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 one for the oldies!

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dansofield550

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PostSubject: one for the oldies!   Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:14 am

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Trevor Amos



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PostSubject: Re: one for the oldies!   Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:53 am

Sorry Dan, they don`t qualify as oldies, not with streamlining. Authentic oldies go way back, like, 50 years!
Ask John, about life before fairings?

Trevor.

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dansofield550

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PostSubject: Re: one for the oldies!   Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:55 am

think johns in the photo , maybe 48, picture is from '72 season , a good year ............... nicest people generally born that year !!!!
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john bass

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PostSubject: Good one Dan...    Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:09 am

Thanks Dan...

If that was Brands then I shall be pleased to say I finished fourth and lost third by a wheel. A water-cooled Bantam beat me over the line.

If it was that one I am thinking of,  it was one of those national events where -- like the 125 TT --  a Bantam could wear a pinafore and a  skirt. Although I was third every lap in Clearways (meaning a gain of place between Paddock Dip and South Bend)  I was fourth every time past the line which raises the interesting point that Icarus-One -- with 8,400rpm max... -- got a speed-up downhill from Paddock and from  Druids such that Icarus-One was able to pass an 11,000rpm W/C Bantam -- also without a frock.

Such events are worth all the aggro... they stick in memory. I also have a pointed (bone-chipped) right elbow as memento of Druids. After dropping Icarus-One during  a practice day my mentor said there´s nothing to be gained by trying to be fast in an hairpin... Point is, I passed the WC Bantam at Druids 5 times in a 6-lap race which was -- I think -- a great gain to my self-estem...  Maybe some would say   a great gain in size of hat!!

You should not have said that, Trevor:   ask John about life before fairings -- I´ll be getting  too sloppilly nostalgic. Icraus-1 -- without its frock -- cost just over 60quid to build in 1968. As a pukkha racing Bantam:  long-stoke, BSA piston, big flywheels and mostly BSA Bantam it was the embodiment of "Racing On The Cheap" as was the original concept. It was enormous fun and only hurts when I laugh too loud!



Long before thinking of any so daft as road-racing I had a 500JAP-engined Enfield, a (1937) 250AJS in a ten-part BITZA on grass and bought a 125 Bantam -- for grass-tracking -- for a fiver......

OK - OK! I´ll stop...


OK -- OK!  so the cost and formula rearrangement was forced upon the modern Bantam racer otherwise the marque would have vanished  and I am not so anti-skirt and anti-proprietary bits as many of you seem to think. My opinion of the modern Bantam Racer is that it is splendid looking racer  and could not be any other way.  

Take care, go well and keep well --

CheerS!
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john bass

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PostSubject: PS -- Second Thoughts...   Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:15 am

PS -- Second Thoughts -- isn´t that the old score-board in the Isle of Man when the Clypse Circuit was used for the Lightweight Class??
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dansofield550

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PostSubject: Re: one for the oldies!   Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:35 am

It been said on Facebook (where the pic came from ) its snetterton
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john bass

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PostSubject: Yes -- I recognise its wretched look...   Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:31 am

Yes -- it is Snetterton. My jinx circuit. Should have known. Made my first attempt at road-racing there -- on a Bantam. Was second from last in a 250 Class race with a 150cc engine. My mentor (and engine man) said we should not cheat and enter 125 Bantam races with our 150 engine (costing 2 pounds...) .

It was a wretched day. The engine would start and run for a few seconds and stop -- repeatedly. Then when that problem was solved a gust of wind blew dust into the carb just as I was going out for practice and the throttle stuck open and then a cold mizzling rain came on for the race ....

The cause of the above trouble was the filler cap. It had no ventilation hole: being an ex Vincent HRD oil tank cap.
A rather embarrassing mistake!

I later broke a collar-bone, split my eyebrow and cut my knee as well as having two concussions there -- all on different days....


I should have remembered the dreadful place.


