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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I've finally gone and done it. This thread will provide a centralized place to post the appreciation for the 1970s and 1980s AMA Production Superbikes that some of us embrace. This is a good thing ... at the very least I'll no longer feel the need to post pics and stories about these bikes, their riders, and their builders among other threads. Creating a home for this subject will also provide a place for others that have an appreciation for the machines of what many call the Golden Age of Production Superbike racing to post images and stories of their own. The style, the look, the innovative ideas, and many times the nasty ill-handling "wobble monsters" that were born from production streetbikes that were never meant to be on a racetrack. Welded steel tube frames that were just plain ~wrong~ in nearly every respect ... handling, lack of rigidity, less than optimum weight distribution, flexy suspension, lack of durability in the engines, overweight ... all of which created high degrees of challenges when it came to running them on racing surfaces.

King Kenny (Kenny Roberts) used to call this class "the diesels" .... and one can easily see why!


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Lectron "Blue" carbs (made of plastic!), Lockheed brake calipers, Koni rear shocks. The rules said the rear tail light had to be operational ... so rather than having the light powered by the engine's electrical generation system power the light, they installed a 9 volt battery in the light's housing, which got them through tech inspection. Some bikes had hand bent exhaust systems, evident by the long graceful curves of the headers (opposed to sharp 90 degree bends done on a mandrel tube bender). Rear suspension setups taken from 1970s dirt bikes .... forward mounted and laid down, this lifted the back end of the bike and helped tuck in the front end. It also increased rear wheel travel to about 6 inches. The rules also stated that the stock headlight bucket and headlight mount had to be used, so most bikes simply angled the headlight bucket upward and mounted a large number plate to the bucket, thereby creating a sortof "cheater fairing". If you look at the engines' side cases, many of them were "chopped" at an angle to increase cornering clearance. So bikes even had custom alternators (or none at all) to permit smaller yet side cases.

Lots of really neat "let's see what we can get by with" innovations. Whatever it took to get the overweight, underpowered, "wet noodle" framed production streetbikes to make them at least half-assed race bikes.

Please feel free to comment as well as post any images you may have or have located. I'll be adding to this thread fairly regularly, as time allows as well as when I happen to locate yet unposted pictures and/or stories. Have fun, folks!

More to come as the hours, days, weeks, and months go by ....

馃弫 馃弫 馃弫 馃弫 馃弫 馃弫
 

Retired Pipe Polisher C2H6O+
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I love it. This was the time when I was really into bikes and racing. Back then we had no TV coverage of motorcycle racing. All we had were the magazines and once a year Motocorse. I would get that book and read every word and study every picture, from cover to cover.

Wes Cooley was one of my hero鈥檚. Of course about that time I had a GS1000E. I totaled that bike playing Ricky Racer on the streets and bought my Freddy Spencer look alike 900F. The first bike I tried to learn to race on.



And yes, at that time in my life like Wes Cooley, I had no ass. :) I think I weighed in the 130 lb range. :)


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Boy does this thread bring back memories. First road bike, CB 900. The only bike I鈥檝e destroyed on the street. Sailed off a 5 mt drop.
The dinosaurs I鈥檝e owed
Z 900
Z 900 with a ray jay turbo
CB 900
CB 900 with big bore kit and cams
CB 1100
CB 1100R
KZ 1100
XS 1100
Katana 1100 with big bore kit and cams.
GPX 1000 RX this bike unbelievably got me into road racing and I did well on it.
 

Premium Member
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Frames were easy to brace. The killer was spindly forks, crappy shocks and God awful skinny bias ply tyres. And ordinary brakes.
Any of these old porkers can be made into EXTREMELY capable road and track bikes with some work.
 

Average Weird Guy.
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My first bike was a 1980 CB750F. Big heavy beasty but man that thing was just plain stupid fun to ride through fast sweeping corners.

Coupla pics of some CB750F's in the pits during the vintage bike races a coupla years ago at Road America in Elkhart Lake.

I had the same low mount handle bars,fork brace,steering damper,frame mounted oil cooler,and Ohlins piggyback rear shocks on my bike like the Black and Orange bike in the pic below.

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Premium Member
Joined
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My first bike was a 1980 CB750F. Big heavy beasty but man that thing was just plain stupid fun to ride through fast sweeping corners.

Coupla pics of some CB750F's in the pits during the vintage bike races a coupla years ago at Road America in Elkhart Lake.

I had the same low mount handle bars,fork brace,steering damper,frame mounted oil cooler,and Ohlins piggyback rear shocks on my bike like the Black and Orange bike in the pic below.

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I hate you stash馃槃. Made me look at used 900鈥檚. Not that cheap in Oz.
Why the katana swing arm?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow! ... I had no idea that I walked among motorcycle racing royalty within our membership! I didn't know that any of you actually participated in this form of competition. Y'all have been holding out on me! I'm awed ... and more than a little envious. Major league respect, yo .... !!!

The First Generation Honda Factory HRC 750cc V4 Powered Interceptors (PART 1)

Moving on ... this post is focused on a theme. These are all pictures of Bubba Shobert's factory Honda Interceptor. I looove the 1st Generation Interceptors. I currently own several of the early Honda 700cc V4 bikes/engines, and I've built a couple of V4 700cc (aka V45) powered "pro street" bikes that I converted from early Magna cruisers and Sabre models. That said, I'm aware of the problems the first generation of Honda V4 engines had (mostly due to poorly engineered cam chain systems). The 2nd generation V4s used a much better cam drive system (gear driven) which increased the Honda V4 reliability by a great deal. The first generation Interceptors were an incredible leap forward in both engine design and overall frame/handling improvements. I believe it was Honda who introduced the concept of the 16 inch front wheel/18 inch rear wheel configuration, and the Interceptors were the first Japanese production hot rods to be fitted with full-blown perimeter frames as well. The production V4 engines may have also been one of the first (if not ~the~ first) water cooled Superbike engines made available to the public from the Big 4 Japanese motorcycle manufacturers. The combination of perimeter frames, 16 inch front wheels, and the "mighty" water cooled V4 engines pushed Honda straight to the front of the AMA Production Superbike racing class as if launched from a catapult. No one else had ANYTHING for Honda at that time.

