Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1980's

Cycle News 1980 02 13

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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o 00 C') ...... steer. The long travel bikes work better in some sections, but in others they're not quite as good beca~ of the steer· ing. So it's just finding the right com· bination. Bultaco dropped you during their 1977 cutbaclt.. Lane: Tha~ was the best thing that ever happened to me, getting laid off by Bultaco. I started working on my bikes again. Now I'm riding better and having more fun than I ever had before. More I was kind of restricted beca~ there was a lot of pressure to do well. Now I do it because I want to. You hooked up with Bob Miller beginning in 1978. How long have you known him? Lane: I've known Bob since 1972. I came down and organized a trials school for him at his shop in San Louis Obsipo. Bob's a famastic enthusiast and a great mechanic. Gene Romero, the year he won the number one plate, wanted Bob to be his tuner and do the circuit, but Bob had just gotten his shop. That gives you an idea of the caliber of tuner the guy is. He did most of my tuning and fettling. Everytime I'd say the bike is good enough he'd say we'll take it one step further .. How did Sution One Producu come about? Lane: Basically I did it because I felt our bikes were a couple of years ahead of production bikes and Bob said we should stim selling some of these things. I come up with these crazy ideas and he stays up until two or three in the morning trying to make them work. He came to my rescue about the time nobody wanted to give me any help and really brought the enthusiasm back. After I won two nationals early in '7S, Honda offered me a real good contract just after Marland left them. But I didn't take it beca~ Bob was the only one who came forward when I was really struggling. Honda came right back and offered me contracts for '79 and 'SO. Debbie is riding Montesa.this year. They also offered me a ride this year. I'm going to modify the bike for her, make it lower. In 1981 I'll ride whatever bike I think I can make go the best. That's why I'm going to ride a Montesa in Scotland. It has a six·speed trans· mission and goes SO mph down the roads. Do you both plan to ride the Scottish this year? riders are ICl'aIIlbIing to Ft the money to go over to Europe. LAne: The ISDT riders are the same way. And the speedway guys, racing in England for low money but plenty of experience. American motocross is not really pushing to get a world champion. Brad Lackey is a great athlete, but when he was racing in Europe for Husqvama everybody forgot who he was. Then he won a couple of GPs and he's a hero. But he still doesn't have the motocross community behind him like the trials people are behind our top riders. And that's how we got a world champion first. Better. not bigger. That was the philoeophy? LAne: Exactly. Now, within the or· ganizing committee, the NATC, there's renewed enthusiasm. We have a world champion. We've proven ourselves. Now let's help the sport grow. the AMA. They've done a lot for us. Do you think the NATC could have succeeded if it didn't have a strong and penuasive coordinator like Wilu Wagner? LAne: No, it would have been impos. sible. He's a brilliant man. And he's spent a lot of his own money just to get thin,ltS going. What a bou t the development of NATC competition over the yean? LAne: The best event in 1974 probably would have been the worst event last year. That gives you an idea of how much better the organizers are. The way I rode in 1974 probably would have placed me just barely in the top 10 last year. The early years in the series did have more glamour though because of the japanese factory in· volvement. That's the only disappoint· ing thing about the nationals now. But this new enthusiasm I'm feeling from a IAbove) Debbie lit work. doing a stunt for the TV series W........ W....... (Below) Lane in action. tackling some rough terrain. LAne: Debbie may have a movie com· ing up. a six·week job. Otherwise, we'll both do it. It's the best week there is in trials. It's hard work but there's SO much enthusiasm there you can't help loving the thing. 16 Why is trials falling off in certain areas? Lane: I think it was falling off until Bernie won the World Championship. Now people are interested in trials again. What I think happened. years ago, was that all the clubs were so busy trying to get everybody organized. Nothing could catch on. Now every· thing is well organized. Trials is the only sport that runs itself, decides its own future. MotOCf065 and road racing get dictated to by tbe FIM and the AMA, Motocross got really popular because the organizers and promoters were catering to the masses, running five· and 10·minute motos, to make money. We were intent on making our sport on a par with the Europeans. Debbie: Also, we were sending people over and bringing Europeans over here long ago. LAne:. The whole thing was geared to get a high caliber national champion' ship series and a world champion. Today many of the professional mocrouen are not that concerned ahaut going to Europe. They'd rather Itay home or the factories keep them here. And yet the amateur trials Debbie: We're better organized and able to handle more people now. Lane: The two main accomplishments of the NATC have been getting a world champion and having a standard set of rules. And that took six years. Every· thing else was secondary. ls the North American Trials Council unique in organizing circles? LAne: No doubt about it. It's the most progressive organizing committee in the motorcycle world. It's governed by the riders. which is virtually unheard of. Riders can't go to the ,FIM and tell them how it's going to be. They'd just flat throw .the guys out. With the NATC the riders can decide the direction the sport goes. The manufacturers can't really say anything. The only thing we need the AMA for is to ,give us sanctions. And the AMA l

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