Saturday, January 19

So how is this 80's thing going?

Well your best answer would come from cruising through the various web sites that have photos up, or check the videos on I think Bad Billy Benedict Ursic and Steve Cox are posting some stuff on right now, too. Me, I'm in the booth so I don't have any pictures.

But...I actually got to ride the track. Jim brought out two 1986 bikes and he was all pumped about taking them out on the track. I was more than a little nervous. Here I am talking racing every weekend like I know what I'm doing, and suddenly the entire industry and every rider in the series is going to be down there watching me on the track, and I have to ride a 1986 bike for the first time ever, with no gear on except for a helmet. I knew my entire career and all credibility could come crashing down, literally, if I stalled the bike or grabbed a handful only to find out "oh man those old bikes hit like a light switch." Plus, the bike is 22 years old. What if it doesn't start?

Well, I calmed Jim down enough to where we only rode one table top, the start straight and some rollers--I think Jim was ready to rock the whole course on his 490 air hammer. I didn't crash and i don't think anyone noticed that, when I slipped the clutch to try to break the rear tire loose, the bike hooked up and I pulled the dorkiest, gooniest wheelie ever allowed on a supercross track. After that it was all good, though.

As for the real riders, Chad Reed has Thor gear with the old logos, Stewart has some more Bradshaw-looking gear like he had a few years ago (curiously he is running a Packers logo on his butt patch. Go Giants!), anyone in O'Neal or MSR is decked out (Ferry and Antonio Balbi actually have straight-up old gear, Langston and Wey have old logos on new stuff). But the coolest? By far, Kevin Windham. He is running boot gators over his black boots! That's the stuff of legend.

The track is way weird and I honestly think it will be awesome. The triple is so big that the Lites guys are struggling with it, and the rhythm sections are, well, lacking in rhythm. But I think it's a good thing as long as no one stacks it up real bad.

The best part? I haven't seen anyone going too big on the "I was a bigger fan than you were back then." I was bracing for the worst. I mean, I can tell you every Larry Huffman line ever, I know O'Mara finished third in Anaheim '86 and Tyson Vohland won the 125 class, I know Ron Lechein was the big signing by Kawasaki and he got lapped, Wardy's throttle cable broke in his heat race, I mean, I love the 80's, too. I really didn't want to get into a pissing match with people over who has been around longer and knows more or is more "core." So far, so good.


Anonymous said...


Previously I mentioned only one rider listing California as home as being from there. Well I missed Ramsey and of course Ivan just moved,
but what I was getting at was, compared to the '86 edition how much has where guys are from changed ?

The El Cajon zone is no longer active, and there are 4 fast Aussies (if you count lites) and a DV12 and Sorby.

Could you expound on this maybe ?


M. Brown

Jason Weigandt said...

Dude, the lack of California talent at the top today is a good and bad sign of the state of the sport and this country. On the good side, motocross has gotten big enough to where teams can discover riders from every nook and cranny on the globe. Back in the day, only California kids broke through because the teams were based from there, and they signed who they knew. Now, the teams have enough bucks to run programs in every region, so if there's a fast kid in New England, Michigan or Florida, they will find him.

The other problem is, I guess Southern California had a ton of riding areas back in the day and they're all gone due to urban sprawl. This is the downside. Even the Alessi's hail from the high desert, and you pretty much have to be out in the wilds there to ride dirt bikes these days.

In contrast to all-California mains back in 1986, an Australian won tonight over a kid from Washington/Oregon, and a veteran from Baton Rouge. The times they are a changin'

Anonymous said...


You nailed it on the head. Urban sprawl and a lack of places to just ride. And the cost of living there.

I grew up in San Luis Obispo ( but now live in Texas ) and that area with it's by comparison wide open spaces is one of the few places in California
still producing some talent.

But if was just wide open spaces were's the fast Canadian's ? Eh ?

Thanks for your comment

M. Brown