Motocross MX1 is publishing a short series of articles on the History of World Motocross Championship. Part 1 of the series is up now. Parts 2-4 will be published in the next few weeks.

If they are as poor as Part 1 there isn’t much point in reading them. Not much history here — there are about 5 2-sentence paragraphs to cover the period from 1957-1972. Bummer.

Last night on Pit Pass Radio one of the guests was Larry Hughes, district manager for Parts Unlimited. Larry was on to talk about the upcoming Parts Unlimited AMA Allstars Amateur National and WMA Cup that will be held at the end of the month at Freestone MX in Wortham, TX.

One of the interesting things Larry said was that within a 1-hour drive of Houston there are 10 — count’em, 10 — motocross facilities, many with multiple tracks on the property. With the reopening of the legendary Rio Bravo facility early next year there will be 11.

To my knowledge, there are only three tracks within an hour of Atlanta, and that requires that you live on the same side of town as the track because it takes an hour to get from one side of the metro area to the other. If you live on the wrong side of town it’s two hours to the closest track.

I’ve been planning a move back to Texas for a number of years. Now there’s another good reason to get back to the Lone Star State.

Catch Larry’s interview here.

Let’s hear it for Steve “Souper” Clark and the Sportsman-class 125 project code-named Lester! Owned by the infamous Giles Nelson and the subject of ongoing and endless modifications and improvements by “Dr. G” Larry Garcia and “CZ Guy” Lee Holth, this little beauty throws some dirt at the 2007 Chehalis Classic. Nice work, guys! Now let’s see some more.

metroracingMetro Racing, the classic motogear supplier, has joined our list of AMA survey sponsors. Metro is providing one of their standard, long-sleeve jerseys in the size and logo of your choice — a $30 value — as an incentive for one lucky winner.

This brings our total sponsors to four. I’m very pleased at the interest shown in the survey so far. We’re closing in on our goal for responses. If you’ve not entered your opinion yet, please take a minute to do it now. We’ll probably close the survey December 31 and begin tabulating the results.

mas-logo-md1Motorcycle Accessory Shop in Mesa, AZ has offered a nice package of 480 Racing accessories as an incentive for our AMA survey. The accessory package includes a gas cap vent, safety wire, and extruded safety wire washers — a $25 value. The package will be given away to one lucky winner after the survey closes. Thanks to Uncle Bill and Gussie Ramsey at MAS for their support.

motorsport-publications-logo_36Chris Smith at Motorsport Publications, LLC has agreed to sponsor our How Do You Feel about the AMA? survey. Chris has generously offered a free, 1-year subscription to Classic Dirt Bike magazine ($50 value) to be given away to one lucky respondent after the survey closes.

You must use a valid name and e-mail address when completing the survey in order to be eligible for the drawing. If you have already completed the survey and provided a valid email address when you did so, then you are already entered. No need to complete the survey again. Please, only one entry per person.

I was talking to a friend today, reminiscing about when I was a kid and first learning about MX. I got my first mini-bike — a Briggs & Stratton-engined number with 10″ inch wheels — when I was 9 (I think.) But I clearly remember sitting in my fifth-grade class at Bell Elementary in Tyler, TX drawing pictures of dirt bikes, mostly the Suzukis of DeCoster, and Robert.

That would have been in 1970. A childhood friend, Greg Berkhouse, and I used to draw pictures in class and sell them to fellow students for $.10 – $.25 each. By 1972 I had saved enough paper route money to pay for a Honda SL70 – my pride and joy. It cost $452 brand new. I used to sit in class in Jr. High (what’s now called Middle School) and read Dirt Bike, Modern Cycle, and Motocross Action instead of the text books.

Man, those were the days. What was your childhood passion?

gosands_smCheck out this cool custom by Roland Sands Design. Sure looks like a two-stroke motocrosser with road race trimmings, to me. I can’t read the stamp on the ignition cover, but judging by the length it could be Kawasaki. I know RSD is prototyping a new 450 SuperSingle for a WERA spec class that is based on a 450 four-stroke MX bike. Maybe that got him thinking about the two-smokers. I haven’t seen anyone do a custom two-stroke in a long, long time. Very cool.

Found via Motocross Action’s MidWeek Report in the section on the Long Beach Motorcycle Show. Click the photo for a bigger pic.

This is only tangentially about motorcycles, and only in the sense that it points to how the world of the future will work. But it’s an important insight into our future. This NYTimes editorial by Thomas Friedman (author of “The World is Flat” and “The Lexus and the Olive Tree”) is about a new kind of car company called Better Place, based in Palo Alto, CA.

The revolution that Better Place is betting on isn’t in what they’re doing — electric cars — but in how they’re doing it. The company is taking the business model Apple Computer used to revolutionize the music business and applying it to green transportation.

The Better Place electric car charging system involves generating electrons from as much renewable energy — such as wind and solar — as possible and then feeding those clean electrons into a national electric car charging infrastructure. This consists of electricity charging spots with plug-in outlets — the first pilots were opened in Israel this week — plus battery-exchange stations all over the respective country. The whole system is then coordinated by a service control center that integrates and does the billing.

Under the Better Place model, consumers can either buy or lease an electric car from the French automaker Renault or Japanese companies like Nissan (General Motors snubbed Agassi) and then buy miles on their electric car batteries from Better Place the way you now buy an Apple cellphone and the minutes from AT&T. That way Better Place, or any car company that partners with it, benefits from each mile you drive. G.M. sells cars. Better Place is selling mobility miles.

So what’s the motorcycle connection? Maybe it’s KTM and their Zero Emissions Bike or their patented hybrid, two-wheel-drive technology. It doesn’t appear to be the existing behemoths of the industry, including Honda, Harley-Davidson, or BMW.

But Friedman’s point is that, wherever it comes from, it will come. And probably sooner rather than later. As motorcyclists we should be prepared for what entirely new business models could mean to our pass-time, and to the political environment in which we exist. Greater access to quiet, green transportation will make our loud, smoking bikes even more of an outlier, and subject to even greater regulation.

We need to get our act together now, and figure out how to create a united effort to protect the rights we still have, while we still have them.