ISDT 1975 – Isle of Man

Under Construction always…


This year the ISDT held the 50th edition, billed as the Half century event and 62 years after the holding of the first event, this year on the popular island venue of Great Britain, the Isle of Man, famous for it’s Historic and Iconic Tourist Trophy Road Race  every year on the public roads and held to the thrill of Motorcycle enthusiasts from across the world.

Image - cover of Official Programme of the 50th ISDT Isle of Man 1975

Image – cover of Official Programme of the 50th ISDT Isle of Man 1975

I am grateful to discover ‘Dave’s Tests and Articles’ website where a copy of the American ‘Cycle World‘ report in colour has been posted which has provided some of the material used the expand Taff’s original feature below.

Originally the 1975 ISDT was intended to take place in Austria, but less than 12 months before the intended September 1975, Austria withdrew its offer and resulted in last minute struggle to find a significant new venue at such short notice. It was finally agreed to remove the event to the Isle of Man with the date pushed back to October. In the end the Russian’s decided not to attend.

Changes to the rules this year included a daily penalty to a Trophy team missing a rider. In addition a one minute late allowance at checks was introduced which protected riders from loosing the chance to gain a gold medal if within one minute late at the check.

Two British Trophy riders dropped out on the night before the start, and with only one reserve rider allowed in FIM rules, the jury at the last minute agreed to allow a second reserve, Nick Jeffries, moved up from the Vase Team to stand in to bring the team to full strength. However by the end of the first Day the British and US teams had lost a Trophy Team rider.

Photo - #48 Rod Bush 250 Penton one of the eight American riders to earn a Gold Medal ISDT 1975

Photo – #49 Rod Bush 250 Penton one of the eight American riders to earn a Gold Medal ISDT 1975 (Cycle World Feb 1976)

The event was struck by bad weather later in the week which decimated the field, in addition to this were two fatalities where tragically two riders died. The first was #20 Brandan (Bren) Moran, Jawa 350, who was an American from New York riding with the Canadian team who had died of injuries sustained from a crash, possibly due to an error of two riders meeting head on, on an abandoned Railway trackbed used as part of the course.

New York rider Bren Moran during the Czechoslovakian ISDT 1972

Photo – New York rider Bren Moran during the Czechoslovakian ISDT 1972

The second was #207 Jeff Gerber Penton who was an American Rider who crashed on the road into a truck.

Photo of the Winning West German Zundapp team ISDT 1975

Here is a great pic from Leo Keller again of that winning West German Zundapp mounted Trophy Team of 1975 IoM.  from left: Peter Neumann, Hardy Weber, Josef Wolfgruber, Manager Erich Messner, Jeurgen Grisse, Rolf Witthoeft, Eddie Hau.

On the Map!

Photo - paper entrants map for day 1 ISDT 1975

Photo – paper entrants map for day 1 ISDT 1975

For more information on the route of the ISDT 1974 check out our blog series – Mapping the ISDT

Photo of Dwight Rudder of USA GS 175

Dwight Rudder of USA GS 175 possibly at the IoM event.  However as gently pointed out by Leo Keller he would have been using the USA team blue-white Skunk stripe, so we have to say we are unsure whether he rode in the IoM event.

Photo of racing in progress on 6th day at ISDT 1975

6th Day here is a Pic kindly allowed to us, here is the abandon on the Isle of Man Race Course, the arrow shows Heorges Marliere on his 175 Puch. Many Thanks to

Photo of Germany’s Silver Vase Team ISDT 1975

Germany’s Silver Vase Team found by Dave Martin.   Leo Keller to the rescue again to identify from left Gerhard Bayer (Hercules), Lorenz “Lenz” Muller (Maico), Alfred Steiner (Manager), Reinhard Christel (Hercules) & the unmistakable, tall! Herbert Schek (Maico) picture from Archiv Zweirad Union ZU Co.

