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Motocross Champion Atkins

Australian Motocross Champion Alan Atkins

1955 Puch 250 SGS - Schwing-Gabel-Sport - motorbike manufactured in Austria

Photo: Puch 250 SGS (Schwing-Gabel-Sport) motorbike, which Tasmanian rider Alan Atkins powered to victory in the Australian 250cc Motocross Championship in Launceston, Tasmania 

Atkins wins the first Australian Motocross Championship on a two-stroke engine

On 18 May 1958, Tasmanian rider Alan Atkins created history winning the first Australian Motocross Championship on a two-stroke powered machine in the 250cc class.

Atkins – in only his fourth motocross competition – won the 250cc Championship in Evansdale, Launceston riding a Puch 250 SGS (Schwing-Gabel-Sport).

These machines were manufactured by the Austrian Steyr Daimler Puch AG’s Puch division in Thondorf near Graz. The motorcycle is powered by a split-single two-stroke engine (two pistons sharing a single combustion chamber).

In those days, the bikes used for motocross (scrambling, as it was called then) were road machines with the lights, electrics and guards removed and tyres changed to “knobbies”.

Between the first Australian Motocross Championship in 1953 in Daylesford (VIC) and the 1958 Championship in Launceston (TAS) the British B.S.A. four-stroke machines dominated most classes.

But after Victorian rider Ken Rumble won the inaugural event on a B.S.A, the Australian Championships went to a variety of manufacturers including:

  • Velocette (1954, Ray Wall, SA),
  • Francis Barnett (1955, John Rock, WA,) and
  • The Bailey Special (1956 and 1957, George Bailey, VIC).

The Bailey Special was George Bailey’s own creation, which he built using A.J.S. engine parts and a Matchless frame and tank.

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Australian Motocross History