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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In 1974 the Spanish motorcycle company Ossa was going strong, and responded to the 1973 CR250M Honda Elsinore threat with a winner of its own, the 198 lb. 250 Phantom.

The Phantom could out turn the mighty Elsinore, and had it on top, as the Honda was a mid-range puncher, that ran out of beans at high revs.




The Ossa put out 33 hp at 5500 rpm, and via its super light weight and excellent frame geometry, could change lines with just a thought. This made the Ossa a force to be reckoned with. And for $1,350.00 out the door, it put the Ossa within sight of the Elsinore's $1,100.00 price range.


It was a reliable bike too, having ditched the complicated IRZ carb for a modern Bing, and a good Motoplat ignition system. It was a looker as well, the blue fiberglass tank was flawless, the gas cap didn't leak (!?) and the black sinuous low pipe gave it a sinister look.


It wasn't perfect, however, as the miserable Spanish Pirellis and spring-loaded trapdoor silencer were the first things to get axed. The frame was chrome molly, with an aluminum swingarm, every bolt was hardened, and every nut was a nylock. Attention to detail made the Ossa a finely built piece of equipment.




But In just 5 more years, Ossa would be kaput, having been put out of business by a labor strike, and the Japanese. Hard to believe.

There are still lots of Phantoms out there in vintage land, and most of the time in front of the pack at vintage MX races. A good copy will put you back about four grand.
 

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Aging Cafe` Racer
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The Spanish put out some excellent dirty bikes to be sure, it's a crying shame to have lost them from the market.
 

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I loved that bike back then. The Phantom and the '73 Pioneer really stole my attention.

As a side question, I never made it to the "Art of the Motorcycle" exhibit. Can anyone tell me how many dirt bikes were there? If a Phantom wasn't present, there is something seriously wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think there was a Triumph Metise and a Bultaco. Also an ESO (Czech bike).
 
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