FORGOTTEN MOTOCROSS TECH: LANCE MOREWOOD’S MOR-FENDER
Motocross history is filled with examples of creative ideas that were heralded as groundbreaking, but, because of the rapid rate of change in development, sank into the swamp of forgotten technology. Although some are best left abandoned, others were truly innovative (if not ultimately successful). MXA loves to reveal motocross’ tech trivia. Do you remember this idea? Lance Moorewood’s Mor-Fender.
It may seem hard to believe, but at the beginning of the 1980s, motorcycle number plates were in a state of flux. Round number plates were out. Rearward mounted number plates were in, and front plates were getting bigger, squarer and fancier (who can forget the 1981 Honda flying wing front number plate?) The aftermarket plastic suppliers answered the call and built all manner of rear number plate side panels and wacky front number plates, often from wire screen or molded plastic mesh (since water-cooling was on its way).
Perhaps the strangest of all the number plate inventions was the Mor-Fender. It was invented by famous Southern California Pro rider Lance Morewood. Lance could make so much money racing two days and two nights a week in SoCal that he couldn’t afford to leave town to race the AMA Nationals. Lance was sponsored by MXA and thus could get enough free bikes to race all four Pro classes at most races, even managing to win the 100 Pro, 125 Pro, 250 Pro and 500 Pro at Escape Country on the same day. Additionally, Lance’s father and mother ran the NMA.
The Mor-Fender was a molded number plate that replaced the traditional front fender and gave the bike an easy-to-see number plate, even on the muddiest of days. It was definitely easier to see. Lance raced the 1981 Superbowl of Motocross with the Mor-Fender, but only the AMA score girls liked the way it looked. It disappeared into the dumpster of failed motocross ideas.