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 Stone Mountain Enduro March 13, 1966
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Rick Bennett
Advanced Member

USA
279 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2020 :  10:23:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have wondered why JP picked the NSU and BMW as his early rides when others were riding Honda Scramblers with good success. I would have thought this would be a logical choice since he was a Honda dealer and the CL72 Scrambler came out in 1962. At the York swap meet I picked up a few American Motorcycling magazines published by the AMA. In the May 1966 issue it lists him as winning the Stone Mountain Enduro with 998 points on a Honda 160. By May 29 he was riding a Husky in the Little Burr. The Honda must have been on his mind as a racer at some point. Was the BMW just broken or was he done with this machine and looking for a replacement? This also gives the time frame on when the Husky arrived in his life, two years before the Penton Sportcycle project. Just goes to show, the rider is 90 percent of the equation. He won on everything he rode.

Pat Oshaughnessy
Advanced Member

211 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2020 :  1:48:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
No question the Husky was way better than the Honda at that time. I dont Know about the 90 percent thing. In my own experiance it would be more like 80/20 or even 70/30. I never won until I got my 1973 Penton
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Richard Colahan
Advanced Member

USA
234 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2020 :  9:14:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a framed (and signed) copy of a photo of JP standing next to his home with his 1967 Jack Pine winning Husky and the huge Jack Pine trophy and cow-bell. Installed on the Husky...is a Honda Scrambler 305 fuel tank! A bit of extra capacity no doubt for the long mileages at the Jack Pine.

Richard Colahan
1969 V1225
Upper Black Eddy PA
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Pat Oshaughnessy
Advanced Member

211 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2020 :  12:02:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
How neat is that? He took the best off road bike he could find & made it better! I bet thats not the only thing he did to make it better. From this trial & error work he went on to give the rest of us a really great off road competition motorcycle! Thank You John Penton!
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Kevin Grimes
Advanced Member

USA
150 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2020 :  12:38:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The year for the Husky Jack Pine win was 1966. If you look closely at the picture, you will also notice the front fender in addition to the tank is from a Honda 305 Scrambler.
At the end of the first day of the two day race the rear mounting tab broke off the tank. Mr. Penton borrowed a gas torch and welded the tab back on the tank without blowing himself up. The exact details of how he did it seem to be clouded but such are the stories of folklore.
Mr. Penton received his first Husky in April 1966, it was a 250. Just prior to the 66 Jack Pine race Husqvarna sent him a 360 motor which he installed on the bike and won the overall. Prior to August of 1966 Husqvarna did not have a 360. Total 360 motorcycle production for that year was 50 with 10 imported to the U.S. Mr. Penton received one of the small run of extra motors for his bike.
Probably to much Husqvarna trivia but I'm board like everyone else.
Kevin
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Pat Oshaughnessy
Advanced Member

211 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2020 :  4:22:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you for the great info. Kevin . I for one find it very good & would like to know more. I remember the 8 speed Huskys. They were the big thing for a long time.
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Mike Schulz
Advanced Member

USA
92 Posts

Posted - 03/25/2020 :  12:14:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi All,
According to Gunnar Lindstrom's book "Husqvarna Success" (page 49) a 250 cc off road Husky arrived through Cardinal Motorcycles in New York in 1963 ( the only 1 of 100 made that year which made it to the USA in 1963 ) and was found in the back of Mr Penton's shop 35 years later - in original condition! ??? I wonder when it got to his shop { I would guess that it was after 1966) ? The book has some sections about the 8 speed Huskies and covers Husqvarna's history from 1953-2007. Always interested in Husqvarna's, and when they intersect with Mr Penton, that makes it even more interesting!
Mike Schulz
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Pat Oshaughnessy
Advanced Member

211 Posts

Posted - 03/25/2020 :  4:27:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Several of my riding pals had Huskies. They loved them & won many races . I myself didnt like the way they handeled. The front end felt to light to me. My Pentons both the 1973 125 & the 1974 250 felt perfect & only wheelied when I wanted to ! Am I the only one had this experience?
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Tom Penton
Advanced Member

