Mike Duff


"Make Haste Slowly"
A Story of Courage, Disappointment and Reward


Make Haste, Slowly is a 370 page saga set on the Continental Circus of European racing from 1960 to 1967. It is a race by race chronicle of Canada's foremost Grand Prix rider, Mike Duff. Mike rose through the ranks as a struggling private rider on British short circuit racing riding privately owned 350 AJS 7R and 500 G50 Matchless machines to compete as a factory contracted Team Yamaha rider. He never won a world championship, nor an Isle of Man TT, but he rode some of the most exotic racing machinery ever built on glamorous race courses that are but names in a book to most. He mixed it with the best of the time and often emerged victorious. Share these experiences in detail from the perspective of his seat aboard a "works" Yamaha RD56 or RA97, a Matchless G50 or 7R AJS, or the legendary AJS Porcupine.

Included in the book is an 8 page centre gallery of unpublished colour photographs. Each photo or page of photos is a story unto its own. Read and enjoy the delighful detail of the Isle of Man Weigh-In, or marvel at the required knowledge of the Isle of Man TT course necessary to finish in the top half dozen places. Ever heard of a G50 CSR???

Make Haste, Slowly is a book about Canadian Mike Duff, a rider with a degree of natural ability who accomplished more than any other Canadian before or since on the motorcycle Grand Prix circuits of Europe between 1960 and 1967. He came from humble beginnings learning his craft on abandoned airport circuits near his home in Toronto, coming to England in 1960 and rising through the ranks of British short circuit racing to ride for the Yamaha factory team in 1964, 1965 and 1966.

In 1984, Michael Alan Duff began an emotionally trying and frequently painful change that took over four years of concentrated study and practice to bridge the little known void between masculinity and femininity. He is now living and working as a woman having taken the name Michelle Ann Duff.

Serial No

A Story to Warm the Hearts of Youngster of all Ages

This Book is Written for 6 to 8 Year Olds, but can be Enjoyed by Kids of all Ages.

"Hey!" said 6218, once his engine had been run in. "This Broad can Ride."


Serial Number 6218 is a true story about Michelle's personal motorycle, from the motorcycle's point of view. The story is based totally on fact, and an abundance of imagination. The last four digits of the actual serial number of Michelle's FZR 600 Yamaha, are 6218.

Back in her youth, Michelle saw a cartoon at the movies that showed the conversion of a Model "A" Ford into a hotrod, and transformed the sad, used Ford, into a happy, spiritied automobile once again. Since then, Michelle has believed that all things mechanical have animation, feelings, and personal goals, especially cars and motorcycles.

The model that 6218 is, was made in his year of manufacture more as a racing motorycle for production machine racing than as a road bike. Rules dictated that the model must be street legal to qualify for production class racing. Most models like 6218, were sold for racing, and few actually saw use on the street.

And, so it was when Michelle first bought 6218, she was riding out on the bus to collect him from the dealership, and she thought how annoyed he was going to be when he found out that he was going to be just another road bike, and not an important racing motorcycle. And, to make matters worse, he was going to be ridden by a WOMAN, and not a race rider. In Michelle's mind, the story grew from their first ride together to the growing respect and love they developed for each other, to the moving end to this chapter in 6218's life.

"Hey, man. You must be sold," said the Honda next to 6218 on the dealership floor. "You have a license plate bolted to your rear fender."

"A license plate," declared 6218. "No that can't be. Racing motorcycles don't need a license plate. There must be some mistake.

If I'm just going to be a road bike, I'll never be a world champion, or a grand prix winner. Oh dear!"

But sure enough, when 6218 looked behind, there WAS a license plated bolted to his rear fender.

"I'm never going to be famous." A great sadness came over him..

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