Ian's picture


Notes (and pictures) taken from a couple of emails I got from Les B

In the 70's BP took to running competitions for schools to build their own cars (which were excellent) and tried extending it to bike competitions (which weren't). Loads of controversy at the time, they'd suggested they wanted advanced ideas, but the motorcycling judges just couldn't get their heads round the FF thing. Gave the (very considerable) prizes to stuff like Honda-powered Bantams and the like, but after absolute dismay was expressed by their own engineering types agreed to show our bike at the above show as an interesting entry. Spent several days answering the continual question "how come YOU didn't win?" but we DID get to meet Geoff Duke, Mike Hailwood, and all BPs top brass at the time. And, of course, Ken and Malcolm! D

We used a 150cc Lambretta engine mounted well forward (chain drive). You may recognise Geoff Duke in the big pic and also riding the bike with the front off for tweaking. He got rollocked for riding without helmet! Also riding is Commando man Bob Trigg and you can see the bike being tested through the cones. The judges then insisted we perform this test with our full pannier set on, which was effectively the kiss of death to the result. We were considerably miffed at the time, cos nobody else had bothered to make panniers, and consequently went through on much slimmer bikes.... We used two wishbones much like the later Yamaha, and I have thought of trying again with Ital bits - can't see why they went too the trouble then built a conventionally shaped bike. Thought the Honda Helix looked suspiciously like ours as well!