Yet I do have a small cup which said I was third in a race there. Someone organising the trophies must have madea mistake!!

Cheers!

JayBee.
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Edward Pickering

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PostSubject: Re: one for the oldies!   Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:06 am

Courtesy Of Trevor Amos.



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dansofield550

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PostSubject: Re: one for the oldies!   Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:12 am

Yep that'll be real oldies! When men were men and all that! :-)
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Trevor Amos



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PostSubject: Re: one for the oldies!   Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:59 am

Snetterton, mid-ish 60s.

Funny thing is I recall a lot of the machines, and some riders, but their names escape me, but then it is almost 50years ago?
Looks like Brian in one pic and Mick Crips in another, Mick must have been the tallest rider ever on a Bantam, I`m 6ft and he made me feel tiny, lovely guy though. Nice mix of plungers and S/As, strangely these bikes seem so much smaller than todays. Got a few more pics of paddock, grids and individual bikes of this era should anyone be interested?
Real nostalgia hit for you John, enjoy reminiscing!

Particular thanks and gratitude to you Ed!

Trevor
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john bass

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PostSubject: Yes Trevor -- yes!    Thu May 01, 2014 5:03 am

Thank you Trevor & Edward....

Pat Plosky #14 -- I think. Recognise some others but dementia prevents -- er whazzatt? I just forgot what it was that we were talking about.... No joke! Getting old is horrible and it makes me feel thankful for those memories of getting the leg-over....

Those pics of that wretched place Snetterton might have been nearer the end of 60s than the middle -- not sure though...

The pics confirm that the fairings were the right way to go but I cannot let go of the fact that married with two kids, a wife, two cars and a house to upkeep I´d never would have had such experiences if it had not been for RACING ON THE CHEAP. Icarus-One built for 60 quid and Icarus-2 for 40... Just junk from breakers´-yards really but -- at times -- both quite fantastic and quite often gave the feel of really racing....

Yes Trevor yes. By all means show some more. Even those pics might have been before my time. I didn´t start Bantam Racing until `69 .... Most of `68 was pipe development whilst practising at Brands. Like I said (several times before -- I am always forgetting...) we were going to find a `jockey´ and I had got round to enjoying Brands so much that I shed 3.5 stone (almost 50 pounds) and `volunteered´ to be jockey ... Getting rid of all that weight had me so weak that at Snetterton -- that first time with the Vincent tank cap problem -- I was collapsing after run-&-bump starting. Probaly saved me from early demise though, that dieting -- because both my colleagues working for Simms at Leyland both succumbed from heart problems before age fifty brought on by too much `expenses´ booze and pigging-in.....

Cheers!
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Trevor Amos



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PostSubject: Re: one for the oldies!   Thu May 01, 2014 7:18 am

John,
Before we get into this post I think it high time that the patient, indulgent and long suffering Edward Pickering is applauded on this forum for his continued contribution to all things Bantam. Reflecting the importance and relevance of his efforts is the fact that his own topic here has had the incredible total of 12,487 hits, surely a record?
So on behalf of all Bantam supporters; Thank you Ed.

Ok John, I will select a mix of half a dozen snaps for our entertainment, and engage in name the rider?

Your mention of "Racing on the cheap", by Roy Bacon and published in 1963, prompted me to dig out my copy. In its preface is the following: how to go racing for less than £50........under a formula prohibiting expensive items such as streamlining, alloy tanks, alloy wheel rims, and non standard engine parts! Have we transgressed or progressed in the ensuing half century?

Trevor.
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Edward Pickering

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PostSubject: Re: one for the oldies!   Fri May 02, 2014 12:15 am

Courtesy Of Trevor Amos.











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Trevor Amos



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PostSubject: Re: one for the oldies!   Fri May 02, 2014 3:15 am

Thanks Ed.

