Offroad Events Back in the Day

Reader Contribution by Mc Staff
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Leon Primus catches some air on his Honda at an offroad race in Maybrook, N.Y., in 1968.

Arizona resident and Motorcycle Classics reader Leon Primus’ love of motorcycles goes back to his teenage years in the mid-1960s, when he started racing in offroad events in and around his native New Jersey. This photo shows Leon at one of his early races, an offroad event in Maybrook, N.Y., in 1968. “I was doing this by myself,” Leon tells us, “and my family never came to any of my races so I had no support. At that time I was working at a Yamaha/Kawasaki dealership after school and at a bakery on Friday and Saturday nights. I would sleep in the truck on my way to the races on Sunday. The shop used to be a Harley dealership; I started working there at the age of 10 in 1962, cleaning the bikes after school, sweeping the floor and feeding the dog, Bingo. That’s when I first started riding. My brother’s best friend, Frank Jr., his dad had owned the H-D dealership at that time, Frank W. Speer, Paterson, N.J. They taught me how to ride on a 125 Hummer and I haven’t stopped since. The new owner of the shop had my high school give him the OK and sent me to attend classes at Yamaha International when it was still in Cherry Hill, N.J.”

Leon’s current ride is a 1984 BMW R100RS L/E that he bought new, now sporting just more than 60,000 miles, but he tells us he has seven other bikes, including a 1969 Greeves 380 Griffon, a 1960 Sportster XLCH, a 1968 Kawasaki W2 TT, three vintage Yamahas and a Suzuki 550E. Keep on rolling, Leon!

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