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#151 Herr Wankel

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 09:28

:rolleyes:

Has some-one farted?
HW

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#152 mp025004

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 22:00

I attended my first Road Race meeting a few years ago whilst still in my pram. My grandparents lived next door to Freddie Wallis and my parents went to meetings to support him. There was long gap then and the first proper racing memory was at Cadwell Park (1971?) where the stars of the day were Giacomo Agostini, Chris Vincent and Mick Grant. My interest grew and I soon became involved in marshalling. My early heroes included Barry Scully and Cal Rayborn but my all-time hero is Gary Nixon. There hasn’t been a more exciting sight for me than Gary Nixon wheelying downhill between the Gooseneck and Mansfield. Therefore by the mid-70s I was hooked on Road Racing, regularly marshalling all over the country and a member of Derby Phoenix MCC. This association with the club brought me into contact with several riders and in those days we had a few stars in the club room. We also ran Scrambles and Trials and in 1974 the club ran a round of the National Sidecar Championship. I borrowed a tent from Austin Hockley, who asked me to take care of it because it was for sale. I sold it to Dave Bickers at the meeting. This friendship led to Austin asking me to help him as a mechanic in 1976. My first meeting was at Brands Hatch on Good Friday. Three bikes to look after – 250, 350 & 750 Yamahas. The 750 was spoiling Austin’s rides on the smaller bikes, so it was taken on by Neil Tuxworth. He did OK on the bike but he too gave it up some time later. Austin did reasonably well in 1976 & 1977, so we decided to give up our jobs to become more than holiday racers. In those days there was money to be made from the foreign international races, mainly in Holland and Belgium and it was possible for privateers to ‘front-up’ at a GP and get a ride. Overall 1978 can be regarded as a year of mixed fortunes. Good results in the foreign races, where Austin was getting good results against riders like Jon Ekerold, who is the hardest rider I’ve ever met, and poor results in the shorter British races where Austin’s poor starting couldn’t be compensated for. He always tried though and this sometimes ended up with a trip to the medical centre. Austin’s last serious race was at Scarborough, where he broke his femur in another excursion into the undergrowth. He has raced a few times since and is still quick. After Austin’s retirement I returned to helping Steve Manship, who I had helped previously during one of Austin’s recovery periods. During the 1978 season I like to think I had a part in Steve winning the British Championship and the British GP at Silverstone, although the Record books show that KR senior won the GP. At the end of the race KR had no idea where he had finished and a week later at St Joris ten Distel confirmed that his team showed him the Last-Lap board as he crossed the line. If you were there you’d understand. After the successes of 1978 I received a few offers for 1979 and opted to work for Jock Taylor and things were great to start with. However, I felt that behind the scenes, a pressure was being applied by others that I couldn’t accept. I went back to helping Steve. The British GP was one of the first meetings we did together again, unfortunately this time round; there was no RG500 only a TZ750. Another rider, Peter Grove, loaned Steve a 500 conversion, but we couldn’t get it to run properly. I can’t remember much else about that year, but decided to stay with Steve for 1980, so it can’t have been too bad.
For 1980 a new RG500 was added to the 2 TZ750s. The Suzuki was a winner straight out of the crate. Steve won most of the 500cc races he entered that year, with only Kork Ballington on a works Kawasaki with an obvious advantage. But despite this bike there wasn’t to be another fairytale British GP. A gearbox bearing broke and that was that. Steve won the British Championship again that year though after a tough season racing against Bill Marks. Steve lost his sponsorship for 1981 and with only the RG500 to race I decided to look further afield again, eventually securing a job with Dave Potter on the Ted Broad Yamahas, hence my picture on the Dave Potter thread. That was a great job with Dave being the top British Superbike rider at the time. Two TZ500s and two TZ750s kept me well busy and I will always be indebted to Ted for trusting me with building Dave’s engines from day one. After Dave’s death I finished off the season with Steve Henshaw. At the end of 1981 I was approached with an offer to work for Daytona Winner Dale Singleton. I turned the offer down – don’t ask me why. Instead of tyre testing at Daytona I found myself on a cold and frosty day at Cadwell Park learning how to race a sidecar. I got the hang of it though and thoroughly enjoyed it. When I gave up in 1983 it was because I had a young family, no money and when your passenger is also your wife, not enough room for a babysitter in the van. Even before I packed in racing myself, I had been helping out scrutineering at Phoenix, EMRA and Pathfinders meetings, so I just sort of fell into the Chief Scrutineer role to keep involved. I did that for over 25 years, until I moved to Plymouth and I find it difficult to get to meetings now; I’ve also worked for Rolls-Royce for 25 years since.

Sorry for rambling. This is only a tiny flavour of my experiences in bike racing, I could bore you for hours.

Paul
Age 55


#153 Herr Wankel

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 08:35

Welcome,and keep em coming Paul.

HW (aged 58 1/4 )


#154 fil2.8

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 21:56

Welcome,and keep em coming Paul.

HW (aged 58 1/4 )


Hi , Paul :wave: as HW ( 58 1/4 and counting ) says , a warm welcome :p are you still in Plymouth ?? I must know you , I was with Bill Marks during those years , and we were pretty friendly with Dave Potter , :up: , do you remember Pete Sleat ? who was one of DP's mechs ?? , before he went to Honda Britain ? , he's Bill's next door neighbour !!
If you are in Plymouth , i'm just outside Exeter :lol:
Phil , 63 and a month :mad:


#155 mp025004

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 06:03

Hi Phil 63 & 1 month.

Yes I live in Plymouth although I originate from Derby. I am in Derby now because I work for RR and can't get permanently based in Plymouth. I commute most weeks, I'll wave as I go past the racecourse.

I would probably recognise Bill if I bumped into him and I joined Ted Broad just as Peter left, so didn't really know him as a colleague. I was probably quite quiet in those days, although there were some good nights out with other mechanics, a particular night in Jaap Geerts bar springs to mind.

Paul
I lied about my age I'm 55½


#156 fil2.8

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 08:19

Hi Phil 63 & 1 month.

Yes I live in Plymouth although I originate from Derby. I am in Derby now because I work for RR and can't get permanently based in Plymouth. I commute most weeks, I'll wave as I go past the racecourse.

I would probably recognise Bill if I bumped into him and I joined Ted Broad just as Peter left, so didn't really know him as a colleague. I was probably quite quiet in those days, although there were some good nights out with other mechanics, a particular night in Jaap Geerts bar springs to mind.

Paul
I lied about my age I'm 55½


Strange , isn't it Paul , i'm originally from Nottingham !!! although have lived in Devon since 1962 !! . I posted some pics of Bill's 60th a few hundred pages ago about Nov 2008 IIRC
BTW , I lied about my age , i'm 63 , 3 weeks and 4days :lol: ......................not sure on the hours , sorry :p
Phil :wave: ....might PM you later  ;)


#157 mp025004

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 19:26

I bet you're going to ask me to bring a George Stafford (John Newbold's late uncle) Black Pudding down for you. I love 'em.

Paul
Another day older.


#158 Herr Wankel

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 16:31

I bet you're going to ask me to bring a George Stafford (John Newbold's late uncle) Black Pudding down for you. I love 'em.

Paul
Another day older.

Put one in the post for me.
HW (ex Burton on Trent) aged 58 and 17/64ths

#159 mp025004

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 19:35

Do you want me to pop across to beer town and get you a proper pint?

No Marmite though I can't stand to be near it.


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#160 Herr Wankel

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 21:17

Do you want me to pop across to beer town and get you a proper pint?

No Marmite though I can't stand to be near it.

I finished my last bottle of pedigree last night :cry: ,I am coming back next month for a transfusion! :p Mind you given a choice I prefer Burton Bridge Bitter :stoned: :stoned:
HW (Brother in law works for RR Marine)

#161 mp025004

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 12:56

I finished my last bottle of pedigree last night :cry: ,I am coming back next month for a transfusion! :p Mind you given a choice I prefer Burton Bridge Bitter :stoned: :stoned:
HW (Brother in law works for RR Marine)

Bottled Pedigree just doesn't quite have that 'babies nappy' smell of the draught stuff, but it's still acceptable. I tend to stock up with 'Business as Usual' or 'Old Intentional' from Derby Brewing Company.
Down here in Plymouth I enjoy really good Draught Bass straight from the barrel at the Dolphin.

Who's your brother and what does he do?

Paul

#162 captainkroozer

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 21:50

Hi all,
I inadvertently stumbled across this site after a conversation with my dad-he uses the four wheel section of the forum.(he still doesn't like me near two wheels after 40 years!)
My name is Giles Fielden, and I hail from Macclesfield.
I was first introduced to bike racing in the mid seventies at Oulton Park.We'd gone to what my Dad believed to be a small car club meeting.He'd got the dates wrong and we turned up for a round of the Transatlantic Trophy.I was hooked.He must have been impressed too as we got to go to a fair amount of bike meetings after that.
I started out my biking life on a Vespa,followed by numerous Lambrettas.I graduated to bigger things,Z1,VFR 750,350 LC but kept parking where I shouldn't-in cars and hedges!The usual family and four wheels happened and the bikes went.By chance met up with some old mates who now race scooters,went to watchand caught the bug.I now race/ride round at the back/make up grid numbers with the British Scooter Sport Organisation and the VMCC.My bike started out life as Lambretta GP200,producing about 11 hp.It has been tweaked a touch an now makes nearly 40!!Not too shabby as a % power increase.
I can't bring much in the way of anecdotes and stories,but hopefully you won't mind if I sit back and soak up the atmosphere.
Nostalgia-it ain't what it used to be!!


Cheers.

#163 fil2.8

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 10:30

Hi , Giles , welcome to the forum :rolleyes: , pleased to have you with us :yawnface: , shame about the scooters , but never mind , they have two wheels ( if they are a tad small ) bet it's fun racing those though , would make a bit of a change hearing about scooter racing , bit of a first for the forum , I guess :up: :wave:

#164 captainkroozer

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 20:40

Hi , Giles , welcome to the forum :rolleyes: , pleased to have you with us :yawnface: , shame about the scooters , but never mind , they have two wheels ( if they are a tad small ) bet it's fun racing those though , would make a bit of a change hearing about scooter racing , bit of a first for the forum , I guess :up: :wave:

Thanks for the welcome.You are right about the wheels.Shall we just say that over 100 mph things start getting "interesting!"However on tighter twisty circuits we can run rings round most things. :rotfl: I will keep you informed as to how the season progresses. ;)

#165 fil2.8

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 22:41

Thanks for the welcome.You are right about the wheels.Shall we just say that over 100 mph things start getting "interesting!"However on tighter twisty circuits we can run rings round most things. :rotfl: I will keep you informed as to how the season progresses.;)


Yes please , if it's not to much trouble :rolleyes: :yawnface: :up:


#166 Paul Collins

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 00:18

Hi :wave: my name is .....erm same as my user name :lol: I live fairly local to Cadwell Park and raced from 1978 to 1989 at club and national level.

