BEARS Racing in Australia

BEARS racing has been running in Australia since about 1985. For those of you who dont know , BEARS stand for British-European-American-Racing-Series. To compete your bike must be 500cc – 1300cc and engine and frame must be non-japanese origin. We run five formulas in our national bears series and all the bikes run on a combined and progressive grid. If you visit the Australian BEARS website you can read up on the formula rules at http://www.ozbearsracing.com. You may recall there was an international BEARS series running in Europe in the 1990’s.

I raced my first Moto Guzzi Le Mans Mk4 in around 1987 when BEARS first started in Australia. It was very difficult to race but still managed top 10. In 1994 I purchased a new Daytona 1000 to race in the National BEARS. I competed on it for a couple of years before retiring because of family committments. I still have my 1994 Daytona 1000 and ride it regularly at track days. At the end of last year I decided to come out of my 14 year retirement and race in the 2010 National BEARS challenge. I was reluctant to punish my Daytona any more and decided to look for something new to ride. Of course I knew about the MGS01 from magazines and internet sites but I had never seen one in the flesh. It is rumoured that only 3 bikes ever came to Australia. Through various Moto Guzzi dealers in Australia I tried to get the factory to make me a bike. Sadly the answer was no. One dealer that I spoke with told me that he knew someone who had an MGS01. I asked him if he could find out if the guy wanted to sell it. The answer was YES, so I went and paid him the money before he could change his mind. I ran the bike in late last year at a couple of track days, and prepared for a full racing season.

The camera footage you might have seen on you tube is from my first race meeting in 14 years. I dont feel that I rode very well, but I got to the end of the weekend without falling off, and I am confident that I can improve quickly to become very competitive. The bike is absolutely amazing to ride. On the other hand it still behaves like a very typical Guzzi in many ways. The gear box is still slow and as we say agricultural. The handling and brakes are excellent, and the power is pretty good too.

This year I will take video at all seven rounds of our National Series. Hopefully by the end of the year I will be really kicking Ducati arse. I am amazed at the interest my bike has raised both in Australia and Overseas. I have decided to start a web site dedicated to my year of racing so that anyone who is interested can follow along. I will let you know when its up and running.

Our next race is in less than a couple of weeks in South Australia. I will be sure to post my video from the meeting.


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