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#1 thunder427

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 08:23

Solo Bike Racing; Who in thier right mind throws thier leg over a two wheel machine that will exceed 100mph (in the 'blink' of the eye ) has to be encouraged to turn left while proceeding around a 1/4 mile track with a lose suface,surrounded by a fence,only to discover..'what no brakes', .....these MEN are the bravest;...My home track was 'Aranui Speedway' located on the outskirts of Christchurch/New Zealand, opened 1949 ran every Saturday night (Summer Time!) till the 'urban sprawl' closed it in 1959 (google; Aranui speedway/great history site )I grew up watching the great Ronnie Moore/Barry Briggs/Ivan Mauger all world champions multiple times,Saturday night under lights 'cinder' surface, noise/ chrome/ Castrol-R in the air,,oh to be 10yrs old again, I remember fantastic nights in the pits after racing ,with my Dad, semi dark,battered and scattered bikes and people,were I first learnt the exspression 'walking wounded', I obvserved the odd tonic or two, all happy to come back next week and do it all again !!...Lets share our Solo Speedway stories

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#2 Terry Walker

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 10:20

When I was a skids fan in the 60s, the local solo star, at Perth's Claremont Speedway, was Chum Taylor, and I was stunned to see him howling around Fowlhouse Corner at the front of the pack with the front wheel in the air, often all the way around the corner. The man was magic. Still alive, I believe.

#3 nivola

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 10:37

Chum is still alive.

Seen some images of him from brooklands and yanchep a month ago.

Those where the golden days. Why was I born after!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#4 nivola

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 10:45

Some will enjoy!

http://www.justsolos....com/Darby.html

#5 Stefan Ornerdal

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 15:01

Speedway is still a very big sport in my country (Sweden), Poland, Denmark and the Russian League is on it's way up.
Very sad that speedway has declined in New Zealand.
Ronnie Moore is still suffering from a crash around 1970, sometimes his memory fails.
I had the opportunity to talk to Barry Briggs this summer. Every year he is coming over to visit his friend and my neighbour Bjorn Knutsson, world champion 1965.

I am running my speedwayclubs website and we have two Australians in the team, and believe it or not, a New Zealander as team manager.

A great sport, exciting and spectacular!


Stefan
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#6 Simpson RX1

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 22:27

Originally posted by Stefan Ornerdal
Speedway is still a very big sport in my country (Sweden), Poland, Denmark and the Russian League is on it's way up.
Very sad that speedway has declined in New Zealand.
Ronnie Moore is still suffering from a crash around 1970, sometimes his memory fails.
I had the opportunity to talk to Barry Briggs this summer. Every year he is coming over to visit his friend and my neighbour Bjorn Knutsson, world champion 1965.

I am running my speedwayclubs website and we have two Australians in the team, and believe it or not, a New Zealander as team manager.

A great sport, exciting and spectacular!


Stefan
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Don't forget the UK Stefan, we still run high standard leagues here.

And just to correct you slightly, Ronnie Moore's major accident was a bit later than 1970, he raced at Wimbledon in 1971; I believe he effectively ended his career with a crash during a 'Masters' style event organised by Ivan Mauger, but the crash which he is still suffering from was at his own training track and happened while he was doing some demonstration laps, I think about 1976.


Edit: just to correct my own correction, Mirac was injured riding for the World Champion Troupe, but it was around the time I thought. In January 1975 he was riding at Jerilderie Park, when he clipped John Louis' wheel and fractured his skull in the ensuing crash. As you say, he still suffers from memory lapses and he's deaf as a post, but what a racer!

#7 GeoffR

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 23:32

Speedway bikes - brings back memories of Olympic Park at Mildura in the late '60s/early '70s on a balmy summer night. When Phil Crump was just starting his speedway career, and other top local riders were Rodney Lyons (father of Jason) & Tim Nunan. There were also plenty of regular visitors, such as Scotsman Bert Harkins.
I still have vivid mental pictures of these machines sideways through the corners, the (top) riders with both feet up, showering the spectators with a roostertail of dirt and lifting the front wheel on exiting the corner. Great stuff!
And then there were the sidecars ...

