Honda RC 115 – the weapon of the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer for the 50ccWorld Championship in 1965.

1965 – Anscheidt’s last year as a Kreidler works driver

The factory teams of the 1965 season, with a total of 4 manufacturers, who took part in the “schnapps glass class” this year.

Overpowering competition for Kreidler
The Japanese plants Suzuki and Honda had already made a huge effort last year. At the 1994 season finale, no fewer than 12 factory drivers would have competed. Only because of the withdrawal of all Suzuki drivers before the race, the run was not counted as part of the World Championship afterwards. Honda already had a 50cc four-stroke two-cylinder factory machine in the 1964 season, with which Ralph Bryans had won three times. Once again, the Northern Irishman was second on the Isle of Man ahead of H. G. Anscheidt.

Hugh Anderson (Suzuki 125cc) on the left and the East German Dieter Krumpholz (MZ) in 1965.
After Ernst Degner in 1962, Germany was able to celebrate another 50cc world champion with H. G. Anscheidt in 1966.

The new weapons of Honda and Suzuki
For 1965 Suzuki presented a new 50cc twin and a 125cc bike with a 4-cylinder engine, both with water cooling. The Spanish Derbi team also got stronger every year and equipped 5 pilots with their material, three of them as factory drivers. The Honda RC 115 should prove to be the most powerful weapon, with a peak output of 14 hp at 21,500 rpm, an astronomical number of revolutions. The top speed was around 175 km/h (108.7 mph), the tiny thing had a 9-speed gearbox and weighed only 50 kilograms.

Start of the 50cc run for the German championship on the Solitude near Stuttgart. 1965. At least in the 50cc class Anscheidt won the title in the German championship in the 1965 season

The 1965 season without a Grand Prix win for Anscheidt and Kreidler
It became clear even before the start of the season that Kreidler would be lost with the now outdated 50-series engine. With Luigi Taveri, Honda provided a second works driver alongside Ralph Bryan from Northern Ireland. For Suzuki, Ernst Degner returned to the 50cc class full of self-confidence after his 125cc victory in the final race in Suzuka last year. The first 50cc world champion from 1962 strengthened the Suzuki works team with Hugh Anderson and the Japanese Mitsuo Itoh.

Luigi Taveri on his 125cc Honda, here he and Ralph Bryans were still the underdogs, but the dominant drivers in the 50cc class this season.

Suzuki riders dominating – but only in the 125cc class
In 1965 there was no match against the 50cc Honda riders on most of the tracks. Nevertheless, Anderson fought for one victory in Barcelona and got it, and Degner even two (in Daytona and Spa-Francorchamps). But the world title went to Ralph Bryan and the Swiss Taveri was runner-up. Hans Georg Anscheidt made it into the points with the Kreidler only twice and the plant from Kornwestheim near Stuttgart withdrew from the GP sport at the end of the season. The German drove the Japanese GP in the last race on a Suzuki and with 4th place got as many points as in all 7 races before.

Suzuki mechanic from Japan in the paddock during a break, 1965.
In the rain race at the Grand Prix of Nations in Monza, Ernst Degner on his 125cc Suzuki led the Parabolica ahead of New Zealander Hugh Anderson (Suzuki). The German fell badly shortly afterwards and suffered serious injuries for the second time after Suzuka in 1963, which would cost him almost the entire following season.

Final score 50cc World Championship 1965

From the 8 races in 1965 only the 5 best results were counted, which is why the first 3 in the table below had cancellation points. The result after subtracting the worst 3 results is shown in red font.

Finished in 6th to 10th place and therefore without World Championship marks: George Ashton (GB, Honda), Raymond Bogaerdt (B, Honda), Peter Eser (D, Honda), Toshio Fujii (J, Suzuki), K. Ito (J, Bridgestone), Brian Kettle (GB, Honda), Rudolf Kunz (D, Kreidler), Oscar Pastro (B, Derbi), Jim Pink (GB, Honda), Horst Rauber (D, Honda), Naomi Taniguchi (J, Honda), Aldobrando Tassoni (I, Tohatsu), Gerhard Thurow (D, Kreidler), Claude Vigreux (F, Kreidler), Pierre Viura (F, Derbi).
Ralph Bryans, the motorcycle world champion from 1965 in the 50cc class won despite fewer points (gross) than his teammate Taveri because he had one more win.
Portraits of the motorcycle world champions from 1965 in a German magazine.

1966 the breakthrough for Anscheidt with Suzuki

Finally back on a motorcycle capable of winning – H. G. Anscheidt on the 50cc Suzuki.
Report from the Eifel race on the Nürburgring with a photo of the start of the 50cc class at an international race in Germany in May 1966. It also mentions that Hans Georg Anscheidt would be competing for Suzuki again and would now be competitive again. Back then, around 150,000 spectators came to the traditional route in the Eifel.

The first round of the World Cup in Barcelona
In the 1966 season, H. G. Anscheidt, from Königsberg in Prussia, competed for Suzuki. The main focus was on the 50cc class, and as in the previous year, he also took part in 125s races. However, there were no points to win for the German in Spain. But in the 50cc class, the combination of Anscheidt and Suzuki should prove to be extremely powerful.

Sketch of the Montjuic Park Circuit from the early 1960x.
Bill Ivy – a new face in the paddock, who competed alongside Phil Read in the 125cc and 250cc classes for the Yamaha factory team in 1966. For more about the little big man and his few years in the World Championship, see our history tab.

Swiss 50cc win on Honda
At the season opener in Spain, Luigi Taveri (Switzerland) was ahead of the game and won the Barcelona GP by a clear margin from H. G. Anscheid, Ralph Bryans and Hugh Anderson. Honda works driver Taveri had obviously been very lucky with his victory, because shortly before the end of the race, a good chunk of his lead over the pursuers shrank. As he stated after the race, his Honda would probably not have survived another lap.

A photo from the 50cc class race in the Montjuic Park in Barcelona in May 1966. Hans Georg Anscheidt on his Suzuki has just lapped the Englishman Martin Carney on Derbi.
The Swiss Luigi Taveri at the season opener for the Spanish GP on the 50 cc two-cylinder four-stroke Honda, which turned up to 22,000 rpm.
Hugh Anderson in the 125cc race ahead of Bill Ivy, the eventual winner.

Revenge at the home race at the Hockenheimring
The second race at the home Grand Prix in Hockenheim was the first highlight of the season for the young and small German. In front of around 100,000 spectators, the 15 drivers started at 9:40 a.m. with a slight delay over 15 laps to the 50cc GP of Germany. As so often, local hero Anscheidt had an excellent start and took the lead in front of his Suzuki team-mate Hugh Anderson. While Taveri had engine problems with his Honda again and falled behind due to misfires, a three-man leading group forms with Anderson, Anscheidt and Bryans.

New lap record and a historical triumph
In the eighth lap, the German sat a new lap record and lapped the first drivers. In the end he won his first race for Suzuki to the frenetic cheers of the audience with almost 35 seconds ahead of Ralph Bryans. The Northern Irishman was able to leave Anderson behind and Taveri crossed the finish line in 4th place. Anscheidt went a bit better in the 125cc race than in barcelona and took a 5th place, thus scored the first and only World Championship points of the season.

Start of the 50 cm³ GP of Germany on May 22nd, 1966. When the picture was taken, the German Hans Georg Anscheidt was already in the lead and out of this picture.

World Championship round 3 in Assen
The 50cc class was not announced at the French GP in Charade, Clermont-Ferrand. In general, the 1966 season was the first for the 50s with only 6 races since the “schnapps glass class” was held in the premiere year 1962. For this reason, only the best 4 results of the season counted for the world championship this time. At the “Dutch TT” in Assen there was a double victory for Honda. After Taveri won ahead of Bryans, Anderson and Anscheidt, the suspicion arose that the Northern Irishman had let the Swiss by because of a stable order. For H. G. Anscheidt, 4th place was later a deletion result.

Start of the 50cc class with Taveri and Anscheidt, who are already sitting on their bike, next to Bryan, ascending from the left in the first row. Behind are the three Suzukis with Anderson, Katayama and Morishita.
50cc Race in Assen – Ralph Bryans in front of his Honda teammate Luigi Taveri, who won in the end ahead of the Northern Irishman.
Another picture with Ralph Bryans in front Luigi Taveri and the 50cc race result.

TT Race on the Isle of Man 1966 – no luck for Anscheidt
After a two-month break for the smallest class, the Isle of Man continued with the Tourist Trophy, which was part of the World Cup until the mid-1970s. But this time Hans Georg had no luck after winning the German Championship run at the Norisring in his home country during the break before the TT. At the foot of Bray Hill by Quarter Bridge, he stopped with his Suzuki. The engine had simply given up the ghost, with which it had to post the first zero of the season.

TT Mountain course.

Difficult situation for the German to earn the 50cc title
Now it was of course tight in the World Championship because Bryans had won ahead of Taveri and Anscheidt’s team-mate Anderson. The Northern Irishman Bryans had allegedly disregarded the team order at the TT and wanted to beat Taveri in his home race. Incidentally, Ralph Bryans drove faster on the first lap than 19 years earlier in the 500 class of the pre-war hero Harold Daniell on his factory Norton on his record lap. This is proof of how well the 50 cm³ machines ran even on such courses in the mid-1960s.

The failure with a technical defect by H. G. Anscheidt at the TT 1966.
The V2 engine of a 125cc Derbi, with a very narrow cylinder angle from 1966. The Spanish company tried hard in the smaller classes, but mostly had no chance against the Japanese, who operate with gigantic effort, such as Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha.
The 125cc Honda from 1966 with a 5-cylinder (!) In-line engine.

