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February 2nd, 2010, 08:27 AM   #1
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Australian Dakar Legend forgotten

I read the headlines lately and we Aussies have supllied some DAKAR riders and legends over the years, Alan Cunninyham 1980s, Andrew Coaker 1990s Andy Caldecott (rip) 2000s, David Shwartz 2000s, Garry Connell 2000s sorry have i missed anybody. but has anybody noticed something missing the most successfull rider yet from Australia of all time, Who is it you might ask go back to 1997 a rookie and a guy from Gawler South Australia went to Dakar with no mechanic on a standard KTM LC4 620 and came home 3rd Overall, yes i repeat 3RD OVERALL, His name was ANDY HAYDON whoever would have forgotten him. He beat everybody but 2 legend riders of that era i think it was Peterhansel and Meoni (rip) but i never hear his name mentioned as a Dakar legend when it was the Dakar. The guy won most all racing titles available in Australia including 2 Australian Safaris and he was geniune battler, he rode only 400km with me during a club trailride with Broken Hill Motorcycle Clubs Anabranch run as practice for the event on a shitbox Yamaha TT 600 Belgarda thats why his local motorcycle club raised the money to send him over to Dakar through raffles and fundraising etc, he left with no mechanic and his wife could not go as she was 8 months pregnant. Only weeks after he got back from Dakar he went back to work in his Bobcat business only to have his machines stolen from a worksite, but he got on with business telling nobody how good and bad things can be. If you know this guy like i do he is a legend and he proved it.
At least give him a mention in your next forum Aussie guys, maybe you could tell how he won the hardest local stage out of Paris that only the Frenchmen has ever done before, and went on to win two more desert stages on his way to a cruisy 3rd overall in the toughest motorcycle race on the planet, it was no fluke.
I take nothing away from the Aussies who have sacrificed all and managed to put in the huge effort and money to get to this event before and after Andys triumphant event in 1997 but if i dont say something on his behalf hes is so humble he never will.
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February 2nd, 2010, 02:38 PM   #2
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Re: Australian Dakar Legend forgotten

When I read your initial list of riders I thought " Hes forgotten Andy Haydon!!" but boy was I wrong

Yep, most guys I know are well aware of Andy Haydon and his achievements, but you would expect that as we're fellow South Aussies

Another thing that should be mentioned about Andy is even though his Dakar/Safari efforts were KTM mounted, he also raced Husabergs where appropriate.

When the YZ400 first appeared and everyone (including myself) thought it pretty much unbeatable, it was good to see FC600? mounted Haydon at a round of the SA state titles holeshot every race on the Berg. The Yamahas had no hope
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February 2nd, 2010, 03:43 PM   #3
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Re: Australian Dakar Legend forgotten

Originally Posted by AUSBERG
When I read your initial list of riders I thought " Hes forgotten Andy Haydon!!" but boy was I wrong

Yep, most guys I know are well aware of Andy Haydon and his achievements, but you would expect that as we're fellow South Aussies

Another thing that should be mentioned about Andy is even though his Dakar/Safari efforts were KTM mounted, he also raced Husabergs where appropriate.

When the YZ400 first appeared and everyone (including myself) thought it pretty much unbeatable, it was good to see FC600? mounted Haydon at a round of the SA state titles holeshot every race on the Berg. The Yamahas had no hope
Yes you might have though what has my thread got to do with Husaberg, i was going to add today that before Haydon left for Dakar the SA Plasterboard/Caldecott Motors Husaberg Racing Team had been formed with Haydon, Andy Caldecott, and Jason Dunstall with guest rider Shane Deiner all on Husaberg 600s, yes i was that unfortunate Yamaha YZ400 rider at Port Pirie moto X in 1998 number 4v John Prior from Broken Hill being roosted to hell by the four of them only managing to beat one of them to the first corner once in 6 races, Haydon then went on to win Hattah desert race in 98 on the 600 beating multi-time winner and current champ Warren Smart. Im not sure what position he got at the Finke Desert Race that year on the Berg 600 2nd or 3rd Overall i think, no doubt he blitzed the SA MX titles the only time i rode again that year was at Acusa Park on the Yamaha in 98 and i crashed badly at Port Augusta that year and i rode Hattah with a broken foot.
I know that all the South Aussies remember him and his resuts well, but i cant say that most other people do, who could forget the parade of bikes at the Adelaide airport when he came home from Dakar, i will never forget that moment. Plus the after party was great as well at his home in Gawler
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February 3rd, 2010, 02:32 AM   #4
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Re: Australian Dakar Legend forgotten

Mention the SA Plasterboard team to Carl F (formerly Caldecotts) and see the smile on his face....

I saw a FC frame hanging from the roof of the workshop at Sunset Cycles a while ago, with a SA Plasterboard sticker on the swingarm, looks like Des had a bit of pride in their achievements too??......

As far as Andy H's Dakar achievement goes, I dont think their would be any rider out there who could match it, ie a relative unknown placing 3rd outright. I believe even KTM sat up and took notice of Andy H's effort and offered help in the later stages of that years race.

BTW, the year I saw the FC kickin YZ a$$ it was Renmark, so it appears it was commonplace that year
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February 3rd, 2010, 06:10 AM   #5
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Re: Australian Dakar Legend forgotten

Yes he said after he made it into the top 6 with 3 days to go KTM the (BIG TENT) offered their services, some of the top KTM riders had bombed out Heinz Kinigadner hit a dog and Sainct dropped a shocky. He had not serviced the bike for a couple of days because he was too tired and the motor was getting noisy, lucky there were some bored KTM mechanics with nothing to do so they took the bike off him one night and kept it he said the next day the bike was awesome and ripped up the sand so much easier and went the distance. He had no idea what they did to the bike but the factory guys were running 640s. ????
I have heaps of stories about this guy and i will post them over the next few days,
What about when he won th SA MOTO X titles in 1987 on a stock KDX 200 lights and all, Yes a Kawasaki KDX 200 conventional forks against the latest 250 mxers, thank god i stayed in the 125 class that year.
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February 4th, 2010, 03:41 AM   #6
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Re: Australian Dakar Legend forgotten

Could not agree more with the comments re Andy H. One of the smoothest riders I have ever seen on any bike on any type of terrain. I had the pleasure of watching him up close at a few Truscott 24 hour trials, thankfully he was never on the following minute!!! While his daylight laps were smooth and ffffast, he found more speed during the night on laps 2 and 3. Amazing. A decent, humble bloke who should be mentioned with those other legends of Australian off road motorcycling.
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February 5th, 2010, 04:03 AM   #7
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Re: Australian Dakar Legend forgotten

Originally Posted by Blueberger
Could not agree more with the comments re Andy H. One of the smoothest riders I have ever seen on any bike on any type of terrain. I had the pleasure of watching him up close at a few Truscott 24 hour trials, thankfully he was never on the following minute!!! While his daylight laps were smooth and ffffast, he found more speed during the night on laps 2 and 3. Amazing. A decent, humble bloke who should be mentioned with those other legends of Australian off road motorcycling.
Thank You i have another supporter, you had to see him ride like you have and witness the style he had as he was fairly short and fitted any bike well, he would only stand up a just few inches in corners and and the bike would just move under him on the braking bumps then he would rail the corner with his feet on the pegs or if he had to halfway through just tag the back brake and square the corner up and shoot down the inside. ive seen him ride 125,250,500,600 2-4 stroke suz, yam, kaw. ktm, berg, VOR and nothing changes. I copied his moves back in the mid 80s as i always behind him and my lap times improved, i would even go to the spectator fence and watch his lines if he rode a different class at meetings as they were always smoother and nobody thought to use some of the lines he found on the track.
I watched a MR Motox round in 1987 at Gillman where he borrowed a bike which was a KX250 1986 which was 2nd hand and traded in at some dealership in Adelaide. (GP motorcycles i think)
He managed to get a good start then pass multi time champion Craig Dack on the factory 87 Honda and pull away from him and lead for a number of laps finishing well up.
I think when the SA plasterboard team left KTM after he beat Brad Williscroft at the 2000 thumpernats and went to VOR it soured some people at KTM like Jeff L and he never got any call ups when something was on offer.
Rumour is he rang to take up Williscrofts ride in the 2007 Safari when Brad done his knee at Finke and it fell on deaf ears. But for him to come back and win would have provoked questions of why KTM didnt throw him a ride earlier because he was more experienced and they could have beat Honda for all those years. KTM knew he couldnt afford to race without them so they shut him down to save themselves the humiliation.
I think he could still win it, and most other events. I havnt finished yet, thanks
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September 13th, 2013, 04:29 AM   #8
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Re: Australian Dakar Legend forgotten

Any one got pics of any of the Caldecott/Hayden bikes? I've got one of Andy's SA Plasterboard Finke bikes from 1998 and would really appreciate some pictures to go with the bike.
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September 13th, 2013, 03:55 PM   #9
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Re: Australian Dakar Legend forgotten

I watched and raced against Andy many times and he has a natural talent only a few people have.
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