British Motorcycle Day, Balhannah Oval, 27th February.

2 Mar

If you didn’t visit Balhannah Oval last Sunday for the inaugural British Motorcycle Day, you missed out. This hastily arranged event was put together by the Festival of Motorcycling committee, partially in response to the cancelled All British Day held at Euchunga. The difference was that this was for British motorcycles only.

2022 is the 120th anniversary of both Triumph and Norton motorcycles and both marques were recognised by a large display of Triumphs at the northern end of the oval and plethora of Nortons on the west side. Opposite was a long line of BSAs and, interspersed were the Levis Club with some interesting old bikes and many sporting bikes from road racing to speedway. 

Raleigh and Scott 

3 X Rocket 3s        
One of a few strokers
Hampshire, UK manufactured OEC with JAP engine     
Good variety of Nortons
Triumphs

Many of the bikes were started by their owners, much to the delight of onlookers. I saw the Levis Club’s JAP engined OEC running, Phil Baughan’s 650 TriBSA (which you may remember from a recent club meeting) and I even managed to cajole the owner of a trailered 1940 Triumph Tiger 100 to crank it up his engine too.

Tiger power
Competition bikes   
Norton racer
Nice looking Rocket

 

Where it all started…

   The caterers at the northern end had to replenish supplies twice and the ice cream salesman was doing a roaring trade. Apparently, close to a 1,000 paid up visitors were in attendance – an excellent result, considering the limited time frame and opportunity offered to the organising committee. 

At the northern end of the oval was the DJ who did a fine job MCing the day behind his turntable and an Ariel Square Four. Lew sold out all his British Motorcycle Regalia and the COMCC stand was busy registering all the Show ‘n’ Shine entrants along with guarding the trophies.

The DJ’s Ariel Square Four

Towards the end of the day’s proceedings, the judges had made up their minds which bikes deserved the  trophies and all the winners were lined up awaiting the presentations. I’m not sure who all the owners were, but there was an ES2 outfit, a BSA Firebird, a couple of Vincent V-twins, a Hurricane and Rob Elliott’s excellent Norton Model 18. It was a fitting end for Rob, as he was one of the main drivers and instigators for putting on the event in the limited time frame. Well done to all the organisers and the motorcycling public for helping make this event a success.

Winners are grinners
Rob Elliott and his winning Norton

 

British Motorcycle Day

2 Feb

  The Festival of Motorcycling SA is proud to bring you “British Motorcycle Day” a fun display at Balhannah Oval in the Adelaide Hills 10am to 4pm Sunday 27th February. Club displays and motorcycle only regalia sales.British themed rock and … Read More »

Lions Bike Show, Sunday November 7th

8 Nov

On a glorious Adelaide spring morning we attracted possibly a dozen riders for the trip to the Lions Bike Show at Macclesfield Oval departing from the usual spot ie. Hazelwood Park at 9 am. One of the more noticeable bikes was a Suzuki GS750 cafe racer, which sported some fairly chunky Hayabusa forks and a nice paint job, including the lovely retro ‘S’ Suzuki tank badge.

GS750 special joined us for the ride and won the show’s Best Japanese Bike award.

We took the most direct route – Mt Lofty , down to the Freeway, turned off at Stirling, through Echunga to Macclesfield. After an incident free journey we arrived at the oval, found Wayne Williams (gazebo transporter) and erected said gazebo along with a couple of club flags just behind the bikes. Quite a few of our members, who weren’t part of the ride, added their bikes to our display and there would have been possibly 15-20 bikes there at one point. 

This years Lions Show attracted many more bikes than in previous years. It was a perfect day to get out on the bike and mix with fellow enthusiasts in a spacious outdoor setting in the Adelaide Hills. A handful of local bands entertained the punters with a good mix of rock favourites. The coffee stand and the BBQ were very popular throughout the morning. Even the swap meet stall holders managed to attract my custom, for a change. 

The Norton Owners won the  Best Club Display with a fine row of mainly Commandos.  The British Triple enthusiasts had a good selection of Tridents, Rocket 3s and a couple of Hurricanes. Other displays from : Ulysses, VJMC, Harley, Choppers, V&V, Adventure Riders, Triumph Riders and COMCC lined the oval. 

Most members left early leaving our display looking a bit sad
1953 Ariel VB600 part of our club display

I stuck around for the prize giving: V&V President Brian Forth won the Best American bike award with his Harley Davidson outfit  for the second year running and a splendidly restored 1927 Rex Acme TT took out Best Bike. The Lions Bike Show is going from strength to strength and the organisers would be delighted by this year’s turnout, which was reportedly just under 3,000 – a great effort!

Servo stations – helmet ban

5 Mar

I’m sure, like me, many of you have been apprehended at a service station and told to remove your helmet when you go to pay for your fuel. This ruling has mystified me and I’m wondering WHY?

I’ve had several instances of this ruling, my experiences have been as follows:

  • I’ve been reminded countless times to remove my helmet before paying, usually I refuse.
  • Ordered over the tannoy, as I’ve reached for the petrol pump and the pump has been disabled until I acquiesced to the demand.
  • The shop doors have been locked, as I attempted to pay. Eventually, the night window was opened and I managed to pay.
  • After 15 years at the local servo, the staff member, who has also been serving for those 15 years and knows me, told me to remove my helmet. When I refused, he told me ‘it’s the law’ and that he’d been instructed by the boss to order motorcyclists to remove their helmets.
  • Told that it was ‘a security issue’ and when challenged, the staff informed me ‘it was for her safety’.

Each time, I have parked my bike on the forecourt, with my registration plate clearly visible to their cameras and have been brandishing a $20 note, fully intent on paying for my fuel.

What exactly is the problem that the service stations are afraid of? Why do they need to see my face, when I pay for my petrol? If I filled a car up with fuel and then went to pay wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap, they wouldn’t bat an eyelid and they certainly wouldn’t ask me to take my hat and sunglasses off before I paid.

I can only assume that they think motorcyclists are a sub-human species who need to be kept in check before they inevitably commit an assault against the service station staff.

This is the kind of behaviour which I was frequently subjected to when I was living in the UK. Over there, I only had to walk into a pub with a leather jacket and helmet and then, told to leave, as motorcyclists were not welcome. These miserable people were unable to differentiate between chain wielding Hells Angels and normal blokes who rode motorbikes. Yes, I know, I wouldn’t wear my helmet into a bank either, that’s hardly a valid reason for service stations to impose a similar ruling.

I am heartily sick of this treatment and will continue to challenge service station staff concerning their ‘no helmets’ rule until I get told a sane and logical reason as to why this ruling is in effect.

 

XT500 drawing

8 Sep

At the recent Coffee n’ Chrome event at Morphettville, I reported that an artist had chosen to draw Kym Miller’s XT500. This is the finished drawing which is now hanging in Kym’s shed/man cave.

Davo Johnson in the winner’s circle

31 Aug

South Australian road racing rider, Davo Johnson, claimed his first-ever Classic TT victory Monday at the RST Superbike Classic TT. Riding an Alistair Cowan Racing Kawasaki 750 he remained second for most of the race, until on the fourth and … Read More »