Vintage Dirt Bikes
The Good Old Days of Dirt Bikes
For those of us that have been riding dirt bikes long enough remember the days of dual shocks, and no travel rear suspension. Hearing the clanging of the aftermarket shocks, Curnut as they came across the desert and thinking what is that racket. Thinking back if you could handle a bike back then today would be a breeze. Today there are vintage races with people out riding these old bikes that date 1974 or older. Nothing is considered vintage after that because things changed. Remember when mono shocks came out and we wondered is that going to work? If you are into collecting these bikes it can be a daunting and expensive hobby. Some bikes were limited production and some definitely deserved being limited like the American Eagle. My Dad had one briefly and it may have had the shortest life span in our garage of any bike owned by a family member. There are some bikes that hold great nostalgia either because I had one or always wanted one. For me owning a Penton Jackpiner 175 would have been heaven and never owned one. I did ride a 1969 Penton 125 and know of only one other. It was ridden by a girl from the same motorcycle club as me and our favorite thing to do was hill climb. Never wanted a Bultaco cause every time you’d break down people would say they knew one was laying out there in the desert because the buzzards (Bultaco Buzzards) were out. The days of old are definitely gone but not forgotten. Maybe one day I can still have that “now” vintage Penton sitting in my garage. Probably would never ride it because the first thing out of my mouth would be the suspension sucks and how did we ever ride these things. In the early 70’s racing was at its purest and by the end of that era things had changed. They did change for the better because motorcycle evolution was improving the bikes we rode but desert racing never really seemed the same. Looking at a Penton or Husqvarna from those days does bring back the memories.
Classic Vintage Dirt Bikes
Memories of Old Motorcycles
Looking over the list I know there are bikes not listed on here. If you read this and think of one I missed please list it. With age we all seem to forget things and when someone brings something up we get that ah ha moment. When looking back at the days of old it reminds me that motorcycles and the gear that was worn has come a long way. Today's young riders have no idea what it was like to ride a motorcycle like the ones listed above. I have owned Yamaha 90, Penton 125, Honda MR 125, Maico 250, Husqvarna 250, KTM 250, and a Honda XR 250 which covers about most of what I have ridden. I won riding a four stroke back then and being told you could not win racing enduros on a four stroke. I remember another racer, Billy Fulmer and I had a laugh over being told that, since we had both ended up being successful on four strokes. This happened ages ago and today no one would consider saying something like that.
Happy riding and keep the rubber side down.
For further reading check out my blog, Motorcycles and Riding.
Read about one of my favorite Actors that also happens to have been an awesome motorcycle racer. Steve McQueen
Dirt Bikes Pre-1975
100 – 175 CC
There have bee many jokes about Bultacos but they were a popular dirt bike in the 60's and 70's. Bultaco Pursang 125/175 and Bultaco Alpina 125/175
Can-Am 125/175 MX/Enduro
CZ 125 and CZ 175
DKW 125 BoonDocker and DKW 125 Enduro
Hodaka dirt bikes were another popular dirt bike. Hodaka Combat Wombat and Hodaka Wombat
Honda MT 125
Kawasaki KS 125
Montesa Cota 123
Ossa 125/175 Phantom
Penton Jackpiner 175 and Penton Six Day 125
Puch 125/175 Enduro
Rickman 125 Six Day
Suzuki TC-125L Prospector
Yamaha DT 100/125/175
176 – 250 CC
Bultaco 250 Matador and Bultaco 250 Sherpa T
CZ 250 Motocross
Greeves 250 MX
Honda Elsinore CR 250, Honda MT 250 and Honda XL 250 K1
Husqvarna 250/360 Road & Trail and Husqvarna 250 SC
Kawasaki KX 250
Montesa Cappra 250 VR
Ossa 250 Phantom and Ossa Pioneer 250
Rickman 250 MX
Yamaha DT 250
251 – 600 CC
American Eagle 405 MX. There were not very many of these around.
BSA N21 600, BSA Gold Star 500, and BSA 441
Bultaco Alpina 350 and Bultaco Pursang 360
CZ 400 Motocross
Greeves Qub Desert, and Greeves 380
Harley Davidson SS 350
Husqvarna 400 WR
Kawasaki 350 K-9
Maico 400/450 MX and Maico 501
Penton Mint 400
Suzuki TM-400l Cyclone
Triumph 500 BSA 500 and Triumph Trophy Trail 500
Yamaha DT 360 and Yamaha MX 360
Many of these dirt bikes listed above had a very short life on the market. Some of these motorcycles have come and gone and come back again.
- 2010 Ducati 1198
- 2010 Ducati 848 Nicky Hayden Edition
- 2011 Harley Davidson XR1200X
- 2010 Harley Davidson FXCWC Softail Rocker C
- 2010 Harley-Davidson FXDWG Dyna Wide Glide
- Review of the 2010 Harley Davidson Sportster 883 Iro...
- 2010 Honda Fury
- 2010 Hyosung GT650R and 2010 Suzuki SV650S
- 2010 Kawasaki KLX110L
- 2010 Kawasaki Ninja 650R.
- 2010 Triumph Sprint ST
More Reading About Motorcycles
- Vintage Dirt Bike: Hodaka
Read the history behind vintage dirt bike Hodaka.
- Vintage Motorcycle, DKW (Dampf-Kraft-Wagen).
Read the history behind vintage dirt bike DKW
- John Penton, Son Jack Penton and the Penton Dirt Bik...
Read the history behind vintage dirt bike Penton and the founder John Penton.
- Maico Motorcycles
Read the history behind vintage dirt bike Maico.
- Steve McQueen, Motorcycles and the ISDE.
Read about a great actor who was an awesome motorcycle racer and represented the USA in the International Six Day Enduro.
- Being Short and Buying a Dirt Bike That is Right For...
Not very tall? Here are motorcycles for those that are not very tall.
- Motorcycles for Women Riders
More women are riding motorcycles and here are some tips on finding that right motorcycle.
- Advice for Women Getting Into Motorcycle Riding.
Advice for women and men getting into motorcycle riding.
- Motorcycle Accessories for Women Riders.
Buying quality gear can make a difference.