Do you remember Gyro Gearloose? He was an anthropomorphic chicken created by the Walt Disney Company who appeared in the Scrooge McDuck comic-book series. Gyro was the town of Duckburg’s most famous inventor. Because his inventions were rarely successful, the name Gyro Gearloose has become synonymous with any inventor with a crazy or crackpot idea. Motocross has had more than its fair share of Gyro Gearlooses?some amazingly successful, rich and lauded for their ideas, while others were derided, laughed at and forgotten for ideas that were just as good. Sadly, some of the most creative motocross inventions never made it to the bikes of a sport dedicated to innovation. MXA presents the latest installment in its series of weird and wacky inventions.
THE FAILED MOTOCROSS BODYWORK MOVEMENT
MXA has built several project bikes with bodywork. This Honda CR250 used clear Lexan panels that were painted on the inside so that the graphics could not be rubbed off.
Do you remember when bodywork was the next big thing? Many teams made project bikes and several famous freestylers used the full coverage bodywork. The plus was that you could double or triple the signage to offer paying sponsors more exposure for their money?something that motocross bikes seriously lack (especially when compared to NASCAR’s rolling billboards). There were issues with cooling that could be resolved with duct work, but the main reason that bodywork, from Rhino, DMC or SRP, never caught on in motocross was because the manufacturers forbid their race teams from using it. Since the factories were paying the bills, no team could use the extra signage space to attract outside sponsors if it meant losing their bike deal. You can still order bodywork for selected bikes from SRP at www.srpinternational.com
The Avenger four-stroke came stock with body panels. Under the bodywork was a very unique four-stroke bike powered by a Rotax. It was designed by Horst Leitner (of ATK and AMP Research fame) and sold in England as the PBH/Scott, but without the bodywork. When it came back to America the name was changed to “Avenger” and a small production run was made. You can read more about Avenger at www.americandirtbike.com.
Dave Miller of DMC built this full bodywork Kawasaki for Mitch Payton’s Hot Wheels team, but Kawasaki said no because it didn‘t look like a Kawasaki.
This MXA Honda CRF450 shows how large the signage area could be for a rider or team looking to reel in a sponsor. Since the days of MXA’s earlier and expensive Lexan version, the next generation of bodywork used molded plastic with a graphics wrap.
Freestyle riders embraced the bodywork movement, most notably Trevor Vine’s Sobe Yamaha, but Mike Metzger, Chuck Carrothers and Ryan Capes also used Slater skins on their bikes.
The On The Line bike used the bodywork more for design than for advertising.