I started with a TD1C, had a handful of TZ350's over the years, a brief encounter with a TZ750, and finished off with a 500 Honda triple a Terry Shepherd creation based around the roadgoing NS400 bottom end, i still have this bike in the corner of my lounge.

After I finished racing I helped out a few riders on the spanners and assisted a couple of lads to Manx Grand Prix wins on the 250's.

I lost a lot of interest when racing became dominated by the 'supers' (sport/bike/stock etc) and the grids filled with road bikes minus lights and number plates, ok the racing is close but its just not the same atmosphere anymore (and certainly not the same smell)

I still go to the TT & MGP and help out a bit with signalling and pitlane, I also still do the occasional engine rebuild on RS125/250 and TZ250 engines.

This is great site which I discovered purely by accident, there are some great memory joggers on here and some interesting stories.

Edited by Paul Collins, 21 May 2010 - 00:21.


#167 fil2.8

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 07:23

[quote name='Paul Collins' date='May 21 2010, 01:18' post='4364415']
Hi :wave: my name is .....erm same as my user name :lol: I live fairly local to Cadwell Park and raced from 1978 to 1989 at club and national level.


I lost a lot of interest when racing became dominated by the 'supers' (sport/bike/stock etc) and the grids filled with road bikes minus lights and number plates, ok the racing is close but its just not the same atmosphere anymore (and certainly not the same smell)

Well said , Paul , and very true :well: :mad: :mad:




#168 mba21

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 08:12

Very well said ,and I agree whole heartedly

#169 exclubracer

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 00:10

Hi all,
I inadvertently stumbled across this site after a conversation with my dad-he uses the four wheel section of the forum.(he still doesn't like me near two wheels after 40 years!)
My name is Giles Fielden, and I hail from Macclesfield.
I was first introduced to bike racing in the mid seventies at Oulton Park.We'd gone to what my Dad believed to be a small car club meeting.He'd got the dates wrong and we turned up for a round of the Transatlantic Trophy.I was hooked.He must have been impressed too as we got to go to a fair amount of bike meetings after that.
I started out my biking life on a Vespa,followed by numerous Lambrettas.I graduated to bigger things,Z1,VFR 750,350 LC but kept parking where I shouldn't-in cars and hedges!The usual family and four wheels happened and the bikes went.By chance met up with some old mates who now race scooters,went to watchand caught the bug.I now race/ride round at the back/make up grid numbers with the British Scooter Sport Organisation and the VMCC.My bike started out life as Lambretta GP200,producing about 11 hp.It has been tweaked a touch an now makes nearly 40!!Not too shabby as a % power increase.
I can't bring much in the way of anecdotes and stories,but hopefully you won't mind if I sit back and soak up the atmosphere.
Nostalgia-it ain't what it used to be!!


Cheers.

Welcome from me Giles, please join in the fun :D

#170 exclubracer

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 00:13

Hi :wave: my name is .....erm same as my user name :lol: I live fairly local to Cadwell Park and raced from 1978 to 1989 at club and national level.

I started with a TD1C, had a handful of TZ350's over the years, a brief encounter with a TZ750, and finished off with a 500 Honda triple a Terry Shepherd creation based around the roadgoing NS400 bottom end, i still have this bike in the corner of my lounge.

After I finished racing I helped out a few riders on the spanners and assisted a couple of lads to Manx Grand Prix wins on the 250's.

I lost a lot of interest when racing became dominated by the 'supers' (sport/bike/stock etc) and the grids filled with road bikes minus lights and number plates, ok the racing is close but its just not the same atmosphere anymore (and certainly not the same smell)

I still go to the TT & MGP and help out a bit with signalling and pitlane, I also still do the occasional engine rebuild on RS125/250 and TZ250 engines.

This is great site which I discovered purely by accident, there are some great memory joggers on here and some interesting stories.

Welcome from me also Paul, 2 strokes rule, eh? :up:

#171 BRS

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 18:04

Just located this forum. Started in racing as a "professional Gofor" in around 1968 ish with Nick and Gerry Boret and the sidcars first a Vincent Mini Wheeled then a gap then the Konig then the Yamahas. Mainly made the fairings and Aerodynamics plus did the Cooking looked after PR and driving and laterly supplied the Racing Numbers as used by Nick and Gerry , Barry Sheen, Pat Hennan etc etc. Appointed as transport co-ordinator for the Transatlantic series, Big black limos with yellow stripes 1974 to 1977ish

Joined Honda Britain as Race Co-ordinator in 1977 Trials MotorX and World endurance With Mainly Charlie Williams and Stan Woods. Moved to Race team Manager and took Joey Dunlop to his F1 Titles. Ron Haslam and W Gardner to many british titles and passed them both on the HRC. Later Rothmans Honda Britain and then Rothmans Honda finaly with Roger Burnet in World GP's.

Managed Snetterton 1988-89, Rebuilt the Cafe and Russells (sorry if you preferred the old one) Went to JPS Norton with Steve Spray, Trevor Nation, Robert Dunlop, Ron Haslam, Ian Simpson, Jim Moodie and David Jefferies. Moved to Belfast 1993 after Steve Hislop won Senior TT.

Lookad after Martin Finegan and the MV Augusta at the centenery TT assist Michael Dunlop and run the annual Pro-Test at Cartagena each year. Do consutancy work for Crossle cars in Holywood (Belfast not California)

#172 fil2.8

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 18:16

Welcome to the forum , BRS , hope you stay around , and fess up some more :up:
Rather a small C.V , may I add :lol:  ;) :wave:

#173 peterd

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 20:43

A big welcome from me, too. Look forward to your comments, input and observations.

#174 Paul Collins

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 23:16

Welcome Barry, some great times to be had on here as we roll back the years.

#175 Coupe Kawasaki

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 01:54

Hey there Barry, nice to see you here :clap: :clap: :clap: Hi also Paul :wave: Some nice 2 smokes action there.....!





David

Edited by Coupe Kawasaki, 28 May 2010 - 02:05.


#176 Coupe Kawasaki

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 02:08

Hi , Giles , welcome to the forum :rolleyes: , pleased to have you with us :yawnface: , shame about the scooters , but never mind , they have two wheels ( if they are a tad small ) bet it's fun racing those though , would make a bit of a change hearing about scooter racing , bit of a first for the forum , I guess :up: :wave:



I think Phil l needs a few big bore Dykes in his life too Giles :D . Welcome :wave:



David

#177 fil2.8

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 08:01

I think Phil l needs a few big bore Dykes in his life too Giles :D . Welcome :wave:



David




Reckon if you want some ' Dykes ' , this isn't the forum for you............................................. :eek: :rolleyes:

#178 Coupe Kawasaki

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 14:38

a 225 cc kit Phil....from Comerfords :wave: They go quite well then :up:

#179 fil2.8

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 15:05

a 225 cc kit Phil....from Comerfords :wave: They go quite well then :up:



Oh , I see , silly me :blush: ...................................... are you sure ???


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#180 exclubracer

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 15:27

Just located this forum. Started in racing as a "professional Gofor" in around 1968 ish with Nick and Gerry Boret and the sidcars first a Vincent Mini Wheeled then a gap then the Konig then the Yamahas. Mainly made the fairings and Aerodynamics plus did the Cooking looked after PR and driving and laterly supplied the Racing Numbers as used by Nick and Gerry , Barry Sheen, Pat Hennan etc etc. Appointed as transport co-ordinator for the Transatlantic series, Big black limos with yellow stripes 1974 to 1977ish

Joined Honda Britain as Race Co-ordinator in 1977 Trials MotorX and World endurance With Mainly Charlie Williams and Stan Woods. Moved to Race team Manager and took Joey Dunlop to his F1 Titles. Ron Haslam and W Gardner to many british titles and passed them both on the HRC. Later Rothmans Honda Britain and then Rothmans Honda finaly with Roger Burnet in World GP's.

Managed Snetterton 1988-89, Rebuilt the Cafe and Russells (sorry if you preferred the old one) Went to JPS Norton with Steve Spray, Trevor Nation, Robert Dunlop, Ron Haslam, Ian Simpson, Jim Moodie and David Jefferies. Moved to Belfast 1993 after Steve Hislop won Senior TT.

Lookad after Martin Finegan and the MV Augusta at the centenery TT assist Michael Dunlop and run the annual Pro-Test at Cartagena each year. Do consutancy work for Crossle cars in Holywood (Belfast not California)


:wave: Welcome Barry, you must have some interesting stories to tell. :up:

#181 robinmck

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 07:14

Robin McKenzie here, fast approaching 50, must grow up soon I suppose. Been into motorcycling and racing since about age14. Started out with trail bikes, progressed to MX bikes and in 1979 finally bought my only ever brand new bike, an IT175 Yamaha, which i did the '79 national enduro series on. I then moved towns and discovered road racing. Found an old air cooled TR500 and raced that at club level for a year or so, then moved on to a TZ250, again at club level. Also had a H2B Kawasaki which I rode in club-mans class. Lots and lots of fun, but I admit I never progressed far, wallet too small combined with skill level too low.
Worked for John Boote for awhile in the early '80's, during the week at his shop and weekends as one of his riding buddies or if he was competing, in his pit crew.
Still riding, got a GSXR750 and a K100 in the garage, but they do not come out as much now as I would like.
Found this site by accident and think it's great. It is neat to see some of the great riders from the 70's and 80's posting their memories and photos.Posted Image[/img]

Edited by robinmck, 30 May 2010 - 07:19.


#182 Paul Collins

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 21:32

Robin McKenzie here, fast approaching 50, must grow up soon I suppose. Been into motorcycling and racing since about age14. Started out with trail bikes, progressed to MX bikes and in 1979 finally bought my only ever brand new bike, an IT175 Yamaha, which i did the '79 national enduro series on. I then moved towns and discovered road racing. Found an old air cooled TR500 and raced that at club level for a year or so, then moved on to a TZ250, again at club level. Also had a H2B Kawasaki which I rode in club-mans class. Lots and lots of fun, but I admit I never progressed far, wallet too small combined with skill level too low.
Worked for John Boote for awhile in the early '80's, during the week at his shop and weekends as one of his riding buddies or if he was competing, in his pit crew.
Still riding, got a GSXR750 and a K100 in the garage, but they do not come out as much now as I would like.
Found this site by accident and think it's great. It is neat to see some of the great riders from the 70's and 80's posting their memories and photos.