Photo - #252 Malcolm Smith 250 Husqvarna USA picked up one of his many Gold Medals on the way to being an American legend of the sport ISDT 1975

Photo – #252 Malcolm Smith 250 Husqvarna USA picked up one of his many Gold Medals on the way to being an American legend of the sport ISDT 1975

Photo of USA rider #235 Doug Wilford on one of the Wankel Rotary engined Hercules ISDT 1975

The Wankel Rotary engined machine, probably (not certain) it was 1975, ridden here by Doug Wilford of Amerhurst/Ohio who imported the bikes into the USA, Italian team man Ivan Saravesi also rode one along with Germany’s Fritz Wetzel.  All Hercules Wankel motor powered, DNF:- Wilford retired with broken ribs, I understand the pic belongs to Doug Wilford.  Info like this stores history for all & we must thank the great Leo Keller for his help identifying for us.

Image of Scanned magazine from1975

Image 1 #105 Z Nowicki of Poland on 75cc Simpson & F Oldrati of Italy on 50cc Gori watched over by injured Mick ‘ Bonky’ Bowers
Image 2 #297 T Stocklemeier on KTM 352cc #291 J Kelly on Cheney Triumph 650 (as featured in article for ISDT 1976
Image 3 #118 KH Klenk of W Germany on a 97cc SWM #119 P Gagni of Italy on 97cc SWM
Image 4 #16 J W Gazeley  on 250cc MZ and B Morae of Canada on 350cc Jawa


The below images are from the website blackcatvintagetrials where they are accompanied by report in his involvement with the Royal Air Force Team equipped with the 125cc Swedish Monark which had the 6 speed Sachs GS motor…… what a machine!! A 125 that thought it was a 250 or better. Yes, Sweden’s answer to the KTM.

Tony’s article is a fantastic story of the event and full of the kind of good detail that makes an essential record of the event take the time now to go and check it out and read it here

Photo of RAFMSA team in ISDT #157 Tony Down #154 #149 ISDT 1975

Image of scanned newspaper article Riders #157 Tony Down Monark 125 with #159 Jurgen Grisse on 125 Zundapp on the Slabs ISDT 1975

EPSON scanner image

Photo of #157 Tony Down on Monark 125 ISDT 1975

EPSON scanner image

RAF team of 3 ISDT 1975 #149 #157 #154

EPSON scanner image

Photo of sleak modern lines of the Swedish Monark, highline exhaust and the Radial finned Sachs engine ISDT 1975


Photo of #157 Tony Downes #149 of the RAF team

The following Images have been taken from a web page of the famous ‘Hot Grip’s heated handlebar grip website. This device became a stable grip for Enduro riders in colder climates. Designed by Jim Hollander a US Six Days rider his race career page is here

Photo of US Rider #229 Jim Hollander on his Automatic Rokon.

The mud at the Great Britain ISDT in 1975 took its toll on riders. Heavy rainfall and a course that ran the same trails in two directions every other day made it especially deep. Here you can easily spot the spare reinforced rubber drive belt wrapped around the headlight-number plate. The automatic transmission was fitted with a quick-detach cover and riders practiced to change the belt in several minutes. Fortunately the belts rarely failed, even when notched on the edges with a table saw to act like a rain tire in water-crossings. Rumor was that the Rokons couldn’t go thru deep water without difficulty, but wasn’t an issue with shielding and notched belts.

Photo of US rider #229 Jim Hollander riding a Rokon 340 Automatic

Only 2 Rokon finishers of five on the USA Team. Bronze Medal for Jim Hollander, and Jim Fogle. The Rokon Team suffered from requirement of spark arrest screens fitted inside the muffler. The 2-stroke oil mix in the gas left choking carbon deposits on the screens, dramatically reducing power. By the time the team discovered the problem, and poked a hole in the remaining Rokon spark screens, 3 USA team riders had dropped out. A 6th Rokon rider: Brian Taylor of Canada, retired the 3rd day.

