Report in Motor Cycle News 1996
Pat Slinn, 53, joined forces with Steve Wynne to help Mike Hailwood to an historic TT win in 1978...
A 175 cc BSA Bantam. It was a 16th birthday present from my parents.
Most unreliable bike:
As an apprentice at the BSA factory my excuse for being late would usually be because the Bantam had broken down.
Most embarrassing bike:
I rode all kinds of prototype BSAs, but the worst was the Ariel-3. It never got me anywhere without conking out.
Ducati’s 916 or my 1977 works 400 cc BSA.
Best bike you’ve ever ridden:
Giacomo Agostini’s 350 three-cylinder MV Agusta. It was so smooth, wonderful and perfect in every way!
My original 1962 BSA trials bike. It is unchanged since the ’66 Scottish Six Days Trial and full of memories.
Bike you’d most love to ride:
Honda’s RC45. It’s so fast, handles and brakes so well and sounds great.
When did you start riding and what made you start?
My father had bikes all his life and it was my dream to have my own machine.
What bike would you buy if money was no object?
A Ducati Monster. I love its looks.
Equal favorites are the Isle of Man TT course and the Buxton-to-Macclesfiels Cat & Fiddle run, which is quite close to my home.
What’s your favourite bit of bike clothing or accessory?
Mike Hailwood’s leathers which he used in the ’79 TT. I have very fond memories of Hailwood. He was a real gentleman and a great ambassador for the sport. The motor cycling world has missed him badly.
Fastest you’ve been on a bike:
About 170 mph on the 1983 works Ducatis at Jurby airfield on the Isle of Man. We were checking them over ready for the F2 TT race.
What do you think of Car Drivers?
If they can ride a bike they’re alright.
Have you ever crashed?
Yes. The worst was at the 1977 International Six Days Trial on the Isle of Man when my works 175 cc Ducati seized while I was flat-out. I woke up in hospital convinced I was in heaven!
Best biking moment:
Hailwood’s TT victory, winning two ISDT (International Six day’s trial) gold medals and building Tony Rutter’s bikes, which won three F2 world titles.
Most embarrassing moment:
In 1977 I was taking a Moto Guzzi Le Mans to Motor Cycle News for a road test, but I ended up in a ditch with the bike on top of me. I had to phone the paper to say it would be late!
Any biking confessions?
I didn’t take much notice of speed limits.
Describe the way you ride:
I was too fast on the roads, but stayed within my abilities.
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