Jan 29, 2003
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From a press release issued by AHRMA:<BR><BR>Les Archer: AHRMA's Bike Week grand marshal<BR><BR>No one enjoyed as much success competing on Nortons in international motocross than Les Archer. Among the crowing achievements of his long racing career were the 1956 European Motocross Championship (then the equivalent of the world championship) and the overall win leading the British team to victory in the 1954 Motocross des Nations.<BR><BR>Archer will share tales of his racing exploits in the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s when he serves as grand marshal for the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association during Daytona Bike Week in early March.<BR><BR>Born in 1930, Archer was the third generation of a family immersed in the south England motorcycle scene. He began racing scrambles in 1946 on a Matchless, but soon he moved to roadracing and in 1947 finished second in the lightweight class at the Isle of Man TT. That same year he won the prestigious Hutchinson Milano race on an EMC 250cc two-stroke, 14 years after his father won the same trophy at the famed Brooklands circuit. While serving in the military, Archer returned to motocross and took up observed trials as well. He rode his one and only International Six Days Trial in 1951 as part of the British Army team, narrowly missing a gold medal due to mechanical problems.<BR><BR>Out of the Army in 1952, he took up motocross full time and began experimenting with the machine that made him famous. Even though Norton didn't even offer a scrambler in its lineup, Archer and longtime mechanic Ron Hankins developed the legendary Manx model into a potent motocrosser. Archer competed 15 seasons aboard Manx-based machines, sometimes in more than 30 races per year. His 1956 European championship was won with the maximum number of points available.<BR><BR>Archer will be reunited with the last of his Manx Nortons, owned by AHRMA board chairman Fred Mork, at the March 1 vintage national motocross at Waldo Motorsports in Waldo, Fla., and he will be guest of honor that evening at AHRMA's annual off-road awards banquet in Gainesville.<BR><BR>On Sunday, March 2, at 1 p.m. Archer will be part of an AHRMA Great Men autograph session at the American Motorcycle Institute in Daytona Beach. Then on Monday and Tuesday, March 3 and 4, he will again sign autographs with the Great Men at 11 a.m. in the paddock area of Daytona International Speedway during AHRMA Classics Days roadracing.<BR><BR>For more details, visit the Bike Week preview page at ;