Ms. Grothes MotoHistory 101

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By John Burns

Mary Grothe keeps sorting through the boxes and uncovering things and people that I, for one, knew nothing about. Here’s one:

“Little Giant” Ikujiro Takai, 6th place, on the grid at Mosport 1977, with John Long, #36 in the background. As a Yamaha factory rider in 1974, Takai took two crowns in the All Japan Expert Class. In 1975 he finished second in the French 250cc GP class. Subsequently he became a noted designer for Yamaha, but in 1982 was tragically killed while testing the newly developed OW61 – the first V4 engine in a 500cc GP bike. Kenny Roberts later dedicated his Spanish GP victory aboard the OW61 to Takai.

Bowmanville, Ontario CA: 09/18/1977

RIP Ikujiro Takai

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