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Offline Welsh

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Re: Leaping Lena.
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2020, 11:21:58 am »
Their biggest attraction was that they were commercially sold to the racing fraternity. If you had the money, you could buy one "off the floor" so to speak. And they were affordable, relatively speaking.

That allowed a lot of people to get into serious racing. On numbers alone, it is probably the most successful dedicated racing bike ever built

I've heard of one that was made street legal by it's owner, and actually ridden on the street.

My cousin used them in sidecar race rigs in the UK (before that they used Konig two stroke boat engines) 👍😎 yes I know at least one was street licensed, Steve McQueen had one he used to ride down his driveway to fetch the mail apparently. 😜
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Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: Leaping Lena.
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2020, 11:23:10 am »
Yamaha were not the only ones. The World Championship was highly competitive and the other two stroke manufacturers were on board with vicious machines  having engine power far ahead of chassis technology, notably Suzuki with their water cooled triples, known as "Flexy Flyers."

British rider Paul Smart rode for Suzuki, and without factory authority he commissioned a British frame constructor to make him an unofficial frame. It got him into trouble with his masters.

They bollocked him for his unauthorised action while rejoicing in his race wins!

Indeed, the early Suzuki TR500 twins, the Kawasaki H1R500 triples, The TR750 watercooled triples, the Kawa H2R air and later watercooled triples, Yamahas range of TZ's, all competed.

Barry Sheen held, with dragracer Russ Collins, membership of the "175mph" club for crashing his Suzuki TR750 at Datona at over 175 miles per hour in 1975. That is 280 kph.
 

Offline TheBear

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Re: Leaping Lena.
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2020, 11:23:24 am »
#33 #BRADICAL!
 
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Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: Leaping Lena.
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2020, 11:27:51 am »
Their biggest attraction was that they were commercially sold to the racing fraternity. If you had the money, you could buy one "off the floor" so to speak. And they were affordable, relatively speaking.

That allowed a lot of people to get into serious racing. On numbers alone, it is probably the most successful dedicated racing bike ever built

I've heard of one that was made street legal by it's owner, and actually ridden on the street.

My cousin used them in sidecar race rigs in the UK (before that they used Konig two stroke boat engines) 👍😎 yes I know at least one was street licensed, Steve McQueen had one he used to ride down his driveway to fetch the mail apparently. 😜

This was in the USA, where a magazine article in the late 70's, early 80's had this guy "touring" America on one. It somehow had a kickstarter engineered onto the clutch assembly, that I remember.
 

Offline jaybiker

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Re: Leaping Lena.
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2020, 11:29:04 am »
Johan Boshoff, died on one of these OW31's on Kyalami in 1977.  That thing was vicious, but a sight to behold in full cry on a race track.

I never missed a race with him on that big TZ. As well as Dirk do Plooy on his "pork chop" TZ750.

It is an oft-repeated cliche, but you could not have lived if you have not heard a TZ750 at full cry on a overcast Cape raceday. My God.

If we can include "Kyalami Raceday" I will not argue the point.  I doubt I  will ever forget them screaming down the old Kyalami main straight.  It is the cause of why a certain generation of us turn into drooling idiots when we hear a proper 2-smoke, even now in 2020. 

A year or so ago KCR Kempton Park had a beautifully restore Zook GT750 with three expansion boxes at a bike show.  Everytime he started it, old guys ran to their stand like kiddies who heard they are dishing out free ice cream!


It is not just screaming two strokes  Depending on your generation It's memories of good times. I can get jellified legs at the wailing of the classic Italian 'fours' and the thunder of British singles.
And Mike the Bike on Honda's 250 and 297cc sixes!!!!  fapfap
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Offline Welsh

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Re: Leaping Lena.
« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2020, 11:31:03 am »
Their biggest attraction was that they were commercially sold to the racing fraternity. If you had the money, you could buy one "off the floor" so to speak. And they were affordable, relatively speaking.

That allowed a lot of people to get into serious racing. On numbers alone, it is probably the most successful dedicated racing bike ever built

I've heard of one that was made street legal by it's owner, and actually ridden on the street.

