A  History of Classic Racing  50cc Motorcycles



One of the Best Races of the Week

The 1964 Ultra-Lightweight 50cc T.T. 

Douglas, June 12th 1964

THE 50 c.c. class, at one time, prior to 1962, considered by many as something of a joke in the Island this year provided one of the most closely contested races of the week. It also showed that these diminutive machines can be the most reliable of all and although lacking in size, the fifties provided a closely fought road battle. 

HUGH ANDERSON, from New Zealand; took the 50c.c. Suzuki round the Mountain Course at 80.64 m.p.h. for three laps and had no intention of relinquishing his grip on that 50 cc world crown. He just blasted everyone else off the road when winning  the 50 cc TT on Friday at 80.64 mph, with an astonishing record lap of 81.13 mph. It was a triumph for Suzuki, with Morishita in third place. Picture: Hugh Anderson.

Even more amazing was the feat of second man Ralph Bryans. In a last-lap spurt on his Honda RC114, he rocketed from sixth to second place, snatching it from lsao Morishita (Suzuki) by the incredibly close margin of 0.65s!, clinching the runner-up award with a superb last lap. Honours were shared fairly evenly between Suzuki, Honda and Kreidler; Ralph Bryans (Honda) being second split the Suzukis of Anderson and Isao Morishita who was only 0.6s behind Bryans. Three seconds after Morishita came Hans G. Anscheidt (Kreidler). The lap record was broken several times and Anderson finally put it up to 81.13 mph on the last lap. Picture: 

The “Wasps” were programmed as the Curtain Raisers to the events of the day. They had to cover three laps of the T.T. Mountain Course as they did last year, and were started at 10-second intervals. Unfortunately, the entries were down again this year- only 28 of them, as against 35 last year and 56 in 1962.  But, with the notable exception of Lap Record breaker, Ernest Degner, most of the “fast men” were in attendance.

Degner’s lap speed last year was 79.10 m.p.h. with a time of 28 mins. 37.2 secs. No one came within 16.8 seconds of this during this year’s practices, Mitsuo Itoh (Suzuki), who won the race last year after Degner had retired, having scored 3 lap in 28 mins. 54 secs. at 78.35 m.p.h. Still, the first half. dozen fastest in Practice all lapped in under the half-hour. as shown below:  

M. Itoh (Suzuki)                         28. 54              (78.35 m.p.h.) 
R, Bryans (Honda)                    28. 57.6          (78.18 m.p.h.)
H. R. Anderson (Suzuki)        29. 03.2           (77.93 m.p.h.)
I. Morishita (Suzuki)               29. 06              (77.81 m.p.h.) 
N. Tanaguchi (Honda)           29. 21.6            (77.13 m.p.h.)  took over the number 16 bike as K. Takahashi was unable to ride.
L. Taveri (Kreidler)                  29. 24              (77.3 m.p.h.)

Taking in the practice times of this year and Referring back to last years 50cc T.T. Itoh’s record race winning speed was 78.81 m.p.h., the “targets" for today's riders are 79.10 m.p.h., for the lap and 78.81 for the three laps. Will anyone touch the magic "four-score”? Picture: Fumio Itoh after winning the 1963 50cc T.T.

Non-starters were:

No.4 Alberto. Pagani --Mondial 
No.11 L. Johansson -       SNS
No.12 P. Eser -----        Honda
No.14 Tommy Robb -    Honda
No.23 Alan Dawson -     Sheene Special
No,24 David P. Clarke - Foster
No,28 Peter J. Foster -   Foster 

and have reduced the field to 20, but the “stars" are there, with the exception of Huberts and Tommy Robb, of course who did not have a 50cc machine to ride this year. 

In addition to the six fastest in practice, H. G, Anscheidt and Tarquinio Provini (Kreidlers) may well figure on the race Leader Board, as may the Tohatsus ridden by the Simmonds brothers (Dave and Mike). 

Last year, out of 36 entries there were 18 non-starters (Works and Private), making a field of only 18. So, in spite of the reduced entry the grid was two bikes up on the 1963 start. 

Incidentally and for the record. we timed the “Wasps” over the first part of the T.T. course, from the starting line to a point just beyond Selborne Drive, (1.0 miles) on the Quarter Bridge Road. We got them with both standing and flying starts, the fastest "standers" were H. Koshino (Suzuki) and N. Taniguchi (Honda) at 70.59 m.p.h., and the quickest flyers and were shown in the following order:

I. Morishita           (Suzuki)    94.74. 
N. Taniguchi        (Honda)     92.31.
H. R. Anderson    (Suzuki)    90.00.
L. Taveri                (Kreidler)  90.00,
H. Koshino           (Suzuki)     87.81. 
M, Simmonds     (Tohatsu)  77.93.

