My friend Matt over at Smoke & Throttle is on a very cool quest to retrace the tracks left behind by his late father, 1987 AHRMA Champ, Robert “Snuffy” Smith. Matt was knee deep in his father’s racing circle as a kid. It was a way of life, plain and simple. But now that Matt has a love of motorcycles all his own, and a new taste for racing– he’s grown a whole new respect and appreciation for his beloved dad’s passion and accomplishments on the track. Armed with a new perspective, it’s pretty meaningful to reflect back on and understand just how special those days were. I’m excited to see this story unfold as Matt shares it with us over the weeks and months to come. Read on.

1996– Robert “Snuffy” Smith on his ’76 Triumph T140 (25) and Jesse Morris (295) at Daytona.

“I grew up going to the races with my father, the late Robert ‘Snuffy’ Smith. I always loved the hustle and bustle of the pit area. Rushing to get the jetting corrected before the next heat race, or trouble shooting timing issues with minutes left before the green flag drops. Multiple people tearing into a bike like doctors working on an accident victim after being wheeled into the E.R.. It excited me then – and as I’ve gotten back into going to races – it excites me even more now. I knew after last weekends trip to Roebling Road that wrenching on my own bike and competing was just something I HAD to experience.”

Engine pulled, the rebuild has begun– 1976 Triumph T140 racing bike that had belonged to his dad is now home again in Matt’s garage.

“I was aware of a motorcycle that my cousin John McIlvaine built for my dad to race back in the ’90s. It was sitting in John’s shop gathering dust. A few years ago, John offered it to me for next to nothing but I just wasn’t ready. Last weekend, I realized that whether I was ready or not, it was time. I got home at 3:30 am Monday morning and shortly after lunch that same day, I was hauling the 1976 Triumph T140 back to my garage. The rebuild had begun.

Will I be a good racer? I have no idea. All I know is I haven’t been this enthused about anything in a VERY long time. No matter what the outcome may be, I know I’m in for quite an adventure…”

–Matt Smith

See more pics here at Smoke and Throttle…


  1. I remember him. I was racing a BMW 750 back then. Only knew him from seeing him in the pits but had a reputation as a decent man.

    Good to see the bike being refurbished. That’s got to be a labor of love.

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