#8 thunder427

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 01:10

Stefan; As I grew up in the 50/60's,Speedway was the 'Main' speed 'fix' that one could get on a regular basis,missed many an 'engagement/21st birthday/etc type party,we were at the SPEEDWAY !!,Ronnie Moore became my favourite rider (my Dad knew him !!) but he was spectacular ,wide handle bars ,front wheel in the air,starting off half lap handicap and still win the three lap dash,in the 80's I bought the 'Ronnie Moore book',this is a great read, was back home in New Zealand on a brief holiday,thought love to get Ronnie to sign my/his book,got out the local phone book ,rang the number,was so pleased to get a very 'warm' invitation to visit Ron at his home,spent a wonderful three or more hours talking Speedway,I think I interupted his 'lawn'duties,Ron's lovely Wife kept a sense of occasion,a valued moment in 'ones'life a true gentleman and host,thanks Ron for years of great entertainment,........(I put that afternoon's experance up thier with standing on the grid at the Melbourne Grand Prix discussig the weather with Sir Stirling Moss,Sir Jackie Stuart and Sir JAck Brabham )....I believe Ronnie Moore still runs a speedway school at 'Moore Park' out of Christchurch....lets remember the great Dain 'ole Olson,English riders Chris Pussey, Boocock brothers, the list goes on ........

#9 ex Rhodie racer

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 01:29

Lovely thread thunder man. Take a look at this video my friends. It´s pure racing.

http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

Enjoy.

#10 thunder427

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 03:56

ex Rhodie racer;what a great site,'thank you !!',just sat back,opened a new bottle of 'Castrol R" and soaked up the atmospere......just look at that crowd ,there is no doubt in my mind this 'is' the 'most' spectacular form of Motor Cycle Racing anywhere,with a very large 'truck load' of respect for the riders ..unbelievable !!!

#11 thunder427

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 08:45

Nivola; thank you for your recomended site,'Boy' what a 'Flash Back' that site is great imfo,do you know if any body has done a simular site on the 'Kiwis' ,great picture of Ronnie 'Mirac' Moore.....I was just telling a friend why my Mother was so against me going to the Saturday Night Speedway with my Dad,not that she minded the Father and Son bonding 'thing',it was that I would come home with 'cinders' dust all through my hair and turn my pillow case 'BLACK',(not to mention that I looked like a 'mini me' version of Al Jolson!!) and having a BATH after midnight was not an option at 10yrs old,they hadn't created 'showers' in the 'urban' areas then, that was strictly Hotel stuff !!!

#12 nivola

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 08:57

Thunder to answear you I just found that site looking at google images in one search after reading your thread.

I sadly didnt get to watch speedway as a younger kid except for once. Once I got to Claremont!
I feel now that that was truely a shame.

That one night Solos where on the card and i was transfixed. Stuff the sprint cars and bring on the jawa's.

Hmmm one for the Australians and euro guys. Does anyone remember a guy by the name of David Cheshire Jnr?????

Oh that video was sweet!!!!!!!!!!!!!! though I do have a soft spot for Jonathan green as a commentator.

#13 cavvy

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 09:37

Nivola, a genuine Chum Taylor bike was restored and was the centrepeice in a Perth QCs office - Geoff Millar was his name I think ??

Couple of other big names in WA like Aub Lawson, Ron Johnson, season long visitors like Ken McKinlay.

Fowlhouse Corner : Friday night is speedway night .... you bewdy!!!