I have no idea who the acrobatic bantam rider is, the circuit or date. A fine example of being in the right place at the right time! Next is the grid at Snet. Alan Blundell is middle top. The two identical machines belong to Mick Crips and Terry Bracey-wright. The standing group with Mick`s S/A frame bike this time, features the tall Mick, Terry, Roy Bacon, and a famous guest who shared a podium with Ago and Mike Hailwood ? Another grid shot with Fred in the foreground, Finally to the famous Todd BSA ridden by Fred Lauchbury.

It is worth taking a closer look at Fred`s machine and the position of the engine mass, it has been pulled forward as is evidenced by the curly front down tube and long engine plates!

Could you be there amongst any of these rides John?

Trevor
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john bass

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PostSubject: The Oldies...   Fri May 02, 2014 4:31 am

Thanks Trevor and Edward!

Sorry! Don´t recognise anyone there...

When I started, Roy bacon was winding down and just retired from club chairmanship, Fred was not riding Bantam events so often being he was riding the Mondial (or some such factory bike on which he crashed...***) and Bob Newby was giving Fred a hard time plus the Hunter bros and Sticky Mick Scutt, Tony Jones ... etc... etc... were all coming on fast. One of my early race numbers was 81 and I just looked up my pots and found that my first full season was 1968 and the pot was for a third in a novice race at Snetterton in March `68 -- which must be a mistake... -- Cadwell in June as winning the Novice (See the Avatar here at Mansell´s with #1...) and a 3rd in an Inter same day and a 4th at Llandow same year... I always tried for a number with a 1 in it, so the Bantam race numbers were 1,12, 18, 81, 17 and so on....

Up to reading that bit on the pot I was positive I had started a year later but since that record is stated fact I must have spent most of 1987 causing disturbances at Brands Hatch .


SHOWS HOW IMPORTANT TROPHIES ARE -- the above might not have been earth-shattering, `STAR´ performances but for me as one who´d always thought of road-racing as dangerous and practiced speedway as well as racing grass as both something cushy in comparison with road-dicing, the 6 trophies earned mean a lot more than just just those mediochre results.... I mean my best result in A SENIOR race was fifth and most times I was about ninth or tenth with five or six of those Star Seniors half a lap ahead of the rest of us... Those lads were fast -- or perhaps the bikes were!! The difference of a fast Senior bike to a winning Inter was enormous.

Much like the finding of that above-mentioned pot my old photos are somewhere here -- must get looking.

Sorry, I must confess that road-racing was uncomfortable: narrow bars and all squeezed up one moment in a most uncomfortable position and like a spread-eagled frog the next. Give me the wide-cow-handlebars and upright posture anytime... Not exactly the image of biking to Grandma´s for Sunday tea but at least upright with permission to put out a steadying foot now and again. Yes, give me that anytime...

Anytime??? -- yeah, why not!


Go well and keep well. Take care,

Cheers!






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Ned

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PostSubject: Re: one for the oldies!   Fri May 02, 2014 9:57 am

A couple of other bits of old grey cell joggers in Trevor's photos. Some folk were still using megas or straight pipes and senior graded riders had a red band round the number plate.
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Trevor Amos



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PostSubject: Re: one for the oldies!   Fri May 02, 2014 8:50 pm

Oh crikey, yes Ned, and didn`t those things ever make a noise, their decibel level was painful to the ears. Even more amazing was the racket that the 50cc Itom made with its stubby little megaphone, appearing to be out of all proportion to its engine capacity.
The guys using, the now conventional, expansion chamber were measurably quieter and by and large quicker.
Harnessing the exhaust sound energy to augment cylinder filling used a lot of this energy resulting in a much reduced exhaust noise.
You have to wonder at the clowns running F1 demanding that the current engines make MORE noise in an attempt to recreate the atmosphere of previous years. That the engines are about half the capacity of the old ones and by driving a turbo charger a significant amount of that exhaust sound energy is dissipated seems totally lost on them.