Welcome Rob, Same here mate i'm 50 next Sat :( but will be at the TT by then so at least a good night out is on the cards as I contemplate being 120 months away from my winter fuel allowance and bus pass!!

Hey those TR500's were amazing bikes, I remember having a race long battle with one on my TZ350 once, the guy was in front of me at the first corner and I assumed I would eat him first time down the straight, WRONG!! I spent the entire race desperately hanging on to him, they were bloody quick.

Its amazing how many people (me included) are saying the same thing on here about finding the site by accident, I think we need to spread the word a bit, i've sent links to a few mates to get them over here and i'll be seeing a few more old faces next week at the TT so i'll try and get them to link in, a couple of them will be known to many on here and i'm sure will provide some very interesting input if they join us.

Edited by Paul Collins, 29 May 2010 - 21:35.


#183 Peerless

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Posted 31 May 2010 - 21:42

Hi all, my name is Nigel Lambourne, also known as Lambo by some. I was brought up with racing around me, with my father (Len) who started on a 7R in the 60s, of which he had to sell to by my pram in 1968! He then returned to racing in the early 70s firstly with a Commando, then a TR2B followed by various TZs. He raced right through to 1984 when he had a huge crash, from which he nearly died, and spent some time in a coma. He then started F2 sidecar racing in 1990.
So I was inhaling R30 from an early age, and could be well be one of the things that made me so attracted to the sport for as far back as I can remember. Growing up in the Lambourne household was pretty cool, as there was usually a couple of TZs in the garage at some stage of dismantle. Also parties of my parents would have riders such as Trevor Nation, Les Burgan, Roy Kennedy, Tom Phillips etc. attending.
I started racing in 1985, on an MT125 Honda which was all I could afford to buy on an apprentice wage at 17. I got a trophy in my first race as class winner (but there was only one other rider in the class that day, and he was older than Les Judkins!!). I then moved onto TZ 250s, starting with my dad's K model, then had Dennis Trollope build me a Spondon T, since then have had W,B, D, E & F models, and 1 RS 250 Honda. I had over 50 wins at club level, but unfortunately due to a serious lack of talent, nearly as many crashes! I never won a club chamionship (finished second 5 times) and didn't do much at national level (best was a sixth at Snetterton)
I packed up racing in 1997, and went mechaniccing for gary may, then my good mate the late Gavin Lee. I moved to NZ in 2002, and after discovering this site a while back and with it stirring up the racing fires, have recently bought a TZ250 again on which i will be making my return to the track at Pukekohe next weekend.


Nigel how are things? so how is the racing going? i too am making a return but with four wheels, too old for two and after breaking my back not practical!! i miss the North Glos days and scrabbling to find the money for the next set of tyres or engine re-build, gavin was a good guy, what happened to him? many memories too long since i last raced as was flat broke, hope your well Jon

#184 LamboNZ

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 10:07

Nigel how are things? so how is the racing going? i too am making a return but with four wheels, too old for two and after breaking my back not practical!! i miss the North Glos days and scrabbling to find the money for the next set of tyres or engine re-build, gavin was a good guy, what happened to him? many memories too long since i last raced as was flat broke, hope your well Jon


Hi Jon, Good to hear form you. The racing is going OK thanks, back to my usual tricks with the first round of the series in OCtober, and had a big hi-side crash in the wet! Getting back into it a bit now though, and actually finishing my races!
Gavin got caught up in someone elses crash at the Southern 100 in the IOM, sadly killing them both, and hospitallising two others. A real pisser, as he was a geat bloke.

Was just looking at a photo of you that had been posted on Facebook by Bryan Lancaster today, link http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/ph...p;id=1561337752, he has one of Mike Parry that he posted today as well, do you still stay in touch with Mike?
Good luck with your new racing exploits.

I expect to see some pics and tales of the track posted on the forums too form you!

Cheers,

Nigel

#185 Peerless

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 20:52

Hi Jon, Good to hear form you. The racing is going OK thanks, back to my usual tricks with the first round of the series in OCtober, and had a big hi-side crash in the wet! Getting back into it a bit now though, and actually finishing my races!
Gavin got caught up in someone elses crash at the Southern 100 in the IOM, sadly killing them both, and hospitallising two others. A real pisser, as he was a geat bloke.

Was just looking at a photo of you that had been posted on Facebook by Bryan Lancaster today, link http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/ph...p;id=1561337752, he has one of Mike Parry that he posted today as well, do you still stay in touch with Mike?
Good luck with your new racing exploits.

I expect to see some pics and tales of the track posted on the forums too form you!

Cheers,

Nigel


Good luck nigel keep on two wheels, not seen mike for ages he runs his own engine tuning company after breaking his back an now wheel chair bound, but hope to see him after the tt to help me with an engine! could not work the link but put friends request in so may see it that way. so are you club racing national?? on what? Gavin was a great guy and really sorry to hear that, liked him lots.
keep in touch and will try to put some pics on when i get the bloody car going he he
cheers Jon

#186 LaynieKelly

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 04:57

To some of you I need no introduction, to those that I have yet to meet ... I'm Laynie from Australia. Born into a family of 3 older, and not necessarily wiser, brothers. The eldest bought home a motorbike, and the rest of us fell in love. Terry took up roadracing in the 70s on a TZ350 mainly. Raced with John Warrian in the 78 6 Hour to finish 2nd outright on a Ducati.

The next brother is/was a car nut. American muscle cars, fan of the General. Car restoration turned into show cars and gave way to drag cars. You guessed it, my teething ring was a Chevvy 350 piston ring. (Just joking ... only) Adrian was the multiple Australian Pro-stock drag Champion for several years in the early 90s. Now's he just back to restoring muscle cars again.

The next brother, Neil, loved two wheels sport and did a bit of drag racing and road racing. Notably racing under an assumed name in 70s to claim the world record for the Street Bikes over the quarter mile.

Welcome to my family. You try being a princess with all that fun going on around you. All of this got me into bike racing, which led me to being the Club Secretary for Motorcycle Sportsmen Club in Qld and building it up to be the biggest club in the state. In the mid 1980s I met and married Jim Budd (RIP), another motorcycle racing personality of the 1970s/80s. With JBs passing I got sucked back into bike racing, to where I am now writing stories on racing legends from the 70s/80s in Australia for magazines. I am also researching the Swann Series so pass on your stories. Love to hear your tales.

I have recently started a blog tribute to JB, and his car racing dad, Harry, and a Facebook Fan page.

So as I say ... let's talk racing.



#187 peterd

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 05:57

Welcome to the forum, Laynie. It was a privilege to know Jim during those great days of Australian production racing. His passing came as a huge shock. Have visited your tribute site and it revives some good memories. Look forward to reading your contributions, especially your Swann Series history. Like the Marlboro Series, words on the SS need to be written now before we all get (more) senile.

#188 philippe7

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 06:24

Look forward to reading your contributions, especially your Swann Series history. Like the Marlboro Series, words on the SS need to be written now before we all get (more) senile.


Indeed ! Please open a Swann series thread Laynie, there are quite a few people here who will be able to add their contributions I'm sure !

Having grown up in France there wasn't much in the motorcycling press about antipodean racing, but I very much remember having read the name Jim Budd when it was announced that he was entered in the Bol d'Or on a factory Kawasaki - the french journos didn't know much about him, but the general feeling was that a man chosen to partner the great Gregg Hansford had to be a formidable rider....

A warm welcome to the forum


#189 Option1

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 11:17

Hi Laynie! :wave: :kiss:

As Philippe said, open a thread about the Swann Series.

Neil (the other brother by another mother - in other words, not the Kelly brother)

Edited by Option1, 23 June 2010 - 11:19.


#190 Coupe Kawasaki

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 17:14

Welcome Laynie :wave: That sounds a nice project to research and write about. :) I read the posts but don't much the knowledge of Antipodean racing so it's all good stuff having enjoyed watching the riders I saw come to Britain in the late 70s and early eighties :clap:



Hope to see some more posts...



David

#191 LaynieKelly

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 07:29

Hi Laynie! :wave: :kiss:

As Philippe said, open a thread about the Swann Series.

Neil (the other brother by another mother - in other words, not the Kelly brother)



Consider it done. PS Neil - different mum and dad. Right birth town though! Thank you for making me feel welcome everyone.

#192 LaynieKelly

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 07:43

Welcome to the forum, Laynie. It was a privilege to know Jim during those great days of Australian production racing. His passing came as a huge shock. Have visited your tribute site and it revives some good memories. Look forward to reading your contributions, especially your Swann Series history. Like the Marlboro Series, words on the SS need to be written now before we all get (more) senile.


The Swann Series is the first book I want to write to record the racing, but the people, the bikes and tracks. Remember Surfers Paradise circuit? it's an incredible residential resort now. But the good times had at that circuit are irreplaceable.

But I need the help of those who were there. Thank you for making me welcome. JB was a special person, and liked by many. If he only knew that.




#193 DOTSforever

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 00:47

Hello all :wave:

As it says in my sig, my name is Stuart Dent and although my motorsport background has concerned the four-wheeled sport (in the media, competing in car racing & rallying, rally driver instructor and so on) I've followed motorcycle racing since the early 1970s mainly through magazines such as Motorcycle Racing.

The first bike race I attended was at Mallory Park in 1976 but, unusually for me back then, I didn't take a camera, so as a result my memories are quite hazy. However I'm pretty sure that Barry Sheene was there (it made my then-girlfriend's day) as were Steve Baker and Mick Grant! I continued to follow the sport from a distance through magazines and MCN and even bought my very first TV (a portable) in order that I didn't miss the 1983 British GP as I was on holiday in a TV-free Cornish B&B!

Amazingly it was almost exactly twenty years after that before I got track-side again; this time for the World Superbikes at Silverstone in 2003, enjoying the privilege of being a guest of the works Ducati team by merit of having become friends with Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti. Similar visits to Brands and Assen followed that season and likewise in 2004, then in 2005 & 06 a new job took me to around half the MotoGP races plus several SBK and BSB rounds. To say I was in my element wouldn't do those experiences justice, and my passion for motorcycle racing reached an unprecedented level where it still remains.

Since that job ended I have acquired a modest archive of b&w images ranging from 1952 to 1957 which has meant a lot of hard work as the negatives came with a year if I was lucky, sometimes a venue (a lot of which were wrong on both counts), but not a single rider or bike ID! Given that I knew of perhaps half a dozen riders from that era you start to see the steepness of my learning curve... But I wouldn't have swapped it for anything; I have spent so much time with these amazing, brave characters from the '50s that I almost feel as if some of them are my friends! One look at any of my Bill Lomas portrait shots, for example, and you just know he was a real character - a fact borne-out when I subsequently read his wonderful autobiography.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings; please say a few words about yourself on this thread in order that we can all get to know each other a little better!



