Your Collection: StickersSunday, May 9, 2010 | 1:56 AM
This week's collection comes from Ross Maeda of Enzo Racing KYB:
I recently found a huge, old JT Racing boot box which contained my original MX sticker collection that I started in the seventies. It had tons of stuff that wasn't really rare or significant (like original FMF stickers that are the same as now!). But I found some really special ones that I've separated into four groups:
1. American rider give-a-way stickers
2. American MX event stickers
3. Japanese MX stickers
4. European MX stickers
The American mx event stickers are some that I somehow acquired at races I'd attended working for KAYABA KYB starting in 1976! Probably the rarest (and cheesiest) is the "UNAFUCKINDILLA" MXDN sticker from 1987. I imagine that it was printed up by some wild, drunken Bob Hannah fan. I had a bunch more event stickers but these were the ones that I was most amused by.
The Japanese MX stickers are pretty rare, especially in the U.S. "SHIN-ETSU" was/is a Japanese chemical company that still exists, and they sponsored the Japanese Kawasaki factory race team sometime in the '80s. The KYB stickers were from the '80s that I'd picked up when I would visit the Kayaba factory. Masanori Ohzeki was a factory Suzuki rider in Japan, I remember going to a test with him around 1980, at Suzuki's factory test track next to the factory. Check out the corny KYB sticker, this was the first logo I remember seeing at the Japanese KYB factory! Probably the rarest sticker I own is the factory HRC RC works bike sticker from the early '80s! It is a small photo of the works bike, I have no idea how I got this, probably at a Japanese mx national.
The European MX stickers were probably my favorites, because I came from an era where the "Europeans" (not Euros) were the beset! I remember reading about them in magazines and studying photos of them where ever I could find them. So anything European and MX was super valuable to me.
These stickers are mostly from the '80s when Americans had already started to rise to the top, but I hadn't lost my desire for all things European MX. I collected European suspension company stickers because of my interest and job at KYB. The Aragosta sticker is pretty rare, it was a mx shock company started by a guy who worked for KONI (I think). When KONI had stopped supporting MXGPs, this fellow started his own company, and named it ARAGOSTA, which I think means lobster in Italian?!? I got this sticker from Sylvain Geboers in the early '80s. Sylvain was one of my early heros, a Belgian sand specialist who challenged the great Joel Robert for the 250 world titles in the '70s. By the time that I had actually met him, he was a factory Suzuki mechanic for Harry Everts on the RA125. They were in the U.S. for the Mid Ohio 125 World MXGP. I was sent to the race by KYB to support US Suzuki rider Mark Barnett. Everts was using an Aragosta rear shock and he was singing the praises of its performance advantages over the factory KYB unit. It was rather cobby, and had an "unfinished" appearance, which just made it all the more exotic looking to me! Geboers left one of their spare shocks with the U.S. Suzuki crew, and I eventually managed to get my hands on it to test about a year later. I remember riding it, and it felt really loose! As time went on, it got worse and worse, until I decided that there had to be something wrong with it. I dyno tested it, and then disassembled it, and found that the internals had broken and everything was a mess. The design was very close to what KONI was using at the time, but it had a pretty unusual adjustment system. I remember studying it for a long time, but I was never able to get it back together...
Well, there you have it, I'm sure if you are older and were heavily into mx in the '80s, you will recognize some of them and like myself, they will take you back in time!
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