My cousin used them in sidecar race rigs in the UK (before that they used Konig two stroke boat engines) 👍😎 yes I know at least one was street licensed, Steve McQueen had one he used to ride down his driveway to fetch the mail apparently. 😜

This was in the USA, where a magazine article in the late 70's, early 80's had this guy "touring" America on one. It somehow had a kickstarter engineered onto the clutch assembly, that I remember.
Correct but it was a long time ago, a friend raced a Suzuki based special I must research it.
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Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: Leaping Lena.
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2020, 11:32:28 am »
Their biggest attraction was that they were commercially sold to the racing fraternity. If you had the money, you could buy one "off the floor" so to speak. And they were affordable, relatively speaking.

That allowed a lot of people to get into serious racing. On numbers alone, it is probably the most successful dedicated racing bike ever built

I've heard of one that was made street legal by it's owner, and actually ridden on the street.

My cousin used them in sidecar race rigs in the UK (before that they used Konig two stroke boat engines) 👍😎 yes I know at least one was street licensed, Steve McQueen had one he used to ride down his driveway to fetch the mail apparently. 😜


Using TZ engines in sidecars is one of the reasons why it is quite difficult to find bikes with matching engine and frame numbers today.

I think Koenig then made aftermarket cylinders etc. for TZ as well?
 

Offline jaybiker

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Re: Leaping Lena.
« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2020, 11:49:05 am »
If I recall, for a while Yamaha's TZ models were sold from the factory without an ignition system, leaving it up to buyers to obtain a system of their choice.

Most I think opted for Hitachi.

And at one stage the price of the TZ250/350 racers was reduced drastically to an amazingly low level because Yamaha had set up a 'mass assembly' facility. A guy I knew and worked with bought one and he was horrified with the build quality and the machining swarf inside the engine. That situation didn't last more than a few weeks of manufacture and was quickly dropped!
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Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: Leaping Lena.
« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2020, 11:53:23 am »
If I recall, for a while Yamaha's TZ models were sold from the factory without an ignition system, leaving it up to buyers to obtain a system of their choice.

Most I think opted for Hitachi.

And at one stage the price of the TZ250/350 racers was reduced drastically to an amazingly low level because Yamaha had set up a 'mass assembly' facility. A guy I knew and worked with bought one and he was horrified with the build quality and the machining swarf inside the engine. That situation didn't last more than a few weeks of manufacture and was quickly dropped!

No, no, that must have been the Ducatis. :peepwall:

I forgot about the release of another possible "best racer ever", Suzuki's 1974 RG500 square four 2stroke.
 

Offline Roxtar

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Re: Leaping Lena.
« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2020, 12:07:30 pm »
All of that with fokol electronics probably.
Thats when racers smoked Gunston plain, carbo loading was done with beer. The only brace was around the cracks in your frame, and not around your neck.
The world was built for real men at one time. :thumleft:

I just love seeing footage of those guys dragging a cigarette on the grid and the racing not being so commercialized and regulated like it today... Was watching a documentary on Barry Sheene and one of the interviewees recalled how Barry used to chain smoke and catch a shag with one of the grid girls just before the race as part of his race prep.... :biggrin:
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Offline TheBear

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Re: Leaping Lena.
« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2020, 12:33:09 pm »
If I recall, for a while Yamaha's TZ models were sold from the factory without an ignition system, leaving it up to buyers to obtain a system of their choice.

Most I think opted for Hitachi.

And at one stage the price of the TZ250/350 racers was reduced drastically to an amazingly low level because Yamaha had set up a 'mass assembly' facility. A guy I knew and worked with bought one and he was horrified with the build quality and the machining swarf inside the engine. That situation didn't last more than a few weeks of manufacture and was quickly dropped!

No, no, that must have been the Ducatis. :peepwall:

I forgot about the release of another possible "best racer ever", Suzuki's 1974 RG500 square four 2stroke.

One of the great things about that era was that the rules were wide open to allow for weird and wonderful developments such as the square.
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Offline TheBear

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Re: Leaping Lena.
« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2020, 12:35:34 pm »
All of that with fokol electronics probably.
Thats when racers smoked Gunston plain, carbo loading was done with beer. The only brace was around the cracks in your frame, and not around your neck.
The world was built for real men at one time. :thumleft:

I just love seeing footage of those guys dragging a cigarette on the grid and the racing not being so commercialized and regulated like it today... Was watching a documentary on Barry Sheene and one of the interviewees recalled how Barry used to chain smoke and catch a shag with one of the grid girls just before the race as part of his race prep.... :biggrin:

I remember Barry in a huge argument with the technical scrutineers, pushing his bike off in a huff!  Today, the riders are not even there when scrutineering took place.  In those days, the rider himself took the bike for the checks.
#33 #BRADICAL!
 

