Guy Martin and Motocross .

Lazy Sod

Member
Location
Warminster
Now then, I rode in motocross events for 3 seasons from1962-4 aged 18 -20. The minimum age was 16, no schoolboys then. It was mostly called scrambling at that time, the term motocross was only just coming in. My rides covered from Hampshire, to Gloucestershire and westwards excluding Cornwall, my nearest tracks being Leighton, near Frome and Farley Castle where I rode often. The sport was massive then with frequently a choice of events on the same day. There was often prime time Saturday afternoon TV coverage, with Murry Walker getting the rider identification all wrong.

All the tracks were natural but very undulating with sometimes very steep hills. The use of diggers to push up huge stupid artificial ramps was unheard of. I was told by a more experienced rider to keep the back wheel on the ground and driving. This technique was most evident in the stile of Jeff Smith, the BSA works rider and word champion several times. His riding style was remarkably unspectacular but very effective.

One thing that I noticed was the high number of farmers and farmers sons participating. I always put it down to the fact that we had somewhere to practice (no practice tracks then) and had a Land Rover or pick up for transport, perhaps we could afford it more easily too. I wasn't very good at it, I was never fit enough, but a lot of the interest for me was in the machinery. People were building up specials, a Triumph 500 twin engine in a BSA frame with Norton forks for example. That led to the Rickman brothers developing the Metisse bikes.

It was a very enjoyable 3 years for me but I was needed at home more and more. My father was distinctly unenthusiastic.
 

AgriiMark

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Worcestershire
Now then, I rode in motocross events for 3 seasons from1962-4 aged 18 -20. The minimum age was 16, no schoolboys then. It was mostly called scrambling at that time, the term motocross was only just coming in. My rides covered from Hampshire, to Gloucestershire and westwards excluding Cornwall, my nearest tracks being Leighton, near Frome and Farley Castle where I rode often. The sport was massive then with frequently a choice of events on the same day. There was often prime time Saturday afternoon TV coverage, with Murry Walker getting the rider identification all wrong.

All the tracks were natural but very undulating with sometimes very steep hills. The use of diggers to push up huge stupid artificial ramps was unheard of. I was told by a more experienced rider to keep the back wheel on the ground and driving. This technique was most evident in the stile of Jeff Smith, the BSA works rider and word champion several times. His riding style was remarkably unspectacular but very effective.

One thing that I noticed was the high number of farmers and farmers sons participating. I always put it down to the fact that we had somewhere to practice (no practice tracks then) and had a Land Rover or pick up for transport, perhaps we could afford it more easily too. I wasn't very good at it, I was never fit enough, but a lot of the interest for me was in the machinery. People were building up specials, a Triumph 500 twin engine in a BSA frame with Norton forks for example. That led to the Rickman brothers developing the Metisse bikes.

It was a very enjoyable 3 years for me but I was needed at home more and more. My father was distinctly unenthusiastic.
Agree with the comment about farmers and their sons, both my parents rode and i used to ride my bike to my nearest track, a name some may remember church lench. That was on the side of a hill and natural.
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
Now then, I rode in motocross events for 3 seasons from1962-4 aged 18 -20. The minimum age was 16, no schoolboys then. It was mostly called scrambling at that time, the term motocross was only just coming in. My rides covered from Hampshire, to Gloucestershire and westwards excluding Cornwall, my nearest tracks being Leighton, near Frome and Farley Castle where I rode often. The sport was massive then with frequently a choice of events on the same day. There was often prime time Saturday afternoon TV coverage, with Murry Walker getting the rider identification all wrong.

All the tracks were natural but very undulating with sometimes very steep hills. The use of diggers to push up huge stupid artificial ramps was unheard of. I was told by a more experienced rider to keep the back wheel on the ground and driving. This technique was most evident in the stile of Jeff Smith, the BSA works rider and word champion several times. His riding style was remarkably unspectacular but very effective.

One thing that I noticed was the high number of farmers and farmers sons participating. I always put it down to the fact that we had somewhere to practice (no practice tracks then) and had a Land Rover or pick up for transport, perhaps we could afford it more easily too. I wasn't very good at it, I was never fit enough, but a lot of the interest for me was in the machinery. People were building up specials, a Triumph 500 twin engine in a BSA frame with Norton forks for example. That led to the Rickman brothers developing the Metisse bikes.

It was a very enjoyable 3 years for me but I was needed at home more and more. My father was distinctly unenthusiastic.
passed on now , but you would remember Badger Goss,i remember him dominating events, down this way, even as he was getting older..

Graham Noyce was another of our hero's when younger.

I loved the Grand Prix's totally different Class not that i saw many. Those Belgium riders , like George Jobe such a hard rider ) and Andre Malherbe so stylish and smooth.,professional, was a country that seems to have turned out so many top riders.
I even remember seeing Roger De Coster ride towards the end of his career
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
Agree with the comment about farmers and their sons, both my parents rode and i used to ride my bike to my nearest track, a name some may remember church lench. That was on the side of a hill and natural.
we went to the first (i think ) supercross event at the NEC Brum. in this Country , the late 80's ?? different thing altogether imo ,sort of jazzed up but the Americans certainly had some skill with that 'short track' type.
 

Lazy Sod

Member
Location
Warminster
passed on now , but you would remember Badger Goss,i remember him dominating events, down this way, even as he was getting older..
He flew by me many times, as did many others. The track under Glastonbury Tor was one of my favorites. It was a huge natural apmphitheatre, and sometimes hosted National competition events. As did other places where I rode. Given that there were no motorways in those days, I was amazed that the distance some of the top riders travelled to some meetings. I suppose that as some would demand appearance money, they would stay over.
 

Lazy Sod

Member
Location
Warminster
I've just remembered the name of a rider who mostly stayed over in France a lot of the time - Arthur Harris. His special included a BSA frame, suitably tuned Manx Norton motor, Norton conical magnesium hubs and front forks. A hell of a machine.
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
I've just remembered the name of a rider who mostly stayed over in France a lot of the time - Arthur Harris. His special included a BSA frame, suitably tuned Manx Norton motor, Norton conical magnesium hubs and front forks. A hell of a machine.
Sad how all the British makers receded most in probably 10 years or so, similar to road bikes i guess, the Japs and the 2 stroke engine,lighter weight etc...
..... then suspension mods . were the big advance in the mid to late 70's ,better forks and simply laying the rear shock absorbers at different angles gave more movement and consequently kept more power on the ground for longer, American Fox shocks i remember ,then alloy swinging arms to lighten and make more responsive i guess,
Motocross was responsible for a lot of general bike improvements in that era...
 

T Hectares

Member
Location
Berkshire
Come on then, TFFer’s Retro MX pics please!!

For me it’s the days before camera phones and I only have a handful…

18 year old me on my ‘87 CR 250
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👌
 

Lazy Sod

Member
Location
Warminster
Two friends an I spent most summer sundays in 1961 riding our road bikes to watch motocross events. At some point, one of the others said "we could do this" and so we did. During the 61/62 winter the other two bought second hand Greeves Hawstone 250 bikes from a couple of local experts who were trading up. I built up a Tribsa (Triumph engine/BSA frame) which, whilst powerful, was rather heavy. For 1963, I bought a new Greeves MDS 250, which suited me better. Yours truly on the Greeves and the Tribsa, the only pictures that I have.
CBT on Greeves.jpg
CBT ON TRibsa.jpg
 

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