I wasn’t that sure what to expect from this show, which I talked about at our last general meeting. This was a Saturday afternoon/evening affair in town and was billed as a precursor to the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride, a world-wide charity fundraiser for Men’s Health, scheduled for the 30th September.
The event reminded me of our own Classics at Hart show from 2016, but on a smaller scale. There were perhaps 50-60 bikes on display and there was a good range of machines: a 1920s Indian Scout, a BSA sloper, the now customary Vincent Black Shadow, a 1940s Triumph Speed Twin, an Ariel Square Four, early AJS singles, a Velocette and a good smattering of Triumphs, BSAs and Nortons. There were also Ducatis, monkey bikes, racers, various Triumph bobbers, Harley choppers and a few Yamaha XS650 custom bikes, all sporting those dreadful Firestone tyres. I noticed a couple of bikes sporting Classic Owners regalia – there was a COMCC sticker on a 1950 Bantam, the other bike (maybe an AJS or BSA) had an attractive metal COMCC badge attached to the headlamp. Japanese bikes in evidence included a nice looking Suzuki GT750, a slab sided GSX-R, a couple of Honda 750s and a very nice coffin tank Yamaha RD400. Some bikes were restored and others wore their original patina.
Aside from the bikes, the bar looked popular and there was a crowd gathered at the items for sale in the silent auction – all proceeds of which went to charity. When darkness descended, the coloured spotlights came on. The clientele ranged from real bike riders, the custom crowd, and those who just like looking at motorcycles. Fellow COMCC member, Owen Greenfield even managed to sneak his Norton Commando into the line up and just as sneakily pushed it outside to go home. I met up with a another COMCC member, who also seemed to be enjoying himself. All in all this event very well and was certainly well worth the $5 entry fee.
The bad news is that the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride clashes with both the club run to Milang and the Bay to Birdwood, all to be held on the 30th September.
Once again a forecast of showers probably deterred a few riders on Saturday but also once again the weather was not too bad. One or two light and brief showers during our trip out to The Bend Motorsport Park at Tailem Bend. Only 9 starters this month comprising, in no particular order:-
Wayne Williams 2008 Yamaha XVS650, Charles Oliver 1967 Triumph T120R, David Saint 2012 BMW R1200, Rob Smyth 1968 Honda CB325, Charlie Pirot 2006 Honda CBF1000, Tom Robson Kawasaki W650, Graham Riley 2016 Indian Scout, Tony Mitchell 2001 Triumph Bonneville T100, Alan Kernich 1985 BMW R80.
We started on our usual route into the hills up Greenhill Road, this time continuing straight on through Balhannah and Junction Road to meet up with the Old Princes Highway at Littlehampton. At Murray Bridge I decided to halt for a regrouping as we seemed to have dropped a few off the tail of the group. This was when we learned that David had been hit by a large Kangaroo near Callington. Luckily the ‘roo was no match for the mighty BMW and David was able to maintain control although the bike suffered significant damage. (Still quite rideable!).
(Ed. The kangaroo jumped the fence and the first David Saint knew of it was as it hit the front crash bar. It then bounced off and hit the rear bar, without even touching the rider! The front crash bar is bent back touching the valve cover and you can see the secondary impact damage above. David was most fortunate.)
All back together once more we set off down Jervois Road across the ferry, through Tailem Bend township and on to The Bend Motorsport Park. After a little confusion due to there being many more roadways than signs, we found our way in and to the “Welcome Centre”.
The facilities are something we haven’t seen before in Australia. The Pit area is extremely well equipped. Next door are cafe and bar areas and a big display of classic and racing vehicles. (only 2 modern bikes however). Upstairs are viewing platforms, the control centre and hotel rooms.
The main racing circuit, the GT Circuit at 7.77km long is the second longest permanent track in the world. The circuit being used during our visit is 4.95km long and called the International Circuit. Several other track configurations are also available along with Go-Kart, Drag way, off-road tracks, A 4WD adventure park and an all weather airstrip. Some of these facilities are still under construction. There are also handy Hungry Jacks, Subway and OTR businesses on site. In the near future caravan, cabins and camping will also be available. All in all a massive motorsport complex.
On the Saturday of our visit the main activity was practice rounds for the 2018 SA Road Race Championship Round 3 & Cafnix Series Round 3 which was on the Sunday (Fathers Day). We were a little surprised at the almost complete absence of motorcycle riding spectators.
After spending several pleasant hours lunching, viewing and generally exploring, the group split up to wend their various ways home.
Please note that the Club ride scheduled for Saturday September 1st will now start from Hawthorn Crescent, Hazelwood Park (starting point for midweek rides), meet 9:30 for a 10am start. We initially intended to visit the Mark Mitchell Museum in Birdwood, but will now visit the motorcycle races at The Bend Motorsport Park at Tailem Bend. Spectator entry is FREE !
Participants Graham Riley 1960 Vespa 125cc Scooter David Saint 1957 BMW 250cc M/C A Wallis 1950 Tilbrook 200cc M/C Warren Duncan 2002 Honda 250cc M/C Mick Hayes 2005 Suzuki 400cc M/C Ian Roddie 1947 Excelsior 98cc Autobyk Rob Smyth 1970 … Read More »
Numerically, we had the usual turnout – 10 riders; the day looked surprisingly good considering the forecast of early showers and the wind picking up later. We were gathered at the Caltex Servo, Top of Taps. I wasn’t totally sure … Read More »
Lane filtering is when a motor bike rider travels at low speed in between two lines of stationary or slow moving traffic travelling in the same direction. This has been legalised in South Australia since 15th April 2017. Strict conditions … Read More »
In spite of reasonably benign weather conditions there were only 10 starters at Magill Foodland for our Sunday run. Of these only two riders were on historically registered machines… Ed Lowrey on a 1975 BMW R90S and yours truly, Alan … Read More »