USA
83 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2020 :  01:45:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit Tom Penton's Homepage  Reply with Quote
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/9WBCcf8iqaHb6asj7FdtnSJivPk6pjJLu_mNTQFr8iFuKcq0DORyBCuTJN3rYxxhmGA6r6qtRVb3u2DXT8BE2jCGbA6ZL_jjSEO7RIv1AUK3cCUmGIruk5k0ToKkltMzIr2ekwaJHBtvP4-7qWwITIgnSwtv50vX7gnKqZtSaS8IU4LUx8MrwJtdnX3tA9La4goV3WU_WLUKxIGc1QAPFUMBp-VGrpXCg8bRVb1AfPAHJiSHcT16le4IvXrZ-6w4PQWuMXgVAJ1gcMaAF3s9-M163Ce_Xq-w42lppV6WbjpgAEZ5hCTliAt0IUkxZ22aKm_8CQs3BlHp32UeFshJLlxxkxoXcLygmJiO5TMod8_MJyCImNz_1AIs1f625iwLBOEwfaszPnpVdsQwqOdK3wGyJ1X-OnI9VmWRBWpzeO-eRLzr8KBWwWx1lP9FvL-9Xo7BCQPIcQYxa5QVZbxrSoiJaGtqyvXnchYygAzNsuArvMxlOMmuD5N0nr9NO0PphMFIhuS8t6uZdBcblxR7jU34qWBIlk-8i9kViUTlbZkSSjMi1ALzJ-sV0wtDPUDEsgZh9TZMwLqOpK0lubpopuWdPvbHlZVnuMUwRqjd2gq8aE1wqVk3iy_gUxr2bGyuWplcA6i--zOehnt4T67rRWheWZYlxN6W0MaBqXfLvwIt5t6R3Zwr5Tter2NF=w678-h680-no

Tom Penton
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Tom Penton
Advanced Member

USA
83 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2020 :  01:46:14 AM  Show Profile  Visit Tom Penton's Homepage  Reply with Quote
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/ARajpP1vvmUNZbpIbwN9oIVyeII0HylMkExRBwUFlPrVEHI8Rkt4iv7jocNLTo55ZSYZYfsbsxs350A6hFUc-BLE9rzS5o1qVk-b1Wm-qr79ZEGnuB0yE2TuueBMuFqvEPaMPq9bwXMByPOrlyWeTewcwOyr5F-x1XFaK3L5u4yoPQPo3F-OnDlPx61l8tT6Y6-X39fJkpoULJJfU6-V0pI2JFxwa-ReIwnDozVpy2PYaiP5d-Qo-kyP8ESsz6XiRS2KDuieMXY1kNUi9geNHewAJhO8VDbV9DSj5pzs_YiJJcFySu6sNKWYHmzdGhE5weg5BqZoveKBHivliCcdar3rv7LJgkZ7ylc4FBr4v9SLjygMoeuDdhYxByIV9pJdY_BHydT5WNOzWif-0BnpsLiHK0iL4dOZG4Ml9zXeGxvyVtiE2tKvemDBCyXjvWMh3hkwqmuu3u_Oc_uV12ppJ_6M3fsRbEWUew1D6j4LNmGnHJkXXrtxX57UZDftbwE5Wo7uHpTnv2Cp8VN2WANtyKDjXMjpvXCG9pmJmRBDEdpqwPbo1TSKPPMR4h4yHvgCQqrA_7CjYx5vYPOe0LadQxM8nSEj3iKUYwVTVwIoMfHs_pFvYOSE-dZSuG9mGMdwCZMyWvc5ttFYXgclqigQ6NQtNv2SnxY0XBOqTVEqKH7wFd3Mgc3iCvWZkTuM=w679-h660-no

Tom Penton
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Tom Penton
Advanced Member

USA
83 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2020 :  02:41:05 AM  Show Profile  Visit Tom Penton's Homepage  Reply with Quote
A couple pictures in posts above. Long links to Google photos, I don't know if there is a better way to do it.

1. Picture of the Husky with the Honda Tank. Of more interest to me is our family Ford Country Sedan behind. Mom (Donna) is in shotgun. I think it might be me in the seat behind, although it looks a bit like Dane, but he didn't come on any of our early John Penton annual Jackpine "family Vacations" that I can remember. If this was 1966 as Kip says, it may have been my first Jackpine ride. I turned 16 in May that year and immediately got my drivers license and had ridden a couple Enduros by Jackpine time. My memory is of riding a Sachs Boondocker 73cc in a Jackpine and winning the class (125cc?) But it might have been 1967 instead.

