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Ivan Mauger's Famous Bikes

The following bike pics are shown with Ivan's permission they are part of the Ivan Mauger Australian Museum which you can visit here


Steve Magro says: The pic of Jim Airey's bike which at the time was owned by Ivan Mauger, says Jim won the 1973 Australian Championship. This is in fact false, as John Boulger won it that year. However, Jim Airey did win the 1973 NSW Championship in 1973, I assume on that bike. It was the night Jim retired and the venue was the Sydney Showground. Geoff Curtis was also killed in that same event.

Update: Ivan Mauger says: Gordon and Jim rode for Mike Parker at Sunderland in 1964,when that closed they rode for Mike at Wolverhampton. Jim later rode for Sheffield and Gordon at Poole. Both rode at Brough Park several times each season. Gordon was killed in 1970 at Liverpool near Sydney.

Ivan's Weslakes

From 1981-1984  Ivan was a Weslake Works Rider. He had 6 machines like the one shown below.  Britain's best, ridden by the worlds best.  What happened to the great British marque? Do you know why Weslake went to the wall?  John

Courtesy of Ivan Mauger

One of Ivans 1982 Weslakes

Courtesy of Ivan Mauger

Thank you Ivan for these bike pictures. The Weslake rivalled the Jap as British machinery at it's best

Courtesy of Ivan Mauger

This action photo is of Larry Ross and me leading Kai Niemi and Olli Tyrvainen at the Semi final of the World Pairs at Vojens on 6th June 1982.
Cheers Ivan
What a great surface for racing on top marks to Vojens. Ivan's Wessy leading the way.


Rudge Engine

Courtesy Les Medland

Hi John. This Engine has the wrong Cylinder Head fitted but I thought it maybe of interest to you. I bought it in the mid 1960s in Plymouth from a Chap called Vic Skinner. (any relation) He used it to Sidecar D/Track race with his brother. It's a 1930/31 Works Long Stroke Rudge Dirt Track 500 Engine. Les Medland.

Dutch Museum

Courtesy of Koos Meijer

Koos Meijer says: - I send you a picture from the engines ot the Speedway-Grasstrack-Museum-Holland. The museum has a collection of 33 different engines and 15 compleet bikes. Bikes and engines with a lot of history. Big names have done donaties , like Erik Gundersen, Ivan Mauger, Egon Muller, Peter Collins, Hans Nielsen and more.

The museum is in the north of Holland near the German border.  The place is called Winschoten. Full adress is:
M.J.van Olmstraat 35
9672 AE Winschoten


Courtesy of Reg Fearman
Reg's Gear ratio chart used by him in 1948.  Is the info useable with today's machines?

Bob Andrews says: From memory I think Reg must be about right? 8.95 on a JAP. To get it, you divide the teeth of the front sprocket into the teeth on the clutch. Then divide the sprocket behind the clutch into the back sprocket. Then multiply the two answers together. So 20t on front into 40t, on clutch is 2.15t clutch into 60t.back is 4. Multiply 2X4 is 8.00.  (But clutches were 44t.) But I suppose you already knew that.?? Bob
Nah I knew nothing
Giffy says: Hi John, if the memory serves me right at Brough we pulled a gear ratio of  8.8 to 1 on the JAPS and 9.3 to 1 on the two valve Jawa,  regards old mate,   giffy
Rob Best says: I have just asked Clarkie (Roy Clarke) what they are running this year (2009) at Brough and its 62 as its so slick


Courtesy of Dave Gifford

Dave Gifford says: This is the bike that Sprouts (Ivan Mauger), rode in the US in 1970, a two speed two valve Jawa. The bike was owned by Dan Cotterman and tarted up by George Wenn for Ivan to use. The inscription on the tank reads, Ivan Mauger, World Champion, 1970.     Giffy
Not many 2 speed speedway bikes around.  I presume the low gear was used for starts and the bike ran the rest of the 4 laps in the higher gear?

