January 6, 2023

Mick Grant was the straight-talking legend of 1970s and 1980s British bike racing.

Compared to the likes of Barry Sheene and Steve Parrish, his more grounded approach to life and racing came from his no-nonsense Yorkshire upbringing and it meant that he had his own core of fans. Mick was also one of the few real all-rounders, even from a time when riders would (literally) ride and race anything.

In a 20-year career Granty did it all. From Grand Prix wins on 250cc two-strokes, to Isle of Man TT wins, riding the ill-fated Honda NR500, TT-F1 racing and winning titles on production bikes, he did it all. He was even a dab hand at trials!

When he quit racing in 1985 (after taking the Superstock title on the then-new Suzuki GSX-R750F) he managed a string of top-level British racers such as James Whitham, Craig Jones, Steve Plater, Paul ‘Marra’ Brown and Australian talent such as Chris Vermeulen and Glen Richards.

Our favourite stories about Granty always revolve around his sailing close to the wind with the rules. In his excellent autobiography ‘Takin’ the Mick’ he says: “My first official protest was against the only bloke who was generally as dodgy as me: Steve Parrish! Steve seemed to have found some extra speed from his FZ750 at Snetterton in 1985 and he won the race. I stumped up the protest fee and it transpired that a minuscule bump in the choke of Stavros’ carbs had been illegally smoothed out and he was thrown out of the results. I felt terrible, as the mod would have given him no measurable advantage. His bike was quick as he was riding it well. Luckily Stavros was always fairly laid back and took it all in good part. People used to go over the line when it came to the rules in racing. I did. Others did and they always will. It’s a fact of racing life that the biggest crime isn’t doing it. It’s being found out!”

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