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Old days vs Today

Discussion in 'MX/SX General' started by john lilly, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. john lilly

    john lilly PR Addict

    Racing Number:
    While, I didn't race in the old days it seems to me based on the photo's I see that people raced on tracks that were not prepped as well as todays tracks. They always seemed to be incredibly dusty, as if they weren't watered. The soil seemed more lumpy with large chunks of dirt or rocks. Then there were the races were it looks, as if the track was just hit by a monsoon and still they go out there in a complete mudfest and put in laps. Are we just sissies today? My son and I show up to tracks as many do and expect perfect conditions, amazing prep with the perfect amount of water layed down to give it just enough tackiness that, will let the riders create beautiful rutts. Did they actually ride tracks in the past that were much rougher than what we ride today? Are we spoiled? Do we shy away from tracks if things aren't just the way we like them? Should we be racing even after the track has been pounded by a rain storm? If we should then why don't we. I don't know!
    halffast and hershey like this.
  2. DTS

    DTS PR Addict

    Back when the OMA was forming, I recall them committing to provide ideal track conditions at all their races. Their focus on good track prep is what made me buy a membership their first year. We are just really lucky to have such an organization.
    saplakc, hershey and john lilly like this.
  3. sturd

    sturd PR Addict

    TimSr90, hershey, chubakka and 3 others like this.
  4. beamer315

    beamer315 PR Addict

    akron, ohio
    It's a lot different today than even 10 years ago. Maybe I was just a dumb kid but I remember driving from akron to spring valley in the rain and racing all day then home in the rain. No cancelation no whining. I just drove and rode and went home. Now today I wouldn't do that or there woudn't even be a race. We are most defiantly spoiled and I kinda like it.
  5. premix

    premix PR Member

    The sport has evolved in the last 15 years no doubt. It's far more competitive and costly than it was. I got out of the sport in the mid 2000's and recently back into it over the past few years. Tracks haven't changed that much, the people have. People want perfect prep, split practices, dedicated mini races, and they want it all RIGHT NOW. Do I think some of these are warranted? Sometimes, yes. Do I think its realistic, no. Forums like these have also been a great asset to our sport as far as communication pieces for tracks and organizations but have also given others a soapbox about any little thing they don't like. I personally am very happy to see the OMA organization growing and am excited to see what Ohio motocross has in store.
  6. ck1racerx

    ck1racerx PR Addict

    Iron Chef Chili Kitchen
    Racing Number:
    1 My Chili Trophy tells me so
    I think the track prep is about the same as it was in the 80's and 90's. Some tracks were better then others just like today. Only difference I see with prep is the implement used to till. Back in the stone age the tool to use was a standard disc. Now everyone is using those chisel plows. The plow goes a little deeper but I think that is more dependent on the type of soil.
    Biggest changes I have noticed are the size and type of jumps. Now we have tabletops EVERYWHERE. If its not a table top then it is tiny. Few jumps with consequence exist anymore. Therefore there is nothing to slow any down. Now, I am not going to get into the "its safer" crap (because I do not think it is) but it for sure has changed.
    I do believe there has been a significant pussification of "racers". I too remember driving to MANY races in the rain. Waiting in the van until it stopped, cut a head and arm holes in a trash bag and going out to race. Now, if it gets cloudy guys don't even both loading up. I think most guys have forgotten how fun it is to ride in the mud. Sure the deep, sticky stuff sucks but racing in slop was fun. We all did it, and got good at it. Then prayed for rain at Loretta's so we could show up the guys from Cali and Florida. The mindset now is "I don't want to tear up my bike, it costs too much" I understand that, but the bikes now are tractors compared to back in the day. A 450 would breeze through what a 125 would get stuck in. Yeah they cost double but I also see many riders keeping a bike for 2 or 3 years. That NEVER happened back then, Heck most of us would buy a couple bikes per year.
    Its still the same sport as it was my first race.
    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    Write that down.
    mblair and john lilly like this.
  7. KTMkarl794

    KTMkarl794 PR Addict

    The price of parts (i.e. chains and sprockets) has nearly doubled in the last decade....I think people not having the disposable income that we used to is one of the largest factors in all the major downfalls of local racing. Which would also extend to the promoters that are doing the prep. When I was 17 I used to love riding in the mud since I spent my younger years riding enduros it was the only time I knew I could go out and win the 16-24 Open class on a 125. Now that I'm paying for parts, I ride around the mud lol.

    Can't comment on track prep around here years ago, grew up on the Michigan sand tracks so prep never really mattered, and it was always going to be rough. I will say though, for the years I've been down here, it's not hard to see the tracks that are really committing to prepping the best they can. With the soil errr clay we have, not an easy task.

    Here's what I want to know, where did all the whoops go!? That used to be a staple at most tracks now they are no where to be found. And no, rollers are not whoops.
    john lilly likes this.
  8. TwentyThreeMX

    TwentyThreeMX PR Founding Father

    chesterland, oh
    i love whoops. wish more places had them.. and real ones. can really seperate riders.
    TBO, Original44, 812 and 1 other person like this.
  9. Vet261

    Vet261 PR Addict

    Valley City, Ohio
    We are absolutely spoiled in today's world of MX racing and practice. If we fall down in a wet spot on the track and come back from practice muddy we blame the track owner for the muddy spot and their lack of proper prepping knowledge. Then we run into our gigantic rig and change all our clothes (maybe even take a shower) and put on new gear before we go out again.

    "Back in the day" when I started riding, the only place you could go and ride a prepped track for practice was Smith Road. There was no other prepped practice tracks -- you rode wherever the "local riding spot" was and ate dust. For me that was Amherst Meadowlarks and we would just ride and ride and ride on that concrete like dirt for hours with our Bridgestone M22s. Then it was a treat to go to races and have the tracks prepped. Sometimes we would even make a point of going back to Meadowlarks a day or two after the race just to bask in the lusciousness of the conditions from the race prep.

    But, a lot of this feeling of how it was so much better, fun, etc also relates to the fact that I was 17 years old, not 45. I didn't have bills to pay, I thought I was cool, and was eager to just have fun on my dirt bike in any way I could and wherever I could. And I could eat anything and still weigh 125lbs. Guess what? Pretty much everything is better when you are in your late teens and early twenties! haha

    For me, I have revived a lot of this fun factor by doing some GP races. The TVland GP to me is the epitome of "just plain fun" riding a dirt bike. Ripping around that grass track section there is so much like the riding I would do when I was young.
    hershey, dmx153, Original44 and 6 others like this.
  10. GeorgiePorgie

    GeorgiePorgie PR Founding Father

    Ohio the 440
    Racing Number:
    "Pray for rain at lorettas"

    Oh god yes. I prayed for rain at qualifiers, regionals. Everywhere. It's the only thing that would slow down hepler, lichtle and millsapps and bring them back from immortality.

    I miss racing in the mud. If you don't have decent technique you're going to suck. I don't want to sound cocky but I bet if it was a Mudfest at one of those battle rounds in the 125 class I would of put a serious hurting on the majority of those young 15 year old kids who have never seen or heard of racing in actual mud!

    Why are kids going to the line with 7-10 tear offs for a 4-5 lap race in perfect weather and prep? I used to go out in mudders with 5 and my dad would say: " a holeshot is going to make your life a lot easier." Aka meaning I wasn't getting anymore than 5 tear odds. At the worst races at lorettas my dad would stand in the mechanics area with a garbage bag and he would swap goggles and scrub the thick slop off my visor so I could look farther ahead than my front fender. (Weighed my head down. Looked like our necks were gonna break)

    I'm not even old and I think racing has changed a lot.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
  11. ahrma479

    ahrma479 PR Member

    OP depends on what you classify as "Old Days"

    BITD 1974 era we only had these classes:
    Ltwt ~Hvywt Pro

    That's it ! no: a, b, c super, vet, novice, big wheel, 30, 40 senior, etc etc etc.

