Cross Country Vintage 200 Class Rule Update

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Cross Country Vintage 200 Class Rule Update

Photo courtesy of Tom Herman

Cross Country Vintage 200 Class Rule Update

Fred Guidi, AHRMA Offroad Race Director, announces that the 1975 thru 1977 Honda MR175 is now eligible for the Vintage 200 class in AHRMA Cross Country. Working with the Cross Country rules committee on behalf of several member’s petitions to have the machine included, it was ruled that the MR175 would be eligible for this class, beginning with the 2019 season. Naturally all rules with respect to suspension limits and other class limitations will apply. Questions should be directed to Fred or any member of the Cross Country rules committee.

By |2018-11-13T18:08:53+00:00November 9th, 2018|Cross Country, Rules|21 Comments


  1. Allen Wenzel November 9, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    Has the process within AHRMA changed when it comes to reclassifying machines? The Honda MR175 is listed as a Historic 250 machine in PVMX and is listed as a Historic 200 machine in CC. It is specifically listed as ineligible in Vintage 200 in CC in the 2018 Handbook. There were no CC rules proposals voted on by the Board at the Barber meeting in October.

    To my knowledge, a Rules Committee or the ORD cannot change the classification of a machine simply by edict. A proposal for change or reclassification must first be submitted for consideration, then the committee provides it’s input for or against the proposal to the Board at large. The Board discusses the merits of the request and then votes on the proposal for possible inclusion into the following years Handbook. None of this appears to have happened.

    This change should be proposed at the call for rules/eligibility submissions in 2019 and discussed/voted on by the BOARD at the final meeting in 2019, and with approval, makes the machine eligible for the change in the 2020 Handbook.

    • Matt Hilgenberg November 9, 2018 at 7:43 pm

      Beautifully worded and oh-so-accurate.

  2. MARK ZACHARY November 10, 2018 at 12:48 am

    It WAS well worded, but the upgrade of the MR-175, a well accepted as non-competitive bike in 1974 by Dirt Bike Magazine, a “Foo-Foo” bike is still not competitive against vintage Pentons, Huskies, etc. It weighs 207 pounds. After 6 major surgeries in the past 3 years, mostly on my spine, it’s inclusion means that I have a bike for the 60+&70+ Intermediate classes which I can pick up when fallen. I fall a lot. I am old and this bike gives me another year or more. It is in no way competitive against bikes with advanced 9 inches front and rear with 20 to 40 year old riders. Us old farts may be in the way, but we have passion for the ride. Thanks for listening, Mark Zachary, #X4

  3. Mark Zachary November 10, 2018 at 12:52 am

    Dear Allen and Matt,
    This is Mark Zachary. 60+ Vintage Int. I am directly to blame (or bless) for the upgrade of the MR-175 Honda to Vintage. I sincerely apologize if toes or S.O.P. were felt to be stepped upon. I and others had discussed this at length with AHRMA officials at and I failed to get in the rules upgrade suggestion time because of illness(later). My case for the MR-175 is as follows; low competitiveness of the bike, period correctness, class limitations and age vs health problems.
    I rode an MR-175 in SETRA from 1974 through 1982. One of my favorites. I have 5 of them; 2 to race and 3 parts bikes. DIRT BIKE magazine referred to it AND my XL-175 I have ridden for 6 years as the ultimate “Foo-Foo” bikes and not competitive. The MR, as per class limitations, has 4 inches travel in the rear and 7 inches in the forks. It is a standard piston port engine Identical to the 72-75 CR125 and the MT-125 but for displacement. I use both MT and CR parts to keep them running. It was not competitive against Huskys, etc then and is not now, but for my stubborn determination to ride when I have been advised by AHRMA friends to quit. I can’t quit. I have competitive XL250, XL175 (sort of), MR250, Husky 250 and Honda XL-300ish monster bike. I can NOT pick up any of these. The MR-175 weighs 207 pounds. I can pick it up. THAT is the crux of my request, sent to all when I was out of hospital and physical therapy. I have had 6 major surgeries in the last couple of years, half of them on my spinal cord. I am safe to ride without damage. Doctor OK’d it, but I am not to lift what I can not. Becky can tell you that all this surgery started because I started to fall down a LOT. I still fall down and rebuilt an MR250 hoping I could pick it up after lightening it. I can’t. My legs are noodles from the Lumbar and Cervical surgeries and being on my back for over 6 months. My life is about Karate and AHRMA. I can’t manage Karate because of my legs. I live to ride. I have ONE bike I can pick up, the MR-175. Yea, I’m selfish. I admit it. But the MR is period correct to the CR & MT and a chance for me to ride 70+ INT next year. I know that us OLD farts are a bother, but we are there because of our PASSION rather than our abilities. I can’t afford something like a CR or CC-175 Husky or Can-Am. I couldn’t handle the WR250 I DID try. I am a slow, but steady rider. I tried the Historic class on the MR and found myself competing against 30 year olds on bikes with 9 inches of advanced travel. My wife helps keep score and AHRMA is something we can do together. I hope that you can understand our plight. We needs to ride. Thank you for your time, Zack, #X4

  4. Allen Wenzel November 10, 2018 at 1:14 am

    Mark & Mark,

    My post is not intended to address which class your Honda MR175 goes into, nor was it intended to highlight your ability to fall off of a motorcycle. It was to point out that the procedure for changing the classification of the MR175 was not carried out in a proper manner. If having the MR175 reclassified into Vintage 200 was of great importance to you, you should have submitted a proposal to the Cross Country R&E Committee requesting that change should be discussed by the committee and then by the Board at large. It should also be noted that the AHRMA Officials involved in this decision are likely fully aware that this reclassification was not done properly.

    • Philip Henderson November 11, 2018 at 7:20 am

      Mr. Wenzel,

      I can’t speak for Mark, but I did submit a written proposal to the rules committee. In addition, I was told numerous other members had in previous years. Honestly, why are you so upset that the “reclassification was not done properly”?! With participation down at many of the off road events, common sense changes are a needed. It would have been ridiculous to wait through another season and another board meeting to reclassify the MR175.

      Thanks again to the Board and the ORD for careful consideration and implementing the rule change!

  5. Philip Henderson November 10, 2018 at 2:46 am

    Frankly, I appreciate the progressive thought and changes by the ORD and rules committee members. Those of us who own MR 175’s and competed on them agains’t post vintage bikes, did so for the enjoyment of the sport and appreciation for the little Honda. They darn sure weren’t competitive in the PV/Historic class. With promoters needing additional participation, why in the world wouldn’t our organization make such a ruling?!

    I now can ride my MR’s in the vintage and then jump on the IT 200 and ride the PV race. Thank you Fred, thank you James and all the other board members who made this happen. AHMRA isn’t the federal government. We need more common sense with respect to decision making and less regulation!

  6. Janette Player November 10, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    Philip and Mark,
    If the bike was that uncompetitive in the class it was in, than why didn’t you submit a rules change proposal? As described, this is a trail bike, as such it wasn’t competitive for racing when it was brand new. If it’s in a class where it is not competitive, then it’s historically right where it belongs. Since we seem to all agree that this bike wasn’t competitive when it was new, why the need to change it’s eligibility this quickly to make it “competitive” with older bikes? It is specifically listed as not eligible. That means the board and/or rules committee have already discussed that specific bike, at some point. The reason for making rules change proposals is so the committees can discuss them. The people on the committees are supposed to not only have some knowledge about the bikes they are making rules for and deciding eligibility, as well as some knowledge of what has been done in the past concerning the eligibility of certain motorcycles. Certain bikes have been discussed repeatedly, and still were deemed not eligible; usually for an identifiable reason.
    In a sense, AHRMA is the federal gov’t of this racing organization. The rules and procedures are in place so rules, etc are not changed “on the fly” on a whim. This rule seems to have bypassed the procedure for changing eligibility for no reason.

    “Tastes great!”- “Less regulation!” Yes, that is a good buzz phrase, but it’s not the way a national organization runs properly. Philip, you want less regulation, but by doing things this way, you’ve made AHRMA a monarchy. Technically communism. If you badger the right person, they will change the rules? That’s not the way this works.
    This certainly is not the path to transparency.

