Images and text drawn from MCM of August 1971
All our dreams. hopes and aspirations went crashing down the hill at Paddock Bend with Martyn Ishwood when he was scooped off the track at Brands Hatch by an out-of-control bike. Martyn took a tumble and in spite of a few bruises bounced back to race again that fateful afternoon on the Kent circuit, but not so our Suzuki. It lay sad and twisted in the paddock, looking very much in need of first-aid if not a complete facelift operation.
Broken fairing and shattered screen, bent front forks and wheel, ripped back tyre and graunched mudguard. dented fuel tank. silencer and twisted footrest and gearchange ... say it quick and it doesn't sound much. Look at it and you would believe that only a scrap merchant would be interested in the wreck!
Fortunately. our worst fears were unfounded. With the front wheel pushed backwards almost to the motor, it seemed as if the frame of the Suzuki must be bent. Yet, when we removed the fuel tank to check, it was obvious by the size, thickness and strength of the steering head, that it was only the forks which had taken the punishment.
The motor too, apart from scrapes along one side, which had also bent the footrest and gearchange, was intact. Damage was superficial and with the exception of the shattered Perspex screen, bent wheel rim and twisted fork stanchions, could all be repaired. As anybody will discover if they go to buy replacement items such as chromium-plated mudguards, they are not cheap and when Emie Hall told us the twisted front and rear guards could be straightened without too much trouble. it meant we didn't have to dig so deeply into our race budget.
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Copyright reserved: M Barnard 1997 and MCM 1971 in this case!
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