The gradient of the timed distance drops about 15 feet, but even so 94.74 m.p.h. isn’t so bad for a “50"! 

The weather, on going to bed Thursday night was calm but there was obviously some sea mist during the night for  “Moaning Mona", the Douglas  fog-horn, was at it all the time. It wasn't too bad when looked at around 7-30 a.m., and the 7-55 a.m. forecast was hopeful — “cloudy at first in the whole of the Isle of Man, with perhaps a little rain later, mainly dry with sunny periods; light or moderate south to south east wind, warm."  

However the weather for the race start was almost ideally dry and there was practically no sun with only a moderate breeze as riders came out to the grid after an ear-splitting warming-up session. 

The plan of action is that Anscheidt and Koshino were due to leave at 11 a.m., and the last man Jasper Smith, should leave at 20 seconds after 11.02 a.m. Hugh Anderson starts 10 seconds after the first pair, and Bryans, Morishita and Taveri leave 20, 30 and 40 seconds, respectively, after the first couple. The grid's machinery is made up of factory Suzukis, Hondas and Kreidlers, plus two Tohatsus, Honda production racers and one fast Itom ridden by Don Juler. 

10-30 a.m.--the warm-up maroon is fired, the weather is O.K., the race is ON. Let's see how the plan worked out. By the way, There are three Manufacturers Teams, European Honda. Kreidler and Suzuki, but only one Club Team, that of the Racing 50 M.C.C. 

10-40 a.m. Geoff Davidson, President of the Racing 50 Club is sitting in the Press Box on the start line “Visibility on the Mountain, he said is half-a-mile and its clearing. Good news and it’s really quite warm-for a change"! Looking down at the grid the 'possible winners' are well spread out in the first twenty boxes, Geoff  made it that there are nearly a dozen of them, running from No.1, H G, Anscheidt to No.20, Provini, both of whom are riding Kreidlers.

10-45 a.m.—a boom in the sky, it's the maroon to stop engines - but in actuality they had all stopped two or three minutes previously.

10-50 am.—The sun is almost shinning, and the outline of the Mountain is now quite clear, Conditions all-round the course should be ideal.  

10-55 a.m.—Another boom and the Five-Minute Maroon starts the count-down, Four minutes, three, two, one.  and the starter raises his flag.

11-00 a.m. - Anscheidt and Koshino are away, pushing hard until the little engines fire with the Japanese leading on the approach to St. Ninian’s. Hugh Anderson starts 10 seconds after the first pair, and Bryans, Morishita and Taveri leave 20, 30 and 40 seconds, respectively, after the first couple. Most of the riders are on two-strokes, of course. The last man R, Jasper Smith, should leave at 20 seconds after 11.02 a.m. Picture: Haruo Koshino (Suzuki) 1964 50cc TT

All got away well except Taveri's Kreidler which was very reluctant to pick up and Provini is slower than most; odd, that! In two and a half minutes the field had left the grandstand area, giving peace and quiet after the high-pitched screech of the two-strokes and the slightly lower thrum of the twin-cylinder four-stroke Hondas. 

Starting together, Isao Koshino (Suzuki) and Hans Georg Anscheidt (Kreidler) had Anderson on their tails by Union Mills. Koshino-Suzuki (No. 2) is now shown on the score board a few miles farther on, at Ballacraine. but Hugh Anderson (No.3) is there only a second or so later, the hard-riding Kiwi had wedged himself between the leading pair then cheekily slipped ahead at Glen Helen, so he had obviously picked up quite a bit; it was here at Glen Helen that he is announced as leading on the roads.  

11.09 a.m.—"now they’ve all reached Ballacraine" said the commentator over the PA system. Already, the race had established a record, the field had passed through Ballacraine without a solitary retirement, the first time this had happened during the race week! and we must take into consideration that most of these engines were buzzing at anywhere between 12,000 and 19,000 rpm. 

Stop watches on them at Kirk Michael. No.3, Hugh Anderson, is leading No.2, Koshino by four seconds i.e., 14 seconds on corrected time. No.18, M. Itoh reaches Kirk Michael a minute and a half after Hugh, which means a corrected time loss of 20 seconds. It looks as if Hugh has a good lead”.

Anscheidt and Koshino slipstreamed the champ right through Kirkmichael and it was only on the Sulby straight that Anderson managed to get 200 yards ahead.  The order at Sulby Bridge is Anderson (No.3), Morishita (No.7), Itoh (No.18), Anscheidt and Koshino (Nos.1 and 2 are together) and Bryans (N0.5).

The front runners are approaching Ramsey and take the hairpin without problem. However this is where the first faller of the race slid out; this was Jim Pink (Honda CR110) who came off but was unharmed, however damage to the bike meant he could not continue. 

11.20 a.m.--"Ten riders have passed Ramsey, including No.20. Provini. who had a rather slow start with the engine failing to pick up smoothly; though he must be going well now".

At the Bungalow—just after 11.20 a.m. Anderson was obviously increasing his lead. After him, the order then, is Koshino (2), Anscheidt (1), Bryans (5), Morishita (7) and Itoh (18).

Whilst coming down the Mountain,  Anscheidt made full use of his overdrive top gear and shot past surprised Koshino and Bryans. Anderson is still first on the roads and in the race, and it seems that Morishita and Itoh are running second and third.

Fastest, in practice, last year’s winner Mitsuo Itoh (Suzuki) finally managed to shake off Naomi Taniguchi (Honda), who had started with him, when they were over the Mountain. By Keppel Gate. ltoh had gobbled up the 40 seconds starting interval between himself and Luigi Taveri (Kreidler). Picture: Mitsuo Itoh-18 Naomi Taniguchi-16  Sign Post Corner.  

11.28 a.m.--When they came past the grandstand at the end of the first lap there were three of the riders in line equally spaced out. Anscheidt was in front followed by Anderson and then Koshino; after a short interval, Itoh came by on his own, and then Bryans, just in front of Morishita, having managed to get past the Japanese after all.

Taniguchi tried to force his Honda past the Kreidler of Taveri but he had not managed it as they disappeared towards the top of Bray Hill. Even so, the Kreidlers, except for Anscheidt's machine, were slower than the Suzukis and Hondas. Taniguchi had already made up 30 seconds on Taveri and is catching him, and Provini on the other Kreidler, starting with a later number than the rest and a slow engine pick-up, was lapping more slowly than the others in the team. Picture: Ralph Bryans with his distinctive helmet design. 

As Anderson came passed the grandstand at the end of his first lap the PA commentator re-affirmed that for the first time in the racing week there had been no retirements announced within a few minutes of the start of the race. In fact only one rider failed to complete the first lap and that was Jim Pink (Honda) who came off at the Ramsey hairpin; he was unharmed but could not continue. The commentator also mentioned that "Rebuilt like a watch, with new jewels and mainspring after the last practice session", Ralph Bryans’ little twin was rapidly freeing up and he was setting about recovering the 10 seconds starting advantage that he had lost to Morishita and the lack of power he had in his Honda at the start". 

So Suzukis held four of the first five places with the Anscheidt Kreidler sandwiched between. Everyone with the exception of Jim Pink completed the first lap but when Don Juler with his Itom started his second lap the leaders were already approaching Ballaugh, 17 miles out, on their second lap. At Sulby, Anderson, who had already regained his lead on the road at Quarter Bridge, was still in front followed closely by Anscheidt and Koshino, and Bryans was ahead of Morishita. Picture: Don Juler (19) with his Itom on Bray Hill.

Hugh Anderson has broken the lap record from a standing start, with a time of 28 mins. 24.4 secs, at 79.69 m.p.h. He may well beat the ‘four-score” on the second, 'flying start' lap. Itoh, Anscheidt and Koshino have also beaten last year’s record! 


1. H, Anderson             (Suzuki)      28 24.4 (79.69 m.p.h.)
2. M. Itoh                       (Suzuki)      28 32.8 (79.30 m.p.h.)
3 H. Anscheidt             (Kreidler)   28 33.6 (79.26 m.p.h.)
4. H, Koshino               (Suzuki)     28 34.4 (79.23 m.p.h.)
5. I. Morishita              (Suzuki)     28.4l.6 (78.90 m.p.h.)
6 N. Taniguchi            (Honda)      28 48.4 (78.59 m.p.h.)

From a standing start, Anderson had chopped a fine 12.8 seconds of Ernst Degner's (Suzuki) 1963 record, lapping in 28m 24.4 seconds, a speed of 79.69 mph - can he better this with a flying lap time? The next  three had all beaten the old record! Only 8.45 seconds behind Anderson came Itoh, with Anscheidt a mere 0.8s astern, then  Koshino — wait for it! — only another 0.8 seconds behind Anscheidt! Fifth, by 7.25 seconds, Morishita had 6.8 seconds in  hand over Taniguchi, who had only 2.6 seconds to spare over Bryans. Picture: Hugh Anderson on the 50cc Suzuki. 

18 miles out on the second lap and Hugh Anderson is negotiating the Sulby Straight, he still had a lead of 8.4 seconds on his team-mate Mitsuo Itoh, who was less than a second ahead of Anscheidt, four Suzukis in the first five! The first retirement of the second lap, R. Jasper Smith (Honda CR110) at Glen Vine with engine trouble, the rider is OK. 

11.52 a.m. (Lap 2) — All quiet at the Grandstand—the first six on the roads have passed the Bungalow. By the time the leaders got to Keppel Gate, Anderson having had a good ride down the Mountain, had managed to get away from the others. 

11.55 a.m. (Lap 2) — Hugh Anderson is at Signpost Corner, and now, seconds later he's here passing the Press Box . As he had started on the grid at number three, he was leading the race comfortably on time and on the road as, after coming through to start his last lap, it was about 30 seconds before the next two, Anscheidt and Koshino, appeared; and that lap was the first over-80 m.p.h. 

Anderson has broken the “four-score”, with a second lap at 81.10 m.p.h., his time, 27 -mins. 54.8 secs! That lap was the first over-80 m.p.h. ever made on a 50cc machine.

Anscheidt with his Kreidler now lay second in the race with Koshino third and Itoh fourth, but only 7 seconds covered them. In fact there was only a span of 13 seconds between the second and the sixth man. With his engine gradually losing its fine edge, Itoh had slipped to fourth, 5.4 seconds astern of Koshino, and only 2.6s behind him came the diminutive Morishita with Bryans a further 3.6 seconds back. Bryans was having a terrific dice with Morishita. 

Marvellous; confirmed by the commentator over the P.A. system, this was an over-81 m.p.h. lap! Anderson had sliced 29.6 seconds off that scorching opening lap, 27m 54.8s, a speed of 81.10 m.p.h. and now it is recorded that the average speeds of the first seven riders were all above the previous lap record!

11.56 a.m. (Lap 2 ) — Anscheidt with his Kreidler now lays second in the race with Koshino third and Itoh fourth, but only 7s covered them. In fact, there were only 13s between the second and the sixth man, Bryans, who was having a terrific dice with Morishita. 


1. H. R. Anderson     (Suzuki)                  56 19.2       (80.39 m.p.h.)
2. H. G. Anscheidt    (Kreidler)              56 55.6       (79.53 m.p.h.) 
3. H. Koshino             (Suzuki)                 56 56.6       (79.51 m.p.h.)
4. M. Itoh                    (Suzuki)                  57 02.0           (79.38 m.p.h.)
5. I. Morishita           (Suzuki)                  57 04.6       (79.32 m.p.h.)
6. R. Bryans               (Honda)                  57 08.2        (79.24 m.p.h.)
7th N. Taniguchi (Honda), 8th, L. Taveri (Kreidler), 9th T. Provini (Kreidler); 10th D. A.  Simmonds (Tohatsu); 11th I. E.  Plumridge (Honda) and 12th P. Horsham. (Honda).

N. Taniguchi (Honda)

 Luigi  Taveri (Kreidler)

Tarquinio Provini (Kreidler)

Dave Simmonds (Tohatsu)

Ian Plumridge (Honda)

Phil  Horsham. (Honda)

Ralph Bryan's, on this third visit to the TT, still on the Honda, and still the Honda 'new boy', was 12.65 seconds astern of Anscheidt, but Bryan's engine was now buzzing better than ever having been run in at some considerable speed. Pulling trump cards from all  angles, Bryans had made meteoric progress to pick off the runners in front, on corrected  time and on the road. 

By Sulby he was third and only 3 seconds astern of Anscheidt. Bryans thought he could pull back that 3 seconds going up the Mountain, but Anscheidt would have the edge down the other side. Bryans’ task was eased by Anscheidt striking  front-brake trouble in Ramsey  -he dare not use it for fear of it sticking on. Itoh’s engine was ailing, owing to a suspected stuck piston ring, and he slipped back to fifth behind  Morishita.

12.05 p.m. (Lap 3) — Hugh Anderson has passed Barregarrow for the last  time—and now he’s at Kirk  Michael.  News that Mike J. Simmonds (Tohatsu) has come off at the Water-works, is unhurt, but has retired. 

12.13 p.m. (Lap 3) —Hugh Anderson is shown at Ramsey—barring accidents and any mechanical problems “it’s in the bag”.

Anscheidt, pulling everything he can from his little engine, has pulled up into second place. Japan's machinery takes all the first six places except the second, where Germany comes into the picture.

12.19 p.m. (Lap 3) — Hugh is at the Bungalow - only about seven miles to go. Anscheidt is shown at the Bungalow just under 60 seconds later.

Following on behind Anderson through the Bungalow, the hard-riding  Koshino fell at the fast 32nd Milestone, now called 'Dukes Bend' but escaped with a severe shaking. However he and the bike were unable to continue the race. Morishita now increased speed dramatically and went up to second place. 

12-23p.m. (Lap 3) — The leader board now shows Hugh Anderson at Signpost and within seconds and having negotiated Governors Bridge for the last time, he comes past to win the 1964 “Wasps” race by a substantial margin.

Back behind Anderson by about a minute, Bryans was making a terrific effort to catch Morishita. The general thought was 'would he, and even could he, do it'?  He was now going down the Mountain and unexpectedly he gained fractions on corrected  time over Morishita. The crowd around the start and finish line were tensed and quiet. Anderson being already safely home and the applause that had shown him to be a popular winner was quiet. This was a well deserved win, having had no luck at all in the other lightweight races. 

A rider appeared up from Governor's Bridge and flashed across the line, It was Bryans then Morishita. There was a long pause in the commentary, watches checked—Bryans has  done it! By the narrowest of gnat’s whiskers, six hundredths of a second. From sixth at the end of the second lap he finished in second place, 1.4s behind Anderson; Picture: Ralph Bryans at Ballaugh Bridge

Conformation over the P.A. advised that Koshino, who had over cooked the bend at the 32nd milestone, had come off,  and was seen by a doctor, who reported that apart from a good shaking and some scuffing there was “nothing broken”. The P.A. also informed that Koshino had retired. Anscheidt was pushed back to fourth place, but was only 2.6s behind the second Suzuki of Morishita. 

After his victory, Hugh Anderson told the interviewer of a concern he had when his engine started mis-fire going over the Mountain during the first lap, he prayed it wouldn't pack up. This problem enabled Anscheidt to lead on the roads at the end of the lap. However the mis-fire cleared and everything went well, 

When the "tumult and the shouting died" and Anderson was just leaving the paddock in his van, Don Juler and his Itom finished the race, 35 minutes behind the leader. Last he might have been but he and his machine had completed a three lap race of the Isle of man T.T. Mountain Circuit covering 113.2 miles of what might be called the most difficult circuit in the world and on what began life as a road going moped. Picture: Don Juler at Bray Hill 1964

One must spare a thought for Georg Anscheidt. Only 2.6seconds behind Morishita at the finish, he found, on post-race examination, that his front brake was not so badly damaged, that he need not have been so cautious and the 3.25 separating him from second place could easily have been retrieved on braking alone. 

A true disc jockey, Anderson belted out another record on that final lap, 27m 54.2s,  81.13 mph. and the average of the first six riders was comfortably inside the previous lap record. For a final record-'Out of the 20 starters only two retired with mechanical trouble'!   

RACE RESULTS for the 50 c.c. Race: 3 laps-113.2 miles

1 H. R. Anderson........................(Suzuki)       1 24 13.4      80.64
2 R. Bryans.................................(Honda)        1 25 14.8      79.68
3 I. Morishita.............................(Suzuki)        1 25 15.4      79.67
4 H. G. Anscheidt .....................(Kreidler)     1 25 18.0      79.63
5 M. Itoh....................................(Suzuki)         1 25 22.4     79.57
6 N. Taniguchi..........................(Honda)         1 25 33.0     79.39
7 L. Taveri .................................(Kreidler)      1 26 27.4     78.56
8 T Provini ................................(Kreidler)      1 30 39.6     74.92
The above received Silver replicas

9 Dave. A. Simmonds ..............(Tohatsu)    1 36 18.0      70.53
10 Ian. E. Plumridge.................(Honda)       1 39 08.8     68.51
11 Phil. Horsham.......................(Honda)       1 39 21.2      68.37
The above received Bronze replicas

12 John. Tompsett....................(Honda)       1 44 30.4    65.00
13 L. E. Evans............................(Honda)        1 44 51.4     64.78
14 A. G. Hutchings...................(Honda)        1 48 01.2     62.88
15 Don. A. Juler ........................(Itom)            1 59 45.8    56.72

Fastest Lap: Anderson, 27m 54.2, 81.13 m.p.h.

Manufacturer's Team Prize: Suzuki-Anderson, Morishita, Itoh.

A Gallery of Riders from the 1964 Ultra-Lightweight 50cc Isle of Man T.T.

Courtesy of The FoTTofinder Bikesport Archives

 Return to the Isle of Man TT Races