World Cup Round 5 – Monza Grand Prix of Nations
For once, H. G. Anscheidt did not have a really good start this time and had to line up behind the two Hondas from Bryans and Taveri, as well as Anderson’s Suzuki. After the first lap, Hans Georg crossed the finish line 10 seconds behind the leader and initially it looked like a clear start-finish victory for the two Hondas. But within three laps, Anscheidt made up a full six seconds. One lap later, the German fighter was already in the lead ahead of his two toughest rivals.

In the royal park of Monza, not far from the traditional race track.
Ralph Bryans (on the right) with Mike Hailwood, the young Northern Irishman was still on course for the World Championship.

Sensational win for the new Suzuki rider
In the end he won his second GP of the season with an average of 152.175 km/h (94.55 mph) on his 50cc Suzuki with over 10 seconds ahead of the second. After Ralph Bryans crossed the finish line again in front of his Swiss team-mate, Taveri lost important points in the World Championship intermediate ranking. Before the season finale in Japan, H. G. Anscheidt suddenly had the chance to win the first world title again.

Start of the 50cc race in Monza, No. 6 Bryans, 5 Taveri (both Honda), 4 Anscheidt (Suzuki).
In the 50cc race, Taveri on a Honda on the left and Anscheidt on a Suzuki on the right.

The season finale in Fuji
At the Japanese GP the decision had to be made. Whether Honda could secure the title with Bryans or Taveri, or with Anscheidt, after Ernst Degner, a German could again put the crown on for Suzuki.

Scetch of the Fisco racetrack in Fuji of the 1960s.

The questionable boycott of Honda
Honda had already secured the title in the Manufacturers’ World Championship before the final. But incomprehensibly, Honda boycotted this Grand Prix, citing alleged safety concerns. In fact, the Japanese company protested the Fuji event for only one reason. The only thing Honda was upset about was the fact that the FIM didn’t select to drive on Honda’s own track in Suzuka. Relocating their national GP to another circuit for 1966 did not suit the Japanese factory.

On the left an aerial view of the Fuji racetrack and on the right a banked curve, as seen on many racetracks in the first decades of racing.

The result of this nonsense
The boycott of Honda took revenge immediately, because Hans Georg Anscheidt came in second behind team mate and Suzuki works driver Yoshimi Katayama. This was enough to secure his first world title with just one point ahead of Bryans and Taveri.

From left Ralph Bryans (Honda), Hugh Anderson and H. G. Anscheidt (both Suzuki). There wasn’t a real fight for the title in the end, but in the end it couldn’t be a problem for the German.
The title in bold letters on a german motorbike magazine about Hans Georg Anscheidt’s Title.
Result of the Japan Grand Prix and the World Championship.

Final result of the 1966 World Championship in the 50cc class

Without World Championship points, but classified in 6th to 10th place: M. Allen (GB, Honda), George Ashton (GB, Honda), Martin Carney (GB, Derbi), Enrique Escuder (E, Derbi), Leslie Griffiths (GB, Honda), Brian Kettle (GB, Honda), Charlie Mates (GB, Honda), Martin Mijwaart (NL, Jamathi), Jørgen Nielsen (DK, Kreidler), Jean-Louis Pasquier (MC, Derbi), Jim Pink (GB, Honda), Winfried Reinhard (D, Kreidler), Rudolf Schmälze (D, Kreidler), Horst Seidl (D, Honda), Chris Vincent (GB, Suzuki).

World Championship in the 125cc class

All these drivers arrived between seventh and tenth place and did not receive any points for that: Kendo Takeshi Araoka (J, Kawasaki), Bruce Beale (RSR, Honda), Martin Carney (GB, Bultaco), Kel Carruthers (AUS, Honda), Kevin Cass (AUS, Bultaco), Jim Curry (GB, Honda), Klaus Enderlein (DDR, MZ), Lothar John (D, Honda), Seppo Kangasniemi (SF, Honda), ,Jochen Leitert (DDR, MZ), Jürgen Lenk (DDR, MZ), Ginger Molloy (NZ, Bultaco), G. Polenghi (I, Bultaco), Heinz Rosner (DDR, MZ), Dave Simmonds (GB, Tohatsu et Kawasaki), Jorge Sirera (E, Montesa), Bohumil Stasa (CS, CZ), Willi Stein (D, Honda), Vagn Stevnhoved (DK, MZ), László Szabó (H, MZ), Cees van Dongen (NL, Honda), Chris Vincent (GB, Kawasaki), Giuseppe Visenzi (I, Honda).
Ginger Molloy, one of the fast drivers of the 1960s. Nevertheless, the fast Kiwi did not make it into the points in the 125cc class in 1966.

No arrival in the top six – this is and was indeed not as shame
One should hear more often from drivers like Ginger Molloy, Cel Carruthers (with him later also as supervisor of drivers like “King Kenny” Roberts), Heinz Rosner and Cees van Dongen. Not making it into the top six is anything but not worth mentioning today.

Autograph card from Hugh Anderson, one of the most popular drivers of the 1960s.

>>Coming soon with part 4..