Garry McCoy is best known for his spectacular sliding technique. This outrageous style can probably be traced back to the fact that he started out on his two wheel career as a junior speedway rider in his native Australia.
Although many riders have successfully made the transition from dirt track to tarmac over the years, none have taken the sliding style to quite the same extremes that McCoy does.
2000 was the year that McCoy really made his mark in the 500cc class, becoming a real fans favorite, due to the crazy riding style and his unassuming underdog status. Riding the beautiful Red Bull WCM Yamaha, he became a genuine title contender that year.
In the years since, a combination of injuries and dodgy bikes (Kawasaki 4 stroke, Foggy Petronas and the Ilmor) have meant that McCoy has never had the equipment to match his undoubted talent, but in 2009 he is still battling away, riding a Triumph Daytona 675 in World Supersport.
Posted by KTL at 22:13
Having covered 70's sideburns and 80's "big hair" we now come to the late 80's / early 90's and believe it or not, rave culture hits speedway.
Pictured above is a young Sean Wilson and it's difficult to know quite where to start. The hair is one thing, but it's the trousers and the hat and the...
Now being speedway fans, we have heard the term "rose tinted spectacles" once too often, but here we have the real deal.
Posted by KTL at 13:43
The year is 1987 and pictured above are three members of the Canterbury Crusaders speedway team. (Left to right - Paul Whittaker, Rob Tilbury and Richard Pettman.)
The photo certainly captures the era (you can almost smell the hair spray) but the best part of the story is that the number one rider on their team was a certain Dave Mullett. Before anyone asks, no he didn't have one...
Posted by KTL at 11:27
This fantastic collection of speedway rider portraits from the 1970's was featured in a recent edition of the rather marvelous (and ironically named) Sideburn magazine.
The original shots were taken by Alf Weedon, whose work is featured on the Retro Speedway website.
Posted by KTL at 11:02
It is exactly 20 years since the career of three times World Champion Erik Gundersen was ended in a horrific crash during the World Team Championship Final at Odsal Stadium in Bradford. Although Erik was a hero to many, he surely became an even bigger inspiration in the aftermath of his crash, as he showed remarkable spirit and courage to overcome his injuries.
There is a very poignant article by Richard Clark in this weeks Speedway Star (Sept 19, 2009), which looks back to the day of his crash, and also catches up with Erik in the present day, as he takes a leading role in coaching young riders in his native Denmark.
Posted by KTL at 10:42
How cool is this 1920 Indian Power-plus Daytona racer? Well let's just say that Steve McQueen owned one, in his amazing collection of vehicles. It really is that cool...
Posted by KTL at 14:07
In previous post's we have shown the wild Jawa Longtrack based bike that has been put together by Joker Machine in California and which was ridden by 1996 Speedway World Champion Billy Hamill during the recent speed trials at Bonneville. They ran 144.2mph in the Modified Altered Fuel 500 Class, but frustratingly they missed out on the record in their class by just 1mph.
I don't know if the rules allow it, but Billy should dig out the old Team KR fairing for the bike, and by the looks of it, stop dodging salads... Better luck next time gents.
Joker Machine Landspeed Racer
Posted by KTL at 13:49
In a previous post, we showed the fantastic new purpose built "Moto Arena" in Torun, Poland. It is the home of Unibax Torun in the ultra competitive Polish Ekstraraliga and the fans display an incredible passion for the sport.
It all seems a very long way from the bare terraces and empty seats on view on Sky Sports at Eastbourne on a Monday night.
Photos courtesy of Michal Szmyd.
Posted by KTL at 22:28
The eternal appeal of speedway goes well beyond the obvious visual spectacle of four riders sliding their brake-less, methanol drunk machines around in circles, inches from each other, and the perimeter fence.
It goes back to the first time we ever went to a speedway track (probably as an impressionable, spotty, youngster) and went over to the pits before the riders parade. It was then that we were hit by that indescribable combination of the aroma of Castrol R and the low level hum of fourteen 500cc single cylinder engines being warmed up simultaneously.
No matter how many years may pass by and how disillusioned we may become with shortsighted promoters, slick tracks, shoddy stadiums and the ridiculous rulebook, we are still captivated by that totally unique assault on the senses.
Posted by KTL at 21:04
Saturday night during the Indianapolis Moto GP weekend means just one thing. Dirt track racing at the Indy Mile.
There was extra interest this year as "King" Kenny Roberts returned to the scene of his legendary 1975 victory at the mile, and was reunited with the fearsome 2 stroke Yamaha TZ 750 which he famously tamed to take that win.
Roberts was joined by a certain Valentino Rossi, who was rumoured to be thinking about having a couple of laps on the TZ. Perhaps wisely he thought better of the idea, declaring, "this night is for Kenny Roberts."
Posted by KTL at 17:10