Cary Cotterman says: I was looking at various speedway websites and happened to run across a photo I took (passed on to you by Dave Gifford) on your site of the 2-speed Jawa Ivan Mauger rode in the U.S. in 1970 (with the orange fuel tank that has 'Ivan Mauger, World Champion, 1970' written on it).
A question after Giffy's description asks how the two speeds were used.
On speedway tracks up to normal size (400 meters or shorter), only the second (higher) gear was used, and the bike was just left in that gear all the time and ridden just like a single-gear bike. On long tracks (like the 800-meter Ascot Park near Los Angeles), sometimes the lower gear was used to start, then the bike was shifted into the high gear for the remainder of the race.  
This particular bike was a 1969 model, bought new by my dad, Dan Cotterman, for $900.00. George Wenn indeed 'tarted it up' with his tuning expertise, and the custom paint job was by Molly. After Mauger was finished with it, I bought it from my dad, rode it during the 1971 season in California (mostly disastrously), and sold it in 1972. I don't know what ever happened to it after that.
Great site! Love the photos of all the speedway machines!
Cary Cotterman
Redlands, California

Cary's unusual 1955 JAP

The cylinder barrel looks shorter than a normal 50's JAP

This shot does not look like a JAP at all, but what is it?

Its definitely not a Jawa/Eso their barrels are squarer, and we are told it is a JAP

From this angle I would say this is a Jap but the photos from the other side baffle me.  Looks like two different bikes

Cary says: Hi John,
I found some negatives of that JAP I was telling you about with the unusual cylinder, and scanned them (his 4 attachments are shown above). Unfortunately they are not very good quality, but I think you can see enough. If you look closely at the cylinder barrel, you can see it's not a stock JAP type. Have you ever seen one like it? I don't think it's a one-off that some fellow made in his garage, because like I mentioned before, I saw another one like it in a photo of Jimmy Gooch from the early '70s.
I bought this JAP for $500.00 USD in 1970 from a guy who told me it was a 1955. I don't know the engine serial number, so I have no way of verifying its age. I guess that's a Rotrax frame and forks, although I don't think the rear mudguard is the proper original one. As a novice I found this machine to be a monster to control and I soon replaced it with that ex-Mauger Jawa you have a photo of on your site, which was easier to ride. The JAP was beautiful to hear, though!
Cary Cotterman

Hi Cary,

Whatever this bike is it is beautiful none the less.  We talk of long stroke Japs maybe this was short stroke model?  I will ask around John
Terry Stone is first up, he says: On viewing your JAP on defunct speedway I think the barrel on the engine.  It may be a COOPER CAR barrel. Hope this is correct. If you had any other comments on this do let us know.

Dave Gifford says: Hi John mate. hope all is well with you and things are getting warmer. re the JAP, it just looks like a normal 4 stud motor with a home made cylinder barrel to me. I don't thing the stroke has been altered judging by the gap between the inlet rocker cover and the frame. It was a simple job to make a barrel either from a casting or a solid billet. That's my guess for what it's worth.   take care,   giffy

Bob Andrews says: Hi John. Well it's not a Rotrax frame, The Motor has a short barrel on it. Ronnie Moore had a shortened JAP that he took over to England in about 1968 that was given to George Greenwood and they made a short JAP copy of it to sell. It "revved" a lot. It was to try and match the E.S.O. ( Jawa) But it never caught on. So some one has put a shorter Con Rod in this motor and was a little earlier than Ronnie's Hope that helps. Regards Bob. In the Ronnie Moore Book by Rod Dew. the first chapter ( I think) Tells of Ronnie winning the N.Z. Champs at Palmerston North, and in the race against me.( I got second) Rod writes that Ronnie was on an "old" 1947 JAP and beat me and that I had the latest equipment. But I also had a 1947 motor. as they were the year when they very best.  Flywheels were made and that gave them their speed. But Ronnie's bike had the short rod and had been worked on by the speed gurus in Christchurch and he had a far superior bike. But of course it made great reading and Ronnie was the hero in the story.

 Jim Henry says: Is it a 350cc JAP? JAP's of this capacity were built for grass track racing.      

