The first time was in the early 1990's when I saw a segment about a race called the Langtown supercross I saw it on the TV show Moto world on ESPN.
This one segment showed everything that's currently missing in the sport and exactly what is needed to grow the sport all in a short segment.
Langtown was a small Supercross track in a guys backyard in a neighborhood, it was created in the 1990's and put together very well, it looked like a miniature version of a supercross track that you would see on TV, they hosted organized races there with adults riding on Small 150cc air cooled four stroke race bikes.
The only catch was that the bikes they used are not sold that way, the bikes they were using were bikes that started life 80cc Liquid cooled two stroke race bikes. Such as Yamaha YZ80, Honda CR80, Kawasaki KX80, Suzuki RM80
They we're converted to air cooled 4 stroke motors.
Ryan Hughes On a Kawasaki KX80, that was converted to an air cooled 4 stroke.
The guys had them custom made because there were no good quality 150cc air cooled race bikes.
(There still arent any good quality air cooled race bikes)
The air cooled 100cc-150cc 4 strokes have more torque and are perfect for a small supercross track where more torque helps, even more so for an adult, small two strokes are fast but they require you to keep your speed up because they lack torque, the langtown track was a little bigger than a BMX track and it could be ridden by kids and adults, this created perfect low speed but still super fun racing and great battling (its also fun to watch) it's an awesome form of racing in my opinion, I thought I had seen a glimpse of the future!
The usual dirt bike brands could easily produce these bikes, not only that but 150cc air cooled four stroke bikes would be fairly inexpensive and they are reliable long lasting motors, also these types of tracks take very little space to make. This could be and should be everywhere!
The smaller the track is the lower the speed so with that the severity of injuries is less. So it's naturally safer, this fixes a lot of issues within the sport!
Places to ride
Overall this would help the sport grow because more people will start riding, and after a while many of the people that start on small bikes like this will want to go faster and will eventually move up to bigger bikes and bigger tracks, its the perfect stepping stone, something that we don’t have right now. its a win win win!
I believe that this would be a big hit in American suburbia.
When I saw The Langtown race was the first time I thought the sport was about to boom again, than again in the late 1990's another form of small Motocross became popular, this time they called it a mini craze, Jeff Emig used to rip a handa Z50 some say he started the mini craze.
This time around they used smaller bikes like CRF50's and later 110's, it was in the late 1990's to mid 2000's mini bike racing was booming, it was the second time I though we would have an explosion of growth in the sport, but even though it got popular it still didn't go mainstream, I feel we collectively dropped the ball, I didn't see tracks being made specifically for this type of racing or any marketing or nationwide advertising or media attention (for the most part the general public didn't know about it) I think if we could have connected dots, if this had been properly organized and advertised and publicized this could have been the shot in the arm we needed to grow the sport of motocross.
There is a new form of mini bike the Staycyc. I believe if we include Staycyc classes with 50cc racing and add pit bike racing then include the Langtown type bikes, it could become whole a new version of the sport in a way, a new version of mini motocross that I think would be a hit, it fills in some big voids and helps the sport of motocross grow, a sport that is currently struggling and seeing decline at the local level.
I truly believe that the decline in motocross is also responsible for the decline in street bike sales, its led to a decline in motorcycle culture, kids that ride dirt bikes are motorcycle fans for life. and they are likely to grow up and ride and buy street bikes. For the past 20 years or so the number of kids riding dirt bikes is way less than the previous few decades, so all those kids are now coming of age and they didn't get the motorcycle bug, so they aren't growing up and buying street bikes like previous generations did. Lets make moto cool again.
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