Throwback Thursday: Team Honda Motocross 1978

Larry Lawrence | February 6, 2020

Throwback Thursday: Team Honda Motocross 1978

In this week’s Throwback we look 42 years and the big Team Honda PR photo of 1978. In the big picture it turned out not to be the greatest season for Big Red. Yamaha won all the major titles that season – AMA Supercross, and all three AMA Motocross classes, but Team Honda ’78 enjoyed some major highlights nevertheless.

Unfortunately, this photo does not completely document the squad that year. Marty Tripes signed on after the first race of the year along with his mechanic Greg Kudlick. Terry Mulligan was Team Manager and Merle Anderson was Assistant Team Manager. Cliff White was Steve Wise’s mechanic. Jon Rosenstiel was Warren Reid’s mechanic and also his stepfather. Dave Arnold was Marty Smith’s mechanic and several years later the Team Manager. Arnie Beaman was Jim Pomeroy’s mechanic. George Ellis was Jimmy Ellis’ mechanic and father. Allan Hahn was Tommy Croft’s mechanic.

The highlight of the year was when Honda came in first, second and third at the Daytona Supercross race with Tripes first, Smith second and Ellis third because these three were able to pull off a triple jump that none of the other racers would try. Ellis did it first on the last lap of his heat race and the crowd went wild. Tripes and Smith decided if Ellis’ bike had the power to do it, theirs should too. The rest is history.

Steve Whitelock, Ron Murakami, Bill Buchka supported Brad Lackey who raced in Europe in 1978.

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