Motorcycle: Sports Two Wheels - Grand Prix 500S
Date: Sunday, October 31 @ 17:41:27 UTC
Topic: Motorcycle, Motorcycles, Motor Cycle
Grand Prix 500S
Grand Prix racing's 500cc class is the most prestigious in motorcycling. In the modern era, whoever has worn the 500cc crown has been entitled to call himself the best motorcycle racer in the world. As the most powerful and fastest bikes, the 500s have generally attracted the top riders, the biggest budgets, the greatest interest and the most publicity.
Modern 500 stars battle in a true world championship that in recent years has included rounds as far apart as Australia, America and Argentina. The situation was very different in 1949, when the world championship was first formed from the "Continental Circus" — the band of riders who, with their bikes and a few spares in small vans, followed a winding route around Europe from one race to the next. Britain's Les Graham won the 500cc title after six rounds, all of which were in Europe.
Graham won that first 500cc crown on a British twin, the AJS Porcupine, and Geoff Duke took the championship two years later on a single-cylinder Norton. But for the rest of the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s, racing premier class was dominated by multi-cyhnl Italian four-strokes, firstly from Gilera-whog six championships included a hat-trick from Duke between 1953 and 1955 - and thenfrg MV Agusta.
MVs red and silver machines set records that will probably never be equalled, winning 17 consecutive world 500cc championships between 1958 and 1974 as well as a total riders' world titles and 37 manufacturers' championships. The so-called "Gallarate Engines" reigned supreme in the 500cc winning the championship with John Surteesg 1956 and then, after a year's break, regaining it with Surtees, Gary Hocking and Mike Hailwood, who wonafour in a row.
Competition between numerous Italian factories was intense until the mid-1950s. But Mondial, Moto Guzzi and Gilera quit the arena in 1957, Guzzi without ever realizing the full potential of their exotic and super-fast V-eight. MV's next serious works challenge came from Mike Hailwood who left for Honda in 1966 and twice came desperately close to taking the title, with Agostini just beating him each time. Honda then quit racing, and Ago went on to take seven consecutive championships for MV. . Phil Read retained the 500cc title for MV in 1973 and 1974 but the Japanese two-stroke challenge was looming. Ironically though, it was Italian hero, Agostini, who in 1975 won the title for Yamaha, ending Agusta's glory years and confirming the two-stroke as the dominant force in 500cc Grand Prix racing.
This article comes from Free Vin Check, Get Vehicle History Report, Free Car History, Used Car History, Auto History, Free Vehicle History, VIN Number Check, Car History, Lemon, Check
The URL for this story is: