Zegers 560: Great Racers

Date 15.2.2012

Presented by
  • Motorcycle Trader

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Although the Unlimited Forgotten Era class is dominated numerically by the big four-strokes, a smattering of Yamaha TZ750s and Malcolm Campbell’s Suzuki RG500 help fly the two-stroke flag, as does the rare and delectable Zegers 560cc triple owned by Peter Morley, and raced by ex-UK champ Clive Warner.

The Zegers 560/3 gets its name from the bike’s creator, renowned Dutch tuner Karel Zegers. In the mid-70s Zegers earned his stripes as the tuner for the Riemersma racing team and Dutch GP star Wil Hartog, before developing his own tuning kits for TZ Yamahas and RG500 Suzukis.

When Takazumi Katayama won the 1977 World 350GP Championship on a Yamaha Netherlands-built TZ350/3 special, Zegers decided to mirror the project with his own three-cylinder 500 for privateers, based on a modified TZ350 with additional cylinder welded on.

Warner’s Zegers triple is arguably the prettiest bike in the Forgotten Era paddock, and when on song it’s deceptively quick.

“It’s the last one Karel built,” said Warner. “Karel built it when he migrated to Australia. The ones in Europe had Spondon frames, but this one has a modified Yamaha TZ500 frame.

“It was in bits when Peter (Morley) first started pestering Karel to buy it,” adds Warner. “It’s not a difficult bike to tune, and any problems have been of our own doing.”

“Karel said he’d never sell it, so Peter had pretty much given up when Karel called him one day and said it was for sale. He was on Karel’s doorstep with a wad of cash before he’d even hung up the phone!”