I knicked this from "RandysClassicVideos" off the old PooTube in the aftermath of my blurb on the wonderful Brit triples the other day . . . . I initially went hunting for specific footage of 'Slippery Sam' but most of it was fucking ordinary, then I stubbed my toe on this stuff and couldn't be more chuffed . . . . just check out the lineup for this event, not just the cream of the crop from the Golden Age of American two wheeled pedallers but also the likes of Mike 'The Bike' Hailwood and Paul Smart who was about to take Ducati to the centre of the world stage with his legendary win at Imola on the beautiful 750 roundcase . . . .
It's a funny thing that in the final deaththrows of the British bike industry in the early seventies, they found their greatest support in the U.S of A . . . . given that the Yanks had always gobbled up huge numbers of Pommy export numbers, particularly Trumpy's and Beezers, it should come as no surprise I guess . . . . Johnson Motors was in many ways responsible for this state of affairs, to the point of forcing Meriden and Small Heath into supplying bikes like the T120R and it's B.S.A equivelent for racing duties both on the oval tracks and scrambles/desert racing tour of the day.
Even though the Brits themselves were constantly developing their own, many of the long lasting innovations for both the parallel twins and, later on, the triples, were undertaken Stateside, heaps of these performance parts are still the basis for many of the aftermarket standards available today, the end result at the time was much better durability and reliability, especially in higher temperature environments such as North America and Australia.
It's all beside the point really, tragically, the poor old Poms were unable to stave off the inevitable demise of what had been, arguably, the most influential motorcycle industry in the world and by pretty much 1975, it was fucked, as I said in the other article, all over Red Rover. The U.K economy was not enjoying the same purple patch as their trans Atlantic cousins and the slide into 'Anarchy in the U.K' continued unabated.
Thankfully, the Yanks were able to save Harley from a similar fate through AMF having bought the operation, the great irony is for me and many others, the AMF era is loathed and detested by so many hardcore Harley lovers but the simple reality is this . . . . without their intervention, the Milwaulkee Marvel would have gone the way of every other U.S manufacturer and become extinct, it would not have been there for Willie G and his White Knight Posse to buy back . . . . if only John Bloor or some other unrelated, dispassionate, non motorcycling corporate entity had done the same in Blighty for the likes of N.V.T when it was really required !!!!