Author Topic: Handicap Dirt Track Racing  (Read 10116 times)

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Offline Alan Cun

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Handicap Dirt Track Racing
« on: 29 May 2007 at 10:02 »
Hello All     Cant say I am an expert on this subject but a couple of instances came my way.     Back in the mid seventies a Tracker became available in the club magazine for around $120.  The experts put me off saying ,frame altered, motor stuffed,wrong gearbox.   By the time I got around to checking it out it was withdrawn from sale only to be sold to Eric Bourne many, many years later.(dont think he paid $120).    Around 78  I got the word that an auction was to be held at Newcastle a collection owned by Scotty Sunderland in which was a DT. I went to the auction and happened to mention to someone my limit was$3500 who passed the info on to M Bailey who after a few years, later passed the machine to Ken Hall.  I still smile about that as I ended up miles in front, a story I will cover later on.  Also at this auction was a 4HP basically just a frame motor and a powerplus gearbox.   The picture attached shows what I achieved from my $400 purchase. The previous use is obvious, by the kick in the frame neck. The powerplus box was passed on for dollars, a modified Ew to replace it.  The forks were made up from EW damaged fork tips and pivots with heavier tube.   The carby came with it and the exhausts are 4 inches long.   I was lucky to find 40 hole 23ins rims and spoked them to EW hubs.   The EW box worked in well with the tramway gearshift. The other story I have is about an old chap from the south of Brisbane.  Every time I met Bert Abrahams at an event he reminded me of the fact that he rode an EW in the handicap events. He always recited an EW 350 engine number to me many times, and had I come across it.  Sadly it wasnt one of mine.   Awaiting other comments regards Al   PS, note the lack of a knee hook the 4HP was probably a straight liner, cant imagine it braking away at the rear end and sliding around the corners.   Same goes for a EW 350.

« Last Edit: 30 May 2007 at 09:00 by Alan Cun »

Offline Alan Cun

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Re: Handicap Dirt Track Racing
« Reply #1 on: 31 May 2007 at 01:03 »
Though I might of got at least one comment on the subject, but,   guess I will just throw in a few more comments myself.  Purchasing a DT machine was obviously too expensive for most riders.     When Bob Barlow and myself bought our DT machines from Reg Challenger he stated that these machines were part of the 13 DTs brought into the country by Les Manning. Why 13, well I guess 3 lots of 4 and a spare machine. We purchased these machines from Reg years apart and I think were told the same story of them being electrically timed at 106 mph at lime burner creek.    Bobs machine was the stock type DT, where is mine had much flattening out of the gearbox mount,higher ground clearance and  a small sprint tank.  The engine number also has HC (high compression ? ) wonder if the factory did these mods. I doubt it. Along with my bike came a crude set of double foot rests, that were used for hill climb events.   Just for interest I will include a pic of my DT still in as found condition. Oh by the way I bought the machine in 83 took it home fuelled it up added some Castrol R and it went first push , according to Reg last ridden in 37.     regards Al

« Last Edit: 31 May 2007 at 02:28 by Dave »

Offline graeme

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Re: Handicap Dirt Track Racing
« Reply #2 on: 31 May 2007 at 08:19 »
I remember seeing this machine when dad bought the Zenith from Reg in '81. He also had a beaut racing Big Port AJS - I wonder where that ended up.
The 4HP special looks the business, but I wonder how much of a handicap it needed? Knowing how well the OHVs go, I would think a pretty hefty handicap to say the least!

Offline Alan Cun

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Re: Handicap Dirt Track Racing
« Reply #3 on: 31 May 2007 at 08:58 »
Hello Graeme,     Reg often invited me to come and see the DT and my time was coming to a close in Sydney and a big payout would be in the bank a few months later.  I mentioned on parting Reg that if he thought of selling I was interested. Within 2 days I had a reply 6 grand for the bike 8 with spares(no offers) which included spare forks, a TT frame and a 750 OHV motor and a full set of speedway ratios plus other spares and I think my other DT frame was there too.. Came back to Sydney in Oct 83 to pick up the bike.   The mechanical condition of the bike is unbelieveable no wear anywhere and no scatches on the exhaust. So it couldn have been dropped too many times. I have ridden it at Oxley, Tivoli and Lakeside but I am not a slider rider, but it sure is a thrill to ride. I do believe there was also a Big Port there.  What I particularly remember was a Harley Peashooter with a JAP motor.  As for the 4 Hp, like I say a straight liner, 3 laps start I guess. regards Al     PS,   During my time in Sydney I was told of a family still racing speedway and having in the family a DT Doug  I am sure the name was Pratt. I never checked them out Does the bike still exhist?    During the 90 period I was getting some photo and page enlargements done at Stafford City SC  and on the wall was the attached pic which the store owner sold me a copy.   Guess the picture tells the story Al


« Last Edit: 02 Jun 2007 at 11:00 by Dave »

Offline Dave

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Re: Handicap Dirt Track Racing
« Reply #4 on: 02 Jun 2007 at 11:00 »
Photo added 2nd June 2007.

