Sunday, 9 May 2010


A Speedway bike is a simple piece of machinery... It has one gear, no brakes, minimal suspension at the front only and runs on methanol. A modern Speedway bike can actually accelerate to 60 mph faster than a Formula 1 Car and can reach up to speeds of 90mph on the relatively short straights of a speedway track.
1927 Harley-Davidson "Peashooter"
1928 Douglas DT5 (UK)
1929 Sunbeam Dirt-Track model (UK)
1930s Rudge Whitworth (UK)
1934 Harley-Davidson CAC
1935 Victor Martin/J.A.P. (UK)
1949 J.A.P. Speedway (UK)
1950s Rotrax JAP
1966 ESO (Czech)
1970 2-Valve Jawa (Czech)
1970s Model 890 Jawa (Czech)
1974 Mk1 Maely (Ken Maely - USA)
Weslake Mk5 (UK)
1980s GM500 (Giuseppe Marzotto - Italy)
Mk4 Godden (UK)
1990s GM laydown (Italy)
2005 laydown Jawa (Czech)
Billy Hamill's 2006 Jawa laydown (Czech)
Here are the FIM regulations and requirements for a modern day speedway bike...
Machines used must...
Weigh no less than 77kg (unfuelled)
Use a four-stroke, single cylinder engine with one carburettor and one spark plug and a maximum capacity of 500cc
Have guards fitted over moving engine parts where reasonable
Use an additional chain guard to prevent a hand or fingers being cut by a chain
Have a peg (Dutch Peg) fitted to prevent a broken chain flailing and injuring a rider or a fellow competitor
Use shatter resistant plastics where reasonable
Be fitted with a dirt deflector
Be fuelled by methanol with no other additives
Be fitted with an approved silencer - (a controversial item at the moment!)
Have a handlebar width greater than 650mm and less than 850mm.

Speedway Machines cannot...
Be constructed in any part from Titanium
Use uncoated ceramic parts
Use telemetry during a race except for timing purposes
Use any electronic components to control the engine
Use brakes of any form
Use a supercharger or a turbocharger of any kind.


  1. "Use a supercharger or a turbocharger of any kind."

    A supercharged speedway bike!! That would sound utterly terrifying. And brilliant.....

  2. Wery good page.Good memory for everebody....I am from Hungary old recer from 1960-s.


About Me

My photo
Whitehaven, Cumbria, United Kingdom
Disenchanted City Boy who rode out of the fast lane and into the back lanes! Life on Two Wheels is so much fun.