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The Lost Decade: Part II Hello again.

Sorry about the delay after leaving you, the reading public, on a bit of a cliffhanger at the end of part I, but a bit of tragedy descended upon my household a couple of days after submitting it, and I got sidetracked. And I mean sidetracked. Well, all is now well again, the dead have been mourned and buried, the in-laws have been thoroughly insulted, my wife finally returned home, Ive yet again wondered how it is that family often puts you together with people youd normally be pointing and laughing at during an episode of Worlds Dumbest Criminals, and I finally found time to wash all of my work shirts. Oh yeah, I also found ten extra minutes to make fun of, I mean have a meaningful discussion about fourstroke owners again. Now we return to the thrilling days of yesteryear, and I believe it was the race at Las Vegas during the 1997 season, where a factory works Yamaha YMZ400 (or something like that, anyway, details are kind of fuzzy) somehow managed to win a Supercross race. Im hearing some rumors that everyone else riding a two-stroke during that event crashed during the main, and/or passed out from oxygen deprivation due to uncontrollable laughter, which allowed the Yamaha to sail to an easy win.but somehow, I think its just a bit more complicated. Historians like to be able to point to a specific time when great societies began their downward spiral; Rome, Id like to think that it was when the Roman empire transcended from Republic to Empire, and possibly when it became divided between two capitals (Rome and Constantinople); Greece began its fall when the populace figured out it could loot the treasury for its own personal gain; The Beatles began their descent into Hell when Yoko showed up. This win by a four-stroke was the beginning of the end for two-stroke motocross bikes, and coupled with socialist, environmental idiots laying siege to motorcycle manufacturers worldwide, was part of a farlarger trend moving us, the two-stroke-bike-enjoying public, away from the simplistic joys offered by the two-cycle engine. Enter the YZ400. This bike was, entirely, the solution to the engineering problem absolutely nobody was seeking a solution to: how to make a motocross-style bike heavier, more expensive to purchase initially AND more costly to maintain, less reliable, stupidly more complex, oh yeah, dont let me forget, how to make it slower. Query: How does one torture a mechanical engineer? Answer: Tie him up in a chair, and fold a road map incorrectly in front of him.

While I dont have the inside scoop as to how the YMZ400 was developed, the fact of the matter is that engineers were the blood and guts of the operation. Why do I bring up this group of people, and begin with a joke? Engineers were once tasked with making a brick fly, and go into combat flight operations. They succeeded, and thus the old, famous McDonnell-Douglas F4 Phantom was born, proof that you could indeed shove a giant engine (in the case of the F4 Phantom, two engines) into almost anything, and make it go Mach 2. The problem with this plane, however, in speaking to several pilots who actually flew this aircraft.is that while it went in a straight line amazingly well, however, the moment you had to turn against a Mig....for more details about how this scenario worked out during actual combat situations, please visit my website: www.nevergonnahappen.com In other words, engineers routinely make engineering Hail Mary passes, and somehow make them stick, kind of like Brett Favre hurling a long-bomb nude photo of himself to.oh wait, this is a family site.make that pinning the gas in a corner, and hoping that the tires somehow dont wash out from under you.and hopefully, you win. This is essentially what happened when the YMZ400 was unleashed on Supercross tracks; on paper, its a horrific turd, but somehow or another, they made it good enough to win a race or three, even though it was a gutless wonder down low in the rpm range, more so than the 250cc bikes that represented the competition, and had to be revved to some ungodly redline to make any power. Basically, left to their own devices, and this comes from decades of experience working on motorcycles, cars, trucks, ATVs, three-wheelers, and God can only remember what else.the term over-engineered comes to mind repeatedly in that youd swear that these idiots never actually had to repair the garbage that they designed, or hundreds of vehicles would be a hell of a lot easier to work on; they would overengineer a piece of paper if they thought it presented enough of a challenge to them. And with the creation of, and marketing thereafter of the modern-era Four-Stroke motocross/woods bike, springs into being the Lost Decade, which pinpoints the beginning of the fall of the modern Big Four (how ironic, huh? Four-strokes, The Big Four) Japanese motorcycle manufacturers. Before I go any further, on a side note; I noticed a comment or two about me getting to the point of what Im trying to say here, all I can suggest is to be patient, Im getting there, and if youre worried that Im merely preaching to the choir here, repeating old information, while I might be parroting some old info, the issue here is that there are those reading this who ignored Yoda and went down the Dark 4Stroke Path of the Force, and Im proselytizing to that group, attempting to gently herd them back into Gods Chosen 2-cycle flock. Im also letting them know that God does indeed forgive the sins of wayward souls, even though buying a four-stroke motocrosser is considered more evil than committing GenevaConvention violations, owning a Toyota, voting Democrat.or even worse, watching Dancing with the Stars.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch. Whether it was deliberate, or by accident.the big Four discovered something both interesting, and possibly world-changing about the new, larger-displacement-but-less-powerful four-cycle machines they were developing for the unsuspecting bike-riding public. And with that bombshell, I move onto part III.to be continued.