Jack Ahearn was a stalwart of early international Australian motorcycle sport, and has been recognised on many occasions both domestically and internationally for his achievements on track.
Born 1924 in Sydney, the man from Bondi quickly rose to stardom after buying a well-used Triumph single and joining the Lithgow Motorcycle club as a teen. It was here that Ahern started to really learn his craft by racing and immediately succeeding.
After a stint in the Royal Australian Air Force, in 1946 and at the age of 29 years old, Jack would embark on what would be a highly successful 25 year-long love affair, filled with travel and racing. He was selected to represent Australia with team-mates Laurie Boulter and Maurice Quincey at the Isle of Man TT on a Norton 350 for the second round of the 1954 350cc World Championship.
Jack was brought up in the great depression era where one quickly learnt to be both rider and mechanic as a matter of course. A theme and trait that stuck with him throughout his race career and life, Jack was recognised as being a motorcycle engine guru. Even up to the point of managing to finish second in the '64 500cc World Championship as a privateer and one-man show, with MV’s Mike Hailwood taking the win from Ahearn.
Jack Ahearn once shared his recipe for his many successes with Australian Motorcycle News;
“I was no world champion. But I could ride a bike fast and safely and enjoy it.”
“My biggest secret to tell is that I hated work. I managed to create a lifestyle on a motorcycle. I just wanted to keep racing. I didn’t want to stop racing and start working!”
“I could beat all the field except Hailwood, Agostini and Read after he got factory machinery.”
He is survived by daughters Vicki and Julia.
1954: 9th Isle of Man TT (season points only awarded to top six finishers) and 6th at Ulster TT (reduced from 27 to 13 laps so results not counted in world title points)
1955: Equal 26th in season points. Best finish 6th Nurburgring
1963: 10th in season points. 4th Assen, 5th Belgium
1964: 2nd in season points. 1st Finland, 2nd West German, 3rd Ulster, 4th Assen and Monza, 6th East German
1965: 5th in season points. 4th East German, 5th Assen
1966: equal 6th in season points (with G. Marsovszky). 3rd Belgium and East German, 4th Finland, 5th Brno