# # # # #

Hi, I'm new here. Seems a nice place, though frequented by
weird people seriously into horse-leather and tar.

Get to know me?

Oh boy, are YOU going to get to know me!

Born in Central London.
Scottish mother (Dumfries) trainee-nurse/housewife.
Norwegian father, serving Major in Kongens Garde (The Guards)
personal friend to Royals. Otherwise from Nestun, S. of Bergen.
Greig had lived just down the road. As a boy dad had delivered
spreadable-cheese wrapped in wax-paper for a totally-mad
local doctor called Kavli.

Who NEEDS spreadable cheese!?

He was doing secret recon for King Haakon around the heavy-water
plant at Rjukan when the war started, sussing how the blow the
place (it seems they knew of the bomb before the war and
Haakon realised the Germans would invade to get the water). With
Germans everywhere Dad yomped overland to West Coast, found
fishing-boat and sailed to Aberdeen with the films. His report was
foundation for subsequent op against the factory. He was wounded
in a live-ammo exercise in Scotland and was dropped from the team.

(Heavy water: ditrium-something, you CAN drink it but you will get
the runs. It is used to wash the uranium out of the 'yellowcake' mud
as the uranium sticks to the molecules in the water. Needing it
means you are a mere couple of steps from making weapons-grade
material for a bomb. Ignore the whitewash, the Germans were THAT
close to a bomb).

Dad was vaguely related to Rally-X star Arne Skanke. We've met him,
I look(ed) something like him. (Now a sad old git, but still 17 if I don't
look in a mirror!)

So this ment I spent my first years in Oslo.

Family moved back to London 1951. We lived in Farnborough Park
with friends until we found a house in Widmore Green, Bromley in
time for me to start school. Spoke no English - fun time!

"Morr, vorfor snaka de andra barna konstig?"
("Mum, why to the other kids talk funny?")

Learned to box. THAT was the same in any language.

First noticed motorbikes when lass over road married John, who
had a BSA and sidecar. Like flying in a Lancaster over Berlin!

Mum's cousin Rennie bought BSA A7 after army service and often
visited from Sowerby Bridge. No more Lancasters for us (John was
now married and had a car) on Rennie's pillion we now preferred
to imagine ourselves as Biggles and his Camel!

Plenty of bikes around town to oggle, even a VINCENT, until we
found out girls were also fun occasionally - and WHY. Bernie
Ecclestone had shop down by Beckenham Roundabout before he
moved up the hill down from Boyers. Bikes came into our lives on
a personal level when one brother bought a rigid BSA Bantam and
went courting down Guilford (ignoring the facetious comments about
more than the bike being rigid.... ahem). Funny, he kept on falling
off the bike on the way home, NEVER on the way there. We never
could work that out. Not to be put out oldest brother went out and
bought a RUMI. Well, there's always ONE in the family. He never
fell off. Hearing the Rumi from a mile-away the girls had time to
run. Next brother lived up to his rep and bought, for 7 pounds
ten shillings, after riding crossbar on my bike to Lewisham to save
on the bus-fare, a Velocette MOV Dowty. Weird silencer....

But a great bike. Ethel Denley was NOT AMUSED when she took
the shattered slipper-piston from my hand, the valve-head snapping
off at the Lewisham trafic-lights when the engine was down on
tickover as he gently braked. She actually had tears in her eyes.
"I've standing orders for these slipper-pistons, cost no-object. I've
sourced there are 20 pistons out there somewhere, new and boxed,
somebody's hoarding them. Hepolite broke-up the molds when my
brothers decided not to fit them standard."

I met the Denley's via a doctor-friend, as he they were also into
counciling abused women and children, and were down for a
conference. She was a small, squat, grandmother of a lady, he a
tall, gaunt gentleman.

She knew the part numbers, quantities, dates of design,
manufacture, delivery, price, of ALL the components Velocettes
ever ordered. In her head. What tales she must have known!

She didn't like the LE engine, but the bike was otherwise great.
A friend in the USA had designed a 350 parallel twin based on
V8 designs, all in one piece of cast iron, with tin sump, about
15bhp at 4,500 or so, that was just made to slip into the LE,
but her brothers went puce!

Right, back to reality....

So, off we went to Crittals Corner to watch the bikes haring-off to
Johnsons, and Crystal Palace and Brands to watch the racing.
Norm Surtees on the Ducati twin, Stuart Graham on a kitted 125
Benly SS, and Frank Sheene, not to mention Dunphy, Butcher and
all those guys. No real top men when we were there, those meets
were too expensive for us.

Full of Vim I proudly announced I'd been to Brands before, as the
doctor I knew - vaguely related to Ecclestone actually, who was a
regular visitor up at his place in Wimpole Mews - was an ex-racer
and knew all the top guys, David Piper ringing him to invite him to
test his new Ferrari, Broadly often rang when he needed a new car
set up, Jimmy Clark breathlessly asking advice on the physiology
and psychology of racing, and he had taken me along several times.
I'd even been there when there were bikes there and met a chap
on a Desmo Ducati, but converted to chain and springs using AJS
parts - but he wasn't Italian, so it only half-counted, I was told.

Name of Jim Redman. Some Cockney twit, anyway.

Via the doctor I later got to know Jim's new wife, Marlene 'Maddy'
Satero nee Retief. Paddy Screwdriver's girlfriend once told me
Marlene was descended from one of the 2 men who lead The
Great Trek and formed South Africa, and thus the Boers regarded
her as Royalty back in SA. She certainly was from 'the upper-draw',
she even spoke Afrikaans with a posher accent than Paddy's girl,
who seemed workingclass. The couple more-or-less fled to England
to get away from her snarling family who objected to their wild
daughter and her even wilder lifestyle (riding motorbikes, married
twice to TOTALLY unsuitable men from the workingclasses, AND
divorced to boot. I mean, there ARE standards?)

Oh. I knew a very quiet, gentle, sophisticated, intelligent and very
caring young lady of high morals. She was nice. She joined the group
of people into helping abused women and kids when she found out
my doctor-friend and one of my teachers (later several) and a nurse
called Claire Raynor did that along with Sue Ryder, Cheshire's wife,
plus Profumo's wife and a few other top-nobs. This was hands-on
and Marlene faced real violence at times. Never backed-down once.

I actually knew another racer, but somehow never thought about it.

Frank Sheene.

He was a caretaker at St.Bart's. Working as a model for med-students
(how I met my doctor friend) I often met Frank, who always had time
for a gentle smile and a cuppa for me. I sometimes helped him carry
the dead bodies down from the roof of St. Barts, for the students to
practice their surgical skills on.
"Er.... I say chaps, anyone know where this bit goes?"
The students were supposed to do this, as well as clean up the swabs
and such, and wash clean the surgical unit after the session was over,
but being from wealthy families they hated actual work and paid Frank
3 quid a week to do it for them. Frank used this extra money to pay for
his racing.

I had an older childhood friend who killed people for a living, and using
some blood-money bought a mews flat in Adams Row behind Mount
Street. Jim Redman and Mike Hailwood moved-in and there was a huge
party! Jim sold the Ferrari he had bought from Enzo himself and invested
in a half-share of the apartment as an investment, renting out the smaller
rooms to chosen colonials to allay the costs ("We're paying his mortgage
for him!" grinned Gordon Keith, up on his holidays to check the scene).

Mike was rarely home, so only bumped into him a couple of times, no
long chats, just 'hi' and such. Mike once told me he was jealous of Jim.
Not for his riding, but for the fact nobody knew who he was. Mike was
mobbed all the time, but Jim used to walk up to his old stamping-grounds
to have a pint with old schoolmates, totally ignored but for the girls eyeing
him up.

We often sat outside in the mews and chewed the cud with the guys. There
are photos of this, both Marlene and Paddy took gobs, especially of the racing
and life on the continent. Can't somebody find them and twist their arms to
put them on the forum? Some famous people frequented the mews.

We later moved to Sweden. Took in a few MX and RR-meets, got a few
piccies with my new Yashica 35EE, but many of the negs are fading, not
to mention the ones missing. Bought my first bike, a HVA Silverpil 175cc
(the bike they based the MX'ers on) then an NSU Max and a basket-case
Triumph T110 iron-head. The NSU was fabulous, rode miles on roads
without speed-limits and little trafic. Great bike, great time. The Trumpet
had a huge pussy-cat engine ridden moderately, turned good but you
could feel it wouldn't like hard riding. Bolt-up frame.

Worked in a hotel, then the shipyards.

Emigrated again, to Australia. After crop-dusting in the bush (Brisbane
-based company) I found myself in Sydney. Bought small, cheap Jap
bikes as it was too hot to walk or drive a car, nowhere to park really,
red-light area in Redfern and punters would pee all over the cars in the
street. Cheap bikes yes, but eyes boggled though. Disc-valves? Autolube?
Brakes that WORKED? Electrics that WORKED? The engines were
fabulous, though the cycle-parts were a bit iffy. Then upgraded to a
Suzuki T10, then a BMW R26.

Went to RR-meets around Sydney, drag-racing, there was MX but I
never found a meet. Took a few snaps, but as in Sweden I realised it
wasn't the best camera for that.

Eventually found myself in Springvale, Melbourne, working for
Freighters PTY LTD and in a simple rented-home near the race-circuit
and the dog-track. Found myself looking into the window of Athol
Patterson Lawnmowers. He had a load of secondhand bike-racers at
the back, so I went in.

He had only one RR I recall, a Rosenthal Montesa, most were MX bikes,
home-mades mostly. But one bike shone like a star.

It was love at first sight.

Athol told me of a suitable local club, Dandenong, only half-an-hours
walk away, and as it wasn't so hot at night when they had
meetings I always walked there as I needed to get fit. I had to cadge
lifts for a while as I didn't have a trailer and cash was a bit low, but
eventually, on finding it was actually cheaper over an annual time-span,
my Sydney-bought VW Beetle was towing a hired-trailer.

Me new love was a 250cc 1966 DOT Alpha White Strength. Barely-used
and factory-pristine.

The best MX'er of it's time. Rolls Royce design, build and finish. Didn't
know that at the time but I was to soon find out.

Rode around the tracks for a year (can't brag I RACED, for I didn't,
barely able to hang on!) about 50 something heats of 8 laps or so
(well, drinking-time was more important! Scorching-hot, too, but we
never raced during the height of summer for the fire-risk) Always
though scrambles looked more fun that that limp-wristed RR, now I
KNEW it was.

Began to learn how to spanner a bike. Pestered a bloke called Bert
Flood, listened-in on the wide-armed monologues of a guy called Ron
Angel (hey, Italiano, capice?) in fact I made a nuisance of myself to
everyone.

