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Bemsee early 1980s proddie racers


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#1 ESSEXBOY

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 19:50

anyone out there remember these names from the time? :confused:
Graham Marchant
Roger Marchant (no relation)
Steve (Smooth) Burrows
Mark Plato

remember it as a very well contested era,lots of different machinery
Suzuki Katanas
Suzuki GSX1100
Kawasaki GPZ900
Kawasaki GPZ1100
Honda CB900
Honda CB1100R

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#2 Simpson RX1

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 22:03

Originally posted by ESSEXBOY
anyone out there remember these names from the time? :confused:
Graham Marchant
Roger Marchant (no relation)
Steve (Smooth) Burrows
Mark Plato

remember it as a very well contested era,lots of different machinery
Suzuki Katanas
Suzuki GSX1100
Kawasaki GPZ900
Kawasaki GPZ1100
Honda CB900
Honda CB1100R



I remember Roger Marchant (unless age is catching up with me); turned up at Brands one day for a free day of clubby racing, and Roger was running in the open class on the 'straight bar' Kwaka Z1000, a basically standard Z with wide, flat bars just so he could hang on to the thing.

Watched him wrestle with this 'all power, no handling' monster for lap after lap, and stood there with my mouth hanging open, watching him hanging on for dear life while the bike bucked, kicked and weaved through Paddock was awe inspiring; for the next race, I got into the pits and stood in the back paddock to watch him go through the left/right Surtees to McLarens, the bike getting more out of shape with every lap.

I'm pretty sure he won both races outright, but he certainly did beat the Katanas, no mean feat considering the Suzuki handled much better.

Now someone will tell me it wasn't Roger Marchant at all, but I certainly remember that bike, sponsored by Boyers of Bromley, local Kwaka dealers.

#3 llmaurice

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 19:02

Yes ,those were the days when the British arms of the factories actually did something for the racers . "Special" riders got the then marvelous Honda CB1100r and Suzuki fought back by giving Granty and a couple of others "homologated "camshafts for the Katana1100 s -from Outer Mongolia or somewhere far off . The rest of the field of course weren't so they all donned t shirts printed with words to that effect!
Kawasaki fought back with the GPZ1100B with crankshafts that twisted . Our men suffered the GPZ and we rebuilt engines overnight at Donington when big Ks rep. turned up with 10 "special" cranks but NO gasket sets !
Prior to these beasts ,we ran the good old GS1000 for a few years and latterly , Katana 1000 for a bit though because it had proper carbs
Amazingly ,whilst the diesels were all struggling with the above problems , the good old 125/250/ and in those days 350s were as proper race bikes ---superb !
Nearly 30 years on and they're all killing of the privateer 2 strokes in favour of boring old modified Production machines that all look and sound the same (as in WSBK) . It goes without saying of course that they are all getting good sales figures from them .
Ducati are fighting back though having been allowed to run oversize engines in WSBK next year(it is of course and Italian run series with a level playing field ) ?
This helps explain why the US haven't allowed the 125/250s in their "Motogp" rounds but have 4 riders in the big class . Guess where the big 4s largest markets for "sports" bikes and Ducati is ?

#4 ESSEXBOY

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 22:44

seem to remember the katana cams being "Australian" spec :rotfl:

#5 llmaurice

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 19:56

Yes ,it was in fact Australia .

#6 MazTLR

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 01:52

Hi I’ve just joined the site, I started racing at Brands in 1978 in the production class on my GS750 against your list of racers, was a really good time, with 40 bikes on the grid and a push start not like now days. Fast down the straights then over taken around the bends by a bloody LC350. Then modified it to 850 yoshimura moved up to open class, just put some photo’s in the 1969-90 forum.
alan

#7 ESSEXBOY

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 18:33

i can remember your scoot.
i used to sponsor my friend Steve (Smooth) Burrows from Laindon
he used to do really well on his GSX1100 in the proddy class
we did up a Honda CB1100R as a sit up and beg for the open class

he always had a bad push start ,normally last away,then he would play catch up
he used to get up to about 6th position,would have been on the podium everytime if he could get it to start :wave:

#8 MazTLR

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 19:28

Yes about the push start, bet people don't realize that the start at Brands is an uphill push, and if your bike of 450lbs did'nt start first time it's a real killer to push from a stop again,when it did start, you are trying to catch your breath for the rest of the race.
alan

#9 Joe

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 15:21

You still here son? I used to go and watch my son racing a Kawasaki with a 'ladder' frame, called a Kasperak. He won a few races, including The Ben Ball Trophy. I could barely ride a pushbike, but loved to watch. I remember Dave Burford, Mark Plato, and many, many more.

