Gareth of Double Six has just been on a flying visit to the US to buy vintage flat trackers. Here's his report and snaps.
Like most people into vintage racing I love the history/geeky side to it. This brings some problems though. We all want the best/rarest parts and to me you can’t beat an original framer that was raced. Sadly we don’t have an abundance of these in England. This is one of the main reasons I set up Double Six, to help my friends find the correct period parts or bikes for racing.
After a chance online conversation about the Strongbow-sponsored flat track race in England in the 70s found me booking flights to America to a town called Charlotte that I had not heard of before.
An 8.5 hour flight and in-depth passport control questions to why I am travelling all this distance for an “old motorbike” cleared, I had arrived. I met Jet the owner of not just one but two beautiful examples of Vintage flat track bikes at his house. Outside sat on the driveway draped in the morning sun sat a pair of bikes that on first glimpse made me smile like the Cheshire cat on MDMA.
The first being a time capsule of 70s racing Championed framed Yamaha 250 and the second being an early Trackmaster framed Triumph 650 (frame is almost identical to my current bike) with a host of period accessories and modifications I have only read about before. The bikes sat there in their matching paint jobs just looked so good.
After ten minutes looking at the bikes and chatting to my now friend a deal was agreed. 'You want to see my son's XR750?' A question I did not have to be asked twice. Jet introduced me to his son, Scotty is the man behind Flat Track Flashback on YouTube (a channel putting great race footage from the 90s to current races online, check it out if you haven’t yet). He shares his dad's passion for the sport and has some great items and insight into flat track. The focal point of this is the XR750 built as an homage to Will Davis (ex number 21 plate holder), which is spotless and has all the goodies you could wish for.
When we returned, Jet and I loaded the truck and finished the day off with a couple of beers, shuffleboard and more stories. The following day the two bikes started their long journey to port with me. Over four hours later we had arrived at the port of Charleston, bikes unloaded and my mission for the trip complete I breathed easily.
The bikes haven’t been started in around 25 years, but I am hoping to have them both ready and racing at round one in the DTRA in less than five months. I’d like to thank Jet for agreeing to sell them to me and for his family's hospitality. Got to love this flat track family.