Blasts from the past

Blasts from the past

Blasts from the past

this page features your contributions, preserving the history of motocross in australia in a timeline
1955 Australian Motocross Championship - Peter Nicol wins the Unlimited title and Harley Scramble
Australian Motocross Champion Peter Nicol won two titles at the 1955 event at the Rope Works in Perth, WA

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1957 George Bailey camping on the way to 1957 Australian Motocross Championships at Amberley QLD
George Bailey travelLing to the 1957 Australian Championships in Amberley, Queensland

Robin Bailey contributed this photo of his father – Australian Motocross Legend, the late, George Bailey – who was travelling from Frankston in Victoria to Amberley in Queensland for the 1957 Australian Championships.  In the background is his FJ Holden and trailer with his two racing bikes – a Triumph 500cc Twin and 250cc Bailey Special, which he built himself from AJS parts and a Matchless frame. George won both titles, to notch up his fifth Australian Motocross Championship.


1959 Bill Watson, winner of the Goldfields Open
Bill Watson, winner of the 1959 Goldfields Open

John from Kalgoorlie, WA sent in historic photos of the Goldfields Motorcycle Club dating back to 1934 – starting at the old Cavalier Hill Circuit.

This included the above photograph of 91-year-old Kalgoorlie rider Bill Watson who, incredibly, is still racing today.  

Bill’s life story is featured in this issue of Old Bike Australasia.


Australian Motocross Legends in the 1960s - Glen Britza, Charlie West, Gordon Renfree and Bob O'Leary

 Australian Motocross Legend Charlie West contributed this photo of the official WA team at the 1961 Australian Championships at Moorebank in NSW.  West won the 250cc and 350cc titles that year, winning six in total.

The photo includes [from left to right]  the late Glen Britza, West, Gordon Renfree and Bob O’Leary.  

Three of the four riders won National titles, with Britza placing four times.  At the end of  their careers, all were inducted into the Motorcycling WA Hall of Fame.


1962 - Don Collins at the Mandurah Scramble in 1962 (WA)

Bunbury rider  Don Collins at the 1962 Mandurah  Scrambles in WA.  Don was also a successful stock-bike and solo rider  at Claremont speedway in the sixties.


John from Bunbury sent in historic photos, newspaper clippings and results for WA Motocross champion Don Collins of Bunbury.

Collins won the WA State 250cc Motocross Championship three times in the sixties (1965, 65 and 68).  

Riding a Husqvarna, Don represented WA at the 1965 Australian Championships in Clarendon (SA), finishing fourth overall in the 250cc class behind Graham Burford (SA, C.Z), John Mapperson (VIC, Greeves) and David Basham (SA, Greeves).

Don’s mother kept a hand-written journal of every race lap position of all competitors for every Motocross event Don competed in.


Australian motocross pioneers Ray East and Les Fisher, East was a business partner with Hans Appelgren
Australian motocross pioneers east and fisher

Australian motocross legend Tim Gibbes shared this photo of other Aussie motocross pioneers Ray East and Les Fisher (pictured).  

East was a business partner with Hans Appelgren, who ran a successful Husqvarna motorcycle import business in New South Wales.

All three riders raced internationally in Europe during the 1960s and on 14 October 1963  were members of the winning Australian side that beat the British in a one-off test match at Pembury, near Brands Hatch.  

The other team members were Charlie West (WA), Kelvin Franks (SA), Bob Walpole (VIC) and Jack Pringle (NSW).


1964 Ray Turner's BSA, which he won the Australian 350cc Championship on
Ray Turner's winning 1964 Australian Championship BSA

During the month, Australian Road Racing Champion Matt Turner sent in the program from the 1969 Australian Motocross Championships in Launceston, Tasmania along with this photo of his father Ray’s BSA bike, which he raced at the event. 

Ray was one of Tassie’s all-time motocross greats, winning the 1964 Australian 350cc Championship on this bike, which is now on display at the National Automobile Museum of Tasmania. 

Between 1964-69, Ray finished on the winner’s podium at the National titles five times and won more than 27 State Tasmanian titles. 


1968-69 AUS NZ MX Tour - International riders

1969 International riders Freddi Postmann (Austria, 4 from left), Tim Gibbs (NZ), UK rider Randy Owen (far right) and Tony Owen with Gordon Adsett (in front).

opening round of the international motocross tour in perth, wa

Event organiser and rider, Tim Gibbes from New Zealand, sent in the below picture from the start of the 1966 tour in Perth, Western Australia.

It features the riders from the eight-round series (and WA Motorcycling Association officials) which started at the Herne Hill circuit in Perth WA, then moved onto the Eastern States, before crossing the Tasman to New Zealand.

If you have any information, photos or memories to share of the International MX series that was held across Australia and New Zealand during the 1960s, please email



1972 Motocross Programme - Bihamco Park, Pakenham - Round 1 of Victorian Championships

Bill Ronald shared this program cover from the 1972 State Victorian Scrambles Championship featuring an autographed photo by Australian Champion Geoff Taylor.

Later that year Geoff finished third in the Australian 125cc Championship at Wallan in Victoria on 3 September 1972, riding a Yamaha.

Geoff won the Australian 500cc Motocross Championship at St. Leonards Circuit in Launceston, Tasmania.  Throughout his career, he podiumed six times in the National scrambles and motocross championships, finishing second and third respectively in the Unlimitted and 250cc classes in 1966 at Christmas Hills in  his home state.

Then the following year in 1967, he was second and third respectively in the 250cc and 350cc classes at Mt. Kembla in Woolongong, New South Wales.



1978 Australian Supercross History articles from Paul Gogarty

Keen motocross historian Paul Gogarty from New South Wales contributed these two images for the AMX History Supercross section.

For many years, it was considered that the first stadium motocross in Australia was held at Sydney’s Parramatta Raceway on 16 July 1978, run by speedway promoter, Sid Hopping.  But the Rev’s article from May 1978 proves that Claremont Speedway promoter Con Migro organised the stadium motocross on 20 May 1978 with the A.J.S. Motorcycle Club as part of the inaugural three-day Perth Motorcycle Show. 

Photos: May 1978 Rev’s story of the inaugural Perth Motor Show and the program cover from the Paramatta Supercross in November that year.


1978 Kid of the Cross winner - Mark Leisk

1978 Kid of the Cross winner Mark Leisk from Western Australia

mark leisk, 1978 kid of the cross, southern cross, WA

King of the Cross  promotor Bob Couzens contributed a stack of material for a documentary in progress on the history of the event.  This included this picture of Mark Leisk winning the 1978 “Kid of the Cross” event at Southern Cross.

Mark, the older brother of Australian Motocross legend Jeff Leisk, was also a great motocross and enduro rider.  

In 1979 Mark won the WA State 125cc Championship ahead of more experienced riders.  That same year he won the Victorian round of Kid Mr Motocross, which was run as part of the Mr Motocross series in the 1970s and 1980s.


Bob Couzens at riders meeting in Southern Cross

Bob Couzens addresses the riders at the Rider’s meeting at the King of the Cross in the 1980s


King of the Cross  race organizer and club secretary Bob Couzens donated a heap of photos, programs and videos to the AMX History website, which will be gradually released through this website. 

Cousins was the man behind the success of the King of the Cross. The owner of the Railway Tavern in Southern Cross, and his family and supporters, put in tireless efforts and hours over the years.

Bob was a colourful character and, for each event, he would dress up in a different costume.


Emil Bollhalder's poster for and Charlie Busser - World Sidecar Champions poster for John Turner

Photo insert: South Australian John Turner presents the miniature EML chassis model he built for World Sidecarcross Champion Emil Bollhalder. Main photo: Double World Sidecarcross Champions 1982 and 1983 Emil Bollhalder and Karl Busser from Switzerland.


Former sidecar rider John Turner, from South Australia, contributed this story.

In 1984, when John met World Sidecarcross Champion Emil Bollhalder, he agreed to build him a miniature model his sidecar.  The Swiss champion and his passenger Karl Busser won both the 1982 and 1983 World Championships on a Yamaha 998cc EML.

John built the model from this poster and John Steyntjes’ 1983 EML chassis, which he used for measurements.

The EML model was built to quarter scale and weighs approximately 3.5kg.  The overall dimensions are approximately 540mm x 340mm and 240mm in height.  It took John an estimated 1,500 hours to build over a two-year period.

John Turner personally presented the model to Bollhalder in 1986 when he and his wife travelled to Europe.


1985 Manjimup 15000 Jeff Leisk and Jimmy Ellis

Manjimup 15000 winners Jeff Leisk (1984 and 1985) and Jimmy Ellis (1986) at the Cosy Creek Circuit in Manjimup, Western Australia

1985 manjimup 15000 motocross spectacular, WA

Photographer Alison Kerr-Little contributed several photos of Jeff Leisk and the sidecar races from the 1985 Manjmup 15000 Motocross spectacular at Manjimup in Western Australia.

This photo captures Leisk (Honda, WA) and Jimmy Ellis (Yamaha, USA) at the big jump at the end of the main straight.

Leisk won the Manjimup 15000 that year, winning back-to-back titles in 1984 and 1985, before heading to the US to begin his international racing career.

US rider Jim Ellis made Australia home for several years in the 1980s.  He won the 125 and 250cc Australian Championships that year, and the Manjimup 15000 the following year.


