In 1984, the American Motorcyclist Association dictated that, beginning in 1986, all participants in AMA Pro Motocross and Supercross must compete aboard production-based motorcycles. The shock announcement—maybe the most radical in American motocross history—signaled the end of the works-bike era on the AMA circuit. However, the production rule left a brief window open for the Japanese OEMs to continue to develop their race bikes as much as possible before it went into effect. Some, like Team Honda, took full advantage of the grace period; others had already ceased developing works bikes. This led to an epic battle of the haves and the have-nots. We spoke about this period with some of the top contenders of that time: David Bailey, Broc Glover, Bob Hannah, Rick Johnson, Ron Lechien, Johnny O’Mara, and Jeff Ward.
BROC GLOVER (YAMAHA): Nineteen eighty-five—that was the year David Bailey had a kangaroo-skin-covered seat! I mean, what is the point of having a kangaroo-skin seat? What was the performance advantage? Was it Honda saying, “We have money and we have to spend it?”