Meet the men who've ridden 40,000 AJS, Matchless and Norton bikes
20 July 2009 14:49
Valentino Rossi may be the world's most famous racer, but his statistics pale into insignificance when measured against those of Britain's most prolific motorcyclists, Alan Jones and Bill Hawkins, who between them have ridden 40,000 bikes and over 1.6 million miles.
Between the mid-1950s and the early 1970s Alan rode some 30,000 motorcycles in all weathers, and during the six years up to 1973 Bill rode over 10,000 machines.
How come? They were both Associated Motorcycles (AMC) Senior Testers, responsible for ensuring that every AJS, Matchless and Norton had been tested and fettled before delivery to motorcycle dealers all over the world, eventually to be sold to their enthusiastic new owners.
And when they weren’t working for AMC during the week, Alan and Bill could be found at the weekends involved with motorcycle road racing – Alan as a race starter at Brands Hatch, and Bill as a competitor at national and international levels.
Meet them 29 July
At 8.00pm on Wednesday 29th July Alan Jones and Bill Hawkins, together with several other former colleagues from AMC, will be on stage for the latest Greenwich Motorcycle Club "An Audience with…" at the Eynsford Riverside Club, 24 Riverside, Eynsford, Kent DA4 0AE (just 3 miles from Brands Hatch).
Entry will be free-of-charge, there will be displays of rare photographs depicting aspects of the British motorcycle industry at its peak, and some incredibly rare film, never before seen in public, showing Norton Commando 750 Fastbacks being tested vigorously following initial cracked frame problems when that model first went on sale in the USA.
In the audience there will be a number of luminaries from the world of motorcycling and motorcycle sport.
Further information is available on the Greenwich Motorcycle Club's website www.greenwichmotorcycleclub.co.uk