Pete Gay has sent this picture (below) and says:     
HI John think the cylinder is off a Cooper JAP, (2nd vote for the Cooper)

It is very likely that Terry and Pete are correct, unless of course you know better, if so send me an email John

Cary Cotterman, the past owner of the "unusual" Jap has read the above suggestions and has this to say about his unusual JAP:

Well, John, since I emailed you a short while ago I've done some research based on the idea that the cylinder barrel on that JAP might have been like one used in a Cooper racing car. 

If you go to and scroll down a short way, there's an old advertisement on the right side for a JAP 'Type 6 500cc car racing engine', which I have attached to this email.

The barrel in the photo is rounded and has ten cooling fins with polished edges, exactly like the one on my JAP bike. The advert even says the barrel was alloy, which was also the same as the one on the bike.

I feel on the verge of concluding that someone replaced the stock barrel on the bike with one from a Type 6 car racing engine (or, even more bizarre, perhaps the entire engine in the bike is one of the car racing engines?).  


Hi Cary, Thanks for this very interesting section.  I think that we have identified, via the website, your old bikes engine. It was a "Cooper JAP",  How did it go by the way. Could it keep up with the conventional bikes of the day. and do you have any data about how it performed in a car?  I presume the cars would have used gearboxes with the engine

Hello John,
As to your question, 'how did it go', I can only reply that I was a mere novice rider with very limited ability and I had only ever ridden one other JAP, very briefly, so I don't have much of a foundation for judging. It seemed to me to have a lot of power, but that sensation could be attributed largely to my lack of experience. As I mentioned before, it was much more difficult to ride than the 2-valve Jawa I switched to.  Cary  
Pete Gay says: HI John just had another look at the first photo and I think the engine my have come out of a Cooper, if you look at the Mag cover the hole and mounting bolts are there for the rev counter cable.

500cc Jap engine fitted in the Cooper. Pete Gay says: It was the start of the Cooper race cars , then Mini Cooper S and today we have the BMW Cooper.

1960's Rotrax Jap


Giffy's Restoration

Courtesy of Dave Gifford

Below: 2 pictures from Denmark the sender is building a Godden drag bike for the drag race series over there.  In the course of the e-mails he sent me a photo from a friend of his who has a collection of speedway engines on the wall of his garage. 

Jan Staechmann says: Hi John,  The picture you have from Denmark, with a collection of engines on the wall, is my friend Alf Busk’s collection, who used to ride for a.o. Coventry. Great website J Cheers Jan
Thanks for the assistance  Jan, John


A picture from Denmark showing a Jawa crank, barrel, and head grafted to a Royal Enfield crankcase.  This is run in some sort of drag racing "street" class over there. 

Courtesy of George Winstanley

This was Jack Winstanley's sand racer.  LFS stands for Louis Foster Special

Courtesy of George Winstanley

George Winstanley says: Here's a pic of me aged 13/14 on my 150cc Villiers grass bike. I was a member of the Lancashire grass track junior riders club.

Young George astride a Villiers-engined grass-track bike.  I had a James with the same flywheel magneto engine.  Villiers and Jap were the UK's premier engine makers and the two companies joined forces but couldn't stave off the Honda led Japanese invasion in the late 1960's.

Courtesy of John Abel

Ivan Mauger and son Kym's Aussie/NZ Han Zeirk Godden Antig. Kym won the New Zealand Long Track Championship on this bike.

Courtesy of John Abel

1976 World Championship Long track Bike -First 4 Valve Jawa Engine to be raced and win on debut. Eng No 001.[Background light spoilt this photo a bit.]

Courtesy of John Abel

Gold Bike at Home after restoration.

Update: Ivan Mauger says: Re the other photos that John Able sent. John was David Bergh's mechanic all the time Bargie was at Newcastle. John helps me restore a lot of my Bikes and as you see he does a great job. He done most of my 1976 Long Track bike and tidied up my Gold bike before I put them in the Christchurch Museum in Sept 2007
Hope this helps

1930's Bike probably a Rudge

1930's maybe a Douglas

1930's Scott

Another Rudge I presume.  If you can supply info on these 4 bikes I would be pleased to hear it John

Photo taken at the Primer Nationals, The frame appears to be half Rudge with a newer swinging arm fitted? Also the wheels look odd but it is still a fine looking bike.

