Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1970's

Cycle News 1979 11 21

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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Editorial Bye. by,. American pie The AMA Board of Trustees gathered at the association's headquarters in Ohio last week. They shouldn't have bothered. Several of the things that came out of that meeting will have a far reaching effect on motorcycle racing in this country. MOlt, in my opinion, negative. The board was asked to reconsider the proposed (by the AMA Dirt Track Committee and' Mike DiPrete, the commissioner of professional racing) rule that would require Expert flat trackers to run their 750cc machines with 27mm carburetor restrictors. The main purpose of that proposed rule was to allow 500cc machinery to be competitive and thus take Class C racing away from the Ha~ley-Davidson only state it exists in today. The board voted not to bother with the proposed rule change. So much for their consideration of the one form of motorcycle racing native to the land of the red, white and blue. Shove it, flat trackl Go away and die. You're a dinosaur. Who needs you? Kids don't ride flat track. They motocross. Didn't you know that? Didn't you know you can't go down to your local store and buy an XR750, a steel shoe. and a set of lealhers? Hell, you've served your purpose. Move aside. Let the great big world of motocross into your life. See the light. eeMX. Disregard the early part of this decade. Forget about those years when a Daytona attendee could see teams of racers from Harley-Davidson, Yamaha, Triumph, BSA, Suzuki, Honda, Kawasaki, etc. Hell, place your .:-.rder for a Harley-Davidson XR750 ho;d vour breath, and don't bother ~s. ' MX. The toughest ami fastest ~owing sport in the world. W~C's kidding who? The industry supports MX because the industry lives off of bike sales. There is no "sport" of motorcycling anymore on the professional level. We've joined the rest of the animals. It's a business, man - a big business. For the manufacturers. For the aftermarket people. .For the public?' It's a bore. For the promoter? It's a costly, non-money making proposition. By our estimate less than 5,000 people attended the recent Trans-USA race at· Road Atlanta. Hell, that '!lany people are in the pits for that track's Amateur championship sports car race in the fall. Like veteran motocrosser Jimmy Weinert said on a plane flight west after the Road Atlanta race, "The industry is eating the industry." Yeh, Jammer, they're doing exactly that. Plus, as you know, they're supporting motocross. ·Hell, they just kicked in I)early $100,000 to keep grass roots pro MX alive. And if pro MX is dying on the grass roots level, flat track is dead. Dead aS,an Egyptian mummy. Sure you can go see it. It'll come near your hometown sometime next year. It·s called the Winston Pro Series "rolling thunder show." Don't miss it. It's great. But don't say, "I'll go next year." There may nOt be a next year. A man named Calvin Peete won $100,000 one weekend not more than a month or so ago. He added nearly that much to his bank account just a couple of weeks ago. In prize money. Who's Calvin Peete? Ask around. Try and find out on your own. Hint: He's an athlete who competes for prize money_ Ask the new Grand National Champion Steve Eklund bow much he won - I mean won last year. Ask Jimmy Weinert. Ask Bob "Hurricane" Hannah. Ask any privateer. And now our benevolent manufacturers have been rewarded for anteing up the bucks for grass roots pro MX and their multi-buck motocross teams.· The board has canned the claiming rule - in Class C racing as well as in MX. Tbe board has approved the use of exotic metals. The board has approved watercooled MX bikes. Try and buy one of those down at your favorite dealer. Then you'll know how the flat track aspirant feels when he walks into his local H-D dealer and tries to buy an XR. Hell, let's go big time. Let's be like the car race guys. Forget that we can only draw 5,000 people to a National MX. Forget that there are- no local races. This is 1980 coming up. Who cares about 1990? Get the money and run. . It's what I call pragmatic ecstacy. That damn almighty dollar. Grab one. Hell, grab a bunch. Screw the future. Get it while you can. One member of the board, referring to the veto of the proposed Class C restrictor rule, said, "We hire a man (Mike DiPrete) and pay him good money to handle pro racing. We form a committee (Din Track Rules Committee) to investigate needed changes and propose them to DiPrete. But rather than rubber stamp their proposals, we take it upon ourselves-to act as racing experts and we vote no. It's unbelievable. When my term expires, I'm through with being a member of the board." The present AMA Board of Trustees even went so far as to discuss eliminating the commissioner of professional racing position and the hoardslcommittees that spend hours putting their .:~pertise into gear to come up with proposed rule changes. There's talk of increasing the n':l.mbe~ of trustees and letting them handle the whole show. For the most part the present board members are all middlemanagement people with little if any working knowledge of motorcycle racing. And yet they feel they can determine racing's present and future without imput from people whose lives are devoted to racing. That's sad. An AMA staff member, who is proud of the fact that the association under the capable management of Lin Kuchler has whittled down the existing deficit in leaps and bounds, said, "It's demoralizing to sit bere and work your butt off and then have a group of egomaniacs come in for a day or two and crush you. There are some good people on the board, but there are also a lot of budding Hitlers on it as well." Most motocross people on the professional level don't have enough years u.nder their belts to make any ki"d of decision about the future. I understand that, MX is only a decade old. But all of you who partake in the "MX business" better take a look at the roundy-round business. Just a few years ago it was the biggest thing in motorcycle racing. Look at it now. Finally, there's only one nail left to drive home on Class C racing's coffin. Dangerous to your health or not, flat trackers better smoke a lot of Winston cigarettes. Jack Mangus CYCLE NEWS PRESENTS: wi1h cooperation from the VICTOR McLAGlEN MOTOR CORPS ~ CN I-< Q,) ..c 8 Q,) > o Z 17

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