1985 Australian Championships Noble Falls - Darren Williams and Mark Kendle

Newly crowned 1000cc Australian Champions Darren Williams and Mark Kendle at the 1985 National Championships  at Noble Falls, WA

williams-kendle, 1985 australian championships, noble falls, WA

Photographer Alison Kerr-Little contributed many new photos from the 1985 Australian Motocross Championships at Noble Falls. 

Newly crowned Australian Champions Darren Williams and Mark Kendle were the standouts for that meeting – breaking through to win their first National title in the 1000cc sidecar class.

They became the first sidecar team to consistently jump the spectacular double-jump at the circuit on their lightweight Honda – gaining a huge advantage on the other competitors.

1986 & 1987

1987 Australian 1000cc Sidecar placegetters, featuring the winner Bill Williams from Victoria

1987 Australian 1000cc Sidecarcross Championship presentation of awards to the placegetters at Smithton in Tasmania. [L-R] Darren Robertson-Darryl Elliott (VIC, 2rd), Cliff Cook-John Steyntjes (WA,3rd) & Bill Williams-Bruce Lindsell (VIC – first)


In 1987, Victorian Sidecar team Bill Williams and Bruce Lindsell won the  Australian 1000cc Sidecarcross Championship at Smithton in Tasmania on a Honda EML outfit.

The previous year, Williams-Lindsell competed at the Australian Championships in Raymond Terrace, New South Wales  – finishing fifth in the 500cc Sidecar Championship in their first attempt.

At the same meeting, Williams also competed in solo 500cc Motocross Championship, finishing in the Top 10.  

Has anyone else in the history of the sport achieved a Top 10 finish in both a sidecar and solo championship at the same event?

In 1994, Williams returned to Tasmania for the Australian Sidecarcross Championships, this time with Brett Stoll as his passenger, finishing second after the front wheel bearing collapsed on their Honda VMC.


1988 Australian Motocross Championships Mackay - 500 class - Glen Bell - By Edan Wilson

Glen Bell at the 1988 Australian Motocross Championships aboard a Honda 500  in Mackay, Queensland.

Bell finishes second to leisk in THE australian 250 and 500CC championships in 1988 at mackay, queensland

Edan Wilson from Queensland contributed a series of photos he took at the Australian Motocross Championships in Mackay, Queensland on the weekend of  15-16 October 1988.  

That was the year that Jeff Leisk returned briefly from America before his assault on the 1989 World 500cc Championship, when he won all three classes at Mackay. 

At the time, Leisk became the second rider to achieve this feat with Gary Flood earlier winning all classes at the 1969 Australian Championships at St. Leonards in Launceston, Tasmania.

Glen Bell (pictured left) finished second to Leisk in both the 250cc and 500cc classes.  Bell won a 500cc moto and tied on points with Leisk, but lost on a countback system.


1990 Team Marlboro Yamaha and officials - T Williamson, Peter Melton, J Collins, Craig Dack and Ross McWatters

1990 Team Marlboro Yamaha and officials – T Williamson, Peter Melton, J Collins, Craig Dack and Ross McWatters

Yamaha Marlboro Motocross Team - Melton and Dack

When AMXHistory announced the late Peter Melton as a SuperXhero, Joshua Ross shared this photo of the 1990 Yamaha Marlboro Team – featuring Peter (second from left) with mechanic T Williamson, J Collins, Craig Dack and his mechanic Ross McWatters. That year, Craig Dack secured Team Marlborough Yamaha’s first National title in the 250cc class at Monza Park in Ballarat, Victoria – his fourth National Motocross Championship, after winning three while riding for Honda. That year Melton, for the second year in a row, won all State Queensland MX titles in 125cc, 250cc and 500cc classes.


1994 Australian Team Motocross of Nations Ruggenburg Switzerland - Lee Hogan, Kim Ashkenazi and Stephen Andrew

1994 Australian Team Motocross of Nations Ruggenburg Switzerland – Lee Hogan, Kim Ashkenazi and Stephen Andrew with officials and mechanics

1994 Australian Team Motocross of Nations Ruggenburg, Switzerland

Well-known Australian motocross industry identity Mark Luksich contributed a stack of photos from Australia’s participation in the World Motocross of Nations annual team event.  

This photo features the Australian riders, officials and mechanics in 1994 at Ruggenburg  in Switzerland – Lee Hogan (37), Kim Ashkenazi (38) and Stephen Andrew (39).  

Australia finished 17th overall that year with Ashkenazi finishing 8th in the first 250cc moto and Hogan 9th in the second 500cc moto.


