December 29, 2013
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By Zap
In a “landslide victory,” Bob Hannah was voted the 1977 MXA Rider of the Year and he beat out Marty Smith, Roger DeCoster and Tommy Croft. Although Croft had yet to find any substantial race win fame, apparently he had a big fan in some guy named Eric Turner from Pennsylvania who licked 100 stamps in a failed attempt to stuff the ballot box. With 1.7% of the vote, Sue Fish came in as the first female vote getter.
The 70’s was the decade of the hop-up shop culture, especially in Southern California where the “alphabet wars” raged between companies like CH, DG, T&M and FMF. CH Industries sponsored some fast up & comers, most notably Bobby Jones. Their most unique offering in this ad was their “Afterburner” pipe which was the brainchild of Dave Miller of “Everything’s Sano At Miller Mano” fame.
Long before A.J. Whiting was member of Team Tamm on the National circuit he was a well-known minicycle rider with an enterprising dad who, like other mini-dads, started his own hop-up shop (similar to Jeff Ward Racing Products and Myerscough Machines. Talk about customer service, I’ll never forget the time Art drove up into the Hollywood Hills to hand deliver a Yamaha Mini-Enduro down pipe for my brother’s birthday party! Those were the days! Nick Athans, the rider congratulated at the top of the ad is still racing today. And yes, although the fad was short-lived, “snake pipes” were once all the rage.
The CMC Golden State Nationals acted as a west coast alternative to the Florida Winter Series and the factories responded by making the CMC races the place to be to shake out new bikes and riders. In this issue, the first race of the series was covered with Warren Reid (Honda), Marty Moates (Ossa) and Gaylon Mosier (Maico) taking the 125, 250 and 500 wins respectively. Here, Woodland Sports-sponsored Danny “Magoo” Chandler leads the way aboard his KTM at the Sacramento OHV round. The series also acted a weekly battle front between racing rivals from the north and south ends of the state.
Three years following its introduction, the Ossa 250 Phantom was starting to show it’s age.  While Pete Maly was happy to wheelie his way through the weeds on the Spanish-made bike, out on the track the MXA wrecking crew found the Betor shocks (with eight inches of travel) to be overwhelmed by their extreme laid down mounting position. The best line of the test? “Between the rim and the road was one of the industry’s most feckless racing tires. This senile sneaker makes even loading and unloading the bike hazardous.” The 214-pound bike retailed for $1648!
In the battle of the Euro marques, Bultaco took a comedic jab at Husqvarna by pointing out that besides motorcycles, the Swedish brand also marketed sewing machines (and chain saws). By 1977 however, the Spanish made Bultacos were already facing a downward slide in popularity due to their fragile nature and outdated technology.
Dear MXA,
A Bultaco sewing machine? Ridiculous! Who would want a sewing machine that blows up every time you try to use it?
Dear MXA,
I had a Bultaco piano once, but I could never keep it in tune.
Dear MXA,
Those Bultaco guys better watch what they say. My Husky chainsaw blows my brother’s Pursang into the giggly bushes.


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