Offline jaybiker

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Re: Leaping Lena.
« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2020, 02:48:50 pm »
Barry was quite a heavy smoker and actually drilled a 'ciggie hole' in the front of his helmet, and even smoked on the grid waiting for the starters flag to fall.  :eek7:

Imagine that in MotoGP today?  :o
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Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: Leaping Lena.
« Reply #33 on: March 26, 2020, 03:01:33 pm »
Barry was quite a heavy smoker and actually drilled a 'ciggie hole' in the front of his helmet, and even smoked on the grid waiting for the starters flag to fall.  :eek7:

Imagine that in MotoGP today?  :o

Saw an interview with Keeny Roberts, where he was asked at the Goodwood classic bike revival, if he misses Barry Sheene at these events, and Kenny replied that he did, a lot.

Kenny then actualy added; "Maybe he shouldn't have drilled his helmet to still smoke on the start line" :imaposer:

Barry [Bazza] Sheene died of lung cancer in 2003 and was a larger-than-life figure at the classic races later in his life.
 

Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: Leaping Lena.
« Reply #34 on: March 26, 2020, 03:06:01 pm »
Myself and a friend, Fred Lewis, were at the 1992 SA GP at Kyalami and Fred approached Barry Sheene for a signature.

Barry signed his name on Fred's peak cap, then Fred asked him to add his number 7, which he did.

When Fred asked him to draw his "duck" logo on the cap, Barry said; "I'm a motorcycle racer, not a feckin' artist"

What a wonderful person, cheeky and humble, if that is possible.
 

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Re: Leaping Lena.
« Reply #35 on: March 26, 2020, 03:26:26 pm »
Johan Boshoff, died on one of these OW31's on Kyalami in 1977.  That thing was vicious, but a sight to behold in full cry on a race track.

I never missed a race with him on that big TZ. As well as Dirk do Plooy on his "pork chop" TZ750.

It is an oft-repeated cliche, but you could not have lived if you have not heard a TZ750 at full cry on a overcast Cape raceday. My God.

Alongside Barry Sheene, my local hero at the time. I was more upset when he died than Elvis.
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Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: Leaping Lena.
« Reply #36 on: March 26, 2020, 04:52:08 pm »
Johan Boshoff was an unassuming person, a local superstar without knowing it.
 
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Offline roxenz

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Re: Leaping Lena.
« Reply #37 on: March 27, 2020, 08:33:05 am »

Thanks for posting this TheBear. That 2stroke sounds so pissed off with the world!
 
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Offline Altie7deLaan

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Re: Leaping Lena.
« Reply #38 on: March 27, 2020, 11:30:55 am »
Just read up a bit on Barry Sheene, what a character.

