Broadford Bike Bonanza 2017

Mike B from our local Ulysses Branch put out a call for anyone interested in accompanying him to the BBB on Easter Saturday, 15th April. Apparently I was the only taker, so he and I met at the BP servo near Lara (Melb side of Geelong) and took the most direct route via the Princes Hwy, Western Ring Rd and Hume Freeway to the Broadford motorcycle complex. This year we were able to park in a new spot, adjacent to the pits at the roadrace circuit which was great. The theme was ‘All things Ducati”, which other than bikes, included some famous past Aussie Ducati riders such as Troy Bayliss and Kevin Magee.

I was barely off the bike and bumped into Tom and Tim K, which made for a great start to the day. I’ve written previously about Tom’s mentoring and influence on me as a youngster HERE

Obviously there were some pretty exotic Dukes on display. The green framed bike is as rare as rocking horse poo!

But it wasn’t just Ducatis that caught my eye. A few ‘Green Meanies’ as they were known.

IOM racer, Cameron Donald, aboard the Irving Vincent.

Although there was an official autograph signing session on in the arvo, we saw Troy Bayliss and Kevin Magee in the pits and they very generously let us have a pic with them  Pity I’m looking so grim! Kevin come across as a really genuine, nice fella.

Michael with Troy Bayliss. It was worth the admission price just for that shot!

Nice Yamaha XS1

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I didn’t bring my SLR camera this year, so virtually no ‘on track’ pics. What I can tell you though was just how fast Troy Bayliss and Kev Magee still are out on the track! Each of them were spectacular on their demo laps!

It was a great day out. For enthusiasts of old motorcycles, I have a gallery of photos HERE.

Island Classic 2017

On 28 January I took a day trip to Phillip Island on the ZX14R. The reason for this trip was the annual Island Classic race meeting, featuring teams from the UK, Ireland, NZ, the USA and Aust. I really like this event – not just for the bikes and racing, but also because a standard entry ticket provides full access to the pits and the pit roof area. And it’s quite OK to ride through the tunnel into the centre of the track and anywhere around the track outer perimeter. That’s good access for getting involved in an event. It was beautiful weather with plenty of sunshine and temps around 22 -25C – pretty good for PI!

When I first arrived I headed for the museum to see the new collection of racing winning Cagivas that they have just purchased and put on display.

After a look at the bikes and the info at the Visitor Centre I headed back into the track and straight through to park in the centre of the track. It was great wandering around the pits enjoying all the sights and sounds, and of course, events like this bring out some pretty special spectators’ bikes.

I spent ages peering into various pit garages and photographing the bikes and people fettling them. I’m always more interested in the 1970’s and 1980’s superbikes than the really old British and American iron.

I even managed to get up close to a few of the British team stars during their lunch break. Jeremy Williams, below, is still an incredibly gifted rider. His lap times and race craft was spectacular.

The fella below has won a few trophies at the Isle of Man TT races I believe!

Above: John McGuinness

Above: Cameron Donald

After a really good wander around the pits I headed over to the inside of Turn 4 to take some race photos with my ageing SLR. As I said, Jeremy McWilliams (#99) at age 52 can still really ride at a very high level and led every race that I saw him in.

The big Irving Vincent powered sidecar was impressive, however, the real star exhibit was the priceless Britten.

By around 3.45pm I was done and headed over to my Kawasaki and kitted up to head for home. As I was doing so a fella with some pretty impressive camera gear stopped to chat and take a couple of pics of the Kwaka. I got talking photography him and it turned out to be none other than legendry Team Kawaski Australia racer Murray Sayle! That topped off an already excellent day. A gentle ride completely around the outside of the track to take in all the sights and I was off towards Melbourne in still, perfect riding conditions.

Link to a gallery of photos, CLICK HERE

 

 

 

 

 

Broadford Bike Bonanza 2015

I took my annual trip to the Broadford Bike Bonanza on Easter Sunday. It was a perfect autumn day for the event with no wind, plenty of sunshine and the temp around 22C. A friend of mine, Tim K, has come back to classic racing after a 20 plus year break and is in the process of shaking down a T500 Suzuki that he has recently rebuilt. So this was the first time for me to see his Suzuki in action, which was great and it always adds interest when someone you know is on the circuit. His Dad is an old hero of mine (see A Familiar Voice) and I was expecting to see him as well, however, he had some bike trouble on Saturday and didn’t stick around for Sunday. I arrived around 10.am and things were in full swing. The theme for this year was former Bathurst racers.

Below is a selection of some bikes that took my fancy.

Tim K aboard the T500 Suzuki

TK 09 (2)

‘Beak’ on the former John Woodley Suzuki.

A well-used, road going Norvin, with South Australian rego. I wonder if it was ridden here?

I still love the style of the beautiful Honda CB750 Four engine, shown to advantage below

Speaking of old Honda 750’s, Paul Kerlin in the pic below had traveled all the way from Emerald in Qld to show his wares. He makes cast pistons for the Honda 750cc motors and was very generous with his time talking to me. His business is Kerly’s Custom Connection, however, I don’t think he has a website.

How’s this for stepping back in time. I didn’t hear it running but I’m told it started first kick.

I saw this lady being photographed and wondered who she was. Tim knew that she is Peggy Hyde, a 1970’s road racer with considerable ability. It’s really well worth reading about her in this AMCN article HERE. Better still, listen to her at THIS LINK

I’ve posted a gallery of pics HERE. I advise clicking on ‘Slideshow’ when you get to the page.

Those who know me, know of my love of the mighty Vespa, so I will finish with a pic of two of them!

 

Broadford Bike Bonanza

Mrs Tarsnakes & I have been attending  Broadford Bike Bonanza at Easter since its inception 6 years ago by Motorcycling Australia as a fund raiser for its historic / museum division. We don’t camp trackside, however, many folk do make a weekend of it. Previously the event has be sponsored by Honda, however, Penrite oils had the naming rights this year. Just to repeat from previous years’ posts, this is a historic event, with no racing, just demo laps and many disciplines of motorcycle sport represented – road race, motocross, trials and speedway – as the complex has specific tracks at the one site for all of these disciplines. The main theme this year for the road race track was the “Castrol 6 Hour Race“, which was a production motorcycle endurance race run in Australia between 1970 and 1987. This was a race where a win on Sunday meant sales on Monday, and Kawasaki had a great run on wins in the 1970’s with the mighty Z900, winning four years in a row from 1973.

However, I think a consequence of the “6 Hour” theme this year was that there were far fewer older British and American bikes present compared with previous years. The Velocette theme last year led to huge numbers of old Brit bikes being represented. Not that I mind Japanese bikes of the 1970’s, as they were my formative years of motorcycling!

I wish I could tell you the tale of a TX750 that was raced and podiumed by a Geelong motorcycle shop in one of the 6 Hours, however, I’ve been sworn to secrecy.

A famous 6 Hour winner, who was later disqualified, was Joe Eastmure on the 315 CC Suzuki. I still think he was brilliant, whether the little Suzi was ported or not. He later won in 1977 with Ken Blake on a BMW K100RS, stopping the big Kawasaki’s run of wins.

We always love looking at spectators’ bikes as well. This was a nice example of a mid 1970’s GT750. We enjoyed talking with Alain, the owner & restorer.

How neat is this tastefully modified 450 Ducati?

I also sneaked of few pics of my own when a photo shoot with Sir Alan Cathcart and Rex Wolfenden’s “T-Rex” Honda was being shot.Sir Al was giving the photographer all the instructions for a heap of static shots of the motorcycle before posing with Rex.

I suspect that you may see a pic like this one above in an upcoming feature article about the bike by Cathcart!

Others were having on track professional photo shoots done during the lunch break as well.

The beast!

We caught a shuttle bus over to the Speedway circuit for a 4.00-6.00pm speedway spectacular – which the Vincents in particular certainly provided. We were told by an official that the shuttle service had finished at 5.00pm so we walked all the way back to the track (a long way with a damn big hill), only to find the shuttle buses running again as we left around 6.15pm – a stuff up that I was not impressed with after a long day on my feet!

Not racing, just a demo – sure!

Again, there were all shapes and sizes of riders on all sorts of motorcycles riding in the demonstration laps – even a Vespa scooter sharing the track with Laverda’s, Nortons and some iconic 1970’s Japanese bikes. High budget to no budget at all , it is certainly an event that offers access for all levels of historic motorcycle enthusiasts.

 

 

Victorian Classic Championship Broadford

The magnificent Autumn weather continues, so Mrs Tarsnakes & I decided to head off to the Vic Classic Championship racing at Broadford. A late change was forecast so we took the car rather than the ZX14. As it turned out the weather was perfect all day.

Our interest really lies with the motorcycles of the 1970’s and 1980’s, rather than the genuine classics such as Norton and Triumphs.

First of a few Kawasaki s.  I used to own a Z1R in this colour, so it’s a sentimental favorite. The guys who owned this bike saw me about to take a shot in the pits and offered to put the seat back on for a better pic. When I mentioned that we used to own one of these and Mrs Tarsnakes had ridden it in the early 1980’s, he offered for her to climb aboard for the pic. It’s exactly the friendliness and access that one experiences at these small race events. And of course, referring to Mrs T as “your daughter” when talking to me, won the charming fella a few brownie points!

Blast offBeautiful Rex Wolfenden Honda

Check out that clutch

There were some lovely examples of road going Z1’s / Z900 Kawasakis track-side as well.

A nice 850 Le Mans

Sidecars

A long walk!

More problems

Some Brits

Very few Harleys present

Nice Honda racer

Note the onboard camera

Trackside

Lots more pics in the ‘Old’s Cool’ section of ADVrider or here in my GALLERY