Behind the Vintage Tour Cross


| 4/16/2018 10:07:00 AM


Classic bikes

Prepping vintage enduros for a 350-mile road trip and race requires more than just good planning; you need good parts and gear, too. Photos by Seth DeDoes.

Two days and 350 road miles hauling luggage followed by a day of motocross racing is a lot to ask of a trio of 42- to 48-year-old vintage enduro bikes and their riders. For this reason, we took as many precautions as possible before departing to ensure a safe and successful trip. Here are some of the specific products we needed and the suppliers who supported our adventure.

Tenacious Tires: Regardless of displacement or horsepower, ultimately, a motorcycle’s tires do all the work. They must grip wet and dry pavement, and on the MX track master hard-pack, sand, mud and loam. Fortunately, Dunlop makes a wide range of dirt-loving knobbies, including the DOT-certified D606. Available in numerous sizes, modern Dunlops well satisfied our needs, and amazingly fit the old bikes nearly to a “T.” Best of all, they finished the long tour with little wear, and then with pressures lowered, worked great on Hollister’s Grand Prix track. Go to dunlopmotorcycletires.com

Fail-Safe Chains: Old drive chains that look okay externally can be internally compromised by rust — with possible broken links the result. This can be way more than just inconvenient, as a broken chain can puncture an engine case or worse, lock the rear wheel. To avoid this, we fitted Regina Professional Cross Supermoto chains before our trip. Designed for modern bikes, they were totally capable of handling the output of our classic engines. The Honda needed a 530 chain, while the OSSA and Suzuki took the more common 520 size, which we trimmed to fit with a Regina chain breaker. Go to reginachain.net



John L. Stein rigging up lights



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