In 1974 two Rokons were sent by the factory to the ISDT in Italy.(Dave
Mungenast and myself) The U.S.
Six-Days team traveled to the event mostly on one flight, organized by one of the Penton family as part of a
"Six-Days Tour". We were sitting in the seats of the Jet Airliner, at night, listening to the jet engines
warming up outside, when Al Eames approached me and bent over and said something to the effect: "Jim,
there's a little problem, they cannot fit two bikes in the cargo area of the Airplane, the two Rokons, and we
have to take off soon." Instant panic and perspiration of course, we had to really hurry. As any Enduro rider
would have to do, I had to think fast, very fast. I got permission to go down to the pavement below the
Jetliner, where the Airline Loading staff apologized for the problem, but that they would be sure to "send
them along in a subsequent flight". No way, pal, they're coming with us. There was a volunteer Rokon
support rider with us on the flight ( I apologize for not remembering his name after 25 years, but he was a
nice guy, very helpful). We fortunately had packed our riding tools in the leather bag on the rear fender, and
they were all there. We very quickly removed the wheels, handlebars, fork tubes, handlebars, and jammed
everything in the limited space left in the plane. The front fenders were sticking out and they couldn't close
the door of the plane. Preston Petty Fenders of course are guaranteed unbreakable, but Al Eames stepped up
and with one kick downward snapped the fronts of the fenders clear off: "Now they fit, let's fly to the
Six-Days." By the time I got back in my seat, I had all pockets bulging with nuts, bolts and tools, and I
was soaking wet from the effort.
The second story is at the end of the Six-Days in Italy (7 flat or changed tires and a Silver Medal). We had
to clean our bikes and then disassemble them for the trip back to the USA. I was at the hotel, had taken the
whole front of the bike apart, and the bike was sitting on a milk crate with the rear wheel on the ground.
The handlebars were off, the gas tank was emptied, and the throttle and cable were curled up in a compact
circle and taped to the triple clamps. I just realized that there was still gas in the carb float bowl and if the
bike were on it's side on the trip home, it would end up leaking out. So I got the bright idea to just start
the bike, let it idle until the gas was burned up. I pulled the cord, and the bike instantly did a wheelie,
knocked aside the milk crate and headed down the sidewalk directly down a concrete stairwell, down the steps
until it lay on the bottom of the steps on a landing, burning up the rest of the fuel. What an idiot, the
compact throttle cable in a circle with throttle attached had pulled up the throttle slide, raising the engine to
higher than torque convertor engagement speed, and off she went. No, it didn't hurt the Rokon. If only we
had someone there with a quick camera.
Here's a story for your Rokon Page:
I was director of the Tallahassee National Enduro in October of 1976. I was keen during my enduro racing days to keep the bikes and the riders environmentally conscious to forstay land closure in the south and elsewhere. Consequently, I ordered strict enforcement of a decibel level for all bikes which would compete in the '76 national, and clearly announced my intention to do so on the race flyer.
I had seen decibel checks at other enduros half-assed enforced. The rider would 'rev' up his engine a few hundred rpm, and the bike would pass. However, at our enduro, I instructed the volunteer who administered the decibel check to wick on the throttle himself, not to let the rider do it, so as to see whether the bike was properly muffled.
Since this is a Rokon story, you can probably predict what happened next. You could, that is, if I had told you about lake Talquin, adjacent to which tech inspection was held.
Sure enough, a fellow rides up on a 340--which was a fairly quiet bike. The rider relaxes astride the seat with his hands on his hips. My volunteer approaches from behind the rider, turns on the decibel meter, and reaches around the rider and gives the throttle a good blip. Within seconds, the rider is off the back, and the bike is axle deep in the aquatic vegetation at waters edge. The rider isn't happy and the volunteer is stunned.
However, the rider was a good sport, and made the starting line the next morning with no problem. The volunteer gained a bit of insight into centrigugal clutches and varible diameter pulleys.
raced my rokon for 3 years in the sportsman 500 ahrma. always hole shot. hold on the front brake, open the gas and let the back wheel smoke, sit on the gas cap, let loose of the brake when the gate drops. usualy i would lead for a lap or two however i get tired quick. best finish was 1st at the ahrma steve mcqueen national in eugene oregon. lots of regional first in nor-cal ahrma and west regionals. the disk brakes allow you to stay on the gas longer into a tight switch back corner wile others are brakeing and downshifting. comming out of the corner just point and shoot.
oh yea not to forget the story of the gost ride. Once at sand hill ahrma national with the whole team shiftless i thought it trick to rotate the starter pull 45% forward like the factory mx was. well wile starting it on a center stand pulling from the front wheel the bike started, tiped back, as it tiped back my hand opened the gas more, the rear tyre contacted the ground, bike lurched forward, gas was opened more in the lurch, bike took off, i held on by the gas which opened it wide open now, i was ran over and laying on the ground, bike was gost ridded approx 30 feet until it crashed into the t-shirt sellers motorhome. bike went under the motorhome on the gas side and was spinning dougnuts at full throttle, no one would go in to shut it off, it was like a chain saw gone wild. finaly it flooded out. no damage to the bike but it tore up the motorhome. When i finaly got to the starting line one of the shiftless team members bikes was loose and spinning dougnuts on the concrete starting pad. well the line of 28 other riders were now all scared of us and allowed us all the room we possibliy want.
wes baker 707-553-2424
My dad and I had a 1973 RT340 ISDT bike. It was used by the Fort Hood Dirt Riders as a Six Days bike at the American International Six Day Trial held in western Massachusetts in September or October of 1973. It ended up in the posession of a parts man at a local dealer in Keene. My dad had bought an old 1967 Ducati Diana 250cc single that was in pieces. The parts guy wanted the Diana for a roadracer platform, and Dad had need of a larger dirt bike than his Hodaka 100 B+. I was 14 or 15 at the time and we rode together. Dad got the 340, still marked with engine seals, and various specialty parts including the snowflake mag wheels, leather toolbag, etc. He got rid of the bike in the mid 80's to a kid who bought his old pickup truck with the Rokon as Dad had lost interest.
Bob Thompson email@example.com