the ultimate collection of ultimate bikes






                                                                                  On the line                                 

   The big news at for December is that Marty Smith's 1976 RC125M Type 2 has been found. Not much was written about this bike in any of the magazines back in the day. There are very few pictures of it and it only saw a grand total of 3 races in the US. It is the very bike that in it's debut race, was claimed by a privateer. The bike was so advanced and trick that upon seeing it being uncrated in a hotel parking lot, Yamaha mechanic Bill Buchka actually thought Bob Hannah's lead in the 1976 125 Championship might be in trouble. Below are Bill's own words when he saw the bike for the first time.

The day before the Delta Ohio National, I was walking through the parking lot at the race headquarters Hotel and there it was. Dave and Jon R. were uncrating the much rumored works Honda. That red just jumped out at you. When I saw that motorcycle I can tell you “I got scared.” That bike was going fast in the crate. I really got worried. Honda had just dropped a psychological bomb on everybody. I didn’t in anyway want to upset Bob. I thought I would let him make his own judgment. He was the guy that had to throw his leg over his motorcycle and compete with Marty on that bike. I really tried to find a positive in competing with that and came to the conclusion, “Hey, Marty has only had that bike for a week or so, so maybe it’s not that well developed yet.” I had to refer back to our strategic plan, one race at a time. Luck went our way again and Marty had a mishap as a lapper took him out while maintaining a huge lead. It was really unfortunate for Marty as his new works bike really looked good. To have a lead of over fourteen seconds and have a misfortune like that must have had a negative psychological impact on him.

The Honda Type 2 from a visual point of view and as it performed on the track from a dynamic point of view was incredible. If you were going to claim a motorcycle, that had to be the one that day. In my opinion, just looking at it, that was a phenomenal motorcycle. It was a complete package, even though our Yamaha got a lot of accolades for being cutting edge. Not only was it dynamically an effective piece of equipment, even from a static view just looking at it, the way the whole motorcycle flowed together. It was a phenomenal piece of technical equipment. It was really a strong statement. That bike left an impression on me that I remember to this day. We were scared into submission for awhile. (Laughter)

The bike is nearly all original and in excellent condition. Upon close inspection, it is just as Bill Buchka said in his memoir, an incredible motorcycle. Restoration will be ongoing throughout the winter and will mostly consist of carefully taking it apart, cleaning the parts and putting it back together. Most of the original paint will be saved and some of the miscellaneous steel hardware will have to be re-plated. It was discovered after taking the cylinder off, that the top end (piston & rings) is brand new. Just to give you an example of how trick this bike is, the complete sand cast magnesium motor weighs in at a mere 28 lbs!!!  Another interesting note is that all three bikes that were claimed in professional AMA motocross (Bob Hannah's OW27, Marty Smith's RC125 Type 2 and Marty Tripes' RC250) are in this collection. Stay tuned for the review of this fantastic motorcycle. Happy New Year!

Terry Good    December 26,  2007