#10 Joe

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 20:27

The Kasperak, a modified Kawasaki 1300, made the cover of Superbike in the mid eighties. Two pages inside as well.

#11 Joe

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 20:59

Just to take you back a bit, if any oldies are reading; my son started out racing an RD 400, then an LC 350; he couldn't catch the best, but not disgraced in some hot company. On the bigger bike, he raced against Dave Burford, amongst several great lads, and clocked about 53 or 54 seconds round Brands short circuit.

#12 Joe

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 12:12

Eddie Boldizar was almost unbeatable on Production 250s when I first started watching at Brands. Other good lads I saw during those years included Stuart Melon, Terry Rymer, the brothers Andy and Ian Green, Vince Field and Robin Drury, sadly killed early on.
Vince, along with some racing boys from Burnham Beeches way will remember our old caravanette, where they shared a few sandwiches. Eamonn, my son, could never match Damon Hill on his motorbike, but did once sell him a tyre. :lol:

#13 Joe

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 22:09

I'm persistent, eh? Matt Oxley, journalist, he took over the Boldizar throne on the LC 250s. His brother, Julian was handy too.
And those guys who used to eat and drink with us in and around the caravanette - Carshalton, I've been reminded, not Burnham Beeches.

#14 Joe

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 22:56

And the Kasperak - front of Superbike 1983.

#15 ESSEXBOY

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 23:51

Matt Oxley the now famous motogp journo used to help organise as well as race
he help out organising as well on the club racing scene for the NEW ERA club
they used to hold meetings at brands

do you remember Mark Plato and his brother ?Julian???
were good riders came out of Romford/Collier Row
Mark raced Katanas and GPZ900 moved up to Nationals on a tricked out RD500

#16 llmaurice

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 09:05

Julian Oxley died whilst still young sad to say .
He worked for H&S (Hands) who were our sposors in the late '70s . Julian looked after chain sales as H&S were the DID importers at the time .
A very personable young man was Julian.

#17 Joe

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 13:33

Ah, yes, I remember watching Mark Plato racing, and his brother. I don't think Mark's brother was named Julian, but I could be wrong. I saw them only as they 'flew' round the track. I may have some old programmes from Brands or Snetterton in the loft. Haven't looked for years, but I used to collect them, noting my son's progress as he started with the orange jacket and eventually won some 1300 Proddy races. Mark Linscott, if still around, would remember him.

#18 ESSEXBOY

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 19:20

Phil Lovett used to be a man on a mission back then
did he race a Phil Manzano tuned Kawasaki?

#19 llmaurice

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 19:31

Phil certainly did ,then he did some work for P&M and lost a foot in a road accident .He also fettled Paul Streets Rg 500s for a while and I believe still has an engineering business near his home in (I believe) Belvedere ,Kent .
he was the highest finisher in "our lot" at the Formula One race at the Silverstone GP ,he pushed it that hard that after the race he couldn't get off the bike 'cos he had worn his little toe out so we carried him to the medical centre . he obviously didn't notice it until the adrenalin stopped flowing !
As with most "support" races for the GPs , we had to park up along the old club straight with no access to the main paddock .

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#20 ESSEXBOY

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 21:55

think i was there that year 1982 ish
Ron Storey crashed heavily during practice on his F1 Suzuki?
Martin Bulle got blown into the weeds on his RSC kitted J E Vines framed Honda CB900 by older but faster Suzuki GS1000's and Kwacker Z1000's :eek:

#21 Jezza

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 06:20

Hi Guys,

I used to race a Stan Stephens Yamaha LC 350 in the early 80's with Kenny Irons.

Used to have some amazing battles in Bemsee races with Eddie Boldizar, Rich Dickinson, John Schluter, Pete Casey, Tony Downy, and many more, anyone remember those guys and where are they now?

And a whole bunch of Northern nutters on Terry Becket machines in the Marlborough series, guys like Kurt Langan, Gordon Allott, et al... :drunk:
Posted Image

Posted Image

I used to do the odd open race on the LC 350, here giving some proddie grief to Martin Dellow on his RG500
Posted Image

Posted Image

Around 1983 I moved onto a RG500 and won the Kent Racing Combine open championships and a few top 3 places in the Marlborough races, and started doing Nationals. Roger Kean used to prepare my engines and John Birkett was the man to beat that year.


These days I still ride road bikes and manage the odd track day.


Jerry Melville

Edited by Jezza, 26 April 2011 - 09:52.


