Your Z - The Late Nigel Allen - Z1B (by Elmer Allen)
Note from Paul Mercer, webmaster. Elmer Allen has provided me with the photograph below
whichwas taken by the late Billy Gillen. The copyright to the photograph belongs toBilly's family. At one point, Billy passed the photograph on to the Joey Dunlop Foundation
for their use, which explains why the Joey Dunlop mark is shown on the photograph. I would like to thank Lillian Gillen and The Joey Dunlop Foundation for
their permission to use the photograph in its current form.
This is a great story from Elmer Allen about his brother, the late Nigel Allen.
I felt it deserved a place in my website, so I asked Elmer if he could relate the tale.
The following words are extracted from Elmer Allen's articles in Facebook. ...
This was the very first Kawasaki 900 in Ireland, a Z1B.
Owned by my late brother, Nigel, he rode it to work during the week and raced it at the weekend.
The photograph was taken in March 1975 at the St. Angelo track (near Enniskillen).
On the left of the picture is Joey Dunlop, OBE MBE.
Joey died in 2000 while leading a 125cc race at the Pirita-Kose-Kloostrimetsa Circuit in Tallinn, Estonia.
In the centre is Norman Brown, who later became a Suzuki rider.
Norman died at the Silverstone British Motorcycle Grand Prix in 1983.
Nigel finished this race on the top step and beat Joey and Norman.
This race has been revived for 2015 and will be held again in 2016.
Story one coming up. Makes sense to me. Hope y'all like it.
Nigel bought the bike from Kawasaki centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland. As it was the first one delivered, it was
at the owner's garage, a Mr Guthrie. It was checked over, fuelled and sent on its merry way, and one hour later Mr
Guthrie received a phone call from Nigel, who told him the bike was a Rocket. Guthrie asked where he was. He said
he just arrived home 74 miles away and on shitty Irish roads. Nigel didn't tell dad about the bike for ages, and
dad only found out about 8 weeks later, when he saw the Z1B 900 at Portstewart, at the North West 200 races in May
1975. I was about 11 year old and dad started talking about the Z1B. He was a bike fan, .....then Nigel walked over
to the bike and started it, dad went crazy.
For the race, Nigel's kit was substandard so he borrowed a helmet and jacket belonging to a photographer called Jim
We live in Northern Ireland and everyone has heard about the "troubles " as they are
called. But no-one has heard about the biking rivalry. One Honda owner was a pain in the ass because he couldn't
beat the mighty Z. At a local bike shop, one morning he proudly pulled out a bike tuning brochure from his
jacket and said he was getting a big bore kit for his Honda 750. He really needled Nigel who told him, "No
matter how much you spend, you'll never be able to beat a Kawasaki cos you can't ride a f###### bike". Class
He always was fond of his bikes, cars, atc, quads boats, anything with an engine. He took up rallycross racing
against many of Europe's best including Martin Schenke and beating him too!
At one stage, to compete on longer tracks with the two stroke/ cycle motorbikes, he
put a fairing, drop bars and a four into one exhaust on his z900. It was all took off after a couple of weeks as
it was too uncomfortable for him to ride to work. He was a digger driver at the time! JCB 3 and Massey Ferguson
The salesman who sold the Kawasaki, was a chap called Dave Woods. Dave later became
Joey Dunlop's manager, also worked for Embassy cigarette company and persuaded them to sponsor motorbike races.
Hence in Ireland there were the Embassy races.
Nigel passed away in 2002.
I wonder if I could claim that Nigel on his mighty Z was the first Graeme Crosby?
Hope the Croz doesn't read this, or I could be in a lot of bother!!