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Suzuki RG680 & fil2.8's TZ350


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#1 Mick Robinson

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 18:01

Hi Guys, some shots of an ex Virginio Ferrari RG680 and fil2.8 TZ350

http://www.msrphotog...o_page_513.html
http://www.msrphotog...o_page_514.html
http://www.msrphotog...o_page_515.html

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#2 fil2.8

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 18:09

Hi Guys, some shots of an ex Virginio Ferrari RG680 and fil2.8 TZ350

http://www.msrphotog...o_page_513.html
http://www.msrphotog...o_page_514.html
http://www.msrphotog...o_page_515.html



Thank's , Mick , great work , feel a tad inferior compared to the RG 680 :eek: :love: :up: :wave:

#3 picblanc

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 19:21

Very nice! :up:

#4 GD66

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 20:55

Magic, once again Mick. :clap:

The difference Phil, is that your bike's out there on the track.
They're for riding, not hiding !  ;)

Edited by GD66, 27 August 2011 - 20:55.


#5 bobness

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 08:48

I probably should go and read my Team Suzuki book, but what's the quick history of the 653/680 Suzuki?
Was it just a factory overbored 500 specifically for F750 racing?
Up until just now I'd never seen one in Nava Olio colours, only really ever seen pics of seen Bazza on one that I can remember, but I assume a fair few works riders rode them in 78/79/80?
Did any ever make it to private hands?

It looks the business though, but the pipes aren't exactly stylish, are they?

The TZ looks a little beaut as well!

#6 Hasselhoff

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 09:45

but what's the quick history of the 653/680 Suzuki?

It's covered pretty well in the Team Suzuki book and there's a concise history here....... http://members.casem.../XR23 PAGE.html :)

#7 philippe7

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 09:55

It's covered pretty well in the Team Suzuki book and there's a concise history here....... http://members.casem.../XR23 PAGE.html :)


Pretty sure the first picture on that webpage is by our own Picblanc ....

#8 jaybee49

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 10:48

Pretty sure the first picture on that webpage is by our own Picblanc ....



Yes, I think the one of Barry is by Graham, Philippe. The one underneath of Wil Hartog is mine. They are also using part of one of mine of Randy Mamola. I dont mind these people using my stuff if they was ask or maybe credit. If they ever use anything owned by Getty Images or similar they will be taken to the cleaners.. Even after its been re-moved.. they continue with litigation I believe.

#9 fil2.8

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 11:49

Yes, I think the one of Barry is by Graham, Philippe. The one underneath of Wil Hartog is mine. They are also using part of one of mine of Randy Mamola. I dont mind these people using my stuff if they was ask or maybe credit. If they ever use anything owned by Getty Images or similar they will be taken to the cleaners.. Even after its been re-moved.. they continue with litigation I believe.



Well said , Jim :up: :clap: :wave:


#10 bobness

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 15:29

Thanks folks, I'll have a read later...!

#11 fil2.8

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 15:58

The TZ looks a little beaut as well!



Sorry , Rob , :blush: , thanks for your comment , it's slowly getting there :yawnface:  ;) :wave:


#12 picblanc

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 16:08

Indeed it is Philippe, & like Jim I wasnt asked either. :well:

#13 bella

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 16:54

I'm sure Ferrari won an early F750 round on one those 680s at paul ricard or imola in 79.


#14 GD66

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 21:02

Mugello.

#15 philippe7

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 23:45

Yes. Virginio also won the "Moto-Journal 200" at the Paul Ricard a few weeks later, but that race did not count for the F750 World championship that year.

I did a little searching on the forum since the topic had been discussed in the past and the consensus was that the original XR23 first appeared for the 1977 Transatlantic, and that the later XR23B ( with a different seat and the "hot seat" exhaust ) appeared early 79 . The page linked above indicates that the XR23B were in fact the original XR23's with the mentioned modifications, although in early 79 the press did mention brand new machines ( Gallina having even received his before the Texaco Heron squad, which had caused some sort of aggravation at the time...)

There are many indications that Sheene indeed had the rear exhausts "re-routed" from the original hot-seat setup on the XR23B that he raced with, that might well be the case . However, the XR23B that I saw in his living room back in 97 did have the hot-seat mounting, as is visible in the pic below ( and would have been more visible, save for this Damon Hill cardboard cut-out that Barry apparently considered as a very worthy piece of display ...)

Posted Image

Edited by philippe7, 30 August 2011 - 23:47.


