The way we were: October 1962


Ernst Degner

With the big machine market dying in Germany, makers struggling for survival were trying ingenuity. The Goricke featured cable operated disc brakes and a five-speed gearbox. No British maker took stand space at the 5th International Motorcycle and Cycle Show.

In contrast, Triumph chose the Paris Motorcycle Show at Porte de Versailles as the venue to announce its return to the sporting 350cc marketplace with its new unit construction 349cc parallel twin cylinder Tiger 90. Unsurprisingly for a country with seven million mopeds on the road, the class attracted much interest from both buyers and makers alike. The star of this field was the Motobecane (Mobylette) SP50R, an ultra-lightweight with dual seat and electronic ignition.

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Ernst Degner (shown), who defected from East Germany and MZ in 1961, clinched the World 50cc GP rider’s crown as he raced his works Suzuki to second place at the weekend’s Argentinian GP. Epsom, Surrey based British privateer 46-year-old Arthur Wheeler won the 250cc event aboard his Moto Guzzi from the Moto Morini of former double world 500cc champion Umberto Masetti. Wheeler’s win ensured third in the year’s title chase, behind the Hondas of Jim Redman and the late Bob McIntyre.                   

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