Wanted Dead or Alive! The Search Is On For the 100 Stunning Classic Bikes That Will Be Presented at the 4th Annual Martin Motorsports “Modern Classics” Show, March 1, 2014.

?????It’s just over four months now until the Fourth Annual Martin Motorsports “Modern Classics” Bike Show. In just three years this one day, indoor show has has gained a hefty regional following and has even begun to attract some national attention. Check out what the local papers had to say about last year’s show HERE. Then take a look at the coverage in Modern Classics magazine.

MC-Parting Shots

Do you want to even consider missing this year’s show? Uuhhhh, don’t think so!

So here are some important details. The showroom doors open at 9:00AM and the show runs until 5:00PM. As in past years, Modern Classics is an invitational show – entries are nominated to the show planning committee which then determines the 100 bikes that will be this year’s “Modern Classics.” “Modern Classics” is an unjudged show but there are Peoples’ Choice awards in both the primary group – classics from the 60s, 70s, and 80s as well in the featured supplemental class. For the 2014 show the featured supplemental class is Two Stroke bikes! The planning committee is soliciting the nominations of Two Stroke Classics from the same era, meaning the 60s through the 80s. The bikes that the committee is looking for are 2-cycle engined motorcycles offered for sale between 1960 and 1990. Historically significant bikes from slightly before and after this time frame may be considered if they are helpful in telling the story of two strokes and their place in motorcycle history. The show is primarily focused on “street” models but a limited number of off-road and racing models may also be considered. Thinking about nominating your bike? For all the information you need go¬† HERE.

2 stroke wantedposterHere are a few of the Two Stroke Classics we’re seeking for Modern Classics 2014. If you have one of these bikes or know where there is one that might be a candidate for the show, the by all means give us a shout. You can either go directly to the “want to show your bike” page or contact jack@martinmoto.com. Here ya go…….

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Possibly the Zenith of Two Stroke history? Of course we’re looking for a Suzuki GT 750 Water Buffalo. Or Steam Kettle if you prefer.

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Yamaha Catalina or Big Bear? Among the first of the “big” Japanese Two Strokes and we’d love to have a great example of either one. 250 or 305cc? Doesn’t matter.

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Was the Suzuki X-6 Hustler the first 250 capable of going 100mph? The debate rages. Nonetheless, if you have a nice example then please nominate it for our show.

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Kawi H2. Mach IV 750. “The Widowmaker.” By any name or alias, we’d like to see one. A nice Mach III 500 would be welcome too – especially a first year white one! Yeah we like 350s too.

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From the late 60s well into the 1970s two stroke enduros were a huge contributor to the explosive growth of motorcycling. Suzuki TS’s all welcome – 125, 185, 250 – we love ’em all. Of course the Yamaha enduro series is on our hit list too. Where is that one stunning white1968, first year DT1 we’ve been waiting years for? Kawis too – How about a nice Bighorn?

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It’s easy to forget Bridgestone was a major player back in the day. A 350GTR would be a great show addition as would any of the smaller Bridgestone offerings. 90s. 175s. Who learned to ride on a Bridgestone?

We're not just on the lookout for Japanese Two Strokes. Europeans figured mightily in the Two Stroke story. And a hefty part of that story was was scooters. Vespa? Lambretta? Harley Davidson Topper?

We’re not just on the lookout for Japanese Two Strokes. Europeans figured mightily in the Two Stroke story. And a hefty part of that story was was scooters. Vespa? Lambretta? Harley Davidson Topper?

Silk. The Ultimate Evolution of the old Scott 2 strokes from England. This would be a cool add!

Silk. The Ultimate Evolution of the old Scott 2 strokes from England. This would be a cool add!

All American Brand Harley even had two strokes badged as their own. They were really an Italian-American hybrid cooked up by partner Aermacchi.

All American Brand Harley even had two strokes badged as their own. They were really an Italian-American hybrid cooked up with partner Aermacchi.

We'd very much like to snag a Scott Flying Squirrel. Though produced considerably earlier than our target 60s through 80s time frame, these Brit Classics are important in telling the two stroke history story.

We’d very much like to snag a Scott Flying Squirrel. Though produced considerably earlier than our target 60s through 80s time frame, these Brit Classics are important in telling the two stroke history story.

So there you have a few examples of the kind of things that we are on the lookout for. Two Strokes. Smoke ’em if ya got ’em! You can review the entire list of two stroke candidate bikes for the 2014 Modern Classics by clicking HERE. If you know where these bikes are, or you have one, please nominate your bike!! And if you think there’s something we’ve forgotten, we’d like to hear about that too.

Just a reminder though – Two Strokes represent just a portion of the magic that is the Modern Classics. We are also trying to run down a new and exciting collection of all the rest of the 60s through 80s bike population. Here are just a couple of the bikes were looking to score for this year’s show.

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Long before there were Hayabusas and ZX14s there were Kawasaki Ninjas. Arguably the first hyperbike (Tom Cruise thought so in “Top Gun”) the first Kawasaki Gpz900 Ninja was introduced in 1984. Can it really be 30 years? And when will we score a first year Ninja for Modern Classics? Hopefully 2014.

A bike that we've had on our search list for all four years of The Modern Classisc - the Munch Mammut. Had kind of forgotten about this rare breed until we saw one recently. If there's one, there must be more. Help us find one for Modern Classics 2014!

A bike that we’ve had on our search list for all four years of The Modern Classisc – the Munch Mammut (Mammoth.) Had kind of forgotten about this rare breed until we saw one recently. If there’s one, there must be more. Help us find one for Modern Classics 2014!