#14 ex Rhodie racer

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 10:58

Anyone remember the great Rhodesian and South African champion Peter Prinsloo? Signed for Exeter in 1976 (I think) where he joined forces with the great Ivan Mauger. All the top boys in the world came out during the European winter to race in our part of the world in those days, so we got to see the very best.
Saturday night at Wembly stadium in Johannesburg, with Buddy Fuller, the promotor, hyping up the crowd, the smell and the sounds.
God, those were magic times. :up: :up: :up:

#15 giffo

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 11:15

While I've never been a 'BIKE Fan!' as such the side cars & solos were always a spectical at Claremont & Bunbury when I used to go from the late 70's to early 90's. You would have to call them true dare devils.
In fact my first motor racing experience (if you could call it that) as a 11y/o when living in Muradaup (near Kojonup in W.A) and the next door neighbour had a JAWA solo bike. He used to ride it around the streets of the town to test it. (Later I used to do the same in my mini - when I was 12 to 14)
Scott Fisher was a mate from the 80's who was a sensation on his solo bike. Some may remember him at the two main W.A. tracks & in the east. Unfortunatley he ended up doing a "Ben Cousins" and his career never got to it's full potential. (a "Ben Cousins" is he got too heavy into partying & recreational drugs & that ended up killing off his chances & interest)

#16 nivola

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 22:12

Hmmm Cavvy one Geoff Millar QC. He is build a nice stash of goodies for him self these days. Got one or 20 photos of ours aswell.

We have a new speedway for bikes in WA which is 2 years old. After they had to shut down bikes due to motorplex. (Only been on that ground once and that was enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

#17 Simpson RX1

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 23:04

For speedway fans everywhere, look out for Ivan Mauger's new autobiography, which will be out soon.

#18 thunder427

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 01:00

Ronnie Moore's Biography, states that he dabled in buying a F1 car of the day,followed Bruce Mclaren around and did a couple races on the European circuits,(I'll have to re.read the book!!) Ron's Dad raced cars in New Zealand (mainly 'Wigram/Tasman round) the family also travelled all over NZ doing the local county 'shows' with the 'wall of death' show,which I believe originated in Tasmania/Australia,then shipped out to NZ for the Lucrative county show circuit,somewhere amongst this imfo Ronnie may have rode in a test team for Australia,not sure about this but it does have a 'ring !!...Modern day 'Gippsies'..colour/glamour/showmanship/travel...sounds like a great script for a 'Movie !!

#19 billdude

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 05:14

bill dudenhoefer in Sydney here. Was introduced to speedway at the Sydney Showground in '72 and 'invited' to swing with Warren Sullivan. It was a most exciting time to be part of speedway - solos, sidecars, TQ and the rest. We were at the start of a move to japanese powered machines like most other motorcyle racing, except the solos that seemed to be JAP, Jawa, and Esso for ever!

There are several excellent local sites that cover the whole history well, and have some fantastic photos.

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#20 Terry Walker

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 06:10

Peter Briggs has one or two solo bikes in his Museum at Fremantle.

Don't know whose this was:

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#21 thunder427

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 07:44

Terry;could you reprint the photo you submited with an 'arrow' pointing to the brake lever !!...just kidding..it takes a 'special' type of personality( the fine line between 'sanity/insanity) to throw a leg over something that has so little safety benifits..no 'Hans' device required,no 6-point seat belts and when you 'Open' the throttle it wants to throw you off!! and yet the 'goodguy's can seem to put these 'things' were ever they seem to want them ...just check that 'fantastic' action out on youtube.com stated in a previously logged by ..ex.Rhodie Racer

#22 David McKinney

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 07:47

Originally posted by thunder427
Ronnie Moore'....did a couple races on the European circuits

More than a couple - a full season of British sportscar races and then two full seasons of F2, plus a successful South African sortie

Ron's Dad raced cars in New Zealand (mainly 'Wigram/Tasman round)

Les Moore was dead long before there was a Wigram Tasman round. He did however contest several pre-Tasman Wigrams in a period of ten years, two of them before the race became a true international (and he won both of those). But it's certainly not true that he raced 'mainly' at Wigram

The family also travelled all over NZ doing the local county 'shows' with the 'wall of death' show

I once paid good pocket-money to see Ronnie doing his Wall of Death sideshow act at a country show in Masterton - I wondered how many others realised they were watching a double world speedway champion in action

#23 AS110

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 08:19

Most speedway tracks in New Zealand are not suitable for bikes now - they are sticky clay made for cars.The stuff at Western Springs is like plasticine,you can get a small piece and flatten it out nice and thin without a crack showing.Very tricky to ride on for bikes,if the rear wheel hooks up it'll just launch where it's pointed.