#22 picblanc

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 10:41

Originally posted by Jezza
Hi Guys,

I used to race a Stan Stephens Yamaha LC 350 in the early 80's with Kenny Irons.

Used to have some amazing battles in Bemsee races with Eddie Boldizar, Rich Dickinson, John Schluter, Pete Case, Tony Downy, and many more, anyone remember those guys and where are they now?

And a whole bunch of Northern nutters on Terry Becket machines in the Marlborough series, guys like Kurt Langan, Gordon Allott, et al... :drunk:
Posted Image

Posted Image

I used to do the odd open race on the LC 350, here giving some proddie grief to Martin Dellow on his RG500
Posted Image

Posted Image

Around 1983 I moved onto a RG500 and won the Kent Racing Combine open championships and a few top 3 places in the Marlborough races, and started doing Nationals. Roger Kean used to prepare my engines and John Birkett was the man to beat that year.


These days I still ride road bikes and manage the odd track day.


Jerry Melville


Hi Jerry, nice post, and great pics, Martin Dellow often can be found on the 1969-90 motorcycle racing thread.
Sadly John Birkett did not live long enough to full fill his potential as I am sure you know :(

#23 llmaurice

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 17:01

Believe it or not , Kurt Langham is still out there , now with Derby Phoenix in their Sound of Thunder class !

#24 JohnSchluter

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 22:24

Hi Guys,

I used to race a Stan Stephens Yamaha LC 350 in the early 80's with Kenny Irons.

Used to have some amazing battles in Bemsee races with Eddie Boldizar, Rich Dickinson, John Schluter, Pete Case, Tony Downy, and many more, anyone remember those guys and where are they now?

And a whole bunch of Northern nutters on Terry Becket machines in the Marlborough series, guys like Kurt Langan, Gordon Allott, et al... :drunk:
Posted Image

Posted Image

I used to do the odd open race on the LC 350, here giving some proddie grief to Martin Dellow on his RG500
Posted Image

Posted Image

Around 1983 I moved onto a RG500 and won the Kent Racing Combine open championships and a few top 3 places in the Marlborough races, and started doing Nationals. Roger Kean used to prepare my engines and John Birkett was the man to beat that year.


These days I still ride road bikes and manage the odd track day.


Jerry Melville



#25 Finski#13

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 00:58

Great memories and pics, me and my brother Terry used to go down to Brands being our local track to watch Roger Marchant or Ape Shit Joe as my brother called him because of the way he climbed all over it.....Z1000 my arse though it was bored right out.........


Done a little production racing myself against Plato, Jeff Donovan, Dave Burford etc that was in 1986 on a YPVS........

also raced against the green brothers Rymer etc in 1985 on a 250LC and got mullered by them best I could manage was a 4th

Regards Lee

Tried to upload a picture but this forum is a pain in the arse

#26 LamboNZ

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 07:25

Great memories and pics, me and my brother Terry used to go down to Brands being our local track to watch Roger Marchant or Ape Shit Joe as my brother called him because of the way he climbed all over it.....Z1000 my arse though it was bored right out.........


Done a little production racing myself against Plato, Jeff Donovan, Dave Burford etc that was in 1986 on a YPVS........

also raced against the green brothers Rymer etc in 1985 on a 250LC and got mullered by them best I could manage was a 4th

Regards Lee

Tried to upload a picture but this forum is a pain in the arse


Welcome back Lee!

There used to be some great racing in those proddy races. Just add to some of the names that I can think of; The Morris brothers on the LCs, then Graham Holland Andy Mclutcheon, Chris Dabbs, Dave Heal, Brendon Doyle :wave: , Francis Williamson, The Emmetts, The Yuills, Les Brace, Adrian Squirell, Adrian Butcher. The list is endless, there was great talent there, and not many made it to thenext level for some reason or other.

#27 LamboNZ

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 08:08

Here's one of the late eighties likely lads, and one of our forum members.

