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The 1967 Isle of Man Ultra Light-weight 50cc TT 
June 16th 1967 

This article is based on the editors research into the report published in the MOTOR CYCLING magazine of June 24th 1967. More content has been added, by the Editor, to give a better description of how the race developed and to include technical and personal detail where possible. Photographs, contributed by readers of the History Site, Facebook and the History sites archives have also been included to further develop the picture. 
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Here is an overview of the race with more detail to follow. The one good thing about the 50cc race was that Stuart Graham won it! For,after his brilliant ride in Wednesday’s 125 cc event, Stuart, the new boy in the Suzuki team, richly deserved a TT victory, and his success must have been one of the most popular in the series’ 60 years.
But the race itself was both boring and farcical. Suzuki had decreed that Yoshimi Katayama should win. So when their Japanese team-mate lost over two minutes early on the first lap changing an oiled plug, Graham and a Hans-Georg, on the other two Suzukis had to dawdle round until he caught them up!
Entering into the spirit of the slow-motion “race,” they went so painfully slowly that Katayama overhauled them in Ramsey on the second lap. But then, when neck and neck with Anscheidt, he looked round at the German’s oil-filmed rear wheel and rode straight into the bank on the Mountain Mile!
Then Anscheidt was slowed by a leaking oil pump and ignition trouble, which left Stuart to win. Tommy Robb on a “production” Suzuki" took third place, finishing a quarter of an hour after Anscheidt. No wonder people are predicting that this was the last 50 cc race!
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First Lap. 
But, how did the race run? Well only the most rabid 50cc enthusiast could expect an exciting race in what may prove to be the last 50cc TT. For, although there are more starters than last year's 17, there were in fact 24 listed on the rider entrants sheet, the "factory" interest has declined until, this year, only Suzuki decided to field a works team.
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Originally they entered four men, but Mitsuo Itoh, winner of the event in 1963, was injured in practice; and is a spectator, after being flown from Japan specially to race the TT.
And chances of the three remaining teamsters making a fight of it on their water-cooled, twin-cylinder two strokes, capable of 110 mph, are remote, It's an open secret that Suzuki have decided that Yoshimi Katayama shall be the winner if he can keep going.
With the whole future of the race in the balance, Suzuki’s thinking is difficult to understand. And neither the reigning “tiddler” champ, Hans-Georg Anscheidt nor 125cc hero Stuart Graham, the other Suzuki men, are particularly happy at riding to "orders."
There are under 30 starters and so it is a massed start. And, after a few tense moments, away goes the field, Anscheidt is ahead of the pack down Bray Hill and he leads from Graham at Ballacraine and it looks as though Suzuki plans are misfiring for Katayama is way down. A time check shows that he’s 2m 10sec behind the two leaders, and it is later reported that he stopped and changed a plug between Quarter Bridge and Braddan.
At Ballaugh Bridge, Anscheidt leads Graham by two sec. And Katayama is up to third place, now only 1 min 55sec behind the leaders. Tommy Robb, who has taken over one of the new production Suzukis ( TR50) from Chris Vincent, is third ahead of Chris Goosen (Derbi) and Brian Gleed (Honda).
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At the Bungalow, Anscheidt leads Graham by 4 sec and they are obviously waiting for Katayama, since the Japanese has regained half a minute since Ballacraine! Now the two leaders cruise past the grandstand to start their second laps, sitting up and virtually “touring” while they wait for Katayama to catch them. He follows through and is now only just over a minute behind.
But Goosen is out with gear-box trouble at Ginger Hall. So it is Gleed, whose daughter was christened at Kirk Braddan church on Sunday, who lies fourth on his Honda, having passed Robb, and Martin Carney (Derbi) is sixth.
Second lap ,
The“race” has degenerated into a farce. For the two leaders are going, so slowly that Katayama gains half a minute on the seven-mile stretch from the start to Ballacraine. And he’s now only 43sec behind Graham, who leads Anscheidt by one second as the tour through.
At Ballaugh, Katayama is close behind, and at Ramsey the Japanese rider is with his team-mates, So they should now be able to speed things up a little.
