Sunday, June 25th, 2017

The First Dragbike Slick

Published on June 5, 2016 by   ·   2 Comments

Dragbike SlickThe Long Beach Night Drags in 1956 marked the appearance of a new type of tire from the Cadet Tire Company of Los Angeles. It was a regular street tire onto which a “slick” had been grafted. Sometimes, the arrangement worked. Other times, it didn’t and the grafted portion would separate from the rest of the tire. Because of the less-than-sophisticated way the tires were made, they were often so far out of balance that some racers recall having to add as much as two pounds of lead to bring one into balance.

 

Avon Motorcycle Drag Slicks

Avon Motorcycle Drag Slicks

The first dedicated motorcycle dragbike slick was developed by the English Avon company in 1960, with the help of “Nero” creator George Brown. While adequate for most bikes running on gas, it was unsatisfactory for Top Fuel machines. Leo Payne could burn the tire for the entire quarter-mile as could several others. Most racers believed they could go much quicker with a wider tire but it wasn’t until 1970 when they had the chance to prove it.

 

John Stein Motorcycle Drag Racing: A historyIt was at that point that the M&H (Marvin and Harry) Tire Company got into the act, and with the help of Harley-Davidson racer Joe Smith, began providing slicks with a number of different compounds. The tires performed far better, and elapsed times soon reflected that.

To learn more about the history of 

the sport, you can purchase John’s book “Motorcycle Drag Racing:

A History”. Either go to gearheadpublishing.com or call 

(310) 459-7542. The price is $40 and shipping is free.







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Readers Comments (2)

  1. JOE SMITH says:

    THE REAL PERSON BEHIND THE M&H DRAG SLICK WAS JOE PISANO (VENOLA PISTONS)…THE STORY IS I WAS IN PICKING MY YEARS SUPPLY OF PISTONS AND WHEN I WALKED BY HIS OFFICE HE CALLED ME IN AND ASK IF THERE WAS ANYTHING ELSE HE COULD DO FOR ME, I SAID “WE SURE COULD USE A BETTER SLICK” JOE PICKED UP THE PHONE AND CALLED MARV, SOME TIME LATER FIVE DIFFERENT COMPOUND TIRES SHOWED UP AT MY HOUSE AND I BEGIN TESTING TIRE…I WON’T EVEN MENTION IF I BLEW ANY MOTORS OR HOW MANY CLUTCHES I WENT THRU…

  2. TONY NICOSIA says:

    GOOD DAY John I would love to SHARE WITH you my 60 ‘s of DRAG RACING , & ALL THE FAMOUS DRAG RACERS ,ROAD RACERS MOTO – X & AMA FLAT RACERS I
    HAVE KNOWN & RACED WITH FROM 1956 – 2016 . THE BEST OF THE BEST & FAMOUS RACER IN THE WORLD . TAMPA, FL 813 933 3043 – 813 727 – 4961 . TWJRACING@VERIZON.NET .




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