Listen in as Travis and Robin discuss a group riding tour involving seven riders, seven states and seven days.
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This Month In Motorcycle History
Brought to you by Today in Motorcycle History
Norge 1200 GT is a Gran Turismo bike that takes its name from the original GT Norge famous for making a 4,000-mile test ride in 1928—from the company headquarters in Italy to just inside the Arctic Circle of Norway's Capo Nord — to prove its suspension prototype: the world's first rear swingarm suspension.
Moto Guzzi celebrated the Norge introduction in 2005 by re-tracing the 1928 ride. Reinforcing Moto Guzzi's history, the design of the Norge and its fairing was refined in the company's historic wind tunnel at the Mandello del Lario headquarters. According to 'Rider' magazine - "...it’s very clear that in 2007 Guzzi does know precisely what it’s doing." .
But it was in Speedway that he attained his greatest fame. Kuhn took part in some of the earliest Speedway meetings in the UK and was Captain of the Stamford Bridge team when they won the first Southern League Championship in 1929. After Stamford Bridge closed in 1932, he spent nearly five years racing for the Wimbledon Dons.
Gus did a stint with the Wembley Lions beforebecoming Captain of the Lea Bridge team in 1938. A combination of age, his *motorcycle business and WWII led to him to retiring from Speedway in 1939 after a brief spell with theSouthampton Saints. “A wily master of track-craft, a brilliant mechanic, a darned hard man to get past (and not only because of his portly figure), and above all a thorough sportsman and a jolly good fellow.” - Speedway News, May 16, 1936 *In 1932 Kuhn founded Gus Kuhn Motors in Clapham Road, Stockwell, London.
Dealing in Triumphs, BSA and Nortons.
In a career that spanned seventeen years, the peerless Agostini won fifteen World Champion Grand Prix titles (eight in 500cc Class and seven in 350cc Class), twelve Isle of Man TT crowns and took the checkered flag in a jaw-dropping 122 Grand Prix races. Along the way he became motorcycling's first rock star. Agostini made his American racing debut in the Daytona 200 in March of 1974.
That year the race was jam-packed with bevy of talent, including Kenny Roberts and Barry Sheene. Agostini jumped out to an early lead, but then had to battle Sheene, Roberts and Gary Nixon. For half the race, the quartet staged some of the most exciting laps ever turned in the 200.
Eventually, the other three riders fell by the wayside due to bike problems or crashes and Agostini rode to victory in his first Daytona. Winning the 200 not only added immensely to Giacomo’s popularity in America (17th most popular baby name in '74), but it also helped solidify the Daytona 200’s standing as a world-class motorcycle race. Did you know, Nurburgring was completed in spring of 1927, and the first motorcycle race took place on June 18, 1927.
The race was won by Germany's Toni Ulmen on an English-built 350cc Velocette.
The plan for motorcycle racing at Crystal Palace actually was put into play in 1926 when a group of bike "enthusiasts" under the guise of London Motor Sports Ltd approached the Crystal Palace trustees to see if the grounds of the Palace could provide a venue for motorcycle racing in London. Incredibly, the trustees voted in their favor and on May 21, 1927 the first races were held. A crowd of over 10,000 turned out to witness seven solo and three sidecar races on the hastily, and roughly, created one-mile track.
In May, 1972 the Greater London Council's Arts and Recreation Committee decided to close the track at the end of that season. The National Sports Centre wanted to expand, complaints of noise pollution, the cost of improving spectator facilities and bringing the track up to the then new 'international standards' were allegedly the factors which had weighed heavily in the this decision. Racing would start again in 2010, the legends and the not-so-legendary who raced/race at Crystal Palace will grace these pages on another day.
Along with many others, I am disconsolate that we should be denied the type of diversion so pacific to rioting in the streets, general unrest and political chaos. It is shocking that we have come to a point that "The Impossible Dream" of one man must be shattered by the custodians of the Abyss of Bliss in Northern Arizona without just cause being stated or any right to appeal being offered." C. Jones Evel Knievel Booster Club Chairman Scottsdale, Arizona.
So far. Considered by many to be one of the most consistent racers in GP history, he is currently signed to ride for the Padgett's Honda Racing Team having previously ridden for TAS Suzuki Racing, Valmoto Triumph and DTR Yamaha. Anstey made his Isle of Man TT debut in 1996, riding a Yamaha 250cc that finished in 29th place in the Lightweight TT.
At the 2003 Isle of Man, Ansteywon the Junior TT aboard the Valmoto Triumph Daytona, giving Triumph its first TT win in twenty seven years. Twelve years later, onSunday June 7, 2015, Anstey achieved the highlight of his career, winning the Superbike TT. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, he is a Ten-Time winner of both the North West 200 and the Ulster Grand Prix.
In 2015, Bruce Anstey was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to motorsport.
The nearby Clady Circuit, also in County Antrim, was used for the Ulster Grand Prix from 1922 until 1952.
Zeelenberg would race for Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki and Aprila during his nine year career. It would be on a Honda where he would have the best luck, winning the 1990 250cc Class German Grand Prix and in 1991 finding himself ranked fourth in the 250cc Class World Championship. Though they are not motorcycle racers or fabricaters, Wilco, the band, have played in the Netherlands and appeared on "...later on with Joolz Holland".
He directed early animation shorts for Gaumont Studio's of the comic "Keeping up with the Joneses" by Arthur "Pops" Momand. Harry would be credited for work on 76 animation shorts from 1915-1917. Palmer illustrated news dispatches of the Spanish-American War for the St.
Louis Post-Dispatch. During the Boxer Rebellion he went to China to sketch the fighting going on over there. Returning to the States, he drew for the Fort Wayne News-Sentinal (Indiana), the Cleveland Leader, the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette, the Denver Republican, the Denver Post and the New York Evening World.
He would sketch international affairs for the Evening World for 25 years. The Miami Patrolman that hit Harry Palmer was riding a 1951 Harley-Davidson FL Hydra-Glide. Panheads rule! .
The Model 7 Dominator was the Norton factory's first twin-cylinder machine of the modern era and made its debut at the 1948 Earls Court Show. Some specs on the Norton; bore and stroke are 66mm x 72.6mm, 497cc, single carb, OHV vertical-twin with 360 degree crankshaft throws (pistons both rise and fall together, but they fire on alternate strokes - all British vertical twins used this except, for arguments sake, the Triumph Bandit, which was never produced beyond the prototype stage.
The Bandit used a 180 degree crank, where one piston is up while the other is down). The engine produced 29bhp @ 6000rpm, with minor tweaking 90 mph was easily achieved with a 'flick of the wrist'. Original cost in England was £215.
"The Unapproachable Norton Dominator, the World's Best Roadholder." Today in motorcycle history proudly supports the National Association for Bikers with a Disability (NABD). www.nabd.org.uk Posted by Unknown at 9:57 AM Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest.
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Mess A La Moto
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Tune in next time for more discussion on all things specific to sport touring or universal to motorcycling as a whole.
Safe travels, everyone!