Thursday, 25 August 2011

Old Speedway iron

I love the stark functionality of the speedway bike.

Modern speedway bikes have methanol-burning 85bhp 500cc engines with a clutch but no gearbox. And what amounts to little more than a bicycle frame and skinny tyres. No brakes.

These things produce accelerate from 0-60 in less than three seconds and spend their lives turning left.

Post-war, speedway used to be the second-biggest spectator sport in the UK. It's not that huge now but still attracts a big following and every night of the week, somewhere in the UK from March to October there is a speedway meeting on.

I came across this collection of old-time speedway bikes at the Haynes Motor Museum in Sparkford. Definitely worth a visit.