Classic Bike racing specialist, Chris Swallow could pull the rug from under the feet of the IOM Classic TT Lightweight race favourites, Bruce Anstey, Ian Lougher & Micheal Dunlop on Saturday 26th August 2017.
With his father, veteran racer Bill Swallow by his side, together with the Glyn Robinsons Sport Motorcycles Hailwood Ducati TT1, Chris has some the best classic bike racing minds behind him and he may pull off the ride of his life.
Since the IOM Classic TT was created in 2013, there has been a new & exotic racing arena for classic bike racing specialist such as The Swallows to compete against top TT riders. It has enlivened the classic bike racing world and bought more spectators and enthusiasts to this visceral sport.
Although the Huddersfield racer, Bill Swallow, insists he is ' sort of retired to help his son Chris' Bill will still race in this year's Senior Classic TT Race on the Glebe Racing Paton. “I was aged 50 when I lapped at more than 108mph on a 499 Manx Norton and it took 15 years, a lot of development of bikes, a lot of course improvement and employing TT stars to beat it, and then only by a few seconds.”
Now in his late 60's, Bill is still the fastest person ever on the TT course on 250/350 & 500 single cylinder bikes "I have no aspirations to be mixing it with the young tearaways, but experience may still count for something,” says Swallow.
Owned by Glyn & Steve Robinson, Glebe Racing has a long established relationship with both Bill & Chris Swallow. In the 1980’s Glyn built Bill his first racing Ducati, a bevel drive machine in a home-made frame with the geometry of a Vela-Norton special which they won the National Twins Championship on first time out in 1987. Fellow Yorkshire man Pointer, also a Ducati enthusiast and with his own engineering business in Leeds, sponsored Swallow back then and has stayed with him and his racing efforts ever since, from travelling round Ireland and Europe with an Earache or Velocity, to being a key member of the Brian Richards and Dick Linton teams that Swallow subsequently rode for.
Following the teams tremendous success down under, New Zealand based Yorkshire man, Chris Swallow, rides a newly built 750cc TT1 for the iconic Sports Motorcycles Ducati team in the Dunlop Lightweight Classic TT Race on Saturday 26th August 2017 . The sight and sound of a Ducati twin wearing the distinctive Sports Motorcycles Ducati colours on the island will surely evoke some magical memories from 1978 when the legendary Mike Halewood won the Formula One TT.
With 2 Manx GP podiums & 5th in the 2015 Senior TT, Chris is ready to prove himself on the Mountain course on this iconic bike. Obviously aware of the huge magnitude of the task Chris said
“When I head off down Glenclutchery Road on this bike it will be the proudest moment of my relatively short TT Mountain Course career so far. We tested the bike at Pukekohe in New Zealand recently and the bike Glyn Robinson has produced is really something. The attention to detail is simply brilliant, it's quick and it handles very well. It's a real credit to Glyn and the Sports Motorcycles name.”
The Sports Motorcycles-entered Ducati TT1 is built from scratch entirely in house by New Zealand based Engineer, Glyn Robinson, requiring the manufacturer of a whole series of very special parts for the classic 1980’s Ducati race scene, even as far as creating whole factory replica bikes of the day.
Everything has been manufactured in their own machine shop using a wide range of CNC production equipment. These include Marzocchi replica 41mm magnesium forks and adjustable yokes, brake discs, footrests and controls, dry clutch assembly and housing, rear spindle clamp assembly and caliper carriers. The frame, swing arm, exhaust system and fuel tank are also hand crafted by Glyn, who said, It’s indeed a great honour to have the opportunity to represent Sports Motorcycles at the Isle of Man with Steve Wynne’s blessing and we are all looking forward to making our debut at the Classic TT.”
With the Davida Racing Series growing its reputation for helmet art skills during the later half of the 1990's, Davida were rewarded in 2002 when the Hailwood Family commissioned Davida to be the first manufacturer to reproduce Mike's iconic ' For The Love of Sport' helmet design.
Davida launched the Hailwood Replica helmet in 2002, joined by Sports Motorcycles, Steve Wynn at the Stafford Show, and Mike's son, David Hailwood at the IOM Manx GP.
Keeping Helmet Art Alive - Davida Racing
Although the Ducati Hailwood Replica is no longer available the Davida ACU Gold Jet helmet continues to carry the racing colours of a variety of classic biike racers including Bill Swallow, 1st in the Classic Manx GP on a 350cc Honda in 1986, he has since won 8 more and is the race holder in the 350cc class.
Bill whose been racing in the same Davida Jet for more than 13 years said "I always reckoned I rode harder in an open face and goggles - you can get down. My Davida Jet is so comfortable, more flexible .... the lightness and mobility of the Davida Jet and goggle combination allowed me to get around the bends faster".
Nine times TT winner between 1971 - 1980 and Classic TT Racer, Charlie Williams received his ACU Gold Jet painted in his racing colours in 2013.
I'd forgotten the freedom given by a Jet style helmet and goggles, especially one as comfortable, quiet and well constructed as my Davida -and all hand-made in England by English craftsmen ! An all English designed and manufactured helmet exuding quality, I love my Davida".Charlie Williams
Like many others, he began his career by winning the Manx Grand Prix, the 1972 Lightweight, before progressing to the TT.
A dominant figure during the Seventies, Charlie scored his first victory in the Production Lightweight race in 1973. The smaller classes were really his domain and he was still winning in 1980, when he triumphed in the Formula Two and Junior events, riding Yamaha machinery. They were his seventh and eighth TT successes.
Although retired from TT racing, Charlie still takes an active part in presenting the TT & Classic TT, being an integral part of the Radio TT team.
Charlie however still regularly races in the Lansdowne Cup alongside thirty six times British Historic Championship Winner & 2010 Goodwood Winner, Ian Bain & Duncan Fitchett, four times Goodwood Revival Winner.
Ian Bain - "My Davida Jet, like my Manx Norton, built to last, fits like a glove ".
Davida MD, Davida Fiddaman will be at Union Mills Campsite from Aug 23rd - 26th August 2017
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