The way we were: December 1987

Yamaha’s dual purpose machine

After losing his ride with the Agostini Yamaha team, Rob McElnea rejoined Suzuki alongside American ace Kevin Schwantz, at the expense of Kenny Irons. After finishing ninth in the 1985 500cc title chase, McElnea had left Suzuki for Ago’s squad. History informs McElnea finished 10th in the 1988 500cc Riders World Championships, won by American Eddie Lawson (Yamaha), while Schwantz was eighth.

As the year closed Paul Ashley announced he was trying to ride into the Guinness Book of Records by piloting the world’s smallest motorcycle. The 8mph machine with two inch wheels and seven inch wheelbase was powered by a 3.5cc glow plug ignition model aircraft engine. On test, the tiny machine had carried its rider for 500 feet. Did Paul achieve his international fame? Over to you Guinness Book of Records fans for a little after Christmas lunch research!

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