#16 jaybee49

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 00:33

Would these be examples of the XR23B Model Philippe? Would they be the 640 or 680 versions?

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#17 Hasselhoff

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 02:04

Would they be the 640 or 680 versions?

They were all 652cc.

#18 philippe7

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 02:41

Steve Parrish was with Texaco Heron in 77 ( "orange" machines ) and back in 79 ("black" machines ) after a break from the factory team in 78, so yes, those pics should be from 1979 and hence the XR23B

And Hass is absolutely right, the machines were always 652cc , although in the press they were sometimes called "700" in 1977 or "680" in 1979 ..... And for what it's worth I perfectly remember Barry saying "my six-fifty" when talking about the machine in his lounge.

#19 jaybee49

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 02:44

They were all 652cc.


When I did a painting of Barry from one of my photographs, with the white plate, Rex White came into my stand at Mallory and advised me that it was 640cc. That is why I was a little surprised when I read that they were 680cc. :well:

Oh, I forgot to mention that it did not have the same pipes as in my shots above of Stavros, just the regular ones. Interesting stuff though. I must confess I did not take to much interest at the time in all the different models and the differences in them that is why I am quite ignorant about them now. What is the one that Barry used where the front number plate is almost flat?

Edited by jaybee49, 31 August 2011 - 03:13.


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#20 picblanc

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 08:15

Here is the "original" big motor 600/650/680 taken @ Trans Trophy 1977.
I must admit that bulbous seat & odd pipes in the later model were just pig ugly IMHO! :D

Posted Image
Photo Copyrighted to Graham Etheridge.

Edited by picblanc, 31 August 2011 - 08:15.


#21 philippe7

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 08:48

Graham, could you please also re-post the picture that was "borrowed" by the abovementionedwebsite , I believe it's also at Brand's and in '78 ( because on the outside is Parrish on a 750 TZ so it's his "gap" year between his two Heron stints...) and Barry is riding a machine with a different seat and re-painted in '78 "black" colours of course, but with the "normal" exhausts - which would make sense if it was the same machines as in 77, only slightly modified (seat and paintjob).... After that, all we would need from you is a picture of the XR23B with the fat exhausts, from '79 onwards....

#22 jaybee49

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 11:13

Which model RG is this that Barry is pictured on with a very flat fairing at the front - housing a cooler maybe?

Posted Image

#23 GD66

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 12:07

Very likely a cooler, Jim...but what the hell is Steve Baker doing on a Sid Griffiths TZ750 ? And why are they conversing at the Mallory hairpin ?

Edited by GD66, 31 August 2011 - 12:08.


#24 bella

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 12:58

79 Transatlantics, Baker was due to race that Sid Griffiths 750 all season but sadly smashed his leg early on and if i recall rightly never raced again .

#25 jaybee49

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 17:09

They were all 652cc.



I took the liberty of contacting Steve Parrish earlier today and asked him the question and just received this message back from him:

"Jim. I always thought it was a 680. We did sometimes have a 500 made into 502cc for the super bike race and run white plates.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device".

Getting interesting now.... :clap:



#26 picblanc

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 17:11

Graham, could you please also re-post the picture that was "borrowed" by the abovementionedwebsite , I believe it's also at Brand's and in '78 ( because on the outside is Parrish on a 750 TZ so it's his "gap" year between his two Heron stints...) and Barry is riding a machine with a different seat and re-painted in '78 "black" colours of course, but with the "normal" exhausts - which would make sense if it was the same machines as in 77, only slightly modified (seat and paintjob).... After that, all we would need from you is a picture of the XR23B with the fat exhausts, from '79 onwards....

Posted Image

Here is the 1978 Trans Trophy bike, I dont have a pic of the ugly bike so we will have to rely on Jim for more of that model.
Photo Copyrighted to Graham Etheridge.

#27 picblanc

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 17:12

I took the liberty of contacting Steve Parrish earlier today and asked him the question and just received this message back from him:

"Jim. I always thought it was a 680. We did sometimes have a 500 made into 502cc for the super bike race and run white plates.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device".

Getting interesting now.... :clap:


Nice one Jim. :up:

#28 jaybee49

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 17:26

Lovely Pic Graham.. :clap:

I have not got a pic of Barry with the 'hot seat' version that I can see anyway but I asked Steve if there was another way of telling if it was the larger bike apart from the white colour number background but he did not really say. Though as been suggested already Barry prefered the original pipe set up anyway. I have one of Hartog with the XR23B hot seat version though - but not as sharp as your one of Bazzer, I'm afraid though Graham. :(

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#29 picblanc

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 19:14

Cheers Jim, it looks a bit better in Blue & white that model than in the Black & red colours of Texaco Heron.

