Back when men were men…yada yada yada, and all that. You know, the real interesting thing about watching this footage from 1985 is, well…how interesting the racing is to watch, even with the commentary being in Japanese. Front wheels several feet in the air on acceleration, plenty of rider-on-rider corner stuffing, and the only traction control coming from the rider’s right wrist.

Perhaps making this 26-year-old clip such a keeper is how cool racing at Seca used to be is the recurrent wheelies the riders are popping coming down the corkscrew. Jaws dropped when Valentino Rossi passed Casey Stoner on the inside of the most technical corner on the MotoGP track roster, but the MotoGP paddock would have collectively excreted a brick had he done it on one wheel. Now that’s racing. Thanks for the tip Trent!

  • Laguna Seca used to be a photographer’s paradise. It’s still pretty good, but back then, OMG.

  • Trent

    Any time on the tip. I can see a case being made for traction control as improving rider safety by preventing highsides. But I don’t think a similar case can be made for wheelie control. Are the two systems severable?

  • They were giving the crowd better wheelies during the race then we get on the cool down lap these days. *drool*

  • tone

    Fun to watch but not a serious race. Plus I didn’t see any drifting like we have now.

    For those wishing for “no electronics” in GP’s , go and watch NASCAR. It is a series that trails modern motoring. Bikes with no electronics in GP’s would be the same. If you can buy a superbike with traction control and abs how stupid would it be to see GP bikes with nothing.

    Be careful what you wish for.

  • 76

    That video makes it quite simple dosnet it, rider aids have diminished the spontaneity & excitement only human input & error can provide. As spectator sports go, that tends to be what your looking for.

    Simply put we dont want to watch computers race each other, we get it, its boring alot of the time. The catch 22 is we always want faster & some even safer. I think with GP racing it should be all about the rider and machine and not the safety net of technology to keep you from making a mistake, that in turn produces the greatest rider and races in the world period. Let WSBK, AMA, BSB all run whatever manufac’s want to run with electronics and tech for the bikes they can sell, but in the ultimate forum of proto racing it is a machine and its rider, i will look the other way when it comes to ECU mapping for fuel or data collection.

  • Bruce Monighan

    Leaving for Laguna Seca tomarrow. Sure gets you in the mood. That is real racing, not sanitized, not over regulated. Simocelli would have fit in nicely then, hope they don’t take the unbridled spirit out of that guy

  • p

    king kenny! What a find!

    As a spectator who always tries to go to Laguna, I just can’t sacrifice the time and energy given how processional the racing has been the past few years. Where I was, the only ‘overtaking’ last year was when Dani crashed.

    Hopefully the ridiculous fuel limits, the TC, and the bridgestones as they are now are phased out. Sadly, F1 has become much more exciting than MotoGP (and yes they banned TC).

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  • Trent

    Bruce and p, I’m also heading there tomorrow. Hopefully it will be better this year. The last race was good, but we’ve had a few terrible years since 2006 when I first went to Laguna.

  • mxs

    Yeah, lets give everyone 1985 machine so they can wheelie every spot of the track. That would be really great.

  • majortom

    Well, as a person who went to Laguna Seca back in the late 70’s, KR used to pull the front end for show. Not so much in the corkscrew, which he did to turn the bike from left to right, but after the hairpin turn before going past the grandstands and back up the hill. KR would pull the front end up, touch the front brake so that the front wheel would stop turning, and drop the bike down, causing a small but visible puff of white smoke. First time the crowd saw that they went crazy. He would do this for a few laps, get the reaction he wanted and get serious and win the race. True showman and great racer.

  • Tom

    Like the dual clutch gear box, these aids diminish the need for rider skill and instead become more more of who can hang on the best.

  • Randy Cobb

    This is great footage of the old track before the infield was put in. And, realize that in 85, KR had been retired for a year and he came out of retirement to do this one race. He hadn’t been on a bike in a year!