Hot News as well! 

MV AGUSTA and LEWIS HAMILTON SIGN A NEW PARTNERSHIP

Varese, 6th September 2017 – After the great success obtained with the Dragster

RR LH, which sold out in a few hours from its launch, MV Agusta and Lewis

Hamilton have partnered together on yet another exciting project. The collaboration

sees Hamilton design a brand new model.

Giovanni Castiglioni – MV Agusta Motor President states: “I met Lewis a few years

ago when he called up our Customer Care asking in a very humble way to buy

a special bike. After having developed some 1/1 bikes for Lewis we turned our

common passion into a partnership with the creation of the successful Dragster RR

LH produced in 244 units. I’m very excited and proud to continue this cooperation

that will see new MV Agustas co-designed with Lewis entering the market in the

next month.”

Lewis Hamilton: “I am very excited to continue my partnership with MV Agusta.

I love working with Giovanni and the guys at MV Agusta, their passion for engineering

and attention to detail produces quite stunning, original looking bikes. My projects

with MV Agusta are a great way to combine my love of riding bikes with my interest

in creative design process so I am very much involved with the CRC (Castiglioni

Research Department) design team throughout."

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Steve Roberts – “Tin Basher”, and a legend.


Well known throughout the motorcycle fraternity, not only New Zealand but world-wide, for his skill building motorcycle petrol & oil tanks, frames, exhaust systems & chambers, etc. Steve is one of the most modest retiring persons you could meet. But his quietness tends to bubble when he starts talking & reflecting on his creations built over the past 62 years, they are all a work of art, if the project wasn’t a work of art, it wouldn’t leave his work shop.


Many New Zealand riders & teams have reaped the benefit from this 77 year old who is rarely seen in public but whose products have taken on the world. Not a centre fold person, but he did make it once!


Teaming up with the then notable motorcycle personalities Dick Lawton, Rod Coleman (MNZ Hall of Fame) to build specialist New Zealand made TR Suzuki race motorcycles to rocket names such as Keith Turner, Geoff Perry, Dale Wyllie , and other notable riders in the seventies.

Dave Hiscock (amongst other things, 3rd in F1 Motorcycle World Championship 1982, 1st Australian Swann Series 1982, 3rd in British Road Race Champs, NZ Road Race Championship 1983/4) Robert Holden (NZ Road Race Champion 1984/5, Isle of Man TT, but a legend where ever he went).

Plastic Fantastic #1
At the Boxing Day Cemetery Circuit event 1982, they all had a chat about how to make it all better. Kevlar was coming on stream so all agreed this was the future product for strength & weight reduction. As a result. the “Plastic Fantastic” was born. #1 the Prototype, #2 went to Dave Hiscock, while #3 went to another New Zealander, Norris Farrow from Kumeu, who later became Team Manager for the Rumi Honda Team.


To recognise Steve’s ability he was awarded first equal TV’s UDC Finance “Inventors Award” in 1983 for “Kevlar Motorcycle with Tension Suspension”- the “Plastic Fantastic”, now stored by “Spider” Staples & proudly displayed at the Centenary of Motorcycling New Zealand function at Te Papa.


Rod Coleman built countless Velocette KTT & Norton Manx models using Steve’s expertise for petrol & oil tanks, mudguards, etc. Another Kiwi, Ken McIntosh specialist road race classic builder, who uses Steve Roberts made petrol and oil tanks.


A Canadian restorer asked Steve if he could buy his stamp templates for tanks, etc. The answer was astounding – there isn’t one, they are all made individually by hand!


Some other outstanding projects from the Brunswick workshop included a revolutionary sidecar for Andy Kippen, which Steve is pointing to on his “Wall of Fame”. It was an alloy monocoque chassis,   fully streamlined fibre glass body with the engine at the rear, hub centre steering, with a non-fibre glass passenger, well known race commentator “Spider” Staples.  Ironically Kippen’s main opposition was Dick Leppard who used a sidecar body made by Steve Roberts!

Other Kiwis benefitting from Steve’s skill were Dallas Rankine & Luke Taylor’s “Fast & Fragile” Ducati based racer. Fuel in frame, Ducati V-Twin bottom end engine, with Godden barrels, 4 valve heads & 1000cc of rip snort.

 

A customised Yamaha for Wayne Marshall (on the right, Steve on the left), converting the road bike to a TZR500 similar to that of 2016 Hall of Fame Inductee Paul Treacy factory bike, & so the list goes on.


Moving forward through many projects & restorations, many of which included rare cars that only an odd photo exists, building an exotic from just an old black & white photo is a rare skill.

 

One of his several current projects on the stands now is a 1924 one off Jappic “Cyclecar”, powered by a 350cc J.A.P. engine, of which only one was made specifically to break a record at the English Brooklands race track & it was destroyed by fire in 1932, so only a very few photographs remain. Ironically the rules required a     mechanic, so it was designed so the mechanic lay flat on his stomach alongside the driver with head towards the rear!


So where did all this skill come from? On leaving school Steve took a sheet-metal & coppersmith apprenticeship with De Havilland in his homeland of UK. Moving to London Jaguar dealer Henley’s  where his first job there was to repair the door on the Queen Mother’s maroon Jaguar Mark 7!

Then to Aston Martin for a period until a new horizon beckoned for Steve & wife Pam.

Five weeks later they arrived in Wellington on a ship, but let’s stress that they were NOT “10 pound Poms” they paid their way here & arrived here with 7 shillings & 6 pence (75 cents) in their pockets.


Employment at Wellington Polytechnic as a tutor from 1963 to 1975 saw him train many of our NZ apprentices, but motorcycle scrambles were also in his blood so he built his first Spartan (as he found the price of buying motorcycles in NZ was exorbitant), followed by many others for many other Spartan worshippers.

1970 - Proud owners of Spartan MX bikes constructed by Steve Roberts. – from left Brian Zemanek, Dennis Thetford, Keith Cheriton, Dave Bridge, Don Elliott, & Steve himself


Steve is a very worthy 2017 nomination for “Design & Engineering” Motorcycling New Zealand Hall of Fame.

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 PLENTY TO CELEBRATE AFTER 100 YEARS

The governing body for motorcycling in New Zealand has been around for longer than any of its current living members and that meant there was plenty to celebrate at the annual conference and awards weekend.

Motorcycling New Zealand celebrated its 100th birthday in style in Wellington's Te Papa Museum on Saturday night, the organisation using the occasion to announce its major award recipients for 2016, to recognise and honour special achievements by individuals and also to name the latest inductees into the Hall of Fame.

The centenary function heralded five new additions into the MNZ Hall of Fame and among them were inventor of the iconic Britten motorcycle, John Britten, and the man behind "The World's Fastest Indian", Burt Munro. Both men were honoured posthumously.

A man ahead of his time, John Britten was a mechanical engineer who designed a world-beating motorcycle with innovative features and materials, as distinctive for its streamlined shape and bold fluorescent colour scheme as much as for the records it broke and titles it won.

Britten worked on motorcycle design for some years, developing innovative methods using composite materials and performance engine designs. He created the Britten Motorcycle Company in 1992 to produce revolutionary machines to his own design made of light materials and using engines he built himself, which became world famous.

His Britten V1000 motorcycles won races and set numerous speed records on the international circuits, and it astounded the motorcycle world in 1991 when they finished a remarkable second and third against the factory machines in the Battle of the Twins at Daytona, in the United States.

Sadly, he was diagnosed with inoperable cancer and died on September 5, 1995, just over a month after his 45th birthday.

Only 10 of Britten's famous bikes, plus one prototype, were ever built and one of these is on permanent display at the Te Papa Museum in Wellington.

Herbert James "Burt" Munro was famous for setting an under-1000cc world record, at Bonneville, in the US, on August 26, 1967.

This record still stands; Munro was 68 and was riding a 47-year-old machine when he set his last record.

Working from his home in Invercargill, he worked for 20 years to highly modify the 1920 Indian motorcycle that he had bought that same year.

Munro set his first New Zealand speed record in 1938 and later set seven more. He travelled to compete at the Bonneville Salt Flats, attempting to set world speed records. During his 10 visits to the salt flats, he set three speed records, one of which still stands.

His efforts, and success, are the basis of the motion picture The World's Fastest Indian (2005), starring Anthony Hopkins, and an earlier 1971 short documentary film Burt Munro: Offerings to the God of Speed, directed by New Zealand's Roger Donaldson.

Munro died in January 1978, aged 78.

Also honoured to be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday night, named as ambassadors to NZ Motorcycle Sport or Industry, were Tokoroa's Sean Clarke and Palmerston North's Tim Gibbes, while Lower Hutt's Paul Treacy was recognised for his contributions to motorcycle design and engineering.

Individuals who had already previously been inducted into the MNZ Hall of Fame were Ivan Mauger, Ronnie Moore, Shayne King, Graeme Crosby, Ginger Molloy, Len Perry, Hugh Anderson and Rod Coleman.

The evening's celebrations at Te Papa also focussed on the current crop of motorcycling super heroes.

The 2016 NZ Motorcycle Awards recipients were Otago's Courtney Duncan (best up-and-coming off-road rider); Hamilton's Jacob Stroud (best up-and-coming road rider); Hamilton's Josiah Natzke (male rider of the year); Orewa's Avalon Biddle (female rider of the year) and Christchurch's Wendy Ashmore (service to motorcycling).

The awards and centenary weekend was supported by principal sponsor Mike Pero Real Estate, with a number of category sponsors also backing the event. The categories and sponsors are: Female rider of the year (Bike Rider Magazine, Dirtrider Downunder); Service to motorcycling (Crombie Lockwood); Best up-and-coming off-road rider (Precise Print & Design); Best up-and-coming road rider (Suzuki); Male rider of the year (Mike Pero Real Estate). Supporting sponsors: BikesportNZ.com, Gibson Sheat Lawyers, Spark New Zealand.

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Tim Gibbes - Ambassador to NZ Motorcycle Sport or Industry 
Three living legends of New Zealand motorcycling were honoured in a special ceremony in Wellington on Saturday night
The governing body for motorcycle sport in this part of the world, Motorcycling New Zealand, celebrated its 100th birthday at Wellington's Te Papa Museum on Saturday night, the organisation using the occasion to announce its major award recipients for 2016, to recognise and honour special achievements by individuals and also to name the latest inductees into the Hall of Fame.

The centenary function heralded five new additions into the MNZ Hall of Fame and among them were revolutionary inventor of the iconic Britten motorcycle, John Britten, and the man behind "The World's Fastest Indian", Burt Munro.

While both of these men were honoured posthumously, three "living legends" of the sport were on hand to personally accept their honours and speak before a large crowd that represented a "Who's Who" of New Zealand's motorcycling community.

Palmerston North's Tim Gibbes, Lower Hutt's Paul Treacy and Tokoroa's Sean Clarke heard their names read out as they were inducted into the Hall of Fame and they each modestly declared themselves "humbled" by the occasion.

Named as an Ambassador to NZ Motorcycle Sport or Industry, the 82-year-old Gibbes has been heavily involved in motorcycling most of his life and he still plays a vital part in the sport today.

He was a Grand Prix motocross racer in the 1960s and, between 1955 and 1963, he won six gold medals and one bronze medal at the International Six Days Trial (later renamed the International Six Days Enduro, ISDE), an event often referred to as the "Olympic Games of motorcycling".