1974 Jawa 890

Pictures of this Jawa, courtesy of Geir Overby

Norwegian Geir has restored this Jawa 890 the engine dates from 1974 and the frame 1968-74 it is beautiful to look at.  Well done Geir.


Weslake Land Speed Record

I moved home to California and started racing my converted speedway Weslake at El Mirage dry lake.  I run it on race gas (petrol) VP C12.  It holds the record there at 129.817mph.  Which brings me to a question.  I don't know the year of the motor.  Its not really important but I'm curious.  Is there anywhere that I could find records of Weslake motors?
 Many thanks for setting up such a wonderful site.
Bill Anderson

If anyone can help Bill send me an email John

Weslake Land Speed Record Sidecar Racer

Photo Courtesy of Bill Anderson the owner of this Weslake

Bill says: The Weslake engine I'm using in the Norton (see bike with number 592) has proved so reliable not to mention fast I've been building a sidecar for land speed racing.  Its a later pushrod engine.  I had it in the Norton to check it out and it ran 125mph at El Mirage.  Plus several other runs all over 120mph.  Again I just thought I'd throw it in for a laugh.  I was at a speedway shop in Garden Grove on Thursday last to get some castor.  He had a nice collection of speedway machines.  One that caught my eye ws a 1930 Rudge 4 valve speedway machine.  I had never seen one before.  I am planning a return trip to have a closer look.  I had the Weslake sidecar to Bonneville a couple of weeks ago and had a wonderful time.  The Weslake ran a best time of 125.715 mph (202.3 Km/h).  A first for it!  It also rased the gas record from 98 mph to 119.668 mph and the fuel record from 101 mph to 117.168 mph.  And best of all nothing broke!

If anyone else is using an ex speedway engine for another purpose, please email me John

Bill has been in touch again about his drag bike, he has sent the two pictures shown below

I finally got the sidecar out for the SCTA El Mirage dry lake meet in June.   It failed scrutiny in May.  So changes were made.  Its been out for the June, July and Sept. meets.  The Sept meet was very good.  It picked up its skirt and ran to the tune of 122.240 mph (197 km/h if you are metric).  There is about 15 mph left in it.  Maybe by the end of the year it will do it.  You have to love speedway singles! 

 Thanks Bill for the photos.  Looking at the above pic I note that you lie down on the job! 

For Sale

Weslake engine for sale ex Anders Michanek. email Tommy for details

Old Frame

Courtesy of Bill Anderson

Hello John, 
I stumbled across this old photo I took when living in Dun Laoghaire many years ago.  Since "discovering" your site it was rattling around in my head.  I know it's an ancient speedway frame.  The front wheel is not part of it (obviously!).  It came out of the basement of a house in Mount St., Dublin in the early 70s.  The house was to be demolished so I "rescued" it rather than see it go to the dump.  I can't remember what I did with it.  I think I gave it to a friend when I left Ireland and I think he still has it.  I must give him a shout and find out.  Just thought you might like to have it for your files.

Hi Bill I think the frame is a 1940's Jap? some riders used a grasstrack front wheel hence the brakedrum.  I can remember Newcastle rider Russ Dent using a front wheel like this one and that was in the 1960's so maybe the frame is 40's but the front wheel is later.  If your friend still has the bike ask him to take a few more pictures.


Bike Auction

Dear Sir,

I thought you may be interested to learn that Cheffins Auctioneers have consigned a number of machines and spares from the estate of the late Sid King and amongst other things will be auctioning on the 18th October 2008 a 1928 Dirt Track Douglas plus another dismantled (restored parts ready for re-assembly), a c1930Rudge 4 valve speedway machine, c1932 Commerford JAP speedway machine and a c1935 Martin JAP speedway machine, there are also a qty of JAP engines.
Sid King was not a rider but seems to have been fairly well known in the VMCC and restoration circles, he restored a number of Brooklands machines as well as early Dirt Track and Speedway. I understand he worked for Vic Martin (as per the bike) in 1949-50 which is where the passion for all things JAP came from
Jeremy V P Curzon MNAVA
Cheffins Auctioneers
Clifton House
1 & 2 Clifton Road
Cambridge CB1 7EA
01223 213777
There are 5 bikes for sale as at 5th September 2008 pictures follow below:
1932 Comerford Jap