Western Springs was my track from the late '60's into the early '80's,went nearly every saturday night for years.Then Rosebank opened for sunday daytime meetings in the late '70's,and we transfered to watching there.A few years ago I wouldn't miss a meeting all season.Rosebank is one of the last pure motorcycle speedway tracks left in the country,there is still some great racing to be seen there,and a good crowd atmosphere.

#24 thunder427

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 08:45

David; I didnt wish to imply that Ron's Dad Raced only at the Lady WigramTrophy Race ,only that the 'tasman' implication was only to associate the track so other readers would recognise the 'venue I was at most of those races in the 50'/60s as my father officiated at the event through the 50's and 60's, I also watched Ron's Dad at other events such the around house race in Wiamati and Dunedin,some grass track events etc the 'Flying Kilo' was all ways well attended..if you had a race car in 'NZ" you go any where for a dose of 'speed'.......lot of Drivers crossed over between Speedway and Motor racing ..just another 'fix'!!!

#25 Wilyman

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 10:13

My intro to speedway came about as a 8/9year old by reading and keeping a scrap-book of news cuttings. All this and never having seen speedway in the flesh.
The local motorbike club would put on races at the local, Kalgoorlie, 1/2 mile trotting track once a year.
Apart from a motley collection of bikes one chap had a very early speedway Douglas. It would have been pre-war with its turned down bars and trailing leg riding style.

In later years the family had holidays in Fremantle and joy of joys it coincided with the Claremont season.
What an experience, Chum Taylor and other name riders provided all the thrills a 12 year old needed then!
The side cars and the midget speedcars added overload to the experience.

On weekdays riding in the Fremantle to Perth train it passed by the Showgrounds, a glimpse of the track below gave me an extra buzz. [Don't tell anyone I said this].

In the early '50's the local Boulder Speedway was laid down at the town sports oval. Grassed centre and grandstands made it a top venue. Aub Lawson from Claremont promoted a few meetings with bikes and midgets, this gave some of the locals the urge, bikes and TQ's racing there between the professionally run meetings.

It is written in stone somewhere that Speedway World Champ Ove Fundin reckoned it to be the finest track he'd ridden on.

In later years I was fortunate to see some of the Speedway "Ashes" events at Claremont, Chum Taylor was still riding. Nigel Boocock was the English Captain.
The experience was highlighted for me by being in a group flown down from Kalgoorlie by local promoter Bill Conroy in his private plane.

Bill bought up a trailer load of solo bike frames and engines in Perth, he arranged for me to pick them up and bring them back to Kalgoorlie. These were put together and loaned out to young local riders.
Bill's son Mick and Peter both rode solos, Mick having ridden for Kings Lynne in the UK.

#26 Maldwyn

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 13:04

Living in Newport, South Wales from 1969-75 I was a regular visitor to Somerton Park to watch Newport County play football. While I wasn't a fan of speedway I do have vague memories of going to see a couple of speedway meetings at the same stadium and getting covered in mud while standing on the outside of one of the corners! Phil Crump is a name I remember, but that's about it!

#27 Terry Walker

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 13:23

Posted an another thread - but late 1960s, Claremont Speedway, Friday afternoon practice before racing under lights.

Posted Image

#28 Stefan Ornerdal

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 18:51

No, Terry, this can not be late 60's, probably late 40's.

I know Jason Crump and Jason Lyons quite well, both have ridden for some years in 'my' team. One of the funniest and most likeable riders I have ever met is Steve Johnston, who I believe is from Kalgoorlie.
Speedwayrider Ollie Nygren (Sweden) raced in FJ/F2 together with Ronnie Moore, Ray Cresp and Raymond Thackwell, father of you know who.
Ove Fundin did a season i Formula Vee.
Bjorn Knutsson is racing in historical racing, sporting a Chevron B23 (or B26?)
Multi-world champ Tony Rickardsson is now racing in Swedens Porsche Cup.