#30 philippe7

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 19:46

I took the liberty of contacting Steve Parrish earlier today and asked him the question and just received this message back from him:

"Jim. I always thought it was a 680. We did sometimes have a 500 made into 502cc for the super bike race and run white plates.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device".

Getting interesting now.... :clap:


I hadn't mentioned it in order not to confuse things even more, but this is also absolutely correct : there indeed were also some "enlarged" 500's used both before, and within, the life span of the XR23's ...below some quotes from five (!) years ago...some things are wrong in those quotes but the relevant points to the current discussion are in bold

In 1976-77 the Superbike series didn't allow 500s, and Suzuki found their 750/3 wasn't competitive with the Yamahas in 1976, so the series/sponsors/spectators were deprived of the Heron-Suzuki team and Sheene.

In 1977 Suzuki did an RG500 with engine enlarged to 532cc IIRC, so Sheene & Parrish could do selected rounds. I don't think the 652cc was used until 1979 - I'll check my scrapbook.

Paul M


I knew I was going to get tackled on this one :lol: !!! Actually the MCM tables said "650/4" for 76,77 and 78.....but I changed to 680/4 for 77 'cos I was pretty sure and had just read the pre-1977 transatlantic trophy issue of MCN ( I was at the Brand's leg that year )

Macca has already displayed his expertise with the various XR types on many occasions here so I'm sure he will be able to confirm all the details after checking his scrapbook, but the way I understood the "Big" XR ( or RG's , whatever ) issue it went like this :

In 1976 Sheene used a "enlarged" 500cc which may well have been more or less custom made in the UK for him. That may be the 523cc you're thinking of Macca.

For 1977 , I'm positive Suzuki GB received, just before the Transatlantic Match races, a new factory built bike that Moto-Journal called "700" and that MCN said were 683cc . MCN wrote that 4 of those were sent to Heron, two for Sheene and two for Hennen , but I'm fairly sure that Steve Parrish, who was in the factory team that year, also rode one .

For 1978, I must say I don't remember....did they retain the 77 model ?

For 1979 , the first "650" was introduced, a different engine design from the previous years , and a very noticeable bike due to the very voluminous exhaust pipes taking an unusual route out of the rear seat fairing . Virginio Ferrari was the first to receive his bike, and used it to good effect at Mugello and Paul-Ricard . For some reason Heron hadn't received theirs for Mugello, I think. MCN wrote in the 1979 Championship preview : "all being well Tom (Herron) and Steve Parrish will have new 653cc four-cylinder machines instead of the 502cc they rode at Donington" ( Sheene had just decided to miss the first round at Cadwell Park, favouring instead - I think - the more profitable Moto-Journal 200 at Paul Ricard )

Posted Image

You can see the big rear exhausts on this picture which I had posted a while back . Actually as I went fetching the ImageShack link in my original post I noticed that at the time, you had identified the model ( the one most on the left , of course ) as a "1979 XR23B 680cc", Macca. Barry did call it "my 650" , but maybe he was simplifying...

I also remember an issue with the new engine design , something to do with the front and rear cylinders not being level anymore , but the two front ones positioned significantly lower . This new design appeared on the "bigger" bikes earlier than they did on the 500 model , but I'll be damned if I remember the 1977 "680" innovating with this , or the 1979 "650". I'm sure Macca will sort it out .


phillipe7,

You're more right than me about the various Suzukis....................... :blush:

It was in 1976 that Franco Sheene made the 532cc XR14 for Barry by putting 56mm pistons in the works 54 x 54mm engine; the 652cc (62 x 54mm) bike came out in 1977 and was the first to have the stepped cylinders and side-cassette gearbox which appeared on the XR22 500 in 1978; the 1979 XR23 was the same except for the rear exhausts and experiments with radiators.
(source: 'Team Suzuki' by Ray Battersby)

It was Yamaha that did a 680cc square-4 in 1983 for Daytona, an enlarged version of the early-1982 500.


Paul M


Edited by philippe7, 31 August 2011 - 20:02.


#31 Rennmax

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 20:42

Too modern stuff for me anyway, but this might be of interest, a short introduction in the mentioned Yamaha, the 0W69

http://www.ge-board....ha-yzr680-ow69/

Philippe, I hope the German text is no problem

Edited by Rennmax, 31 August 2011 - 21:01.


