The 31st Classic Motorcycle Festival at Pukekohe on February 6-7, 2010, has attracted a group of 14 British riders and bikes, including the top European Classic Racer, Lea Gourlay who will be racing a 1968 Moto-Paton 500.
This bike holds the Isle of Man lap record for Classic bikes at over 110 mph and has been bought to New Zealand for the first time by its owner, Roger Winfield.
Also racing at Pukekohe will be former Grand Prix stars Paul Smart and Stan Woods, who were both team-mates of Barry Sheene in Team Suzuki in the 1970s.
The centenary of the famous Rudge motorcycle will be celebrated with a huge display of both racing and road machines. Before the Second World War Rudge was one of the most popular bikes on the New Zealand market, but sadly the company did not re-start production when peace returned.
Included will be the famous ex- factory 1932 Rudge that won an incredible four New Zealand Tourist Trophy races, all held on Waiheke Island in the 1930s.
This Rudge was first raced to Grand Prix victory in Europe by Graham Walker, the famous father of Formula One commentator Murray. It was bought to New Zealand by Sid Moses who twice won the NZ TT riding this Rudge.
Rudge was famous not only for its high quality but also for pioneering the use of four valves per cylinder and four-speed gearboxes, when most bikes were two valves and three-speeds.
The Classic Racing Register has again scored another first with a demonstration by four times World Champion Hugh Anderson of a 1968 V4 Yamaha of only 125cc capacity. The bike is being provided by Dutch enthusiast Ferry Brouwer and was the ‘blue-print’ of the fearsome Grand Prix 500s that ruled Moto GP until the arrival of the four-stroke era in 2002.
The water-cooled two-stroke engine revs to over 17,000 rpm and makes 42 bhp. This equates to 336 bhp/litre at a time when Formula One car engines were happy to top 135 bhp/litre. The nine-speed gearbox helped the rider keep the engine in its rather narrow power band.
The Yamaha V4 was so successful that Bill Ivy and Phil Read scored a first and second in the World 125 Championship of 1967 and reversed the result in 1968. Between them they won nearly every GP event in both years.
In 1967 Bill Ivy set the first 100 mph lap of the Isle of Man by a 125, only 10 years after that speed had been set by a 500cc Gilera. His lap record on the incredible Yamaha V4 stood for an astounding 21 years.
The festival has attracted over 250 riders from five countries, and will be running events for more than 350 bikes.
Event name: “New Zealand Classic Motorcycle Festival”
Place: Pukekohe Park Racing Circuit.
Date: February 6-7, 2010
Contact: Norm & Lynda Maddock Ph (09) 422-2638
Ken McIntosh Ph (09) 570-1119