CMR Racing Products Inc.

CMR Racing Products Inc.

Monday 1 October 2018

Even More CMR Racing Products Down Under

A really nice thing happened just before we left for Australia and New Zealand in January 2018. Denis got a phone call from Joe O'Neill in Dunedin, NZ. Joe asked for verification of the pedigree of a motorcycle that he'd just purchased while on a business trip to Los Angeles. He said that he'd purchased it as a Seeley Norton. On leaving LA he'd travelled up to visit relatives in Vancouver, B.C. and showed them photos of the bike he'd just purchased. Someone knew of Denis Curtis and his frame-building business, and had actually seen the bike racing in the 1970s at Westwood track near Vancouver (it's since been replaced by a subdivision.)

Joe went on-line, found Denis' phone number, and rang him. Denis asked for photos, had a look, and wonder of wonders - it was the very first motorcycle frame that Denis had built in Canada. Now, that doesn't happen every day! If you go to the History section on the CMR Racing Products website (here's a good link) and read through to the '70s road racing section, you can read the rest of the story.

The frame the youthful Denis is working on was built into a Curtis Seeley Norton750; it was a replica of the Colin Seeley MkII Seeley 750 racer. The bike was built in the Curtis Racing Frames facility for employee Lief Sorenson, who went on to race it quite successfully. When Lief left Curtis Racing Denis lost contact with him, and the bike.

The photo opposite shows the bike in the early 1980s after it was purchased and rebuilt by the founder of the CVMG (Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group) Peter Gagan. Peter saw the launch of CMR Racing Products website in 2007 and kindly sent this photo. Peter eventually sold this bike to a fellow in Los Angeles to compete in AHRMA (American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association) and that was where the story ended, until Joe contacted us.

Here are the photographs Joe sent to Denis.

They show the bike in its current form, with the same tank and seat, fairing and exhaust system. The LA owner changed the frame and swing arm  from green-painted to nickel plated, the tank, seat and fairing to Ferrari Red. The bike has the same front forks, wheels and brakes as originally fitted.

Kevin Docherty
As it turned out Denis had been invited to be at the Phillip Island Races in Australia by Team USA. He was also invited to visit New Zealand and see some of the race bikes he had supplied to customers there, and also to the N.Z. Team.
Joe invited Denis to visit the bike at his place in Dunedin, South Island. This next series of photos was taken, the day Denis was reunited with the first Curtis Racing frame, built into this exceptional motorcycle.

Joe was called away on business, but Kevin Dougherty of Motoxtreme Services Ltd., Dunedin, who takes care of all of Joe's motorcycles, took Denis over to visit Joe's garage.

The best moment was when Denis got on board this bike, the first time since 1973, and found it alive and well on the other side of the planet.

Sincere thanks to Joe O'Neill and Kevin Dougherty for their hospitality.
Denis of CMR Racing Products in his happy place

1 comment:

  1. But wait there's more. I believe Joe has now got a brand new XR69 frame that CMR built