The story on the Morgan Mile in OBA 80 revived lots of happy memories, having ridden at the first meeting and several thereafter on my Matchless 500 and 250 Hagon Bultaco, though not with the success of the top riders in the story. Paul Dempsey of Renmark, who now owns the 500cc outfit on page 56, and which he raced at the Mildura Classic Speedway Championships in June, has given me a DVD of the 1993 Morgan Mile meeting which also brought back memories. I recall one occasion in the Clubman class, which was restricted to pump petrol, when on the Matchless I was dicing with a Suzuki 400. The stroker was marginally faster, and I sat on his tail listening to the machinegun-like sound of the little pebbles bouncing off my alloy front numberplate. I finally became brave enough to affect a pass, and, getting low over my bike I thought, “Now you can cop the spray from my back wheel”. It must have worked, because I didn’t see him again. The rise of the two-strokes in the 500cc class, starting with Charlie Edwards’ TR3 Yamaha and then the TR500 Suzukis, raised concerns as they had a speed advantage over the fourstroke Speedway and Longtrack engines. Initially there was a Motocross on the second day of the meeting, on a circuit within the Mile, and the local crew used the water cart to create a mud-hole which was not popular with many of the riders. Later, as shown in the aerial photo, a Short Circuit (Dirt Track) was constructed, and Gary Flood on a Hagon-JAP dominated the first meeting. The very mild right-hand bend favoured the slider machines, but subsequently the ACU of SA insisted that it be made sharper to even things up for the motocross bikes. Sadly, we have seen the demise of the Morgan Mile and that type of racing, which was certainly very spectacular and personally thrilling. Many thanks to Geoff Nuske and Charlie Edwards for bringing the Morgan Mile story to the readers of Old Bike Australasia.
Trevor Henderson, Christie Downs, SA