racing ..... I
went to my first Dutch TT in 1956. A neighbour of ours had a Harley
Liberator with side car, and we went with my father in the side car
and I was on the pilion. Took us some 5 to 6 hours to cover the 250
Some Joep history ...1968 he rode in the
unlimited class in holland and ran consistent 2nds and thirds with
a new ki 450 modified, behind the factory Laverdas. At the time he
owned a cr110, cr93, cr77, a ducati 125GP double knocker (ex Bruno
spagiari), an aermacchi 250 and a parilla 175. He had built up a hannah-paton
500 twin for Bill Paton and tuned bikes for the track such as the
Boer Van Dulmen 750 triple kawasaki (early 70s.) and owned the ex
jim redman bike which was an rc164 1963.
'63 Ducati in Holland 1967
Ducati 250 in Holland 1967
a 450 in holland in 1968.
this shows me in my very first race, one for production bikes. After
the worst start of my life, I got under way nearly a minute in arrears.
The picture shows me about to overtake #
75 on a CB72, after having overtaken Nos 106, Triumph 650 twin, 25
Puch 250 split single and 30, BMW 600 twin - that little Ducati was
a real flyer. I ended up 7th out of 36 starters - with a good start
I could have won!
Pictures - Joep
bikes were very well received in Holland and in Germany, since there
were very few competitive motorcycles around in the 250 class. There
were some Aermacchis and aging NSU Sportmaxes and street Maxes which
were modified, and some 175 and 200 cc Ducatis, and then, out of the
blue, came those wonderful, 10,000 rpm Japanese gems. They were immediately
used for racing, and were indeed fast - but the Ducati Mach1, introduced
in 1964, and the subsequent Mark3, were just as fast, straight from
the crate. I got my biggest compliment, when, after a race, the head
mechanic of the Dutch Ducati importers, who also prepared the racers
entered by them, asked me: "How did you get that Mark3 of yours so
fast?", and I could answer him with a grin from ear to ear: "This
is not a Mark3, it's a 200 Elite!" One of the reasons I was fast you
can see on this picture - my frontal area must be 20% smaller than
that of the guy behind me on a Mark3 Ducati.
.............This shows me in second position behind race winner
Jalink on a Mark3, in pissing rain. Look at the size of our tyres
in those days! You can also see that meanwhile I had changed my
front mudguard to one from a Honda 50 cc No. 29 rides a CB72 >
...The Duc has grown a fairing. # 25
and 19 are on CB72s - No 19 is the guy who had #
Fleet back then (above) - I
bought my father's BSA for fl 500, when he bought a Ducati - and I
bought that Ducati when he bought a Gilera. He went the opposite way
as most other people - each subsequent bike was lighter than the previous.
I had to pay in full - he never gave me a cent, apart from my pocket
money. So I ended up with the fleet you see in "fleet" - not bad for
a 22 year old student. I wish I still had them!
Honda CB450 era
shows me in my very first race on the CB450. As you can see, the
starter motor is still in place, and the centre stand is wired in
is a picture from a race in Tegelen, in the deep south of Holland.
I raced in the unlimited class, and that day I was second to the works
Laverda SFC 750 cc. We raced mainly on street circuits, and there
were lots of accidents - in the 1970 season we had something like
6 deaths. Circuits were surrounded by trees, houses, ditches, fences
- you name it, it was there. Something like the Isle of Man.
left .... This was on a very short circuit, my training time of 1:01
(1 minute 1 second) put me in second postion on the start grid. I
came in third, with a fastest lap of 57 sec. No. 78 was the reigning
Dutch champion Ton Somers, who came in fourth - and no. 36 was Piet
Prins, also CB450 mounted, getting his second lap. I always lapped
that guy two to three times per race, and once, after a race, he came
over to me, and asked me how I had made my Honda so fast - I sometimes
overtook him on a straight with at least some 20 km/h difference.
When I told him that I had worked on the head and had mounted two
35 mm Dell'Ortos, he said: "Oh no! Hondas don't perform on Dell'Ortos!"
How stupid can you get! I lapped him every race and the Dell'Ortos
were there for everybody to see.
gives you some more idea of the circuits we raced on
in the background were unperturbed
reminds me. During those races, our paddock was always in a meadow,
in which the previous day the cows still had roamed around. To start
the bike on the wet grass, you needed three helpers: one each side
of the bike pushing against the shockies, and one in the middle pushing
the seat hump. I would stand on the foot rests, and would drop onto
the seat like a ton of bricks, while releasing the clutch. One day
the bike started exactly in the middle of a very rich, still wet puddle
of cow dung, of course the wheel spun, and the guy pushing in the
middle had a beautiful, greenish brown, 10 cm wide line painted on
his front from his forehead to his crotch.....really, racing has its
'65 Kreidler had officially retired from racing, but had given
two of the works bikes to Cees van Dongen and Gerhard Thurow.
