ex-Marty Moates, replica of the motocross bike that made USGP history
1980 Yamaha YZ465
Chassis no. 3R5-0003841
Marty Moates will always have a place in the history of American motorcycle racing. In 1980 it was Moates, then a relatively unknown 23-year-old San Diego motocrosser on a privateer Yamaha, who gave American fans something big to cheer about when he took a surprise victory at the U.S. Grand Prix of Motocross in Carlsbad, California. It was the first win by an American in 10 years of USGP competition at Carlsbad, and came against a field of international riders on full factory-supported race bikes. As friend and fellow racer David Bailey said of the win after Moates' untimely passing in 2006, "He shocked everyone that day, except the ones who knew him best."
Motocross to that point had been a sport dominated by the Europeans, but Moates considered Carlsbad his home track and knew every inch of its hard, sun-baked surface. Even a fall in moto one couldn't stop him from proudly standing atop the victory podium at day's end, national anthem playing as 30,000 cheering spectators looked on.
Moates' win served as notice that the U.S. was a coming force in international motocross. Within two years, both Brad Lackey and Danny LaPorte would be world champions, and Team USA would become dominant in Motocross des Nations competition. The significance of Moates' shock 1980 USGP victory has been chronicled in a just-released video documentary, "One Day of Magic."
The Yamaha YZ465 on auction here is a faithful replica of Moates' LOP-sponsored USGP race bike, and was one of his prized possessions. Included in the sale is the actual Carlsbad starting gate from which Moates launched himself into history. Offered on a Bill of Sale.
- The frame number listed in the catalog is incorrect. The correct frame number is 3R5-003841. The engine number matches the frame number.