Curtis Frames article > Steve Souter
Steve SouterSteve Souter of North Vancouver B.C. was always visiting the Curtis Racing Frames shop when we were located in Burnaby. He was a very keen road racer and felt that by being around the shop he would learn some of the latest information about how to make his bike go quicker. I never ever saw Steve in a bad mood, in fact he was always optimistic about life and his racing future. He was just an ordinary guy with a passion to go fast and be successful at road racing.
We were all members of the Westwood Motorcycle Road Racing Club, located in Coquitlam B.C. It was a non-profit member run association with solo and sidecar enthusiasts. The club promoted races there and used the facility to test their machinery. Every once in a while the Fred Deeley Yamaha Road Race Team would show up for testing at the track. They would try out the latest 'trick parts' from Yamaha Japan or Yamaha California and Steve had this uncanny way of knowing when that would happen. Jim Dunn of Washington State was a regular on the Fred Deeley team as was a young Steve Baker.
Steve Souter was about the same height and weight as Steve Baker, at that time about 100 pounds soaking wet, so they were both ideally built for being road race bike jockeys.
Of course Mr. Souter idolized Mr. Baker as we all did (and still do)! So when the special lightweight Yamaha TZ350 we built didn’t materialize into something of interest to the Yamaha Works Team, we offered it to Steve Souter to use in the Novice Race at Daytona in 1974. It ran well and everyone who tried the bike was impressed with the superb handling and light weight. We made three other frame kits like this and sold all four of them.
Steve Baker went on to become a motorcycle road racing legend in his own time, but unfortunately Steve Souter was killed in an accident later in that year while racing his own stock TZ350 Yamaha at Laguna Seca in Monterey California. He didn't hit the big time but he was a great guy.
Photo courtesy of Cycle CMA Magazine November 1974|
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