Dirt Talk

Classic Dirtbike - - Contents -

What are you talk­ing about in the CDB world? All sorts of things as it hap­pens, bring it on we say.

Tim, you prob­a­bly won’t re­mem­ber me, but I was al­ways in and out of your post of­fice on Ben­field­side Road, I even came in one day to put an ad­vert in your win­dow sell­ing some C15 SS80 bits and you asked me if they were tri­als stuff (they weren't, they were from my first le­gal bike af­ter Ban­tams and Greeves).

I got my first bike in 1965, from right over the road from your post of­fice, my elder brother bought me it for £2-10 from a man called Harry Ark­less, it was a 1948 ex­cel­sior 98, high power for an 11-year-old.

About four years later, your grandad took me and John Wheat­ley to Crawcrook auc­tions and we bought a 197 Dot tri­als and he brought it home for us in his van. Any­way, when I was around 16, I per­suaded my brother to sell his ex-dave Win­field Bul­taco and buy a Hagon Jap grass bike. He blew this into a hun­dred bits at St Johns Chapel grasstrack, your dad was a spec­ta­tor at this and quite a few more lo­cal grass tracks.

At 17, I bought a Hagon Starfire of my own, well it was a Tri­umph TR25 but Starfire was eas­ier to pro­nounce. My brother bought a brand new Jawa mo­tor from Barry Briggs for £260 in 1972 and dropped it in to his Hagon, we raced through­out east Yorks, Lan­cashire and Lin­colnshire and loved ev­ery minute of it, win­ning or not. The Seven­ties were great for grasstrack and the main rea­son I am writ­ing to you is to per­haps have a bit more coverage.

Your dad used to fol­low us in all the lo­cal meet­ings and I was led to be­lieve he lost his eye in a lo­cal grass track. Sadly I don’t have much con­tact with the scene now, as con­tract­ing rheuma­toid arthri­tis put an end to my plans to do over 50s grasstrack, though all my kit is still in the at­tic… green and yel­low TT leather race suit and all. Alan Ri­d­ley, email Hi Alan, that’s scary, as I was cast­ing about a week or two ago for a bar­rel for my B40 and the day you came in to sell those en­gines popped into the con­ver­sa­tion! Hadn’t re­alised they were 250s rather than B40 though. Well, to an­swer your ques­tion about grasstrack, with only four is­sues of CDB a year and tri­als, scram­bles and en­duro in all classes, and on two and three wheels too, there’s al­ways more stuff than space to put it, so it’s not that I’ve some­thing against grasstrack or speed­way ei­ther for that mat­ter – I’ve just fin­ished a speed­way one-off pub­li­ca­tion for Mor­tons in fact. How­ever, I do con­trib­ute to other ti­tles in our group so per­haps speed­way and grass fans should sug­gest things I should cover… My dad was still keen on mo­tor­cy­cle sport though to my knowl­edge he never com­peted af­ter I was born. The ac­ci­dent which cost him an eye was a road one in the Thir­ties and on the Con­sett road from Durham just af­ter where the big round­about is now. No hel­mets for road riders in those days. Tim

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