A Tribute to - Geoff Monty - One of Motor Cycle Racings “Great Gentlemen”

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Mago:
Courtsey of Phil Edge

(A tribute to one of the UK’s finest entrants)


Picture by Mick Walker


In a tough unforgiving sport, which makes great demands on courage, understanding and   inventiveness, no man has ever held such a position of esteem as my very good friend and ex sponsor, Geoff Monty, who passed away on September 26th 2009.

I had the privilege of teaming up with Geoff in 1959 and thereafter followed three years of incredible success, mostly using his 250 BSA based engine known, after all Geoff’s tuning modifications and increase in power, as the GMS (Geoff Monty Special).

This little home built racing motorcycle achieved numerous successes in International races all over Europe and Ireland including winning the North West 200 on three different occasions and finishing fourth in the 1959 Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix, ahead of many “Works” bike.

Geoff had the added advantage, as well as being an outstanding engineer, (in the days before Computers) to have been an superb  rider in the nineteen fifties, when he achieved successes in both the UK and continent on other models of his own home based designs plus Nortons and AJS’s. He was in fact one of the early successful British riders to achieve fame and wins in far off Finland and was a regular competitor in Sweden where his achievements are still remembered to this day.

As a highly successful businessman and sponsor working under the wing of Esso, Mobil and Shell he sponsored and assisted many great riders on their pathway to success. In the 1959-1960-1961 period Geoff fielded one of the strongest National / International teams in racing using the services of all rounder Ron Langston (one of the greatest trials and scrambles riders in the world, doing the same in the road racing scene) along with Alan Shepherd (now deceased) from Cumbria who was already a Manx Grand Prix winner and factory AJS and Matchless rider. I made up the third member of the team regularly flying from my home in Belfast to meet up and work with Geoff at his home in Kingston on Thames, from where we took on the world.

Geoff, in partnership with Allen Dudley Ward (also deceased) owned a thriving motor cycle business in Twickenham know as Monty and Ward Motorcycles and the quality of their workmanship came into great demand all over Europe.  Prior to his ever remembered success as a “Works” Yamaha rider, the little Maidstone flyer Bill Ivy was yet another to hit the head lines after being groomed for stardom by Geoff  when riding his very fast 500cc Monard

At ninety two years of age, Geoff Monty has left us with very happy memories, always supported by his lovely wife Greta who also passed away some years ago and his ever supportive son Guy, who kept his Dad active in the world of sailing boats, right up and into the new millennium.

What is strange and I fondly remember all Geoff’s help and advice, were the words he told me in the early sixties, as he headed off to the sea, for another session of sailing with his beloved son Guy, “Tommy”, said Geoff “We think we have known fear and experienced the ultimate thrill, racing motorcycles, but you have experienced nothing, until you have raced a high speed sailing craft”, such was this mans passion for racing on the seas.

These words about sailing and boats were only one part of my memory of one of the finest racing engineers and sponsors who graced the motorcycle racing circuits of the world.    R.I.P….. Geoff, you will always be remembered, especially by those lucky enough to ride for you.

                                                                                                          Tommy Robb.

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