AMA Museum, Day 2
"We wanted to build a machine that was not only engineered well, but one that also looked good"
~ Don Rickmann, on form and function
Derek and Don Rickmann built their own frames for their motocross motorcycles which were 30 pounds lighter, with large tubed, nickel plated frames. With their off road success, they parlayed that into the sport-bike world. In 1970 they produced this Mark IV, with the Rickmann frame, but also with unique bodywork, a small silencer, and hand welded foot pegs.
In 1997, Doug Henry and Yamaha revolutionized the motocross and off road world with this hand built YZ 400. Doug took the bike to the winner's circle at Las Vegas that year. The bike featured a carbon fiber subframe, titanium parts, and a four stroke engine, competing in a two stroke class. They say 'win on Sunday, sell bikes on Monday.' When Doug won that race, I went to the Yamaha dealer on Monday and bought one. Doug's career took a turn when he crashed and was paralyzed from the chest down. However, he still races snowmobiles and rides an adaptive motorcycle.
This statue honors Jeremy McGrath, winner of seventy main events and seven Supercross championships, making him the winningest Supercrosser of all times. He would perform this stunt, the 'nac nac,' as he jumped the finish line after his wins, throwing his leg off to one side while flying through the air. Jeremy pioneered the freestyle age, where riders perform insane tricks during their few seconds in the air, thirty feet above the crowds.
Jim Pomeroy exploded into the motocross world by racing the Spanish Grand Prix and, using his flat track racing experience, passed the entire field on the first lap. Jim signed a contract with Bultaco and had impressive results, showing those Europeans that Americans could be competitive in the motocross world. Okay, now I feel old. This history museum contains bikes like this Bultaco, which I used to own. Who cares? It was great fun.
Scott Harden's winnings include (take a deep breath): two time Baja 1,000 overall winner, three time Baja 500 overall winner, three time overall SCORE champion, four time Best in the Desert champion, three time ISDE medalist, winner of the Djerba Rally in Tunisia, 1987, 1987 Rally de Atlas Morocco winner, and 1994 AMA National Enduro Vet Champion. To name a few. Scott rode this 660 KTM to 17th out of 250 entrants in the Dakar Rally in 2005.
Tomorrow we'll see a movie star bike, find out how a guy developed off road bikes that bore his name, and meet the man who set the world record wheelie. Guess how far. I'll give you two hints: It's in miles. And it's over ten.
See you tomorrow.