GLORY DAYS: GASTON RAHIER “LITTLE BIG MAN”
Scratched out of the well-worn gray matter of Carl Ribaudo and Mike Webb
Some people are successful no matter what physical tools they bring to the table. The Belgian Gaston Rahier stood just 5’ 5”- small in stature but big on wins. Rahier scored his first GP points racing in the 500cc class in 1968, won his first GP in the 250 class in 1974 and as a factory Suzuki rider helped to spearhead their dominance in the newly formed 125 GP world. He became a three-time world champion in the 125 class from 1975-1977. Rahier was also a part of the Belgian Motocross Team that won the Trophy des Nations in 1974, 1975, 1976 and 1978 and the Motocross of Nations in 1976. Gaston raced motocross competitively until 1981, when a viscous accident nearly took his hand. But perhaps his biggest claim to fame was his two time win of the grueling Paris to Dakar race in 1984-85 on a BMW. Sitting astride huge machines with a 42-inch seat height in no way slowed the bantam Belgian, who raced for the factory BMW squad. These victories combined with his “bon vivant” personality brought Rahier widespread acclaim beyond the motorcycles industry. Rahier was also named Belgian Sportsman of the year. Gaston lost his battle with cancer and passed away in 2005.
Gaston won the first 125 GP World Championship for Suzuki finally stringing together 29 GP wins and two more World Championships.
Roger never took a bad photo!
MOOSE RACING XC1 GLOVE
Moose Racing® XC1 glove is lightweight, windproof, and has a water-resistant polyester backhand that will keep your hands warm when conditions are foul. There is no sacrificing dexterity for warmth with the XC1 glove. Pre-curved fingers, outseam construction, and a single layer Clarino® palm allow for maximum control and feel. Available in adult and youth sizes, the XC1 glove has a suggested retail of $29.95 and $24.95 for the XC1 Youth Glove. For sizing and more information visit Mooseracing.com. TESTING TESTING
One of my main goals in my magazine life is to ride. This is my passion and keeps me sane and…gives us (Dirt Bike) the opportunity to test both machines and products. It’s really like cheating and not having a real job! Over the last few weeks I’ve been out with Ryan Koch, brother Mike, The Realtor and had some friends who come in from up north on a perfect day following our first winter storm of the season. We’ve been trying both products and machines, gear and mods in an excuse to justify our existence.
Ryan Koch dropping in on a nasty section on the new Beta 300.
Mike Webb man handling his RM-Z450. We have been slowing transforming this machine into a friendlier and more versatile scoot and in these conditions the Rekluse Radius CX clutch has been a phenomenal addition.
Twebb’s 300 has some newly valved WP Pro Components (Cone Valve) suspension from Kreft Suspension and he’s loving it. According to Wolf how great is this world when an old girthy dude can ride with factory suspension on a button start, fuel injected 2-stroke? Life is good.
Webb’s 300 has a special Seat Concepts saddle (super tall since his knee replacements aren’t quite as flexible as the production models), WP Pro Components suspension, Twisted Engineering’s carbon fiber handlebar (offers great flex and feel) along with some ECU mods courtesy of Slavens Racing.
My buddy Rich Mathers (I rode Six Days with him in 1991) and John Haaker (wearing the factory HQV vest that he most likely borrowed from his son Colton) showed up for our last ride. Both were on 150s (a KTM and a Husky) and Haaker was impressive especially considering his 6’3″ chassis.
T-Dub is testing a Rekluse Radius CX on his 300 looking for additional ammo for his most favorite machine.
Rich Mathers and the Wolf, big giggles for the older generation!
WOLF: BACK IN THE DAY
With all the buzz around the ISDE, here’s a shot from my worse ISDE adventure. It was Tulsa, 1994 and I had qualified on a 501 Husaberg. I loved this machine, fit it with a Marzocchi fork, Honda wheels and brakes and an Ohlins rear damper. I left the engine stone stock, as it was fast, torquey enough and fairly easy to start. After making the team, Husaberg brought in some ‘special’ 501s and I fit it with my suspension, bars, seat, wheels and brakes. Their engine was juiced up, hit harder, was tougher to start and flamed out where my stocker never did. I was in hell with this machine and after backfiring and blowing the carburetor out of the manifold three times on day 2, I finally houred out. Not so happy for me, but then I chase rode for my friend Dick Burlseson who rode pretty much a stock KDX 200 to a Silver medal at the age of 46. I was way pumped for him!