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Nice hair too mate!!! :lol: :lol: :rotfl:

#28 picblanc

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 08:14

I had Stu Melen email me the otherday, (just thought I would share that with you! :D ) He won the Marlbro series I think? don't all shout at once!! :lol:

#29 Finski#13

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 00:18

O thanks very much for the pic of my mullet!!!!!!! :kiss:

#30 Coupe Kawasaki

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 01:47

Stick a word in for Gerry Mobey too Guv'na he woz at Walfamstow College wiv me on a bike mechanics cauwse. Good ridah sqwiyah :) . Lavved 'is accent :up:

David

#31 Vtwinmad

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 15:06

anyone out there remember these names from the time? :confused:
Graham Marchant
Roger Marchant (no relation)
Steve (Smooth) Burrows
Mark Plato

remember it as a very well contested era,lots of different machinery
Suzuki Katanas
Suzuki GSX1100
Kawasaki GPZ900
Kawasaki GPZ1100
Honda CB900
Honda CB1100R

. Hi guys, I've just found this thread on google. I know I'm a couple of years out of date, so please let me know if any of you are still out there ! I have a quite a few memories of the proddie class of that era. Cheers mark

#32 Snetterton-b17

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 15:29

. Hi guys, I've just found this thread on google. I know I'm a couple of years out of date, so please let me know if any of you are still out there ! I have a quite a few memories of the proddie class of that era. Cheers mark

My Brother raced against (well tried to race) the Morris brothers,Ricky McMillian,Zan Marsellies,Terry Rymer,Richard Dickinson,Stu Melen,Andy Green, etc,etc Then became the bemsee comentator for snetterton for a couple of years....

#33 Snetterton-b17

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 15:34

Ah, yes, I remember watching Mark Plato racing, and his brother. I don't think Mark's brother was named Julian, but I could be wrong. I saw them only as they 'flew' round the track. I may have some old programmes from Brands or Snetterton in the loft. Haven't looked for years, but I used to collect them, noting my son's progress as he started with the orange jacket and eventually won some 1300 Proddy races. Mark Linscott, if still around, would remember him.

Mark Plato's brother was David....Had a big accident at snetterton in which he broke his leg...

#34 MickJones

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 19:30

I raced an X7 (Terry Beckett tuned, then I developed it some more) in 1980, very fond memories and great scraps, especially at Brands. Gary Noel, Steve Trasler, Howie Lees, Don Curtin, Tony Green, Jimmy webb and loads more my memory is grasping at, lol. They really were good days and the best crowd of guys you could hope for.

#35 Vtwinmad

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 12:00

I raced an X7 (Terry Beckett tuned, then I developed it some more) in 1980, very fond memories and great scraps, especially at Brands. Gary Noel, Steve Trasler, Howie Lees, Don Curtin, Tony Green, Jimmy webb and loads more my memory is grasping at, lol. They really were good days and the best crowd of guys you could hope for.


Those names are bringing back great memories, but i was more involved with the bigger bikes. Riding a CB900 myself, i was up against the likes of Graham Marchant ( cb900.cb1100R), Mark Bowen ( GSX1100 ), Pete Ashbolt & Alan Batson ( Katana 1100's ), Dave burford (GS1000?), Paul Lund (CB900) Robin drury, Etc. Etc. I Know Graham Marchant is still around the circuits,and has a website with some great pics. of the time.
Does anyone know if the other guys are still around, and does anyone have any pics. of those early 80's proddie races with Bemsee, southern 67 and newmarket clubs ??

#36 Steve Bateman

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 12:52

Those names are bringing back great memories, but i was more involved with the bigger bikes. Riding a CB900 myself, i was up against the likes of Graham Marchant ( cb900.cb1100R), Mark Bowen ( GSX1100 ), Pete Ashbolt & Alan Batson ( Katana 1100's ), Dave burford (GS1000?), Paul Lund (CB900) Robin drury, Etc. Etc. I Know Graham Marchant is still around the circuits,and has a website with some great pics. of the time.
Does anyone know if the other guys are still around, and does anyone have any pics. of those early 80's proddie races with Bemsee, southern 67 and newmarket clubs ??

Hi Vtwinmad, I did a bit of Production racing in 1980/81 on a Ducati 900SS that my employers (Three Cross Motorcycles) let me use.The starts then were at the flagdrop and everyone (except me !) pressing their start buttons.The Ducati was kickstart only and if you timed it right you could swing on the kickstart and almost simultaneously bang it into first.If you got it right then you could get away with the leaders, get it wrong and you would be stuck on the line, desperatley trying to find neutral and Compression !
Mind you , when I was racing the Open Class on my P&M Suzuki, they were all push starts and above the eerie silence that was a second after the flag fell and everyone was pushing, it was amazing how many starter motors you could hear from the proddie bikes alongside ! :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

#37 MickJones

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 14:33

Those names are bringing back great memories, but i was more involved with the bigger bikes. Riding a CB900 myself, i was up against the likes of Graham Marchant ( cb900.cb1100R), Mark Bowen ( GSX1100 ), Pete Ashbolt & Alan Batson ( Katana 1100's ), Dave burford (GS1000?), Paul Lund (CB900) Robin drury, Etc. Etc. I Know Graham Marchant is still around the circuits,and has a website with some great pics. of the time.
Does anyone know if the other guys are still around, and does anyone have any pics. of those early 80's proddie races with Bemsee, southern 67 and newmarket clubs ??

