Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cros –Larrikin Biker – Book Review

The last Christmas gift I was given before I left for my holiday was the book “Cros”, the story of Graeme Crosby.
For those that have not heard of him “Cros” is a well know kiwi motorcycle racer of the early seventies to the early eighties.  His career took him all over the world and included the Suzuki 8 hour and 500 cc Gp.

I am not normally a fan of autobiographies; I can find them indulgent at times.  Thankfully this was nothing like that.  But being on holiday and having the time it was a good opportunity to sit down and read about motorcycling racing of years gone by.   Graeme gives excellent insight into what it was like to race during this period, his own career is covered in dept, and he covers issues that the riders were facing.   The formation of a riders safety group and the politics involved.  How it was driven not by rider safety but by profits alone.
He touches often on the deaths of people he knew and admired, and the book is littered with funny stories and amusing antidotes.   He covers his early years racing in New Zealand (which is quite amusing) as well as his time in GP and other associated events.
His view on the Isle of Man TT’s goes along way to explaining why people risk their lives on this dangerous track.

For me the crux of the story was the “can do” attitude he possessed and his ability to laugh and enjoy himself.

I would not say it was a riveting read; it is the kind of book you can put down and come back to at any time.   But boring it is not, and I found myself laughing on more than one occasion.
For those that were apart of the racing fraternity in New Zealand during this time it is a must read, for those that are just interested in reading about a great kiwi character and enjoy a good laugh it is well worth the time.

I also enjoyed reading about his relationship with “Pops Yoshimura”.
The book has a couple of colour sections of photos and they are interesting as such as you can see how the bikes have developed to where we are now.  The safety gear they were wearing is also quite fascinating.  I t makes me realise how much rider protection has developed.
All in this entire book is well worth the read.   I think the quote that is reiterated through out the book best sums it up………”which direction does the track go and what’s the track record?”

The book is published by Harper Collins is available in most bookstores.


  1. Looks like an interesting book. I think "Larrikin" is appropriate. I heard that he and Hailwood used to be really loose units when they partied together. Always think of Croz on those big Yoshi Kawasakies, muscling them round tight circuits.

    Top bloke and great review!

  2. Thanks, may just have to shell out the $$ for a copy, was a big Croz fan as a kid ..