Since its launch in 2013 the Dirt Track Riders Association has doubled in size and added new classes. The Vintage class began with fewer than 12 pre-1975 bikes, and mixed both two-strokes and four-strokes until it grew to the point it where it regularly has over 30 entrants in two championships, two-stroke and four-stroke.
The rules for the DTRA's class differ to most American vintage classes, in an effort to make sure it wasn't flooded with bikes from the Thunderbike category (which are mainly four-stroke single framers and modified four-stroke single road bikes), but it meant a few bikes, older, smaller cc bikes with overhead cams, would be outgunned in Thunderbikes, but not eligible for vintage, despite being a similar or lesser performance. For the 2022 season, the DTRA is doing something about that by introducing an Evo class. We interviewed DTRA founder, Anthony Brown, about the new class.
SB: Firstly, please give us an outline of the DTRA Sideburn Magazine Vintage Evo class.
AB: We are introducing the Evo class to try and represent an era of bikes that currently fall through the cracks of the current DTRA class system. This is a class for purpose-built pre-85 flat track motorcycles and other converted pre-85 motorcycles. Bike will need to run 19in wheels with flat track tyres. The class will not be open to bikes that are eligible for our standard pre-75 classes. We want to give riders and builders a chance to run and create bikes that we don't have an existing class for in the DTRA. If we get enough bikes we may split into two- and four-stroke EVO classes.
Rotax-powered four-stroke motorcycles will not be eligible and should continue to ride in the Sportax Thunderbike class. I hope our riders get in the spirit and come up with some exciting bikes that we can showcase through our race series. I am confident it will happen as the existing vintage class has continued to thrive.
What are the defining aspects of the Evo class that differ to the current classes?
The Evo class is designed to allow vintage bikes of a similar era to ride together, in the same way our current pre-75 vintage classes work. For example we have seen some SR500 and XS650s running in the Thunderbike class which is great but we figured it would be nice to have a class where these bikes could race against each other without the LC4 and Rotax-powered bikes.
What kind of bikes can you see entering?
I would love to see some people building some two-stroke framers for the class, but also the XS Yamahas and maybe that nice Honda XR500 (below) you were riding early this year (that bike is for sale - Knight Honda XR500).
Are any current bikes going to move out of the Vintage (or Thunders) class into it?
We have been strict with the vintage class rules so I doubt many will move from Vintage (but if you had an old bike that perhaps was not eligible due to a technicality it may fit in the Evo class). Some of the existing Thunderbikes and twins could run in this class for sure.
Will all three vintage classes (pre-75 four-stroke, pre-75 two-stroke and Evo) race together?
Sometimes is the short answer. In the heats it could happen, but not in finals. I hope that we get enough entries so we can keep them all separate but like everything with the DTRA we will make it fit depending on the entries.
If you had to build a bike to win the Evo class, what would you build?
A hot SR/XT 500, like Jon Bell's (above, featured in SB40), or a YZ125 powered two-stroke perhaps. How about a Yamaha XV750 or a Honda RS750? It's an endless list of fun times!
Well if we could get 6-8 bikes we would love to run a brakeless class...
Find out more about the series at the Dirt Track Riders Association
Photos: Sideburn/ DTRA/ Braking Point/ Paul France/ Tom Bing