ERIC BOOCOCK:

‘The sport has been turned upside down in the three years since I retired from racing. Four-valve engines have been instrumental. Four-valves have done nothing good for speedway. Tracks have to be so much slicker. Riders are racing on next to concrete surfaces to get grip and, to maintain that grip, they are paying out astronomical costs for no improvement in the sport.’

‘In terms of relative cost, it should be borne in mind … that the speedway engine costs now considerably less in relation to a man’s wage than it did in 1948.’

PETER COLLINS:

‘I understand there is a promoters’ meeting this week (July 2, 1977) and the subject of four-valvers is bound to figure on the agenda. It seems to me that it is always the few riders  who have a bit of trouble who get the publicity … there are many more - the majority, in fact - who have little or no trouble. I have been speaking to many riders and I’m sure that the four-valvers, and especially the Weslakes, are reliable. Sure, they had some trouble last year but have sorted out the problems. Chris Pusey recently did 30 meetings for a cost of around £30 (£170 at 2013 prices) and there are others who claim around 50 meetings with no bother. Any move to ban the four-valvers would not get my vote.’

BARRY BRIGGS:

‘It would not make sense to ban (four-valve engines) now, and anyone who thinks I am saying this because of my business is wrong. I could supply two-valve Jawas in greater numbers than the four-valve bikes which are only just arriving in England. The early Weslakes had a bad run and proved unreliable but obviously they have made progress and four-valve bikes can be considerably cheaper to maintain. But it isn’t just the engines which cost more. All the various components of a bike have gone up.’

OLE OLSEN:

‘It is said that four-valvers are more expensive but that isn’t true. A two-valve bike wouldn’t be much cheaper these days and they are more expensive to run. I used to change valves and valve springs every two or three meetings but now I can do 15 or so meetings. The whole world is suffering from inflation and England has been hit very hard. Prices here are up to the level of the Continent now but wages haven’t gone up.’

IVAN MAUGER:

‘Firstly, people like Guy Allott and other top mechanics will verify that the four-valvers are cheaper by almost 50 per cent in general maintenance than a two-valver. This year, I had a month of big-end problems but we have now found out what was wrong and it was only a very small part. We have rectified that and have not replaced anything else in any of my Jawa engines. Secondly, it is only since the compulsoiry introduction of silencers that we have had so many riders looping coming out of the corners. You cannot blame the four-valvers for that. The main feature of a silencer is that it takes the sharp edge off the engine’s power therefore giving riders grip when they’re not expecting it.’

4-valve engines- What did they do for speedway?

Speedway Fiction

Great stories for speedway fans!

Home

Speedway Fiction

Great stories for speedway fans!

Home

The Great Debate 1977

Speedway Fiction

Speedway like it used to be!

Home

 BACK TO THE GREAT DEBATE 1977 MAIN PAGE

The Great Debate 1977 The Great Debate 1977