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1980 Mongoose Motomag

1980 Mongoose Motomag

My childhood bike..

My Grammy bought me this bike for my 11th birthday, January 1980, at Al's Bike Shop in Joliet, IL. we had gone in that day to buy upgraded parts for a cheap bike I had purchased at a police auction. The total for parts was nearly as much as a new bike, so she let me pick this out instead. Gram always rocked! I think we paid 210.00 for this, I know it was right around there.. Anyway, I was so stoked! I remember going for a ride in the snow that very day, and how it still had that awesome new-bike smell even in the cold and wet. 

I rode the wheels off this thing; ramps, trail riding, countless crashes and wipe-outs, and I can't even say how many lakes I jumped it into, including off of 20'+ cliffs down at the Brandon Road Quarry.. I even took it with me when I was a summer camp lifeguard/counselor after high school. It then sat in Gram's basement for 20-odd years until early 2010, when I finally brought it home to clean it up and refurbish it. I club race motorcycles with CCS, and I wanted to use it as my pit bike for a few reasons. Most tracks now charge a nominal fee for motorized pit bikes, so I figured I'd save a few bucks, while getting free exercise, and cruising around on an awesome old ride to boot. Mission accomplished: I've lost 20+ lbs (I now ride my bikes all over town, too), and people love this bike, more so than any of my others. I think Mongooses were so popular everyone still recognizes them; I guess mainstream isn't so bad after all, huh? Anyway,it was in fairly good shape after all those years - Gram taught me, among other things, the importance of running a good dehumidifier in the basement. I polished the nickel up by hand with a bit of Mothers and more than a few Newcastles, and the rest cleaned up just as easily.

Parts original to the bike are:
frame (CI 0 serial)
Tuff 2s
Ashtab cranks (165s)
Mongoose stamped headset and bottom bracket
1020 Dia Compe caliper (dated 7/79)

Original upgrade parts purchased with money earned mowing (many) lawns:
Race Inc. bars (original decal)
Tech3 DC lever (hated the prebent)
DC hinged seatclamp
Viscount Aero
Tioga/Takagi stamped spider and chainwheel
DID nickel chain
SR double bump stem (traded Kevin Graham a generic double clamp for this..)

I still also have the (bent) red anno seat post, cable, HTI pedals, and snakebellys from the bike - check out those tires; think I got my moneys worth from those? The red/white B1B's didn't survive the years; they were mush, and besides, I had taken the trashed sleeves off decades ago. I bought the repop A'mes in Petaluma, CA, while on vacation, so I thought that was cool. Also, the current seat post is actually a replacement clip-on bar for the race bikes, which I thought was fitting as well. The decals are repop, and I know they aren't correct for the year, but I had of course taken off the original decals BITD, (I hated the Motomag sticker; a buddy got a Supergoose soon after I got this. His dad was a doctor, and he was pretty much a dbag about his bike being better than mine..) and I like how the "gold" set plays off the gold anno components. I put the Odyssey Aitkins on as they are the closest (modern) tire I found to approximate the old snakebellys; moreover, they can run up to 100 psi, which really lets me fly around town (I have Odysseys on all my bikes now.) The ride is pretty awesome and tight, if a little heavy and cramped (even for me, a full grown midget at 5'6" and 150#..)

Like I said, people go ape over this bike, more so than any of my others. The guys at the track flipped out when I brought it there, and many of them now ride their old bmx bikes around the pits now too. I'm so happy to own this awesome piece of my childhood. I think of Gram every time I even look at it; she really was the best ever, and we were always really close - everyone knew I was her favorite, no lie. She passed away just last spring, at 96 (!!) - she was just as tough as this old Goose.

Class acts, the both of them.

Submitted by farmboy

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