Star Letter: Wrong man's Manx
By: Web Editor
I bet Fred was chuffed because his bikes had problems all weekend and didn’t figure in the results at all!
Jeremy McWilliams and my Manx was built by none other than Andy Savage, in my opinion the number one tuner of long stroke Manxes in the world. Andy lives near me, just south of Bath, and is a real gentleman.
Jeremy reckoned this year’s Manx was the best he has ever ridden; although a fair bit down on horsepower to a short stroker, the long stroke engine from Andy was clean and crisp and the handling of the chassis was set up perfectly, allowing us to carry immense corner speed. The only thing Jeremy did ask for was a better front brake... we got it as good as we could and explained: “That’s as good as they get!" He was then happy and went out and broke the pre-1954 lap record. As they say: ‘the race is won in the workshop’.
Andy isn’t one to blow his own trumpet, but has been tuning Manxes since the 1970s. I remember reading about the ‘Savage Manx’ in a classic magazine in the early 1990s when still a schoolboy. I never dreamt that one day I would have the privilege to ride one of Andy’s machines, let alone win on one.
We now have two years to build another pre 1954 Manx for Goodwood and Andy has plans for a Beart replica long stroke Manx in Ludlow Green, and if he builds it, I would love to ride it.
By the way, I really enjoy your magazine, as it covers the bikes I love. One of my favourite bits is the Graham Walker reprints, as it gives me a glance into the world of my heroes, those prewar racers – fantastic stuff.
Duncan Fitchett, via email