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Motorcycle Sprinting 1960/70s


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#1 Terry Homan

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 14:11

I'm new to this Forum, but clearly there are a lot of people on here with a wealth of interests concerning all forms of motorsport.

So, has anyone any pictures, stories, memories for motorcycle sprints from the 1960's and '70's? Courses like Ramsgate, Duxford, Debden, Topcliffe, Elvington, Church Lawford etc. A lot of the machines from this era are still around, some festering in damp garages. I'd love to find them.

I'll put some pics up later, when I'm on the home computer, but any info etc would be great.

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#2 Bernard

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 18:49

Used to have a night at the Ramsey sprint in the IOM during the TT ,saw George Brown and Nero (was his Vincent called) and the late Charlie Rous. Bit hazy now as its over 40 years ago

#3 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 19:32

Bernard

I also saw George Brown a few times at Ramsgate in the 60s. He was a works Vincent road racer before his time with sprinting and there's also a biography about him. His bikes were "Nero" and "Super Nero" and from memory "Nero" was a 998cc unsupercharged bike whilst "Super Nero" was an 1150cc (-ish) supercharged bike. I seem to recall that like Donald Campbell, his attempts on World records (Flying mile, 1/4 mile, kilometre, and so on) often seemed to be in the winter and he edged closer and closer to 200mph. Then Alf Hagon came along and beat him to the record although I heard whispers that the record was not quite 'a true one'. Fred Cooper also had his doubts. George's son Tony sometimes rides "Super Nero" in exhibition events. George and Tony also rode a very quick Ariel Arrow sprinter.

#4 Senor

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 08:01

George Brown was an absolute legend in the world of sprinting. However, his abilities went much further as he was also an accomplished road racer. I was lucky enough to see him in the ’52 TT when he rode a 7R in the Junior TT and a Joe Potts Norton in the 500cc race. He impressed with finishes of 6th and 7th respectively.
The Island races of the following year were marked by Les Graham’s fatal accident at Bray Hill. George was one of the unlucky riders that ploughed into the wreckage that day. I believe that it was this incident that was the catalyst for his decision to quit road racing and concentrate on sprinting.

#5 fuzzi

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 12:22

I have read an excellent book on Sprinting in this period by Colquhoun who built the Vincent Sprinter ridden by Charlie Rous. It is a first hand account by a practical engineer - not a literature graduate - of the preparation of bikes for this exacting and explosive form of Competion.

Sorry, but I can't recall the title and I can't find a specialist motorcycle bookseller with an online catalogue.

Colquhoun came up with the phrase quoted by Jenks when asked how do you get a job done "All you need to find is ten minutes a day. Once you've found that ten minutes the rest of the time follows." ;)

#6 Terry Homan

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 13:05

Well this is the first time I've managed to log back on the the site. Below should be a couple of pics of Mick Hands 250/330 Honda twin. This amazing little bike ran a nest 1/4 mile of 9.06 @ 151mph as a 330cc. The motor ran backwards, 85% nitro and over 65 degrees of ignition advance.





http://www.fourfourz...ype=post&id=141

http://www.fourfourz...ype=post&id=164

#7 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 19:26

Terry

That's an astonishing time for such a small capacity. OK, it's not really fair to compare but during the 60s, 10 seconds was the benchmark and to get that you needed at least 1000cc or more and a supercharger. How times change. I may be wrong but wasn't it Alf Hagon who first officially broke the 10 second barrier here - in the US, they'd got there before us?

When you receive those 60s sprinting photos, perhaps you might care to add a few on here? Fred Cooper, Phil Manzano, Bill Orriss et al?

And who remembers AJ Potter and his V8 engined death-trap?

#8 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 19:34

Posted Image
Photo: Paul Hutchins

AJ Potter's (Michigan Madman) V8-engined drag bike in 1965.

#9 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 18:40

Terry

I've PM'd you. I need your address.