The way we were: July


Here it hoped to undertake full manufacture of its distinctive machines, rather than subcontract the work out. Specification of the 344cc machine currently included UH magneto, Brown & Barlow carburettor, throttle regulated mechanical oiling delivering lubricant to the cylinder wall plus over the crankshaft bearings via spraying jet, and full suspension to both wheels.

Priced at £48, the Wooler boasted variable pulley gearing offering six ratios and ¾in drive belt to the rear wheel pulley. Further advanced features included a belt tensioner ahead of the gear system to negate the need to shorten the transmission belt on the road, its rear brake rod concealed within a back frame leg and the distinctive slim 1.25 gallon fuel tank, which encompassed the model’s steering head.

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A total of 891 entrants started the year’s ACU National Rally, of which 718 signed off to complete the event, covering a grand total mileage of 388 miles. A 1902 Quadrant was the oldest machine to start the rally, while Archie Cock’s modified 80cc HEC was the smallest on parade.

Wins at Daytona, on the IoM Mountain Circuit, Assen, Spa and now Solitude, West Germany clinched the 500cc rider’s world championship for Mike Hailwood (MV Agusta) for the third consecutive year, with four rounds still to go. Phil Read (Matchless*), Jack Ahearn (Norton), Mike Duff and Paddy Driver (both Matchless) were left to slug it out for the places.

Veteran sidecar ace Max Deubel (BMW), passengered by former car mechanic Emil Horner, sewed up the sidecar driver’s world championship at the same meeting with a second place to Swiss driver Fritz Scheidegger (BMW) passengered by Brit John Robinson, for his fourth consecutive title. Deubel had raced to the post, taking wins at Spa from Scheidegger and the IoM from Kent runner Colin Seeley (BMW) with regular crewman Wally Rawling. The Seeley/Rawling pairing won at Assen from Chris Vincent (BMW) while Florian Camathias (Gilera) and R Foell won the opening round at Barcelona.

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*Read switched to Norton later in the season, winning the Ulster GP on the Bracebridge Street ohc single.

1989 Steve Burns burned (awful pun intended…) into the records books, pulling a wheelie at 150.1mph to break the 150mph barrier on an airfield runway. The 30-year-old rode a highly tuned 240bhp Suzuki GSX1100.

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