Jeff Smith (motorcyclist)

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Jeff Smith
Jeff Smith 1962.jpg
Jeff Smith in 1962
Nationality English
Born 1934 (age 80–81)
Colne, Lancashire, England
Motocross career
Years active 1953–1971
Teams BSA
Championships 500cc – 1964 – 1965
Wins 30

Jeff Smith MBE (born Jeffrey Vincent Smith, 1934 in Colne, Lancashire, England) is a former world champion motocross racer.[1]

His achievements include two FIM 500cc Motocross World Championships (1964, 1965), two British Trials Championships, multiple British Experts Trial wins, four individual race wins in the Motocross des Nations, one Scottish Six Days Trial win and eight ISDT Gold Medals.[2] He was a member of the BSA factory racing team. In 1970, Smith was awarded the title of Member of the Order of the British Empire.[2]

Riding career[edit]

Smith began in competitions as a trials rider, becoming so successful that he was offered a place on the Norton factory team.[2] After moving to BSA, he won the 1953 and 1954 British Trials Championship.[2] BSA asked Smith to compete in motocross racing which he did with such success that he soon began to concentrate on a motocross career.[2] In 1964 at the age of 30 he captured the 500cc Motocross World Championship, defeating the defending champion, Swede Rolf Tibblin[2] and was voted the Motorcycle News 'Man of the Year' award. He successfully defended his crown the following year. His 1965 championship win on the four-stroke engined BSA Victor would be the last victory for this type of motor, as two-stroke engine technology dominated off-road racing for the next several decades. He finally announced his retirement in January 1972.[3]

After racing[edit]

After he retired from competition, Smith helped to develop off-road bikes as special projects manager based in Minnesota, US, for Can-Am, the motorcycle division of Canada's Bombardier organisation,[4] the make that went on to claim the first three places in the 1974 AMA 250cc motocross national championship.[2] Smith was also involved in vintage motorcycle racing becoming the executive director of the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association AHRMA before retiring from that position.[2]

He was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2000.[2] He currently lives in Wausau, Wisconsin.


  1. ^ Jeff Smith career profile.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Jeff Smith at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.
  3. ^ Bashford, Mike (19 January 1972). "So long Jeff". Motor Cycle (IPC Specialist Publications). pp. 12–13. 
  4. ^ Motor Cycle News 15 August 1979, p.14 Guest Spot, Jeff Smith Accessed and added 12 February 2015