A New Season is Here!
by Charlie Oxford #20E
For the Motocrosser living in Florida, summer time, brings weather far too hot and humid, even to withstand a couple of motos on a Sunday afternoon. Boating, fishing and beaches fill the weekends. I for one, this year, used the time to get my new class ride ready for the new season. The Florida Vintage motocross association runs a 12 – 16 race season starting in the October / November time frame. For the past two seasons I have been competing in the Evolution one class with my 1976 YZ 250 C. This year, for the 2007/ 2008 season, I finally convinced the banker I needed to move to the vintage class! Vintage class, I said, they get more respect, even though most guys in the middle of a mid life crises, riding a dirt bike now, did so when they were a kid, on what is now a post vintage machine. I am a Yamaha guy. I remember wanting a ’74 YZ 125A when they came out, but I was too small. The local Yamaha shop in those days sponsored a local kid on a 250A and I hung out at the shop with them and the bike every chance I got. I really liked the sleek look, the strap tank was cool , and the bike was just like what Pierre Karsmakers was riding.
Well since I am a Yamaha guy, and 74 is the last year of the Vintage class, it seemed logical that I should ride one. My luck of course the ’74 YZ has become quite sought after, Junkers, rust buckets, and partial bikes are grabbing 3K on EBay. The prices, of individual parts for that model are outrageous. Still I searched and searched. Did I want to perform another restoration? Did I have time before the new season? In reality, I know a person can invest far more into a bike than it can be worth. What it really comes down to is how bad do I want one. My philosophy is life is too short, go for it now.
As it turns out I wanted one pretty bad. I found a restored, show room unit, restored from the frame up painted in Yamaha Yellow! After a shipping bill from California to Florida, I became the proud owner of my dream bike.
Unfortunately, the “restoration” was for looks. The engine needed some work to get it to run, ignition work, circle F pipe, and clutch mechanism. I spent days looking at the bike, planning, setting it up, and wondering just how will it perform.
I finally have it race ready, FLVMX held a couple of practice sessions in September and the bike runs well, although I have a starting issue when cold.
I think I need a modern ignition system to replace the original, but I am having a hard time convincing the banker.
November 4th marks the debut of this YZ ‘s new racing career in Florida and I can’t wait! Vintage class here I come!!
Charlie Oxford #20 E