The growing popularity of vintage motorcross can be attributed partially to the establishment of vintage racing clubs across the United States. Vintage racers believe restored bikes belong back on the track and not in a museum. Many of the vintage racers are plus 40 years old and are still racing bikes with incredible enthusiasm.
Bike eras are defined by their suspension, with the oldest bikes having twin shocks and only 3½” of travel. Newer bikes had longer shocks and greater travel with eventually morphed into the mono-shock era of the 80’s.
There are different classes based on the year of the bike. The Vintage Class is pre-1975 (short travel suspension). The Heritage Class is vintage bikes 1975 to 1982 (long travel suspension no disc brakes). Recently introduced to our racing series is the EVO Class which is vintage bikes 1983 to 1995. In the US, this is further broken down into classes like the classics, premier classics, sportsman class historic, open class, etc etc and also into rider skill levels like novice , intermediate and expert riders. We don’t have enough riders to be able to break the classes down any further than the age of the bike.
Vintage racing and post vintage is laid back and great for people who want to begin riding or get back into the saddle at a later age. Vintage tracks are vintage bike friendly with very few jumps, whoop sections. Post vintage can have jumps and is a bit more technical than a vintage track. The best tracks in fact utilize their natural terrain. Since vintage bikes have limited suspension, less skill is required for jumps and the onus is on your abilities to pick fast lines and negotiate technical sections. Consistent winners also have reliable bikes. Mechanical failures will cost you trophies.
For those guys who own old vintage bikes. You should give vintage racing a shot. It brings back memories, is a great workout and the comradery is unmatched. Vintage racing is addictive and can become a passion so beware. One old bike in the garage turns to twenty within a few years. Nothing matches the adrenalin rush of racing and this is compounded by the excitement of racing an old bike you built yourself.