My Instagram video reminded me how excited some were when the Yamaha RD350LC arrived: a “TZ or the road” they said. They were wrong and the work needed to convert the roadster to TZ spec was such that it wasn’t allowed to compete in the Formula 2 world championship. So here’s Ago on the real thing in 2011 on a celebration lap at Creg Ny Baa.
That the TZ was on the way was hinted at in 1971 when air cooled factory twins first appeared with four lugs welded on the front
This is Michael Dunlop at the 2017 Classic TT about to a the parade lap to mark 60 years since Bob McIntyre set the first 100mph lap of the Isle of Man’s TT course. The bike’s a replica of the Gilera Quattro McIntyre rode and Dunlop did actually manage a 100mph lap from a standing start to celebrate. Geoff Duke was initially credited with achieving the first 100mph lap of the mountain course in 1956 on a Gilera 500 four, but timekeepers subsequently downgraded it to 99.
Not many people realise it, but all De Tomaso era four-stroke Benellis such as this 504 were built in the Moto Guzzi factory on Lake Como. They were even occasionally sold as MotoBis, and at least one Sei carried Moto Guzzi badges. The two-stroke 125s and 250s were built at the Benelli plant much further south, in Pesaro, regardless of whether they carried Benelli or Moto Guzzi branding. When the original Benelli 500 Quattro was launched in 1973 it raised many questions, the
This is the Regolarità, Ducati’s final 125 and two-stroke. In 1975 Pat Slinn was service manager for the UK importers and was asked by the factory’s director Cristiano de Eccher if he would ride one in the ISDT (International Six Day Trial) on the Isle of Man that autumn. Pat had ridden off-road for years, winning three gold medals in ISDTs and even raced alongside Steve McQueen. So Pat tried the 125 in a couple of UK events with some success, including winning the gue
The AJS 7R was launched in 1948, a 348cc SOHC single that looked remarkably like an updated Velocette KTT, although that was hardly fair. But, like the KTT, the 7R (quickly nicknamed the “Boy Racer”) was intended to be sold as an over the counter racer that would allow privateers to be competitive in grand prix racing, if not fighting for the podium. Nonetheless Geoff Murdoch took his 7R to fourth place in the 1948 Senior TT, only beaten by Manx Nortons with an extra 1
Les Graham with the E90 version of the Porcupine at Braddan Bridge, in the 1950 Senior TT. Photo from Bill Snelling and available in a variety of formats from TT Race pics. Again, the full story is in my book, Classic TT Racers #isleofman #isleofmantt #tt #britishbike #britishmotorcycle #ajs #bigtwin #classicbike #classicmotorcycle #vintagemotorcycle #1950 #motorcycleracing #motogp #lesgraham #blackandwhitephotography
The AJS Porcupine won the inaugural 500cc world championship, the only time a twin cylinder motorcycle has won the top flight 500 / MotoGP world title. Swipe left for more photos. The Duke of Edinburgh started the Senior TT, the opening round of the blue riband 500cc class, which saw a tie for the lead at the end of the first lap between the AJS Porcupine of Les Graham and his team-mate Ted Frend. Unbelievably, they were being chased by Bob Foster’s Moto Guzzi Bicilind