One of my most abiding motorcycle racing memories comes from my first trip to Indianapolis for the 2009 MotoGP race. On the Saturday night, I joined the majority of the paddock in making the pilgrimage to the Indiana State Fairground for the Indy Mile flat track races, the first time I had ever visited a flat track race. In addition to the overwhelming visceral experience of having a couple of dozen thundering twins roar by at over a hundred miles an hour, rear wheel sideways and looking for grip, came something very special indeed. Kenny Roberts Senior, three-times world champion took his Yamaha TZ750-powered flat tracker, one of the most legendary motorcycles ever to grace a racetrack - though Roberts would probably reject the verb "grace" - out for a spin, 34 years after it made its debut at the State Fairground.
The terrifying howl of an inline four-cylinder two stroke screaming around the Mile at Indy burned itself into my mind. These would be no demonstration laps, circulating slowly and showboating for the crowd. Roberts threw his heart and soul into those laps, pushing the bike the way he had been forced to on its first outing back in 1975, wringing the neck of the bike and getting it sideways in the turns as he slung the bike into the corners. It was a fitting tribute from an iconic rider to an iconic motorcycle, and it was a humbling experience to have witnessed it.
So when Scott Jones told me that he was working on a project to produce a special edition poster, combining his own photo from that evening with a photo of the race in 1975, and having them signed by Kenny Roberts himself I was very excited. This is a special item commemorating two very special occasions, and would grace the wall of any motorcycle racing fan.
Below you can find more details about this iconic print, and find out how to contact Scott to obtain one of the prints. If you'd like to read more about the history of Kenny Roberts' TZ750 flat tracker, Dean Adams wrote a fantastic story about it on Superbikeplanet.com. And at the bottom of the page, you can see a video made by Dunlop from that evening, featuring Kenny Roberts talking about the history of the bike.
Historic limited edition print of Kenny Roberts’ famous Yamaha tz750 rides Now Available
Scott Jones Photography announced today the availability of an historic signed, limited edition print commemorating two of Kenny Robert Sr.’s famous appearances on Yamaha’s famed TZ750 flat track motorcycle. The print features two iconic images, taken 34 years apart, that when presented together show the magic of King Kenny’s style across the decades.
The black and white image was made by Bert Shepard at the 1975 Indy Mile, where Roberts delivered one of the most famous performances of his storied career, riding the soon-to-be-banned TZ750 from the back of the pack to a close victory. The color image was made by Scott Jones at the 2009 Indy Mile when Roberts was reunited with a TZ750 for two ceremonial laps around the same track. As those who attended this special evening can attest, his laps were anything but ceremonial and Roberts thrilled the crowd on the shrieking TZ750.
These two images, along with Kenny Roberts’ signature, create a unique piece of collectible motorcycling memorabilia that appeals not only to fans of America’s greatest motorcycle racer but to all who recognize great moments in motorcycle racing history.
The prints are 32 x 16” Giclée canvas gallery wraps (canvas stretched around a wooden frame with black paper backing and wire hanging hardware installed), ready for display upon delivery. The prints do not need additional framing unless desired by the buyer. Each print in the edition of 50 was signed by Roberts on February 23, 2012.
Print #1 in the edition will be displayed in the Kenny Roberts museum at his California ranch. Print #3 will be auctioned to the highest bidder at the 2012 Riders for Health Day of Champions at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
The rest of the edition is available for sale from Scott Jones Photography. The remaining of the first ten prints are available for $1000 plus shipping (California residents must pay sales tax). Prints 11-50 are available for $750 plus shipping and sales tax if applicable.