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AMA: weight rules......the stone age?

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SLowly I realize why I remember my 1976 RM-250 feeling so light: it was!

on the dawn of weight restrictions:

Mxa speaks

By this time we should all be on 150lb 450s, and I think we might have been without these ridiculous rules. Roger Decoster's 250 weighed 186 lbs!!! IN 1973!!!

Time for the AMA to grow up and let the market work.

Don't you think?

uhoh7

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Well, it does give the little guys (non factory riders) more of a chance. I mean, if the factory riders had 120 pound 250s, all titanium or something, and the rest of us were stuck on our 'stone age' bikes.... You get the point :banghead:

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I say no. The weight of them is good. Sure they could build a YZ250 half the pounds, but do we really want that? You may as well ride a push bike.

Riding bikes that are heavy make you stronger. I say they are good.

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The bikes are less exotic today than they were back then. Joel Robert had a 186lb. TM400 in 1974. The factories don't drive the sport anymore, it's the aftermarket companies; and outside of the National level - it's the privateers. MX and off-road are one of the few sports still left that are run by the average Joe. Sure Pro Racing controls the big stuff like a puppet, but without you and your buddies, there's be no District racing.

The rules make the playing field a little less hilly. While the little guy still gets the shaft, at least it comes down somewhat to racing and not who has the biggest checkbook.

My fantasy is to see 125s race with 125s and the 250s race with 250s. The current HP rules allowing the 250F and 450F to dominate is a joke. 450-mania is fine but it belongs in the Open class.

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Decoster's bike had at least 9" travel front and back.

And it never broke in half.

When you look at all the aftermarket products and the ingenuity etc, I think the independants would still be in there without restrictions.

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Decoster's bike had at least 9" travel front and back.

And it never broke in half.

When you look at all the aftermarket products and the ingenuity etc, I think the independants would still be in there without restrictions.

9 inches NOT they didnt know what 6 inches of travel was back then

look at the wheels they are like 5" away from the fenders

in 1976 a honda elsinore 125 had like 7inches maybe

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Works bikes were approaching the Million Dollar mark.

Privateers were becoming/had become NON-EXISTENT!

The Factories...especially YAMAHA! were fed up with tryin' to Keep Up With the Red Guys and their Carbon-Fiber Monocoque Framed Works bikes...and...Kawi, Suzuki...and the, at that time, "tiny" lil' European Companies were gettin' ready to pull the plug on their Moto-X Racing Teams (Most of the Euro's already had!)...

The AMA met with the manufacturers and quickly came up with a "Production Based" rule for all it's Motocross racing series.

It was the Mid-80's...we, us "Regular Folk", went from buying 'Disposable' dirt-bikes to "Production Race Replicas"...MX bikes evolved SO FAST that, on many occasions, fairly "Stock" bikes, ridden by "Privateers" were whoopin' azz on factory riders!

As I recall, 1985 was the 1st year of the "Production Rule"...BUT!...some of those "Production" bikes sure looked like works bikes in "drag"...especially the "Red" guy's...

By 1986, the AMA started gettin' serious and, low and behold, folks like RJ started showin' up at the races with less "HRC" and more "Honda Motorcycle"...as in...guess what?? The factories are gonna have to build their racers from the same crate bike that we do!

Not long after...the 1st 'Privateer' to win a Super-Cross, Ricky Ryan, pulled it off at DAYTONA!!!!!

In the 2nd Year of the "Production Rule", a Privateer won the Daytona Supercross.

It was 1987.

In-fact...in 1987...Broc Glover was pissed at KAWASAKI for makin' the "Production" KX500 specifically and Ergonomically for Jeff Ward! That's right...Broc was just talkin' about this at the Laguna "50 Year" party...

The '87 KX500 (And the 250, for that matter) had a nice, narrow..."tiny" little gas tank...high foot-pegs...short-back-boned frame...very "interesting" (For 1987) linkage rate and an "Available" Very SHORT seat...all because the whole damn mid-80's KX/SR program was focused on Wardy!..or...so...that's how I've heard it from those who were "There"...

Go figure!

About this same time...a DMC built KX125 would hand a KMC (Kawasaki Motor Corp.) "Works" bike it's A$$!

Heck, in the 90's...Mitch Payton's "Peak Anti-Freeze Pro-Circuit" Hondas were better than the "Factory" Hondas! It's true!

Honda was PISSED! Mitch, figuring out the rule-book...from front to back...had cast his own CYLINDERS! and made a better 125 motor than Honda!

So...fast-forward to today...

Most of you won't believe this; BUT!!!!

The differences between YOUR bike and the "Factory" bike you dream about are very SLIGHT!

Anyone take a good look at the '06s?

The gap between the "Factory" and your Garage is gettin' real narrow...

Now, about the weight of modern bikes...

Why don't you tear down a 1976 YZ125....

And, then, tear down a 2006 YZ125 or YZ250F...for that matter...

And startin' counting the parts.

Then, weigh the parts.

Then, Rockwell the parts.

Then...pick up the phone...

Call Yamaha...

And say...

THANK YOU! :banghead:

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Thanks to the production rule, and the availability of carbon fiber and titanium, you can beat the AMA ruling. The AMA ruling is for AMA races. The only guys who get protested are maybe the top 5 winners, and that's only if all of a sudden the guys holeshotting every week.

