Bikes at Brighton - 2014 Speed Trials

Bikes at Brighton – 2014 Speed Trials

Chris Illman Leigh Rudge Special 14.65sec 91mphBrighton & Hove Motor Club did everything they possibly could to ensure this years Speed Trials ended with smiles all round after a day of amazing ¼ mile runs along Madeira Drive.

After the cancellation of the event in 2013 following the tragic death of side car passenger Charlotte Tagg who was thrown from the outfit when the machine hit a dip in the uneven surface after crossing the finishing line. Brighton Council reversed their banning order following a 12,400 signature petition and high publicity campaign to reinstate the event that first ran in 1905.

Frank Clarke Brooklands Norton JAP 16.47sec 72mphDuring the day I took time to leave the public areas and via the road way walked to the far end of the track. Whilst there is plenty of evidence of tarmac patches as the slow-down area, the surface is still very uneven. With the fastest bikes crossing the line at over 160mph I can only imagine the last thing the riders need is to deal with the instability caused by the surface whilst decelerating from those speeds. You could clearly see and hear the bikes clattering over this part of the track and while not looking to make myself public enemy no 1 surely this area should be completely resurfaced long before next year’s event. I would be most grateful for any views from the saddle from those who took part on Saturday 6th September.

That said there were plenty of brave rides displayed along Brighton seafront and from all vintages of machine, the earliest from the late 1920s. Part of the character and charm of the Speed Trials is the variety of bikes that take part, the open paddock area also allows the public to get up close and meet the owners who are only too happy to share their times and talk bikes.

John Hobbs Olympus Triumph Tiger 100 11.99sec 119mphWith 62 bike entries covering eight classes, including those on three wheels, the start line area became congested at times (although much worse with the cars) but the B&HMC officials kept it moving along quickly. One practice and two timed runs sorted out the competitors for the top 6 shoot-out and as expected the latest machines filled the top spots. Report and Images Grant Ford

Top Six Shoot-out Result

  • Craig Mallabone             Suzuki Hayabusa Turbo   168mph   9.07sec
  • Paul Furlong                   Suzuki GSXR1000 K7       153mph   9.26sec
  • Roger Simmons             Suzuki Hayabusa Turbo   155mph   9.60sec
  • Stephen Mead               BMW S1000RR                 151mph   9.74sec
  • Jeff Dowsett                     Suzuki GSXR                       147mph   10.04sec

Only five bikes ran, missing was Phil Wood who posted a 9.24 earlier in the day.