1961 Honda CB72 – Period 3 250cc by David Tye

I would love to tell you the story of how I handcrafted my multiple championship winning bike from a pile of rusty scrap, but sadly I cant… But I can tell you how I found it…

As a photographer and collector of Classic bikes I decided to combine the 2 and went to the 2009 Island Classic as a photographer and loved it. I then went as a photographer to the Australian Championships at Warwick and again couldn’t believe how much fun everyone seemed to be having. Having ridden bikes for many years I had never had any desire to race a bike as I was a self confessed slow coach. (In fact I used to say I rode like a girl until I heard about Mandy Beales and then I couldn’t even say that any more..) But seeing old slow blokes wobbling round at the back of the field having just as much fun as those at the front inspired me to get involved..Lets face it, you can never have enough old slow blokes wobbling round at the back of the field.. So I bought a 1971 CB350 and went to the Barry Sheene in 2010 as my first meeting. Sadly this bike only lasted as long as the 2nd practice session on the Friday before it decided it wanted to go into retirement..

What looked to be about to become a long weekend “watching” bike racing suddenly got a whole lot brighter (but way more expensive) on Saturday morning when I stumbled across a beautiful looking little Honda 250 for sale out the back of a pit garage…. There was a fair crowd of people all standing round making appreciative noises and murmuring about how cheap it seemed.. So I left the murmuring and went in search of the owner, found him, and did the deal.. Subject to him starting it and it not making similar noises to my recently expired CB350.. Turns out it makes lots of noises (as any of you who have been in the remote proximity when I have started it will attest) but none of them like the 350.. So I went and transferred the money to his account and he took the bike home that night changed the oil and brought it back the next day for me to ride.. I must say I felt like a paid rider the next day as I walked into his pit garage to find none other than Jerry Kooistra checking my tyre pressure for me (but that’s where the comparisons with a paid rider end I am afraid….)

So out I went for my first ever race,on a new bike I had never ever ridden.. Turns out the clutch was slipping badly but I knew enough from that inauspicious debut to know that a) I had bought a great little bike, b) I was in no danger of being the next Mike Hailwood, c) I wanted the next race weekend to hurry up…

As for the bike, it’s a 1961 Honda CB72 250cc.. …. I bought it like it is from Colin Campbell of Campbell Classic Motorcycles..( And I have to say that Col has been an endless supply of help ever since I bought it. If you are ever looking for an old Honda I couldn’t recommend him highly enough.
www.campbellclassicmotorcycles.com.au) It’s a multiple Australian Championship winning bike, ridden to the 2007 & 2008 championship by Jake Campbell. It then sat in his Col’s loungeroom until I bought it in 2010. It only weighs 121kg and has lapped Eastern Creek in 2.04 so it is far better sorted than I am. Amongst other features it also has:

High comp pistons, Kibblewhite black diamond valves, 5sp close ratio gearbox, Lightened clutch hub and basket, Hand formed alloy fuel tank, Hand formed stainless steel mufflers, PVL Magneto, Replica works style tacho, Replica works style triple clamp.

I’ve had it for a bit over 12 months and have raced it at Warwick, Stanthorpe, Phillip Island, and Eastern Creek and I love it.. It looks and sounds fantastic, and it is incredibly reliable. What more could I want.. Well apart from some riding ability that is…

Cheers David Tye