Photo of US rider #229 Jim Hollander on Rokon. These rare American bikes featured many technical innovations apart from Fibreglass tanks that were subject to cracking they were the earliest Enduro Bikes to be fitted with Disk Brakes, they had Automatic gearboxes and belt not chain primary drives

Jim is loaded has a spare inner-tube on his belt, tool pack on the rear fender, spare belt for the automatic transmission behind the front number plate, rear axle rider’s wrench on the front down tube, & checkpoint time-card holder on the tank. The mud at the 6 day endurance event was particularly tough that year, though the Rokon did work well with the automatic transmission under such conditions. The U.S. built Rokon had disc brakes years ahead of the competition. Unfortunately Rokon Mfg. of New Hampshire fell into bankruptcy in 1978.

Photo of #229 Jim Hollander on the Rokon at the Special Test

At the Six-Days twice a day there would be a special speed test, where riders are timed to the tenth of a second. The special test boundary ribbon is seen in the background. This ’75 photo highlighted a 2-page DIRT BIKE MAGAZINE article on Jim in 1976. Rokon’s racing expenses were a burden, and they couldn’t afford to continue the program for 1977. Although selected for the prestigious US Trophy Team, Jim was told in the summer of ’76 they couldn’t send him to Austria. Fortunately a trail riding motorcycle club came thru and paid Jim’s way to Europe. The next year Jim was off to UMass Mechanical Engineering study, rather than continue racing. That lead to development of the Hotgrips product line

Photo of that famous corner gives away the Isle of Man ISDT round in 1975, Italian Vase Team member #27 A Gritti on a 250 KTM puts style into rounding it.

Photo of The last day 1975 ISDT speed Trial day #151 #176

The last day 1975 ISDT speed Trial day, identities & machinery ID called for.

Germany won the Trophy, Josef Wolfgruber,Peter Neumann, Eberhard Weber, Jurgen Grisse, Rolf Witthoft, Eddy Han.  Silver Vase was taken by Italian team of Gualtiero Brissoni, Pietro Gagni, Attilio Petrogalli, Pierluigi Rottigni. Manxman Geoff Staples can just pick out himself & friends, THAT jogs memories!!.

Photo of#150 Jean-Louis Figureau at the 1975 event, see emblem/logo below.

The Final Score: Results

Speedtracktales wishes to thank Marc Pétrier of FIM Information Resources who has facilitated the scanning of the FIM archive of ISDT results material and is allowing us to make it available here as a public service. Read a copy of the original Results and Stewards Report at the link below.

Download this file as a pdf

View the Stewards Report for the 1975 ISDT here

Artefacts and Collectibles

Photo of Commemorative entrants badge ISDT 1975 (courtesy of eBay)

Photo Photo of commemorative officials event badge ISDT 1975

We recieved this from Geoff Staples,  so it is important & here it goes ONLINE .

“Liked your ISDT pics, just a small correction though, your pic showing the “Official” 1975 ISDT badge is not the official event badge, but is the badge actually denoting event officials. All Marshals and other officials were given these. The “Official” souvenir badge of the event was the same, but without the “Official” title underneath. Mine is a treasured possession, hard earned!”

(much more valued too I bet!)

Image of British Team Jacket Patch badge at ISDT 1975 (Courtesy of the Sven Olsen ISDT collection)

Photo of ISDT rider ID ISDT 1975 (Courtesy of the Sven Olsen ISDT collection)

Where are they now?

A while back we ran a post “Refurbishing an old Hero” about an old 1972 MZ ISDT being restored. Andy, a Speedtracktales reader, has kindly provided a photo of his restored 1975 replica which still gets regular action during the summer on the daily commune. he recalls being in the IoM in ’75 watching these bikes going through the Speedtrap on knobblies doing over a ton.

Photo of restored MZ 250 1975

Photo of restored MZ 250 1975

Morton's Archive

Speedtracktales is grateful to Morton’s Archive for their support.

35 thoughts on “ISDT 1975 – Isle of Man”

  1. Jack Sullivan said:

    We sadly lost an American citizen riding for Team Canada. I am upset that no mention of long time motorcycle racer Bren Moran was mentioned. He was killed
    while competeing in the 1975 ISDT.

