Friday, 14 January 2011

The Mann - UPDATED

Dick Mann victorious on tarmac as well as dirt.How L o n g is that tank? And check out those monkey boots!1971 BSA factory team- Jim Rice #2, David Aldana #3, Dick Mann #4, Mike Hailwood #20, Don Emde #25, and the H-D team behind. BP
Dick was interviewed for Sideburn 3
David A and Don E were featured in Sideburn 5

The pics on the Honda are from Daytona 1970. Here's some old tut I wrote years ago as a sidebar for a main feature about two French students winning the newly-revived Bol d'Or in 1969.

"It was one thing to win what was in effect a French national race, but encouraged by the Bol d’Or victory, Honda wanted to prove their new superbike on a bigger stage. How about the Daytona 200?

"Once again, Bill Smith was asked to co-ordinate the effort. He and his team spent two months in early 1970 shaking down four pretty raw bikes. But these were a world apart from the near-standard CB750 raced at the Bol. Dripping with titanium and with a variety of hot camshafts, they ranged from 89-96bhp, compared to the stock bike’s claimed 67.

"There would be three British riders – Smith, Tommy Robb and Ralph Bryans, plus the American veteran Dick Mann, who the Brits had never met and knew little of. He, it’s rumoured, was given the least powerful bike.

"Practice was nightmarish, with the ill-handling 180mph bikes constantly breaking cam chains. Then the back wheel stepped out on Bryans when powering on at the top of the banking. He clipped the wall and the bike skittered down the steep concrete and burst into flames. It didn’t bode well.

"In the race, Robb started way down the grid with Bryans at the back. Smith was out before the start with, yes, a busted cam chain and Robb and Bryans followed suit soon after. But Dick Mann went on to win by ten seconds (he repeated the feat the following year on a BSA – the last non-Japanese bike to win the famous Daytona 200).

"On the strength of the win, Honda made kits available to turn a stock CB into what became known as the CR750 racer."


Diplomate said...

not just tank length - what's the wheelbase ? plus check the fork rake ! Dennis Hopper'd aprove of that

Nick said...

Dick Mann, guru. I met him and his wife at Beezumph a couple of years ago, a greater genuine enthusiast about biking , I don't think I have met, I was and am in awe of the man, and you know they say you should never meet your hero's well here's one Mann it's not true, he is The Mann