The 750 World Championship
In the early 1970s, the motorcycle market – which had been fairly dormant since the 1950s – suddenly started changing and new sports classes were introduced, largely based on higher cc’s. Initial progress was slow but with the Americans leading the way, E
It was a sign of the times that as the new 750s started to emerge in the 1970s, so a series to contest them in should appear. Phil Wain tells the story of how it happened and who grabbed the bull by the horns.
Despite withdrawing from Grand Prix racing at the end of the 1967 season, Honda continued to build and develop motorcycles, their ground-breaking CB750 sending shockwaves across the world and more than proving its potential with victory at the 1969 Bol d’or and 1970 Daytona 200. But the two-stroke revolution was coming and it was Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki who would lead the way as the 1970s progressed. In Spring 1972, the FIM announced the Formula 750 series, as it had become known, and with official rules in place, the first championship would take place the following year. The proposed formula was that the race distance would be limited to 200 miles, which were eventually split into two races per event. It was a production series and the machines had to be on sale to the public with a minimum of 200 already manufactured or on sale and the characteristics could not be changed.
Steve Baker looks tiny on the Yamaha