My first motorcycle!


This photo, sitting on my first bike, a YAMAHA YDS3 250cc, reminds me of the unconventional path I took to reach my racing goal. It was the first and only road bike I owned (although I previously owned a 50cc), it was a magnificent machine that helped me develop the riding skills I needed before progressing to the track. I bought it when I was 21 years old and I used it as a daily transport and, a year after I bought it, I used it to get started in competition. Initially I participated in local ramps and later moved on to production racing at the Roy Hesketh Circuit. For 3 years I saved enough money to buy a YAMAHA TD2, so my much-desired entry into nationals only happened when I was 24 years old.


Jon's first race bike, the YAMAHA TD2

I lost practically all of my first season when my trailer and bike were completely destroyed in a car accident while traveling to a race in Rhodesia. I later missed another 14 months due to a serious injury while competing in the 1973 SATT. Finally, in 1975, when I decided to go to Europe to compete in the World ​​Championship I was a 28 year old “veteran” with very limited experience, you will have to agree that it was not an ideal situation!!!



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Realistically, my age coupled with my South African nationality, at a time when anti-apartheid sentiment was at its height, virtually guaranteed that it was virtually impossible to get the interest of the factory teams. I had to conform to what was destined for me, it was going to be “one man band”! From a viewer's perspective it might have seemed like a very risky gamble, but even then I believed that I would somehow achieve my goal. Optimism, what a wonderful characteristic of youth. If you're young, don't waste a second, enjoy your optimism, it's the most valuable asset you'll ever have! This text was published by Jon Ekerold (World Speed ​​Champion, 350cc class in 1980) on his Facebook page, it is here published with his kind and honorable permission.



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