Stefan
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#29 Simpson RX1

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 23:01

Since he's been mentioned a few times and I've finally persueded a friend of mine to pull his finger out and upload his tribute site again, here's something for the Ronnie Moore fans:

Mirac


Also, since this thread seems to have taken a somewhat Antipodean slant, I wonder if anyone knows the story behind this; it's being reported in this week's Speedway Star (the UK's dedicated speedway magazine) that Australian speedway legend Vic Duggan has died, aged 91, however, the report goes on to say he died in March!

Anyone got any ideas how the passing of one of the sport's greatest exponants should go unnoticed for almost 6 months?

#30 Terry Walker

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 00:46

The practice photo at Claremont is definitely 1960s - in another shot from the same group, background cars include a 1960-62 Falcon and a 1962 Valiant. The photo was taken by Milton McCutcheon, who was still a child in the late 40s. So maybe early 60s, but definitely not 40s or 50s.

#31 nivola

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 00:58

Stefan you mentioning of one Ray Thackwell has thrown a curve ball my way!!!!!!!!

#32 thunder427

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 01:15

Simpson RX1 ; 'Your the Man !!'..MIRAC... what a great site..just what I was hoping to find /achieve..come on England Forum readers 'you were there!!'some input required.... so far NZ./AUST/SWEDEN are onlineI have a great photo that just says 'SPEEDWAY'..World Solo Final,WROCLAW,POLAND,from a column of 'Speedway World'/ Peter White /Photo by MIke Patrick shows Havelock /Gustaffson /Johnsson in the rain 4 deep, 1st cnr....'Just brilliant' !!!...not sure about 'copy right' in posting this photo..but it is the o'le saying, 'one picture is worth a thousand words'.............

#33 Simpson RX1

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 02:01

Originally posted by Terry Walker
The practice photo at Claremont is definitely 1960s - in another shot from the same group, background cars include a 1960-62 Falcon and a 1962 Valiant. The photo was taken by Milton McCutcheon, who was still a child in the late 40s. So maybe early 60s, but definitely not 40s or 50s.


I was wondering why Stefan was so sure it was taken in the 40s, it looked like a perfectly valid 60s picture to me.

#34 Simpson RX1

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 02:06

Originally posted by thunder427
Simpson RX1 ; 'Your the Man !!'..MIRAC... what a great site..just what I was hoping to find /achieve..come on England Forum readers 'you were there!!'some input required.... so far NZ./AUST/SWEDEN are onlineI have a great photo that just says 'SPEEDWAY'..World Solo Final,WROCLAW,POLAND,from a column of 'Speedway World'/ Peter White /Photo by MIke Patrick shows Havelock /Gustaffson /Johnsson in the rain 4 deep, 1st cnr....'Just brilliant' !!!...not sure about 'copy right' in posting this photo..but it is the o'le saying, 'one picture is worth a thousand words'.............


Fill your boots Thunder, all you need to know is here:

British Speedway Forum

Enjoy!!!

#35 Terry Walker

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 02:41

Ray Thackwell was a speedway rider in Kiwi before venturing to UK and then to Western Australia. There's a brief profile on my website. Just press the www button above.

#36 Graham Clayton

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 08:56

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Photo taken at the Windsor RSL Speedway during the 1949/50 season. International solo scratch race featuring from left to right: Aub Lawson (Australia), Arthur Bush (England), Danny Dunton (England) and Graeme Warren (Australia)

Photo copyright held by Byron Gunther

#37 Stefan Ornerdal

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 16:05

I was wondering why Stefan was so sure it was taken in the 40s, it looked like a perfectly valid 60s picture to me.



In the late 60's almost every rider had Jawa bikes.
It looks to me that the rider in front has a Hagon frame with a JAP engine. The riding style and the very wide handlebars looks very "vintage".

But of course, I stand corrected!

Kind regards

Stefan
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#38 Simpson RX1

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 20:28

Originally posted by Stefan Ornerdal


In the late 60's almost every rider had Jawa bikes.
It looks to me that the rider in front has a Hagon frame with a JAP engine. The riding style and the very wide handlebars looks very "vintage".

But of course, I stand corrected!

