Classic Motorcycle Mechanics

TIME MACHINES

Featured here, this big Kawasaki not only looks the business but has a strong racing history. It’s one of a number of highly-respected racing bikes that were built by Peckett & McNab for the new British Formula 1 series 40 years ago, but is worthy of note because it started the 1978 Isle of Man TT F1 race ridden by Ian Richards alongside ‘that’ Ducati of Mike Hailwood.

While Hailwood raced to his legendary comeback victory, there’s a little-known sub-plot in which Peckett & McNab machines played their part. Up-and-coming Richards finished third despite getting oil on his rear tyre, two seconds behind the works 888cc Honda of John Williams. But Tom Herron had been challenging for the lead on his Peckett & McNab Honda until a rear shock mount failed. Had Herron won, history might have been very different.

Ian Richards recalls: “The first time I’d sat on the P&M Kawasaki was at the start of practice and although I did only a few practice laps, in the race the bike ran great for the whole six laps and it was brilliant to finish on the rostrum with Hailwood.” The start of that TT F1 race was recreated at this year’s Classic TT when Richards again rode the same Peckett & McNab Kawasaki, now restored to almost its original condition, in

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