So all cheered when I left for Europe and the MX World Title. I knew
from my time in Sweden that the scene in Oz was appalling regarding
MX, and if I was to attain my dream I needed to go 'home'.

Took the DOT as I couldn't sell it and it went free on the boat. Was a
year in Blighty, thinking at first that this was better, but what a
mistake. Tried to talk my way into a job and a free ride at the DOT
factory, but it was closed. Nice people, the Scott-Wade's, though.
Found it hard to race as it was so expensive compared to OZ, rides
were hard to get, and I wasn't earning enough. Club-life at the
Manchester club I joined was the dumps, everyone but one guy
ignored me. But that guy quietly and in a friendly manner told me
of 'The Island' and the racing at Darley Moor and Oulton Park. He
was nice. It seemed the nearest MX-oriented club was miles away,
none in Manchester or Liverpool areas at all. It seems you RR chaps
look-down your noses at we 'pig-swillers', hence the attitude. There
was no social side to the club, most seemed to sit and glare at each
other and say now't. Strange place. The Chairman of the club refused
to greet me welcome and threw me out of the committee-room, "This
room is ONLY for committee members, not you lot!"

We were all mates in Oz and had a good time socially. Geoff, our
chairman, was and is one of the nicest guys (emailed him a while
back, he recalled me after 30 years!!!!) a standard bloke despite
being a several times Victoria and Oz-champion in several types of
2 and 3-wheel racing.

Finding work was hard, but I got a job welding boilers in Droylsdon
whilst I looked for better, but found out when he sent me to work
for several outside companies on repair-work, covering for sickies
etc, that they were using me as a strike-breaker, and the pound
per day in expenses he was paying me to use my own van
(Dormobile) was a fraction of the three extra he was charging the
companies.

I noticed the glares, and, though a shyish person I'm experienced
in life, enough to go up to the biggest guy there and ask why. He
told me. I quit there and then.

Finding work proved then impossible, I wasn't 'in the loop', outside
'The British System' (you tell me what that is and why it is, I don't
know). I seemed to be a foreigner in my own country. For a guy
with a weird name I speak English quiet well, I think. I reckon this
guy had contacts and spread the word I was a troublemaker.

The only decent job on offer was as a male stripper-cum porn-star
from a gangster called Mad Frankie Fraser, who ran a string of
nightclubs and saunas for the Richardson brothers.

Ok-ok-ok, I really DID think it was a sauna club I joined! We have
saunas all the time in Scandinavia, REAL ones!

I've known a lot of gays in my time, but it took a while for it to occur
to me why the lads there were so friendly.

I also attended RR-meets 'oop-nort', Darley Moore, Oulton Park, and
took a few snaps. Again, the Yashica wasn't the right camera.

In the end, almost broke, I sold what I had and fled 'home' to Sweden.
Within a day I had a job in the shipyards paying big money and a
newly-decorated and renovated luxury apartment with all mod-cons.
No more Droylsdon-cowboys and dingy room with peeling wallpaper,
sharing with 2 mice who insisted I feed them every night or they would
keep me awake! And a bed I could sleep in, no fleas (dossed on the
floor in Manchester, healthier. The bath was ...er.... crawling with
something. Why the landlord had cut down the lightcord, so you
couldn't see it?

Why I joined the sauna club I'd spotted. Needed to keep clean.

Was in time for the first GP at Anderstorp. Snapped a few piccies. But
these were badly developed (damn post-order firms!) and have faded.

The next year I sat on a bike for the first time in a long time, muscles
sagging. I bought a '70 HVA 250 and had joined a good club where we
all mucked-in, there were no 'bosses'. I realised, even comparing to Oz,
I was in the right place at the right time, with the right people.

My Yashica was stolen so I bought an ex-newspaper hack of a Practica
SLR, with extra 135mm lens. Ah, better. But I needed a lightmeter, and
was to discover they ain't very accurate at low or high light levels. Many
pics weren't so good.

I now have a collection of fab cameras, my best is a Canon F1, and even
a great lightmeter, a pro Gossen, but nothing to photograph!

MX in Sweden was the toughest in the world. Unfortunately, this was to
cause the downfall of MX in the mid-80's. All of the generation of riders
that made Sweden great, and just about all the riders behind them, all
quit at the same time. The younger generation that we saw, with horror,
inching-in, was backed by 'daddy's checkbook', daddy also insisting 'on
sorting this badly-run club out', causing strife, simply didn't understand,
or was interested in, what it actually took to succeed in MX. They thought
money could buy everything, it had in their lifestyles. You need money,
yes, lots, but there's something else money will never buy. Not everyone
has it.

You guys maybe aren't interested in all this, I realise, but this page is
'about me'.

(and I can't find a MX-forum!)

Read and learn what it takes to race REAL bikes. (A VERY brief resume!)

It took me 3 years to get fit-enough to survive a race, to get enough
experience to actually BEGIN TO RACE. We trained ourselves, after work.
the older ones had done military service and knew a bit about it. We
trained something every day. We rode the bikes 2-3 times a week,
year-round, 4-8 hours a time, even in the snow, we rode in moonlight as
it was dark on winter evenings. Yes, it was cold, but after a few laps you
got so hot the sweat ran off you. Yes, it was dangerous, but the guys
with military-training had done worse during maneuvers, surviving
days outside with no shelter.

We drove all over the place, training on all types of track. Swedish
tracks were as rough as hell, Brit tracks were easy in comparison, Oz
tracks were RR on dirt! Due to this Swedish riders were never fazed by
any track, anywhere in the world, they had seen it all before.

We met and talked to the top riders, picking up hints, especially in
machine-preparation. However, difficult to find one who could explain
the technicalities of riding, that takes a special skill in communication.
"How do you ride fast in that section?" would often give the terse grunt,
"Don't close the throttle."

Er.....

Later, you would find out he was actually giving you the correct
information. It was staying on the track that was the hard bit.

I took Wednesday and Saturday evening's off. Sat and read a book. We
hired a gymnasium during the winter. I danced Jazz-ballet once a week
(don't - been there, not fazed). I later trained with a real army instructor,
who had a degree. The first 6 weeks I lost 6kgs - and I wasn't fat! He
wanted to train me during the season, too, but we don't have the time
for too much, maintenance of the bikes and cars takes far too long.

I soon realised how crude HVA's were. I soon began to realise that with
a couple of mods my old DOT was probably superior to the HVA in all
areas. Compared to an equal HVA in '66 it was FAR better! Still competitive
in '72, to my mind. Shame I didn't still have it, to do a direct comparison.

I now realise that the Starmaker was a good design, way back in '63
too. The only real fault was the cheap bought-in gearboxes. HVA wasn't
superior in any way at the time, except for the gear primary drive. In
Britain, on those tracks, chain primary was probably good enough, but
in Sweden, no. Maico's were notorious primary-chain snappers, and
nobody had raced a Greeves since 1969-70, the importer couldn't sell
them.

Several guys in the club were engineers, working for Volvo, SAAB etc.,
one was going for his masters at the uni and has had a great career
as boss of 'The Dressed Engine Department'.

HVA wanted him badly. Bror Jauren, the competition manager, told me.
It was this guy who, for his masters thesis, built and tested the prototype
of the 360 Mikkola won the 500cc world championship on. I have piccies
of it complete, plus a few of the bits he was measuring and modding (my
360 4-speed!) I was asked not to talk about it, as they knew I sometimes
wrote stuff for an Ozzie mag. HVA was pushed for manpower and time,
the auto-box for the military was taking too much of their resources.

One of our lads got a job at HVA, and was one of the team that was to
produce the finest MX-bikes of all time. Using the input of the local riders.
They asked us what was wrong, what needed doing to their bikes - and
we shouted it at them, in unison! Urban Larsson, the chainsaw specialist
engineer who had wasted SO much time on the auto now knew the high-
pressure die-cast magnesium-engine concept he was advocating were
correct.

The HVA-Mag series were 6-speed chainsaws on wheels.

He cut the weight of the 250's from 108kgs in '72 to 94.5 in '76, the
lightest production machine of all time (as a scrutineer I weighed the
works mag-titanium CZ at 100. Boy, was the works designer/engineer
pissed when I told him to give Falta my bike instead!) I bought the '76
CR250, with the optional extra Ohlin's expansion chamber. I rode that
for 3 years, approx 25,000kms distance, only crashing once.

Slower rider in front shut throttle halfway around in fast sweeping hairpin,
I had planned overtaking maneuver to a 'T', but caught out I had to brake
to avoid hitting him, nowhere to go otherwise, bent one of the GasGirlings
in ensuing rocket-ride in the sky!

Prior to this I crashed every race-meeting, happily mostly during practice.

Otherwise just changed pistons and rings, fettled carb, plus usual servicing.
I ran the same crank during this time, not even changing the main-bearings,
never had the crankcase open. My old 250/360/400's needed the mains and
gearbox babying all the time, cost a fortune in parts, but the rods
bore-up well in all and I never had to bore any cylinders. 25/1 ratio of
ordinary 2T, gear so engine pulls, not revs, grunt it when racing, not rev it
unless there is no choice (i.e: it's a long straight) run as rich as possible,
preferably only chiming clean a third of the way into a race, and warm-up
properly. We use air-filters, of course. Only the best. When available always
use K and N.

Development in RR was totally stagnant in comparison to that which took
place in the 70's in MX. Terribly steep learning-curve, expensive (don't ask)
NO sponsors, of course, we paid everything ourselves, even the top rider
were making little money until the Japs came along, and even then only a
few made decent money.

All servicing was done by us. So, With none of us with more than 2-3 years
experience at best, from '72 my mates and I were slowly learning to service
and tune thoroughbred racing machines, and to race them. In our spare
time after work.

None achieved any real success. As said, competition in Sweden was the
fiercest in the world. There were 3,500 registered riders vying for limited
races, we really only have a season of 7 months in the south. Every race
was 30 riders, racing for 2x30 minutes plus 2 laps, giving 5 down to 1
points, 25 points needed to be upgraded to 'A' class. Very few did that,
but had to bite the bullet and try again next season. You made that, and
several in my club did, you only had to get 1 point in a Swedish
Championship race to go International, 3 such races per year, 2x45
minutes. Trouble was, even after culling the list there were 300 riders riding
heats of 40 men each just to QUALIFY for the actual races. Then you find
yourself lining-up with 30 of the 40 starters already having international
licenses, not to mention several not HAVING to qualify as they are/have
been Swedish Champions or WORLD Champions.

