In 1978, Kenny Roberts Snr. became the first American to win a 500cc Grand Prix Motorcycle World Championship. He is also a two time winner of the AMA Grand National Championship and one of only four riders in AMA history to win the AMA Grand Slam, representing Grand National wins at a mile, half mile, short-track, TT Steeplechase and road race events. Roberts is also the 1979 & 1980 500cc World Champion.
In 1997, Roberts stunned the racing world when he left Yamaha after more than 25 years to start his own motorcycle company. Roberts had grown weary of battling over the direction he felt the Yamaha team needed to pursue. Basing his new company in England to take advantage of the Formula 1 industry, Roberts built a three-cylinder, two-stroke engine with the engineering assistance of Tom Walkinshaw Racing. He decided to take advantage of rules allowing lighter weights for three-cylinder motorcycles after observing the agility and handling advantage of Spencer’s Honda NS500 during the 1983 season. Unfortunately, by the time the motorcycle had been developed, tire technology had improved to the point where any advantage over four-cylinder bikes had been negated. The motorcycle did manage to win a pole position with rider Jeremy McWilliams taking the top qualifying position at the 2002 Australian Grand Prix against the new breed of 990 cc four-stroke MotoGP motorcycles.
These original Takai Marlboro branded race leathers were given to Kenny Snr by Marlboro in 1997 to wear during his testing sessions with his new Proton Team. Kenny wore these leathers on many occasions and they have been in his personal collection from 1997 to this day in 2021. The included photo shows Kenny wearing these leathers for the first time in Sepang in 1997. You can see the YAMAHA & TAKAI sponsorship logos have been covered with white tape in the photo of him sitting in the garage, the remains of this now clearly visible on the leathers today. Kenny also confirmed that he wore these leathers many times over a 20 year period at his ranch in Northern California while riding his YSR50 and various other bikes that he has owned.
A great opportunity to own a very cool & unique set of Marlboro branded, Takai race leathers worn by one of the greatest racers ever, Kenny Roberts Snr. A Genuine set of leathers worn by Kenny during his racing career would be at least double in value depending the year and condition, so this set is offered at a very affordable price.
This piece is backed by an Autographed Collectables 100% Guarantee of Authenticity, detailed letter confirming the leathers use plus a photo of Kenny holding the leathers after he signed them in March of 2021.