11 Май 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи FAMOUS MOTORCYCLISTS OF LAST CENTURY – PART XI — BIKE ME! отключены


Kelvin Carruthers was January 3, 1938 in Sydney, His father Jack was an ex Australian racing champion, and owned a shop. Kel helped out around the and learned the mechanical workings of at a young age. He started at age 10 and entered his first race at 12.

rode a two-… Royal and excelled at Australian dirt racing.

At fifteen, Kel turned He had left school and was working in his bike shop, repairing Harleys and building race At sixteen, he started clubman

By the time the was twenty eight, he was top racer. In the early sixties, he won 250cc, 350cc and 500cc championships, riding everything Manx Nortons to Honda

The one thing Kel missed when he Australia was the fashion

In an interview in Kel said: “For a while I what they called — modified street bikes, not but you’d make your bike into a race and there I ran 350 and 500cc BSAs were as quick as the latest Nortons. And I rode a couple of 125 Bantams in the 125 race. Then I to a 350 Manx Norton and my dad and I built a 250 Norton and I won a few 250 races on it.

Then Honda sent out the 250 cylinder and I raced that for years in Australia before I to Europe. With that I had a 500 Norton and a friend’s 125 MV Agusta and Honda that belonged to friend of mine. The last years in Australia I used to win every race.

I’d win all five on the card or something. At Bathurst I won all the for two or three years in a row. The then in Australia was good – the at Bathurst was one of the most important in the world, you should have the coverage it got in Motorcycle News.”

Kel for more tracks to conquer. In he packed his family and sailed to to try his luck as a privateer. He rode in world championship classes first year.

Kel with Don early ’70s

“In those the purse money was not very even at the GPs,” Kel said “The promoters would pay riders start money so you had to how to sell yourself to these and get the most start money You wouldn’t get rich, but you could a decent living racing in

“I recall getting the equivalent of $500 as start money at races. That wasn’t too bad for the but you had to pay your expenses out of that. the GPs there were international on most of the off weekends, so you were all the time.”

In 1968 he ran third in the Championships on an Aermacchi. He nearly got a with MV Agusta.

“At the end of 1968, I got an to ride the 350 MV at Monza. And as it turned they wanted (Mike) to ride it and Honda wouldn’t him from his contract. That was the he couldn’t race Grand and could only do private I had a telegram to come to Italy to the because they wanted me to the 350 at Monza and when I arrived Honda had released Hailwood his contract so he got the ride instead of me.

In the end he didn’t ride it anyway Agostini had to win and he would have had to second. So he refused. In the meantime loaned me a factory 350 for Monza and for the year, 1969, I signed a with Aermacchi to ride 350 and 500, all Aermacchi.

All three because in those days the classes you rode, the more you made. You’d ride at two and if they asked you’d three because you got more

Kel wins Atlanta in 1971

he was at the Isle of Man that year he was Renzo Pasolini’s Benelli 250 Pasolini hurt himself. He won the 250 at the TT for Benelli: their first win in years.

He was still popular home. In 1969 Rod Laver won the Grand Slam and was voted Sportsman of the Year. Kel was the runner up.

The year he went to Daytona, won the race, and came close to the Daytona 200. He met Don Vesco, who him that if he wanted to race in the USA he was to run out of Don’s shop in El Cajon, Kel did, and finished runner-up in the and 350cc world championships on

Kenny Roberts’ Yamaha tracker didn’t have the of the big Harleys. So Kel put a Yamaha 700 watercooled racing motor in a dirt frame for him. Problem

Aermacchi allowed Kel to sign Benelli to rider the 250 for the rest of the and Kel became that rarest of a factory rider for two factories at the time. He won the 250cc Grands in Ireland and Yugoslavia and gave their second world It had been twenty years their first.

Aermacchi 350 TV

In 1971, he eighth in the AMA Grand National winning his first AMA national at Atlanta in April of 1971. the nationals, Kel won a slew of non-national races in the class that later become the AMA 250 Grand Series.

Kel was in his early thirties by and thinking of retiring from He stayed with Yamaha in There was a bidding war with to secure his services, but Yamaha had pockets.

He still rode, but began to more time helping the Kenny Roberts to learn the and tuning Kenny’s motorcycles.

Kel open Yamaha

In 1973, hired him to run their US racing He was still racing (and but he decided to quit racing and put all his into developing Kenny

It worked. In 1973 and 1974 Roberts won the AMA Grand National and the AMA Formula 750 (Formula One) racing title in 1977.

In Kel and Kenny went to Europe to the 500cc Grands Prix. won the 500cc world championship in his year of competition. He attributed of his success to Kel.

Kel continued as a team manager for various until 1995. He found the less rewarding as it became a time management job and he wasn’t to tinker with engines.

On the 250 in 1969

He left motorcycling and up the Sea-Doo watercraft factory team for two years. Then he back to bikes and ran the Chaparral national Supercross and motocross and later the Southern California AMA SuperSport road racing

Apart from winning national championships in all classes and a world championship, Kel mentored and bikes for some of the greatest in the sport: Kenny Roberts, Lawson, Raymond Roche, Ferrari, Rob McElnea, Niall Freddie Spencer, Martin Luca Cadalora, Carlos Alberto Puig, Doriano Gene Romero, Cal Rayborn, Fisher, Skip Aksland and Saarinen.

He was always first and a rider, and even in retirement is involved in motorcycles. This (2007) he will be the Grand of Riding Into History, one of premier motorcycling events, on May 19.

Aermacchi 350 TV
Aermacchi 350 TV
Aermacchi 350 TV


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