger four-strokes are EXTREMELY dependable and last forever. I've recently had a Suzuki head checked at 40 hours..valves were PERFECT.

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I ripped a start from Egypt and I was happy about that.

7/12/2017 10:59 AM

motogrady wrote:
It's got nothing to do with the 2 or 4 stroke thing.

It's the stupid fucking man made jumps that keep a lot away.

I know what you mean, but I still think the imagination of the expense and maintenance keeps some people away. Even if 4 strokes are no longer that maintenance intensive (and I don't think they are), I don't see how you're going to convince a guy that hasn't ridden since 1982 of that. I don't think guys (typically) stop and realize how much better the bikes are today in terms of reliability and suspension etc. They see almost ten grand for a new bike and think, maybe I'll just get a Harley if I'm going to spend ten grand on a dirt bike. I also don't think they factor in inflation. Today's ten grand was 1987's $2500.

Then, as you noted, let's say they get curious enough to visit a local track and see guys doing 100 foot tables. Honestly, I think both factors are having an effect.

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7/12/2017 11:03 AM

I am 57 and don't race anymore. When I did race +45 and +50 at local races, regional races, LL qualifiers for 5 years there was not a single guy on a 2 stroke that I remember. Some 250F's, but mostly 450's. I was never fast, I just enjoyed riding and a 450 is more enjoyable. You can hop on the bike, park it in 3rd gear, and ride around as fast as you want. You twist the throttle a little and whatever power you want is incrementally there. No bog, no big hit when it comes on the pipe, just smooth controllable power when you want it.

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7/12/2017 11:06 AM

motogrady wrote:
It's got nothing to do with the 2 or 4 stroke thing.

It's the stupid fucking man made jumps that keep a lot away.

2 words: Vet Track.

Works for me!

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I ripped a start from Egypt and I was happy about that.