In the red corner: Alistair Frame
“There was an interesting photo at Mallory Park on the front cover of a French magazine, of thistartan red Beebees bike upside down at the hairpin, with Gary Green up in the air. I don’t know if that was the reason but I subsequently got the ride through Malcolm, so I owe him a lot, as he put it to Mike that he should pick me. I’d actually started racing in 1973 on my dad’s converted wideline ES2 Norton and did three meetings that first year – I’ve got my results book here – and at the year end I finished with a grand sum of £17. Back then you won perhaps a fiver here, £1 or £2 there.that was how it was when I started riding for Mike in 1976. “Mike had the red bikes,tartan red, and we had considerable success on them. We won 52 races and three championships, three years running from 1977 to 79.That was the Aintree, the Midland, and the Waterloo & District. The ‘Lion’ we won at Aintree was valued at £1100 alone, it was for the race record of about 94mph and it was a long time before it was beaten.then we won all three rounds of the Sid’s Place Championship in 1981 and three rounds of the Kentucky Fried Chicken Championship, to take that title the following year too. “The deal was I just had to get myself down to the meetings and do the cosmetics, with all the prize money going back into the racing. But that was fair enough, as we had good stuff, no doubt about it, and it used to gather a lot of interest with the public.the bikes were immaculate and I’ll never forget the time at Cadwell Park when it was stair rodding it down. I went up to the line and this didn’t please Mike. Due to all the work they’d done getting them into this pristine condition. So he wandered back off to the van and left me to it. After the race, before I got back to the paddock, Mike asked someone ‘who won the race then’ and they said ‘your bloke did’. We won all four races actually and, of course, that changed his attitude. “We did the F1 Grand Prix rounds as well, of which my biggest memory was writing off the Mocheck Honda at Silverstone. After practice I think onlytony Rutter was in front, but the race was another kettle of fish.there was a picture of Graham Crosby in Motor Cycle News, with a lock-to-lock on the Moriwaki, and not long afterwards I went down on the same oil that had caused his near high side.this brings us back to the fact that everything had to be spick and span and polished. It was Mike’s pride and joy and I totally wrote it off. It was on fire as we were going through the catch fencing, so you can just image what I was thinking! “Mike’s switch to Mocheck Hondas and Dave’s totzyamaha’s should have spelt the end for the British bangers, but they were indirectly responsible for a fine and fitting swansong, of which Alistair is quick to acknowledge he was the lucky beneficiary. “Iantay, down in Clapham, had this team that was starting to blitz everything – Mocheck. So Beebees bought the bikes that we continued to run in Mocheck colours – Stan Wood’s, Phil Read’s andtony Rutter’s Hondas. But when we took them over to the Island we never saw daylight.they’d been sent up to us leaking through the barrels, as I think they were bored out too far, and oh did we have problems with them. We were on them all the time in the garage. So in the end we pulled the cover off the BSA and we used that instead. And it ended up being probably my best result. Ninth. It was unbelievable really, as we knew a placing like that would never be achieved again. It was a fairy-tale result, but it only came about due to the unreliability of those Hondas.”
Above: Alistair Frame reunited with his triple at a recent Stafford show.