Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Road Bikes with a Speedway Influence

For some unknown reason, speedway motorbikes have always evolved outside of mainstream motorcycle culture, and likewise, speedway still doesn't appeal to many mainstream motorcyclists, but I'm different, I don't wear dayglo leathers or Wulfsport pyjamas, I ride bikes that aren't fashionable and I love speedway!. In my last post I showed you the Yamaha XT that former Danish speedway rider Ernst Bogh had built using an old 1990s upright GM speedway engine. That post has led me to hunt out some more speedway influenced road bikes.... either based on the speedway style or using speedway components.

The functional and simplistic look of a speedway machine does have an influence on the custom scene, just compare some of the best looking Bobbers with the early dirt track bikes of the 1920s and 1930s and you will see a startling visual similarity. It's a look that I love though and from my recent Internet trawls, it looks like I'm not alone. I came across this bike on Chris Barber's Crossbreed Cycles website, unfortunately I haven't been able to contact him so I can only give you the information from the website.
This bike was built using an assortment of parts including a 1940s Matchless G3 frame, a Brooks bicycle seat, an upright GM speedway engine, Burman gearbox, Suzuki RM125 front wheel with a magnesium hub, and the rear wheel is actually a Husquarvana front rim with an alloy Bultaco hub. All efforts went into making this machine as light as possible, hence the choice of components, even the rear mudguard stays are hollow tube. This machine is road legal in the UK but for daylight use only. Chris says that 55bhp + 205 lbs dry weight = FUN!

Here's another road legal bike, a Triumph that looks just like a real dirt-tracker. We really don't see this look often enough on the UK scene, but I'm a firm believer in the simplistic "form and function" style - it's killer... and with the amount of potholes littering UK roads, the hard-tail back end really would be a killer!
Over at the Flakekings' blog they are currently trying to get a couple of vintage speedway racers ready for the street. Oh yes, you did read that correctly... road legal speedway bikes!!! As they say, the design and bare bones look of these bikes just can't be beat! I totally agree so keep stopping by the Flakekings blog to see how they're coming on.
FlakeKings Weslake project
FlakeKings Jawa project.

Finally on this post a Speedway Jawa Streetfighter from Finland which I found on the JL Meccanica blog.


  1. If you want more info on Chris's beautiful build then you can find it here-

  2. Thanks for making me regret my decision for ditching my old weslake!

  3. Im notna biker at all but I always wanted a road bike in the style of Speedway!!!


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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.