I raced them

Old Bike Australasia - - APRILIA RS250 -

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.”

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