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Old 08-21-2015, 10:06 AM   #291
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Simply put, they were...absolutely brutal machines. But for the few riders who figured them out, they were untouchable. Forget the factory rating of about 140 hp. I knew privateers who were getting well over 200 and a few AMA rule followers who were near the same.

Cal was a terrific rider and one of that few who could handle big power. But he didn't die on a Yamaha. He was killed Downunder riding a thrown together Suzuki.

Scary? Yes. The frame & tire technology were 20 years behind the engine. My only ride on a TZ750 was about a dozen laps at the old Texas World Speedway on a well prepared privateer's bike and I can testify to how remarkable they were. My little 373cc homebuilt would peak just above 180 near the end of the straight...the 750 would whip past 200 in a fraction of the track with and still be pulling hard. We radared it at 211 that day and it felt like I was no where near topping it out.

Beautifully brutal and definitely scary.
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Old 08-21-2015, 10:25 AM   #292
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I stand corrected re: Rayborn's death. Time does affect one's memories.
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Old 08-21-2015, 10:51 AM   #293
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
The horsepower to weight ratio for racing two strokes is just insane. My highly modified RD350 (converted to run 1/2 a water-cooled TZ750 top end) weighed in wet at just over two hundred pounds) and dynoed out at 135+ rear wheel horsepower. I ran it up in class against 500, 750 and even the Open Class (up to 1200cc's) and it routinely smoked them. It's only real competition were genuine Factory F1 & F2 bikes. Little bike, big fun.

Yamaha was really savvy back then and built the mild mannered RD series in such a way that mod racers could transplant most of the factory formula racer parts onto them with very little effort. That brought a lot of privateers into fold and their brand dominated the scene for years.

"King Kenny" Rogers in action on a TZ750 was one of the most amazing sites I ever witnessed on two wheels.

Funny thing is...even with all the new, exotic technology...Formula GP lap times on just about all the major road courses around the world...are slower today than they were in the late seventies.

Old school two-strokes STILL rule.
I've always wanted an RD or an RZ.
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Old 08-21-2015, 12:29 PM   #294
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tango, you was runnin alky? and castor? those were good times.
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Old 08-21-2015, 04:01 PM   #295
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I ran synthetic and aviation fuel or NASCAR gas. They were around 116-118 octane as I recall.

And ya...those were excellent times. The little club I raced with (TRRC, Texas Road Racing Club) was pretty competitive. A youngster we called Little Freddie Spencer at the time went on to win the World Championship and Doug Polen reigned in the Superbike class. Several others were picked as factory riders and did very well. Had a lot of fun and got to meet some amazing talent.

But the race I remember most was the 200 miler at Daytona back in '80 or '81 I believe. Kenny Roberts had his throttle stick wide open on his 750 coming into a fast left hand sweeper in the infield fifty feet from where I was standing. He wrestled it onto the grass, down on it's side, then up and back onto the track with the engine screaming and finished the lap with the throttle still stuck using just his kill switch. Turns out some dumb-ass AMA inspector had boogered up one carb while checking the restrictors those bikes had to run. It was one interesting ride.

Me...I would have pulled the eject lever as soon as I realized that monster wasn't wasn't gonna' play right.
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Old 08-23-2015, 06:18 AM   #296
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watched freddy flat tracking in shreveport la as a kid. he grew up, won the world title and bought a honda dealership. turned into a real azzhole, another kid in shreveport, danny devers, had a tz 250 that he would run on the streets! danny had the yamaha dealership. guess whom i bought from.
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Old 08-23-2015, 07:30 AM   #297
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Just because how rare it is that anyone outside my circle of friends knows about this animal-have a pic of the squirreliest bike of all time-the TZ750 flat tracker.


<--been racing bikes or bike powered cars for the last 35 years.
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Old 08-23-2015, 07:59 AM   #298
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My last big bike was one of these...


Maybe we should start a "vintage bikes" thread...
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Old 08-23-2015, 09:15 AM   #299
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Kenny's famous quote after winning the Indy mile on that totally insane TZ750 powered flat tracker...

"They don’t pay me enough to ride that thing."

But it was his dirt track skills that set him apart on the asphalt. He rode Formula bikes like no one ever had. Blow into a turn, lock the brakes a little early to break the tire loose...hang off the bike, then full on throttle to drift it all the way through the turns. A total departure from the smooth, sweeping lines everyone else had ridden for 60 years. The Euro racers (and everyone else) were blown away...literally. He totally changed the whole landscape and style of GP racing.

He was "King" Kenny for good reason.

Sorry to hear Freddy turned into schmuck. He was just a scrawny teenager at TWS, but an incredibly talented rider for his age.
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Old 08-24-2015, 06:24 AM   #300
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tango, yes he was talented. first time i ever saw a wheelie longer than a few feet ws at municipal auditorium in s'port. a kid on a honda xr70 wheelied the length of the parking lot, and back, without touching down. it was that little spencer kid!
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