which vintage bike is very versatile?

zoommx

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#1
I'm planning on adding a vintage bike to my garage and thought I could get some good tips here on which model might best suit my needs. I'm 5'9"- 175lb novice mx'r...could maybe win a few races if i would get into some training, but seems like my job and wife and kids take up so much time that I just ride when I have free time instead of training. I also finish in the top 3-4 in the 250/open C class at the local hare scrambles with anywhere from 15-20 riders lining up in the same class typically. The vintage bike will be used for vintage mx along with some woods trips to places like Chadwick and white rock. In consideration are late 70's/early '80s bikes like the yz or it 400/465, maybe 250, and cr 450/480s. (I know, these are actually "post vintage" by ahrma definition). Any advice would help. Thanks,
Roger
 
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#2
Why stop at ONE vintage bike? That's tough to expect one bike to do both. But, I'd look at the Can-Am Qualifiers or Sonic; most any Penton; PE Suzukis; the '79/'80 KLX Kaw is a good all-around bike; and if you're the mach type - the TT500 Yamaha.

My vote for the the most versatile would be the Can-Am Qualifier; or maybe the TNT.
 
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#3
Roger, you should decide if you want vintage or post-vintage first and check out the local vintage scene too. The 'vintage' bikes make it a rough day on the trails, but a post-vintage could handle it pretty easy. Also they have vintage/post-vintage harescrambles too. A few good post-vintage bikes that would make decent all around bikes are the Husqvarna WR250 and CR250, the 78-80 Honda Elsinore CR250 and the late 70's YZ250's. You can pick those bikes up for a good price and have fun on them without too much 'training'. ;)
http://www.movmx.com/
 
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#4
Originally posted by Oregon Trail
A few good post-vintage bikes that would make decent all around bikes are the Husqvarna WR250 and CR250, the 78-80 Honda Elsinore CR250 and the late 70's YZ250's. You can pick those bikes up for a good price and have fun on them without too much 'training'. ;)
http://www.movmx.com/
I would recomend like Oregon Trail said,the Huskys a little on the heavy side for an "evolution" bike but they do handel pretty well and have some pretty trick (for the day) suspention and their is a Huge following for these bikes.
 
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#6
Also if you do go with a Husky WR250 you can run lights if you want. My buddy races one and they are good bikes. He has had no problems with the wide ratio trans and it's easy to work on. For the MX track he runs a CR125 alloy tank and silencer and regular front plate. When there's no races he'll put the WR tank and spark arrestor back on and trail ride it. :aj:
 

weimedog

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#9
I have a 1982 husqvarna XC430. Very versitile and parts are available. I was competitve enough to win my class in the 2001 H&H Cross Country Race in Millikin Colorado. That was my only venture with it in AHMRA racing. I was also to place in the top halve of the Senior class with modern machines when I raced the VDR Winter Hare Scramble series a couple of time.

Its an awesome trial bike with the six speed transmission and a reasonable handling chassis. I was able to keep up with my kids at VDR and was able to handle the doubles and table tops.

I like the longer suspension of the XC vs. the Enduro version (WR). And I understand all can split hairs for whats fastest, lightest, etc. I know I am competitve in any type of racing I choose with that machine. I also have a few late model bikes to compare with.

The good news is I was able to graft the twin leading shoe front brakes from the 84' huskies and still fit the GP class. Parts both new and used are way more easy to find than my other project of that era...a 1983 Honda CR480. I like the Husky motor/transmission from the XC better than the CR because of the six-speed. Certainly fits your bill.

Maico's have a great following as well but tend to be more expensive. The later ones might be better on the MX track but I think the close ratio gear boxes hurt them in the X-crountry and trail riding. Just an opinion.

I expected it to be an easy thing to build the Honda.....but as it turns out the Husky is cheaper to build and maintain. Also much easier to find parts for. Go figure.

I would love to build a 1980 KTM420...my favorit bike of all time. I would trade both my Honda builder and My husky for a good one...but then don't seem to exist any more and parts are hyper expensive...IF you can find them.

I have a freind who built a tt500 Yamaha. Nice try but its a load. Sorry JK.

A 77 era Maico would be a blast as well. They drop back a post vintage class and handle as ledgend tells....The Enduro big bore versiosn were fast enough to span all the post vintage types of racing as well as be a fun all around bike.

But when push come to shove, I put my money on the Husqvarna XC series with the 430 or 500. Anything over a 390 in an OR or XC would be the ticket. Buildable. Reliable. Competitive. Maintainable.
 

zoommx

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#10
Wow,
are the huskys actually easier to find parts for than the hondas and yamahas? I am planning on going to a race Sunday...using a friends '75 Honda cr250. If need be, I can always take my 98 yz250 trail riding~just a little more work in the technical stuff than the kdx I'm parting with. I only have so much room in the garage and shed.
Thanks for the advice, I'll look around at the race at Huskys also, CanAms too, and others mentioned.
Roger
 
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#11
Roger, I too had a 430XC and it was a great bike, more power than I could use on a MX track. :ugg: It seems like you can find alot of Huskys and parts too for a good price. If you're a 'YZ' guy there's nothing wrong with a good old YZ and plenty of parts to support it. Best thing to do is check out the bikes at the race and sit on a few and just ask the owners what they think about their bikes. Us vintage guys love to yap about old bikes! Oh, one of the best things about the Huskys is the parts crossed over for quit a few years, so that made the amount of parts out there more common.
 

TVRider

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#12
Roger,

I am going to be at the MOVMX race at Harper's (Near KC) on Sunday. I have been trying various different bikes including Husky's and CR Honda's over the last year. I may have something your interested in and can share my experience if not. Email me at tviers@charter.net

Tom
 
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#13
I agree with the Husky's - mine were always reliable(except the early auto's) and never failed to finish a race. My second choice would be the Yamaha but parts are more difficult/expensive to find Husky's.
 

zoommx

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#14
Originally posted by TVRider
Roger,

I am going to be at the MOVMX race at Harper's (Near KC) on Sunday. I have been trying various different bikes including Husky's and CR Honda's over the last year. I may have something your interested in and can share my experience if not. Email me at tviers@charter.net

Tom
 

zoommx

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#15
I'll be at Harper's also, I'll look you up there if I can.

Thanks all for the advice. I'm more excited about this race as I have been for quite a while. Always a thrill to race something different I guess.