ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Bikes > Old's Cool
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Yesterday, 08:58 AM   #1
DisorganizedVince OP
Adventurer
 
DisorganizedVince's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2012
Location: Ukraine
Oddometer: 99
What would Speedway track days have been like in the 1950s?

Just curious - my grandfather rode motorcycles, this I always knew, but having recently asked my father and grandmother more about it they've told me all of the motorcycles that he owned, and also that around 1949 - the early 1950s he used to (as a hobby) race Speedway bikes in London. I'm told that he didn't actually do competitions, more the equivalent of track days, so any documentation/pictures probably don't exist, and didn't own a speedway bike or anything resembling an off road bike, and probably bikes were available to be used at the track.

So what would speedway in the late 1940s/early 1950s have looked like compared to speedway today?
__________________
Present bike - 1983 Izh Planeta 3
DisorganizedVince is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 11:49 AM   #2
pikl
n00b
 
Joined: Mar 2015
Location: Slovenija
Oddometer: 7
There was not much difference, actually. The rules were similar. The bikes for speedway today are really similar, cause they must use a carburetor. They used to drip oil on the track, and the exhausts had no noise limit, but otherwise speedway is more or less the same. The tracks were usually just horse race tracks though.
Of course the bikes are much more powerful today, but winning still mainly depends on the driver.
Besides Jawa, which is still one of the best speedway engines, people mostly used JAP's and Rudges for it in Europe. In USA, they used mostly Harleys and Indians.
But there were more types of "speedway" back then. There was dirt-track, grass-track, speedway and other versions. The drivers usually competed in all these different races with the same bike, they only changed the sprockets depending on the lenght of the track.
I have a 1931 speedway JAP used by Ludvik Starič before WW2. :)
pikl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 01:33 PM   #3
Rob Farmer
Beastly Adventurer
 
Rob Farmer's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Loughborough, Leicestershire. England
Oddometer: 5,748
Apart from the bikes it hasn't really changed at all. Just type "Speedway racing 1956" into YouTube and then compare it to modern races on there.

Loads of old stuff on the Internet as well http://www.newcastlespeedwayhistory.co.uk/1960s.htm
Rob Farmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 03:24 PM   #4
DisorganizedVince OP
Adventurer
 
DisorganizedVince's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2012
Location: Ukraine
Oddometer: 99
Up until recently speedway hadn't been of much interest to me - but since finding out I have watched both some modern speedway videos, old videos, and some videos of speedway at the track I'm told he used before it closed (West Ham Stadium,) but even the technicalities of the bikes are interesting to me just to know more of what he'd be riding. I've read that modern speedway bikes are only allowed to run on methanol for example - which I would imagine would make a big difference to the riding 'experience' - even if not to a spectator watching.

Rudge's were common bikes to use for speedway at the time? That's interesting - I've been told what bikes he had, and among them was a miscellaneous Rudge that he built himself, with no information other than that. Does anybody know if it'd be normal for bikes to be available to use for a track day at the time like my grandmother thought? Or would it be more likely he'd have had his own bike?
__________________
Present bike - 1983 Izh Planeta 3
DisorganizedVince is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 03:42 PM   #5
Velocipede
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Velocipede's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2006
Location: Kingston Ontario Canada
Oddometer: 455
Thanks for posting that Rob.I first attended Brough Park in the late forties but don't remember much about it other than the noise.When Racing resumed in the sixties I was a regular there and saw many great riders and had some great Monday nights.Vic Lonsdale was always fun to watch and often won if he could stay on his bike.I saw Peter Craven the night before he died at Edinburgh.He was a very small man and gave the impression that he was just hanging on to the handlebars while the bike leapt about under him,he was very fast.My best memories are of the great Ivan Mauger,he was in a class by himself.I was there the first time he rode for the Diamonds.It was amazing and I'm pretty sure he scored a maximum points total.I do believe he broke the track record that night but I could be wrong it was a long time ago.The smell of Castrol 'R' and a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale with clouds of red dust in the air,great memories
Velocipede is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 07:06 PM   #6
Scrivens
Studly Adventurer
 
Scrivens's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: usually the garage
Oddometer: 565
It was a hugely popular sport in Australia from the Thirties to the early Seventies, and in its heyday there were tracks all over the place. Jawas were common later on, but in the fifties and sixties it was the province of JAPs, Matchless/AJS and BSAs - including the Bantams. Not sure why the amateur side died off, but possibly because urban expansion started wiping out the local tracks, but by the late seventies there weren't many left and they were only used for "official" races. Speedway had an enormous following and there were regular international races and quite a few of the Australian riders did a stint in the UK. It still runs here in pro and semi-pro forms and I have worked with a few speedway riders over the years, including one who ran a heavily worked over Suzuki GT750 triple outfit.

In the late Sixties my cousin had an alcohol-fuelled Matchless 350 speedway bike running around 13:1 compression and it is probably the most terrifying thing I have ridden.
Scrivens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 10:03 PM   #7
Rob Farmer
Beastly Adventurer
 
Rob Farmer's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Loughborough, Leicestershire. England
Oddometer: 5,748
Velocipede,

I remember Ivan Mauger. I was taken to the speedway at Leicester from the age of three (so from 1965)
Ivan Mauger and Anders michaneck (not sure of the spelling) were great rivals. one of them won a gold plated bike if I remember correctly

Straight through pipes, methanol and castrol R great stuff.

The rules still exclude the use of any electronics to control the engine and that it must be a four stroke of 500cc max running methanol fuel. The only difference with the bikes is they now have to be silenced.

Found this Scrivens. Memories from the 50s http://www.defunctspeedway.co.uk/reg...part%20two.htm
He mentions crowds of 10,000 in New Zealand

Rob Farmer screwed with this post Yesterday at 10:46 PM
Rob Farmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 04:12 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2015