    Mark, from what you have written, I would have some serious reservations toward allowing you to race anything in an AHRMA sponsored event, much less bypass the rules to make your bike eligible in the class you want it to be in. “After 6 major surgeries in the past 3 years, mostly on my spine”. Having had to deal with risk management, I have to question why someone in a leadership position with AHRMA would push through a rule specifically so you could race. A Cross Country, no less. This circles right back around to why the procedure of the rules committees is in place. None of these rules need to be changed quickly, nor “on the fly” without any sort of open discussion about them. What’s the big hurry, exactly? You could still ride that bike, uncompetitively in the class it was in. Just like you could have when it was brand new. I would like some clarification on why this needed to be changed so quickly that it required bypassing a procedure that’s been in place for nearly 30 years.
    This is a member owned organization. As such, I do get a say so in things like bike eligibility changes. All the members deserve to be able to see a rules change and discuss it with their trustees, members of the committees, etc. All members should have the chance to hear the trustees discuss them. Did anyone ask the people who were racing Vintage 200 for how they feel about the addition of this bike to their class? That’s all part of why these procedures are in place for making changes. It makes it fair to everyone, not just the guy who talked to the ORD the most.
    The bike isn’t competitive in PV, so is it competitive in Vintage? If it is, then what bike or bikes is it capable of beating? If not, then why the need to change it from one uncompetitive class to another uncompetitive class? Or is this about letting a certain group of guys race in both vintage and PV?

    I ask these pretty basic questions because I, as a member, was never given a chance to be privy to this information *before* the rule change was made. The current procedure gives me, and all other 3,000+ members the ability to make our voice heard for decisions like this. This could effect me. I do ride smaller CC bikes. I am female, so it’s very likely that I will be racing with a 70+, as we’re often lumped together on the race track, start lines, etc. So, this very well could *directly* effect me, yet I wasn’t given the opportunity to voice my opinion on it at all. The leadership in AHRMA needs to be fully aware that they aren’t just changing rules for 1 guy or 2 guys, you’re making rule changes that could potentially effect the entire membership. That’s why there is a procedure for making these types of changes. That’s why it isn’t done quickly. That’s why there is ample time and opportunity for members to discuss them before they are voted on.

    I have back problems, too. The suspension on my C-15 is horrible, it’s pretty heavy, and often difficult to start. I would like to be able to race my 2004 KDX in the Premier lightweight class. Who do I need to call to make that happen?

    • Phil Henderson November 11, 2018 at 8:12 pm


      As required, I did submit a written rules change proposal in May, 2017. I didn’t ” badger” anyone. One and a half years later and after other proposals were submitted, the rules committee, board, and ORD approved the change. This in’t about letting a “certain group of guys”race both vintage and PV. It’s about moving our organization forward and allowing an opportunity for additional participation for anyone who chooses to race the MR 175 . I imagine the promoters would be grateful for any increase in revenue. Thank you to all who made the progressive decision to change the classification of the MR 175. Good job!

      Can’t wait to line up with you in the 70+ class! Best regards

  7. John Hart November 11, 2018 at 8:37 am

    Is the MR175 now legal for Sportsman 250.

    • Philip Henderson November 11, 2018 at 8:16 pm

      Good question. Don’t know if it’s Sportsman 200 or a new vintage 200 class. Any way, the bike has been reclassified to the vintage class, where it belongs!

  8. Janette Player November 11, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    I love the phrases “we need to keep moving forward”, “We need progress!”, and “we need to be progressive”…used in a vintage motorcycle organization.
    Philip, Mark ^^^^ above said he was to “blame”. You said you wrote a rules proposal. Ok. Then it must have been discussed. I’d like to hear from someone why it was decided to move it. It specifically lists that bike as a PV bike and not eligible for vintage. Yes, it is a tad odd for a bike manufactured from 75-77 to be allowed in vintage. I would like to hear the reasoning behind the classification other than “people wanted it”. Saying, “It wasn’t competitive” is not a viable reason. The bike was always a trail type bike, thus was never, from the day they were new, competitive for racing.
    As far as “I imagine the promoters would be grateful for any increase in revenue”, again, that’s not why bike classifications are made. They shouldn’t be made on a whim, or what appears to be a whim. I want to ride my KDX in the Premier lightweight class. I am sure the race promotor will be grateful for the increase in revenue.
    Who do I call to make that happen?

