The Workshop

"The Workshop" is a fantastic web resource that chronicles each and every make of speedway bike from the 1920s until the late 1990s. It is not entirely clear who painstakingly assembled this online history, as it appears that the site has been dormant for quite some time, but it is now archived on cybermotorcycle.com. Although it is not possible to view some of the photographs on the site, all of the original text is intact.

It would be interesting to find out more about who created this site in the first place and it begs the question, whether it would be possible for a group of like minded enthusiasts to add to this important mechanical history of the sport, as it would be a great shame if the contents of this site were lost.


Speedway bikes are very unique machines, built in low volumes by small, specialist engineering companies. The names of these manufacturers are well known within the confines of the sport, but often go unnoticed by the wider biking fraternity. Over the years, many of these companies have come and gone, indeed out of the list above, only GM and JRM (formally Jawa) survive.

Keen followers of the sport will instantly recognise these iconic logos from oily crankcase castings, the stickers on fibreglass mudguards and sewn on patches on leathers.


Track Directory

An essential purchase for all speedway fans, (and UK Short Trackers) is the new British track directory from Jeff Scott's Methanol Press. All the information you need to know (and some which you probably don't!) including full directions and transport details. Fully illustrated throughout with pictures of each track, which give you a good clue as to what the venue is like. Terrific value at only a fiver!

Available from: Methanol Press


The Go! Team

It's not every day that you find an image of a speedway rider on a bands CD cover, but in 2007 The Go! Team's "Proof of Youth" featured a roughly cut out seventies speedway picture (Andy Grahame in Birmingham Brumies colours - I'll get me anorak...) on their resolutely low tech cut and paste cover. 

It's almost impossible to describe The Go! Team's music in words, but if you imagine a mix of jangly guitars, shouty cheerleader chants, kids TV themes, nursery rhyme tunes and 70's car-chase music samples over hip-hop beats, you are half way there. The bands debut album "Thunder, Lightning, Strike" is a great record, that is completely nuts in places, but also fantastic fun throughout. One track is titled "Junior Kick-Start" - perhaps a clue to the future speedway reference.

The follow up album, Proof of Youth promised much and in places it is inspired, but it is also flawed. The record is let down by a poor sound quality where the vocals are often completely drowned out by the surrounding sonic chaos. Although the lo-fi sound should add to the charm, it spoils otherwise great tunes. Rap legend Chuck D sounds as if his vocal was recorded in an outside toilet. Perhaps album number three will see them fulfill their undoubted potential. 


It's the third and deciding heat of the Great Britain versus Sweden 1:32 scale test match. Peter Collins edged it in heat one on the kitchen lino, Anders Michanek won a dramatic heat two on the rather grippy living room carpet, so it's all to race for on the super slick polished dining room table. Perhaps track man Ole Olsen has overdone it with the Mr Sheen again...  



Last month the world of speedway lost one of its true characters. Kelly "Jellyman" Moran was probably the most naturally gifted racer of his generation, famous for his incredible balance and spectacular riding style. He was also somewhat infamous for his off track "party" lifestyle. It all ensured that he became one of the fans favorites, bringing a dose of Californian excitement and colour wherever he rode.

There is a fitting tribute to Kelly on the Moto Freako blog.

The Moran Brothers book by Brian Burford.

Photos by Mike Patrick


Oval Racing Bikes

Some rather cool illustrations (by Des Penny) of the various types of oval racing bikes. These were featured in an old, out of print book simply entitled "Speedway" by Alasdair Domhnullach (published in 1992 by Empire Features.) The book looks at all types of Oval racing on two, three & four wheels and even includes a chapter on inshore powerboats which race on an oval course!

The term "Speedway" covers a broad range of racing and commonly means different things around the world. Speedway generally means spindly left turn bikes in Europe, banked Nascar or Indycar racing tracks in the USA and Dirt Track cars, sidecars or "solo's" in Australia and New Zealand.