Dave John­son


Dave John­son was a great tech­ni­cian to many top rid­ers dur­ing his long and suc­cess­ful ca­reer, and a good friend to many more. From grand prix to the road cir­cuits, Dave plied his trade and al­ways car­ried a ready smile, right up to the end of his life – cut short far too early, at his home in Aus­tria. With many projects still on the go it’s fair to say that Dave would be upset to leave them un­fin­ished. Rest in peace my friend and if you are look­ing down I hope this short trib­ute from Steve Par­rish, which he in­sisted on adding, will make you smile. Malc Wheeler

Dave John­son, aka ‘Mush­room’ (he loved be­ing called it – kept in the dark and fed bull­shit!) I first met Dave when he was work­ing for Tom Her­ron in 1979, which trag­i­cally was af­ter Tom’s early de­par­ture at the NW200, an event that re­ally knocked Dave for six. Mush­room joined me at Mit­sui Yamaha around 1983 and boy did he work – ma­chin­ing, weld­ing, what­ever was needed, all in­ter­min­gled with lots of fun and laugh­ter. Dave’s finest mo­ment was build­ing my RD 500 V4 race bike. Mit­sui sent us a new road bike and along with Har­ris per­for­mance stripped it and built a frame around the en­gine, heav­ily mod­i­fied with 125cc Mo­tox cylin­ders and pis­tons, and it kind of worked. Dave was re­spon­si­ble for the SLUG, as he’d named it. The old OW53 re­verse cylin­der Yamaha was well out of date but DJ squeezed the best out of it! I will never for­get and will al­ways ap­pre­ci­ate the tal­ent of this larger-than-life ge­nius and es­pe­cially that huge daft smile. RIP Mush­room. Steve Par­rish

Photo: Steve Par­rish

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