So there you have it. Hopefully a preview of the sort of stunning bikes you’ll be seeing in just about four months. The 4th Annual MartinMoto “Modern Classics” Bike Show. It’s coming sooner than you think! If you can help us in any way find the classic bikes we’re searching for don’t hesitate to contact us! We’re as close as modernclassicsbikeshow.com

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Modern Classics 2014 – Two Strokes! Smoke ‘Em If Ya Got ‘Em!

Modern Classics Logo Master JPEGJust last week we at Martin Motorsports announced some important details about the 2014 edition of our increasingly significant vintage motorcycle show The Modern Classics. First the date – The Modern Classics 2014 goes down on Saturday, March 1, 2014. Only 9 months to prepare, so get polishing! Equally important, we announced some details on our “special class” for 2014. Special class you say? Yup. While the fundamental focus of The Modern Classics remains the bikes of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s each of the past couple of years we’ve identified a special sub-category of bikes from that era for special recognition – in 2012 it was the Cafe Racers, and just last year we brought in a great collection of pure competition bikes. For 2014 the special sub-group will be Two Stroke Street Bikes. Do you wonder how we picked that group? It’s really fairly simple. As part of the selection process our steering committee takes a good look at several criteria. Does the group have a “back story” that matches our 60s-70s-80s time period? Without question two strokes meet this criteria. Think about it. In 1960, at the beginning of the motorcycling boom, a huge portion of that sales explosion was fueled by two strokes from Japan and Europe – Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Bridgestone, Bultaco and more. At the time they were mostly tiddlers and beginner bikes (anyone out there got a Yamaha Rotary Jet 80 they want to exhibit? Maybe a Bridgestone 90?) Then, through the 60s and 70s two strokes grew bigger, more powerful, and faster – by the mid 70s the benchmarks for performance were mostly two strokes (think Kawi 750 H2 “Widowmaker.”) Two strokes also led the “dirt bike” craze of the same era. But then, a funny thing happened – through a combination of regulatory influences and the unstoppable march of technological progress, the two strokes rapidly died off, replaced by an amazing selection of new generation four stroke machines. By the end of the “Modern Classics” era two strokes were essentially extinct. Back Story? Geez, Two Strokes might be THE story of The Modern Classics Era. The planning committee then takes a look to see if the selected group offers the potential to populate 30-50% of our 100 bike show with high quality show pieces. Here again, the Two Stroke group works. We’ve had a smattering of Two Strokes in the show in the past, and there are other big Two Stroke Events as well as websites, clubs and such active on a regional and national basis. Earlier this month the annual gathering of Two Strokes at Deals Gap, NC laid down a smokescreen from 100+ two stroke riders across the legendary Tail of The Dragon. So there you have it. Two Stroke Streeet Bikes are our special class for 2014. We’re interested in ’em all – starter bikes, tiddlers, maybe even a scooter or two. Japanese, European, even domestic – it’s all good. The high performance variants as well as those early “enduros” (*we didn’t call ’em dual sports yet.)

Just to get the juices flowing and the thought process moving we thought we’d we’d drag out some pics and notes on about a half dozen significant Two Strokes from the era that we’d love to see at the show. If you have a lead on any of these bike models (or anything else) be sure to let us know!

4Bike: Suzuki X6 “Hustler” also known as the T20
Why?: Reputed to be the first 250 street bike capable of 100 MPH (It probably wasn’t.) When four speeds was pretty standard, it broke the mold and offered a six speed transmission!

5Bike: Bultaco Metralla
Why?: Spanish Two Strokes ran rampant in off road, enduro, and motocross circles. Bultaco was one of the few Spaniards who offered a fully street-legal version.

2Bike: Honda MT125 Elsinore
Why?: Most enthusiasts recognize that Yamaha, Suzuki, and Kawasaki all made their initial inroads in the US market with two strokes and that Honda was the four stroke alternative. Few remember that Honda offered a street version of their stunning Elsinore dirt bikes. Two stroke Honda? Oh yeah!

Bike: Suzuki GT750 AKA “Water Buffalo”, “Kettle” or “Steam Kettle”
Why? Perhaps the ultimate evolution of the “big” two stroke. A 750 cc two stroke triple with liquid cooling. Relatively quiet (when it’s contemporaries sometimes weren’t), relatively reliable (when it’s contemporaries sometimes weren’t), the big 750 was reputed to be a pleasant touring motorcycle.

3Bike: 1968 Yamaha DT-1 250 Enduro
Why?: The bike that changed the perception of what a dual purpose bike could be and also helped bring Motocross to prominence in the USA.

6Bike: MZ TS 125 (or any Eastern European Two Stroke Brand or Model – Jawa, CZ, Zundapp?)
Why?: The fact is that, before the Japanese, it was the Europeans who developed two strokes to a high level of power and reliability. In your spare time do a search on Ernst Degner and learn how this East German factory motorcycle racer defected and ultimately ended up at Suzuki with a full measure of knowledge of then current two stroke technology that fueled Suzuki’s race success for years.

Are these the only bikes we’re looking for? Certainly not. We’d love to find a Yamaha Twin Jet 100, A Kawasaki Avenger, a Suzuki TS250, any Jawa, any two stroke Harley/Aermacchi, a Hodaka Ace, a Bridgestone 350GTR, Kawi Mach III or other Triples, A Yamaha 250cc YDS3, or any of a thousand other interesting two stroke street bikes from the era.

The Modern Classics show is an invitational event. Learn how to nominate your bike for the 2014 show HERE.

Even if you don’t have a bike you’d like to exhibit, make plans to attend the show to check out all the great bikes from that era!

Saturday, March 1, 2014. Be there.