When I, eventually, qualified for the elevated status of "Senior" I had to make a new larger front number plate to accommodate both the red band and the numbers. I always envied Allan Blundell`s skill in producing his hand beaten, dished aluminium job, I made do with hardboard. These mundane things for me were just a distraction from the challenging mysteries that the engine offered.
One small anecdote from those days is worth recounting. After finishing 5th in a race at Snetterton and back in the paddock I was approached by the travelling marshal and he handed me a six inch long tube and declared that this fell off your bike going past the pits. I didn`t catch on initially but then he pointed at the exhaust and wagged his finger at me, the tail pipe had dropped off. The following races on the day proved that performance of the engine was not altered one jot by having the tail pipe or not? But it did prove what a rubbish welder I was!

Trevor






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Ned

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PostSubject: Re: one for the oldies!   Sat May 03, 2014 11:26 am

Careful Trevor ! Hardboard number plates and Itom megas that resembled ear trumpets used by old boys in comedy sketches. We are starting to sound like that nostalgic old fart J.B.
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john bass

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PostSubject: èy whacher say Ned...   Sun May 04, 2014 2:40 am

`ey whatcher say Ned?

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ted

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PostSubject: one for the oldies!   Mon May 05, 2014 8:11 am

I think the falling off photo was in Motorcycle Sport with the caption” Oxford English dictionary definition of a Bantam, a small bird of limited flight capability”.
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Trevor Amos



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PostSubject: Re: one for the oldies!   Mon May 05, 2014 8:08 pm

Ted,
    Thank you for that, a nice piece of detective work, that`s another small blank space filled with a suitable heading. You don`t happen to know the dates by any chance?

For anyone interested, the identity of the rider making expansive gestures in the group photo is Joe Dunphy
he was invited to a race day to help promote the cause of Bantam racing . In his day a very accomplished rider and did well in several continental GPs. His subsequent report was a double page feature in the magazine...  Motor Cyclist Illustrated of 1966.

Trevor
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PostSubject: We had Mick Grant & Ace John Brown...   Tue May 06, 2014 5:32 am

Jogged my memory there about Joe Dunphy -- I was there at the time with Derek who persuaded me to help him build a Bantam Racer when I had set my mind on building a hovercraft.... The Bantams seemed terribly quick on that  day! and the 250s really frightening. Derek had a share in a 250 using a Villiers 2-stroke (Derek Tuned) which Peter Williams often used in Nationals in between his Arter & other sponsored rides with a consideral amount of 250 success which was hardly ever reported ....

Much later when I had taken over the chair of BRC we had Mick Grant and Ace John Brown -- the MC reporter -- to dinner ... Both great characters of the bike fraterniy who didn´t mind sharing the prizegiving (which was my mistake -- never two for that function)....

I think it was winter of 1973. Our annual prizegiving -- some posh restaurant in London --  maybe someone out there remembers the occasion:  Was it `The Ritz´we used? I was wearing a wig and glasses and got splinters in my feet because of  dancing barefoot....

Yaaaawwwnnn!
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ted

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PostSubject: one for the oldies!   Tue May 06, 2014 6:29 pm

Sorry Trevor I can’t remember the year, I had the mag. until Divorce made me get rid of a lot of old stuff 6 years ago. I think it was about 1964, when I was getting the pink monthly Motorcycle Sport on a regular basis.
You mentioned tall riders, I seem to remember the Nelson bros. were quite tall. They were still regular Eastern centre club night attendees in the mid 70s, but none of the current members bar me seems to remember them.
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PostSubject: Re: one for the oldies!   Tue May 06, 2014 8:53 pm










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Ned

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PostSubject: Re: one for the oldies!   Wed May 07, 2014 4:31 am

ted wrote:
the Nelson bros. were quite tall. They were still regular Eastern centre club night attendees in the mid 70s, but none of the current members bar me seems to remember them.                                                                                

I bought my first Bantam of PETE NELSON  tongue 
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