    So, this bike has been reclassified for Cross Country, has it also been reclassified for VMX?
    Philip, you said:
    “the bike has been reclassified to the vintage class, where it belongs!”
    Why does this bike “belong” in Vintage?
    Of all the words being typed here, no one has actually answered why this bike “belongs” in vintage other than someone needs a light bike to pick up, the bike isn’t competitive in PV, race promotors would appreciate the revenue, and guys want to be able to race PV and Vintage Cross Country.
    I would love for someone to chime in and explain why this bike was reclassified into vintage for an actual technical reason.

    Philip, I just went and looked at the rules proposals for 2018 and I did not see one from you discussing this motorcycle.
    I saw 2 from you discussing how points are awarded in Cross Country.
    For clarification, did you submit a rules change proposal specifically for this motorcycle?

    I think there needs to also be some clarification on whether this bike is now VMX eligible, and what class it is to be run in.
    Are there any other bikes that are allowed in Vintage Cross Country, but not allowed in VMX?

  9. Mike parker November 13, 2018 at 9:49 am

    I was not involved In the request or rule change for the MR 175, but I might be able to answer your question as to why they may have reclassified the MR into a vintage classification. It really is “ like kind design to the Honda 1974 cr125. I believe it is basically the same piston port engine with a larger bore, same frame, forks, shocks; wheels, etc.
    I do not know how the procedures for the class change were followed; but it is my opinion the bike should be in vintage sportsman classes in all disciplines , due to the existing like kind design rule AHRMA adhears to.

    All the best wishes to all my fellow vintage racers, whatever class you may ride;and hope to see everyone at the tracks in 2019.

    • Phil Henderson November 13, 2018 at 10:35 pm

      Good post Mike. In fact, the 1975-1977 MR 175 had no changes with respect to the frame, forks, and shocks from the original design of the 1974 cr125. It’s pure vintage and was reclassified correctly.

      • Matt Hilgenberg November 14, 2018 at 11:06 pm

        The 1975-’77 Honda MR175 was produced for the first time in 1975, therefore not eligible for Sportsman classes by date cutoff. The MR was Honda’s first 175cc two-stroke, therefore not of like design to any 1974-model bike. While it does share the fork and wheels with the 1974 CR125, that is near the extent of the shared “major components”. According to period Honda advertising, “The frame draws heavily from the CR-125 but is adapted specifically to the rigors of enduro competition” — indicating they are not of like design. If we could place the two side-by-side, a determination could be made. The MR also has a five-speed gearbox vs. the CR’s six-speed; not like design.

        All that said, one item that should immediately dismiss the MR from the Sportsman-class conversation is that it uses the same crankcases as a *1976* CR125 (not ’74)…

    • Matt Hilgenberg November 15, 2018 at 2:09 am

      The foundation of vintage MX (from which cross country are derived) is the simple concept of 1974-and-earlier motorcycles, maximum 7″ front/4″ rear wheel travel. This has served the sport well for 35 years and there is no reason whatsoever to deviate from that plan.

      AHRMA’s purpose is to PRESERVE history, not RECREATE history by obsoleting machines a second time via rules creep or technological advances. No matter how the pool of old motorcycles is divided, there will always be “better” and “worse” bikes in any class.

      The Handbook definition of like design is “Any motorcycle or part produced or reproduced after a cutoff date that is essentially unchanged from that produced prior to the cutoff.” There are no provisions for “close enough” or “it’s not all that much better”.

      Mike, you are now a member of the Vintage Motocross Rules & Eligibility Committee. It would be well worth your time to learn the philosophy and intent of the rules-making process in order to serve in that position in a manner that maintains the integrity of AHRMA’s well-developed vintage motocross program.

      • Phil Henderson November 16, 2018 at 7:10 am

        Are you and Janette married? You guys are too rigid. Good grief, lighten up and accept change.

  10. Mark Zachary November 15, 2018 at 10:33 am

    If you can’t dazzle me with performance, baffle me with bulls***

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