It was during this period that Gibbes also worked as a motorcycle stuntman in the Hollywood blockbuster The Great Escape (released in 1963, starring Steve McQueen).

He was a factory bike tester and works rider on English-made Matchless, AJS, Greeves, DOT and Ariel bikes and, later in his career, Gibbes was the manager on several occasions for international race teams. Once the owner of a motorcycle shop and also a regular official, organiser and promoter at events, Gibbes has done it all.

It was Gibbes who founded the New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville in 1961, this event now New Zealand's longest-running and largest motocross event, held each January.

In 1999 he became the first person to introduce electronic timing into motorcycling events in New Zealand and can still often be seen in the timing booth at superbike races, meticulously collating results.

Paul Treacy was recognised on Saturday night for his contributions to motorcycle design and engineering.

 Paul Treacy - Design & Engineering

His work behind the scenes in the sport has been remarkable.

A former racer himself, he built and developed bike frames, suspension and engines that rivalled even the work done by the factory teams, assisting several riders to become world champions.

Treacy's career took him to the United States and then the United Kingdom where he helped Kiwi riders Richard Scoular, Des Barry and Richard Scott to considerable success when racing at the Isle of Man, North West 200 and F1 and F2 World Championship events.

He later joined the famous Kenny Roberts Factory Yamaha Team.

Treacy also assisted Bill Buckley in 1999 and 2000 with his BSL 500 GP project.

The youngest of this trio of inductees, the 48-year-old Sean Clarke was also named as an Ambassador to NZ Motorcycle Sport or Industry.

 Sean Clarke - Ambassador to NZ Motorcycle Sport or Industry

A multi-time New Zealand enduro champion and Tarawera 100 cross-country champion in 2000, Clarke has also competed internationally, winning gold medals at the ISDE, both times when the international event was held in Australia, at Cessnock in 1992 and at Traralgon in 1998.

He won ISDE silver medals on a further two occasions, in Slovakia in 2005 and in Greece in 2008, as well as tackling the iconic Romaniacs extreme enduro in Romania, placing ninth in 2011, winning his class in 2013, finishing third in 2014 and fourth in 2015.

Many times an event official, organiser and promoter, Clarke was the man behind New Zealand hosting the ISDE at Taupo in 2006. As a result, New Zealand won the FIM's prestigious Watling Trophy, the first time in its history that it was awarded to organisers rather than a team and Clarke was that year also named Administrator of the Year in the South Waikato Sports Awards.

"I was so blown away to be Inducted into the MNZ Hall of Fame on Saturday night," said Clarke. "I can't take all the glory on my own though. My wife and kids have been a major part of this journey.

"The support from all the team who come along and help me at events ... before, during and after ... are all part of the backbone to the sport. I couldn't have done it without all their support."

Individuals who had already previously been inducted into the MNZ Hall of Fame are Ivan Mauger, Ronnie Moore, Shayne King, Graeme Crosby, Ginger Molloy, Len Perry, Hugh Anderson and Rod Coleman.

The awards and centenary weekend was supported by principal sponsor Mike Pero Real Estate, with a number of category sponsors also backing the event. The categories and sponsors are: Female rider of the year (Bike Rider Magazine, Dirtrider Downunder); Service to motorcycling (Crombie Lockwood); Best up-and-coming off-road rider (Precise Print & Design); Best up-and-coming road rider (Suzuki); Male rider of the year (Mike Pero Real Estate). Supporting sponsors: BikesportNZ.com, Gibson Sheat Lawyers, Spark New Zealand.

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan,

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A CHANCE TO MEET SOME OF THE LEGENDS                     100 years of motorcyclesport history

One of whom is featured on this website - Go to "Road Racing" > then read about "Paul Treacy... from ......", just one of many New Zealand technical engineers who have worked behind the scenes to make an outstanding difference to motorcyclesport in NZ & world wide

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ALWAYS ONE OF THE SPORT'S BIGGEST SUPPORTERS

MAY 17, 2016: Everyone associates the name Mike Pero with real estate, and he has certainly built his reputation on providing a quality service in that field, but there was a time when Mike Pero was renowned for "gobbling up real estate" on the race track as a motorcycle road racer.

 

A former top New Zealand motorcycle road racer, Pero and his company – Mike Pero Real Estate – returns to his sporting roots by sponsoring Motorcycling New Zealand's annual awards dinner in this centenary year for the organisation.

 

Pero is the patron of MNZ and his highly-recognised and trusted Mike Pero Real Estate company is the principal sponsor for MNZ's 2016 awards, to be held at Te Papa Museum, in Wellington, this coming Saturday night.

 

Pero was six times a national motorcycle road-racing champion – between the years 1977–82, twice in the 350cc & 500cc racing class as well as winning two times in the 410cc Production Series.

 

Pero set the New Zealand land speed record for a 350cc motorcycle in 1979. The record of 238 km/h still stands today.

 In addition to primary sponsor Mike Pero Real Estate, the MNZ New Zealand Motorcycle Awards function is supported by several other organisations. The awards categories and sponsors are: Female Rider of the Year (Bike Rider Magazine, Dirtrider Downunder); Service to Motorcycling (Crombie Lockwood); Best Up & Coming Off-Road Rider (Precise Print & Design); Best Up & Coming Road Rider (Suzuki); Male Rider of the Year (Mike Pero Real Estate). Supporting sponsors: BikesportNZ.com, Gibson Sheat Lawyers, Spark New Zealand.

Credit: Words by Andy McGechan,

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GUEST SPEAKER TO SHARE HER WORLD-BEATING EXPERIENCES

MAY 16, 2016: A Kiwi and world champion of the past will talk to the current crop of champions of the past, present and future when Motorcycling New Zealand's centenary celebrations wind up on Sunday.

 

Katherine Oberlin-Brown (nee Prumm) will be the guest speaker at breakfast on the function's third and final day on Sunday (May 22), just prior to MNZ's annual general meeting, the last item on the agenda that will wrap up the annual conference and awards weekend.

 

New Zealand's Oberlin-Brown put her country on the map when, as a sparkly-eyed and fresh-faced 17-year-old, she first arrived in Europe in 2005, remarkably finishing runner-up that year to Germany's Stephanie Laier in the Women's Motocross World Cup, the forerunner to what was later to become recognised (in 2008) as the women's world championships.

 

She returned to Europe in 2006 and this time won the world title outright, beating Laier, before once again the following year she headed halfway around the world from her home in Bombay, South Auckland, to successfully defend her title, this time beating French rider Livia Lancelot to the crown.

 

As a sidebar, it is interesting to note that Lancelot, now aged 28, currently leads the 2016 title chase, although she is only in that position because 20-year-old New Zealander Courtney Duncan, who had been leading the series, was the victim of a freak crash at the latest round in Germany just over a week ago.

But, a decade ago, it was South African-born Oberlin-Brown who commanded the women's side of the sport.

 

Oberlin-Brown also won both her races at the Women's Motocross Association (WMA) Women's Cup in Floresville, Texas, in 2007, to add that title to her world crown that year.

 

It was through gritted teeth that Oberlin-Brown talked about her failed bid in 2008 to make it three women's world titles in a row.

 

Though riding injured – her ACL knee ligament ruptured in a pre-season crash – Oberlin-Brown still led the 2008 world championships after three rounds and she looked well on target to defend her 2007 crown with only two rounds to go.

 

That was until another crash, this time while practicing, just days before round four of the series in Germany, sent her tumbling again to the sideline, her collarbone snapped into four pieces.

 

She had to settle for fifth overall in 2008.

 

Oberlin-Brown had planned to be back on the start line in Europe at the start of 2009 but a massive crash, again while practicing, sent her straight to hospital. Her spine was damaged and fears were held that she might never walk again.

She later made a full recovery, but her motocross racing career was over.

 

Now aged 27, happily married and living in Hamilton, although no longer a regular visitor to the motocross race tracks of the world, Oberlin-Brown is still nonetheless heavily involved in elite sport.

 

She graduated from university with a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science and then completed her Masters Degree, the culmination of five years of hard study.

 

She now works as a physiologist for High Performance Sport New Zealand where she plays a key role helping the current generation of elite Kiwi athletes fulfil their ambitions.

 

Oberlin-Brown's work has been with Olympics-related sports people, those involved in athletics and now mainly with rowing.

 

"I will talk (at the MNZ conference breakfast) about my journey through motocross and about what I achieved and what I learned and I will discuss how another world also opened up for me."

 The awards and centenary weekend is supported by principal sponsor Mike Pero Real Estate, with a number of category sponsors also backing the event. The categories and sponsors are: Female Rider of the Year (Bike Rider Magazine, Dirtrider Downunder); Service to Motorcycling (Crombie Lockwood); Best Up & Coming Off-Road Rider (Precise Print & Design); Best Up & Coming Road Rider (Suzuki); Male Rider of the Year (Mike Pero Real Estate). Supporting sponsors: BikesportNZ.com, Gibson Sheat Lawyers, Spark New Zealand.

 

Credit: Words by Andy McGechan

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NO SHORTAGE OF KIWI MOTORCYCLING SUPER HEROES

MAY 11, 2016: There are no shortages of sporting super heroes in New Zealand and the motorcycling community will recognise, honour and reward some of their elite individuals at a special function in Wellington in less than two weeks' time.

 

It is 100 years since Motorcycling New Zealand (MNZ) was formed in 1916 and the organisation will celebrate its centenary during its annual conference with the New Zealand Motorcycle Awards ceremony, to be held at the Te Papa Museum, in Wellington, over the weekend of May 20-22.

 

A key part of the weekend's festivities will be to honour great achievements by a handful of intrepid New Zealand motorcycle sports men and women.

 

"Our annual awards and conference is the industry event of the year and a fantastic opportunity to sing the praises of our many outstanding athletes," said MNZ general manager of operations Vicky Hicks.

 

"An organisation that has survived 100 years is worthy of celebrating and we'd like to also acknowledge the clubs and volunteers who have been involved over the years."

 

Award categories for the function will be male rider of the year, female rider of the year, best up-and-coming road rider, best up-and-coming off-road rider and there will be a special award for services to motorcycling.

 

The finalists among the nominees come from all corners of the country and from a wide variety of the diverse motorcycle codes that MNZ embraces.

 

Finalists for the Service to Motorcycling award category are Christchurch's Wendy Ashmore and Huntly's Sandra Healey.

 

Both women have been tireless workers behind the scenes at motorcycling activities in their respective regions and choosing to announce just one winner here will perhaps be MNZ's toughest task.

 

Finalists in the Best Up & Coming Off Road Rider category are Wellington's Dylan Ball, Ngatea's Benjamin Broad and Palmerston (Otago) rider Courtney Duncan.

 

Finalists in the Best Up & Coming Road Rider category are Ashburton's Lewis Dray and Hamilton's Jacob Stroud.

 

Finalists for the Male Rider of the Year category are the sidecar pairing of Auckland's Colin Buckley and Tauranga's Robbie Shorter, along with Hamilton motocross ace Josiah Natzke.

 

There is only one finalist in the Female Rider of the Year category and so, not wanting to spoil any surprise on the night, the name of that rider will be kept under wraps for now. Suffice to say, her win will probably surprise nobody in the end.

