Speedway from 1933 at Wembley to the Modern Era. My copy of The Speedway Annual inspired this introduction to Speedway for winding-roads.ca

My interest in Speedway has been inspired by the great Czechoslovakian Franta Juhan with whom I had the privilege of spending some with. He raced every motorcycle discipline and excelled in them all. Speedway was his thing and he loved it. Watch my blog on Franta Juhan for more.

My copy of the Speedway Annual No2 is the premise for this intro where I show a bit of yesterday and today starting out with some great footage from Wembley in 1933 in front of 55,000 fans and some Modern Speedway featuring recently retired World Champion Greg Hancock.

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In Europe they draw big crowds to these events. What I personally love about it is the feeder system to the national teams.

Speedway is a team sport Towns have that compete against each other. Each race is contested by four riders, and lasts for four laps. Competitions are conducted in a heats format. For each race, riders are awarded points based on their finish position, where 1st place finish carries 3 points, 2nd carries 2, and 3rd place finisher receives 1 point. The rider finishing in 4th place or who does not finish the race does not receive any points. The rider with the most points at the end of the competition is declared the winner.

Wiki says “Motorcycle speedway, usually referred to simply as speedway, is a motorcycle sport involving four and sometimes up to six riders competing over four anti-clockwise laps of an oval circuit. The motorcycles are specialist machines that use only one gear and have no brakes. Racing takes place on a flat oval track usually consisting of dirt, loosely packed shale, or crushed rock (mostly used in Australia and New Zealand). Competitors use this surface to slide their machines sideways, powersliding or broadsiding into the bends. On the straight sections of the track, the motorcycles reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour (110 km/h).

There are now both domestic and international competitions in a number of countries, including the Speedway World Cup, whilst the highest overall scoring individual in the Speedway Grand Prix events is pronounced the world champion. Speedway is popular in Central and Northern Europe and to a lesser extent in Australia and North America.

Now retired, one of the best is was Greg Hancock from the USA who was a California kid who dominated the sport for over 25 years and practically unknown in the United States but a hero in Europe,

A variant of track racing, speedway is administered internationally by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM). Domestic speedway events are regulated by FIM-affiliated national motor sport federations”.

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Jawa Road Racers by Raymond Ainscoe and Peter Murray forward by Frankie Juhan for winding-roads.ca

My friend Frankie Juhan was invited to write the inserts for Jawa Road Racers by Raymond Ainscoe and Peter Murray

His dad Franta Juhan was a Speedway Champion for Jawa,

The Juhan family, Franta Juhan, Frankie Juhan, and Jaroslav Juhan have collectively won races world wide on two and four wheels.

Franta and Frankie Juhan are an integral part of motorcycling in Canada having supported the sport by assisting riders and events including Road Racing, Motocross, Cross Country, Trials, Flat Track and Ice Racing.

In Jaroslav’s biography written by Jan Kralik and published by Grada “Jaroslav Juhan, Life Without Brakes, the man who brought Porsche to Carrera” there is a great section on Franta Juhan.

Thank you for watching.

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If you would like a more in depth review of the book please let me know and as time permits I will do one.

Franta Juhan Speedway Champion from Jaroslav Juhan’s “Life Without Brakes. The man who brought Porsche to Carrera”

Franta Juhan is the first segmant of a four part series on Jaroslav Juhan’s Book “Life Without Brakes” by Jan Kralik:

Motorcycle Speedway Champion Franta was Jaroslav’s older brother and the first part of his book is dedicated to him’.

There is some great early Speedway footage in the video that I hope makes you smile!

There has been some information added that was not in the book covering Franta Juhan’s son Frankie who raced under the Canadian flag. I was Frankie Juhan’s wrench for a few years trying to honor his Dad’s instructions, “Sonny you look after my boy”

Franta and Frankie Juhan both have been integral part of supporting motorcycle life in Canada and I personally had the pleasurer of working with them both.

Joroslav sent me the draft of the book from Geneva and I just realized that was the last time we talked. I wish I could have asked him more just to hear the wonderful cadence of his voice. Jaroslav spoke multiple languages and I only speak Street English so he was nice enough to share with me in English.

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The Art of Motorcycle Racing by Mike Hailwood

The Art of Motorcycle Racing by the Legendary Mike Hailwood and commentator Murray Walker is book where Mike gives great advise for the aspiring racer. In my introduction to the book I try to share some of the excitement my copy has provided me.

I have mix a few relevant video clips like Mike Hailwood on the Honda six. I have another post on that great bike you here. All racers need to give some thought to what will they ride, where will the ride and how are they going to get there and back.

Mike gives some insight into all of these. When you are a world champion you gain insights from a rather lofty viewpoint, knowing the steps he took and the thing you need to consider on your path were helpful to me and is well worth the read!

My intro concludes with some great footage of Mike on World Championship Winning Honda 250cc RC166 six cylinder work of art. I hope you enjoy it!

Here is my introduction to the book: Please give me a thumbs up if you like it and subscribe if you care.

The Race for Leadership (Motorcycle Gran Prix 1961) Intro by Mike Hailwood for Duncan Fraser Reads

The Race For Leadership. The Introduction by Mike Hailwood. I have this great book on Honda that has seen better days. It has been stuffed in drawers, under beds, in carboard boxes and on numerous of my book shelves in the decades it has been in my possession.. The forward to the book is written by Mike Hailwood who to me is the greatest racer of all time, with Giacomo Agostini being right behind. This look at my book includes some great footage from the Isle of Man courtesy of the BBC. The process I undertake with these video’s that are based on books in my personal bookshelf is as follows: I pull a book from my Bookshelf, mostly at random, open the book to a random page, read a paragraph, make some notes, them pull digital threads I find. I digitize these and create a video. The narration and views are my own and no slight to anyone living or otherwise is intended. I sincerely hope you enjoy them and that I am able to transfer some of magic these books have provided me. My love for motorcycle racing, art and reading I hope is obvious. I have been involved in motorcycling in Canada since the early sixties and it is as glorious a sport today as it was when I was young.

My vlog on this is here. Please give me a thumbs up if you like it and subscribe if you care.