So I say embrace the technology! Make your 450 weigh in at 200lbs (it's possible, ask the freestyle guys) and win races. Just know that if you get to the AMA AA pro level the fun's over.... But for all us local guys...........the most ca$h wins, at least to the first corner.

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And startin' counting the parts.

Then, weigh the parts.

Then, Rockwell the parts.

Then...pick up the phone...

Call Yamaha...

And say...

THANK YOU! :banghead:

Excellent post!

Yamaha was the manufacturer that proposed and pushed this issue. Shortly thereafter

Yamaha won the 1984 250 national championship on a production based YZ250 with Rick Johnson at the controls. He left for Honda shortly thereafter and won multiple championships for them.

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That's not an Elsinore 250 by the way. Lights indicate it is an MR250.

Craigus Maximus

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That's not an Elsinore 250 by the way. Lights indicate it is an MR250.

Craigus Maximus

MY FRIEND HAD ONE AND IT LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE THAT WITHOUT THE LIGHT

MAYBE HE PUT THEM ON THERE BUT THE TRAVEL IS THE SAME

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Lighter bikes mean more expensive bikes (exotic materials) and more breakdowns ...

It´s a simple rule.

Leave it as it is.

Twin

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If a bike were too light it wouldnt work well in certain conditions

Alittle extra weight is where the 250F's have an advantage of the 125s in SX is in the whoops...the weight stablizes the bike more. Im sure there are other instances too

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All racing series for cars have weight limits. There was a controversy about Danica Patrick because the IRL weight limit does not include the driver. Since she is only 100 lbs. she gets a 50lb (or more) break over most of the other drivers. Other series weigh the car and driver together.

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Team Green is right about this one. Bear in mind, I was there to see it. Of course, Jody Weisel was there too, but sometimes his take on AMA rules is a little too auto-rebellious. For example, the rule against all black leathers was born of the concern that a rider so dressed would be (and actually is) dangerously difficult to see when lying on the pavement of a road course.

In the article, MXA states that the weight limits were instituted to prevent the European builders from being driven out. That should have been a good enough reason, actually, and it's the same one the the Formula 1 organizers used to keep Honda from using their phenomenal fully active suspension in F1. It was patented, and frankly, beyond anyone else's engineering or financial capabilities to reproduce, and a very serious advantage.

The reason was, as others stated, that nothing whatsoever even resembling the works bikes was going to be offered to the public any time soon, if ever, which would give the factories producing such equipment yet another insurmountable edge over the privateer.

The weight limit probably should have been, and should yet be, supplanted by a "production rule", such as the one currently being used (not that it's perfect either). That would allow any manufacturer to produce pretty much anything it wanted to come up with as long as it was willing to offer it at retail, and it would be more in line with the kinds of regulations used in other motorsports. But either way, I don't see a reason to assign any sinister motives to it. Rules like this are written to keep guys like us in the game.

To say that bikes were more exotic then is ridiculous. It was true only when comparing the works bikes to the stuff on the showroom floor. Do you know what people's reactions would have been if you told someone in 1975 that you were going to produce a 4-stroke 250 MX'er at a 205 lb. dry weight? That it was going to have hydraulic disc brakes, water cooling, an aluminum chassis, 12" of suspension travel, 5 titanium valves, and that not only was it going to produce nearly 40 horsepower by revving to 13,000 rpm, it would be reliable, too?? Exotic?? I'll say. And now you can buy one.

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Great Posts you guys.

I am all for a "production rule", cause for sure that helps us. But the idea that a 250 has to weigh 216 ilbs is ridiculous i think.

As far as long travel suspension back then: in the fall of 1975 I bought a brand new first year RM 250. This was bascially the first long travel production bike, with cantilevered shocks and close to 9 inches. EVERYONE was buying swingarms and moding their suspension for long travel. But DeCoster and Co had been using it for years: check out this 1975 photo:

http://www.ahrma.org/mx_gallery/2005-04_decoster.htm

Look at the rear suspension. This is a very modern motorcycle.

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To say that bikes were more exotic then is ridiculous. It was true only when comparing the works bikes to the stuff on the showroom floor. Do you know what people's reactions would have been if you told someone in 1975 that you were going to produce a 4-stroke 250 MX'er at a 205 lb. dry weight? That it was going to have hydraulic disc brakes, water cooling, an aluminum chassis, 12" of suspension travel, 5 titanium valves, and that not only was it going to produce nearly 40 horsepower by revving to 13,000 rpm, it would be reliable, too?? Exotic?? I'll say. And now you can buy one.

That was my era and I stand by my remark. Works bikes in the '70s were more exotic compared to today. Take your Modern 4-Stroke glasses off for a minute...

It was the era of dual carbs, exotic materials, and a suspension revolution like we'll never see again. Rememeber the Yamaha Mono? And the race to see who could lay their shocks down farther? And those shocks became a single-shock along the way.

Then we had the whole radiator-on-a-dirtbike era that led to manufacturers replacing drums with a front disc, and finally a rear disc, too. This was all exotic stuff, featured in the likes of MXA, that we couldn't buy until a year or two after the fact.

Bikes changed more the the period from '74 to '84 than in any time in history. We won't see those kind of wholesale changes again. Come to think of it, Jody actually wrote stuff then. :banghead:

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