Chris Vermeulen Nearly Done with Convalescence

Chris Vermeulen in Suzuki MotoGP Pit Australian World Superbike rider Chris Vermeulen recently made a very tough decision to sit out most of the 2010 WSBK season in order to recuperate from major knee surgery; his lateral meniscus had to be replaced. The injury requiring the operation actually occurred at the first event this year at – of all places – his home track of Phillip Island. He came back for three more rounds (six races), but decided to sit out the rest based on sound medical advice. Most of the time since the surgery was spent in Spain while he endured physical therapy on his long road to recovery. Vermeulen is serious about healing this injury and is closely following the program set out by his physicians and taking each and every step necessary to get him to 100% by next year. He most definitely wants to be in top shape for the 2011 season.

Just this week, Vermeulen returned to his home near Australia’s Sunshine Coast to be with his family during the summer months. Perhaps, by the time you are reading this, he should be finally free of the need for crutches. If all is going well, you might find him at the beach surfing or sweating in the gym – with physical therapy just about everywhere in between. Once he is ready, the first step is some time on a dirt bike and getting precious seat time. The next time he throws a leg over a WSBK machine should be in early January when he will test the new 2011 Chris Vermeulen testing Kawasaki ZX-10R at Cartagena Kawasaki ZX-10R in race trim at Malaysia’s Sepang Circuit.

The Queensland native may not get a full pre-season test schedule completed due to the continued recovery, but he should still be able to get enough practice in to be ready for the first race of the new season. The FIM World Superbike Championship will return with the first round scheduled to be Australia’s Phillip Island during 25 – 27 February. Chris Vermeulen will be sitting on a factory Kawasaki Superbike somewhere on that grid waiting to make up for some lost time and itching to taste the post-race champagne.

Written by J.C. Current, Courtesy of

The Isle of Man TT Mountain Course Centenary

Isle of Man TT Mountain Course Centenary Poster At the June 2011 running of the annual Isle of Man TT road race, the Isle of Man Government’s Department of Economic Development has created an event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Snaefell Mountain section of the course. That part of the real roads circuit runs from the city of Ramsey to the Creg Ny Baa Hotel and has been part of the event since 1911, just four years after the very first TT motorcycle race on the island. The celebration will honor some of the many great riders who tread that section over the last century and look back at some of the more memorable events from that time by recreating the achievements in an extravagant parade which is to be held on Senior Race Day, Friday 10 June.

In the parade will be many of the best racers who have tackled the TT and a huge assortment of iconic, historic and definitive machines from past TT events. Included among the greats are Philip McCallen, who won four TT events in one week, Phil Read, multi-time World Champion and eight-time TT winner, and Giacomo Agostini, legendary Italian racer who will be riding his own MV Agusta. Riders who will be in the parade and also participate in this year’s event are John McGuinness, who clocked the first 130mph lap on the TT, Ian Hutchinson, who managed five race victories at this year’s TT to set a new record, and Dave Molyneux, a 14 time sidecar champion at the TT. Along with these luminaries and legends of the sport, many other current and former stars will saddle up for the parade on Friday.

The motorcycles in attendance will include every significant machine to ever race on the mountain. This includes the Isle of Man TT Then and Now very first Senior TT winning Indian, the first sidehack winner Douglas, and bikes from long-time participants such as AJS, Norton, Ducati, Honda, Suzuki, and many more. Yamaha will be celebrating their 50th anniversary running at the TT and an entire program has been created for that thanks to Yamaha UK, the Yamaha Classic Racing Team and the Department of Economic Development. Yet another parade will feature past and present top end Yamaha racers.

The overall theme is simply to celebrate the many great memories the Isle of Man TT has created in the minds of residents, fans near and far, the TT heroes and the many that have had the great opportunity to actually race over the Mountain Course.

Written by J.C. Current, Courtesy of

Motorcycling in America – 1969

Life In America
1969– The median family income is $9,400. Richard Nixon becomes president. Nell Armstrong lands on the moon. An estimated 450,000 turn up for the Woodstock music festival. The Beatles perform for the last time. The seminal motorcycle movie, Easy Rider, is released. The first Wendy’s opens. The Plymouth Roadrunner is Car of the Year, and with the hemi option will run $4,000. Gas is up to $.35 per gallon.

Number One Motorcycle Trend For 1969:
The Honda CB750/4 goes on sale. Though not laden with advanced technology, this motorcycle, with its 750ccs of displacement, four cylinders and $1495 price, creates the framework that will define Japanese motorcycles into the next century.

European Brands
Montesa Cota 250. Bultaco Matador, Sherpa-T, Campera MkII, El Bandido MkII. Triumph Tiger 650. Husqvarna 400 Cross, Sportsman 360C Enduro. Royal Enfield Stage II 750 Interceptor. Dunstall Triumph 750 Twin. CZ 360 &250 Motocross. BSA Rocket III. Jawa 402 Gelandesport. Greeves 380 & 250 Griffon. Puch 125 Dalesmen Trials & Motocross. Moto-Guzzi 750 Ambassador. Ossa Pioneer 250.

Asian Brands
Suzuki T350 Rebel, T-125 Stinger, TS-250 Savage. Kawasaki 500 H1 Mach III, G31M Centurion. Honda CB750/4, CL350, SL350, SL90. Yamaha Y-100 L5 Trailmaster. Bridgestone 100 TMX.

American Brands
Harley-Davidson XLCH Sportster.

Mert Lawwill is Grand National Champ.

European Motocross racing finally comes to US with the Inter-AM series.

Yamaha withdraws from international GP racing.

Mike Hailwood announces retirement.

Yvon Duhamel becomes first to break 150 mph barrier at Daytona.

Other Issues
It’s an incredible year for motorcycles. Preceding the Honda CB750/4 is the Suzuki TS-250 Savage, “the best dual-purpose bike ever tested,” the Kawasaki 500 Mach III. “a racer in disguise,” and the BSA Rocket III, “the fastest tourer available.”

Harley-Davidson merges with AMF.

Wal-Phillips of England, offers perimeter disc brake kit for $70.

Contrary to earlier predictions, the industry is expected to sell 700,000 units, 200,000 more than previously thought. Almost every distributor reports being out of inventory.

Wards Automotive Report declares that motorcycles are no longer a novelty, but rather a mainstream product category.