"Ten fascinating facts you didn't know about Barry Sheene
1. He had the best V sign in sport
The 1979 British Grand Prix at Silverstone was an epic duel between Sheene and King Kenny Roberts, the teak-tough reigning world champion from the USA. As Sheene passed his rival at 180mph he infamously put two fingers up behind his back. He lost the race by 0.3 seconds, but his gesture cemented his reputation.
2. He performed at the Royal Opera House as a schoolboy
His penchant for brawling at school in Trafalgar Square saw him talent spotted for the role of a hooligan in Tosca, Giacomo Puccini’s tale of murder, torture and suicide. The soon-to-be star of a macho sport thus appeared alongside the great stage diva Maria Callas.
3. He lost his virginity on a pool table in a church crypt
Thereafter he was relentless in his pursuit of women. As he became more mainstream he ditched the “happiness is a tight pussy” patch on his leathers, but reflecting on his many injuries mused, “My favourite part of the rehabilitation process was trying to bed as many women as possible.” His ethos changed when he met his wife, Stephanie, in 1975, although years later a friend recalled he did manage to escape a parking ticket on London's Kings Road and then persuade the traffic warden “to get her tits out”.
4. He drilled a hole in his helmet so he could smoke on the grid
That hole in his chin bar was evidence of a 60-a-day habit that undoubtedly contributed to his cancer. Sheene had been smoking since the age of nine, despite suffering from chronic asthma, and was rarely without a Gauloise. After his 175mph horror crash at Daytona, when he broke his leg, six ribs, his back, a wrist and his collarbone, the first thing he did when he came round in hospital was ask the nurse for “a fag”.
5. His Brut 33 sponsorship stank
By the late Seventies, Sheene was a bona fide star. He hung out with George Harrison and James Hunt and splashed it on with Sir Henry Cooper for ubiquitous aftershave ads. His wife, Stephanie, was unimpressed. “I’d have gone mad if he splashed that all over him. We had buckets of it so we would give it to his uncle who used to stink of it.”
6. He survived in a deadly era of motorsport (and once saved a rival’s life)
Sheene's mechanic, Martyn Ogborne, kept a record of deaths in the Suzuki GB Race Team from 1969 to 1988. The final tally was 62. Riders reasoned that there would be six fatalities a year and each rider would have three crashes, so they each ticked off their crashes and hoped. Once, during a practice session in Sweden, Sheene stooped on the track to free the tongue of fallen rival John Williams.
7. He ruined his best friend’s chance of winning a grand prix
Sheene had already wrapped up the 1977 title defence by the time of the British Grand Prix. After retiring through bike failure, he watched his great friend, Steve Parrish, head towards victory. From the corner of his eye, Parrish saw his friend leaning over the pit wall with a message board at the start of his last lap. “Gas it wanker”, Sheene had scrawled. Parrish obliged and crashed.
8. He was dubbed “bionic” after his second near-death crash
He hit a stricken 250cc rider, Patrick Igoa, in practice for the British Grand Prix in 1982 at 165mph. They ended up in neighbouring hospital beds. This time there were metal plates and 27 screws. Kenny Roberts, one of the first on the scene, described what he saw as “a plane crash”. Yet Sheene returned and still made the podium in his final year in 1984.
9. He was “Balaclava Man” and once broke into a house
In his later years he formed a high-jinks gang named “The Squadron” with a bunch of friends including Steve Parrish. Once they underwent a clandestine rescue mission to reclaim £250-worth of goods owed to Sheene’s housekeeper by a former boyfriend. They broke into the house and then made their getaway in a Rolls-Royce.
10. He was a good talent spotterHaving been impressed by a young rider, he typed a letter and sent it to Mitsuo Itoh, a TT-winner turned Suzuki top brass. “I have every confidence in his ability to become a big fighter in the 500 GPs.” He urged a quick reply. “His name is Michael Doohan. He is 22 years old.” Seven years later Michael had become Mick and he won the first of five successive world titles."

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Offline Sabre

Re: Leaping Lena.
« Reply #39 on: March 27, 2020, 11:54:08 am »
Yamaha were not the only ones. The World Championship was highly competitive and the other two stroke manufacturers were on board with vicious machines  having engine power far ahead of chassis technology, notably Suzuki with their water cooled triples, known as "Flexy Flyers."

British rider Paul Smart rode for Suzuki, and without factory authority he commissioned a British frame constructor to make him an unofficial frame. It got him into trouble with his masters.

They bollocked him for his unauthorised action while rejoicing in his race wins!

Indeed, the early Suzuki TR500 twins, the Kawasaki H1R500 triples, The TR750 watercooled triples, the Kawa H2R air and later watercooled triples, Yamahas range of TZ's, all competed.

Barry Sheen held, with dragracer Russ Collins, membership of the "175mph" club for crashing his Suzuki TR750 at Datona at over 175 miles per hour in 1975. That is 280 kph.

That crash at Daytona happened when he was flying down the main straight, the back tyre came off the rim, and jammed the rear wheel. He described the incident in a review afterwards in a matter that sounded as if he was taking a leisurely Sunday afternoon drive. Describing every step of the crash, and how he managed to control it so that he could fall at the best place. Looking at the crash in real speed, it is unthinkable that a human being can think/react in that split second

That crash also earned him a place in Die Huisgenoot  :biggrin: They showed X-rays that showed the steel pins that were needed to mend all the broken bones. Looked impressive  :thumleft:
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