    NO SANDBAGGERS either, plus we ran longer motos and never got our second motos cut short because you have 16 million mini classes.
    The track prep at Smith Road in 1974 is the exact same as it is today. In fact I have pictures of multi berms so BIG at Mid-Ohio State Championships in 1977 that you wouldn't know how to ride them.
    We never shed tears when the rain clouds opened, well maybe those riders bikes with POINTS IGNITIONS did weep a little, we rode no matter the conditions because riding is what we lived for.
    Also, the BIG THING was getting you name in the results page in Cycle News or the local Ohio Cycle which were papers we got back then.

    We also had to deal with unreliability, 4 inches of travel in back and 7 in front and air cooling. We learned how to work on our bikes just to keep them running long enough to finish a moto without things falling off the bike. Not to mention Green Box Wiseco Pistons.
    We were always tinkering with the bikes to make them reliable, something you do not have to do today. Adding better suspension, fork damper rod kits, different radial heads, and on some bikes adding reed valves.

    My first race was in1975 at Smith Road Yamaha DT100 enduro I got from Breyley Yamaha. I was just a trail rider back then and had zero racing experience. I stripped off all the lights, went to Cleveland Dirt Bike ( in Lakewood ) and got pegs, bars, levers, and good o'l Peston Petty fenders. I did not get a front knobby because of the odd size, I ran a trials tire (stupid kid).

    I got 13th out of 17, and was the ONLY enduro bike on the line that day. In 75 the Suzuki TM's were the ticket.
    Gotta LOVE that duckbill !!!!
    G dddtt.jpg
    halffast, hershey, sturd and 10 others like this.
  12. mawilk6

    mawilk6 PR Member

    That helmet and the 4ft handlebars are hilarious
    john lilly likes this.
  13. ktrop251

    ktrop251 PR Member

    Racing Number:
    I haven't been in the game since the 80s but I've been around since the late 90s/early 2000s. I have noticed a huge change in the way people act around the tracks. Everyone wants those perfect conditions, understably so at $25 per person to ride. I have gotten upset with promoters for not prepping at a race, not going to lie. I also remember driving 2 hours to a track knowing it was going to be more of a jetski race than motocross. I put my rain gear on and went to work. (I suck in mud.)

    That being said, I think with the economy and the prices of fuel and equipment, the promoters are doung a great job. Yeah, back in the day, those guys were gnarly. The sport has evolved into something different than it was back then. It is kind of funny that they rode bultacos on tracks that had little to no prep. Yet, here we are on bikes with speed sensitive suspension and mods that weren't even thought of back then on tracks prepped every 2 hours. On top of that 80% of the guys are riding efi bikes these days but we all (including myself) expect the tracks we ride to be groomed just the way we want them.

    End rant.
    john lilly likes this.
  14. Mike

    Mike PR Addict

    Racing Number:
    VINTAGE baby, relive your youth,
    john lilly likes this.
  15. ahrma479

    ahrma479 PR Member

    Man was I a dork, check the guy to my left looking at my trials tire.
    Down the line and in Blue/White was #7 was 100cc State Champ Paul Walker from Toledo and next to him was Kevin Piasecki also from Toledo, those guys hauled ass!!
    john lilly, chubakka, DTS and 2 others like this.
  16. Mike

    Mike PR Addict

    Racing Number:
    Feel bad for the #78 a 1974 Yamaha DT 100 endure without the lights
    john lilly likes this.
  17. MarctheSharc

    MarctheSharc PR Founding Father

    # 71 (no shirt) is Ramone Giovinetti RIP Moto Brother
    He had a little brother in my class - Ricky
    His dad ran the gate.

    .......Smith Rd HAD a gate!
    john lilly likes this.
  18. MarctheSharc

    MarctheSharc PR Founding Father


    The man in the hat standing over your right shoulder may very well be my father
    TBO, Baker_741, dmx153 and 5 others like this.
  19. GeorgiePorgie

    GeorgiePorgie PR Founding Father

    Ohio the 440
    Racing Number:
    Really cool stuff. Keep it coming.
    john lilly likes this.
  20. msinclair

    msinclair PR Member


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