So here's a bit of a homage to the first gen racing 750cc Interceptors, with a look at Bubba Shobert's factory race bike, and a few other images of the mighty, mighty, Interceptor.

NOTE: There is a hard limit of 10 images per post, that said this entry will be covered by more than this one posting:

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This 1st generation Honda Interceptor theme continued in the next post ........
 

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Discussion Starter #8
1st Generation Honda V4 powered HRC Interceptor themed posts, PART 2:

Here's a few other pictures of the early 750cc Interceptors used in AMA Production Superbike racing ....

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The ten picture per post hard limit getting in the way again .... this theme continued next post ....
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
1st Generation Honda V4 powered HRC Interceptor themed posts, PART 3 of 3:

A few more images of those incredible 1 Gen Interceptors, starting with Johnny Bettencourt's bike ....

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The Honda Interceptor began as a concept. The prototype of the Interceptor was code named "Blackbird". Here's a few pictures of the original Blackbird. Note the complexity of the exhaust system, among other very noteworthy things ... considering the era!

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A shot of the oil cooler, and the water radiator system ... the cylinder head for the two forward cylinders poking out through the trick radiator:

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Lastly, imagine going through all of the trouble, blood, sweat, tears, time, expense, and hassle of preparing for entering the Daytona 200 .... only to be unknowingly met with this pack of HRC factory backed attack dogs on the starting grid!!!! So you're sitting there on your motorcycle on the grid (most likely a CB750 or a Kawasaki or Suzuki which began it's life as a streetbike, never intended for racing, that you bought used or at one of the dealerships) ... and you see the Honda pit crews and crew chiefs rolling these things out to the grid. My first thought would be "what the HELL are those things?!!??!? ... holy shit, I'm screwed!!!!". Obviously you'd more than likely already seen them in the pits and/or during practice and qualifications .... but just sayin' !!!!

Comically, Kenny Roberts used to classify the entries at Dayona as "Factory Bikes" .... second bunch were the "Also Rans" .... and lastly the bikes in the back 1/3rd of the pack as the "Smoking Junk". These Interceptors were most certainly within his description of the front running "Factory Bikes".

Beginning of an all new era.

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Yet to come .... more theme specific posts covering things such as Wes Cooley's Pop's Yoshimura hand built 1979 Suzuki GS ... the insanely cool Suzuki Katana ... the hyper-famous Honda CB750 ... Kawasaki's line of GPZ and KZ motorcycles ... various Suzuki GS bikes ... the 16 inch front wheel bikes ... and any number of other things tied to the late 1970s and early 1980s era AMA Production Superbike racing efforts. I'll also cover many of the modern era replicas that have been built of these wonderful motorcycles. Stay tuned on this Bat Channel for further entries!

And thanks again for the posts by our esteemed members who share this love of these bikes and their time in the spotlight. Your participation and addition to this thread is precious.
 

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Mid to late 80's: dont forget the Yamaha FZ750's
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Mid to late 80's: dont forget the Yamaha FZ750's
... the bike that put the fear of God in Honda ... well ... for at least the first 3/4 of the Daytona race that Yamaha brought the bike to. I think the entire team DNF'd if I recall.

(1985 .... Eddie Lawson)

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Beyond the mid-1980s the production bikes had too much ~fairing~ for my liking. Not long after that it became difficult to discern a production bike from a GP bike. Before then, you had to ~build~ your own race bike .... after then, you just had to ~buy~ one. Like today .... all one needs is credit rating. Skills like welding and fabrication (that were within the grasp of the privateer) are no longer needed. Just go plop down $30k on an R1 with some bolt on goodies.

I'm rather biased, in case no one noticed!
 

Average Weird Guy.
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I hate you stash馃槃. Why the katana swing arm?
LOL!

Love you too X,but a thousand pardons my friend it seems that I inadvertently created some confusion with my previous post. To clarify,the two CB's in the pics in my previous post are not mine. They were just a pair of cool old school race bikes that I spotted at the vintage races a coupla years ago.

Funny that you mentioned the swingarm though because I was trying to locate the guy who owned those two bikes to inquire about those swingarms. Walked past that trailer several times that day but never did find the guy.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
(re; the Yamaha FZ750) ... I nearly forgot to mention that I had a 1988 Yamaha Fazer 700, bought new in '88 and had it until the early '90s. Very fast bike for it's day, the 5 valve per cylinder Genesis engine made the Fazer a blast to ride.

Me and my Fazer .....


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You blokes obviously never saw Cal Rayborn.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
You blokes obviously never saw Cal Rayborn.
Seen him plenty of times. He was a regular at Ascot nationals. He was also who took HD flatheads to victory on paved tracks, lean angles limited only by the crap-ass skinny-weeny tires of the day. I am not sure where this part of the conversation has been taken ... but to be clear, I'm all for the 21st century HDs in road racing ... I'm all for the "lean angle" the 80s Supers were pushed to. And I loved reading about Cal Rayborn any time he was featured in the weekly publication known to us (nearly religious) subscribers of the precious "Cycle News", as well as seeing him at Ascot on the occassional Friday night or during a Grand National event there.

I'm a bit confused about who is cheering on what here.

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