out by the fence, his sliding rear tyre clipping the straw bales. The TZ750 four was a weapon on tarmac but Yamaha’s ageing four-stroke parallel twin was outclassed by Harley’s XR750 on the dirt tracks that dominated the calendar. didn’t complain. Essential reading! We talked a lot between us, I was involved with the whole project as we supplied a lot of the parts for all of them.” Several replicas have since been produced. “For some reason – it must have been the guy from upstairs – I had a great hook-up. Roberts did win the '75 Indy Mile on the TZ750. I had hay bale wire on it from tapping the hay bales, so I came off that corner and I thought ‘Man, I’m going to get third.’ Then I grabbed a gear, fifth, and went ‘Wow, shit I’m going to get second!’ I damned near hit Springsteen, I came on him so fast I swerved. He rode it like he stole it during that famous Saturday evening demonstration during the Indy MotoGP weekend – as only the great King Kenny knows how. The AMA Claiming Rule. Another triumph of note was when Joey Dunlop rode to victory in the 1980 Classic TT during the process of which he upped the lap record on the Snaefell Mountain Course to an average speed of 115.22 mph (185.43 km/h). Roberts had taken to riding not on the compacted groove like all the others but It was this comment that helped make up the minds of AMA officials, who banned it from competition. But before we dig into this custom built Yamaha TZ750, let’s talk about the history of this bike. the gearlever and rear brake. Roberts had tried different lines looking for traction and race options but his soft tyres were chunking, forcing the team to risk an untried hard compound slick with fewer grooves, but the big TZ simply spun its rear wheel in the final. Copyright 2015 MMA Sport Magazine Theme. A good-running private TZ750 was supposedly good for 135 horsepower or so; a stout street-going GL 750 might’ve made an easy 90, which would’ve made it performance king for most of the `70s if the tires and chassis components had been able to keep up. so little traction that he was last off the line and nearly failed to qualify, Roberts’ win on a Yamaha TZ750 at the 1975 Indianapolis Mile – 45 years ago at Indianapolis, where the motor’s tyre-spinning power was too much for Baker, “It’s legit street legal,” he adds. trying to get it to hook up.”. ( Log Out /  “It was on the amount of grip, and you couldn’t follow a Harley in the middle of a corner because it spun too much. Then I thought ‘there’s the start/finish line’ and I won! Harley’s Rex Beauchamp, Corky And the story wasn’t quite over. As long as @tiga243 keeps showing that propensity for small mistakes then 2020 is not done yet #mxgp #motocross #Belgium https://t.co/R9h7Z9YJee, #MXGP top three breakaway at Lommel. The It had the potential to reach 200-mph on a road track. We only raced them for two or three races. Twin TZ750 engines powered the Silver Bird motorcycle land-speed record setting streamliner motorcycle, the first to break 300 miles per hour (480 km/h). JavaScript appears to be disabled, Ducati’s Streetfighter V4 prototype breaks cover. Both articles now up on @racerxonline. But the TZ750 only competed once, before it was banned from competing in flat track. The discreet lighting from Baja Designs is required to make the TZ street legal. By the time I got to the mid-pack I’d started to build a berm. The championship was over, and shortly so were the TZ750 and H2R flat-trackers. Might be different on Sunday if the layout is changed. 1975, the banned bike and (perhaps) the greatest race win 5th June 2020 Choosing the greatest ever motorcycle race victory is impossible. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. The next year they were banned. The TZ750 flat-tracker only won one race before it was removed from competition, but what a race it was…. Like many flat track machines, this TZ750 is running Yamaha YZF-R6 forks, mated to the frame with custom triples. [6] Another 1974 TZ750A is at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Alabama. Race bikes and motors are originally sold without titles, so I spent a lot of time working through the processes to get it to the street.”, The TZ750 has no starter, but it will bump start in less than six feet. reigning Grand National champion, but struggling to defend his crown. We broke the footrest in practice and we were fortunate in that he didn’t qualify to go direct to the main event. But we’re not sure if we want to ride it: Brad may have balls the size of church bells, but we don’t. The riders had to wait until the first Mile event at Indianapolis, on Saturday 23 August 1975. Interest in this big-balls idea increased after Hocking set the third fastest time during a Half Mile event at Ascot on the prototype – and it wasn’t supposed to suit the Half Mile tracks. [3]This is also the fastest recorded lap of the Mountain Course by a Yamaha 750cc two-stroke machine. The TZ tracker was born out of Back in the mid-70’s Yamaha decided to build a monster bike to compete in flat track races in America. And in 2009 Roberts, aged 57, was back on the bike at Indianapolis – power-sliding the stroker around the dirt-track course on a demo lap before an appreciative MotoGP weekend crowd including Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards. I thought holy shit, this thing is going to hurt me if I don’t pay attention. The 1995 and up 800cc version is still drag raced in certain parts of the country and the cult following that this … Doug Schwerma, boss of race-chassis firm Champion Frames, who built a frame using Kenny Roberts easily recalls that first outing: “The first time I came out of Turn 4 on the first lap, I moved on the handlebars to get some grip and the thing jumped into the air. That is where I started.”, In the final, Roberts came from dead last to make third position exiting the last corner, with Harley-Davidson riders Corky Keener and Jay Springsteen ahead. Crazy long life!”. The TZ’s first mile race was Episode 170 is out! It's dark, chilly and raining at Lommel for #MXGPLimburg but, of course, the sand can take the showers. As well, it has been reported in many places about Roberts' comments, both recent and at the time, concerning the TZ and what it took to ride it to that victory. I don’t think there were any major problems there, and Rick was a guy, like Kenny, who was capable of riding anything you put underneath him!”. “It was just the strangest thing, for some reason that last lap it just hooked up and I came off that last corner like it was a four-stroke.”. I love exploring the unknown. button wired to kill one cylinder, so power could be moderated in the corners. its in-line engine and row of protruding air-filters. Images by John Meloy and Pierre Robichaud. An R6 donated its brakes too—including the front caliper, and the front rotor (with a custom disk carrier). Choosing the greatest ever motorcycle “It insane,” he recalled. seen the bike before practice – which, he later recalled, was exciting. “I’ve found you can’t sneak around on it much,” Brad says. “Can’t remember when I charged the battery last. (This particular TZ motor owns several records itself, in other vehicles.). dawned on the crowd that he and the howling TZ were gaining ground. Harley-Davidson’s factory flat-trackers on a four-cylinder two-stroke as the The frame design was cause someone else to die. On the right of the wide, We reckon Baker is a brave man, but it should be epic. So they called in on over a century – in numbers from two to thousands, in countries all around the When he finally did, in 1975, it was history in the making. You could say it was over before it ever got started. After a string of mechanical issues, defending champ Roberts was trailing series leader Gary Scott, and was desperate for victory. so started the main event on the back row. Meet the Yamaha TZ750, built by American Brad Peterson. BMW Motorrad has presented the second member of its new model series for the cru, Honda's all new GROM is headed for Australia in the first half of 2021 and will, Ohhh Snap! In the Nineties, collector and author Stephen Wright acquired and restored first the ex-Baker TZ, then the ex-Roberts bike, which he showed to the impressed KR at Laguna Seca in 1994. Based on gearing and rev counter needle, King Kenny was travelling faster than 145mph (230km/h) down the straights. Cleek, Hocking and Aksland, none of whom could get on the pace. Even attempting a KR had his XT650/750 and the TZ750 to choose from and there was a lot on the line, so he went with the more powerful TZ after practicing on the twin, as did the other four TZ750 riders in attendance. Custom Bikes Of The Week: 3 February, 2019, Tastemaker: A Scrambler built by the Editor of Meta, Two for Two: North East’s second run at the Multistrada, Announcement: Bike EXIF is now part of Iron & Air Media, Retro Muscle: Motocrew’s GPZ900R is the business. Number five is the beastly Yamaha TZ750 because it made suspension, chassis and tire engineers suicidal. The TZ750 flat-tracker was the obvious instant solution. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. I suppose these quotes could be incorrect or entirely made up. That wasn’t the right motorcycle for its time because it was going to kill someone, and I didn’t want that to be me! “When the revs hit about 7,000, it lights the back tire up violently—and at the same time lifts the front wheel, pulling hard all the way to 11,000,” says Brad. So it would just whip sideways. “I ran fourth or fifth gear. it, if not in contention for any best racebike awards, has got to be one of the Brad lives in the same town as Steve Baker, who’s still a regular at the small local flat track. TZ find enough grip to work in subsequent races at Syracuse and San José. Motorcyclist called it "the most notorious and successful roadracing motorcycle of the 1970s". But that wasn’t his first time at the Indy Mile on a TZ750 flat-tracker. Carruthers and Roberts were at the AMA rules committee meeting where the 20 members voted for a minimum piston displacement of 335cc, and maximum of two cylinders on either two- or four-stroke engines.

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