 

All of the finalists are world class riders who will no doubt, over the coming years, continue to enhance their sparkling reputations and just being named as finalists already serves to do this.

 

The awards and centenary weekend is supported by principal sponsor Mike Pero Real Estate, with a number of category sponsors also backing the event. The categories and sponsors are: Female Rider of the Year (Bike Rider Magazine, Dirtrider Downunder); Service to Motorcycling (Crombie Lockwood); Best Up & Coming Off-Road Rider (Precise Print & Design); Best Up & Coming Road Rider (Suzuki); Male Rider of the Year (Mike Pero Real Estate). Supporting sponsors: BikesportNZ.com, Gibson Sheat Lawyers, Spark New Zealand.

 

Credit: Words Andy McGechan

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MAY 10, 2016: Motorcycle racing heroes of the past will be out in force as the sport's governing body in New Zealand celebrates its centenary later this month.

 

With this year marking 100 years since Motorcycling New Zealand (MNZ) was formed in 1916, it is appropriate that some of the champions who brought national and international attention to motorcycling activities in this part of the world should be keen to come to the party.

 

MNZ will celebrate its centenary during its annual conference and the New Zealand Motorcycle Awards, to be held at the Te Papa Museum, in Wellington, over the weekend of May 20-22, and it will be during the official welcome function on the Friday evening that the legends will feature.

 

The welcome function will be an informal "meet and greet", featuring some of New Zealand's most famous and successful racers, MNZ Hall of Fame legends Ginger Molloy, Hugh Anderson and Graeme Crosby (Croz).

 

This Friday night function will be hosted by well-respected motorcycling commentator Neil Ritchie, who will interview these legends of the sport, and there will also be plenty of opportunities to mix and mingle with them.

 

Ritchie will entice Molloy, Anderson and Crosby to open up about some of the most memorable and mad-cap experiences of their racing careers, learn about how they achieved the successes they did and perhaps find out from them what traits they think they might had or needed to have had to enable them to become champions.

 

The function, which includes drinks and canapés, starts at 6.30pm, although there are only limited tickets left available. These can be purchased by contacting Monique at MNZ. The cost is $30 per person and are only available until May 15.

 

The Friday night welcome function will be the perfect lead-in to festivities on Saturday night which will include the induction of new members into the MNZ Hall of Fame.

 

As a country, New Zealand has boxed well above its weight on the world stage and, although motorcycling is perhaps considered a minority sport in this small part of the world, literally dozens of Kiwi riders have won at the ultimate level of their chosen codes and command enormous respect internationally.

 

At an occasion not to be missed, some of the current crop of intrepid Kiwi riders will be recognised and honoured by their peers in Wellington in less than two weeks' time.

 

Details of all Hall of Fame Members can be found at this link: https://www.mnz.co.nz/hall-of-fame

 

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan

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THE BONDS GROW STRONGER

 

Motorcycling New Zealand president Glen Williams (left) with Motorcycling Australia's general manager Peter Doyle.

 

MARCH 30, 2016: The spirit of co-operation between Motorcycling New Zealand and trans-Tasman neighbours Motorcycling Australia continues to grow.

 

Motorcycling New Zealand (MNZ) president Glen Williams managed to catch up with Motorcycling Australia (MA) general manager Peter Doyle when he was over in Sydney for a recent holiday break.

 

"It was convenient timing, as the second round of the Yamaha Motor Finance Superbike Championship was being held just two hours' drive south of Sydney, at Wakefield Park," Williams explained.

 

"The meeting with Peter reinforced the developing bond between Motorcycling Australia and Motorcycling New Zealand, and further recognises the strong similarities between the two FIM affiliated Oceania organisations.

 

"New Zealand and Australia are exposed to many of the same challenges in both the on-road and off-road sectors," he said.

 

"Challenges include things like ever-improved safety measures needing to be met and the establishment of structures within our organisations that allow new riders to become involved while also providing pathways for riders to develop.”

 

The two men both agreed that identifying and maintaining sustainable commercial partnerships within the sport of motorcycling that provide benefits to all parties was an important ingredient for the futures of both groups.

 

They further agreed that the potential to provide an improve trans-Tasman pathway for riders between our countries was certainly something that both organisations would be welcoming and fostering.”

 

If any MNZ riders are wanting to head across the Tasman Sea to Australia or would like information on any upcoming events – they should contact the MNZ office on 07-8287852.

 

Kiwi riders who have already seen the advantage of mixing it up with Australia's best include just-crowned New Zealand superbike champion Sloan Frost, from Wellington, and Christchurch's Ryan Hampton.

 

Frost and Hampton finished fifth and sixth respectively in the premier superbike class at Wakefield Park at the weekend.

 

In recent times, New Zealand motocross riders such as Cody Cooper, Kayne Lamont, Ben Townley and Hamish Harwood have also crossed the Tasman to tackle the Australian nationals.

 

And the "hopping across the ditch" has not just been one-way traffic, with road-racers such as Alex Phillis, Linden Magee, Robbie Bugden, Troy Guenther  and Dan Stauffer, to list just a handful, and motocross racers such as Kirk Gibbs, Dean Ferris, Todd Waters, Jay Wilson and Jed Beaton, to name a few, seeing the benefits of racing in New Zealand in recent years.

 Long may this friendly rivalry and co-operation continue.

 Credit: Words by Andy McGechan,

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Motorcycling New Zealand - Friendly Reminders

 
Board Vacancies – nominations close 31st March 2016
The four Board Positions available are:
  • Off Road South Island
  • Road North Island
  • North Island Representative
  • South Island Representative
 
All information regarding the Board positions, including the nomination forms, the roles and quality of a Board member, and the MNZ Governance Board Policy can be found using this link
 
MNZ Hall of Fame – nominations close 31st March 2016
As previously announced we have taken the Hall of Fame and expanded on it, new categories have been created.  These categories highlight outstanding ambassadors of New Zealand motorcycle sport or industry; Road Racing; Off-Road Racing, Design and Engineering, Leadership and Motorcycle Rights Advocacy and Contributors in Speciality Competitions.
The MNZ Hall of Fame acknowledges outstanding performances by members of our organisation, so that their achievements in the sport are recognised and not forgotten so that they perhaps also inspire future generations.
 
MNZ Hall of Fame Nomination Form
 
NZ Motorcycle Awards – nominations close 14th April 2016
The awards ceremony celebrates the achievements of the most outstanding contributors to the motorcycle industry, it is important as New Zealanders to celebrate our best and brightest.  
 
Here is your chance to nominate one of those special people you will know within your Club who deserves National recognition.  Get together with your Club, and nominate who you think deserves these awards.
 
The New Zealand Motorcycle Awards feature:  Male Rider of the Year, Female Rider of the Year, Service to Motorcycling, Best Up and Coming Road Rider and Best Up and Coming Off Road Rider. 
 
Nominations can be made by MNZ Commissioners and/or Clubs, nomination forms are available here
 
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions at all.
 
 
Vicky Hicks
General Manager Operations
11th March 2016

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SPORT'S GOVERNING BODIES WORKING MORE CLOSELY TOGETHER

 

CAPTION: Motorcycling New Zealand president Glen Williams (left) with Motorcycling Australia officials Simon Maas and Peter Doyle at Hampton Downs at the weekend.

MARCH 8, 2016: If it's true that two heads are better than one, then surely if two national governing bodies join forces, the benefits can be massive.

 

Motorcycling New Zealand and Motorcycling Australia are currently enjoying a new spirit of co-operation, the likes of which has only rarely been seen before to such a degree, and both parties stand to benefit hugely.

 

Motorcycling New Zealand president Glen Williams met with Motorcycling Australia officials Simon Maas, the MA Superbikes Operations and Safety Delegate, and newly-appointed MA Director of Sport Peter Doyle at Hampton Downs at the weekend and they discussed strategies that could benefit both organisations and both countries.

 

"The (world governing body of motorcycling) FIM is placing more faith in the regions now and Australia and New Zealand are the main players in the Oceania region," said Doyle, who had previously worked in international race team management and most recently as the National Technical Officer for Motorcycling Australia.

 

"We have gone through a lot of changes with personnel at Motorcycling Australia and the FIM is now giving us more responsibility as a separate federation.

 

"It is a no-brainer that Australia and New Zealand should work closely together."

 

Williams said a lot of work had been done to set up closer co-operation between Australia and New Zealand and both federations will be able to "move forward" in all disciplines.

 

"We have seen what things were and what they can be in the future and have put the building blocks in place. We will be more proactive than reactive," said Williams.

 

All three men agreed that much could be shared and learned from one another.

 

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan

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HALL OF FAME THE HIGHEST HONOUR

FEBRUARY 9, 2016: Winning a national title may be the dream of many motorcycle racers, but being inducted into Motorcycling New Zealand's Hall of Fame is surely the ultimate accolade.

 

In a bid to throw a brighter spotlight on the Hall of Fame, Motorcycling New Zealand (MNZ) is launching a new Hall of Fame section on its web site, a space that will feature information about and photographs of the existing Hall of Fame members – Len Perry, Hugh Anderson, Ronnie Moore, Shayne King, Ivan Mauger, Graeme Crosby, Ginger Molloy and Rod Coleman – and also highlight those whom are added in the future.

 

The announcement of inductees into the MNZ Hall of Fame had previously been included in the big motorcycling awards dinner, last held in May 2014, in association with the New Zealand Motorcycle Trader magazine.

 

"The MNZ Hall of Fame acknowledges outstanding performances by members of our organisation, so that their achievements in the sport are recognised and not forgotten and so that they can perhaps also inspire future generations," said MNZ general manager of operations Vicky Hicks.

 

"We have now taken the Hall of Fame and have expanded on it. We have created categories for the MNZ Hall of Fame. There categories highlight outstanding ambassadors of New Zealand motorcycle sport or industry; road racing, off-road racing, design and engineering, leadership and motorcycle rights advocacy and contributors in speciality competitions."

 

The MNZ Hall of Fame can have inductees twice a year, if the MNZ board sees fit, one being at the AGM, held in May each year, and the other being during the first week of December.

 

MNZ this year marks its 100 years of existence and will celebrate this at Te Papa, in Wellington, over the weekend of May 20-22.

 

There is no shortage of worthy nominees to the Hall of Fame as every year that goes by produces golden moments in the sport and, with support always from MNZ, Kiwi riders continue to branch out and compete with great success overseas.

 

Last year, for example, Orewa road-racer Avalon Biddle won the FIM European Women's Cup section of the European Junior Cup competition earlier this year, beating the elite female racers from throughout Europe and gaining recognition in New Zealand too when she was named on the short-list for the prestigious Halberg Awards, while Hamilton motocross rider Josiah Natzke finished runner-up in the European 125cc motocross championships.

 

A lot of work goes on behind the scenes in motorcycling too, with those individuals much less likely to receive any public recognition.

 

"We are calling for nominations to the MNZ Hall of Fame as we know there are many deserving sportspeople not yet among our current list of Hall of Fame honourees," said Hicks.

 

"To rebuild the MNZ Hall of Fame and to have created a dedicated section for it on our website is very important to MNZ and probably more so in the year that we celebrate 100 years of our sport," she said.

 

The opportunity to be honoured in the Hall of Fame is extended to those well beyond just the sport's top competitors or international stars, with team managers, bike tuners, mechanics, event organisers and promoters, designers, manufacturers, distributors, dealers, journalists, photographers, artists and officials also in line for acknowledgment and appreciation.

 

There are many and varied components and numerous individuals who have worked over the years to make this sporting code great and MNZ believes recognition and celebration of those contributions deserves to be spotlighted.

 

Visit www.mnz.co.nz on the internet for further information.

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan

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The Dakar 2016 Calendar : Follow it on http://www.dakar.com/dakar/2016/us/calendar.html

The countdown to the Dakar is underway and the whole off-road rally family will soon be reunited!

Before they embark upon the Argentine route, competitors in the 2016 edition will follow a tight schedule combining physical preparation, mechanical fine-tuning and logistical adjustments. The following deadlines are not to be missed:

31st December and 1st January:

“Tecnópolis”
As with the 2015 edition, administrative and technical checks will be carried out at the Tecnópolis exhibition centre to the north-west of Buenos Aires. Two days of festivities for the public and two final days of preparation for the teams.

2nd January:

Podium, Prologue and night at the “light bivouac” in Rosario

3rd January:

1st stage of the Rally

10th January:

Rest day in Salta

16th January:

Finish in Rosario
At the end of the race’s 13 stages and this extraordinary adventure, the most dauntless competitors will climb on the podium in Rosario, in front of the “Monumento de la Bandera” (National Flag Memorial), one of the symbols of Argentina, which played host to the start of the Dakar in 2014.

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AMCC’s Avalon Biddle wins the 2015 European Women’s Championship:


Four years of European competition came to a climax for Auckland
Motorcycle Club member, Avalon Biddle, when she secured the 2015
European Women’s Cup title last weekend at Jerez in Spain.

With just one round remaining this coming weekend in France, Biddle has
an unassailable points lead, following five wins (Aragon, Donington,
Portimao, Misano & Jerez), and two DNF’s, in the seven races to date.

Running as part of the European Junior Cup, in support of the World
Superbike Championship, the result came on the eve of Biddle’s 23rd
birthday.

Having started riding at age 5 in mini motocross, Biddle’s racing career
took off when she started in Auckland Motorcycle Club miniature
road-race at the Mt Wellington Kart Club circuit in 2006, quickly
followed by Streetstock and 125GP.

Since that time she has been a regular competitor in both the Auckland
Motorcycle Club Summer Series, and the New Zealand National Road-Race
Championships.

Twice runner-up in the National 125GP category, Biddle has won both the
NZ Grand Prix and NZ Tourist Trophy titles in this class.

More recently her summer focus has been on the 600’s, however for the
2014-2015 National Championships she accepted an invitation to compete
in Superlite, and delivered a National title on the Yamaha R450 of
road-race commissioner Greg Percival.

2012 was Biddle’s first season in Europe. Based in Italy and competing
in the Italian Women’s Championship, Biddle secured a fine second
placing Overall, on a Honda CBR600RR.

2013 proved more challenging; and for 2014 Biddle reverted to the Moto3
class, still running in the Italian CIV. It was a development year for
the brand-new Rumi Moto3 machine, but valuable experience was gained,
and tangible progress was made with both the engine and chassis of the
250cc four-stroke weapon.

For 2015, the lure of the European Women’s Cup led to Biddle’s first
International Championship victory.
On the world stage, in a one-make class (running Honda CBR650F’s),
Biddle has been the class of the Women’s field in 2015, setting a
benchmark for fellow Auckland Motorcycle Club members, and the wider New
Zealand road-race community, to emulate.


‘It’s a long shot for a Kiwi to win a motorcycling championship in
Europe, which is the mecca for our form of racing. There are few people
who have done it, (with one being my boyfriend Jake Lewis who won the
European Junior Cup title in 2013). He’s supported me massively this
year, as well as ex-pat Kiwi MotoGP racer, Simon Crafar.
These guys inspired me - and in turn I hope I can inspire other Kiwis
and females to persist in following their dreams, no matter the
obstacles or criticism they face along the way.
I’ve been racing for 10 years now so it’s a long road to get here.’
Avalon – September 2015


Image:
2015 European Women’s Cup Champion
New Zealand’s Avalon Biddle of Orewa.
Credit: Dave Jackson
 

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How about this for a Vintage treat?

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Highlands Motorsport Park NZ - The "Race to the Sky" memories of a great event plus the future!

Statement by Tony Quinn: We will need to pursue other endeavours!

 

                 Tony Quinn's Ford Focus V6                                                   

 

 For full results go to Live Timing & click on "Repco Race to the Sky"

Myself and the team at Highlands regret to let you know that Race to the Sky (presented by Highlands Motorsport Park) will not be returning in 2016 and beyond.

Highlands enjoys an extraordinary level of support from motorsport fans and that is why it’s important to ensure you know the reasons behind the decision to cancel Race to the Sky 2016.

First up, on behalf of the team at Highlands, I would like to thank all our fans, sponsors and competitors for making the 2015 Race to the Sky such a successful and memorable event.

Since the conclusion of our inaugural event, I have learned of several unexpected and disappointing decisions from other interested parties which have ultimately led to the making of this decision.

Firstly, a recent decision by the landowners to offer up a significantly reduced term (of 3 years compared to the original 10) for the event to be conducted on their land provides me and my team with little confidence to continue in dealing with the landowner. In short, we can no longer invest heavily in the promotion of the event when the ‘goal posts’ are changed in this manner. I simply see this as an opportunistic act and I will not line the pockets of others in this way nor be held to ransom! This is not how I do business, and neither myself or my team at Highlands have the time or patience to deal with this bullshit!

Secondly, forging ahead with the event in 2016 and beyond (even to ‘simply cover costs’) is not feasible given that roading costs on the access road have almost tripled in cost from approx. $35,000 (in 2007) to over $90,000 (in 2016).

Thirdly, some affected (neighbouring) parties are now looking for a ‘hand out’ for potential loss of income. Again, I will not be held to ransom!

I know that we have had plenty of people that have shared our vision and commitment in making the 2015 Race to the Sky a reality and a success; we are disappointed that those people have also been let down – our sponsors, the fans and competitors have put their heart and soul into reviving this once iconic event.

I remain committed to finding other great solutions for New Zealand motorsport and thank you all for your continued support in Highlands Motorsport Park.

Yours sincerely,

Tony Quinn

 

                               

         Brett Hayward 2nd in his RTTS Special                                       The winner was Alister McCrae in the Subaru WRC'98

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Hampton Downs Motor race circuit changes hands to Tony Quinn.

Quinn excited by Hampton Downs’ potential to complement Highlands
Tony Quinn, the owner of Highlands Motorsport Park, is excited about seeing the full potential of his recently-acquired Hampton Downs facility realised over the next 16 months, and how it will complement his existing motorsport venue in Central Otago.


Quinn confirms that the purchase of the north Waikato race track and its surrounding 150 hectares was completed on 2 June as scheduled and is already progressing plans to undertake a number of projects which will see the facility completed as per its original plans and re-launched with a major international event in November 2016.


“I’ve been sharing some of my plans with Hampton’s managing director Tony Roberts, operations manager Gary Stirling, and business and marketing manager Claire Gullidge, who are all staying in their existing roles for at least six months,” Quinn says. “What I’ve asked them to do over the next week or so is write down all the things we should be doing that will make a practical benefit to the park, its operation, and look and feel, so we can get all these things going.”
Quinn then intends to have tender documents produced fairly quickly for the bigger projects, such as the construction of corporate suites and a control tower above the pit-lane garages, a go-kart track, a second skid pan and a track extension which will add a kilometre to the existing 2.8km layout, so quotes can be obtained and contracts issued over the winter for work to start in spring.


“There are four or five different projects which can all be tackled by different contractors at the same time without affecting the day-to-day track operation. There’ll be a flurry of activity when spring sets in and I expect a fair bit of finished work by Christmas and into early New Year.


“There are a couple of important things I want people to be clear on. Firstly, I don’t want people to confuse Hampton Downs with Highlands. Highlands is a totally separate business model to Hampton’s – Highlands is a tourist venue that caters to tourists year round with a small number of high profile motorsport events each year. Hampton Downs is an absolute flat-out race track. It’s used 330 days of the year for racing, corporate days, testing and the like. That will continue.


“Secondly, the track is absolutely open for business now and will continue to be; nothing’s going to change. Anyone that’s got a booking now, that’s fine. All the projects we’re doing are outside the normal day-to-day operation of the track, but people will start to see the new facilities being completed and used as we head into next year and the GT extravaganza we have planned as the park’s re-launch in November 2016.”


Quinn stresses his desire to complete Hampton Downs the way it was originally intended to create a world-class motorsport park that complements Highlands.
“I was excited, like everyone else, when Hampton Downs was first talked about and Chris Watson and Tony Roberts embarked on this ambitious plan to build a fantastic facility on the outskirts of Auckland, in the rolling hills of North Waikato. It seemed like an idyllic project within easy reach of Auckland, Tauranga and Hamilton. I want to finish it properly and it’s going to be an exciting project.”


“In about 16 months’ time it’s going to be a truly fantastic facility to visit and there’s no doubt that Hampton Downs and Highlands are going to be the two best tracks in New Zealand. If we have any international categories here, it would be sensible to expose them to fans at both Hampton and Highlands.
“Already we’ve told our Highlands’ members that they are most welcome to use Hampton Downs as one of their membership privileges, and we will also introduce memberships at Hampton Downs that will give members certain privileges including access to a pretty fancy members’ lounge where members and their partners can mix and mingle and enjoy the premier status of being a member.


“There’s another thing to remember – Claire has a great saying that Hampton Downs is a friendly track. Everyone’s got different things that they want to do at the circuit, and the role of Hampton’s staff and the facility itself is be friendly and accommodate what people want to do.
“We just ran a competition in Australia amongst our 900 staff asking them to give us some ideas what we should do with some of the facilities – it was amazing, we got about 40 fantastic ideas that we’re now working on. We want to listen to people’s suggestions for Hampton Downs, so what we’re saying to people and to staff tell us what you think would be a good idea, what would work, if it’s practical and doable, we’ll do it.”


More news about the developments at Hampton Downs will be shared on the park’s website www.hamptondowns.com and Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/hamptondowns in coming months.

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A message from Glen Williams, President of MNZ - Dear Life Members of Motorcycling New Zealand.

 

To those life members that were able to attend this year’s AGM Thank you.   I offer a further welcome to this year’s new members, Sandra Perry, Trevor Heaphy, Del Morgan and Dave Craig.  The late Kevin McCleary was also re-instated as a life member.

 

I was very pleased to be part of a special meeting with many of you on the Friday afternoon of this year’s AGM where Life Members and the current board were able to speak openly and discuss matters in an open forum together. Your opinions are valued and they carry a great deal of weight with myself and our board.

 

For those Life members unable to attend, we would hope that we will get to meet at some point soon – or as part of the 2016 AGM when we will all celebrate the 100th Year of our organization.

 

Please do not hesitate to raise any matters as and when they might arise directly with myself, I make a promise to you that I will do my best to provide a response. Vicky Hicks at our Huntly office is also available to assist with any operational questions that you might have.

 

Please find below a Newsletter update on the AGM and recent matters from the office.

 

Kindest Regards
Glen Williams

President

Motorcycling New Zealand

(Personal contact details Email glenw@redpath.co.nz,  Mobile Ph 021 718240)

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Election Results
Announcement of the voting results were made at the AGM on Sunday 24th May 2015.  Glen Williams was elected President of Motorcycling New Zealand, this is a two year term for Glen.  Seth Devereux was successful in the role of South Island Road Board member, this is a two year term.
Carmen Davidson stood unopposed in the role of North Island Off Road Board Member, also a two year term.
 
Congratulations goes to these three members, who re-join/join Noel May (South Island Off Road Board Member), Dean James (South Island Representative) and Ray Broad (North Island Representative) to form the Board.
 
There is one remaining vacant position on the Board, Road North Island, as Glen Williams vacated that position when becoming successful as the MNZ President.  The Board will discuss this position at their next meeting and look at the best way to full the position, as per the Constitution.
 
New Life Members
On Sunday 24th May at the MNZ AGM Motorcycling New Zealand had four new Life Members, we are proud to include Sandra Perry, Dave Craig, Del Morgan and Trevor Heaphy to our esteemed Life Members.  The late Kevin McCleary was also reinstated as a Life Member.
Congratulations goes to our new Life Members who have had many years of contribution and dedication to the sport of Motorcycling.
 
MNZ Conference & AGM
Over the weekend of 22nd to 24th May 2015 the MNZ Conference and AGM was held in Queenstown, this was well attended with Life Members, Board, Commissioners and 40 Clubs being represented as well as the Club delegates most also had observers it was also pleasing to also have some other (licence holders & officials) members attend.
 
We take this opportunity to thank everyone for attending, we know that being at the Conference/AGM takes you away from work, family and in some cases even competing, the Conference/AGM is such an important event on the Motorcycling calendar and again we thank you for your attendance.
 
Friday was the MNZ presentations with the Board Acting President, Glen Williams, advising those in attendance of the Board Governance Model that they are now working to and the training that has been undertaken around Governance.  Vicky Hicks, GMO, presented the 2015 Budget, explaining that Motorcycling New Zealand is currently in a healthy financial position turning a expected loss in 2014 into a profit which goes back into the sport, that turn around was due to a very slight increase in income (against budget) and some prudent decisions made by the Operations & Board not to spend in some areas.  The budget is continually revised through out the year.
In 2015 we are expecting another loss of $89,000, however this will be monitored very carefully.
 
Vicky Hicks, also provided a presentation on Health & Safety, notes to this will be provided and placed on our website in the next few days.
Also discussed was the 100 year celebrations, a Committee is being put in place and they will work together to prepare for the Celebrations.   See the work that has already been completed by Ian Dawson creating the history of Motorcycling New Zealand by clicking HERE
 
Saturday was a full day of Commissioner Workshops, notes to these workshops will be available on our website within the week.
 
Sunday started with the Officials Workshop, notes to this will be available within the week. 
The formal Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Motorcycling New Zealand was then held, the draft minutes to the AGM will be available within the week.
 
Of note for members is the following:
The minutes of the last meeting were made with some small alterations.
The financial statements were accepted as read.
The subscriptions for the new season were announced, there are some increases as follows:

Senior and Junior increase to $225
Mini, Moto Trials & ATV increase to $175

Increase to $125
 
Constitutional Remits
The proposed remits, some with changes were accepted at the AGM, please see the amended Constitution that outlines all of the changes (bold and underlined).  These have been submitted to the Incorporated Societies for approval of change.
 
Constitution effective 26 May 2015
 
2014 Awards were made at the AGM
Club of the Year – Mosgiel District Motorcycle Club
Administrator of the Year – Ian Dawson
Innovation & Technology Award (Presented by Neil Ritchie) – Christchurch Off Road Motorcycle Club
 
Chief Governing Officer (CGO)
At the conclusion of the AGM the Board met, Carmen Davidson has been appointed as the CGO.   As per the changes to the Constitution the CGO helps the Board be true to its group and individual commitments, if necessary forces the GB to confront itself, and ensures the GB efficiently get its job done.  The CGO acts as a liaison between the Board and the GMO of MNZ.  The CGO may act as a mentor and counsel to the GMO, ensuring they always reflect written Board policies.  (To avoid any doubt the CGO has no authority to direct or supervise the GMO, this authority belongs solely with the GB).
 
2015-2016 Licence Season
All MNZ Licences expire on the 30th June 2015, however it is our intention to start renewing licences on Monday 8th June 2015, prior to this all current licence members will receive notification that your licence can be renewed.  We are very aware of some areas the postal going down to three days a week, therefore encourage you to renew your licence early to prevent having to purchase a One Event Licence at events.
We do provide a courier service for those who require it, there is an additional cost of $10 main centres $14 rural delivery.  You must indicate that you require your licence couriered to you at the time of application.
 
Battle of the Clubs
Entry Forms are available for Clubs to enter the Battle of the Clubs to take place in Taupo on the 27th June 2015. 
 
The event is a fundraising event to assist the team to attend the 2015 Motocross of Nations to be held in Ernee, France on the 26th & 27th September 2015.  The event is proudly hosted and organised by the Taupo Motorcycle Club
 
The Club based teams consist of six riders, three juniors and three seniors competing on 85cc, 125cc 250cc and 450cc machines.  Each rider rides twice with the two worst results dropped so only ten of the twelve results are counted.  Last years winters were the South Waikato Motorcycle Club, previous winners have Pukekohe, Bay of Plenty and the hosts Taupo (twice).
 
To download an Entry Form please click HERE
 
Dion Wiremu Apology
At a training course held by Motorcycling New Zealand Inc. on 15/16 September 2014, Jim Tuckerman, who was President of Motorcycling New Zealand Inc. at that time, made comments about Mr Dion Wiremu, the President of the Canterbury Mini Motocross Club.
 
Those comments were unjustified and are unreservedly withdrawn.  Jim Tuckerman has never met Mr Wiremu.  Jim Tuckerman and Motorcycling New Zealand sincerely apologise to Mr Wiremu for those comments.
 
Staff Changes
Craig Tonkin has left his role, Marketing & Sponsorship Co ordinator, effective immediately.  We are currently re-visiting the role and the requirements of MNZ in this area, you will be kept up to date around this role

 

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Victory Motorcycles to Race Prototype Electric Motorcycle at the Isle of Man TT Races

 

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MEDINA, Minn., USA (May 12, 2015) - Victory Motorcycles is announcing their intention to race at the 2015 Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy on a Victory electric race prototype motorcycle.

The prototype electric race bikes will be piloted by William Dunlop of the legendary Dunlop dynasty and by Lee Johnston known in the racing world as "General Lee".

Victory Racing will compete in the Isle of Man TT electric class, marking the first time that Victory Motorcycles has entered a professional motorcycle-racing event in Europe and raced an electric motorcycle. Parker, the world's leading diversified manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems, is providing the race-proven, high performance GVM PMAC motors for both machines.

"The entire Victory team is excited to make history with this effort," said Rod Krois, Victory General Manager. "We know that William Dunlop's experience and the continued Victory Motorcycles development of this electric race bike through work with Parker will propel us into a strong future with electric motorcycles."

The SES TT Zero Challenge class event for electric motorcycles is a one-lap race round the island's 37.73 mile Mountain Course scheduled for Wednesday, June 10, 2015.

"I'm more than excited to race this prototype at the Isle of Man," said William Dunlop. "Electric powertrains have many advantages, and the Isle of Man is one of the greatest tests in motorcycle racing."

Lee Johnston will be riding the second entry for Victory Racing in the SES TT Zero Race and said, "I'm excited to make history by racing the new Victory electric race prototype. It's thrilling to be part of the emerging electric motorcycle movement."

Ben Furnish, Marketing Manager for Parker Hannifin said, "Parker is thrilled to be involved with Victory Motorcycles in this historic event with these talented riders. We look forward to working with Victory to develop high performance powertrains for electric motorcycles. "

The Victory Racing prototype electric race bike features a dedicated electric racing motor and power cells as well as highly sophisticated electric controls to maximize the top power, power delivery, and durability under racing conditions. Victory engineers have further refined the electronics and chassis for the upcoming race with private test sessions in North America.

Victory Motorcycles will host a continuous news feed of updates and photos from the Isle of Man TT and will have more information available on the Victory electric prototype race bike at www.VictoryMotorcycles.com. Be sure to follow Victory on Twitter @VictoryBikes and on Facebook at facebook.com/VictoryMotorcycles for additional updates. To learn more about Parker and their production version of the GVM traction motors visit http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eparker%2Ecom%2Fhev.

___

About Victory Motorcycles
Victory Motorcycles designs, engineers, manufactures and markets a full line of cruisers, baggers and touring motorcycles. Every Victory model delivers industry-leading performance, comfort, style, storage and reliability. The first Victory was produced on the Fourth of July, 1998, in Spirit Lake, Iowa, where every Victory motorcycle continues to be produced today. Information about Victory motorcycles, apparel and accessories is available at www.VictoryMotorcycles.com.

About Parker
With annual sales exceeding $13 billion in fiscal year 2014, Parker Hannifin is the world's leading diversified manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems, providing precision-engineered solutions for a wide variety of mobile, industrial and aerospace markets. The company employs approximately 57,500 people in 50 countries around the world. Parker has increased its annual dividends paid to shareholders for 58 consecutive fiscal years, among the top five longest-running dividend-increase records in the S&P 500 index. For more information, visit the company's website at http://www.parker.com, or its investor information website at http://www.phstock.com.

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Victory Motorcycles SES TT Zero challenge entrant
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The Victory Motorcycles prototype electric motorcycle being raced at the Isle of Man TT represents the company's first foray into competition in Europe
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Victory Motorcycles have signed Lee Johnston and William Dunlop to ride their machines in the SES TT Zero Challenge

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TTHeader
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Isle of Man TT Mountain Course Tribute for Geoff Duke

 

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Geoff Duke's final lap of the TT will take place this weekend, ahead of a private family funeral next week.

Geoff, who won seven races on the Mountain Course in a stellar career that included six World Champion titles, passed away on the 1st of May at the age of 92.

A hearse carrying his coffin willdepart the Grandstand at 2.30pm on Sunday (10th May) to complete a final tour of the circuit where he made his name, and gave so many fans such pleasure with his successes.

David Cretney MLC, a former MGP competitor, will wave the flag to start the hearse on its journey.

Geoff's sons, Peter and Mike, will follow on motorbikes while other family members will join the lap in cars.

The family would welcome any fans who would like to pay their last respects to Geoff to join them for the lap*.

Speaking ahead of the procession Geoff's eldest son Peter said 'Mike and I think dad would have really appreciated a last run around the course. It's not going to be 10mph cortege, we'll stick to the speed limits but we're going to open it up a bit over the Mountain. Dad would definitely have liked that.'

Peter added 'Anyone who wants to come and join us for the ride will be made welcome. It's not exclusively for bikes; Dad was as handy in a car as he was on two-wheels so if it's got wheels, bring it along!'

Geoff's TT victories, first for Norton and later Gilera, helped to secure his place as a household name in the 1950s, becoming the first true superstar of motorcycle racing.

Reflecting the importance of Geoff's place in post-war motorsport, national newspapers including the London Times, Daily Telegraph and The Guardian have all carried obituaries.

Further afield Fox Sports and CycleWorld in America, and Australian, Italian, German, Spanish and French newspapers, magazines and websites have carried tributes to 'The Duke'.

Spectators at the MotoGP round at Jerez paid tribute to the former champion during a minutes silence last Sunday, and TV coverage of the event showed a special film showing some of Geoff's career highlights.

A further obituary with tributes from son Peter will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4's 'Last Word' programme at 4.00pm on Friday (8th May).

Locally, Manx Radio will air a special tribute programme featuring archive audio of an interview conducted by the 'Voice of the TT' Geoff Cannell from 1987

The Manx Radio tribute will be available to listen again on Manx Radio's website for a week after broadcast.

Douglas Borough Council have also confirmed that flags on buildings in the town will be lowered to half-mast on the day of the funeral. Geoff was awarded the freedom of the borough in 2003.

Geoff's family have asked that any donations in Geoff's memory are made to the TT Riders Association, c/o Frances Thorp, Mountain View, Glen Maye, IM5 3BJ


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Notes to editors:
*The lap will take place on open roads. Normal rules of the road apply. Participants take part at their own risk.
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Geoff Duke at 80, receiving the Freedom of the Borough of Douglas
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Geoff flies the Gilera 500cc down Bray Hill during the 1955 Senior TT
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Geoff Duke at Kate's Cottage on the Norton Manx

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Latest TT News
24D|21H|9M

Geoff Duke O.B.E., 29th March 1923 - 1st May 2015

Geoff Duke in action on the Gilera 500

Geoff Duke, the first real superstar of motorcycle racing, has passed away at the age of 92.

The six-time TT winner and multiple World Champion passed away peacefully on Friday evening (1st May).

 

 

 

Geoff first came to prominence with a record-breaking win in the 1949 Senior Manx Grand Prix, following which he was signed up to ride for the legendary Norton team managed by Joe Craig.

Geoff Duke at speed in the 1949 Manx Grand Prix

Geoff in action at the 1949 Manx Grand Prix

With Norton, and riding the now famous featherbed-framed Manx model, Geoff was catapulted into the limelight with a sensational (and record-breaking) win in the Senior TT of 1950 - then very much the Blue Riband event of World Championship motorcycle racing.

In 1951 he took Nortons to World Championship victory in both the 350cc and 500cc classes, beating off strong opposition from Gilera mounted Alfredo Milani and Umberto Masetti - Masetti having won the 500cc title for the Italian factory in 1950.

Although Geoff took the 350cc honours for Norton again in 1952 it was clear the writing was on the wall for the British single-cylinder machines, as the development Italian multis gathered pace, leaving the singles gasping in their wake at the faster circuits.

 

Switching to Gilera for the 1953 season, Geoff once more added his name to the roster of 500cc World Champions, sweeping all before him in a dominant season-long performance.

 Geoff Duke mobbed by fans at Monza in 1953

Geoff mobbed by Italian fans having won at Monza for Gilera in 1953

 

 

Thanks to his ability to diagnose problems and give accurate feedback to his mechanics and engineers, Geoff was instrumental in maintaining Gilera at the top of the Grand Prix pile, despite the burgeoning threat of MV Agusta.

As well as his victories Geoff will be remembered for silky-smooth style, his professionalism and his innovative approach to the sport.

He was the first to popularise one-piece racing leathers, having noted that the imperfect fit of the older style caused flapping and drag which impacted on the performance of the unfaired Nortons he was racing at the time.

Geoff Duke on the 500 Gilera 4-cylinder with full fairing

Geoff Duke - a study in style and concentration on the fully-faired Gilera 500cc 4.

 

 

 

 

 

His style and success made him a media darling in post-war Britain and besides his racing laurels he won numerous awards including the RAC Seagrave trophy, was voted Sports Personality of the Year and he received an O.B.E. in 1953.

His contribution to two-wheeled motorsport on the Isle of Man continued after his retirement from racing in 1959. In 1965 he was Clerk of the Course when the Island hosted the International Six Days Trial.

He also persuaded the Gilera factory to allow him to bring their four-cylinder machines out of retirement for an attempt at the 1963 World title. Forming his own team, Scuderia Duke, he backed John Hartle and Derek Minter, and later Phil Read, but despite early promise the effort came to naught due to injuries and the precocious talent of Mike Hailwood, then reigning supreme for MV as Duke had once done for Gilera.

 

Away from two wheels, he showed great promise as a sportscar racer, co-driving with Peter Collins in a Aston Martin DB3 at the 1953 12 Hours of Sebring until a prang forced a DNF.

Geoff remained committed to his first love, motorcycle racing, throughout his life and although his day-to-day involvement in the sport decreased as his business interests evolved, he maintained strong connections across the world of motorcycle racing.

 Geoff Duke unveils a plaque to commemorate the centenary of the Isle of Man TT

 

58 years after his first Isle of Man appearance, Geoff played a major role in the celebrations surrounding the TT centenary.

 Geoff Duke and Valentino Rossi

2009 saw a remarkable meeting of multiple World Champions as Geoff and Valentino Rossi swapped stories at the TT.

Geoff Duke presents John McGuinness with the Senior TT trophy in 2008

  John McGuinness, an avid fan of TT history, receives the 2008 Senior TT trophy from Geoff Duke.

 

Amongst the many, many recognitions Geoff received for his contributions to the sport, the TT honoured his huge commitment to the races by naming a series of bends on the TT Mountain Course between Brandywell and Windy Corner in his honour.

 Geoff Duke at Buckingham Palace to receive his OBE

Geoff Duke at Buckingham Palace for his O.B.E. investiture in 1953.

 

In an era when riders faced the very real possibility of serious injury or even death every time they took to the track Geoff lived a long and fulfilling life.

He will be remembered as one of the last, and the best, of a generation of gentleman motorcycle riders who rode in what is now, generally, seen as the golden era of motorcycle racing.

His skill, style and sense of fair play endeared him to his fans, team mates and fellow competitors and that legacy lives on today, especially at the Isle of Man TT.

 

Geoff Duke, 29th March 1923 - 1st May 2015.

 

 

Mountain Course Victories

 

1949 Senior Manx Grand Prix - Norton

1949 Senior Clubmans TT - Norton

1950 Senior TT - Norton

1951 Junior TT - Norton

1951 Senior TT - Norton

1952 Junior TT - Norton

1955 Senior TT - Norton

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Taupo Motorsport Park for sale by Tender closing 21 May 2015 :

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MA Events attain record success

Motorcycling Australia (MA) would like to extend congratulations to all the hard working volunteers, officials and clubs involved in two very successful motorcycle events held in the previous month.

Motorcycling Australia has increased its involvement in national events in 2015 with two signature events being the Penrite Oil Broadford Bike Bonanza (PBBB) and the Yamaha Motor Insurance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli (ASBK).

Easter weekend saw the biggest turnout of bikes and spectators in the history of the PBBB, with up to 1200 machines taking part in the various on-track activities available at the State Motorcycle Complex in Broadford Victoria.

The local Broadford community and the motorcycle community came together to put on an outstanding show with 110 officials volunteering their time for the event and the assistance of the local CFA.

MA’s President Braxton Laine said the following of the event:

“MA is committed to promoting both motorcycle sport and motorcycling as a whole. The ‘Bonanza is a perfect mix of history, sport and passion for motorcycling," Braxton said.

“I cannot thank all the volunteers and officials enough for making this event happen, without your contribution the event could not be the success it has grown to be."

Off the back of the success of the PBBB, MA headed to Queensland to present the second round of the Yamaha Motor Finance ASBK in conjunction with the local host club Motorcycle Sportsmen of QLD (MSQ) the weekend of 11-12 April.

“The collaboration between MA and Motorcycle Sportsmen for the ASBK achieved an ideal combination providing both the colour and professionalism of a national championship meeting together with all the atmosphere and community of a club event," Braxton said.

“The aim for this championship is to bring the motorcycle racing community, the local community and the industry together for an event rather than just a race meeting. Judging by the record spectator numbers at the event, I think we achieved that.

“Thanks must go to the Motorcycle Sportsmen of Queensland for their dedication to the event and for providing the hard working officials without whom the event could not have happened.

“A key objective of MA as an organisation promote and advance motorcycling through competition and commercial means, and investment in the these events is one of the ways MA is doing this.”

The next event for the Yamaha Motor Finance ASBK will be Round 3 which will see the all classes for the Championship return to Barbagallo Raceway WA, May 22-24 after a long absence.

Host club Motorcycle Racing Club of WA is in the full swing of planning for the event and MA will be announcing event-specific news over the coming weeks. More information for riders and spectators can be found at www.asbk.com.au.

Looking ahead to later in the year, a major ongoing focus for MA will be working with Etihad Stadium in hosting the final round of the 2015 FIM World Speedway Grand Prix on 24th October, where MA will be responsible for all the sporting aspects of the event and coordinating all the local officials.

More information on this event can be found here: http://www.etihadstadium.com.au/whats-on/event/2015-fim-speedway-grand-prix-241015
 

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Suzuki New Zealand is pleased to announce that it will again sponsor the World MotoGP Championship highlights package on TV3.
With the season opening in Qatar on March 30, all eyes will be on the starting grid, which this year includes the return of the Suzuki race team with its potent two-bike GSX-RR entry.

2014 saw wheel to wheel racing, with breath-taking displays of skill and outright bravery from all riders. This year will be no different in that respect, and with new faces on the grid mounted on some all-new machines, motorcycle aficionados can look forward to some exciting tussles right through the pack.

The return of Suzuki also brings the exciting talent of Maverick Vinales to top level racing, fresh from Moto 2 last year. He and team mate Aleix Espargaro will have their work cut out on the all-new Suzukis, competing against other experienced and established MotoGP teams

Courtesy of sponsorship from Suzuki New Zealand, Kiwis can view highlights packages of each round of the 2015 MotoGP, free to air on TV3.

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Happy New Year people - I wrote the original application for this award and have paraphrased much of that for this release if you want it...Bruce last competed in NZ in 2004

Bruce Anstey 2015  -  New Year’s Honours

 

New Zealand motorcycle racer Bruce Anstey has been awarded the MNZM for Services to Motorsport in the New Years Honours.  The reward recognises a New Zealander who remains at the forefront of international motorcycling, and widely acknowledged today as one of the world’s leading road circuit competitors.  Bruce, now 45, has achieved success and fame on the high speed public road circuits of Northern Ireland and at the Isle of Man where the prestigious Tourist Trophy races have been held since 1907.  The Isle of Man TT has been hailed by one-time Formula One TV commentator Murray Walker as the greatest motorsport event in the world.

 

The Honours award is timely.  In June 2014 Bruce powered his 1000cc Honda Superbike around the 37¾ mile Isle of Man circuit faster than anyone had gone before, becoming the first rider ever to top the 132mph lap average.  In August, at the Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling he easily won the Formula 1 Classic TT on a 1982 Yamaha YZR500cc Grand Prix racer setting a new outright lap record for two-stroke machines.  At the same meeting he rode Aucklander Ken McIntosh’s 1962 500cc Manx Norton to a podium finish in the Classic TT 500 to claim the Mike Hailwood Trophy, the team’s ultimate goal.

 

Bruce is also the current outright lap record holder on the Dundrod circuit in Northern Ireland, the home of the Ulster Grand Prix and rated the fastest race circuit of any in the world.

 

Bruce joined the Victoria Motorcycle Club in Wellington in 1990 as a novice road race competitor. From the outset he displayed skills well beyond the average and it was obvious from those early days that he had a genuine raw talent for the sport.  In the 1991/92 New Zealand he won the NZ Shell Rider of the Series award.  It was his first year of national championship competition and he finished second in the 250cc Production class, an outstanding result for a newcomer.  Only riders in this class were eligible for the coveted Shell award recognising the personal attributes of track discipline, fair play, excellence of personal and machine presentation, and sponsorship brand loyalty.

 

It was a richly deserved award.  Within a year or two he was winning titles and was very much the talk of the motorcycling world. In the mid-90’s while undergoing cancer treatment he continued to compete when his strength allowed, and remarkably he remained stoic and uncomplaining during a hugely stressful time for him.

 

These personal attributes have remained very much a hallmark of his outstanding racing career.  Big-name Irish and British sponsors have always been keen to sign “the very talented and popular New Zealander”.  In recent years he has remained based in the United Kingdom but has never relinquished his New Zealand connections and persona and is readily identifiable on the race track as the rider with the golden kiwi on the front of his helmet.

Bruce’s mother was born on the Isle of Man and not surprisingly he always harboured ambitions to race there and he did so for the first time in 1996 when he won “The Best Newcomer” award.  He returned home in the 1998/99 season to win two more New Zealand titles and on his return to the Isle of Man he won his first Tourist Trophy title in 2002.

 

In June 2012 he won his ninth TT, six more than any other New Zealander, only nine of whom have ever won at the Isle of Man, a controversial circuit because of the high fatality rate.  Seven New Zealanders have died there.  As with the road circuits of Northern Ireland, TT success demands exceptional skill levels, long periods of intense concentration, inch-perfect racing lines and super-cool nerves where top riders reach speeds of upwards of 320kph.

 

The annual Isle of Man Tourist Trophy meeting is a time of intense scrutiny by the world’s sporting media and the tens of thousands of spectators who flock to the Island.  Bruce, as a New Zealander and a multi-TT winner has been one of a select group of high profile riders in the past decade subject to day-to-day media meetings, press conferences, sponsor’s functions, team meetings and all manner of demands that come from being a champion rider and an admired personality.

 

Bruce has proudly represented New Zealand in these major Northern Hemisphere events for over a decade and he continues to embrace all the personal attributes that earned him the Shell Award way back in 1992.  Bruce Anstey is an exceptional New Zealand sportsman of whom we can all be very proud.

Ray Whitham  Newstalk-ZB Sport  Wanganui  Motorcycling Commentator

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The past 2 Sunday's have been the 1st 2 rounds of the 2014 Suzuki New Zealand Road Race Series at Hampton Downs & Manfeild. Of our viewers of live results, video & audio, these are the percentage breakdowns of country of origin. Nearly 50% are from outside of New Zealand. That's all good for our country & motorcyclesport as well as indicating the value of having visiting overseas riders join us.

Thanks Grant Collingwood from Ctas for your major contribution to our sport

New Zealand

51.84%

Germany

16.47%

Switzerland

8.58%

Austria

6.73%

Australia

6.24%

United Kingdom

3.23%

United States

1.59%

Unknown

1.30%

Czech Republic

0.47%

Spain

0.43%

Liechtenstein

0.33%

France

0.31%

Ireland

0.26%

Netherlands

0.26%

Isle of Man

0.24%

Italy

0.20%

Canada

0.18%

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MOTORCYCLING NEW ZEALAND HAS A NEW PRESIDENT

 

CAPTION: Manawatu's Glen Williams, the new man at the head of Motorcycling New Zealand. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

 

DECEMBER 15, 2014: Motorcycling New Zealand, the governing body for motorcycle activities in this part of the world, has a new acting president.

He is Manawatu man Glen Williams.

 

The 52-year-old multi-time former national road-race champion takes over from long-standing MNZ president Jim Tuckerman, of Auckland, who voluntarily stood down from the position to accept a new appointment as Oceania FIM president.

 

Palmerston North businessman Williams, who is the director of Redpath Pacific, a company that supplies and builds horticulture and agriculture structures, is a four-time former national Formula Three motorcycle champion and he has a enjoyed a long and rewarding career in motorcycle road-racing.

 

He will be acting as MNZ president until the AGM midway through 2015.

 

The six-member MNZ board, which included Williams, convened a meeting last week and discussion over who among them would take up the role of acting president was the first item on the agenda.

 

The other five board members were Ray Broad, Carmen Davidson, Noel May, Dean James and Kevin Goddard.

 

"We had a good, healthy discussion and a resolution was reached to ensure that MNZ will continue to operate smoothly and members should not notice any disruption to their motorcycling activities or affairs," said Williams.

 

"I am looking forward to the challenge and to working in co-operation with my fellow board members."

 

Outgoing MNZ president Jim Tuckerman, 62, said: “New blood is good for any organisation and I’m sure everything will continue to run smoothly”.

 

Meanwhile, in other developments at MNZ, general manager Vicky Simm vacates the Huntly office as she takes maternity leave.

 

Acting general manager during her absence is Waikato man Peter Arndell and he brings to the role his skills acquired as CEO at Waikato Bay of Plenty Football.

 

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan

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KTM’s Beirer confirms 2017 MotoGP™ plan

KTM’s Beirer confirms 2017 MotoGP™ plan
Wednesday, 17 September 2014

 

Speaking to motogp.com at Misano last weekend, KTM’s Head of Motorsport, Pit Beirer, provided details of the Austrian manufacturer’s road map to MotoGP™ participation in 2017.

 

Since KTM’s previous short lived premier class involvement with Team Roberts came to an end almost a decade ago, the factory have enjoyed great success in the lightweight category, but Beirer has now provided confirmation that the company are working towards future full participation in MotoGP.

Beirer stated, "I can absolutely confirm that we have had a board decision at home at KTM that we could make the big step into this class. We had plans to go first to Moto2 somehow and grow maybe in smaller steps, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense to build a KTM with a Honda engine inside so it would never be a real KTM. So we decided to make the big jump and go into MotoGP. We are already very busy with this and we are trying everything to get ready for 2017."

On the specifics that can be expected in terms of machinery, Beirer explained, "It will be a real KTM, with the engine concept we are pretty sure it’s going to be a V4, but in the end this will still be in a tubular frame, it will be with WP Suspension, and it will be 100% built and made in Austria with KTM, so we are not looking for external suppliers to build the bike for us."

He continued, "We want to make it a real KTM and go definitely the hard way. We know it will be a really tough project for us and we will need years now to step into the class and to be ready. But I’m also sure that with our engineers at home we are able to do it. It’s a long term project. We are at the very beginning, but we are looking forward to being part of the big show in the motorcycle world, because MotoGP is a dream for any manufacturer, to be part of the highest level of bike racing in the world. That’s our target."

Asked when KTM plan to start testing a potential MotoGP™ prototype, Beirer replied, "That will be at the end of next summer."

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Bautista joins Aprilia for 2015 season

Bautista joins Aprilia for 2015 season
Monday, 15 September 2014

 

Spanish rider Alvaro Bautista will ride one of the official Aprilias that will race next year in the MotoGP™ Championship, managed by the Aprilia Gresini Racing Team.

 

The agreement with Bautista is valid for two years, for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.  A rider with vast experience, Bautista – born in Talavera de la Reina on 21 November 1984 – took his first world championship steps astride an Aprilia 125cc, which he rode to victory as World Champion in the "eighth litre" class in 2006.

Now in his fifth year in MotoGP™, Bautista boasts a total of three premier class podiums and one pole position since he moved up to the top category and his career achievements across alll classes include a total of 16 wins, 33 podiums and 18 pole positions.

The signing of Alvaro Bautista comes shortly after the official announcement that the Aprilia brand will return to the MotoGP™ World Championship – already in 2015, one year ahead of the previously announced plan – through a four year cooperation with the Gresini Racing Team and Aprilia Racing manager, Romano Albesiano, commented with satisfaction.

"This represents another step in defining the team that will take the Aprilia bikes onto the track for the next MotoGP™ season" said Mr Albesiano. "On Friday we announced our return to the championship with Gresini Racing. Today we have inserted another very important tile in the mosaic by announcing Bautista's signing. I am particularly satisfied because Alvaro has been confirmed on a team that he already knows well, creating the basis for that rapidity in finding maximum competitiveness that led us to moving up our plans to return to MotoGP™".

"I am happy to be able to continue working with Bautista - confirmed Fausto Gresini - Alvaro has significant experience in MotoGP™ so his contribution will certainly be essential in developing the new projects with Aprilia in the best possible way. I believe very much in him and his potential and I am confident that he will be able to bring us the results we are expecting. Also, this two year agreement will allow us to maintain continuity in the bond between Alvaro and Gresini racing which was formed in 2012 and that has been strengthened over the years".

Also enthusiastic about the new project is Alvaro Bautista: "I am very happy to have signed an agreement with Aprilia for the next two MotoGP™ World Championship seasons. Working in close contact with a manufacturer is what I wanted for my future and Aprilia has offered me a great chance. I am also very motivated to embark on this new adventure because I am coming back to a brand that has brought me great satisfaction in the past and with which I have shared some great times. Above all, the cooperation between Aprilia Racing and Gresini Racing will allow me to stay with a team that I've been racing with already for three years and which has become like a family to me. I have worked directly for a manufacturer in the past and I really liked developing a new project together. Knowing that I'll be able to count on the support of so many engineers and technicians is exciting and I can't wait to get started working with the team.

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JUST Received, OFFICIAL Notification from Ultra Marathon Cycling Association (UMCA)

Age Group 60-69 years, Colin Wal Anderson from Palmerston North, New Zealand

Go to News.asp for more details

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2012 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, just announced with some legends being inducted. Of particular interest to Tim Gibbes is the induction of Brian Slark, highlighted further down. Brian worked at the AMC Competitions Department when I was with AMC working & riding MX, scrambles, trials & enduro. He certainly has progressed since then making his mark in the motorcycling world.

Seven historic figures took their places among motorcyclings greatest legends Friday, Nov. 16, at the 2012 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by KTM.

The ceremony is part of the American Motorcyclist Association Legends Weekend, powered by Paul Thede's Race Tech, held at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa.

Hosted by actor motorcyclist Perry King, the event honored the Hall of Fame Class of 2012: the late Rod Bush, KTM North America president and industry visionary; world championship roadracing tuner Nobby Clark; off-road racing champion Ty Davis; 1975 AMA Supercross Champion Jimmy Ellis; pioneering female motocrosser Sue Fish; world-class bike restorer Brian Slark; and the late iconic race starter Al Wilcox.

In addition to the class of 2012, the induction ceremony recognized the outstanding careers of two existing Hall of Famers as Hall of Fame Legends: 1998 inductees Mert Lawwill and Malcolm Smith. Harley-Davidson Motor Co., honored Lawwill's recognition, while Tucker Rocky/Riders' Choice sponsored Smith. Troy Lee Designs honored filmmaker and Hall of Fame member Bruce Brown, the director of the 1970 film "On Any Sunday," which featured Lawwill and Smith.

Kawasaki Motors Corporation, U.S.A. was the sponsor for the dinner that preceded the gala ceremony. Jeffrey V. Heininger, chairman of the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, which oversees the Hall of Fame, welcomed a sold-out crowd to the dinner and ceremony, voicing appreciation for their support.

"Tonight, we induct some of motorcycling's best and brightest into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, Heininger said. Those of us gathered here tonight strive to make the Hall of Fame the best it can be: An institution of excellence that mirrors the remarkable accomplishments of our inductees."

The 2012 inductees were honored with videos chronicling their careers, induction speeches and the presentation of their official Hall of Fame rings, sponsored by Zero Motorcycles. In addition to the honorees, several luminaries from the world of motorcycling participated in the ceremony.

"We're a community that embraces the past, honors the men and women who have brought us to the present, and races ahead to an exciting future - largely unknown to us now - and we do it all with a zest for life that is second to none," said King. "Tonight we recognize a group of men and women who have been an important part of that evolution, the Hall of Fame Class of 2012."

The AMA Legends Weekend, powered by Paul Thede's Race Tech, continues on Saturday, Nov. 17, with the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Dave Mungenast Memorial Concours d'Elegance bike show, featuring some of the country's most amazing restored and original motorcycles.

Also at the event, the boards of directors of the AMHF and the AMA held a joint meeting to discuss the Hall of Fame balloting process.

The boards heard a report from a task force made up of Motorcycle Industry Council Chairman Larry Little, Ray Mungenast of the Dave Mungenast Classic Motorcycle Museum and Mungenast Automotive Group in St. Louis, and Ken Ford, a member of both the AMA and AMHF boards. The task force evaluated the current balloting process, and submitted a report with recommendations for the boards to consider going forward.

Rod Bush

The late Rod Bush helped establish and grow KTM North America and served as company president from 1987 until his death in 2005.

Born July 6, 1955, in Huntington, W.Va., Bush rode his first hare scrambles in 1970 and three years later opened a Penton dealership in Parkersburg, W.Va., with his father. In 1976, Bush started working for Penton Imports as a sales representative. In 1978, Bush left Penton Imports to help form KTM America, later KTM North America, with Jack Lehto.

Bush took the position of KTM North America president in 1987 when the company was selling about 2,500 motorcycles a year. When Bush died in 2005, KTM North America sold approximately 28,000 units annually and had 140 employees.

Bush was represented at the induction ceremony by his wife Cheri Bush and daughter Stacy Bush.

"It is with tremendous pride and joy for our family to see Rod be inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame," said Cheri Bush, after she accepted Rod Bush's Hall of Fame ring on his behalf. "The outpouring of love, support and friendship that is in this room is unbelievable. Rod would have been so honored and humbled to receive such recognition from his peers."

Derek "Nobby" Clark

Derek "Nobby" Clark's was a member of winning race teams that claimed 17 FIM world titles in multiple displacements from the 1960s through 1980.

For 25 years, Clark was one of the world's leading motorcycle race mechanics. In addition to the Grand Prix world titles, earned in classes ranging from 50cc to 500cc, he helped win three Daytona 200s, one Daytona 100, four Imola 200s and eight Italian championships working with some of the greatest motorcycle racers in history.

Clark, born Sept. 29, 1936, in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia). not only excelled at the highest level, tuning for some of history's greatest racers, but also worked with racing's most memorable personalities, including Hall of Famers Hailwood, Giacomo Agostini and Roberts.

"I would like to thank everybody who supported me for the Hall of Fame," Clark said. "It's a pleasure to be honored in this way. I've very humbled to be here tonight. I've been privileged to have motorcycles in my life."

Ty Davis

Ty Davis, born April 5, 1969, in Hesperia, Calif., is one of the most-versatile off-road motorcycle racers in the history of American competition. He has won amateur and professional titles in motocross, hare scrambles, AMA Supercross, AMA National Hare & Hound and AMA National Enduro. He has won the Baja 1000 four times and has been the top American rider at the International Six Days Enduro six times.

Davis, the AMA Athlete of the Year in 1995, won the AMA National Enduro Championship in 1995 and 1999 and the AMA Hare & Hound National Hare & Hound Championship in 1997, 1998 and 2002.

Although Davis, who currently runs Zip-Ty Racing Products, is mostly remembered as an off-road racer, one of his most high-profile titles was in 1990, when he won the AMA 125cc West Regional Supercross Championship over future Hall of Famer Jeremy McGrath.

"I feel that I am a pretty lucky guy," Davis said. "I have experienced a lot and seen a lot and have been with, and met, some of the biggest names in our industry. I would like to thank the AMA and the voting staff for honoring me as a Hall of Famer, and I want to thank my friends and family for being here tonight. "

Jimmy Ellis

The heyday of Can-Am's factory motocross campaign is forever connected to the outstanding career of Jimmy Ellis. Born Oct. 19, 1955, in Middletown, Conn., Ellis started racing in New England in the 1960s, and by the time he joined the Can-Am factory team, he had won seven New England championships.

In 1974, riding the works 250 Can-Am, he finished third for the 250cc national title, collecting two overall wins. In 1975, Ellis won the AMA Supercross 250cc championship by sweeping the four-round series, punctuated by a dominant victory in the high-profile finale at the L.A. Coliseum.

Ellis continued to give Can-Am top finishes through the 1977 season, after which Honda snapped him up for its U.S. factory team. Ellis was a contender on the national circuit for a few more years-finishing second to future Hall of Famer Bob Hannah for the 250cc national championship in 1978. He transitioned into retirement during the 1981-82 seasons.

"I want to thank the AMA and the Hall of Fame, Jeff Smith, Tom White, Mom and Dad, my family, my partner Vicky," Ellis said. "Being on this podium is like winning the Los Angeles Coliseum Supercross in 1975! Thank you!"

Sue Fish

Sue Fish was born Nov. 9, 1958. Her father, who competed in dirt track and hare scrambles, taught her how to ride when she was 11. By 14, she started racing, winning her first race that year.

At age 19, Fish advanced to the AMA Pro Racing national circuit. In addition to dominating the female ranks, having won the 1976 and 1977 Women's National Motocross Championships, Fish, who currently lives in Santa Barbara, Calif., was one of the first women motocross racers to hold a professional racing license from the AMA and compete regularly against men.

Known by the nickname, "The Flying Fish," she raced in the AMA 125cc National Motocross Championship. Fish put her talents to work on the big screen as well, working as a Hollywood stuntwoman. Her credits include "Terminator" and "Footloose." She also traveled as part of Evel Knievel's stunt show in Australia.

"It is a surreal experience to be recognized for simply doing what I love," Fish said. "And to this day, feel most passionate about riding and racing motorcycles. I would like to thank my family and friends for giving me support I needed to able to have pursued my dreams. I am humbled to be among my heroes and the legends of our industry."

Brian Slark

Brian Slark, who was born in London, England, on Feb. 2, 1938, was a moving force in the creation of a vibrant motocross-racing community in the United States in the 1960s.

Slark helped organize motocross tracks, promoting the sport by teaching famous people-including then-teen heartthrob Bobby Darin-to ride motorcycles and importing and building Rickman Metisse and Cheney motocrossers.

Slark later helped the late-Dave Mungenast, who is a member of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, create a motorcycle museum in St. Louis. Slark also helped create the world-class Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Leeds, Ala.

"First and foremost, I would like to thank my wife, Dian, who is always supportive and buys me motorcycles, how cool is that!" said Slark, as he accepted his honor. "I'd also like to thank Bud Ekins, for giving me the opportunity to come to this wonderful country; Nick Nicholson, who gave me motorbikes to ride and inspired me to ride the ISDT; Dave Mungenast Sr., a mentor and a friend; and last but not least, George Barber, who gave me the opportunity to be part of creating a world-class museum."

Al Wilcox

Born in Trenton, N.J., in 1919, the late Al Wilcox began riding motorcycles in 1936 and began racing in 1947, but he is known to most of the racing community as the iconic race starter "Airborne Al."

Wilcox's race career spanned 19 years-from 1947 to 1966. Not only did he do well as a speedway racer for four years, but Wilcox also finished well in TT, dirt-track and even hare scrambles races over the course of his long career.

Wilcox, who passed away in 2011, began flagging races in 1959 and increased his flagging duties after ending his racing career. He flagged the famed Daytona 200 motorcycle race for many years with AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame flagger Duke Pennell. He became known as "Airborne Al" because of his unique flagging style that involved jumping up in the air at the end of a race.

Wilcox was represented at the induction ceremony by friend Roger Lyle.

"During his racing career, Al went to the starting line over 3,000 times," Lyle said, as he accepted the honor on Wilcox's behalf. "He was the 'starter to the stars' for 52 years. Al Wilcox touched the lives of everyone who had the pleasure to meet and speak with him about his passion for motorcycles and the racers who put it on the line."

Hall of Fame Legend Mert Lawwill

This year, the induction ceremony honored famed national dirt-tracker Mert Lawwill as an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend.

Lawwill, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998, was one of the top professionals on the AMA national circuit during the 1960s and 1970s. He was the 1969 AMA Grand National champion and "On Any Sunday" chronicled his bid to defend his title during the 1970 racing season. By the time Lawwill hung up his racing leathers in 1977, he had amassed an incredible 161 career AMA Grand National finishes during his 15-year racing career.

Lawwill went on to become one of the top motorcycle racing frame designers and builders. He then used his expertise to create custom racing mountain bikes that won numerous national and world titles, as well as prosthetic devices to enable amputees to ride motorcycles and bicycles.

Lawwill thanked a number of people who contributed to his career, particularly Malcolm Smith, Bruce Brown and Steve McQueen, telling a story about a time he crushed his hand seemingly beyond repair and McQueen helped him find a doctor and paid his medical bills to have it fixed.

"I also want to thank everyone who came out tonight," Lawwill said. "I really appreciate being recognized as a Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend."

Hall of Fame Legend Malcolm Smith

Off-road racing icon Malcolm Smith was also honored as an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend this year.

Smith, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998, was a pioneer in off-road motorcycling. He earned early fame for his accomplishments in the Baja 1000 and for his gold-medal winning rides in International Six Day Enduro competitions.

His reputation extended beyond the motorcycling community when he appeared in "On Any Sunday." The scenes of Smith and Lawwill play riding with popular actor Steve McQueen showed non-motorcyclists across the country just how fun motorcycling could be. The movie helped launch an explosion in the popularity of off-road motorcycling in America.

Smith went on to become a successful businessman with his Malcolm Smith Motorsports motorcycle dealership in Riverside, Calif. Today, Smith is also revered as one of the leading charitable supporters in the motorcyclist industry.

In accepting his honor, Smith thanked a number of people who had an impact on his career, including Bruce Brown, who produced "On Any Sunday."

"I had no idea that Bruce was making the most timeless motorcycle movie ever and I would have such a big role in it," Smith said. "Thank you again, Bruce!

"Many, many more people have helped me in my life. I can't thank them all or we would be here all night," Smith said. "I'll leave you with one thought. What would your life had been like if you hadn't discovered motorcycles."

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