Ex-national champion Wayne Le Marquand is back in action in this year’s Twinshock Championship on a twin-port Honda
Afamous name in motocross from the past, back in the saddle to take on the Hawkstone sand, was just one of the many attractions at the Hawkstone Park Festival of Legends last September. Reliving his glory days in the Haynes Four-stroke Motocross Championship in the late ’70s and early ’80s, burly Channel Islander Wayne Le Marquand was back on a big four-stroke Honda – and shifting a bit. This season, he’s back for more of the same, contesting the over-60s class of the National Twinshock Championship. His current bike might not be the JBR Honda with a full works engine from Japan on which he clinched the 1982 Haynes title two years after his first title win on a CCM, but it has a similar twin-port Honda engine. The HPF Honda – a replica of a bike bearing another famous motocross name, California race shop The Horse Power Factory (HPF) – was built by arch enthusiast and ex-racer John Marsh. This 1982 HPF Honda is a special piece of kit, as Marsh explained. “HPF were one of a bunch of specialist bike builders cashing in on the boom in motocross in ’70s and early ’80s America,” he explained. “The frame is a replica of a C&J frame built by Steve Orrin (07968 971132). C&J were one of the bestknown aftermarket frame builders in the States back in the day. Steve is a top-class frame builder and fabricator and also hand-crafted the exhaust. I’ve used an aftermarket Maico swingarm, the forks and front wheel are Suzuki RM250 parts and the rear hub is from a Honda CRF230. They’re not the most powerful stoppers, but they’re light and the engine braking helps a lot.” The mudguards are a mix of UFO front and an unidentified rear, sourced at a show. WP shocks take care of the rear suspension. “I’ve always used them,” says John. “They’re very good – and very light.”
The engine, while not a full works job, is just what Wayne Le Marquand yearned for all those years ago. It’s fast and reliable and a
lot of work has gone into transforming an over-the-counter XR500 engine into the fire-breathing race lump that strutted its stuff at Hawkstone. “You can do a lot to the twin-port Honda engine.”
“Top engine builder Steve Clitheroe reworked the engine,” says John. “It’s got a gas-flowed head, profiled cam, high-compression 89.5mm piston and still runs the standard 80mm stroke, which gives a capacity of 503cc. I would use a standard bore, high-compression piston to keep the engine at 498cc, but they’re not available. The carb is fairly trick, too. It’s been oval-bored – it’s 36mm across the horizontal axis, but 37.5 measured vertically. It gives us the bottom end of a 36mm carb with almost as much top end as a 38mm. The ignition is an Electrexworld unit intended for a BSA B50 – it works a treat.”
Not only that, the whole package seems to work a treat. Wayne is well on the pace and clearly loving being back with Honda power. He’s also enjoying his racing as a ‘works’ rider for John’s HPF Racing team – and it’s no surprise, considering the ‘routine’. “I fly over from home in Jersey to the south coast, drive up to the circuit with a few mates and camp for the weekend. Then I get on a great bike and enjoy a couple of days racing. What’s not to like?”
Not much, obviously, as Wayne is currently lying second on the big thumper in the Over-60s Twinshock Championship after three rounds. At the opening round at Polesworth in April, he snatched overall victory by a single point. He backed that up with second place behind Martin Snape in round two (back at Hawkstone) before having to settle for fifth overall after his chain came off in the third moto – having won the first two races in style – at round three at Ollerton in May.
John Marsh is delighted with the way his bike is going and he confirmed that he’s planning to run it at a few non-championship, meetings this year when I called him for a catch-up on the rest of this season’s plans. “I’m hoping Barry Turnbull – last year’s Twinshock Expert champion – will give it an outing. He’s amazingly quick, so it will be interesting to see how he goes on it.” It will indeed – if you want to see for yourself, this season’s upcoming dates are listed below.
The Channel Islander won two Haynes Fourstroke Championships in the ’80s. Now he’s on a HPF Honda in the Over60s Twinshock series
A replica of a period aftermarket C&J frame holds it all together
Twin shocks are from WP – they’re very good and very light Engine is a high-comp, gas-flowed XR500 twinport with a profiled cam Aftermarket Maico swingarm and rear hub from a Honda CRF230