I raced them
Glenn Kelleher was one of the leading protagonists in the final years of the dogeat-dog world of Australian 250cc Production Championship racing. Here he takes a trip down memory lane.
“It was the best class in Australia,” remembers Glenn. “You couldn’t do much to the bikes; I remember mine having 52hp pretty much all the time, but the only way you could make them faster was to re-ring them constantly and they really weren’t good with a new set of rings. I put a lot of piston rings in my bike… There wasn’t much else you could do. The RSs ran 1.4mm squish standard but some guys were running 0.9mm, and they eventually got caught by the officials. People used to say you could blueprint the motors but there wasn’t really anything to blueprint with the two-strokes. “My suspension was absolutely stock – not even re-valved. When I raced the Suzuki RGV we changed the fork weight to 15W, but I just believed no one knew more than Aprilia with the suspension on those bikes so I just left mine alone. A few tweaks here and there and the suspension was spotless. The Aprilia was much better than the Suzuki. With the Suzukis people were re-valving the shocks and changing the fork oil but the Aprilia was longer and bigger and a better fit. If you wanted 52hp you just had to keep it fresh. I think a few people got caught for cutting the exhaust pipes open – they used to be twin layered, and you could cut them open and gut them. “Some guys were really fast on them, like Broc Parkes, Anthony West and especially Aaron Gobert. He did a 1:41 at Eastern Creek 20 years ago and that was an incredible time, and his bike was very fast. He had a good one. The fastest guys in my era were Glenn Allerton – he’d just smashed his leg up really bad in motocross so he switched to road racing – Jordan and Aiden Coote were very fast, same as Jamie Stauffer – he was a bit of a legend on his bike. Liam Magee and Reece Bancell, two guys that are sadly not with us anymore were both very quick on the Proddie. There’s a famous photo of the crash where Glenn Allerton went down at Oran Park and Brent George ran over his arm and broke it – that happened right in front of me and 30 other Aprilias. It was pretty chaotic. You could get through Oran Park’s turn one flat out if you had the balls. “Sixty horsepower is the best amount of power to race with. You don’t have to throw tyres at it all the time. You could literally camp in the back of your van and go to Mallala and come home on minimal spend. I’d love to have my Aprilias back. It was a great time to go racing.”