Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1970's

Cycle News 1979 11 07

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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Page 47 of 47

After inventing reliability trials, observed trials and the scrambling that was to become motocross, the UK crew took a breather. Their Aussie cousins in the Land Down Under took a whack at it and came up with a curious new two-wheeler sport called speedway, the ultimate slide show minus Kodak commercials_ England clasped the smooth oval skidding to its heavily-valved bosom and speedway grew to the professional world championship sport it is today. The British Speedway League draws 250,000 viewers weekly. The sbow presents gaudily leathered warriors on fragile "hard tail" frames powered by 60-horsepower four-bangers trying to figure out which end is forward, in 90second bursts. The World Speedway Final has long drawn 100,000 or more spectators. But while the Aussie invention has flourished as a professional endeavor, its English derivitive, grasstrack, has set another course - Sportsman racing. _ As the sport developed, most of the traditional English marques could be found sliding around the greenery. The list included Douglas, Rudge, Ariel, Norton and Royal Enfield. Some Harley-Davidsons got in on the racing, too. And as with any English sport on two wheels, the sidecar men soon started having a go at it. The current trend toward speedwaylike machinery began after World War Two. The use of the lighter, spindlier machinery led to the gradual smoothing of track surfaces. Earlier, more or less level farmland with little preparation had been the norm. The propulsion department saw a pattern develop. Bigger is better. U 500cc can do this, let's-stick-thisSherman-tank-engine-into-this-bicycle -frame-and-see-what-she'lI·do fervor that inhabits most motorsports. Displacement limits crept, sprinted, then bazooka -ed up to 1300cc. The spanner men begah fitting Volkswagen, Ford and Hillman automotive engines into the bike frames. Finally, Britain's governing body, the Auto Cycle Union, axed the grasscar concept, limiting powerplants to 1000cc. Currently, the 500cc class is the mas! comPetitive. Top grasstrackers also venture cross-channel to contest foreign events. The Hereford Grasstrack Grand Prix, near the border of Wales, is the biggie for these on the green scene. It attracts many of England's top professional speedway riders like World Champions Barry Briggs, Ivan Mauger and Peter Collins. In fact, Collins initiated his skidding career on the green rather than the dirt speedway ovals. Sportsman ovals or tri-ovals are still set up in farmer's fields. Classes are generally offered for 250. 350 and 500cc machinery with three or four lap heats. Grassnack machinery does vary some from speedway bikes. The greenwheelers have shocks, two-speed transmissions and a rear brake. The 250cc class finds plenty of Buhacos and Maicos. The English BSA dominates the 350cc action while traditional speedway powerplants, Weslake, Jawa and JAP, are most favored in the 500cc class. Like our AMA flattrack racing, a series of heats and semis set the stage for a final feature race. The clubmen are out from April to October to see who can get around the green ground the quickest. Will English grasstrack ever get together with American TT? The jumps and the righthander sure would be interesting. But for now grasstrack r.emains a sportsman's delight over fields of green where nothing goes right. • THE CARPENTER SYSTEM: WINNINGI l' I-< aJ ..0 8 aJ > o Z BOB CARPENTER. NUMBER ONE AGAIN! Aboard his CM Performance prepared Kawasaki. Carpenter became the 1979 NMRA Pro Stock Drag Racing Champion by winning the Winston World Finals at Ontario. California. October 7.1979. Carpenter also holds the NMRA Pro Stock ET Record at 9.00 seconds. Winners depend on reliable performance and CM Performance products give winners like Carpenter that winning edge. and that's just the beginning••• send $2 for our complete catalog For more information on the CARPENTER SYSTEM send your name and address to: 570 Dunksferry Rd. Bensalem, PA 19020 (215) 638-0323 Attention: Racing Department The ultimate Exhaust System for the Z·l 900 and KZ·l000 l_w_ee_k_IY_N_e_W_S__ N_o_t_M_o_n_t_h_ly_H_i_st_o_ry----'I -9lJA~EW99B ttElN&A Husqvarna MOTORCYCLES PARTS - SERVICE 605 Frwy. at Carson 11747 E. Carson St. Lakewood. CA 90715 21~1354 714-521-7112 • RM PARTS: Genuine SUZUKI factory proven parts in stock. pistons, rings, nuts, bolts any RM part you need. • FACTORY PORTING: IRM's only) To factory proven spec's, Use the facilities the • CYLINDER BORING "Factory Teams" turn to Set up like the PRO's, Sudd.n Servicewhile in the Midwest! • • CRANK REBUILDING UPS 0' Fed 1 Midwest Action C\'cle offers • We do it right. Exp, to you the finest available Machine Services! SUZUt(1 MIDWEST ACTION CYCLE Rt. 12 • BOX 163 • LAKE ZURICH, IL 60047 • 312:438-6300 You I 15

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