Author Topic: Bendigo Longtrack 1975  (Read 24298 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline JAP 454

  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 1310
  • See Ya at the Skids
    • View Profile
Bendigo Longtrack 1975
« on: May 01, 2011, 06:58:34 PM »
Back in 1975 me mate, Tony Day, and me brother, Jim  ( jimg1au on this forum) decided to go to Bendigo for a two day Longtrack meeting.  We had never been to a longtrack before so were a bit apprehensive.  Anyway, race-weekend rolled around and we packed up the XR and trailer with Tony’s Hagon-Jap and and my Elstar-Jap, Tony , Jim , EA and the two sprogs in the Ford plus all the fuel and gear and headed south on Friday night.
What a trip, done a radiator in, etc. etc. but got there early Sat. am and went to look at the track.  Asked a fella at the Showground where the motorbike track was and he pointed at the wooden fenced, half mile trotting track that looked huge to us.  Bloody hell!!  Back to the bikes, rummage in toolbox, 19 tooth engine sprockets found and fitted, add 10 percent nitro.  We were gunna show these Mexicans.

Jim and TD in pits Sunday
Scrutineering done and we got a copy of the programme.  Bloody hell!  We’d been put in A grade. Asked the organizer, Clarkey, “why?” as we were both B grade in New South, “You’re interstate riders, so you’re A grade” !!   Round one to Victoria.
Now, A grade was populated by fellas like Ray Owen, Clarry  Jones , Gary Chasemore, Nigel Boocock etc. etc. You get the picture.  So there was two fairly nervous, but fired up, B graders in the pits.

Ray Owen chasing Charlie on a 125 twin at Romsey
As we were sitting on the fuel drums, shitting ourselves just a little bit, this thing rolled into the pits.  An old Fairlane, I think, arse dragging on the ground, towing what looked like a long, covered, race car trailer.  Some lads jumped out of the tow car, raced around to the trailer tail gate ramp thingy and put their shoulders to it, while some one else  pulled the pins.  Tailgate down and all these bikes fell or were pushed out.  There were 125, 250, 350 and 500 chookies and sliders, speedway solos, Junior and Senior sidecars. They were one riders bikes, Clarry Jones had shown up.
During the meeting, Clarry had 4 or 5 blokes standing on the infield holding his next bikes in the correct race order.  Mad bugger didn’t seem to stop all night !!

Clarry up it for the rent
Anyway, A grade practice was called. Tony and I were already down at the dummy grid and we get off first.  Down the front straight second time, handlebars an inch from the “safety” fence at some ungodly speed, full noise into turn one.  “Phaark, this’ll do” I thought . Tony drifted high up on the cushion, me down lower, when this banshee wailing thing shot between us at warp factor ten and promptly disappeared down the backstretch.  “What the F%^K was THAT” ???.
Back in the pits a crowd was gathered round it.  It was Booey on Charlie Edwards’ TR2 350 road racingYamaha powered Hagon, and they were pulling the back wheel out, to replace the Barum that had chunks the size of the palm of your hand ripped off it.   Jim  pit-crewed for Nigel and Charlie all night.  One race, one tyre rooted as Booey was riding the fence, literally. Jim got real good at Hagon rear wheel removal and tyre and chain fitting that night !, also making Booey cups of tea.
At the end of the meeting, Clarry Jones cut some hot laps on the thing, his comment after. “I’ve got to have one “

This bike is similar to Charlies 350, comes from Townsville
OK, heats of the A grade 500.  Tony qualified in his heat, however, my heat scored the water cart just before us.  Still confident, fronted to the line.  Away to reasonable start then promptly got filled in.  Now, I wear specs and was used to oil tracks,  so off with the goggles, then filled in again.  “Sod this for a lark”   No other option, I pulled onto the infield, really pissed off.
Sunday arvo finals
As Tony’s JAP was making ominous rumbling noises and I missed out on the final, there was an obvious solution.  Tony ran # 455 and I ran  # 454, so change one number and he’s in the final with no one the wiser.
Tony got a great start in the final.  About mid pack in turn one, improving to run just off the leading three as the race ran on.  Booey, on Charlies thing, bolted away in the lead.  I was thinking, “If someone blows an engine or falls, Tony’s in for a podium here” but,  coming off turn four, running for the flag, the Elstar bucked and slid up to the fence, sitting TD on his bum.  Race finished and I went over with the pick-up wagon to discover Tony was OK but the Jap had coughed its guts up big-time.  All that was left usable was the timing cover, magneto, and surprisingly, the head, the rest, crankcase, bits of the barrel etc. etc. was scattered all over turn four.  We had to do an emu bob before the rest of the finals could be run.

Memories of Bendigo
Booey had fallen from his speedway solo earlier in the night, rolled along the top of the “safety” fence and flopped back onto the track.  Red flags everywhere, ambulance goes over, to discover Booey had, amongst other things, several broken ribs.  They tried to take him to hospital but he protested, saying in his best broad Yorkshire “ The folks have paid to see me fooking ride, and see me ride they fooking will”  He finished the meeting, won and was then taken to hospital.  One tough cookie !!