    • iPø∂i$†å said:

      With much of this I am picking up a lot of information from many riders who were there, I was aware of the fatality but without clear details I am reluctant to say too much incase it may upset the family. If you can provide me with more material I am happy to add it.

      • Helmut Ritter said:

        I was there with the German team.
        As I remember he run into a lorry while riding on the wrong right side of a road near Ginger Hall on monday at the first day of the IoM-ISDT.
        Some of the non British riders had their difficulties with the left side traffic on the Island.

      • I recall the 1983 ISDE in Wales the same happened with a US Journalist…. and same happens for us in Europe, for self preservation on singletrack roads dictates we swerve to the left to avoid on coming traffic, I’ve seen continental motorists frustrated at the tendency of British Motorcyclists swerving into their path on narrow roads

    • Brian Taylor Canada said:

      I was on the Canadian Team #224 Rokon Brian Taylor , Bren Morans fatality happened day 1 on an abandon railway line , he did not hit a vehicle………..Brian Taylor

      • Helmut Ritter said:

        Thanks Brian Taylor, I made a mistake and You are correct as I now remember.
        There were two different accidents of American riders on the Isle of Man 1975.
        The fatal accident of the American rider Bren Moran who rode in an Canadian team happened on an abandoned track of the Manx Railway.
        And there was another accident on Monday of an American rider who crashed with a local lorry. The unlucky rider failed with the for him uncommon British left hand traffic and so ended his Six Days effort at the very first stage on Monday.
        Do You remember his name?

      • Tim Averett said:

        Brian: Jeff Penton was killed when involved with a (truck). According to info on other sites.

      • Unknown Unknown said:

         Tim the other sites are wrong if they say Jeff Penton was killed …. I saw Jeff Penton  at his home 2 years ago …. Brian From: Speed Track Tales To: Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2015 2:12 AM Subject: [New comment] ISDT 1975 – Isle of Man #yiv3864901946 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv3864901946 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv3864901946 a.yiv3864901946primaryactionlink:link, #yiv3864901946 a.yiv3864901946primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv3864901946 a.yiv3864901946primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv3864901946 a.yiv3864901946primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv3864901946 |

        Tim Averett commented: “Brian: Jeff Penton was killed when involved with a (truck). According to info on other sites.” | |

      • Unknown Unknown said:

         Tim after re-reading your comment .. You may have ment Jeff Gerber who  ran into a cement truck…. but Jeff was not killed ……. he went on to gold medal in 1976 in Austria ….. info can be found at  under 1976 as seen below … thks I hope that this clears up the incorrect reporting … Brian Jeff Gerber1975 – IOM – Penton 175 – DNF—hit by a cement truck on the 1 st day  1976 – Zeltweg , Austria – Penton 250 – Gold – club team ( Rhody Rovers )   From: Speed Track Tales To: Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2015 2:12 AM Subject: [New comment] ISDT 1975 – Isle of Man #yiv5068056933 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv5068056933 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv5068056933 a.yiv5068056933primaryactionlink:link, #yiv5068056933 a.yiv5068056933primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv5068056933 a.yiv5068056933primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv5068056933 a.yiv5068056933primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv5068056933 |

        Tim Averett commented: “Brian: Jeff Penton was killed when involved with a (truck). According to info on other sites.” | |

      • Jeff Gerber said:

        I was reading the comments and I was the American rider who had the encounter with the cement lorry on day 1 IOM , 1975, Jeff Gerber , happy to report still alive and well

      • Jeff, I’m so glad to read that, welcome to the site, I hope its brought back pleasant memories of past days. If you have anything to let us add to preserve the memories of the events please let me know.

  2. c. Marsh said:

    looking for a picture of a Montesa rider in the 1975 ISDT- I believe it’s J M Casanovas. My husband took a picture at the 75 ISDT and I’m trying to identify it. Montesa # 24 I think.

