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                                                         On the line

   If you haven't had a chance to read the article about Sten Lundin's Lito, you should check it out. It's really an interesting piece about a great rider and a great bike. A few years ago Hakan Andersson had told me that Sten's Lito might be for sale and at the time I thought it was just a cool 4-stroke with a history that would kind of round things out. It wasn't until the bike got to the states and I started working on the article that I started to see the significance of Sten, the Lito and this era of motocross history. I also learned that there were mixed feelings about the bike leaving Sweden from many people and there was even an article written about this in the Swedish press. Sten, Kaj Bornebusch (the owner of the Lito factory) and others had also expressed their initial reservation to me when they first learned about the bike coming to the US. It was after all, during this era that the Swedish riders owned the motocross world and this bike was a big part of that history. After several phone conversations and me trying to assure them about my intentions of preserving motocross history and sharing the story of this bike with the world, they have expressed their approval and were eager to help. Sten actually told me that much that was written about him and the bike back in the day was wrong and he was glad to get the truth out. All this said, I really tried to get as much info and photos of the bike out there so everybody can see all this. As time permits, Kaj Bornebusch's interview will be added.

   The information gathering for Roger DeCoster's 1973 World Championship season has begun. I remember following this season when I was a junior in high school, wondering what happened each week and not being able to find out until it was reported in the magazines. Remember the excellent coverage in Dirtbike and Motocross Action magazines of the first official USGP at Carlsbad with those great shots of DeCoster dragging the bars through the corners? All I could think of was, "How could Willy Bauer with a Maico beat DeCoster on a works Suzuki".  How about seeing the race on ABC's Wide World of Sports? What about the Yamaico of Ake Jonsson or the monoshocks of Jaak Van Velthoven and Christer Hammargren? A lot happened that year and this should be a great story. We'll try to get the feature of Roger's 1973 bike done at the same time too.

   Speaking of Roger's 73 bike, here's a funny story about that. In January of 2001, after making the deal with Roger on the bike, I went to his house to check it out and we were in the garage very late that night. While he was explaining different things about the bike to me, his neighbor who was also there said "That thing looks old, when was the last time it ran"?  Roger thought for a moment and said "27 years ago". He then looked at me with a gleam in his eye and said, "Do you want to see if it will start?" Keep in mind this was around midnight in a very nice neighborhood and the bike has no silencer. Of course my response was, YES!! What sane person would say no being in that situation. I thought to myself, this is something that me and my friends would have done 25 years ago and gotten in trouble for when we woke up the neighborhood. Roger went down to the street where Travis Pastrana's box van was and got a five gallon can of gas and as he was walking back, I kept thinking, "How cool is this, it can't be happening". When he got back to the garage, he put on one Alpine Stars motocross boot on his left foot and poured about a quart of gas in the bike. Standing on the right side of the bike (there is something cool about starting a bike with the kick lever on the right with your left foot), he took his left foot and gave it two short deliberate kicks, on the second kick.............KAAPOW!!!!! The bike lit. HOLY CRAP WAS IT LOUD! It sounded like it must have been 140+ decibels, perfectly jetted, no sputtering or anything. The sound that echoed through the neighborhood that night was absolute music. You could just hear the power that bike made as he revved it and the pulse waves that exited the stinger was quite a site. The RN73 was awake and making the same beautiful noise it made at St. Anthonis when Roger clinched the World Championship 27 years earlier. When he killed the motor, all three of us were laughing hysterically. That had to be one of the coolest things that I ever witnessed. I learned two things that night. The RN works Suzuki is by far the best sounding bike I ever heard and World Champions are enthusiasts too.

Terry Good    September 12 2007