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’
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!