  3. John Wakefield said:

    Does anyone know the registration numbers or have pics of the Greeves Griffon’s ridden by Ken Ablewhite and J.R. (Bob) Belton in the Army team

    • Stephen Newell said:

      I owned one of the 1975 Greeves 380 got it from Shipley when we had them in the RAMCT. Traded it for a KTM 175

  4. I just discovered these nice pages. A respectful remark: Alessandro Gritti was in the Italian International Trophy Team (they were all on KTMs, whereas the Silver Vase Team was on SWMs. Later, it was the A.M.A. to do quite the same, when American Honda managed the U.S.A.Teams for the Trophée des Nations and the Motocross des Nations)

  5. Brian:

    I appreciate your input, and yes, I knew how this tragedy occurred.

  6. Brian Taylor Canada said:

    Yes it was US rider #207 Jeff Gerber on a 175 Penton who hit what we call a “cement truck “….I came upon the scene of accident shortly after it happened…. BTW would anyone have any photos ome in the race ? Canadian on a Rokon # 224… thks Brian

  7. Mr. Taylor: Bren Moran was my Uncle. By chance, would you know what his race number was? Thank you. Deirdre

    • Brian Taylor said:

      Deirdre nice to hear from you …. I will have to go thru some of my info to get your info….. I will need a few days but I will respond .. Brian

  8. Thanks. So that everyone knows, the Snow Enduro is still held in Bren’s memory. It is next weekend. I went a few years ago and it was quite a rush. I can only imagine how hard it was to maneuver a bike of the 60s to 70s through that rugged terrain.

  9. I rode the Snow Run twice. 1975 and 1976 on a Bultaco 250 Alpina.
    One year lots of snow. It was very tough. Next year bitter cold with just a few inches of snow. It was a blast. Since you are Brendon’s neice, is Eamon your father?

    • Eamon is my Uncle, Mary Ellen – Bren’s sister is my Mom. Eamon is doing great. He is still working. Lives in Suffield and is wintering in Florida right now. The Snow Enduro should be a blast next weekend. We have over 2′ of snow. I was thinking of going to watch – not sure if I want to trek through the woods with that much snow.

  10. Snow Run has been postponed to March 1 due to too much snow. I actually thought there was more snow last winter.
    I am in Florida for the winter, so I would not be at the event anyway.

  11. Brian Taylor said:

    Deirdre, your uncle Bren Moran rode under the #20…….. I have a picture of the Canadian Team taken by my brother that I could send to you if you pass along your email address to me ….. my address is Thks Brian

  12. Brian:

    I am interested in this picture if you could be so kind to email it to me at:

    I would appreciate it.

  13. My email address is Thanks

  14. John Sanford said:

    Is there a list that shows the bike serial numbers of the 1975 entrants? I have a bike that may have been in the 75 ISDT. It has numerous yellow paint marks on various components. It was delivered to LA, Calif. Oct of ’74.

    • Pretty unlikely at best you might get registration marks. However there are many reading this who were involved in setting up the ’75 event.

  15. Helmut Ritter said:

    I´ve been there and may have a little help because I remember some of the bikes in the contest but naturally not all.
    But first of all, the colour marks at the ISDT scrutineering got the starting number of the bike, written with a wooden stick in the yet fresh paint.
    If the marks on Your bike are those of the 75th ISDT from 1975 they have to have these starting number engraved and nevertheless should all show the same number.
    If this is not, it doesn´t says that the bike has not been there, because the ISDT bikes were often used in the next years season and therefore got other markings too, usually at te same places as the ISDT scrutineers painted their marks.
    So please have a close look on zthe marks of Your bike.

  16. I’m not sure how to post pics on this page. Here is a link to my Smugmug pictures. There are yellow paint marks on the tank and front and rear hubs. The shocks and cylinder are not original and it does not have the exhaust.

    It is a WR 250 frame with a CR 360 motor. Much like #252. The previous owner did purchase the bike from Malcolm Smith sometime around 1976, then raced desert in California.

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