#32 philippe7

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 21:56

Vielen Dank, Renn....

And unless I'm very much mistaken, this is the machine that KR rode at the Imola 200 revival a few months ago, there are video clips of it in another thread of the forum .

#33 philippe7

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 05:17

I found the following article on the motorcycletraderNZ website - written by someone whose name I can't manage to find anywhere on that site, but who actually track-tested the XR23b owned by Chris Wilson ( Alan Cathcart perhaps ? ) . As far as I can judge, it looks fairly well documented and the sources named ( Nigel Everett, Martin Ogbourne and Bazza himself ) seem trustworthy - and yes, things are again a bit more complicated than we thought - apparently there was an XR23A in 1978 between the 1977 XR23 and the 1979 XR23B :)

http://www.motorcycl...-XR23B/180.aspx



#34 philippe7

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 06:04

An interesting gallery below...clickable thumbnails . Seems the only visible difference between the 78 and 79 models is the longer ( and plain ugly ) silencers at the end of the expansion chambers . And they always were twin shocks, no full floater.

http://www.rgb500.com/gallery1_3.htm

This is an interesting site actually once you've understood how to navigate . First select a "chapter" in the top row , and then select each model in the bottom row . Looks like all the factory models ( XR14 to XR70 ) and all the production RG's ( Mk1 to Mk12 ) are pictured....

#35 Hasselhoff

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 06:51

Getting interesting now....

I am only going from the book "Team Suzuki" by Ray Battersby. I don't think Steve Parrish would be the first rider to not be certain of what exactly is under the fairing :rotfl:

#36 jaybee49

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 08:10

True, not the last rider either, though I would have thought he would have a good idea, but irrespective of Steve's comments its transpiring that they were not; 'they are all 652cc' though either, would you not agree?... :)



#37 Hasselhoff

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 09:31

would you not agree?

No I wouldn't :smoking: A shame they never went thru with the XR26 RG750 :eek:

Edited by Hasselhoff, 01 September 2011 - 09:56.


#38 philippe7

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 09:41

Jim, in all the articles and references linked above, the consensus seems to be that the XR23's were all with a 62x54mm bore and stroke , hence 652cc...

(This is disregarding, of course, the occasional 500's being fitted with white number plates and declared as "502" or something...)

#39 SADBATCCM

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 23:15

Jim, in all the articles and references linked above, the consensus seems to be that the XR23's were all with a 62x54mm bore and stroke , hence 652cc...

(This is disregarding, of course, the occasional 500's being fitted with white number plates and declared as "502" or something...)

Do think replating bikes was the norm; we did it with the 350... Ran the 250 in practice :eek:

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#40 jaybee49

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 02:46

Jim, in all the articles and references linked above, the consensus seems to be that the XR23's were all with a 62x54mm bore and stroke , hence 652cc...

(This is disregarding, of course, the occasional 500's being fitted with white number plates and declared as "502" or something...)



This insomnia drives me crazy at times…. :rolleyes:

As I stated earlier, until this thread I had never have heard of the designation let alone XR23, B or otherwise but I have heard banded about 680 and 640 in the past, Mick started the thread with his image being 680, then there was Stavros with his comments and I am trying to just get it right for future reference. Without reading the thread and asking the questions I would be none the wiser…. :blush:

On that basis I contacted Ray Battersby whom I have never met but is a ‘friend' of mine on Facebook and asked him the question and this is his reply:

"First off, your pic of BS on the flat-fronted XR23B is what I refer to as the XR23BFR (Front Radiator). The idea behind this was to use the weight of the radiator and coolant as an 'anti-wheelie device'!

Now for the other questions:

1. The correct capacity for the XR23 is 652cc with a bore and stroke of 62mm x 54mm
2. They were built to contest the UK Match Race Series and any International Race. They were not designed for use in the Formula 750 Race series.
3. The Match Race organisers stipulated a minimum capacity of 650cc to prevent 350cc Yamaha’s entering.
4. In 1977, Suzuki produced a full 750cc version (engine only) of the XR23 but stopped development immediately when their initial power readings exceeded 150ps, the sort of bhp Kevin Schwantz used some 13 years later.

I have never heard of the 'just over 500cc' machines referred to by Steve P.

I hope this helps.

