THAT BOY, What Become of Ferry Brouwer


Written by Natasha Kayser (motorsports journalist) "That Boy (What Became of Ferry Brouwer) is a biographical book that chronicles the life (to this day) of Ferry Brouwer. Brouwer is an iconic motorcycling character, born (The Hague/Netherlands) on May 9, 1949 and trained (average) as a car mechanic. As a rider, he participated in 50cc road racing and acceleration (Dragster) tests, riding a BULTACO 250cc that he built together with Jaap Voskamp.


Ferry Brouwer in a BULTACO 250cc (Dragster)

Between 1968 and 1973, he was technical responsible for several top riders in the World Road Racing ​​Championship: Phil Read, Cees van Dongen, Chas Mortimer, and Tepi Lansivuori. At the end of 1973, as a result of the sadness suffered with the tragic accident of the GP of Nations (Monza), where Jarno Saarinen and Renzo Pasolini died, he decided to leave the Continental Circus. In 1974, he assumed the technical direction of Ton van Heugten Motors (TVHM), in this role, he found himself once again involved in sporting events, this time of a mainly national scope. At TVHM he built, developed and raced Sidecarcross and, in collaboration with YAMAHA Motor Europe, contributed to the development of a 500cc 3-cylinder engine. It was at this time that, largely on his own initiative, he got to work on the design and development of the YAMAHA Sankito (a 3-cylinder 350cc) that would become World Champion in 1977 with Takazumi Katayama at the helm. This feat, against the instructions of YAMAHA Japan that insisted on 2 cylinder engines (in this class), was epic and, in itself, would guarantee it a place in motorcycling history. Despite the success of this venture, YAMAHA did not welcome the fact that a factory motorcycle was designed and built outside Japan, which is why it did not have the deserved development.


Takazumi Katayama, 1977, YAMAHA Sankito

Between 1978 and 1980 he was director of the KATAYAMA Racing Shop (which has since closed). In 1981 he was director of a Sidecarcross team: Ton van Heugten/Frits Kiggen. In 1982 he founded ARAI Helmets Europe, the company that has been in charge of the commercialization and marketing of ARAI in Europe until today. He fulfilled his role with the competence and dedication that implied the brand image that ARAI enjoys, he sold the company in 2008. In 2007 he founded the YCRT (YAMAHA Classic Racing Team) and, until today, between the dynamism of this organization and the rebuilding of motorcycles (especially racing) for his personal collection, he has not been short of things to do. Interestingly, within this activity he restored and even produced (using the original blueprints) practically from scratch some motorcycles that are now in the Comunication Plaza at YAMAHA (the brand's museum). The book THAT BOY, What Become of Ferry Brouwer, which includes interesting photos, details his interesting biography and features contributions from Nigel Mansell, Phil Read, Giacomo Agostini, Chas Mortimer, Freddie Spencer and Sir John Surtees.



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During a participation with the YCRT

From left to right, with Charles Mortimer (Hengelo, 1972), with Phil Read and the back cover of the book

YAMAHA RF302 50cc, 1969, racing motorcycle, motorcycle (replica) built practically from scratch by Ferry at the request of the brand. The original, which no longer exists, was built to be driven by Bill Ivy, but he never raced. It was equipped with a 2T, liquid-cooled, 6-speed engine and developed 17hp at 14,500 rpm!



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Ferry Brouwer with his self-built replica of the YAMAHA FZ750 that Eddie Lawson raced in the 1986 Daytona 200