After not riding for most of 2009, I thought that something completely different might revise my interest. When Yamaha went to the aluminum
frames on the two-strokes, the bikes lost nearly 10 pounds. They were already much lighter than a 450, so I really wanted to try a 125 or 250.
Besides motocross, I thought I would ride it in the woods. With a 450, I always had the concern of not being able to restart the bike,
or not being able to pick it up if I got into an awkward position. I had no such fears with a two-stroke.
When I put the 450 up for sale, I floated the idea of a trade. That was bad idea #1. The 450 was in great shape, and would have probably sold
for a decent price.
The trader of this jewel lived about 4 or 5 hours north of the Twin Cities. We agreed to meet at the former grass track property mentioned
in Chapter 18
, now just another hay field with a gigantic pile of rocks in the middle of it.
Meeting so far away was bad idea #2. Making a four-hour round trip made it tough to walk away from the deal.
Since I no longer had a track on the property, any test ride would be limited to the 1/4 mile of township road on the side of the property. It
was raining and cold. After an all too brief inspection, we both rode each other's bike up and down the road a few times, and the trade was
made. He added cash since the bike was less valuable. The amount was based on roughly equivalent condition, which was far from the case.
Prior to making the purchase, this is how I must have seen the bike in my mind
Upon getting it home and giving it a closer inspection, the full horror of it set in. If my previous bike came from a great mechanic, this one
was the complete opposite. Iíve seen 50-year-old tractors with fewer makeshift repairs. The top-end was loose, the tires were bald, and the
badly-worn chain was defying the laws of mechanics by staying on the saw tooth sprockets. It looked like it been stored outdoors.
This would have been a more accurate pre-purchase, mental image
The first thing I did was take the wheels to a race, where I paid someone there to put on the new tires I had purchased for it. Unfortunately,
I found out when I got home that he had pinched the brand-new tube on the rear wheel. Around this same time, I had a change of vehicles,
and had no way of hauling the bike.
The flat tire and the vehicle situation could have been worked around, but I needed something ready to ride now, not another project. That was
Year 1 of it sitting in my garage unused. 2010
also marked the end of another
era. The MXBob.com Race Report Crew was disbanded, filing the last race report about, of all things, a
By 2011, I had bought chain and sprockets, new grips, new plastic, and everything the bike needed. All that did was make the pile-o-bike
take up more space in the garage. I had no motivation to work on it, and was getting more and more interested in music. It sat in the garage,
with all the parts it needed sitting unopened until the spring of 2012. At that point, the wagon train was getting loaded up to go West,
and the urgency to sell this bike increased.
I finally bit the bullet, and put it up for sale at an almost salvage price. I was glad to
see that it was a competent mechanic that I knew from racing getting the good deal, and not some cyber-ad lurker trying to turn
a quick buck. He was going to get it ready for his son who was moving off 85s the next season.
Sadly, I sold it without ever riding it except for the brief ride on the dirt road in 2010. That was the last time, as of 2017, that I rode a dirt bike.
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Revised November 2017