And to get that single point you had to finish in 10th place. One of our
guys did, to race in internationals for a while, just for the money, really,
to then go for a career, he was a top man in the SAS airline the last I
know. And another of my clubmates failed by just one place, as he was
brutally shoved-off the track by another rider when in 8th place, losing
a lot of time, and despite riding the ride of his life was just inches from
re-overtaking the guy to gain that 10th place point. That was the only
time the man who designed Mikkola's winning 360 ever swore. He went
over to the guy and bawled him out roundly, it was a totally unnecessary
maneuver to do, BOTH riders were in the points and with a good buffer
back to the next guy, he'd almost crashed himself to boot, so WHY
overtake!?

An 'ikkle dicky-bird' whispered to me Bror Jauren was going to give him
semi-works support if he got his international license. No money, but all
the gear. He had met a lass, but was prepared to ride for another 2-3
years if things went well. Things went belly-up.

He quit racing the same day, to 'dress engines'.

"I cried the day Totte (Hallman) left," Jauren once told me, "I though it
was over. We need a Hallman at HVA, someone who not only can design
and make motocross bikes, but RIDE them too. It's what made our
company great, we would have been closed-down years ago if not for
Totte."

And I noticed he was looking at my clubmate as he said this.

Me? Had the time of my life, never made those 25 points. But don't
think I wobbled around the track, a mobile chicane. It was the toughest
thing I ever did, on paper I failed, and miserably, but on checking lap-
times I saw I was lapping at about the same pace as the top Brit riders
when they were over racing the Swedish GP's. Neil Hudson and his mates.

I was 34-35 years-old, my last bike, a HVA/Honda XL350/420cc Yoshimura/
Bell-tune 4-stroke got stolen, my Transit blew the engine to bits, I owed
Totte Hallman a lot of money (such a bike cost nearly 3 times a standard
HVA 2-stroke, I had to retire and work all the overtime I could to pay off
my debts, friendship will only go so far. By the time I saw I could buy a
cheap van and secondhand HVA my back gave up and that was that.

Rode a Vespa and a CX all over Europe for years, then a Jawa 350 2-stroke.
Nice bike, but crap materials and manufacture. Was at the Jawa factory
several times, they didn't care, CZ made the engines. CZ didn't let me in the
door. So the phones work in Czecho, mmm? Well, at least something does.
Blew the gearbox 4 times, chains fell apart, the clutch fell off, it blew pistons
until I decided what the timing and jetting should be, NOT the factory. First
time anything happened I rode home from Berlin on one cylinder after
fettling it as best can on an emergency lay-by on the autobahn. Refaced the
carb manifold, cylinder and head to stop leaks - nothing was flat on the
damn thing! - the liners didn't match the cylinders but I couldn't fix that,
the list is long. I literally stripped the engine at night, in the rain (Fulda Gap)
to replace the broken gears - luckily, every time I was in Tynec I bought
several sets!

Well, you can accept only so much. I still have it, nobody wants it (but some
nice person stole the tank and coils!) Told Jawa it was a great bike - if they
gave it to BMW to make. THAT raised eyebrows!!!!!!

Haven't ridden since.

"Look after your memories, they're all that's left you...."

I'll look at my photos and try and see if any RR piccies can be sent as jpegs.
How do you send to the forum?







#194 fil2.8

fil2.8
  • Member

  • 19,496 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 01 July 2010 - 10:07

Welcome to the forum , DOTsforever , and thanks for the short introduction to yourself :rolleyes: :lol: :yawnface: , look forward to more of your tales ( I think :eek: ) and some piccies :wave:

#195 Herr Wankel

Herr Wankel
  • Member

  • 941 posts
  • Joined: January 08

Posted 01 July 2010 - 17:20

Hi Devoid of Trouble :wave:
You've been around a bit!! :rotfl: You Scandi Mxers,were well feared/respected over in the UK.Once saw Hakan Carlkvist at Hawkstone-----Awesome.Time for a restoration on the Jawa,I reckon.Had one too.There was a half decent bike in there trying to get out.Good stories :up:
HW

#196 Russell Burrows

Russell Burrows
  • Member

  • 6,529 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 01 July 2010 - 17:35

# # # # #

Hi, I'm new here. Seems a nice place, though frequented by
weird people seriously into horse-leather and tar.

Get to know me?

Oh boy, are YOU going to get to know me!

Born in Central London.
Scottish mother (Dumfries) trainee-nurse/housewife.
Norwegian father, serving Major in Kongens Garde (The Guards)
personal friend to Royals. Otherwise from Nestun, S. of Bergen.
Greig had lived just down the road. As a boy dad had delivered
spreadable-cheese wrapped in wax-paper for a totally-mad
local doctor called Kavli.

Who NEEDS spreadable cheese!?

He was doing secret recon for King Haakon around the heavy-water
plant at Rjukan when the war started, sussing how the blow the
place (it seems they knew of the bomb before the war and
Haakon realised the Germans would invade to get the water). With
Germans everywhere Dad yomped overland to West Coast, found
fishing-boat and sailed to Aberdeen with the films. His report was
foundation for subsequent op against the factory. He was wounded
in a live-ammo exercise in Scotland and was dropped from the team.

(Heavy water: ditrium-something, you CAN drink it but you will get
the runs. It is used to wash the uranium out of the 'yellowcake' mud
as the uranium sticks to the molecules in the water. Needing it
means you are a mere couple of steps from making weapons-grade
material for a bomb. Ignore the whitewash, the Germans were THAT
close to a bomb).

Dad was vaguely related to Rally-X star Arne Skanke. We've met him,
I look(ed) something like him. (Now a sad old git, but still 17 if I don't
look in a mirror!)

So this ment I spent my first years in Oslo.

Family moved back to London 1951. We lived in Farnborough Park
with friends until we found a house in Widmore Green, Bromley in
time for me to start school. Spoke no English - fun time!

"Morr, vorfor snaka de andra barna konstig?"
("Mum, why to the other kids talk funny?")

Learned to box. THAT was the same in any language.

First noticed motorbikes when lass over road married John, who
had a BSA and sidecar. Like flying in a Lancaster over Berlin!

Mum's cousin Rennie bought BSA A7 after army service and often
visited from Sowerby Bridge. No more Lancasters for us (John was
now married and had a car) on Rennie's pillion we now preferred
to imagine ourselves as Biggles and his Camel!

Plenty of bikes around town to oggle, even a VINCENT, until we
found out girls were also fun occasionally - and WHY. Bernie
Ecclestone had shop down by Beckenham Roundabout before he
moved up the hill down from Boyers. Bikes came into our lives on
a personal level when one brother bought a rigid BSA Bantam and
went courting down Guilford (ignoring the facetious comments about
more than the bike being rigid.... ahem). Funny, he kept on falling
off the bike on the way home, NEVER on the way there. We never
could work that out. Not to be put out oldest brother went out and
bought a RUMI. Well, there's always ONE in the family. He never
fell off. Hearing the Rumi from a mile-away the girls had time to
run. Next brother lived up to his rep and bought, for 7 pounds
ten shillings, after riding crossbar on my bike to Lewisham to save
on the bus-fare, a Velocette MOV Dowty. Weird silencer....

But a great bike. Ethel Denley was NOT AMUSED when she took
the shattered slipper-piston from my hand, the valve-head snapping
off at the Lewisham trafic-lights when the engine was down on
tickover as he gently braked. She actually had tears in her eyes.
"I've standing orders for these slipper-pistons, cost no-object. I've
sourced there are 20 pistons out there somewhere, new and boxed,
somebody's hoarding them. Hepolite broke-up the molds when my
brothers decided not to fit them standard."

I met the Denley's via a doctor-friend, as he they were also into
counciling abused women and children, and were down for a
conference. She was a small, squat, grandmother of a lady, he a
tall, gaunt gentleman.

She knew the part numbers, quantities, dates of design,
manufacture, delivery, price, of ALL the components Velocettes
ever ordered. In her head. What tales she must have known!

She didn't like the LE engine, but the bike was otherwise great.
A friend in the USA had designed a 350 parallel twin based on
V8 designs, all in one piece of cast iron, with tin sump, about
15bhp at 4,500 or so, that was just made to slip into the LE,
but her brothers went puce!

Right, back to reality....

So, off we went to Crittals Corner to watch the bikes haring-off to
Johnsons, and Crystal Palace and Brands to watch the racing.
Norm Surtees on the Ducati twin, Stuart Graham on a kitted 125
Benly SS, and Frank Sheene, not to mention Dunphy, Butcher and
all those guys. No real top men when we were there, those meets
were too expensive for us.

Full of Vim I proudly announced I'd been to Brands before, as the
doctor I knew - vaguely related to Ecclestone actually, who was a
regular visitor up at his place in Wimpole Mews - was an ex-racer
and knew all the top guys, David Piper ringing him to invite him to
test his new Ferrari, Broadly often rang when he needed a new car
set up, Jimmy Clark breathlessly asking advice on the physiology
and psychology of racing, and he had taken me along several times.
I'd even been there when there were bikes there and met a chap
on a Desmo Ducati, but converted to chain and springs using AJS
parts - but he wasn't Italian, so it only half-counted, I was told.

Name of Jim Redman. Some Cockney twit, anyway.

Via the doctor I later got to know Jim's new wife, Marlene 'Maddy'
Satero nee Retief. Paddy Screwdriver's girlfriend once told me
Marlene was descended from one of the 2 men who lead The
Great Trek and formed South Africa, and thus the Boers regarded
her as Royalty back in SA. She certainly was from 'the upper-draw',
she even spoke Afrikaans with a posher accent than Paddy's girl,
who seemed workingclass. The couple more-or-less fled to England
to get away from her snarling family who objected to their wild
daughter and her even wilder lifestyle (riding motorbikes, married
twice to TOTALLY unsuitable men from the workingclasses, AND
divorced to boot. I mean, there ARE standards?)

Oh. I knew a very quiet, gentle, sophisticated, intelligent and very
caring young lady of high morals. She was nice. She joined the group
of people into helping abused women and kids when she found out
my doctor-friend and one of my teachers (later several) and a nurse
called Claire Raynor did that along with Sue Ryder, Cheshire's wife,
plus Profumo's wife and a few other top-nobs. This was hands-on
and Marlene faced real violence at times. Never backed-down once.

I actually knew another racer, but somehow never thought about it.

Frank Sheene.

He was a caretaker at St.Bart's. Working as a model for med-students
(how I met my doctor friend) I often met Frank, who always had time
for a gentle smile and a cuppa for me. I sometimes helped him carry
the dead bodies down from the roof of St. Barts, for the students to
practice their surgical skills on.
"Er.... I say chaps, anyone know where this bit goes?"
The students were supposed to do this, as well as clean up the swabs
and such, and wash clean the surgical unit after the session was over,
but being from wealthy families they hated actual work and paid Frank
3 quid a week to do it for them. Frank used this extra money to pay for
his racing.