Kind regards

Stefan
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www.vargarna.nu



The aforementioned Mr Moore competed in his last individual World Final on a JAP in 1971.

There were still lots of JAP mounted riders when I started going in 1970, the Jawas were faster, but also more expensive and speedway, then as now, wasn't exactly awash with money. In those days, it was still possible to compete at the highest level with slightly below par machinery, providing you were a bit ingenious with your kit and had the talent, in the same way as then it was possible for a few blokes to put together an F1 car in a lock up.

It was people like Ivan Mauger who took the sport to a higher level of professionalism, with properly signwritten and fitted out vans, good sponsorship deals (I believe his deal with Jawa was so good, he still receives two brand new bikes every year) and a totally professional approach to all aspects of speedway.

By the mid 70s, if you weren't on a Jawa you were out of the game, but in the 60s it was still an everyman sport.

#39 Wilyman

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Posted 02 December 2007 - 08:12

Back in the mid'90's we had a relieving mechanic in from one of our other branches. His name was John McKinlay and yes it turned out that his father was Ken McKinlay, a top Scottish? solo rider who rode in Australia and eventually settled in Perth. Young John didn't ride but his younger brother had a go.
I'm sure thinking back that John was tickled pink that someone recalled his Dad, even more so when I gave him a couple of old English track programmes featuring his Dad that I'd brought back from the UK in '83.
Ken McKinlay passed away a few years back.

During the 1983 stay in the UK we lived in Harrow Middlesex, my "significant other" a former Harrow gel told me about a speedway rider who ran a motor bike shop in Harrow/ Wealdstone. His name was Bill Kitchen. Long gone now but his name crops up in Speedway histories still.
We visited the bike shop then run by his son. It was the typical bike shop, inside a narrow walk-way between old bike parts etc. I'll bet a few tall post race tales were told between those walls way back when.

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#40 Martin Roessler

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Posted 02 December 2007 - 10:38

Hi there,
2 pics from the "Internationales 7. DMV Grasbahnrennen" 1967 in Klein-Krotzenburg (i bet nobody ever heard of that village before :lol: )

#11 Niels Christensen Denmark JAP
#14 Martin Koerner Germany JAP

#1 Andy Ross England Hagon-JAP
#2Runo Wedin Sweden ?

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cheers Marty

#41 hurriken

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 09:06

Originally posted by Wilyman
Back in the mid'90's we had a relieving mechanic in from one of our other branches. His name was John McKinlay and yes it turned out that his father was Ken McKinlay, a top Scottish? solo rider who rode in Australia and eventually settled in Perth. Young John didn't ride but his younger brother had a go.
I'm sure thinking back that John was tickled pink that someone recalled his Dad, even more so when I gave him a couple of old English track programmes featuring his Dad that I'd brought back from the UK in '83.
Ken McKinlay passed away a few years back.

During the 1983 stay in the UK we lived in Harrow Middlesex, my "significant other" a former Harrow gel told me about a speedway rider who ran a motor bike shop in Harrow/ Wealdstone. His name was Bill Kitchen. Long gone now but his name crops up in Speedway histories still.
We visited the bike shop then run by his son. It was the typical bike shop, inside a narrow walk-way between old bike parts etc. I'll bet a few tall post race tales were told between those walls way back when.



my name is adrian mckinlay, kens eldest son.
john is my younger brother.
john did in fact ride for the cradley heath junior side in the mid 8ts.
dad never did settle in perth, he had his last australian season in 1972
and never returned, even to visit. which was a shame as australia was very good to him
and he had a lot of close australian friends.

and for the record regarding 'jap' engined bikes,
dad rode up until 1975 aged 47!!! at scunthorpe in the uk riding
a 'jap' and he was still scoring maximums!

he won the australian solo title in 1964 riding an 'eso'
and also won various australian state titles over the years.

anyone who is interested in dads carreer then take a look at the following link
and click on his name. http://www.leicester-speedway.co.uk/

dad rode in australia for 20 years as a solo rider and as a member and captain of the england, europe and british lions teams.

you can see him in action with ronnie moore, barry briggs and andrzej pogorzelski, turn the sound up.
he was still riding in australia during this period, and notice he is still riding a 'jap'!!!