1928 Douglas DT


Douglas in Pieces


1935 Martin Jap


1930 Rudge





1966 Eso Speedway. Czechoslovakian built.  The bike that signalled the end for the British Jap.  The Eso (Czech word meaning Ace) wasn't any faster than the Jap but it needed less work to maintain and could do more meetings between rebuilds.  The Eso firm later amalgamated with Jawa and the Eso name was lost in favour of Jawa.  The early Jawa /Eso 890 continued to dominate for most of the 1970's.  Engine conversions such as Neil Streets 4 valve head became well known amongst riders wanting extra power.

A trademark of the Eso was the clip on handlebars

1967 Eso Ice Racer


1981 Godden Mk2 

If you have any photographs of a Godden please scan and email to me John


1976 Weslake

Weslake took on Jawa in the mid 1970's and for a few years vied successfully with the Czech's although by approx 1983 it had had it's day.



Her is an resturatoinobjekt from Norway. It is an 1968 Jawa 890, 2 valves.

Regards Geir Øverby, Kongsvinger

The 1979 Jawa 894 4 valve

The "poor mans speedway bike" James Carnie aboard a dirt track BSA complete with back stand and what appears to be the rear brake drum.  The rules of the day said brakes must be made inoperative, so if it was a brake drum it would have been disconnected.

A different BSA model with a shorter stroke engine and a lower frame

1929 BSA Sloper John Lloyd is said to have used one of these.

BSA's Last effort as far as speedway was concerned.  We think this bike was c1970.  Did you own one?  Do you know of anyone who raced one?  Send me an email if you can help John
Update: Jim Henry says: Alan Graham raced a BSA in the 70s. His machine, fully restored with a North frame is in Scotland.
If anyone can take a picture of it I will put it on this webpage John
Update: Terry Stone says: This bike may have been ridden by Bill Landells who rode for Edinburgh or Berwick.
Update: Dan Nichols says: I found your speedway page on the Internet. You asked for info about the BSA project of the 70s.
My understanding is that it was first put into the hands of Nigel Boocock, riding for Coventrry at the time. It was found to be hard to ride (The story goes that BSA looked at the mild steel and prayer of a Jawa frame, threw up their hands all horrified and made one out of Proper Steel. It didn't work.), and ended up falling into the hands of Alan Grahame of Birmingham, then I think his brother Andy. What happened to it after their time with it, I don't know.


Nigel Boocock experimented with the Matchless in 1965.  Has anyone any photographs or do you know why it wasn't a success  John

From Tony Webb: -
Jack Emmott      Tuner and  MATCHMAKER builder
Jack Emmott was well known for his connections with developing a Matchless engine for speedway and the production of his Matchmaker frames, his life was closely weaved around road racing, grass track and speedway. In fact it was rare for an engineer to be associated with the completely different disciples of road racing and speedway as there are very few similarities. Road racing was his first love but later he switched almost entirely to building frames and tuning engines for speedway and grass track.

Jack spent most of his working life in London, but he was a West Yorkshire man by birth, born in  Keighley in 1924. He served with the Royal  Engineers in Scotland where he met his wife. They moved south to work for Lord and Lady Bray. They then moved to Godalming in Surrey where Jack started in the motorcycle trade working for a local dealer Graham Brown. Australian road racer Bob Brown loaned Jack the funds to buy a house in London. Bob was later killed in a road racing accident while practising for the 1960 German Grand Prix in Stuttgart. Jack had a strong connection with road racing and had many lasting friendships with road racers. The well known Australian Kel Curruthers, who was 1969 250cc World champion,  stayed at the Emmott's while racing in the UK.

The area of London where Jack lived was known as Little Australia due to the number of road racing and speedway riders in residence there. Sydneysider, the late Geoff Curtis and Australian test star Ray Cresp, road racers John Dodds and Mike Duff and scramblers Roy East and Jack Pringle were all residents of Little Oz.

An opportunity arose at  Associated  Motorcycles Company at Plumstead road  Woolwich in the race shop , a chance that Jack grabbed with both hands. It was there he developed the Matchless G85 CS for speedway with the help of Nigel Boocock and Malcolm Simmons and also worked on the AJS 7R and the Porcupine.  The  G85 CS was developed from the standard G85 series engine that could be obtained off the shelve from the AMC Woolwich factory.  Jack’s modifications were intended for grass track and speedway but could also be suitable for Moto cross. The standard cast piston was replaced with a lighter forge piston more suitable for high compression. Machining 0.25" off the cylinder base and using plates ratios of 11-14.5 to 1 were obtained. A floating engine sprocket carrier eliminated primary chain mis-alignment. Under testing the OHV rocker assembly was found to stress, this was solved by modifying the camshaft, which did not increase power but it did eliminate valve float and enabled the use of a lighter valve spring, which in turn benefited acceleration. 

Another modification was the magneto mountings which were located directly on the rear of the timing case, the engine could then be removed without disturbing the magneto and timing, the general specification was 497 cc [86mm x 85.5], 50 b h p on methanol, alloy cylinder head and piston. After a few years with AMC  he joined Swan Vesta, the match making company, as an engineer and that is where the name Matchmaker was born for his grass and speedway frames.  Jack went into business on his own after leaving Swan Vesta, he gained a reputation as an excellent tuner and a innovative frame builder.

The Matchmaker frame found its way to all parts of the world. Argentinean rider George Kisling came to London to collect one, and Australians Jim Ryman and Roy East both took Matchless engines back to Sydney around 1970. However Matchless engines were a popular choice for short circuit racing in Australia from the early sixties. A program I have for a short circuit meeting at Arthur Park in Brisbane shows 5 Matchless mounted riders including Bob Sharpe, the late Lex Fielding, George Chadwick, Les McKenna and Matt Niblock. Jacks son Neil recalls the existence of a log of all the engines and frames that were sold and is trying to track it down. There were other products that Jack pioneered including a solid  clutch  plate to replace the metal plates with a fibre insert which were used in the AMC clutch. 

Jack also designed a speedway type forks with grass track type rubber band suspension that were trialled by Australian  Ray Cresp and Kiwi Graeme Smith and found to be very suitable for the rough tracks , that were shared with stock cars  in the early days of the provincial league Jack was the official machine examiner at West Ham speedway 1964-65, where he gained the respect of the riders for his fairness and his mechanical knowledge. The stars at West Ham at the time were  Olle Nygren, Ken McKinlay and Malcolm Simmons. Former Canterbury/Crayford speedway  and grasstrack/longtrack rider John Hibben recalled that Jack was a great mentor to him and tuned his engines for him. Jack Emmott sadly passed away at the age of 47 in March 1972, he left a legacy in road racing and speedway, he was truly one of the unsung heroes of motorcycling sport.
Copyright Tony Webb Brisbane January 2009

References and resources
Neil Emmott son
John Hibben Canterbury rider
Paul Burton. Collector
Speedway star
West ham programs 1964\65

Royal Enfield

Dave Ramsden has sent these 2 pictures which show a big single cylinder Royal Enfield engine and also unusually mounted handlebars. The bike looks pretty handy though.  Wonder how it went?

Dave Says: The Enfield was built primarily for something to do, not to race. To be honest the Enfield engine is not suitable for speedway - they are a big heavy engine and not very responsive, though some people have used them for scrambles. I have no doubt that someone could make it go faster. I make frames, I leave engines alone wherever possible. It's a standard 350 Indian Bullet engine that I got in payment for fitting a diesel engine in a friend's bike. I made the frame, as well as the countershaft and the engine plates. The wheel hubs and forks came from a grasstrack bike. The standard Enfield clutch is operated by a BMW clutch arm through the modified standard main shaft sleeve. The final drive sprocket is bolted to the back of the clutch on a boss. Apart from the wheel builds and the seat covering I did everything myself. The frame was TIG welded by my wife.
My regular transport these days is a Russian Ural fitted with a BMW R80/7 engine.


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