I had an older childhood friend who killed people for a living, and using
some blood-money bought a mews flat in Adams Row behind Mount
Street. Jim Redman and Mike Hailwood moved-in and there was a huge
party! Jim sold the Ferrari he had bought from Enzo himself and invested
in a half-share of the apartment as an investment, renting out the smaller
rooms to chosen colonials to allay the costs ("We're paying his mortgage
for him!" grinned Gordon Keith, up on his holidays to check the scene).

Mike was rarely home, so only bumped into him a couple of times, no
long chats, just 'hi' and such. Mike once told me he was jealous of Jim.
Not for his riding, but for the fact nobody knew who he was. Mike was
mobbed all the time, but Jim used to walk up to his old stamping-grounds
to have a pint with old schoolmates, totally ignored but for the girls eyeing
him up.

We often sat outside in the mews and chewed the cud with the guys. There
are photos of this, both Marlene and Paddy took gobs, especially of the racing
and life on the continent. Can't somebody find them and twist their arms to
put them on the forum? Some famous people frequented the mews.

We later moved to Sweden. Took in a few MX and RR-meets, got a few
piccies with my new Yashica 35EE, but many of the negs are fading, not
to mention the ones missing. Bought my first bike, a HVA Silverpil 175cc
(the bike they based the MX'ers on) then an NSU Max and a basket-case
Triumph T110 iron-head. The NSU was fabulous, rode miles on roads
without speed-limits and little trafic. Great bike, great time. The Trumpet
had a huge pussy-cat engine ridden moderately, turned good but you
could feel it wouldn't like hard riding. Bolt-up frame.

Worked in a hotel, then the shipyards.

Emigrated again, to Australia. After crop-dusting in the bush (Brisbane
-based company) I found myself in Sydney. Bought small, cheap Jap
bikes as it was too hot to walk or drive a car, nowhere to park really,
red-light area in Redfern and punters would pee all over the cars in the
street. Cheap bikes yes, but eyes boggled though. Disc-valves? Autolube?
Brakes that WORKED? Electrics that WORKED? The engines were
fabulous, though the cycle-parts were a bit iffy. Then upgraded to a
Suzuki T10, then a BMW R26.

Went to RR-meets around Sydney, drag-racing, there was MX but I
never found a meet. Took a few snaps, but as in Sweden I realised it
wasn't the best camera for that.

Eventually found myself in Springvale, Melbourne, working for
Freighters PTY LTD and in a simple rented-home near the race-circuit
and the dog-track. Found myself looking into the window of Athol
Patterson Lawnmowers. He had a load of secondhand bike-racers at
the back, so I went in.

He had only one RR I recall, a Rosenthal Montesa, most were MX bikes,
home-mades mostly. But one bike shone like a star.

It was love at first sight.

Athol told me of a suitable local club, Dandenong, only half-an-hours
walk away, and as it wasn't so hot at night when they had
meetings I always walked there as I needed to get fit. I had to cadge
lifts for a while as I didn't have a trailer and cash was a bit low, but
eventually, on finding it was actually cheaper over an annual time-span,
my Sydney-bought VW Beetle was towing a hired-trailer.

Me new love was a 250cc 1966 DOT Alpha White Strength. Barely-used
and factory-pristine.

The best MX'er of it's time. Rolls Royce design, build and finish. Didn't
know that at the time but I was to soon find out.

Rode around the tracks for a year (can't brag I RACED, for I didn't,
barely able to hang on!) about 50 something heats of 8 laps or so
(well, drinking-time was more important! Scorching-hot, too, but we
never raced during the height of summer for the fire-risk) Always
though scrambles looked more fun that that limp-wristed RR, now I
KNEW it was.

Began to learn how to spanner a bike. Pestered a bloke called Bert
Flood, listened-in on the wide-armed monologues of a guy called Ron
Angel (hey, Italiano, capice?) in fact I made a nuisance of myself to
everyone.

So all cheered when I left for Europe and the MX World Title. I knew
from my time in Sweden that the scene in Oz was appalling regarding
MX, and if I was to attain my dream I needed to go 'home'.

Took the DOT as I couldn't sell it and it went free on the boat. Was a
year in Blighty, thinking at first that this was better, but what a
mistake. Tried to talk my way into a job and a free ride at the DOT
factory, but it was closed. Nice people, the Scott-Wade's, though.
Found it hard to race as it was so expensive compared to OZ, rides
were hard to get, and I wasn't earning enough. Club-life at the
Manchester club I joined was the dumps, everyone but one guy
ignored me. But that guy quietly and in a friendly manner told me
of 'The Island' and the racing at Darley Moor and Oulton Park. He
was nice. It seemed the nearest MX-oriented club was miles away,
none in Manchester or Liverpool areas at all. It seems you RR chaps
look-down your noses at we 'pig-swillers', hence the attitude. There
was no social side to the club, most seemed to sit and glare at each
other and say now't. Strange place. The Chairman of the club refused
to greet me welcome and threw me out of the committee-room, "This
room is ONLY for committee members, not you lot!"

We were all mates in Oz and had a good time socially. Geoff, our
chairman, was and is one of the nicest guys (emailed him a while
back, he recalled me after 30 years!!!!) a standard bloke despite
being a several times Victoria and Oz-champion in several types of
2 and 3-wheel racing.

Finding work was hard, but I got a job welding boilers in Droylsdon
whilst I looked for better, but found out when he sent me to work
for several outside companies on repair-work, covering for sickies
etc, that they were using me as a strike-breaker, and the pound
per day in expenses he was paying me to use my own van
(Dormobile) was a fraction of the three extra he was charging the
companies.

I noticed the glares, and, though a shyish person I'm experienced
in life, enough to go up to the biggest guy there and ask why. He
told me. I quit there and then.

Finding work proved then impossible, I wasn't 'in the loop', outside
'The British System' (you tell me what that is and why it is, I don't
know). I seemed to be a foreigner in my own country. For a guy
with a weird name I speak English quiet well, I think. I reckon this
guy had contacts and spread the word I was a troublemaker.

The only decent job on offer was as a male stripper-cum porn-star
from a gangster called Mad Frankie Fraser, who ran a string of
nightclubs and saunas for the Richardson brothers.

Ok-ok-ok, I really DID think it was a sauna club I joined! We have
saunas all the time in Scandinavia, REAL ones!

I've known a lot of gays in my time, but it took a while for it to occur
to me why the lads there were so friendly.

I also attended RR-meets 'oop-nort', Darley Moore, Oulton Park, and
took a few snaps. Again, the Yashica wasn't the right camera.

In the end, almost broke, I sold what I had and fled 'home' to Sweden.
Within a day I had a job in the shipyards paying big money and a
newly-decorated and renovated luxury apartment with all mod-cons.
No more Droylsdon-cowboys and dingy room with peeling wallpaper,
sharing with 2 mice who insisted I feed them every night or they would
keep me awake! And a bed I could sleep in, no fleas (dossed on the
floor in Manchester, healthier. The bath was ...er.... crawling with
something. Why the landlord had cut down the lightcord, so you
couldn't see it?

Why I joined the sauna club I'd spotted. Needed to keep clean.

Was in time for the first GP at Anderstorp. Snapped a few piccies. But
these were badly developed (damn post-order firms!) and have faded.

The next year I sat on a bike for the first time in a long time, muscles
sagging. I bought a '70 HVA 250 and had joined a good club where we
all mucked-in, there were no 'bosses'. I realised, even comparing to Oz,
I was in the right place at the right time, with the right people.

My Yashica was stolen so I bought an ex-newspaper hack of a Practica
SLR, with extra 135mm lens. Ah, better. But I needed a lightmeter, and
was to discover they ain't very accurate at low or high light levels. Many
pics weren't so good.

I now have a collection of fab cameras, my best is a Canon F1, and even
a great lightmeter, a pro Gossen, but nothing to photograph!

MX in Sweden was the toughest in the world. Unfortunately, this was to
cause the downfall of MX in the mid-80's. All of the generation of riders
that made Sweden great, and just about all the riders behind them, all
quit at the same time. The younger generation that we saw, with horror,
inching-in, was backed by 'daddy's checkbook', daddy also insisting 'on
sorting this badly-run club out', causing strife, simply didn't understand,
or was interested in, what it actually took to succeed in MX. They thought
money could buy everything, it had in their lifestyles. You need money,
yes, lots, but there's something else money will never buy. Not everyone
has it.

You guys maybe aren't interested in all this, I realise, but this page is
'about me'.

(and I can't find a MX-forum!)

Read and learn what it takes to race REAL bikes. (A VERY brief resume!)

It took me 3 years to get fit-enough to survive a race, to get enough
experience to actually BEGIN TO RACE. We trained ourselves, after work.
the older ones had done military service and knew a bit about it. We
trained something every day. We rode the bikes 2-3 times a week,
year-round, 4-8 hours a time, even in the snow, we rode in moonlight as
it was dark on winter evenings. Yes, it was cold, but after a few laps you
got so hot the sweat ran off you. Yes, it was dangerous, but the guys
with military-training had done worse during maneuvers, surviving
days outside with no shelter.

We drove all over the place, training on all types of track. Swedish
tracks were as rough as hell, Brit tracks were easy in comparison, Oz
tracks were RR on dirt! Due to this Swedish riders were never fazed by
any track, anywhere in the world, they had seen it all before.

We met and talked to the top riders, picking up hints, especially in
machine-preparation. However, difficult to find one who could explain
the technicalities of riding, that takes a special skill in communication.
"How do you ride fast in that section?" would often give the terse grunt,
"Don't close the throttle."

Er.....

Later, you would find out he was actually giving you the correct
information. It was staying on the track that was the hard bit.

I took Wednesday and Saturday evening's off. Sat and read a book. We
hired a gymnasium during the winter. I danced Jazz-ballet once a week
(don't - been there, not fazed). I later trained with a real army instructor,
who had a degree. The first 6 weeks I lost 6kgs - and I wasn't fat! He
wanted to train me during the season, too, but we don't have the time
for too much, maintenance of the bikes and cars takes far too long.

I soon realised how crude HVA's were. I soon began to realise that with
a couple of mods my old DOT was probably superior to the HVA in all
areas. Compared to an equal HVA in '66 it was FAR better! Still competitive
in '72, to my mind. Shame I didn't still have it, to do a direct comparison.

I now realise that the Starmaker was a good design, way back in '63
too. The only real fault was the cheap bought-in gearboxes. HVA wasn't
superior in any way at the time, except for the gear primary drive. In
Britain, on those tracks, chain primary was probably good enough, but
in Sweden, no. Maico's were notorious primary-chain snappers, and
nobody had raced a Greeves since 1969-70, the importer couldn't sell
them.

