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

Classic Racer - - WHAT'S INSIDE -

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

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