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Magazine "Cycle", Official National Publication of the Canadian Motorcycle Association, october 1974.
had been declared World Champion and the home factory began trying to find space for another manufacturer's trophy, someone calculated that Heikki's bike had finished 55 straight international motos (both Grand Prix and nationals) without a mechanical failure. An astounding record.
And Husqvarna had the man for the machine. "If he doesn't break, he'll win," they used to say. And, "If his luck holds he can do it," the others would add knowingly, somehow confident that he would break, his luck wouldn't hold, that history would continue to repeat itself. But Heikki Mikkola had the bike, had it for yhe first time really, and he was a mature twenty-nine, the seemingly optimum age for European champions in what is usually described as a "young man's (meaning under 25) sport."
The bike itself is a 360 Husky. It displaces 354ccs, has a special one-off Motoplat ignition, Girling gas shocks, Husqvarna forks, a chrome moly frame, a stock (reportedly) lower end, and enlarged cylinder. That all sounds remarkably mild, but in practice it's not. The 360 was one of the quickest bikes on the GP circuit this season, and so light that a steel gas tank had to be used to bring the weight up to the FIM minimum for the class of 206 lb. The mechanic, to whom a good share of the credit must go for the Husky's record of incredible reliability, is Pelle Persson. But ultimately, riders win what there is to be won, and Heikki Mikkola won the 1974 500cc Class Motocross Championship. He is the undisputed king of big bore motocross.
Which, undoubtedly, won't do a thing for his stomach problems when the season begins again next April.