Australian motorcycle racers and ex racers, officials, industry members, riders and fans woke to sad news recently, with the announcement that Graeme Morris had passed away the day prior, aged 62, after a courageous three year battle with cancer. Graeme’s memorial service is tomorrow in Mayfield, NSW.

Graeme Morris (#5) finished third behind Kevin Curtain and Tony Rees in his final race, the Formula Bathurst races in 2000, he finished third in both heats on a YZF-R1 Superbike. Pic: Keith Muir.

“It is with great sadness that I inform you that our father (Graeme Morris) has past away to bowel cancer yesterday. His courageous battle with bowel cancer over the past three years is a testament to his strength and dedication to be there for his family. He was my best friend, a loving father and the best role model you could ask for. Rest in peace dad”… Aaron Morris

“A loving and caring husband, wonderful father to Ryan, Aaron, Jayden and David”…

“It is with a  very heavy heart and enormous sadness that I advise my wonderful husband of 38 years,  Graeme Robert Morris, has lost his battle with cancer and passed away age 62 on Monday 25th March 2024. A loving and caring husband, wonderful father to Ryan, Aaron , Jayden and David, a brother, son and much loved friend to many”… Wendy Morris

There will be a memorial service for Graeme at Pettigrew Family funerals Mayfield Chapel at 12 noon tomorrow Thursday 4th April. Click here to watch the service live stream.

Graeme was much liked, respected and extremely well known in the industry he was part of for over 40-years. A late starter when it comes to motorcycle racing, Morris was already in his very early 20s before he had a crack at road racing back in 1982 at Oran Park on his own Yamaha RD250LC proddie racer. He would eventually become the first NSW rider to reach A-Grade on production motorcycles.

On the way to third at the Arai 500 in 1985 on the Warren Willing/Yamaha backed RZ250FN production racer, in a comeback from serious injury sustained in 1984 on an RZ500 at Lakeside… Pic: Leone Faivre.

Lots of two-stroke production success followed, and some four-stroke racing including the 1983 Castrol 6-Hour, where he was noticed by Willing, who ended up signing Graeme for the 1984 season riding a trio of Yamaha models (RZ250, RZ500, XJ900), in production racing, with a view to going overseas from 1985 to the world 250GPs.

Unfortunately a serious accident at Lakeside in 1984 left Graeme in rehab and off the track for almost a year. He had been on the RZ500 and it tank slapped him feet-first into the armco at high speed. He was lucky to survive… He would come back in 1985, and dice up front with Mick Doohan and Michael Dowson just to name a few. There is no doubting Morris had the talent to win a world championship.

Graeme and the Maxima CBR600F, a force to be reckoned with. Those that had the fortune to watch Graeme in action, either spectating or on the track with him, will have enjoyed his smooth, extremely quick and compact riding style. He was great to watch. Pic: Keith Muir.

Graeme teamed up with Roy Leslie on the Frasers DDT Ducati 851 Superbike in 1990 and had some great races, before switching to SuperStreet in 1991, winning the series on his Action Suzuki GSX-R750. From there, it was the start of a dominant number of years in Australian SuperSport 600 riding the Maxima Oils Honda CBR600F models, winning two Australian Supersport titles on the way.

Graeme Morris and Roy Leslie with the Frasers Ducati/Epicycle DDT Ducati 851 Superbikes in 1990.

Proving the extreme talent and experience Morris had, he was riding against riders like Troy Bayliss, and Fred Bayens. Then, into the mid 1990s, taking many wins against the likes of Andrew Pitt, Kevin Curtain, Dean Thomas, Paul Young, Mal Campbell, Shawn Giles, Damon Buckmaster, Paul Free, Sean Brenton and Warwick Nolan just to name a few. These are just some of the top riders Graeme gave a hard time to on track in the 600 class, where he was older than most of the field by a fair margin, too.

On the way to his second victory of the 1993 Bathurst weekend on the Maxima CBR600F, Morris also won both 600 races in 1994. Pic: Graeme Munro.

Away from the racetrack Morris was extremely well known, having worked in the motorcycle industry much of his life after completing his trade as a fitter and machinist out of school. After he retired from racing following the 2000 Bathurst superbike podium, Graeme opened up Graeme Morris Motorcycles in Newcastle, which became a thriving shop and the place where we picked up our CFMOTO and KYMCO press bikes. It was a great family business, which ran for over 20-years until the family closed up to concentrate on Graeme’s fight against this horrible disease. Our condolences go to all of Graeme’s family and friends, and we will have a multi part series on Graeme in the near future.

Graeme Robert Morris – 14/10/1961 – 25/3/2024. Pic: Alex Gobert.

Share this article