Ray"

So, sorry to have doubted anyone but there was no malice intended just to get it clear what the situation was in my at times befuddled and aging brain. Now I am going to try and get some sleep for an hour or two... :confused:

Edited by jaybee49, 02 September 2011 - 02:47.


#41 GD66

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 08:10

Do think replating bikes was the norm; we did it with the 350... Ran the 250 in practice :eek:




Ah-haaa ! Ladies and gentlemen, back by popular demand : the Fablon Special... :clap:


#42 Mick Robinson

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 12:49

Thank's , Mick , great work , feel a tad inferior compared to the RG 680 :eek: :love: :up: :wave:


Thanks for the comments guys, I knew it wasn't an actual 680cc as Nigel Everett told me when I photographed it, I couldn't remember the exact cc
but I knew you guys would sort it out, why they called them 680's is anyones guess ! 650 would have made more sense.
Coincidentily I met Ray Battersby when I did the photography for Martin Ogbournes wedding and a very nice chap he is, he actually lives in my home town of Eastbourne, another coincidence !

#43 SJMPhoto

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 22:39

Thanks for the comments guys, I knew it wasn't an actual 680cc as Nigel Everett told me when I photographed it, I couldn't remember the exact cc
but I knew you guys would sort it out, why they called them 680's is anyones guess ! 650 would have made more sense.
Coincidentily I met Ray Battersby when I did the photography for Martin Ogbournes wedding and a very nice chap he is, he actually lives in my home town of Eastbourne, another coincidence !


Hi folks,
Some photos of Tom Herron on the bike on my website here:
http://tomtwherron.c...131702/56734/1/

#44 knickerbrook

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 13:53

I salute you SJM - an absolutely superb website :love: :up: !

#45 picblanc

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 16:51

I salute you SJM - an absolutely superb website :love: :up: !


Agreed Barry a real labour of love & hard work, excellent Stephen thanks for the reminder. :wave:

#46 SJMPhoto

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 17:09

Agreed Barry a real labour of love & hard work, excellent Stephen thanks for the reminder. :wave:


Thanks lads, much appreciated. :)
Hey Graham, how's things mate?


#47 bella

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 18:03

Toms death was a massive blow, in my first ever British GP (1978) i'd seen him produce two scintillating races in 250 & 350 and he was with Sheenie the the cream of the UK class.
When he landed the Texaco Heron Suzuki ride for 79 and then proceeded to post some excellent finishes i really thought he would win a "big one" sooner rather than later.
Even now after all these years i still feel sad about toms passing away before he could really show his ability in 500 GPs.

#48 picblanc

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 18:43

Thanks lads, much appreciated. :)
Hey Graham, how's things mate?


Hi Stephen, all good my friend, hope same with you & your still going out on your bike? (I have done quite a bit this year & managed to lose a stone in weight, still a bit to go though, so indoor trainer over the winter for me!!) What did you think of the Worlds road race? I watched all of it on the red button, has to be the greatest team performance I have ever seen & most exciting Worlds race ever ( & I am not biased....really! :D )
Best.
G.

Edited by picblanc, 12 October 2011 - 18:43.


#49 SJMPhoto

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 08:41

Hi Stephen, all good my friend, hope same with you & your still going out on your bike? (I have done quite a bit this year & managed to lose a stone in weight, still a bit to go though, so indoor trainer over the winter for me!!) What did you think of the Worlds road race? I watched all of it on the red button, has to be the greatest team performance I have ever seen & most exciting Worlds race ever ( & I am not biased....really! :D )
Best.
G.


Good for you Graham, yes superb racing wasn't it. I've just dusted off the indoor trainer in readiness for the winter and I'm still managing about 75-100 miles per week on the roads while the weather permits. I'm similar to yourself in that have shifted about a stone weight, only another stone and a half to go and I'll be happy enough  ;)


#50 SJMPhoto

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 08:57

Toms death was a massive blow, in my first ever British GP (1978) i'd seen him produce two scintillating races in 250 & 350 and he was with Sheenie the the cream of the UK class.
When he landed the Texaco Heron Suzuki ride for 79 and then proceeded to post some excellent finishes i really thought he would win a "big one" sooner rather than later.
Even now after all these years i still feel sad about toms passing away before he could really show his ability in 500 GPs.


Thank-you for your kind words, yes Tom's death was indeed a massive blow. I personally feel that Tom had so much more to give to the sport, not just on the track but also when he retired in later years as he was an extremely clever man around motorcycles - sadly it just wasn't to be.