Mike Steele

Old Bike Australasia - - BUZZ BOX -

Born in Hast­ings, NZ, MIKE STEEL raced for just one sea­son be­fore head­ing for Aus­tralia in 1969. Ar­riv­ing in Syd­ney he then drove to Perth, bought a new Bridge­stone 350 GTR and rode to Broome, where he found work on oil rigs. Within a year he was back in Syd­ney where he met Len Atlee, at that time the sales man­ager of Chrysler deal­ers Louis Mo­tors, and Len of­fered him a job as a sales­man along with Chris Lewis. Len re­calls that Mike be­gan rac­ing on a Bul­taco that seized con­stantly, be­fore mov­ing on to the ubiq­ui­tous Yama­has. How­ever he hit the head­lines in 1972 when he sen­sa­tion­ally won the Cas­trol Six Hour Race at Ama­roo Park, teamed with Dave Burgess. Joe East­mure crossed the line first while Steele crashed with five min­utes to go and re­mounted the bat­tered H2 Kawasaki en­tered by Adams & Sons to cross the line in sec­ond place. The post-race scru­ti­neer­ing saw East­mure dis­qual­i­fied and the Steele/Burgess duo was awarded the vic­tory. Mike con­tin­ued to race and rid­ing with Atlee, won the 750 class of the New Zealand Cas­trol Six Hour but had a bad ac­ci­dent at Man­field the fol­low­ing year when he crashed the XS1100 Yamaha he was shar­ing with Atlee. In busi­ness for him­self, Mike traded in cars and trucks im­ported from Ja­pan, op­er­ated Chatsworth Mo­tor­cy­cle Ac­ces­sories in Syd­ney’s Went­worth Av­enue, re­turned to New Zealand for a time to op­er­ate a Yamaha deal­er­ship, and later opened a mo­tor­cy­cle shop in Perth, Mo­tomax, with his son Rick. He was still work­ing in the busi­ness when he passed away in Oc­to­ber from can­cer.

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