For those of us who misspent the mid-70s campaigning a procession of 125 Yamahas, the only thing more loathsome that Marty Smith was Marty Smith's Honda RC125. Being roosted by a rapid procession of CR125-mounted dilettantes every weekend was bad enough. But watching that Smith guy take the National MX Series Championship in 1974 and again in 1975—by something like 543 points over Tim Hart, was too much. He was from Southern California. We lived in Gilroy. Marty Smith flew to Nationals on Friday and then back home in time for school Monday morning. We drove to the races in a 1965 Dodge D100 pickup. Some of us secretly appreciated his talent and his motorcycle, but I'll never admit it.
Bob Hannah set things right in 76, winning five Nationals and the Championship for Yamaha. Broc Glover took over in 76, 77 and 78, but some wounds never heal. Now the Vintage Factory (www.vintagefactory.com) is selling a painfully accurate replica of Marty's red scalpel for about $10,000, signed by the once and future rock star of American motocross his own self. They're absolutely beautiful. Probably better than the original, right down to meticulous recreations of all the bits not even the most arrogant über-dilettante could buy way back when: aluminum tank, aluminum chain guide, works aluminum swingarm, complete with aluminum brake-stay arm. The only aluminum in our kit carried the medicinal Coors we drank after the races. Scott Steger may have an RC125 or two left if you hurry, but not me. Honda Red still gives me hives. But maybe I'll dig out that old Yamaha Yellow JT Racing from 74. There's one last can of Coors in the fridge. TGIF.