#42 Muz Bee

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 10:29

I grew up around bikes in New Zealand in the 70s mainly roadracing and got to see the great Ivan Mauger at what I think was his last appearance at Western Springs around 1979. The only overseas rider apart from kiwi internationals was Finn Kai Niemi (sorry prob misspelt) and Ivan blitzed everyone, breaking the 4 lap record. Was a real eye opener to one raised on tarmac racing.

Yes the move to clay based speedway tracks for saloons, stocks and the like started the demise of solos in NZ. Invercargill still has Oreti Park Speedway which is a great little shale oval. They ran a fabulous afternoon/evening of solos and sidecars ther as part of the Burt Munro Challenge in early December. Larry Ross was one of the old names still riding (competitively) and he told me they are still working to rescue the sport in NZ by helping younger guys up. There was evidence of some pretty good talent and good machinery. The event was televised delayed and received excellent reviews. So maybe the sport may be on the way up, it used to be a predominantly South Island esp Christchurch power base and that will probably be the case if it does kick in again.

So it appears that Oreti and Rosebank run the solos. I thought I saw them run at Palmerston North a season or so ago. Any answers to venues?

#43 Russell Burrows

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 17:00

I recall Ken McKinley and Bill Kitchen's Shop in Harrow where I grew up, although I think he had stopped selling bikes at that period. Was Ken in the 62 World Final at Wembley and was it him who crashed into the fence which prompted several riders to run from the pit area to help him, including Ronnie Moore? I saw several World finals duing the sixties and later some meetings at the White City. My Dad was a mad Speedway fan immediately after the War and was a Wembley regular.

Later in OZ I saw many England / Australia test matches at the Sydney Showground, as well as meets at Liverpool. Who can name the Brit who rode for Australia in the tests against England during the late 60's ?

#44 hurriken

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 05:22

Originally posted by Russell Burrows
I recall Ken McKinley and Bill Kitchen's Shop in Harrow where I grew up, although I think he had stopped selling bikes at that period. Was Ken in the 62 World Final at Wembley and was it him who crashed into the fence which prompted several riders to run from the pit area to help him, including Ronnie Moore? I saw several World finals duing the sixties and later some meetings at the White City. My Dad was a mad Speedway fan immediately after the War and was a Wembley regular.

Later in OZ I saw many England / Australia test matches at the Sydney Showground, as well as meets at Liverpool. Who can name the Brit who rode for Australia in the tests against England during the late 60's ?



dad crashed in heat 18 in 1962 riding against barry briggs, bob andrews and arne carlsson.
the throttle jammed open while he was leading the heat and the bike threw him.
peter craven won the title that year with briggs 2nd and fundin 3rd.

not sure of the brit who rode for aussie??? i know the aussie team used a lot of riders during the late 6ts.

#45 Russell Burrows

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 11:02

Originally posted by hurriken



dad crashed in heat 18 in 1962 riding against barry briggs, bob andrews and arne carlsson.
the throttle jammed open while he was leading the heat and the bike threw him.
peter craven won the title that year with briggs 2nd and fundin 3rd.

not sure of the brit who rode for aussie??? i know the aussie team used a lot of riders during the late 6ts.


Hi there

Thanks for that - the drama of that moment involving your Dad has lodged in my head for all these years. Im sure he is remembered by many fans with great admiration.

Unless I've misremembered entirely, didnt Scot Bill Landells ride for Australia. I remember him as a regular at Liverpool Speeway during the late sixties. I think he had moved to Australia sometime before so perhaps he saw himself as one of them! Or, perhaps the team were riding as England! Actually, were they then England or Great Britain in name?

#46 hurriken

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 16:55

Originally posted by Russell Burrows


Hi there

Thanks for that - the drama of that moment involving your Dad has lodged in my head for all these years. Im sure he is remembered by many fans with great admiration.

