Ken Rumble

Motocross and Road Racing Champion


In post World War 2 motorcycle racing, Ken Rumble was the star, not for what he did in one branch of the sport but for the many races and titles he won in solos and sidecars, on dirt and tar.

Aged 19, in his first meeting in 1949 Ken won the 350 scramble race with a bike he’d cobbled together. It also took him to second in the 500 race.

By 1953, at the inaugural Australian scrambles championship, Ken won four of the five classes at a crazily muddy meeting.

Discarding his goggles in one race he had to be led to the ambulance tent to have his eyes washed out so he could find his way to the trophy presentation but he had no trouble finding his way around the track.

Ken dominated the 125cc class in road racing, including three Bathurst victories, in 1954, 1956 and 1957.

In 1961 Ken was ready to head to Europe but when his friend Ron Miles was killed in Ireland, he decided not to go.

It was in sidecar racing, that Ken briefly tackled on both dirt and tar, including winning his first race. Ken sustained the only serious injury, a badly broken leg.

It continued to give him trouble to the time of his death, aged 58, in September 1986.