Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Sammy Tanner and the Giant Killer

The Fly'n Flea rode this Sonic Weld Rigid at the Portland Mile in '68. The idea being that the 350 Twin Yamaha that did so well on the Daytona banking would be great at decimating the field at the long straight, tight corner Portland, Oregon horse track. Didn't happen. Sam was a little faster than the best Goldstar and about equal to the Triumph 500s of Nixon, Odom and Dusty Coppage.
The Harley Flat Head Harleys smoked them all. Tanner got a fifth place in his heat making him the first rider to ever but a 350cc Two-stroke in a Expert Main on a mile. Nix, Markel and Lawwill placed 1,2,3 with some wild, up against the fence, wide open cornering. Nixon on his Triumph was 4th and Sammy finished out of the top ten but Yamaha were delighted.