Vin­tage Mo­tocross Noisy, dirty and in a field

Get your clas­sic rac­ing kicks with the Pre-65 Mo­tocross club ‘Riders bat­tle it out in tra­di­tional jer­seys to the smell of Cas­trol R’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - NEWS - By Justin Hayzelden

The Pre- 65 Mo­tocross Club was founded in 1981 with the aim of pre­serv­ing the use of clas­sic scram­ble ma­chin­ery – scram­bles be­ing the orig­i­nal term for mo­tocross when it emerged from tra­di­tional time tri­als to be­come a first-across-the-fin­ish­line style of com­pe­ti­tion.

On any Sun­day you can watch clas­sic Bri­tish mar­ques such as BSA, AJS, Nor­ton and Match­less com­pete with leg­endary Euro­pean man­u­fac­tur­ers like CZ and Husq­varna, an echo of those hal­cyon days when mo­tocross was one of the big­gest mo­tor­sports in the UK.

As its name im­plies, the club was set up to cater for mo­tor­cy­cles built be­fore 1965, but this has since evolved to in­clude a pre-74 class and pre-85 side­cars.

Although the bikes may re­sem­ble mu­seum pieces, the rac­ing is for real and riders bat­tle it out in tra­di­tional team jer­seys to the tune of thump­ing four and rat­tling two-strokes, as the air hangs heavy with the in­tox­i­cat­ing aroma of Cas­trol R; it’s a truly im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ence where an as­sault on the senses takes you right back to that by­gone era. Races are run over four laps so the ac­tion comes thick and fast through­out the day, with dif­fer­ent classes based on en­gine size, year of man­u­fac­ture and even age of rider.

The over­all at­mos­phere is laid back and friendly, with most rac­ers bring­ing their fam­i­lies along for the week­end. The pad­dock area is open to all so you can ad­mire the huge ar­ray of mod­i­fied ma­chin­ery up close, plus you’ll find most riders and mechanics (of­ten one and the same per­son) are more than happy to chat about their bikes. If you fancy hav­ing a go your­self there are al­ways bikes for sale, all you’ll need in ad­di­tion is full club mem­ber­ship (from £15) and an AMCA li­cence (cur­rently £49).

It costs just £5 to watch a full day’s rac­ing, but if you want to get re­ally close to the ac­tion there is al­ways the op­por­tu­nity of act­ing as a race mar­shal. Vol­un­teers re­ceive full train­ing prior to the event and get a con­tri­bu­tion to their ex­penses and lunch thrown in – can’t be bad!

Get an old scram­bler, buy some cheap kit and have a crack Side­cars are part of the Pre-65 club’s ac­tion-packed events

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