2. Picture of the 160 Honda Dad built up but only rode in one or two events.

Tom Penton
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Tom Penton
Advanced Member

USA
83 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2020 :  02:50:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit Tom Penton's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Dad rode the NSU in the 1950's, well before any Honda attempt at a larger "off-road bike". He developed the BMW also, I believe, before the Honda Scrambler came out. He did continue to ride the BMW, though, even after the Honda had arrived at the shop. I was a young teenager at the time, and remember discussion about dad riding the Honda Scrambler. We kids would laugh and say it was the opposite of the future: light weight singles that we saw coming. Dad rolled his eyes and said too much work to make it work, if it could be work for him as a woods bike at all. It seemed it was not much more than a Superhawk with high pipes, skidplate, and semi-knobby tires. Wrong power delivery (not "torquey"), bad geometry and weight distribution, horrible suspension, poor gearing. The list went on.

I had the opportunity last year to ride with Eric Jensen in his van from Eugene, Oregon to the Trailblazer's banquet in SoCal. We picked up Neil Fergus (who 2 years previous had been inducted into the Trailblazer's Hall of Fame, as dad was to be that year.) Neil told us about riding the desert races on a Honda scrambler. Here is a link to an article about him:

http://thebannerisup.district37ama.org/alumni/nfergus-bio.htm

here is an excerpt from the article:
" ... he carried the #2 plate through out the 1964 season.
It was during this season that he set a record: He was the first person in AMA district 37
history to win "High Point Man of the Year" on a 250cc bike. This time he didnít have any
DNFís and earned the #1 plate. By doing so, he became the first person in America- possibly
in the world- to earn a #1 plate in organized off road competition on a Honda."

In the article it goes into detail on all the work Neil did to make the Honda Scrambler competative. Dad sure would have had his work cut out for him, and it wouldn't then have been nearly as good as the Husky that came along shortly after.

Dad did, however, get "roped" into building up a Honda woods bike. As a dealer, dad was getting pressure from Honda to "ride what he sold", assuming he should ride the Scrambler. Dad reluctantly then choose to build up a Honda 160 instead, the idea being that the smaller lighter weight would be better suited for eastern woods. It didn't really work that well, and what with him getting a Husky about then, he kindly told Honda where to stick it...

Tom Penton
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Richard Colahan
Advanced Member

USA
234 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2020 :  2:53:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looking at the Lansing m/c Jack Pine Champs web page...they do list JP as the 1966 winner but on his BMW...perhaps that's just an error. They do not list a winner for 1967. Not unusual for enduros to miss a year now and then due to circumstances...fire hazard...that sort of thing. I'll change the "info" note on my framed photo to 1966. Thanks for the great background info! And thanks Tom for the 2 great photos!
http://www.lansingmotorcycleclub.org/pastchampions.html
quote:
Originally posted by Kevin Grimes

The year for the Husky Jack Pine win was 1966. If you look closely at the picture, you will also notice the front fender in addition to the tank is from a Honda 305 Scrambler.
At the end of the first day of the two day race the rear mounting tab broke off the tank. Mr. Penton borrowed a gas torch and welded the tab back on the tank without blowing himself up. The exact details of how he did it seem to be clouded but such are the stories of folklore.
Mr. Penton received his first Husky in April 1966, it was a 250. Just prior to the 66 Jack Pine race Husqvarna sent him a 360 motor which he installed on the bike and won the overall. Prior to August of 1966 Husqvarna did not have a 360. Total 360 motorcycle production for that year was 50 with 10 imported to the U.S. Mr. Penton received one of the small run of extra motors for his bike.
Probably to much Husqvarna trivia but I'm board like everyone else.
Kevin



Richard Colahan
1969 V1225
Upper Black Eddy PA
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Kevin Grimes
Advanced Member

USA
150 Posts

Posted - 04/28/2020 :  10:01:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I contacted the Lansing Motorcycle Club several years ago about the error in listing the wrong bike...they didn't really care to correct it for some reason.
Kevin
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