The sport of motocross originated in Europe in the early part of the last century and evolved into a serious racing discipline after the Second World War. While it never really caught on in North America until the late ’60s, motocross exploded in popularity in the 1970s. With this popularity came a deluge of different motorcycle brands and a rapid evolution in engine and chassis development.
All of this trial and error created the technology we see on MX bikes today and also contributed to the demise of most of the motorcycle companies that participated in the early days of the sport.
If you attend a motocross event today, you may see 5 or 6 different motorcycle brands on the starting line. In the early to mid-1970s, there could be dozens. Most all of these brands were relegated to the dust heap of history when the Japanese “Big 4” motorcycle makers got serious about motocross. They introduced reliable, moderately price bikes that quickly took over the sport. Lets look back at the lost motocross bikes of the 1970s.