EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Cars & Motorcycles
Classic Racer

Classic Racer

September - October 2020

Classic Racer takes you so close you can actually smell the Castrol R. With the world's finest archive, and an editorial team who live and breathe the sport, the only way you'll get closer will be to put on your leathers.

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Mortons Media Group, Ltd
Frequency:
Bimonthly
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6 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
red dragonfly rising!

//DATE: JULY 10, 1955 //LOCATION: MOUNT FUJI Yamaha engineers had just six weeks to get their new production machine – the YA-1 – ready for The Third Mount Fuji Ascent Race in 1955, and during their preparation the Yamaha Motor Company came into being on July 1, making 2020 their 65th anniversary. TheYA-1’s nickname ‘The Red Dragonfly’ came from the bike’s colour scheme. While its contemporaries were often sober and black, this stylish machine with the swooping teardrop tank was finished in a stunning ‘chestnut red’ and highlighted with cream detailing. Produced in late 1954 for sale from February 1955, the bike was based on the DKW RT 125 from Germany. Despite being expensive at the time (it cost 138,000 Yen) its early success (11,000 were sold between 1955 and 1958) helped lead to…

1 min.
king kenny

// DATE: AUGUST 12, 1979 // LOCATION: SILVERSTONE In all ofYamaha’s 65 years of racing, one man stands above all others: Kenny Roberts. Not only did the Californian take three back-to-back 500cc Grand Prix titles between 1978 and 1980, he also became a successful manager for the marque from the mid-1980s on, taking three 500cc titles with Wayne Rainey (1990-1992) and a 250cc world title with John Kocinski in 1990. He later became a manufacturer in his own right, taking onYamaha with the three-cylinder two-stroke Modenas project and later the four-stroke Proton/KR effort. He started out racing with his mother lying about his age so he could compete. Being born in Modesto, he was perfectly situated to take part in the many local dirt-track races that were popular at the time and that would…

1 min.
rainey day

DATE: AUGUST 1, 1993 LOCATION: DONINGTON PARK, GREAT BRITAIN Wayne Rainey – by his own admission – shouldn’t have been racing on this day. A highside in practice coming out of the final corner at Goddards had taken two fingernails from his left hand, given him a compression fracture of his back and – more worryingly – given him concussion and lagging vision. In his autobiography called ‘Wayne Rainey – his own story’ he says: “I didn’t say anything about my head. I knew I was concussed but the doctors hadn’t checked and I wanted nobody to know. Next morning I woke up and swung my head and my vision was behind the movement. I decided to do morning warm-up and see how it would feel. I was two seconds off the pace.” For…

2 min.
these amazing union gloves worth £69.99!

Across 1:The petrol company, the bird, and the bike underneath Britain’s legendary number 7. (6,5,6) 7: There were no premier class titles for anyone from here between 1982 and 1999. (6) 9 & 29 Across: Recent innovation to ensure Grands Prix continue whatever the weather. (4,2,4) 11: First name of the 2004 125cc world champ who has since got a bit more famous. (6) 12: Chassis-making brothers who ran GP teams with bothYamaha and WCM engines. (6) 13: Classic battery-free ignition system. (7) 14: Mr Bell, postwar Norton-mountedTT winner from Belfast. (5) 15: Crash helmet, don’t flip it! (3) 18: Mike Trimby-founded organisation formed in 1986 to represent the interests of those participating in the world championships. (4) 20: A bike’s main aerodynamic device, but no dustbins please. (7) 21: Where the mechanics work on race day. (4) 24: Mr Kochanski, West…

4 min.
readers write

GEORGE REMEMBERED Dear CR Late last year, my friend of over 60 years, James ‘George’ Ward lost his long, brave battle with cancer. George was an enthusiastic club racer in the 1960/70s. His first mount was a 500 BSA Gold Star and very early in his racing career he had his one and only serious accident as he and two other riders approached the Cadwell Mountain section. George was forced on to the grass as he and the other two riders approached the corner three abreast. Local newspaper reports told of his machine clearing the 15ft tannoy wires. In fact, it was George who sailed over the wires and afterwards he went to Louth hospital to have a dislocated shoulder joint popped back in place. He raced for around 12 years after that incident and…

1 min.
obscurity revealed

Dear CR I found it interesting to read the informative letter from Raymond Ainscoe in issue 204 and his view on the Joey Dunlop feature that: “Estonia IS not so obscure.” I’m not so sure. In 2004 I, together with friends, rode our bikes out to Estonia as part of a 10-country tour, and had the pleasure of staying in Tallin for five days. Naturally, whilst there, we were interested in looking up the Pirita circuit, so one day a friend and I went to the Information Bureau in the town and asked for directions. Guess what! None of the staff there had a clue as they had never heard of it! So Raymond, it would seem to be obscure to some: even the locals.…