I was runner up to Mike James in the Newmarket championship in 79 and 3rd in the S67 in 80 behind Tony Green and Jimmy Webb, Also Runner up to Colin Pole in the 79 BRC champ but I got my own back in 80 by beating him after a bloody hard season :clap:

#38 kerrowmoar

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 16:18

"it was amazing how many starter motors you could hear from the proddie bikes alongside !"



how very unsporting :blush: :blush:






#39 Snetterton-b17

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 17:27

"it was amazing how many starter motors you could hear from the proddie bikes alongside !"



how very unsporting :blush: :blush:

There was a story going around the paddock that a certain 250 LC rider used to tap novice's on the shoulder when going around coram curve..... :eek: :eek:

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#40 gmwzorro

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 17:38

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#41 Snetterton-b17

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 17:54

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7 Stu Melen 33 Gerry Mobey .......Still thinking about the other 2

#42 gmwzorro

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 18:23

:clap: :clap: Stu and Gerry correct other 2 well known
Gary

7 Stu Melen 33 Gerry Mobey .......Still thinking about the other 2



#43 Snetterton-b17

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 18:29

:clap: :clap: Stu and Gerry correct other 2 well known
Gary

Jimmy Shanks & Steve Wood ?

#44 gmwzorro

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 19:56

Jimmy Shanks & Steve Wood ?

No not Jimmy or Steve initials GT & AG

#45 mba21

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 21:07

"it was amazing how many starter motors you could hear from the proddie bikes alongside !"



how very unsporting :blush: :blush:

Ermmmmm gamesmanship I guess ;) I am sure nothing was ever done to bypass the engine tweeking rules Koff Koff :p

#46 Steve Bateman

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 21:15

Ermmmmm gamesmanship I guess ;) I am sure nothing was ever done to bypass the engine tweeking rules Koff Koff :p

How very dare you MBA21 !!
I am sure that they were all as they left the Factory, although I must admit as being a Ducati mechanic for the Importers, I used to meaure the compression ratio of every customers 900SS when it was in for service and would work bloody long hours into the night swapping cranks, heads and cylinders (thats my ticket to Heaven out of the window !).
It was always the motors with the blue and yellow paint dots (denoting the builder) that were the best :blush: :blush: :blush: :blush: :blush: :blush: :blush: :blush: :blush:
Oh ! And fitting Laverda Jota forks and rear shocks which were an inch and a half longer (stopped the kickstart lever and LH downpipe touching down)
Is it a ten year rule for claiming against another party ? If so then I am home and dry :clap: :clap: :clap:

#47 mba21

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 21:20

How very dare you MBA21 !!
I am sure that they were all as they left the Factory, although I must admit as being a Ducati mechanic for the Importers, I used to meaure the compression ratio of every customers 900SS when it was in for service and would work bloody long hours into the night swapping cranks, heads and cylinders (thats my ticket to Heaven out of the window !).
It was always the motors with the blue and yellow paint dots (denoting the builder) that were the best :blush: :blush: :blush: :blush: :blush: :blush: :blush: :blush: :blush:
Oh ! And fitting Laverda Jota forks and rear shocks which were an inch and a half longer (stopped the kickstart lever and LH downpipe touching down)
Is it a ten year rule for claiming against another party ? If so then I am home and dry :clap: :clap: :clap:

Hands up all those who never used Avgas :rolleyes:

Edited by mba21, 25 January 2010 - 21:22.


#48 Steve Bateman

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 21:26

Hands up all those who never used Avgas :rolleyes:

Eeerrrr , Avgas, isnt that like 100LL ? Never heard of it !! :blush: :blush:

#49 mba21

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 21:32

Eeerrrr , Avgas, isnt that like 100LL ? Never heard of it !! :blush: :blush:

Wernt it suposed to be fuel from the wayside.tut tut tut well we had a aerodrome next to road by me so that was good enough for me :rotfl: :rotfl: ;) ;) ;) ;)

#50 Steve Bateman

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 21:37

Wernt it suposed to be fuel from the wayside.tut tut tut well we had a aerodrome next to road by me so that was good enough for me :rotfl: :rotfl:;);););)

Apparently we had an airfield called Bournemouth (Hurn) airport close by but we never used to mix it 50/50 with pump petrol !! :blush: