Victor Horsman – one of the greatest riders and tuners of his time

I noted with interest the Victor Horsman photo sent to OBM (December) by Bruce Preston, but was rather surprised by the apparent lack of response to the statement that Victor was a “Brooklands exponent and tuner”, and maybe the accompanying photos and information will go some way to redress the balance.

I have pulled some of the following extracts from a 1968 book by Dr Joseph Bayley entitled The Vintage Years at Brooklands.

One of the great tuner-riders of his time, Victor was winning races and breaking records throughout the vintage years, first on Norton and then Triumph machines.

Horsman is seen after winning the five laps winners’ handicap race at the BMCRC meeting on August 2, 1925. His speed of 90.06mph included a new 500cc flying-start five miles record of 92.82mph.

On September 9, 1920 a rider called Emerson had covered 70.46 miles in the hour on his 398cc ABC, but two days later, at the BMCRC meeting, Horsman, on his side-valve, single-gear, belt-drive Norton raised this to 71.68 miles in the 3½hp one-hour race, a nice start to a decade of racing. In fact Victor set up new figures for the 500cc hour record on eight occasions.

He had the right formula for racing and record-breaking – a long, low machine with alcohol fuel, and he always appeared to pull a higher top gear than those of his rivals – and this netted him wins and records with almost monotonous regularity.

Read more in February’s issue of OBM – on sale February now!

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