I have been involved with Vintage motorcycle road racing all my life. My sisters and I were brought up with it, and many of the happiest times in my life have been either watching my dad or doing it myself.
There have been many changes in our lives and thirty five years (or more) have gone past since I started to be able to go to races on my own with Roger. Driving through the night in the Mercedes motorcaravan, converted with bunks from the Jazz musician, Kenny Ball’s old instrument transporter and extravagantly painted with ‘Roger Moss motorcycle racing’ (my mum thought it looked like a circus wagon) to some otherwise never seen corner of the country. Riding the bike down to scrutineering in the morning even though I could barely get my feet on the ground. The last minute panics to fix the bike, the occasional crashes, the blowups, the personalities, the bacon sandwiches… It was so compelling a drama and it still is all these years later.
I live in Devon now, a long way from the Leicestershire home of Roger and his toolroom workshop and the ability to work on the bikes like I used to. If you want something enough you find a way though, and I’ve been working for the last couple of years toward making a usable workshop area so I could get my bikes down here, and last year I started to do just that. No machine tools to start with, but step by step.
So what is this site for?
The main reason is just a desire to share some of my enthusiasm for working on, riding and racing these bikes, some that I’ve known all my life through sharing some of the stories, the dramas, the ambitions, the exhilaration, the engineering, the tuning attempts, the failures (and successes) wrapped up in this world.
The other reason I started this site was, as I said, to do with my father, Roger. His overwhelming interest and professional occupation within the world of mechanical engineering has interfaced seamlessly with his love of motorcycles and short circuit club road racing over the last 45 years to have created a legacy of fascinating tales and some pretty impressive engineering work. I am hoping that this will provide a platform to tell Roger’s innumerable stories as well as show some of what he’s up to in his constant development of his racer and also his work re-engineering Scott engines for other people.
The main focus (obsession) for his club racing expoits has been the development of his 1934 Scott Flying Squirrel racing bike, which he discovered quite early to be a perfect machine for any masochist to start racing on.
The bike he built back in 1970, had already undergone so much development by the early eighties that the original frame, tank, radiator and wheels were no longer being used, and so it was in 1983 that I was given these precious items to one day return to their former glory. Although I started racing back in 1988 on the old pre-war Triumph we have, it took me a long time to get his old Super Squirrel framed racer finished, but in 2006 whilst working with him rebuilding Scott engines for a living, I finally did it. That year I achieved a significant dream, to race with him both on Scotts.
The rest as they say, is history (or still to come!) and I want to be able to provide a platform for some of that story-scape and hopefully some contributions by some others too.
We both race with the British Historic Racing club, (as often as finances permit) as well as doing certain classic trackdays .. mainly at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire which surely is one of the finest motorcycle racing circuits anywhere. Racing is an expensive hobby so we are selective about the circuits we visit (always Cadwell), but my ambition is to try to do a full season one year and try and go for the championship. With a young family and a small business, I simply do what I can. One day we also need to attempt to claim the ‘Worlds Fastest Scott’ record, which I attempted a few years ago on my Dads bike at Woodbridge. It wasn’t to be that day.
I was lucky enough to be able to work with him for some years professionally rebuilding Scott engines until I moved to Devon in 2009. He continues that work today through his company,
Although our endeavours are now split by some geographical distance we are both always working to keep them racing and to make them better.
Long may that continue.