My family and I started riding in about 1964. We would camp, hunt and ride in Riverside, California. I didn't like guns much, so the motorcycles were the only thing that got my attention. My first bike was a Rupp minibike. After a year I moved up to some kind of Harley-Davidson 125 2 stroke. It had no suspension at the rear and the front end used some kind of bungee-cord !!! Next I had a 250 twin Excelsior, which was usually firing on only one cylinder. Then a Yamaha 80, which had the rear fender section removed, so it was a race bike. A Greeves trials bike was next, then my first racing motorcycle, a Greeves Challenger.
The Challenger was the old practice bike of Jim Wilson, a local hero at the time. I raced it 3 times and won 3 times but my dad had to bring his welding torches to weld the frame after each moto. In 1971 I got a job and bought a Bultaco 250 Pursang. This bike was the start of my racing career. CMC was our local racing club and if you won 3 races they moved you up in class. I won my first 3 and went to the intermediate class. 2 wins later I was gonna be pro so I waited for the Penton series to start. I won a new Penton at the end of that series, which I sold along with the Pursang. I had money and Maico gave me my first motorcycle. That was a big thing in those days, to be given a motorcycle. Kids now have no idea...
I was making good money racing three and four times a week in California while in High School. We had night races during the week 3 times and Saturday & Sunday for even better money.
One morning I was showing my mother the cover of Cycle World Magazine which had the new Honda Elisnore 250. It was way ahead of it's time and I wanted one!! My mother said I should call them and tell them I want one. Ya sure !! was my reply.. Well she wrote them a letter outlining my local race wins, without me knowing... Two weeks later I get a call from American Honda and I was off and running for the next 8 years... Good ol' Mom.
Dirt Rider magazine in Sept. 2000 has me listed as the first Honda MX Champion, followed by all the greats. So I might not have been the best ever, but I was the first !! I won the Trans -Am 250 series in 1973 and 1976 for Honda. In 1975 I won the 500 AMA Supercross Series. I had my share of injuries and retired in 1980. In 1994 at age 40 I started riding again and won the Mammoth Mountain over 40 World Championship. Jody Weisel of Motocross Action Magazine called me after the Mammoth win and wanted to know if I would like to be a test rider...Let's see, ride free new motorcycles, a different one each week.
Now 14 years later and I still lovin' it... Richard Eierstedt