Mick Grant (born 10 July 1944) is an English former professional motorcycle road racer and TT rider. A works-supported rider for Norton, Kawasaki, Honda and Suzuki, he is a seven-time winner of the Isle of Man TT motorcycle race on various makes, including 'Slippery Sam', a three-cylinder Triumph Trident. The son of a coal miner, the soft-spoken, down-to-earth Yorkshireman from Wakefield, was a sharp contrast to the brash, playboy image presented by Londoner Barry Sheene during the 1970s.
|Born||10 July 1944|
Grant began his racing career as a privateer, entering his first Manx Grand Prix in 1969 on a Velocette 500 cc, and his first TT in the following year, again using the Velocette and placing 18th in the Junior (350 cc) class on a Lee-sponsored Yamaha TD2.
Later supported by businesses including Clive Padgett, heading Padgetts of Batley, on TD2 250 cc and TR2 350 cc Yamahas, and Brian Davidson of John Davidson Group on TZ Yamahas, he was equally versatile on either two- or four-stroke machines.
He quickly became a works Norton rider alongside Peter Williams and Phil Read, part of the first Norton factory team since the Norton race-shop was disbanded in 1962, headed by ex-racer Frank Perris. In 1972, he teamed with Dave Croxford to win the Thruxton 500 endurance race on a 745 cc Norton Commando, and finished second to Williams in the 1973 F750 TT.
In 1974, Grant was the chosen rider for the then-new, UK-based Boyer Kawasaki Racing Team, based on two air-cooled triples. Stan Shenton, head of motorcycle business Boyer of Bromley, previously having a long background of racing Triumphs, was Team principal. They were one of a selected network of regional Kawasaki dealers, part of a controlled expansion and roll-out to establish a UK dealer-network. As part of the development process, Grant's racing included Ontario, California in late 1974.
In 1975, it was Grant who finally broke Mike Hailwood's absolute TT lap record for the Isle of Man Snaefell mountain course, set in 1967 on a 500 Honda, raising the average-speed of one lap to 109.82 mph on a Kawasaki 750 two-stroke triple entered by the Boyer team and Stan Shenton. Although Grant failed to finish the race, retiring at the Gooseneck with a broken chain caused by a mis-aligned rear wheel spindle, he won the 500 cc Senior TT race. In 1977, Grant raised the lap record to 112.77 mph, again on a 750 cc Kawasaki.
Grant raced in the Grand Prix motorcycle racing circuit in 1977 for the Kawasaki factory team alongside teammate Barry Ditchburn and the following year with Kork Ballington and Gregg Hansford. In 1979, Honda chose Grant to help develop their exotic oval-cylindered NR500, unfortunately with disappointing results. Grant also won the Macau Grand Prix in 1977 on the Kawasaki KR750 and again in 1984, riding a Heron-Suzuki.
He usually raced with number 10 and carried the initials JL on his helmet, even after retirement from competition, as a tribute to his early sponsor – mechanic, fabricator and frame-builder Jim Lee of the 'Dalesman' marque.
Points system from 1969 onwards:
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)
- Mick Grant career profile at the Isle of Man TT web site
- Barker, Stuart (2003). Barry Sheene 1950–2003: The Biography. UK: CollinsWillow. p. 148. ISBN 0-00-716181-6.
-  TT Official site, Mick Grant TT and MGP results. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
-  Silverstone GP programme 1975, competitor profile by MCN's Norrie Whyte. Retrieved 14 February 2014
- Motorcycle Mechanics, November 1973, p.56/57. Mick's Giant Killer. Yamaha TZ350 track impressions by Charles Deane. "...Mick Grant kindly brought his race wagon complete with a brace of Yamahas to Snetterton..." "You'll find she's much more flexible than the two-fifty...". Accessed 25 July 2013
- Motorcycle Mechanics, March 1972, p.26. Frank Perris interview Accessed 14 February 2014
-  Southampton and District Motor Cycle Club Thruxton 500 Race Results Retrieved 1 January 2014
-  IOM TT Database 1973 F750 TT race results Retrieved 1 January 2014
- Motorcycle Mechanics, December 1974, centrepage MCM Superstars Mick Grant. "Kawasaki's No,1 rider of the Boyer prepared 750H2R, he regularly storms to success on the John Davidson Yamahas in the 250 and 350 classes...Mick Grant must make an even greater impact for Kawasaki next year". Accessed 1 January 2014
- Inside the Hundred-Horsepower Race Teams, Bike, October 1975 pp.32-39 by Jim Greening. Accessed 21 May 2016
- McDiarmid, Mac (2004). The Magic of the TT: A Century of Racing over the Mountain. UK: Haynes. p. 121. ISBN 1-84425-002-4.
-  TT Official site, 1975 races overview. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
- TT '78 A Motorcycle News Special. p.42, section writer Peter Howdle. Accessed 25 May 2016
-  TT Official site, 1975 Senior race result. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
- Mick Grant career statistics at MotoGP.com
- Mick Grant at world.honda.com
- Motor Cycle 19 August 1966, p.207 Orpin's latest flyer by David J Dixon. "The new frame, built specially for Peter Williams by ace welder Jim Lee of Leeds..." Accessed and added 26 December 2014
- Dalesman Retrieved 27 December 2014
| Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix Winner
| Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix Winner