2001 MXdN Namur Belgium - Chad Reed's 250cc Kawasaki - Photo by Chris McAteer

Australian rider Chad Reed’s 250cc Kawasaki at the 2001 Motocross des Nations in Belgium.  Reed was also the Runner-up World 250cc Champion on this bike.

Chad Reed's winning 250cc Kawasaki at the 2001 MXDN's in Belgium

Chris McAteer shared this photo of Australian rider Chad Reed’s 250cc Kawasaki,  at the 2001 Motocross des Nations in Namur, Belgium. 

Reed won the first moto on this bike, but crashed at the start of his second ride.  McAteer was fortunate to witness the first and only MXDN’s outright moto win by an Australian, the team consisting of Reed, the late Andrew McFarlane and Michael Byrne.  

Despite Reed’s accident and Byrne breaking his wrist in the first moto, Australia finished a creditable sixth overall.


2003 Aust Junior MX CS - Jackson Richardson, Todd Waters, Jacob Blomfield and Brendon Harrison - By Peter Coward

Peter Coward shared this photo from the Australian Junior Motocross Championships in South Australia in 2003.

It features (from left to right) Jackson Richardson, Todd Waters, Jacob Blomfield and Brendon Harrison.

On their way up into seniors, Harrison won the Australian MX3 Champion ship in 2005 on a Yamaha, ahead of fellow Queenslanders Waters and Kirk Gibbs. 

Waters went on to win the 2019 Australian MX1 Championships aboard a Husqvarna – the premier class in Australia.




2007 Australian titles in Morgan SA Gary Sheppard and Robin Power (Pre68 class)

2007 Australian Sidecarcross (Pre-68) Champions – the late Gary Sheppard and Robin Power from South Australia.

2007 australian championships, morgan, WA

Robin Power of South Australia contributed this photo from the 2007 Australian Sidcarcross Champinships at Morgan in South Australia.

The late Gary Sheppard and Robin Power won the Pre-68 Australian title that weekend.

He also sent in photos of himself with the great Murray Williams riding at Acusa Park and the 2007 Honda Easter event at Broadford in Victoria.

(See photo gallery)


2008 Australian Championship Round Coolum QLD - Jay Marmont (1), Cheyne Boyd (4) and Daryl Hurley (912) - By Peter Coward
Spectacular Photo from Coolum in Queensland

Peter Coward shared this spectacular photo from Coolum in Queensland.

It features Jay Marmont (NSW), Cheyne Boyd (Vic) and Daryl Hurley (NZ) at a round of the Australian Motocross Championships.

The photo was most likely taken in 2008 when Marmont won his first National title, ahead of Hurley and Boyd in the MX1 class.

Peter sent in many photos of Australia’s top riders and those competing in the United States, which will be featured in other stories on this site.

2008 Australian Championship Round Coolum QLD – Jay Marmont (1), Cheyne Boyd (4) and Daryl Hurley (912) – By Peter Coward


2009 - AMA MX Southwick - Australians 1,2,3 - Chad Reed, Jake Moss and Michael Byrne - 29 August July (By Greg Moss)

Greg Moss shared this great autographed photo and story of Australians Michael Byrne (Suzuki), Greg Moss (Kawasaki) and Chad Reed (Suzuki) from the Southwick AMA 450 Motocross race in the United States on 29 August 2009.  

It was the first (and only) time three Australians finished 1-2-3 in an AMA MX event with Jake Moss (2nd) standing alongside countrymen Chad Reed (1st) and Michael Byrne (3rd) in an Aussie clean sweep of the 450 Class podium in moto one.  

At the time, Jake was one of just five Australians to podium at the pinnacle of the sport in the US outdoors.

Aussie clean sweep at Southwick AMA 450 MX moto 1 – Chad Reed (1), Jake Moss (2) and Michael Byrne (3) on 29 August 2009.


Kevin Russell  – First in Pre 1978 Super Seniors Class at the 2017 Australian Classic Motocross Championships at Port Pirie in South Australia


Australian motorcycling legend Kevin Russell’s daughter Linda sent in these photos of her father in action on his Pre 1978 Suzuki and accepting his Australian Classic Motocross Championship award at Port Pirie in South Australia on 20 August 2017, at 78 years of age. 

Back on 7  September 1979, 38 years earlier, Russell from Perth in Western Australia,  held off many of Australia’s top motocross riders in the Australian 250cc Championship at Wanneroo in Western Australia, finishing second to international rider Pelle Granqvist (Sweden, Husqvarna).  

The Kawasaki privateer from the Coastal Motorcycle Club reveled in the deep Wanneroo sand to become Runner-up Australian 250cc Champion.

Kevin was a multiple State champion in motocross and enduros, plus he raced solos at Claremont Speedway and in the British Premier League.

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