Motocross Legend Fisher
Ray Fisher - One of Australia's first international motocross pioneers
Victorian rider Ray Fisher won seven Australian Motocross Championships in the 1950-60s. He was one of Australia’s first international motocross pioneers.
He also created history twice in one day at the Australian Motocross Championships in Collie, Western Australia on 20 October 1968.
In the 125cc class, Fisher became the first rider to win a Australian Motocross Championship on a Japanese 2-stroke machine – bringing home Kawasaki’s first championship.
Then in the All Powers (Unlimited) class, Fisher became the last rider to win an Australian Championship on a British 4-stroke machine – winning on a 500cc Matchless Metisse.
In his first Championships in 1959 at the Royal Park circuit in South Australia, Fisher won the 500cc class on a BSA and finished second in the 350cc and Unlimited All Power classes.
In 1960 he set sail on a one way passage to England, and stayed five years making adventurous road trips to race across Europe. This included grass track races behind the Iron Curtain in East Germany and Czechoslovakia.
In 1963 he won the famous Teterow International Grass Track in Germany in front of 100,000 spectators against a world class field.
Returning home in 1965, Fisher easily won the 500cc National Championship at Clarendon in South Australia. He was also on track to win the Unlimited class, until he had a gearbox fault on his Matchless Metisse.
Fisher retained his 500cc crown the following year at Christmas Hills in Victoria, then again at Mt Kembla in New South Wales in 1967, where he also won the Unlimited class.
That year a “hand-on-head clutch start” was introduced, which really suited Fisher. The torque of his Matchless Metisse allowed him to simply kick into gear without using the clutch at all.
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Ray Fisher (VIC, 33) leads Laurie Alderton (590, NSW) and Glen Britza (23, WA) in the 1967 Australian Motocross Championships 500cc race at Mt. Kembla, Woolongong (NSW)
In 1968 in Collie Western Australia, riding a Metisse, Fisher finished second in the 500cc class behind South Australian David Basham on a Greeves.
But in his final Championships, he won both the 125cc and Unlimited classes.
Fisher’s win in the 125cc class was on a lightweight Kawasaki – breaking through to win the first Championship for the Japanese manufacturer.
His final Unlimited Championship win was on a Matchless Metisse, which he had ridden in this class since the mid-sixties.
Fisher’s trophy collection includes seven Australian titles, 12 Victorian state titles and three Grand National motocross wins.
Without doubt, like other Australian Motocross Legends, he would have won more titles had he not travelled abroad early in his racing career.
Ray Fisher (right) with Tim Gibbes (centre) in the rider’s paddock at a European motocross meeting
Ray Fisher leads John Mapperson at an Australian Championship event in the 1960s
Ray Fisher (33, Mettisse) with Kiwi Morley Sherriffs (26, C.Z.) in the 1967-68 Australia New Zealand International Motocross Tour
Ray Fisher was one of Australia’s earliest international motorbike pioneers racing grass track and motocross in East Germany and Czechoslovakia
Ray Fisher competed in and won the famous Teterow Grasstrack Championship in East Germany in front of over 100,000 spectators
Ray Fisher receives his trophy for winning the 1963 Teterow Grasstrack race in East Germany
The victorious Australian team
Ray Fisher was also a member of the winning side that beat the British in a one-off test match at Pembury, near Brands Hatch on 14 October 1963.
Fisher is pictured on the far right in this photo with the other winning Australian team members.
The team included [left to right] Charlie West (WA), Kelvin Franks (SA), Bob Walpole (VIC), Ray East (NSW), Fisher, [in front kneeling] Pringle (NSW) and Tim Gibbes (NSW).
Fisher's key career highlights
Ray Fisher – 2019 Inductee into Australian Motor Sport Hall of Fame
Australian 500cc Champion, Royal Park (SA)
Winner – Teterow Grasstrack Championship in East Germany
Australian 500cc Champion, Clarendon (SA)
Australian 500cc Champion, Christmas Hills (VIC)
Australian 500cc Champion, Mt Kembla (NSW)
Australian Unlimited Champion
Australian 125cc Champion, Collie (WA)
Australian Unlimited Champion
Inducted into Australian Motor Sport Hall of Fame
Ray Fisher with his favourite No.33 number plate
Australian Championship results and photos
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