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hail the great KING KENNY and the TZ750.started last but won by 1 metre


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The TZ750 dirt-tracker had a 750cc, two-stroke engine that made 120bhp. And no front brakes!

You’ll often hear that the 1970s and 80s 500cc GP racing bikes were ‘evil’ and extremely difficult to ride. And indeed, they must have been that way. But even more than those GP bikes, it was perhaps the 1975 Yamaha TZ750 dirt-tracker, which the most ‘evil,’ most terrifying competition bike ever built. The TZ750 dirt-tracker was powered by Yamaha’s liquid-cooled, four-cylinder, 750cc two-stroke engine that made about 125 horsepower. Oh, and no brakes at the front…

Before he won successive 500cc road racing world championships in 1978, 79 and 80, ‘King’ Kenny Roberts was dirt-track racing in the US. Riding for Yamaha, he won the dirt-track AMA Grand National Championship in 1973 and 74, despite his bike being less powerful than the competing Tractor-Davidson XR750 machines. Roberts made up for that power deficit by riding harder than everybody else, which made for some spectacular racing on the dirt ovals of America


Says Kenny Roberts about the TZ750 dirt-tracker, 'You had to throw it sideways at 150mph [240km/h] to get it slowed for corners...'

In 1975, Yamaha tried to find a solution to their power deficit and fitted their dirt-tracker with the 120 horsepower engine from their TZ750 roadracer. The result was a monstrous, nearly uncontrollable machine. However, in August 1975, Roberts rode this TZ750 dirt-tracker at the famous Indy Mile dirt-track oval, winning the race ahead of Jay Springsteen and Corky Kenner.

He later admitted that the TZ750 dirt-tracker, which could hit speeds of up to 240km/h on the straights, was too scary even for him. ‘They don’t pay me enough to ride that thing,’ said King Kenny, and within a few weeks, the AMA went on to ban the TZ750 engine from dirt-track racing – that was the end of the machine’s short-lived dirt-track career.

The TZ750 dirt-tracker only won one race in 1975, but will still be remembered forever

Today, how does Roberts remember his old steed? Says The King, ‘You had to throw it sideways to get it slowed for the corners. There weren’t a lot of riders who could throw it sideways at 240km/h.’ Amen


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"The first batch of 266 (AMA homologation required at least 200) instantly made every other racing motorcycle obsolete. Giacomo Agostini won the Daytona 200 in 1974 on a TZ750 in its first attempt, in an era when it was a race everyone wanted to win, and every year through 1982, a TZ750 was victorious at Daytona. If you were a racer with a solid resume and could pay the sticker price (initially $3,600 US), you had equipment very near that of a factory racer. After the demise of the World GP 750 class in 1978, when production stopped, more than 500 had made it into the hands of privateers. The bike continued to race successfully in Canada several years after ceasing production, with riders Miles Baldwin and Art Robbins winning national championships in 1982 and 1985 respectively." :shock:


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That vid made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up -the guy is a legend.my old man took me to silverstone just to see kenny race in the gp when it was held there when i was a kid,he also took me to see the on any sunday film at the local theatre just to show me the footage of the indy mile race.thanks for posting the vid-made my day!!!!!

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