There were in total only 8 competitors in the Dutch TT that year,
and Ichini retired with engine trouble in the first lap. The
race was won by Ralph Bryans on the Honda twin, Anderson
(Suzuki) was second, and Thurow ended as seventh and last,
one lap back.
In 1966 the 50 cc class was won by Luigi Taveri, with Bryans
second. Katayama had held second for a short while, but the
Hondas were too fast for the Suzukis, and Katayama ended as
fifth. Anderson was third and Hans-Georg Anscheidt,
the former Kreidler star, was fourth. Anscheidt would become
world champion on the Suzuki in 1967 and '68. He still has his old
works bike, fully restored by himself.
Mike Duff was a very fast man (see picture at right, taken around
1965), which can no longer be said of him: he had a sex operation
and calls himself (herself?) now Michelle Duff. Some time
back she wrote her autobiography. At the end of 1965, he crashed
heavely on the new, still air-cooled Yamaha 4 cylinder during the
Japanese Grand Prix, and his being unable to race in 1966 caused
Yamaha to ask Bill Ivy to ride their machines.
Kaaden was the wizard who made the two stroke engines fly. He
was the development engineer of MZ in East Germany. The picture
at left shows him (on the left), talking to Vic Willoughby
picture of Kaaden shows him with rider Alan Shepherd
and a mechanic. Both pictures were taken at the 1964 Isle of Man
TT. Walter Kaaden saddly died in 1996.
ttttttttMore old Race Pictures
(51) on the 350 MV four with Bill Lomas on the Guzzi single - which
aboard the MV 500 cc >
Ubiali won the 250 on MV
battle between Bob ...> McIntyre
and Surtees (1) in the 500, which ended with a tumble off for McIntyre.....man
look at his riding style
year later the battle in the 350 was so fierce, that Joghn Surtees
quit during the race. Start shows the line-up for the start of the
350 - 51 is Surtees (MV), 60 Libero Liberati (Gilera), 55 Dicky Dale
(Guzzi) and 59 Bob McIntyre (Gilera). Behind them you can see Jack
Brett and John Hartle, both on Norton. Campbell (Guzzi) won the race.
.... The Gileras must have handled very well, bearing in mind that
Bob McIntyre managed the first ever over 100 mph laps on them during
the Jubilee TT of Man in 1957. Bob McIntyre was not only a great
rider, he was also a great mechanic, and built two special frames
for his 350 AJS and 500 Matchless. After his death, they were acquired
by Jack Findlay. I attach a picture from the pits, showing Findlay
with his back to the camera, talking to Hugh Andersen and Jim Redman,
with the 350 and the 500
are two other pictures, taken in the pits that day, with Japanese
mechanics working on a couple of Honda sixes, this was taken in 1967.
Problem is, I can't remember where I took those pictures - but I think
it was Francorchamps in Belgium. As you can see, the megaphones were
not exactly round, and the seats are definitely different - sometimes
you got the impression that no two works Hondas were the same!
never rode one of the fully faired bikes, but I know from the stories
by other people that they were very sensitive to side wind, and that
you had to take that into account even when deciding your line through
a corner. Some people could never get used to them, but their advantages
were clear - they added up to 40 km/h to the top speed of e.g. the
Moto Guzzi singles. After the 1957 season they were forbidden by the
FIM. In those days, there were still a lot of people riding un-faired
machines- so LEFT ... Bill Lomas with the Guzzi 500 V8, John Surtees
on the MV four and Walter Zeller on the works short-stroke BMW, waiting
to go out onto the grid for the start of the 500 in Assen, 1956. Surtees
had only a top half, and even a bike like the works BMW was un-faired!
.... The Honda team at the Isle of Man in 1963
..1960, Tom Phillis in the ..
> Nursery Hotel at the Isle of Man with a 250 Honda
...picture of this 125 cc Honda was taken during the 1961 Dutch
TT in Assen.
125cc Dutch TT 1959 - No 1 Carlo Ubbiali, No 5 Bruno Spagiari -
Carlo had 71 GPs for 6 wins & nine World Champs
right .. Rare 125cc Dutch TT 1959 - No
4 Mike Hailwood, - Mike had 137 GPs for 76 wins & nine World
RS riders' pictures
Piet Bakker (Norton) and Priem Rozenberg (BMW) during the Dutch
Mette in action in Hockenheim 1953, with Lorenzetti (Guzzi 500-4
Walter Zeller, I don't know where
during his 2nd place ride in the Dutch TT '56
Fergus Anderson with the BMW in 1956 on
which he was killed at Floreffe, Belgium a couple of weeks later
Riedelbauch was the winner in Zandvoort,
Walter dueling with Masetti (MV), finishing
2nd in Francorchamps '56.
Some RC pics
RC143 - 125 twin
RC172 - 350/4
RC172 - 350/4
RC149 125 - 1967
RC143 - 125 twin
Drixton Joep who lives in Malaysia these days
is building this Drixton framed 450 - very nice
< the tank was handmade
by Matsuda-san of Honda Revival in Japan, he's the restoration
boss of the Honda Museum and a good friend of Joep's
The CR450 front hub used - this was a
AWO Race Bike
The AWO was a motor cycle which looked
like the plunger BMW of the early fifties. When I was about 21 years
old, my brother brought one home, which he had bought for something
like 5 Dutch guilders. In those days, with a rising economy, a lot
of people went from motorcycles to cars, and they often sold the
bikes for ridiculously low prices or even gave them away. My brother
and I wrecked them and sold them as scrap. I remember buying two(!)
Norton Dominators, the old plunger types, for 50 guilders the two!
But back to the AWO.........
< ... Left - This shows the racing
bike as derived from the street version in 1951, with ohv engine,
with a bore and stroke of 68 x 68 mm, giving 247 cc. The cylinder
was cast from aluminium i.s.o. cast iron, inlet valve was 38 mm,
exhaust valve 36 mm, compression ratio 10 : 1, power 24 to 26 bhp
at 7500 rpm (which seems a bit stiff claim, in view of the NSU Sportmax's
28 bhp a couple of years later)
Right .....The 1954 bike, now with swingarm rear suspension and
a 30 mm carburettor. The bike still had shaft drive.
Left & right .... In 1955 the engine
got a new cylinder head with two, chain driven over head camshafts,
dry sump lubrication with a separate oil tank, a new frame and a
bigger front brake,and awoengine. Experiments were made with coil
ignition i.s.o. magnet. Power was now claimed as 30 bhp at 9200
< Left ..... In the meantime, the
bike was renamed Simson, after the two brothers who founded the
factory (originally for the fabrication of weapons, like so many
motor cycle manufacturers) in 1856. In 1957 a completely new engine
was designed, with the crankshaft now in the normal position i.s.o.
lengthwise, with a bore and stroke of 70.25 x 64, gear wheel driven
DOHC (see "camdrive"), primary chain drive to the six speed gear
box and chain drive to the rear wheel, now definitely battery with
coil ignition and twin spark plugs, a new frame of chromium-molebdenium
tube, short swing arm front suspension, and a bigger front brake
(claim was 250 mm, but I don't believe it - that's as big as the
big Fontana or Yamaha drums, and those brakes look much bigger than
the Simson brake). See simson1, 2 and 3 at left. The engine was
called "the seven", because of the shape of the camshaft drive tunnel.
I think this is a lovely bike, except for that horrible tank!
< Left ...... In 1953, '54 and '55 the Simson became East
German champion 250 cc, but the challenge from MZ became stronger
and stronger, and end 1956 a new, twin cylinder 250 was developed,
with bore and stroke 56 x 50.6 (exactly the same as the Honda
CB250 twin and first CB500), with DOHC, again chain driven.
See simsontwin 1, 2, 3 and 4 at left.
Primary drive was by gears to the dry clutch and six-speed gear
box. The engine gave 35 bhp at 10,200 rpm - not much more than
the single. Later the drive to the cam shafts was changed to shaft
and bevels to the inlet cam, and from there with gear wheels to
the exhaust cam shaft.
See simsontwin5 and 6.
It was described as a genial engineering solution, but was in
reality a straight copy of the NSU Rennmax twin.
The power of the twin was not enough, and developer Werner Straugh
(behind the bike in simsontwin5) lacked the time, and especially
the money, to develop the engine further.
The factory tried their hand with a new 350 single, bore and stroke
76 x 76, outside flywheel and 40 bhp in 1959, but on Soviet orders,
the development of racing machines was stopped at the end of 1959.
A pity. You know, getting this kind of information together requires
a lot of different sources. The information for the AWO/Simson
came from the magazine "Motorrad Classic", from a special issue
of "Markt - Motorrad Spezial" and from Mick Walker's "Classic
German Racing Motorcycles" The last book had very little info.
In general the continental magazines are much more informative
than the British ones.
The main reason I stopped my subscriptions to "Classic Bike"
and "The Classic Motorcycle" back then was, that they're nearly
exclusively about British bikes. Whenever there was an article
about, e.g., a Honda, there would be scores of letters from readers,
in the vein of: "Don't give us this rubbish about Jap bikes! We
read your magazine because it is about real, i.e. British motorcycles,
and we don't want to know about this Japanese crap!". Well, I
got fed up after reading my 15th classic test of an AJS Spring
Twin, and the 11th test of a BSA Gold Star, etc. When any of those
magazines would go to a classic meet in, say, Germany or Italy,
they would come back with scores of pictures of, you guess it,
AJS Boy Racers, Norton Manx, Matchless G50, and sometimes, but
only sometimes, there would be a very small picture of a totally
unknown Tsjechoslovakian, Italian or Hungarian bike, describes
as "strange". These bikes are not strange, they are merely different
from English bikes, and for that reason alone I would like to
see much more of them, instead of my 162nd picture of a Manx.
Furthermore, anybody who still thinks that British bikes are the
only "real" motorcycles, and Japanese bikes are crap, should really
be shut away somewhere.