Aahh well.  That started my addiction to long oval tracks and cured my addiction to nitro. I wasn’t ever all that good.  Just a mid pack B grader but I enjoyed it all.  Still do!! but from the other side of the fence.
Foss

Offline Hoony

  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 4261
  • Melbourne, Vic.
    • View Profile
Re: Bendigo Longtrack 1975
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2011, 07:47:53 PM »
Thanks for reliving the memory Foss, i loved every word of your post. such a shame these type of meetings are very scarce now, i would love to find a tardis and take that era in (as a spectator though )
Long time Honda Fan, but all bike nut in general, Big Bore 2 stroke fan.    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJoKP6MawYI
1985 Honda CR500RF "Big Red"
1986 Honda CR250RG
2005 KTM 300EXC "The GruntMeister" ( I love that engine)

Offline BAHNZY

  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 1149
    • View Profile
Re: Bendigo Longtrack 1975
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2011, 07:54:36 PM »
Foss,
Ripper story, just to short  :D
Could read this "real story" stuff all day long,
thanks.
Rod (BAHNZY) Bahn

Offline pancho

  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 2375
    • View Profile
Re: Bendigo Longtrack 1975
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2011, 07:58:32 PM »
great stuff foss!
 
  cheers!!
dont follow me i'm probably off line!

Offline Stan S

  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 1033
  • Ballarat Victoria
    • View Profile
Re: Bendigo Longtrack 1975
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2011, 08:08:20 PM »
Great story Foss, I was spectating at that meeting and indeed saw Booey thrown on the full from the pole line to the fence by that whaling Yamaha slider. I could not beleive he could continue racing that night but as you said he went on to win. I saw Clarrie ride it after the meeting also and had a look at the back tyre when he came in, it was stripped almost bare.
It was one of the most exciting meetings I have ever witnessed. We used to go up each year on either boxing day or New years day I can't remember which. Another spectacle i saw up there was Phil Crump with a 5ltr plastic container strapped to his speedway bike for the 25 lapper blowing everyone into the weeds. It's a shame we can't still have these type of meetings. You only had to be at the Speedway all weekend at HBBB to realise how popular this type of racing/show is.  Thanks for posting this story.

Regards Stan.

 
« Last Edit: May 01, 2011, 08:20:29 PM by Stan S »

Offline JAP 454

  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 1310
  • See Ya at the Skids
    • View Profile
Re: Bendigo Longtrack 1975
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2011, 08:25:48 PM »
Now that you mention it, Stan it was the Yammy Booey fell off ,cos now I seem to remember one some coming up with a spare set of Hagon forks for it, it was an exciting meeting, 36 years ago but one I will never forget.
Foss

Offline JohnnyO

  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 4658
  • Qld
    • View Profile
Re: Bendigo Longtrack 1975
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2011, 08:55:04 PM »
Great story mate.. reminds me of the 70's when we used to go to the Brisbane Ekka speedway test matches between the Poms and the Aussies. :)

Offline yamaico

  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 816
    • View Profile
Re: Bendigo Longtrack 1975
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2011, 09:04:43 PM »
Great story Al, thanks for posting it,
Pete.

SAABCOMBI

  • Guest
Re: Bendigo Longtrack 1975
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2011, 10:15:22 PM »
After seeing the speedway bikes out at broadford over easter weekend and the amount of spectators enjoying the riding it puzzles me why their is`t more race meetings held through out Victoria, years ago it was so popular, l loved going to Melbourne showgrounds it was a long track. There should be more speedway meeting happening.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2011, 10:18:14 PM by 33M »

Offline Tim754

  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 4011
  • Northern Country Victoria
    • View Profile
Re: Bendigo Longtrack 1975
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2011, 11:00:01 PM »
A start would be to investigate and support the SSRaV club in Victoria ;)  http://www.ssrav.org.au/   A Home of many orginal classics and riders.
I may not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.
                                                   Voltaire.

Offline VMX247

  • Megastar
  • *******
  • Posts: 8762
  • Western Australia
    • View Profile
Re: Bendigo Longtrack 1975
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2011, 12:00:33 PM »
Fantastic story thanks so much for that  8)   8) , But you've all forgotton to mention the most memorable thing about these bikes "SMELL"  :D...ahhhh love it !! good stuff  :-*
cheers A
Best is in the West !!

Offline jimg1au

  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 3489
    • View Profile
Re: Bendigo Longtrack 1975
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2011, 01:28:29 PM »
it was the sound that was the best thing that yamaha bogged down at the start and as nigel wound it out it changed note. great to hear. from last of the start using the wood fence as traction to first great stuff
i dissapointing memory is waking up in the dusty pits with flys up your nose
an other meeting i liked very much was a test between england and australia at nepean wiggy doing monos down the finish streight in the lead again great stuff
jim

Offline Freakshow

  • Superstar
  • ******
  • Posts: 7277
  • Adelaide, SA - looking for a "YZA" tank
    • View Profile
Re: Bendigo Longtrack 1975
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2011, 01:49:31 PM »
Interesting shot of jones on a RT2mx
74 Yamaha YZ's - 75 Yamaha YZ's
74 Yamaha  flattracker's
70  Jawa 2 valve speedway's

For sale -  PRE 75 Yamaha MX stuff, frame, motors and parts also some YAM DT1,2,A and Suzi TS bikes and stuff

Curly3

  • Guest
Re: Bendigo Longtrack 1975
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2011, 04:34:43 PM »
Jim Hairbear, shit you've had a hard life ;D ;D ;D
Great story Foss and you're 100% right about Booey, he was one tuff nut.
I remember him headbutting Australian team manager ( Jim Airey ) at Jerilderie Park Newcastle during a test match in the early 80's, when asked why he replied, he offered his forhead to me, in his broad accent.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 05:00:34 PM by SlideRulz »

Offline pancho

  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 2375
    • View Profile
Re: Bendigo Longtrack 1975
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2011, 06:15:09 PM »
 Jim the indelible memory I have of the poms vs oz meet at Nepean was the fastest, best looking upright slides around the speedway bend I have ever seen! Chris Pusey at the controls.
 cheers pancho.
dont follow me i'm probably off line!