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Emory Roan
Story of a Racer


(Ed. note) Emory contacted me and asked if I might be interested in reading about his racing career
that started on a 1960 H-D BTU Super 10 at the age of 14.
He followed up with stories and photos that blew me away. He gave his permission
for me to share his adventures. Enjoy!



Click on pictures to enlarge

"My first motorcycle was a 1960 (model year) Harley-Davidson BTU (Super 10). I put 40 miles on it riding around my house. I bought it in December of 1959. I couldn't get a license"
until my 14th birthday in January of 1960.
"The first event that I entered was held in June of 1960. It was an endurance run
called the 'Jolly Roger Enduro'. I finished the entire run, but was way too fast
at each checkpoint.(I thought I was supposed to go fast!). My second event was
in July of 1960. It was a 400 mile two day event called 'The Everglades
Endurance Swamp Run'. It rained continually the two weeks before the run.
The conditions were so tough (extremely wet) that only 14 riders completed the entire event. The kid from Ft. Myers on the Super 10, with no rear suspension, took 2nd place in the lightweight class!"

"Around the end of 1960, or the beginning of 1961, I began riding Scrambles events. I first rode a stripped down Jawa Roadster, and then a 175 Jawa scrambler. I was nearly always the youngest rider entered, but I was finishing in the top three positions. Fairly often I was 1st or 2nd".

"Towards the middle of 1961 I began road racing. My first time out I rode the Jawa Scrambler (with street tires). I finished well back in the pack". "My next time out I was on a 175 Parilla grand Sport Road racer. I won a lot of races with that machine. It was eventually replaced by a Harley 165 that would accelerate and out top end the Parilla".

This 3 speed 165cc H-D BT was clocked at 114mph. It replaced the Parilla Road Racer.

"In 1962 I moved up to the 250cc class in scrambles and the european style motocross that were becoming more and more popular. I was now riding a 250 ESO motocross. It won a lot of races too! In 1963 I began racing a Tohatsu 50cc Runpet Sport anywhere they would let me ride two lightweight machines the same day. Hap Jones (Tohatsu Distributor) noticed my wins on the Runpet Sport and offered me a Tohatsu CR Road racer. It was unbeatable in the 50cc class".

"I also began riding Harley-Davidson 250cc Sprints occasioanally, road racing and dirt tracking. What I really wanted to do, though, was road race a Sportster in the Open Class. Anytime I mentioned it my friends would talk me out of it......'You don't want to try to get a Sportster around a road race course!' However, Sportsters were always winning the 'Open Class'. I finally tried it. They were wrong! Out of all the machines I raced I enjoyed road racing the Sportster best of all. In 1967 I even rode a Sportster in an Enduro (1967 Jolly Roger) and took 2nd Place in the Open Class. I weighed 125lbs. at that time!"

"I entered the USAF toward the end of 1967. I ended up stationed at Rhein-Main Air Base, Germany. I had a 1968 XLH sent over for transporation. Also, I requested and received permission to race. I ordered and paid a deposit on an Aermacchi Harley-Davidson 'Golden Wing' road racer from the Italian lightweight factory. They never could supply it and returned my deposit".

"I had gotten my German competition license but had nothing to ride. In 1969 I heard of an International production road race with an 'over 500cc' class. [Nürburgring, Germany] My XLH Sportster was definitely over 500cc. I decided to run it". (Click here to see the photo's and read the story. It's in WORD and takes a few minutes).

"When I got out of the service in 1971 I still rode an occasional dirt track on a Harley Sprint and rode Motocross & Hare Scrambles on Harley Bajas. I haven't Road raced since 1969 in Germany but I see that vintage racing is becoming more and more popular....maybe one of these days!! By the way, I forgot to mention that I did win a State Championship Title road racing".
(Ed.) Emory's accomplishments are stories dreams are made of. Each of the following photos tell their own story.


Emory Roan July, 2011

  Last updated: July 25, 2011 Up