King Kenny’s first spon­sor

Classic Racer - - NEWS -

Abrams re­calls, “Kenny started off rac­ing for me orig­i­nally. A guy named Jim Doyle, a Pan-am pi­lot, and Kenny went toyamaha and said, ‘Would you spon­sor Kenny Roberts?’the first thing they said was ‘Who is go­ing to build the bike?’ And they drew a blank. Jim Doyle was from around my area, and I was a Yamaha dealer, soyamaha said, ‘Go talk to Ray Abrams, if he’ll build the bike we’ll spon­sor him.’ Be­cause we were al­ready well into rac­ing.” Abrams still has the orig­i­nal Doyle & Roberts Montessa fuel tank from Kenny Roberts’ first flat tracker. “So that is how I got Kenny, when he was a novice still. He rode for me in a Ju­nior year and the first part of his Ex­pert year, and thenyamaha de­cided they were go­ing to have their own fac­tory team, and that’s when Kel Car­ruthers got in­volved.”

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