old guys dwindling in vintage stuff - dead or quiet

Uchytil

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#1
Anyone in western Michigan riding any vintage stuff, offroad, mx, eh? I'm just starting another Maico resto on a 79 MC400. A runner rather than my other garage queens. Anyway, my theory is (based on two 30 year old sons and countless pro/amature kids I know between 20 and 35ish) is they don't give a rats ass about the old stuff. There seems to be a lot of price gouging going on in the world of needed old stuff also which leads me to believe that at some point the bikes and parts will be like the forgotten toys on Rudolph the red nosed reindeer. Even if I hold onto my bikes they won't fetch jack unless I part them out. Rant over. BTW, any Maico parts collecting dust can be discussed with me anytime ;)
 

Mully

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#2
I think it goes (and pardon the pun) in cycles. My 72 yamaha mini-enduro a few years back would have fetched a great price as a whole bike. Now the market is turned and no one wants to buy a complete running bike, they only want a part or two. There is no way I would part a bike out unless it is blown up or it is the remaining parts from a "parts" bike.

Just wait, it will "cycle" :rotfl: around again.

Mully
 

Bonehead

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#3
It makes me sick to see all the old bikes parted out but it fetches twice the price of selling a compleat bike. My kids also could care less about the vintage bikes I have except for the DG XR 75 they all want to go flog it because it so dam fun.
 

dirt bike dave

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#4
Bonehead said:
My kids also could care less about the vintage bikes I have except for the DG XR 75 they all want to go flog it because it so dam fun.
Now that's a trip down memory lane. Those old XR75's are great. We used to ride my little brother's '75 just about daily on a few acres behind my parent's house.

Hour after hour, year after year that thing took a licking and kept on ticking. The faster bikes would break things, were too loud for the neighbors and not any more fun on our tiny little track.

Like many in my age group, I just seem to have no time or money these days for vintage bikes. But I'll always have some great memories. I hope some of the bikes will stay intact for when I am in the market.
 

WoodsRider

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#5
Definitely cyclic. Vintage bikes now outnumber modern bikes in my garage. My boys and I raced a few Vintage MX races. There are 8 on the schedule this year, not including AHRMA races, so hope to make a few of those. Last year my 6-yo raced a CRF50, but he'll be moving up to a '74 XR75. I'm almost finished with a '78 XR75 I've been building for my oldest.
 

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Uchytil

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#8
Nice 75 Woodsracer. I let a 79 XR80 go back in 1992 when my sons outgrew it. What a bonehead move (sorry Bonehead). That looks too nice to race. That's what motivated Dad's do for their sons who do in fact thrash them good. Right now I'm waiting for a 400 BE I paid too much for to be delivered. This 400 will probably run 2 grand in new parts once I'm done. At least I'll have a spare crank/rod for the previously wasted BE.
:nod:
Even if it's cyclic I'll be in Valhalla before that happens (probably).
 

WoodsRider

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#9
dirt bike dave said:
So, what's a running, semi-clean XR75 go for these days?
I've seen some go for as low as $100 on CL. Lots of higher priced ones on flea-bay, but I'm not sure they fetch more than $1500. I paid $625 for a clean '74, but it would barely run. Probably put another $400 into it.
 

WoodsRider

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#10
Uchytil said:
Nice 75 Woodsracer. I let a 79 XR80 go back in 1992 when my sons outgrew it. What a bonehead move (sorry Bonehead). That looks too nice to race. That's what motivated Dad's do for their sons who do in fact thrash them good.
Thanks, it all started when I went to buy some XR100 forks for the '74 XR75 and kind of snowballed from there.

I've spent around $1k scrounging parts off CL/e-Bay to build it. It's an '83 twinshock XR100 frame and swinger with a slightly modified '81 XR80 engine. The '77/'78 XR75 tank and seat give it the look I was after. Suspension-wise the '75 MR175 triples, '83 CR80R forks, shortened 3-inches, and '80 CR80 shocks bolted right up as did the '73 XR75 wheels and hubs. Had the rims, hubs and backing plates powdercoated black and laced them up with new spokes. Right now I'm finishing up the exhaust, which is a custom up-pipe.

