Old Bike Australasia

Wes Cooley


Two-time AMA Pro Superbike Champion (1979 and 1980) WES COOLEY died on October 16, aged 65 at his home in Twin Falls, Idaho, of complicati­ons from diabetes. Wes won the Suzuka 8 Hour Race twice; in 1978 (with Mike Baldwin) and in 1980 (with Graeme Crosby). He was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2004. Cooley was no stranger to Australasi­a. In 1978 he rode a TZ750 Yamaha and a Ralph Hannan Yoshimura Kawasaki at Bathurst. In the main Unlimited GP, Cooley diced with Hideo Kanaya for the lead until a broken rear chain put him out. In 1978 he contested the Castrol Six Hour race at Amaroo Park and was running strongly until co-rider Steven Klein crashed the Suzuki with an hour to run. The following year he was back, riding with Murray Ogilvie, this time finishing sixth. In New Zealand, he competed in the Marlboro Series and in 2017 was special guest at the Mike Pero Southern Classic at Levels Raceway, Timaru. ■

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