Canadian Motocross History
- Last Edited: 2014-08-29 15:37:28
The earliest writing I've found describing Scrambles in Canada are in the CMA news publication from 1951. The British Empire Motor Club, headed by the late Eve White, wrote that they had been searching madly for a suitable Scrambles course close to Toronto and had finally found one with riders out practicing every Saturday. They also announced the First Ontario Grand National Scramble to be held at Ancaster September 1, 1951.
By the mid fifties it was common to have competitors travel from province to province and even have visits from some of the early pioneers from the U. S. Another thing to note was that right up to the late 60's, the majority of riders rode more than just scrambles. Many Roadraced, rode trials, enduros and dirt track as well. The Ontario Championship Scrambles was held in the fall of 1956 at the Peterborough track with a record entry of 45 riders from as far east as Quebec and as far west as Hamilton.
The 1960 Canadian Scrambles Championship was held at Mosport Park on Labour Day Sept. 4. Hamilton's Steel City Riders provided B. E. M. C. with the staff. Comments by writer Ron White included. "Expert class. Sharpless & Sauren, a thrilling duel for first, two of the best at their best."
The Canada/New England Challenge drew huge crowds and created great excitement in 1966 at both the Grafton and Copetown rounds. Canada, led by Yvon DuHamel on the 360 CZ, finally won after loosing the first 3 years. The Canadian Team--500 c.c. DuHamel, Gunter Sauren back from 2 seasons racing in Europe on the 440 c.c. BSA Victor, Gerry Van Der Eyken on the 360 c.c. CZ, Bob Archer, 440 c.c. BSA, Jack Hunt, back from a season in Europe as well on the BSA 250 c.c. Maurice "Mo" Fraser, Greeves, Norm Richins, Greeves, Ray Boasman, Bultaco, Magnus Kleele, CZ, new to Canada from Germany and Dave Sehl, on the Harley Davidson Sprint.
1970 was the start of what became known as the golden years of Canadian Motocross. By 1975 all of the manufacturers had large teams, most featuring foreign riders. A number of riders where receiving salaries and expenses. The Western Canadian Husqvarna distributor, Steen Hansen, started things off in 1969 by importing Gunnar Lindstrom from Sweden to take part in that years Nationals.
Instead of retiring in 1991 like he had threatened to do Ross Rollerball Pederson chalked up another 3 for 3 nationals season by claming the title in the 125, 250 and 500cc Classes. The Medicine Hat Alberta native, at 30 one of the oldest Expert Riders on the track, is still a match for the young hot shots out to dethrone him.