Make Haste, Slowly

The Mike Duff Story
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I Always Wondered What it was like to Ride the Factory Yamahas of the 1960s. Now I can Honestly say I too Raced an RD56. Make Haste, Slowly is that Descriptive. But, it is not all Fun and Games.

This Book has so Many Insights into the 1960s GP Scene. Thanks Michelle for Sharing Your Story of the 1960s GP Continental Circus, and for Adding Insight into Your Life Today.

Make Haste, Slowly is a 330 page saga set on the Continental Circus of European racing from 1960 to 1967. It is a race by race chronicle of Canada's foremost Grand Prix rider, Mike Duff. Mike came from humble beginning learning his craft on abandoned airport curcuits near his home in Toronto. Coming to England in 1960, he rose through the ranks as a struggling private rider on British short circuit racing, riding privately owned 350 AJS 7R and 500 G50 Matchless machines to compete as a factory contracted Team Yamaha rider. He never won a world championship, nor an Isle of Man TT, but he rode some of the most exotic racing machinery ever built on glamorous race courses that are but names in a book to most. He mixed it with the best of the time and often emerged victorious. Share these experiences in detail from the perspective of his seat aboard a "works" Yamaha RD56 or RA97, a Matchless G50 or 7R AJS, or the legendary AJS Porcupine.

The original text of Make Haste, Slowly was published in 1996; it sold out in January of 2011. A new edition has been available since March of that year with many noteable changes. Michelle added over 8,000 words to the text to bring her story up to a more current date. She also added over 25 new black and white photographs for a total of 72 photographs, stratigically placed by relevant text adding visual perspective to scenes being described. By reducing print size from 12 pt to 11 pt and increasing the page margins she was able to reduce the number of pages without sacrificing any of the story and helping to keep shipping costs and production costs down. All the colour photographs in the first edition have been removed again to keep cost increases to a minimum.

Make Haste, Slowly contains 72 photographs from the Golden Age of GP racing, many previously unpublished.


Scotsman, Bob McIntyre was the first rider to lap the Isle of Man at over 100 mph riding a four-cylinder 500 Gilera. Bob was Mike's hero when Mike first became aware of international motorcycle racing. On a chance meeting on the boat going to the Isle of Man in 1960 Bob sat down beside Mike on a bench and began a conversation. During that conversation Bob asked, "Is this your first time in the Island?" to which Mike answered yes.

"Ah!" came Bob's response. "Make Haste, Slowly, Laddie." Good advice then; good advice now. And so it was, in 1960, Bob McIntyre unwittingly set the stage for, Make Haste, Slowly, The Mike Duff Story.

My RD56 that I ran privately in 1966. Note the homemade front disk brake.

Riding the 250 RD56 Yamaha twin at Ramsey Hairpin in the 1965 Isle of Man TT. I finished in second place.

At Kate's Cottage, riding a 500 G50 Matchless in the 1962 Isle of Man Senior TT, I retired on the 4th lap with a broken crankshaft while lying in second place.

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