But the Suzuki plan has misfired. When the leaders reach the Bungalow there’s no sign of Katayama. It looks as though he’s out, so at last Anscheidt and Graham will be free to make a race of things.
Of the rest, Jim Pink (Tohatsu) has stopped at Glen Helen; Barry Smith (Derbi), riding despite his crash on Wednesday, has retired at the pits; and fourth man Gleed, has crashed at Quarter Bridge but has got going again.
This means that Robb is now third. But Carney, who was close behind the Ulsterman, is in trouble and has stopped at Ramsey. Racing at last, Graham completes the second lap 8 sec ahead of Anscheidt, the two Suzukis some 10 min ahead of Robb! News at last of Katayama. He crashed on the Mountain Mile but is not hurt and is watching the race.
SECOND LAP LEADERS   h   m     s     mph                                           h m    s       mph
1  S. Graham (Suzuki)              55  22.4 81.78    7  S. D. Lawley (Honda)   1  8   13.2   66.38
2 H-G- Anscheidt (Suzuki)      55  31.2  81.57    8  T. Fearns  (Honda)       1  9   13.4   65.42
3 T. H. Robb (Suzuki)          1     5  18.0  69.34   9  T. Payne   (Honda)       1  11  23.8   63.43
4 B. Gleed 6 (Honda)          1     6  41.0  67.91     10 T. Burgess (Yamaha)   1  12 02.2   62.86 
5 C. H. Walpole (Honda)      1     8  11.4   66.41     11  J. D. Lawley (Honda)   1  12 25.0   62.53
6 E. L. Griffiths (Honda)      1     8  11.4   66.41     12 R. Udall (Honda)          1  12 25.4   62.53
Last lap:  
NOW Anscheidt is in trouble. At Ballaugh he’s reported to be 45sec behind Graham; So Stuart has the race “in the bag.” Robb starts the last lap grimacing at his pit, but Gleed, in fourth place comes into the pits and loses 5 min 48 sec while adjustments are made to his Honda, damaged in that Quarter Bridge crash. He gets away again in twelfth place.  
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You will notice in this list that there is a lone Yamaha in this listing keeping up with the works machines and production racers. This is a "Bits" machine built by an enthusiast and more of this later.
Approximately 40 TR50 production racers were built in 1967 and with such a successful history in the 50cc class it was no surprise that the company offered a production racer, the air-cooled piston port motor made 8.5hp at 11,000rpm and a speed of about 85mph. The sand-cast engine cases housed a six speed gearbox. Unusually the ignition was supplied by a half speed magneto with the drive being taken from the clutch primary shaft
Graham leads Anscheidt by 48 sec at Ramsey and at the Bungalow he’s stretched his lead to 51 sec. He makes no mistakes in this last dash for the line taking Governs Bridge in style and blasting his little machine down the finish straight, receiving a tremendous round of applause as he wins his first TT.
Anscheidt is seconds, on his Suzuki RK67, and we have a 15 minute wait before Tommy Robb, on the Suzuki TR50, arrives to clinch third place. Exactly four minutes behind Tommy, Chris Walpole (Honda), beats 53 year old Ernie Griffiths also on a Honda, by 6 sec after a dice that lasted the whole race. No. 20 Stan Lawley (Honda) is sixth, ahead of No.11 Tommy Fearns (Honda), and Brian Gleed, the hero of the race, presses on after his crash and pit repairs, to re-gain several places on the last lap and finish eighth on his Honda.
Trevor Burgess, who was the next rider through and to a good applause by the grandstand, finishing 9th and receiving a Bronze Replica. He was mounted on the home built, eight speed special Yamaha, created by Brian Woolley.
RESULTS
(Race record: 1966-R.Bryans (Honda). 85.66 mph).

1, S. Graham,         GB (Suzuki)            1 hr 21 min 56.8 sec. 82.89mph.
2, H. G. Anscheidt, W.Germany(Suzuki) 1 hr 22 min 58 sec, 81.86 mph.
3, T. H. Robb.         Ireland (Suzuki)      1 hr 38 min 2 sec,69.28 mph.
4, C. M. Walpole,    GB (Honda)            1 hr 42 min 2 sec,66.57 mph.
5, E. L. Griffiths.     GB (Honda)            1 hr 42 min 8.6 sec,66.50 mph.
6. S. G. W. Lawley, GB (Honda)            1 hr 43 min 54 sec, 65.37mph.
7, T. Fearns,           GB (Honda)            1hr 44 min 52.4sec, 64.76 mph.
8, B. F. Gleed         GB(Honda)             1hr 45 min31 sec, 64.37 mph.
The above receive Silver Replicas

9,  T. E. Burgess, GB (Yamaha)             1 hr 48 min 36 sec,62.54 mph;
10, J. D. Lawley,  GB (Honda)               1 hr 48 min 40.2 sec,62.50 mph;
11,  R. M. Udall,    GB (Honda)               1 hr 48 min 41.6sec, 62.49 mph.
The above receive Bronze Replicas

12. D. C. Trollope, GB (Honda)               1 hr 55 mm 56.6 sec,58.59 mph;
13, J. W. Whe1don GB (Foster Ita.1)        1 hr 59 min 24sec, 62.49 mph
14, H. Cosgrove,   Canada (Itom)            1 hr 24 min 12.6 see, 53.78mph..

Fastest lap: S. Graham. 26 min 34.4see, 85.19 mph, lap 3.
(Lap record: 1966-Bryans,86.49mph.)
Brian Gleed drops it in the 1967 50cc TT
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Riders in the Gallery
21.  A. G. Hutchings     22. B. F. Gleed
22 B. F. Gleed  (2)      1.    H. G. Anscheidt
17. H. Cosgrove           9.   J. W. Wheldon
29. M. S. Worsley       4.   Y. Katayama
4. Y. Katayana (2)       27. C.M. Walpole

What the winners said:
“I like to win any race, but this was an anti-climax after Wednesday’s 125,” said 25-year-old Stuart Graham following his first TT win in the 50 cc race. “It was rather a hollow victory, but I was the lucky one today.”
Stuart confirmed that Suzuki had wanted Yoshimi Katayama to win the race and that he and West Germany’s Hans-Georg Anscheidt had “hung around” waiting to be caught up after the Japanese rider had been forced to change a plug early on the opening lap.
Then, after being passed by Katayama near Ramsey, Graham said he had fallen back when his Suzuki had gone onto one cylinder “as they have a habit of doing every so often ” and that he had seen the Japanese look round and run out of road. But Katayama had jumped to his feet immediately and given Stuart thumbs up as he passed.
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Runner-up on the second water-cooled works Suzuki twin, reigning class World Champion, Hans-Georg Anscheidt said that he and Katayama had is been riding side by side when the Japanese had fallen.  “My oil pump was leaking and spraying oil onto the rear of my machine,” he said “And when I looked down at the rear wheel, Katayama glanced across too and ran straight off the road.”
After that he and Graham had made it a free-for-all, but he had dropped behind on the third lap when his machine went onto one cylinder for several miles.
Third on the 50 cc Suzuki‘ production‘racer, which Chris Vincent was to have ridden originally, was Belfast’s Tommy Robb who crossed the finishing line over 15 minutes behind Anscheidt. Asked if he had any comments on the race, he grinned, “Yes, I’m sorry I’ve kept everyone hanging around so long for the garlanding ceremony.” All three machines finished in almost perfect condition with ample tyre tread and control adjustment left. The only obvious fault was Anscheidt’s leaky oil pump which had covered the rear of his machine with a film of lubricant.
Stuart's background and some snippits from an interview with
Simon Taylor for the Motor Sport Magazine,
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Stuart Graham (born 9 January 1942) started racing in 1961 on a Honda 125cc Benly, but it was not long before his natural talent saw him come under the guidance of well-known sponsor Bill Webster.  ( Having sold his succesful motorcycle business to the Kings of Oxford Group, Bill  formed Italian Importers in 1960 bringing the Aermacchi racing machines into the UK and providing machines to many of the top riders of the time, including Stuart Graham in his early days. "Websterini's" as he became affectionately known died of a heart attack at Mallory Park in 1963, whilst watching some of his proteges).
Armed with a 250cc Aermacchi Stuart soon achieved his first win at his local Prees Heath Short Circuit. Bill’s untimely death in early ’63 meant the loss of the then popular Italian single cylinder machines, but Stuart was soon back in the saddle, this time on AJS and Matchless machines provided by Jim Ball of Blackpool. Nineteen Sixty-four saw the son of 1949 500cc World Champion, Les Graham make his TT debut on the immaculately prepared British singles finishing 37th in the Junior and 19th in the Senior.
1965 provided a 17th placing on the AJS and his only TT D.N.F on the Matchless. Twelve months later he had been catapulted into the massive Honda works team of that year and, from the ‘leisurely paced’ British marques to the multi-cylinder magic of the Japanese 250 6’s!
Despite his unfamiliarity with the works machine, the ‘pairing’ gave the Tokyo bosses an encouraging result – runner up to his team mate Mike Hailwood. This is what Stuart had to say when interviewed by Simon Taylor: “For 1967 my Honda contract seemed a formality. But in December word came from Japan that they were cutting back, concentrating on a single entry for Mike in the 500s, and boring out the 250 for Mike to run in the 350s. So, Sorry Stuart, we won’t need you.”
“But then Suzuki came knocking.” “I flew out to Japan in February, tried their 50cc and 125cc machines, saw the four-cylinder 250 they were developing, and signed the biggest contract I’d ever seen.” Stuart had agreed to ride their 125 and 50cc two strokes for that season, including the Diamond Jubilee TT. Again he did not disappoint, splitting the Yamaha’s of Read and Motohashi for 2nd place in the Lightweight 125cc TT and winning the 50cc TT on the miniature twin cylinder Suzuki.
“That meant adapting to two-strokes, which are completely different from four-strokes. It was a real culture shock. The first thing is, no engine braking. And because the oil is in the fuel, they don’t like to run on a closed throttle, or they can seize unexpectedly.
The 125 would do 130mph, and the 50 did nearly 120mph, so they were quick. But the power bands were incredibly narrow. The 50cc bike had to be kept at all times between 17,000 and 17,500rpm. At 16,900rpm it had no power: at 17,600 it blew up. So you had 14 gears, and you had to watch the rev-counter all the time.
The 125 was a little easier: it only revved to 15,000rpm, and the power came in at 14,000, so you made do with just 10 gears. On both you was changing gear all the time: you didn’t use the clutch to change, but you kept your fingers on the clutch lever permanently in case it seized. The mixture lever was vital. On the Isle of Man you needed to richen it up at sea level, weaken it off up The Mountain, and vary it in between as the air pressure and temperature changed.
So you were busy. I lapped the Island at an average of 86mph on the 50, and on the 125 I just missed my 100mph lap. I finished second on the 125 to Phil Read’s Yamaha Four - we still had twins, our four wasn’t ready and we couldn’t match the Yamaha for power - but I won the 50cc TT, getting my Isle of Man victory at last.
“What can I say about the Isle of Man? Everybody has an emotional relationship with the place. You feel the mythology the moment you get there. When you drive into Douglas over the Fairy Bridge you have to say hello to the fairies, otherwise you’re going to have bad luck for the whole time you’re there".
In the early 1970s Stuart began car racing in Saloon classes, retiring in 1980 to concentrate on his business interests including a Honda dealership. Again reviving his racing in 1986, Stuart Graham has continued to appear in occasional historic car events.[
Now to an area that the Editor finds stimulating. 
YAMAHA had not entered the 50cc racing class, in the way the other Japanese manufacturers had and although they did produce a racer for the 1968 season (see the YAMAHA RF302 -50cc Racer 1968 page, (        ) it did not compete on a race track.  But, in 1966 Brian Woolley created a Yamaha 50cc Racing Motorcycle.
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Self made motorcycle engineer Brian Woolley was one of Britain’s foremost two-stroke engine specialists and is perhaps best remembered for helping to develop the Greeves Silverstone production racer. The unique machine outlined here was created by Brian in collaboration with Bob Stevenson and first raced in 1966 by Trevor Burgess.
It is powered by a 1964 Yamaha YS-1 roadster engine modified by the addition of a water-cooling jacket in the interests of reliability. The tuning work consisted of the usual ‘port job’,using Brian's experience of tuning the Starmaker, fitting an 18mm Dell’Orto carburettor and replacing the rotary inlet valve’s compressed paper disc with a Tufnol part giving longer opening and greater reliability.
Motor Cycling explained the change procedure when its tester, Bruce Main-Smith, rode the Woolley Yamaha at the end of the 1966 season: ‘In reality, the rider starts in low and bottom, changes three times on the gearbox to reach top, then shifts into high. Total five. It is not “practical” to run through all eight ratios on the trot but the Gomatic’s half a ratio is useful on hills to get exactly the right cog.’
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The modified YS-1 engine was installed in a purpose-built spine-type frame equipped with Suzuki front forks, Bianchi front brake and Itom rear hub. BMS found that the bike ‘steered impeccably and held the road like glue. The brakes were entirely adequate and the gear change light and neat.’
Completed in the summer of 1966, the Woolley Yamaha with Trevor Burgess aboard has won twice at Cadwell Park, once at Darley Moor and finished second in the Temple 100 in Ireland by the season’s end. Motor Cycling estimated the Yamaha’s top speed to be the same as that of Honda’s CR110 over-the-counter 50cc racer – not bad for a home-built ‘special’. This is Trevor during a test session.
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The best speed through the Silverstone speed trap when testing with Trevor Burgess in the saddle was, 72.58mph. This was using the 4 speed box Track with no overdrive. The speed equivalent to peak power at a r.p.m. of 12000 was : 1st gear=30mph, 2nd gear=50mph, 3rd gear=70mph, 4th gear=95mph.
Trevor Burgess was entered in the 50cc class in the 1967 Isle of Man TT. on this Yamaha and did the name proud. He finished ninth and received a Bronze Replica with a good time, 1 hr 48 min 36 sec, and a speed of 62.54 mph better than some Honda CR110 machines, was mounted on this home built special. He beat 3 Honda CR110 machines, one of which is covered later on this page.
YAMAHA 50 CAN HOLD THE HONDA  "I think Bruce Main-Smith will agree that I gave him no 'old hat' regarding the 50 Yamaha tested by “Motor Cycling”, and that despite Bob Latham’s strictures (January 21 issue), the bike will stand or fall on its own merits. I was at fault in not checking more closely on the Temple 100 lap speeds, but I was told that Trevor Burgess, on the Yamaha, and Bob Latham shared the fastest lap".
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This response was published in a motorcycle magazine and is in reply to a previous letter, I do not have this but if anyone has a copy of it I would be most grateful to receive a copy.
John's CR110 is one of 90 manufactured for the 1963 season of which it is reported that only 22 were exported to Europe. John's brother, Stan also had his own bike and the two brothers were often seen competing in the same race series. This Honda's history is not known prior to its acquisition by John, who raced the machine on most circuits in the mainland and was active in the Chiltern 50 Motorcycle Club and the Racing 50 Club which came later. The brothers took part in the 1966, 1967 and 1968 Isle of Man 50cc TTs and John's 7th place in the '68 race was his best ever TT result, netting him a coveted Silver Replica, while 10th in '67 was good enough for a Bronze. He also raced the Honda at the Ulster Grand Prix in 1969 and came in 9th and again in 1970. The machine was also ridden in the Isle of Man TTRA 'Lap of Honour' parades in the 1980s and last ran in 1993. It was then mothballed until sold.
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John Lawley aquired the Honda CR110 in 1966 and along with other races entered the Isle of Man 50cc Ultra-lightweight TT. He did not finish in this race and the comentary was: 'Further news from Doran'sBend, John Lawley has stopped there on his Honda, presumably retiring, and is watching the rest of the racing while sitting on the hedge. His brother, Stan Lawley, also on a Honda, is now last'. Stan's Honda gave him no problems and he finished the race. However John continued to race his Honda CR110 in mainland races as well as future IoM TTs. But there finely came a time to sell this mount and John went to Bonham's to handel the sale. They managed the bidding until it sold for £17,825 inc. premium. This was on the 27 Apr 2014, in Stafford at the Staffordshire County Showground.
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‘Not only did they epitomise the virtues of a racing motorcycle, being small, light, fast and simple, but they handled wonderfully well, and if properly (and rather expensively) maintained they were remarkably reliable.’ – Brian Woolley on the Honda CRs, from the Directory of Classic Racing Motorcycles
These were lower powered production versions. The 'Honda CR110 Cub Racer', aimed at the privateer rider for club and national status events, proved more successful than the works machine and about 220 are said to have been sold worldwide. 
John Lawley on his Honda CR110 in the 1968 50cc TT
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The John Lawley, c.1963 Honda 50cc CR110 Racing Motorcycle
Let's look at these Hondas: Little more than one year after its break-through first success at World Championship level in 1961, Honda made its state-of-the-art Grand Prix technology available to privateers in the form of the 50cc CR110 and 125cc CR93 over-the-counter racers. Like their works equivalents, the 50cc single and 125cc twin employed gear-driven double overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder, this combination of tiny cylinders and minuscule valves enabling them to rev safely well into five figures.
The CR110 employed a tubular steel frame, devoid of lower rails, to which was attached a conventional set of cycle parts, and boasted no fewer than eight gears in the gearbox. First made available in 1963, it immediately achieved a dominance in its class that would last for many years, and countless stars of the future, including Bill Ivy, Jim Curry, Rod Scivyer and sidecar champion Chris Vincent, gained their early experience aboard the diminutive CR.
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John Lawley's CR110 on the Racing 50 Enthusiast Club Stand at the Stafford Show 1998
Stuart Graham - Winner of the 50cc TT on a SUZUKI Twin.
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SUZUKI TR50 Production Racer
(10th in this 1967 50cc TT)
There were two versions, a five speed road machine with lights and silencers producing 7hp at 12,700 rpm and the racing version with eight gears and 8.5 hp at a stratospheric 13,500rpm.
The CR110 "Over-the-Counter" 50cc Racer from Honda. No frills - No Whistles.
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So, far from the nonchalant “l passed and left it behind” with which Bob dismisses the Yamaha's Enduro performance, my recollection is that, after trying to stay with the Yamaha for two laps, his Honda rapidly fell back! Bob himself wrote to me shortly after the Enduro, saying “I was amazed at the speed of the thing. It must push out a phenomenal bhp.
From a point somewhere on the Norwich straight, its top speed was undoubtedly higher than the Honda’s.” Brian: "I notice that in this letter he does not complain of the Yamaha's handling and, having watched Trevor at several circuits, I do not know what he means. I lent the Yamaha for a racer test to encourage the 50 class, and to show that a truly home-built special can live with the Honda machinery".
Trevor Burgess in the 1967 Isle of Man 50cc TT riding the Yamaha. Trevor also rode in the Lightweight 250cc race riding the Greeves and in the Production Classes riding an Ossa.
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Research:
JEEP's Archives
Simon Taylor for the Motor Sport Magazine
Motor Cycle News
Motorcycle Magazines
On-Line encyclopaedias
News Paper Cuttings/ Scrap Books
Submissions from readers by email.
I am always looking for contributions to the History web page. Please let the Editor know if you have any information or pictures for him. If I have used a picture that requires permission please contact the History page.
Return to TT Index Page
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Small capacity engines with relatively narrow power bands are best served by multi-speed gearboxes (Suzuki’s 50cc RK67 twin used 14 speeds!) and Woolley ingeniously doubled up the Yamaha’s four ratios by using an auxiliary transmission in the form of an American-built ‘Gomatic’ high/low unit, carried on the swinging arm’s left leg.
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Brian Woolley and the Yamaha YS-1 Special
Yoshimi Katayama
1967 | Isle of Man | 50cc | TT | Stuart | Graham |
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