International Motocross Series 1960-70s

1967 International Motocross Herne Hill - Gordon Adsett, England - By Tony Forsyth
Jim Aird, Scotland - Winner of 1971 Australian International Motocross Series round at Herne Hill WA (Photo: Tony Forsythe)

International motocross in Australia before Manjimup and Broadford

When we think of International Motocross in Australia, the Cosy Creek Manjimup and Broadford circuits in Western Australia and Victoria, respectively, immediately come to mind.

Since 1981, Australia’s premier International Motocross event – the Manjimup 15000 – continues to run and, in 1982 and 1983, the Manjimup Motorcycle Club hosted the World Motocross des Nations and 125cc World Championship. 

Australia also held a round of the World 500cc Championship at Broadford, Victoria in 2000.

But Australia has actually been regularly holding International Motocross events since the early sixties.

In 1961 Australian scrambles rider Tim Gibbes, who raced on the continent and later moved to New Zealand, organised an International Grand Prix in New Zealand. 

In 1964-65 he established the Gold Leaf International Motocross tour of New Zealand, bringing over three international riders from England and Europe – George Hauger (Germany – Wabeha), Authur Harris (England, Harris Triumph Special), and Max Morf (Switzerland – CZ).

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Video of the Australian New Zealand International Motocross tours at Herne Hill, WA

Australia New Zealand International Tours

In December 1966 Tim extended the International Motocross Tour to include Australia. Herne Hill (WA) was the first round, then Snake Gully (SA), Christmas Hill (VIC), followed by Woolongong (NSW) before crossing the Tasman for seven more events at different venues across New Zealand. 

The 1966/67 Australian and New Zealand International Motocross tour featured international riders Freddi Postmann (Austria), Tim Gibbes (NZ), UK riders – brothers Randy Owen and Tony Owen, plus Gordon Adsett (See next photo). 

A second tour was held in 1967/68 featuring these International riders: J. Lewis (Wales), G.Lindstom (Sweden), J. Roberts (USA), M. Sherriffs, G. Holland, Ivan Miller, Tim Gibbes (New Zealand), Laurie Alderton (NSW) and Ray Fisher  (Vic).

From 1969 to the mid seventies the International tour became an annual event – but just on the mainland.   Each year the first round was hosted by the AJS Motorcycle Club at the Herne Hill Circuit (WA).  In 1971 the second round was held at Manjimup (WA).

1966 Australian NZ International Tour - WA Ray Duncan - Freddi Postmann AU - Tim Gibbs NZA - John Rock -Alf Carstairs - Trevor Lawrance WA and UK rider Randy Owen

1966/67 International tour

The 1966 delegation of International motocross riders and officials – possibly on arrival at  Perth Airport. [Standing from left to right] Ray Duncan, Freddi Postmann (Austrian rider), Tim Gibbs (NZ rider), John Rock (WA rider), Alf Carstairs, Trevor Lawrence and Randy Owen (UK rider). [Front] Gordon Adsett (UK rider) and Tony Owen (UK). The woman in the photo could be the Austrian rider’s wife with their two children?

1966 Australian NZ International Tour in New Zealand - on the road in the eastern states

The international riders travelling across Australia by road

1966 Australia NZ International Tour in New Zealand - staying with a family in Tasmania

The international riders in Tasmania with their hosts

1966 Australian NZ International Tour in New Zealand - International riders at airport in Tasmania

International riders at the airport in Tasmania on route to Victoria

1971 - Round 1, Herne Hill (WA)

The first round of the 1971 International Motocross attracted huge publicity and was filmed live on television by Channel 7, with the second round being held at Manjimup.  

That year the riders in the International races included Jim Aird (Scotland), who won the event on a 400cc Husqvarna, Randy and Tony Owen (England), Australian and New Zealand Champion Ivan Miller (NZ) and Australian Champion Gary Flood (Victoria), and Laurie Alderton (NSW). The local riders to finish in the points were Philip Bruce, Richie Kings, Alan Reid, Doug Underwood and Laurie Johnson.

A documentary was also made from this series and mostly features the 1971 event, which has now been converted to digital by the AMX History website for you to view  – see videos this page.

12M documentary – Australian International Motocross Tour 1960-70s

2M trailer – Introducing the International riders in 1971

2M trailer – The international race at
Herne Hill, WA in 1971 

Photo gallery

1964-65 Australian NZ International Tour in New Zealand - Promotional postcard

The first overseas visitors for the inaugural Gold Leaf International Motocross Series  in 1964/65– George Hauger (Germany), Authur Harris (England) and Max Morf (Switzerland)

1967-68 Ray Fisher (Vic) Morley Sherriffs (NZ) in the 1967-68 Australia New Zealand International Tour
Ray Fisher (Victoria) and Morley Sherriffs (NZ) in the Australian New Zealand International Tour in 1967-68 - the second and final tour
1971 International Motocross Herne Hill - Perry Lakes promotion Ivan Miller and Jimmy Aird

Ivan Miller (NZ) leads Jim Aird (Scotland) in a wheel-standing competition in front of 40,000 people at Perry Lakes stadium in Perth. The riders were promoting the 1971 International Motocross event at a big birthday party to celebrate Micky Mouse’s 40th birthday.

1967 Banner promoting a round of the Australian New Zealand tour at Snake Gully SA
1967 Banner promoting a round of the Australian New Zealand tour at Snake Gully SA
1968-89 Australian NZ International Tour in New Zealand - Autographed program

1968-69 International Motocross Series program autographed by the International riders

1971 International Motocross Herne Hill - Start line

Great Britain’s Tony Owen at the start of the International race at Herne Hill, near Perth,  in 1971

1971 International Motocross Herne Hill - Race winner Jimmy Aird, Scotland gets his trophy from celebrity Alexander the Great

Winner of the 1971 round at Herne Hill Jim Aird (Scotland) accepts his trophy from WA celebrity Alexander the Great

1971 Jim Aird Scotland at Herne Hill 3 - Photos Tony Forsyth

Scotland’s Jim Aird at the Herne Hill circuit creek crossing at  Herne Hill in 1971
(Photo: Tony Forsythe)

1971 Jim Aird Scotland at Herne Hill

Five-times Scottish Champion Jim Aird at Herne Hill (WA) on his CZ machine in 1971 (Photo: Tony Forsythe)

1971 International Motocross Herne Hill - Ivan Miller's Husqvarna

New Zealand and Australian Champion Ivan Miller’s Husqvarna machine in 1971

1971 Round 1 Results

 Overall points
1. Jim Aird (Scotland) 22 pts
2. Ivan Miller (NZ) 20 pts
3. Randy Owen (England) 11 pts
4. Gary Flood (Victoria) 6 pts
5. Philip Bruce (WA) 3 pts
6. Terry Alderton (NSW), Ritchie Kings (WA), Doug Underwood (WA), Alan Reid (WA) 2pts

1971 International Motocross Herne Hill - Race winner Jimmy Aird, Scotland

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