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Bikes at Bathurst

Discussion in 'Multimedia' started by blackjacket, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. Hey all,

    went to the race today and walked past the hall of fame of motorcyclists and decided to do some digging when I came back.

    Bikes were raced in Bathurst (not Mt Panorama) since 1911. Mt Panorama opened in 1938. I'm not sure if the Australian Tourist Trophy in that year was a bike or car race. There used to be bike races on the mountain at least up to 1987 (from here), but I remember the year 1989 from somewhere... I'm not sure why they stopped, but from here:

    "However, the factors that make the track so unusual, and tighter contemporary safety standards, make it unlikely that major race meetings in these categories will be held there again, and as such it has become the near-exclusive province of closed-bodied automobile racing cars."

    Apparently there was a pretty bad us-vs-them attitude with the police who started brutalizing people causing a riot in 1985. Some people from the uni across the road were there and wrote a sociology paper about it. (love to read it if anyone has access).

    If you have any further info or videos, please post! :D
    Edit: I would race here, danger be damned!!
    • Like Like x 1
  2. I have too many photos, too many stories, too many memories and too many sad deaths on my mind to comment on the Bathurst years....
  3. OOOh!! I know Rob Lynch, one of the authors. His wife tells some great stories of Rob spending time with bikers doing research for this. I remember seeing a copy of the book about this on display in the Faculty of Business at UTS when I worked there years ago - Rob went on to be Dean of the Faculty, and retired a year or two ago.

    I'll see if I can track down a copy of the paper for you.
  4. 1 can only dream
  5. Oh sweet jesus thats scary. I wonder how the lap times compared with the Tin Tops? Looked like it was a screamer of a lap.
  6. Ike Takai did 186mph (whatever that is in kph), down the straight (before they built the Chase after Mike Burgmann was killed.) That was on a 750 works Yamaha.

    The riders on the 750s and 500s were climbing up onto the tank to get the front wheel back on the ground so they could brake for Murrray's Corner.
  7. 186mph = 310kph
  8. I was up for the Bathurst on the weekend and it was great. I camped there and walked the track at night. I can't ever see them allowing competition bike events there :(
  9. Did it take you 6 hours to walk it like it took me
  10. so here's a test

    watch the video and see how many people you can name...
  11. try here
    • Like Like x 1
  12. I spent every easter from !977 till it ended up there,it was THE BEST,probably still coughing up red dust from the donut rings.
  13. No u lazy prick! We got to the top and decided it would be more fun to jump the fence and trek through the wilderness at midnight (camping in the paddock). A twisted ankle and scratches from barbed wire - totally worth it!
  14. While much motorcyclist anger was (and still is) directed at the Police over the compound at the top of the mountain, the other side of the coin is that many riders came to Bathurst, NOT to watch the races but to indulge in riot and affray, especially directed against the Police if they decided to intervene.

    In 1980 the Police blockaded EVERY road leading into Bathurst, and searched every rider and every rider's gear before they could get to the track. They also did whatever they did then to check for unpaid fines, unroadworthiness of the vehicles and unanswered warrants for arrests, court appearances, etc.

    As a result they hauled away truck-loads of knives, pistols, coshes, iron bars and all sorts of offensive weapons, and cleaned up the books on countless legal matters that had been in limbo, some for literally years.....
  15. Ah, the memories...

    186 mph = 299km/h = the voluntary speed limit imposed today by the makers of fast bikes.

    One of the better pictures I remember from the Bathurst races was Mal Campbell coming down Conrod on this.

    The NSW Highway Patrol were kind enough to donate a radar speed check, manned by one experienced operator and a bunch of rookies - (used for training purposes) at the 3rd hump, and the old B&W showed two cops looking stunned at the readout, while in the background the NS was a foot off the ground at the front, a foot and a half off the ground at the back, and about 10 ~ 15 degrees sideways. The speed on the radar was 304 km/h.

    I can remember the same man going up and across the top for lap after lap on the VF860R, with the forks of spaghetti and the 16" front wheel from hell, doing the shopping trolly all the way from the Cutting to Forest Elbow. Across Reid Pk, Deer Pk, through McPhillamy and over Skyline, you could hear the howling tyre, see the smoke pouring off the front wheel as the front crashed off the lock-stops all the way over the top. There's brave, and there's crazy, and somewhere way beyond either of those was Mal Campbell on a racing motorcycle. You think the Isle of Mann is nuts - you should have seen Andrew Jonhson dicing with Mal Campbell at Bathurst.

    This is where I found that pic. There are some others.

  16. After a break they did allow them, then someone died in a sidecar race. I suspect that was the last straw.
  17. The easter meetings were stopped because of the so called riots,it was harmless fun for a couple of years,when the crowd got bored if there was a lul in the action of the donuts circle which happened to be between the large toilet block and the police compound,there would be a tinny fight between those on the toilet roof and the rest of the crowd.A few cans would end up towards the police and it would escalate a bit.As I said it was good natured for a few years and then it got very very nasty.
    The tinny fight ended up becoming bricks from demolishing the huts built close by to sell,wait for it, cases and cases of tinnys for I think Rotary or some other community group.
    The last couple of years were very tense,the first few years 1977 till 1980 I never saw a punch thrown,just lots and lots of crazy fun,the racing was still fantastic but the atmosphere had changed.
    I went to the somewhat resent attempt to reinstated the event,there was so many rules,it was a pale imitation.Still didn't slow down Keven Curtain much even with wall to wall concrete barriers.
    My strongest memory is of sitting at Sky Line and first hearing the sound of the angry Bees,2 stokes,and then seeing them arrive,magic time.
  18. My first memory of Bathurst was standing at McPhillamy Park and watching Garry Thomas howl past on a Z1, with Kenny Blake, as I remember, chasing him on a Ducati; I still can remember the sound and the smell.