Several guys in the club were engineers, working for Volvo, SAAB etc.,
one was going for his masters at the uni and has had a great career
as boss of 'The Dressed Engine Department'.

HVA wanted him badly. Bror Jauren, the competition manager, told me.
It was this guy who, for his masters thesis, built and tested the prototype
of the 360 Mikkola won the 500cc world championship on. I have piccies
of it complete, plus a few of the bits he was measuring and modding (my
360 4-speed!) I was asked not to talk about it, as they knew I sometimes
wrote stuff for an Ozzie mag. HVA was pushed for manpower and time,
the auto-box for the military was taking too much of their resources.

One of our lads got a job at HVA, and was one of the team that was to
produce the finest MX-bikes of all time. Using the input of the local riders.
They asked us what was wrong, what needed doing to their bikes - and
we shouted it at them, in unison! Urban Larsson, the chainsaw specialist
engineer who had wasted SO much time on the auto now knew the high-
pressure die-cast magnesium-engine concept he was advocating were
correct.

The HVA-Mag series were 6-speed chainsaws on wheels.

He cut the weight of the 250's from 108kgs in '72 to 94.5 in '76, the
lightest production machine of all time (as a scrutineer I weighed the
works mag-titanium CZ at 100. Boy, was the works designer/engineer
pissed when I told him to give Falta my bike instead!) I bought the '76
CR250, with the optional extra Ohlin's expansion chamber. I rode that
for 3 years, approx 25,000kms distance, only crashing once.

Slower rider in front shut throttle halfway around in fast sweeping hairpin,
I had planned overtaking maneuver to a 'T', but caught out I had to brake
to avoid hitting him, nowhere to go otherwise, bent one of the GasGirlings
in ensuing rocket-ride in the sky!

Prior to this I crashed every race-meeting, happily mostly during practice.

Otherwise just changed pistons and rings, fettled carb, plus usual servicing.
I ran the same crank during this time, not even changing the main-bearings,
never had the crankcase open. My old 250/360/400's needed the mains and
gearbox babying all the time, cost a fortune in parts, but the rods
bore-up well in all and I never had to bore any cylinders. 25/1 ratio of
ordinary 2T, gear so engine pulls, not revs, grunt it when racing, not rev it
unless there is no choice (i.e: it's a long straight) run as rich as possible,
preferably only chiming clean a third of the way into a race, and warm-up
properly. We use air-filters, of course. Only the best. When available always
use K and N.

Development in RR was totally stagnant in comparison to that which took
place in the 70's in MX. Terribly steep learning-curve, expensive (don't ask)
NO sponsors, of course, we paid everything ourselves, even the top rider
were making little money until the Japs came along, and even then only a
few made decent money.

All servicing was done by us. So, With none of us with more than 2-3 years
experience at best, from '72 my mates and I were slowly learning to service
and tune thoroughbred racing machines, and to race them. In our spare
time after work.

None achieved any real success. As said, competition in Sweden was the
fiercest in the world. There were 3,500 registered riders vying for limited
races, we really only have a season of 7 months in the south. Every race
was 30 riders, racing for 2x30 minutes plus 2 laps, giving 5 down to 1
points, 25 points needed to be upgraded to 'A' class. Very few did that,
but had to bite the bullet and try again next season. You made that, and
several in my club did, you only had to get 1 point in a Swedish
Championship race to go International, 3 such races per year, 2x45
minutes. Trouble was, even after culling the list there were 300 riders riding
heats of 40 men each just to QUALIFY for the actual races. Then you find
yourself lining-up with 30 of the 40 starters already having international
licenses, not to mention several not HAVING to qualify as they are/have
been Swedish Champions or WORLD Champions.

And to get that single point you had to finish in 10th place. One of our
guys did, to race in internationals for a while, just for the money, really,
to then go for a career, he was a top man in the SAS airline the last I
know. And another of my clubmates failed by just one place, as he was
brutally shoved-off the track by another rider when in 8th place, losing
a lot of time, and despite riding the ride of his life was just inches from
re-overtaking the guy to gain that 10th place point. That was the only
time the man who designed Mikkola's winning 360 ever swore. He went
over to the guy and bawled him out roundly, it was a totally unnecessary
maneuver to do, BOTH riders were in the points and with a good buffer
back to the next guy, he'd almost crashed himself to boot, so WHY
overtake!?

An 'ikkle dicky-bird' whispered to me Bror Jauren was going to give him
semi-works support if he got his international license. No money, but all
the gear. He had met a lass, but was prepared to ride for another 2-3
years if things went well. Things went belly-up.

He quit racing the same day, to 'dress engines'.

"I cried the day Totte (Hallman) left," Jauren once told me, "I though it
was over. We need a Hallman at HVA, someone who not only can design
and make motocross bikes, but RIDE them too. It's what made our
company great, we would have been closed-down years ago if not for
Totte."

And I noticed he was looking at my clubmate as he said this.

Me? Had the time of my life, never made those 25 points. But don't
think I wobbled around the track, a mobile chicane. It was the toughest
thing I ever did, on paper I failed, and miserably, but on checking lap-
times I saw I was lapping at about the same pace as the top Brit riders
when they were over racing the Swedish GP's. Neil Hudson and his mates.

I was 34-35 years-old, my last bike, a HVA/Honda XL350/420cc Yoshimura/
Bell-tune 4-stroke got stolen, my Transit blew the engine to bits, I owed
Totte Hallman a lot of money (such a bike cost nearly 3 times a standard
HVA 2-stroke, I had to retire and work all the overtime I could to pay off
my debts, friendship will only go so far. By the time I saw I could buy a
cheap van and secondhand HVA my back gave up and that was that.

Rode a Vespa and a CX all over Europe for years, then a Jawa 350 2-stroke.
Nice bike, but crap materials and manufacture. Was at the Jawa factory
several times, they didn't care, CZ made the engines. CZ didn't let me in the
door. So the phones work in Czecho, mmm? Well, at least something does.
Blew the gearbox 4 times, chains fell apart, the clutch fell off, it blew pistons
until I decided what the timing and jetting should be, NOT the factory. First
time anything happened I rode home from Berlin on one cylinder after
fettling it as best can on an emergency lay-by on the autobahn. Refaced the
carb manifold, cylinder and head to stop leaks - nothing was flat on the
damn thing! - the liners didn't match the cylinders but I couldn't fix that,
the list is long. I literally stripped the engine at night, in the rain (Fulda Gap)
to replace the broken gears - luckily, every time I was in Tynec I bought
several sets!

Well, you can accept only so much. I still have it, nobody wants it (but some
nice person stole the tank and coils!) Told Jawa it was a great bike - if they
gave it to BMW to make. THAT raised eyebrows!!!!!!

Haven't ridden since.

"Look after your memories, they're all that's left you...."

I'll look at my photos and try and see if any RR piccies can be sent as jpegs.
How do you send to the forum?



What's your favourite colour?



#197 Coupe Kawasaki

Coupe Kawasaki
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  • Joined: May 09

Posted 05 July 2010 - 15:27

There's some fascinating stuff there :eek: :eek: :eek: though I have to admit I'm a chicken on dirt, much too dangerous for me :rolleyes: :)


Welcome,



David

#198 Xover

Xover
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Posted 06 July 2010 - 09:24

Aaah, so that's what 'Sticky introduce yourself' means. Duuuh! Bit late but here goes. My name is Barrie Dickinson. My father opened a motorcycle business in Manchester when I was a few months old, so I grew up surrounded by and loving bikes. First saw the TT in 1957 at the age of 11 and decided instantly that that was what I wanted to do. Raced 50s 125s 250s and 350s, all 2 strokes but for a CR93. First raced in 1963 and did the TT in 1965 but failed to qualify on a rather slow 50. Rode in ten TTs in all plus a couple of Classic laps on a 250 Desmo Ducati in 1981 and 1983. Rode for Agrati Garelli and also for Derek Johnson on a pair of Maxton framed Yams with Charlie Williams..who was much quicker than me! Lost touch with racing for many years and when I went travelling around Europe in a van in the mid 90s I threw a huge box full of trophies in the bin. Nowhere to keep stuff. Although I still have my TT reps and finisher's awards...couldn't part with those! Spent eight years living in a Spanish mountain village near Granada before moving to Indonesia where I now live with my wife and four year old daughter. (Another baby due in September). I have been teaching English for the last six years and am now the principal of a language school. I'd retire if I only knew how. I was introduced to this thread by my nephew and am having a great time picking my way through all the stimulating contributions.

#199 husky410

husky410
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  • Joined: July 10

Posted 07 July 2010 - 21:12

Hello.
I thought that my first post here would be my introduction.
My first name is Mark and I am a resident of California via Northern Ireland and England. I am 48 now and did a little bit of racing in 1982 on a 1980 Yamaha RD350LC at Mallory Park. I wanted to be World Champion but I soon found out that I wasn't as fast as I thought I was, and I didn't have the resources that I needed to get faster. A subsequent divorce saw the Yamaha go to make way for an expected settlement which fortunatly never came. So I joined a rock band and travelled around as a roadie for a while finally ending up in America in 1986.
I went racing again in 1999 competing in Supermotard races first on a converted Kawasaki KLR 250 making my way up to a couple of Husqvarnas. I won a local championship in 2001 aboard a Honda CR 80, a bike I still think was the best bike I've ridden to date. I had so much fun on that little thing and winning on it probably made it feel a lot better than it was.
Now I'm silent again after moving, getting married adopting kids etc., etc, but I have a hankering to get back racing someday either on a 125 road racer or going back to Supermotard.
I was around motorbike racing from an early age, my grandfather being PJ Walsh who raced back in the 50's 60's and early 70's. I can remember his MV Agustas, a 125 and a 203, the 125 supposedly being the one that won the World Title in 1958 under Carlo Ubialli. He had a Bultaco 125 as well and I vaguely recall an Ariel Arrow in his garage at one time. He was great friends with Bob Heath and Tom Loughridge as well as TT Marshals, Albert Moule and Jack Harding. I can remember Alan Cathcart coming to his house to arrange a deal for the MV's to go to Jersey not long before he retired to Northern Ireland. I was sad to see them go because I had visions of them being in my possesion one day!
Anyway, here I am, glad to have found this place and enjoying reading all the nostalgia and remembering some of the characters I read about. I look forward to posting in the future and look forward to reading more. There's a lot to go through!

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#200 fil2.8

fil2.8
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  • Joined: October 07

Posted 07 July 2010 - 22:10

Welcome to the forum :p , good history , also !!! :up: