Little story about Hailwood's 1978 Ducati - Speedzilla Motorcycle Message Forums
 
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Little story about Hailwood's 1978 Ducati

I once met someone who had some limited involvement with Hailwood's 1978 Ducati. He had worked at Sports Motorcycles at the time, Sports Motorcycles in Manchester being the entrant for Hailwood's bike at the Isle of Man.

Hailwood's bike used non-standard crankcases. If you look at pictures of the bike - pictures taken from the left side - you might be able to see the spin-on, white-coloured oil filter on the left of the crankcases. (I have never owned a bevel-drive Ducati, but the road bikes of 1978 did not have this spin-on oil filter.)

In the lead-up to the 1978 TT, Hailwood's comeback was of great interest. (I guess that would be an understatement.) A journalist went to Sports Motorcycles to do a story on the bike that Mike was to ride. Steve Wynne (owner of Sports M.) was concerned that publicity showing the non-standard cases might lead to questions about the bike's eligibility. (Don't ask me what the rules were; I wouldn't have a clue.)

Before the journalist was allowed to take pictures of the bike, Wynne got his mechanics to cover up the oil filter. They did this with papier-mache (newspaper, I think), which they then spray-painted black. Pictures of the bike in the ensuing magazine article (I think it was Motorcycle Mechanics of May or June 1978) show a blackened area at that part of the cases. My friend had the magazine to back up his otherwise implausible story.

At the Isle of Man, with the bike's crankcases on full display, my friend thought the journalist was going to punch him for his role in the cover-up. Hailwood raced, and we know the result ...

My friend also had a piston from Hailwood's bike. The piston had a broken area where the rings fit. After the Isle of Man there were races in England that Hailwood participated in. I remember reading in one of the US bike magazines from 1978/1979 that Hailwood had to over-rev the bike to make up for a mechanical problem, and the broken ring area might have been a result of the over-revving.

There is a lot of talk on this forum about GOATs. It's impossible to know how riders of different eras would go against each other, but I wonder how today's riders would have gone on road circuits like the Isle of Man, and how they would have gone riding in two or three different categories at the one GP meeting.

Last edited by soslow; 05-08-2008 at 10:58 AM.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 02:28 PM
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Caution: contains Speedzilla satire

Hailwood was a sandbagger and a cherry picker. Years after winning at IOM he comes back on a cheater bike and wins again. Big friggin' deal. He already knew the track and besides the Dcuati had legendary acceleration form 60-140 mph.

If he was really the GOAT he would have taken ridden the BSA Trident factory bike in the 1978 Paris Dakar Rally. Pussy.


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soslow View Post
I once met someone who had some limited involvement with Hailwood's 1978 Ducati. He had worked at Sports Motorcycles at the time, Sports Motorcycles in Manchester being the entrant for Hailwood's bike at the Isle of Man.

Hailwood's bike used non-standard crankcases. If you look at pictures of the bike - pictures taken from the left side - you might be able to see the spin-on, white-coloured oil filter on the left of the crankcases. (I have never owned a bevel-drive Ducati, but the road bikes of 1978 did not have this spin-on oil filter.)

In the lead-up to the 1978 TT, Hailwood's comeback was of great interest. (I guess that would be an understatement.) A journalist went to Sports Motorcycles to do a story on the bike that Mike was to ride. Steve Wynne (owner of Sports M.) was concerned that publicity showing the non-standard cases might lead to questions about the bike's eligibility. (Don't ask me what the rules were; I wouldn't have a clue.)

Before the journalist was allowed to take pictures of the bike, Wynne got his mechanics to cover up the oil filter. They did this with papier-mache (newspaper, I think), which they then spray-painted black. Pictures of the bike in the ensuing magazine article (I think it was Motorcycle Mechanics of May or June 1978) show a blackened area at that part of the cases. My friend had the magazine to back up his otherwise implausible story.

At the Isle of Man, with the bike's crankcases on full display, my friend thought the journalist was going to punch him for his role in the cover-up. Hailwood raced, and we know the result ...

My friend also had a piston from Hailwood's bike. The piston had a broken area where the rings fit. After the Isle of Man there were races in England that Hailwood participated in. I remember reading in one of the US bike magazines from 1978/1979 that Hailwood had to over-rev the bike to make up for a mechanical problem, and the broken ring area might have been a result of the over-revving.

There is a lot of talk on this forum about GOATs. It's impossible to know how riders of different eras would go against each other, but I wonder how today's riders would have gone on road circuits like the Isle of Man, and how they would have gone riding in two or three different categories at the one GP meeting.
Great story, thanks for sharing.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 04:49 PM
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Blaspheme! Get the torches and pitch forks!

I do remember seeing that filter on the bike and always wondered about its presence, thanks for the story.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soslow View Post
My friend also had a piston from Hailwood's bike. The piston had a broken area where the rings fit. After the Isle of Man there were races in England that Hailwood participated in. I remember reading in one of the US bike magazines from 1978/1979 that Hailwood had to over-rev the bike to make up for a mechanical problem, and the broken ring area might have been a result of the over-revving.
So was he implying that the same complete motor was used by Hailwood at the short circuits later? Because legend has it the Ducati expired shortly after crossing the finish line at the Isle.

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There is a lot of talk on this forum about GOATs. It's impossible to know how riders of different eras would go against each other, but I wonder how today's riders would have gone on road circuits like the Isle of Man, and how they would have gone riding in two or three different categories at the one GP meeting.
I think those old boys running 2, 3, sometimes 4 classes in a weekend were doing much more work, and in MUCH more deadly conditions(imagine losing a competitor a race meeting, on average for over a decade). So I'd hold their accomplishments in higher esteme.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by 247 View Post
Hailwood was a sandbagger and a cherry picker. Years after winning at IOM he comes back on a cheater bike and wins again. Big friggin' deal. He already knew the track and besides the Dcuati had legendary acceleration form 60-140 mph.

If he was really the GOAT he would have taken ridden the BSA Trident factory bike in the 1978 Paris Dakar Rally. Pussy.
How about an RG500 than? Because his last win at the Isle was not on a Ducati, but a Suzuki. (hopefully all in the same tounge-in-cheek tone as your post)

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 07:18 AM
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I thought the modifications to the crank cases that Steve Wynn did were to swap the gear lever to the other side as Hailwood used a R/H side shifter?
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
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I was told that Hailwood's bike did expire after it crossed the line at the Isle of Man. The bike came from Italy with a spare motor and one or two Italian mechanics. It was 1998 that I was told this and my memory is not crystal clear, but the spare motor must have been used for the races in England, after the Isle of Man.

I think I still have the US magazine with a report on these races, and it might also contain another story about the building of the bike. That story on the bike's construction made it sound like the bike was built by Wynne, but that's not the case. Wynne did make some modifications and the gear change could have been one of them. I think one of Ian Falloon's books repeats the myth that the bike was built by Wynne.

I'll see if I can find the magazine articles. Several years ago Classic Bike or Classic Racer had a good article on Hailwood and the bike. That article included interviews with various people who had been involved in the 1978 race effort. (I don't have that mag.)
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 247 View Post
Hailwood was a sandbagger and a cherry picker. Years after winning at IOM he comes back on a cheater bike and wins again. Big friggin' deal. He already knew the track and besides the Dcuati had legendary acceleration form 60-140 mph.

If he was really the GOAT he would have taken ridden the BSA Trident factory bike in the 1978 Paris Dakar Rally. Pussy.
Now that is funny and worthy of Speedzilla some dimwit is bound to take it seriously though.


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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-10-2008, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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247's post was funny.

