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Memories flood back for speed ace

PUBLISHED: 20:40 17 June 2008 | UPDATED: 21:07 07 July 2010

THE memories came flooding back for Alf Hagon as he surveyed the scene of one of his greatest triumphs.

In 1968, the biker had capped a glittering racing career by riding the first ever 200mph performance by a motorcycle in this country.

THE memories came flooding back for Alf Hagon as he surveyed the scene of one of his greatest triumphs.

In 1968, the biker had capped a glittering racing career by riding the first ever 200mph performance by a motorcycle in this country.

Forty years on from the amazing feat at RAF Honington, he returned to the airbase at the weekend to witness the current speed kings and recall his record breaking ride.

He had managed to reach 206mph on an ultra lightweight, super charged 1230cc Hagon-JAP Special.

He told the Times: “I can't believe it is 40 years since I was here doing the 200mph record. I remember I had won my last 38 race meetings when one motorcycle reporter asked me how fast I thought I could go.

“I was already reaching 160mph in quarter mile sprints and I didn't see why I couldn't reach 200mph. I can remember thinking that it would be special to break the record and also having tea in the wing commander's very nice bungalow before we set off. The only thing which was slightly disconcerting was seeing all the rescue vehicles and fire engines lined up.”

Mr Hagon revealed that the bike had to first be bump-started by him riding along and holding onto a door of a Jaguar travelling at 40mph.

“The first run I went through at about 6,000revs and got up to 180mph. Then the next ride was 190mph and it was on the third attempt I reached 206mph.

“Because I ended up in the middle of an empty runway, away from everyone, the whole thing was pretty unimpressive. But it was a great day and I was very pleased. This bike was 40 years ahead of its time and it is great to be here to see all the younger riders.”

Speaking proudly about his machine, Mr Hagon actually sold the historic bike a year after the record breaking triumph for £400 but then bought it back in 1994 when, by chance, his son, Martin, found it in Australia while he was speedway racing out there.

Terry Homan, who organised Sunday's event for Torque Events, said: “There is a competitive element to the day but it is also about fun and people showing off their machines.

“It is great to have Alf here and to think there is someone who had a course record 40 years ago which still stands today.”

However, nobody was able to top Mr Hagon's 206mph Sunday, which remains the fastest motorbike speed recorded at Honington. The closest was Tony Foster, who reached 202.85mph.

Money raised from the event will go to East Anglian Air Ambulance.

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