Offline Dirt Track

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Re: Handicap Dirt Track Racing
« Reply #5 on: 02 Jun 2007 at 13:41 »
G'day Alan, Graeme and all
Is it that long ago you had your stint in Sydney Alan...seems like it was yesterday! That was the good old days when bits were available readily at a reasonable cost (I suppose it's all relevent)...I remember you coming into a VMCC meeting and telling all us Douglas fans how you had picked up an S1 rolling frame with speedo fitted for a $120 or something like that.
The DT you ask about being in the same family still exists although the surname is wrong.
Reg sure was a charactor, he fell asleep whilst sitting on the front line of seats at a VMCC meeting one night and Len Masser noticing this rose to his feet and asked the President if someone could take his pulse to see if he was still alive...the meeting roared with laughter which woke Reg up!
Reg was 93 when he died and at his funeral the Priest said he had only just met Reg 3 months prior when he started coming to church....I suppose he started going just in case!
I have a mention of Reg as being an "Emergency" in a Wentworth Park Speedway Programme from Dec 1929.
As for the "4HP" Speedway machine.....I have programmes going back to 1925 for the Newcastle Speedway listing
machines such as 5HP Scout (Indian), 2 3/4HP SV Douglas, 8HP HD, 2 3/4HP SV Humber, 3 1/2HP SV Triumph, 2 3/4HP SV BSA, 6HP JAP and 10HP HD's........W Brien rode a 5HP MAG! They must have had the secret of getting those SV's mobile because sometimes they triumphed over the OHV models. The lucky riders had "3 1/2HP IOM Douglas's".
Howard.


Offline Alan Cun

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Re: Handicap Dirt Track Racing
« Reply #6 on: 03 Jun 2007 at 23:56 »
Yeh ?  What a pair. Len and Reg      Like I said there was more to follow on the Newcastle auction.  Len was there watching my every move and informing me he was doing a DT actually a SW 6, anyway he invited me to come to his place not too far away  and inspect.   I remember Len by 3 things Dougs, clocks and choppers.  I fronted up at Lens place during the weekend and my first impression was a place like mine high block, great view and a 3 brick drveway. Difference being Len had a beautiful view of a lake, mine was a view of a supermarket roof. On entering under the house there were bikes and clocks everwhere in glass cases and I am sure there was an old dentist chair. Len introduced himself to her that carries the purse ,as, Len do you need a new set of choppers (I make false teeth).   Had a good look at the bike and a lot of spares and eventually left. Oh yes 3 brick driveway thats where you place them up the driveway when a bump star bike doesnt start, they are your rest stops up the drive to get you breath back.  We returned to Bris that day and when I drove past the side of the house I could hear the phone ringing.  I rushed inside and answered it.   < Len here Al if you are interested in the Doug you can have for your last bid $3400 with spares. Thanks Len be back next weekend >   Back to Lens the following weekend and all the spares from which 3 complete 600 DT motors were eventually built.       That was around 78.   I then had a posting to Syd and it was either Howard or Rob the Rudge suggested joining the club.   Anyway Len was there and we got invited out to morning tea(by this time Len had moved to west of Syd) Funny fellow Len ,you never walked down the drive to the shed,  it was always through the front door past the clocks, and out the back.   Dont know how much later it was, but a phone call from Len (Al got this incomplete 4HP for 600 come and check it out)   Up to Lens anyway I offered to double his money and yes a day or so later, got the phone call come and pick it up Thats the Len the legend I knew I am sure he affected Howard the same way.   As for Reg yes another legend  with the tracker bits from him and Len, 5 complete tracker powered machines were reborn.    regards Al    PS a look at Dougs detour to Qld shows the SW 6 and others.   as for the S1 your description a little bit off, rescued from a tip after being pushed by the dozer very much bent frame and damaged sidecar body  all straight now, and awaiting labour on fitting wheels etc as for the 4hp h/cap could have been an unfinished project ( my shed has a few)  had alloy pistons , I will get it down one day and road test.
« Last Edit: 04 Jun 2007 at 08:37 by Alan Cun »

Offline Alan Cun

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Re: Handicap Dirt Track Racing
« Reply #7 on: 04 Jun 2007 at 09:53 »
Hello All thought I would post a couple of pics  One shows the SW 6 (as received from Len) with doug gearbox at Lakeside early 80s. Thats me with the white wiskers  looking at the TT outfit powered by one of the Masser spare motors. The 2 amigos on my right (Fleming and Foster) are mates I asked if I built an outfit, who the hell would be silly enough to go passenger. Just build it was the reply, and sure enough the day it arrived at Lakeside 84, Steve Jeffries rode  each meeting, with me for 5 years .   He reckoned the only worry he had was that light weight flwheel screaming at 8000 rpm. The Doug would only pull about 85 down the straight and lap at about 1 min 30 . After a year it was retired to be replaced by 2 Norton 750 outfits dont know the top speed of them but in 89 we were down to 1 min 13.   Funny thing happened when looking at old racing programmes for 86 and a name was there in front of me M Doohan riding for Gaythorne Yamaha. Nah didnt know him then. Knew a lot of the other riders though.   Al          pics to follow

« Last Edit: 04 Jun 2007 at 11:10 by Dave »