I found the article on Hailwood's bike. It's in Cycle December 1978. One paragraph: "Hailwood's mini-comeback season took in four meetings and seven races, four of them on the Isle of Man. The four events that involved the Ducati resulted in two wins, one third place and a DNF, the latter at Donington Park (Britain's newest curcuit) when he tumbled during an effort to make up for a 500 rpm shortfall. Earlier in the race, the Ducati had broken a piston ring, and that led Hailwood to force the Dunlops to a point that would not tolerate his interpretation of the maximum permissible angle of lean."
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-10-2008, 11:04 AM
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OK You lot on here
I live in Manchester UK and I knew Steve Wynne at the time because i rode one of the 750 Ducati SS models, and one thing old Winnie is not and that's a cheat, and neither was Stanley Micheal Bailey, he was and still is one of motorcycle and car racings all time hero's, I won't have a wrong word said about him, I was at the TT in 1978 and 1979 and Hailwoods riding was something to see, I'll post up a pic from the race later, you best all take it back or the wrath will come down upon you Hailwood rules
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-10-2008, 11:19 AM
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Hailwood taken from Sarahs cottage 1978, sorry poor picture of a picture
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-10-2008, 11:20 AM
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Another from the start line
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-10-2008, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by sidewaysid View Post
OK You lot on here
I live in Manchester UK and I knew Steve Wynne at the time because i rode one of the 750 Ducati SS models, and one thing old Winnie is not and that's a cheat, and neither was Stanley Micheal Bailey, he was and still is one of motorcycle and car racings all time hero's, I won't have a wrong word said about him, I was at the TT in 1978 and 1979 and Hailwoods riding was something to see, I'll post up a pic from the race later, you best all take it back or the wrath will come down upon you Hailwood rules
Hello sid, If you are referring to 247 he's only kidding in fact it's more a dig at certain members on here who are griping about Matt Maladin.
I think the original poster is just trying to offer a story rather than inferring cheating, every one the world over respects Mike the Bike as one of the best racers ever.
You going to Brands this weekend should be a good race got it a WSB programmed into Sky+


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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-10-2008, 11:35 AM
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Hi Cheekybloke
Yes i was tongue in cheek too seeing if i could raise a few feathers
No not going to Brands we went to Oulton last week and it was a bit mixed due to the weather Think it's just a blast out this weekend

Cheers Oh can you help I cannot get my avatar on whatever i try
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-10-2008, 03:06 PM
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Chances are it down to the size this forum won't allow anything bigger than 80x80 pixels. An easy way to resize is to upload the image to photobucket and use it's edit feature, the current size will be displayed for you and the easies way to do it is to just type in 80 into the first box if you left the option on keep proportions it will automatically resize the pic save it and either copy the image code and paste it on to the option 1 section on the user cp part for avatars or left click the image save it to your pictures folder then use the browse function on option 2 to find select an upload the image.
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It doesn't look like I'm off to Brands this weekend either now probably off to play on the MX bike in Essex instead


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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-24-2019, 11:23 PM
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I knew a mechanic in sport motorcycles ( next to the museum on Manchester 's Liverpool road)
We went on a Triumph T160 Trident the year Hailwood won. We watched him on the mountain where the train line crosses the road. He was sat on the bike with his feet stuck out and had gaffer tape on the toes of his boots. On the winning final lap all the spectators were on their feet applauding him.
The next day I went on a fast lap of the circuit early morning. I was on the Sulby straight doing about 110, with me head on the tank, when a green Kawasaki pulled along side me. He had one hand on the bars and was sat upright. He pointed to his petrol tank and would I stay with him until we got to the next petrol station.
We both filled up and he said follow me and ill show you how to do the bends.
I did this for about 3 miles then he waved tara put his head on the rank and disappeared down the road leaving me for dead.
Turned out it was Mick Grant. what a nice chap!

When we got back to Manchester we went to Sports Motors to see the bike. In the middle of the showroom was a round lift where bikes were taken down to the workshop and we went on it to see the bike
I felt like royalty.
What a week.

























0 We went to the TT when
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