Hoping to see a few more XR75's on the starting line this year. Only saw one other XR75 last year. It was an XR100-powered JWRP replica which was raced by an adult in the Evo 4-stroke class.
 

WoodsRider

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#11
Vintage MX is still one of the cheapest forms of racing. No annual membership unless you race AHRMA and, around here, it's usually $25 for your first class, $20 your second and $15 for the rest. Some races, when you sign-up multiple family members, count that as multiple classes. With 3 of us racing it's still a $200 day figuring in fuel, food and gate fees.

The only down side is the cost of replacement parts... which reminds me I need to order some stuff for my '78 Pursang.
 

dirt bike dave

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#12
Thanks for the info. I'm sure yours will be a blast to ride.

FWIW, I went to junior high and my freshman year of high school with JWRP himself, #3x, Jeff Ward. I did not race at all, but got to spectate a few times when was on his modded XR. By '76, he was the only 4 stroke rider who could be compete with Brian Myerscough etc... The '76 YZ80C was a race bike and a full blown rocket ship compared to the XR.

I remember one day in 8th grade, Honda sent a Japanese film crew to our school to follow Ward around. Good times.
 

WoodsRider

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#13
Honda dominated the mini scene with the '73 & '74 XR75. The '74 YZ80A was faster, but had reliability issues. The '75 YZ80B spelled doom for the XR75. The later '77/'78 XR75's incorporated laid down shocks and a 5-speed gearbox which were popular mods for the '73-'76 XR75's. Even bumping displacement up to 80cc in '79 it was still no match for the YZ.
 
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#14
Uchytil, I ride vintage motorcycles because I want to. I don't do it for anyone else, some of them get it and some don't, it's not my job to turn the heart of the motorcycle world toward vintage bikes, but it is my desire to introduce people to the joy of riding motorcycles! Dirt in particular! My weapons of choice just happen to be old Yamahas... If I'm flattrack racing my YZ250/Trackmaster on a shorttrack or a XS650 over a hundred miles per hour on a "Big Track", vintage MX racing a SC500 or one of my 250s or riding woods on an IT400 or, my fast becoming favorite woods bike, an '81 IT175... there is a happy feeling in my heart... like when I wheelie a TT500 through a mud hole!!! WOOOOOooooooooo!!!!!!
 

weimedog

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#15
My humble opinion.... There is no marketing & resultant "hype" around the vintage bikes... A good thing. So the two reasons folks find reason to research and participate are:

1) They had an old beater ... want to make it run. AND then discover the venues we contribute too and participate in.
2) They are old(er) and are interested in re-living that good stuff period in our lives where we enjoyed riding or racing those things.

Any one who tries to make a living or get rich here.. if that's a focus; that business will die on the vine. There are a few established sources for knowledge & parts that survive, and then will be replaced over time with other enthusiast based businesses; but to go here with the intent to do something other than a labor of love isn't going to end well. There will always be a retro market at some level.. And then to try and focus on a fringe part of the vintage world? Smaller market yet. Tough sell.

My son's all raced some in their youth. NOW two coming off extended Military time are interested in the retro stuff but interestingly enough are MORE interested in the retro bikes that are still "functional" trail bikes from MY era the full sized Husqvarna's, KTM's, Maico's and Suzuki's (Notice I left out Yamaha?? :) )....and also the AHRMA will be a goal for them at some point. Also since we have a fair amount of exposure to the "Vintage" crowd and they are really cool folks; the boys are interested in participating from a social level as well. Those "North East Husky Gatherings" we have hosted here on the farm have pretty much driven that home to them...so they are going that way.

I think at some level there simply more interesting history & technology changes to grab interested attention from the 1970's and 1980's. The Nineties era is too much like what's out there now and just looks ... old but not interesting. Don't shoot the messenger. Just reporting what I'm seeing.
 
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