Unless I've misremembered entirely, didnt Scot Bill Landells ride for Australia. I remember him as a regular at Liverpool Speeway during the late sixties. I think he had moved to Australia sometime before so perhaps he saw himself as one of them! Or, perhaps the team were riding as England! Actually, were they then England or Great Britain in name?



the official test matches in the late 6ts were australia v england.

dad rode for england even though he was scottish!

but he rode for scotland in the test matches against england!

so the aussies may have had english riders riding for them
but the english had scottish riders riding for them!

who made the rules??? :drunk:

#47 Wilyman

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 23:35

Originally posted by hurriken



my name is adrian mckinlay, kens eldest son.
john is my younger brother.
john did in fact ride for the cradley heath junior side in the mid 8ts.
dad never did settle in perth, he had his last australian season in 1972
and never returned, even to visit. which was a shame as australia was very good to him
and he had a lot of close australian friends.

and for the record regarding 'jap' engined bikes,
dad rode up until 1975 aged 47!!! at scunthorpe in the uk riding
a 'jap' and he was still scoring maximums!

he won the australian solo title in 1964 riding an 'eso'
and also won various australian state titles over the years.

anyone who is interested in dads carreer then take a look at the following link
and click on his name. http://www.leicester-speedway.co.uk/

dad rode in australia for 20 years as a solo rider and as a member and captain of the england, europe and british lions teams.

you can see him in action with ronnie moore, barry briggs and andrzej pogorzelski, turn the sound up.
he was still riding in australia during this period, and notice he is still riding a 'jap'!!!


Hurriken,
Thanks for posting the correct details re your Dads career and experience in Australia.
As for young brother John, isn't he the shy one ? He never mentioned his own speedway career, definately "hiding his light" etc.

The Leicester Speedway site was great, the stirring band music, presumably this was played during the march on of track officials prior to the nights racing? If anyone has seen the old black and white speedway movie "Once A Jolly Swagman" will know wot I mean.

The forward thinking council/borough who ok'd the site of the Leicester Speedway replacement are to be commended. Taking into account acceptable noise levels in what looks to be an urban situation. Never to be seen again in this part of the world. All speedways are now banished to 'back of beyond' locations with no public transport therefore dropping attendances.

#48 hurriken

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 07:58

no problem.

john had a short 'hit and miss' speedway career over a couple of years.
basically it became too expensive for him to continue.

regarding leicester speedway?

yes it will be fantastic if they can get it up and running even if it is at a multi sport style stadium.

leicester had a beautiful stadium in the old days at blackbird rd/parker drive.

unfortunately it was sold to developers in the early 8ts to become a housing estate.

leicester speedway was actually owned by coventry 'bees' who also owned oxford and in earlier years west ham.


but you are right in the fact that speedway is no longer a 'city' sport.

i remember when they introduced 'silencers' to the bikes in the 7ts. it just killed it.
nothing like the sound of a 500cc single going full pelt with a straight through stainless steel exhaust pipe.
and the 'smell' of the cinders and methanol!!!

#49 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 06:33

The solos are can be very good but for spectacle get some top Aussie sidecar racing.
Particularly back in the 60s and 70s with V twin Vincents, JAPs plus Trumpys and the like taking on the japanese invasion.And there is crazy, racing a 2 stroke without brakes!! That was very heady days.
Good sidecar racing is still very spectacular even now though the bikes are more sophisticated and better mannered [sometimes]
Sidecars will work on some car tracks too unlike the solos.
It is a pity though that track surfaces will not suit bikes and cars,
I grew up with Rowley Pk in Adelaide with regular 5 section programs, solos, sidecars, TQs or speedcars, Supermodifieds {sprintcars] and sedans and it was a very entertaining era.
These days you cant run Sprintcars on the same track as bikes. no way, though F500 or Speedcars can be compatible.

#50 Peter Leversedge

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 09:56

Ruapuna Speedway in Christchurch New Zealand still run Solo Motor Cycles and Sprint Car on the same show but it is a hard call to get the track good for both. For several years they had a separate track but for some reason they did away with Solo track last season. I always felt the need for a separate track or runing separate meetings and prepearing the track to suit. Not much fun racing a Sprint Car on a hard dry slick track
[ ex Ruapuna Sprint Car driver ]