Step back into the earliest years of World Motocross Championship history and you’ll find the premiere 500cc class title was not won by Japanese brands such as Honda or Yamaha, nor even by more popular British makes such as Triumph and BSA. Instead brands such as AJS and Matchless (England) FN (Belgium), Monark and Husqvarna (Sweden). In 1961, Lito won the FIM 500cc Motocross World Championship when 1959 500cc World Champion Sten Lundin of Sweden scored his second World Championship title.

However, history is always full of bizarre twists and turns, and that’s the case here, as the Lito 500 really wasn’t its own original design. It is based heavily on the Monark on which Lundin won his first World Championship. No matter. The booming Albin-manufactured 500cc four-stroke engine pumped out a rock-splitting 45 hp, plenty of power to allow the “The Viking,” as Lundin was called, to join fellow Swede Bill Nilsson as a two-time 500cc World Champion.

As rare motocross machines go, this one is a true Holy Grail machine. Estimates are that only 30 examples ever left the “Litoverken” in Sweden before the company closed in 1963. Your only chance to see one might be at Tom White’s Early Years of Motocross Museum in Southern California.

  • James Stewart

    Wow… just wow. Had not heard about the Tom White diagnosis – that’s a damn shame – but it sounds like he’s going out the right way… WFO !!!

    Thanks guys. I hope Editor in Chief Street Squid Duke didn’t get too bored with all those DIRT BIKES!

    • Kevin Duke

      Hey, not fair, I rode dirt for 10 years before I got my first streetbike!

      • James Stewart

        Then stop wheelieing all those KTM Dukes around – and go test a 450 SX-F at Glen Helen. Be sure to post video of your triple jumps or your X-rays from the San Bernadino ER if you case it. 🙂 At least it will make a better story than hitting a pebble on your roller blades…