Wave a flag advertising motorcycle events and we try to be there. I managed to get out of bed early enough for this event to get some photos before the masses converged on the showgrounds but Knobster thought that he would sit this one out as he likes to sleep late on the weekends, but then again he likes to drink late on the weekends as well. Not that they are related in any way.Held over the weekend of August 13th and 14th at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland the Ride Forever Motorcycle Show proved one thing, that irrespective whether it is Japanese, British, American or European, motorcycles all have one thing in common, a story to tell, whether they are new, old, original or a special.
Everything from vintage, classic, choppers, modified, specials, race bikes, dealer stands with all the modern imports, road bikes, off road bikes, cruisers, and modern retro were represented. The effort that would have gone into the organising of this would have been immense and full credit to the Rotary Club for pulling it all together. It just seems to get better. Even the $20.00 entry fee was quite reasonable (some people might disagree but we know about them)
So, with rolls of film at the ready I wandered off to explore the displays. I have arranged the photographs into sections that will hopefully tell a story. The subjects are wide and varied and just go to show that motorcycling is still strong in New Zealand.
I must apologise for the quality of some of the photographs. Lighting, especially some of the fluroscents made polished and chromed surfaces difficult to get a good shot and my Box Brownie doesn’t have the ability for filtering (something to put on my christmas list – a new camera)
Photo – Burts Indian wasn’t there this year but just to prove that we were there last year here it is in all its glory.
The Girder Class
This is what Barnstormers is really about. Over the years a lot of machines have disappeared never to be seen again but surprisingly there is still enough out there to have a nice display for such events like this one. Support from individuals, small one make clubs like the Ariel Owners Club and the Norton Owners Club as well as the motorcycle section of the Auckland Branch of the New Zealand Veteran and Vintage Car Club made this particular period of displays a great success. It really was our history on display. Judge for yourself from the following photos.
A 1951 DOT Delivery Trike. Powered by the ubicquitous Villiers 2 stroke engine the DOT (which stands for Devoid of Trouble – honestly!!) is not a long distance cruiser. And evidently not everybody can leave home without their cuddly.
The Innovative Section.
Grandpa McSnotty used to love using sayings like “clever clogs” and “smarty pants” when referring to those who accept challenges readily and come up with innovative ideas. Those terms of endearment would definitely apply to the next group of individuals whose minds must be working overtime to come up with some of the ideas that were on display. Marks out of 10 please – –
A 1941 Indian Scout with a turbocharger. The builder of this put up his own display and had various other machines on show. He was quite happy to build or manufacture anything and the customer that owns this Indian would have to be nothing but delighted with the craftsmanship that has gone into it. Valanced guards and a hand made stainless exhaust system feeding the small turbocharger display a certain quality that is quickly disappearing with our aging work force. Not that this builder is old, in fact he could be deemed as ‘youngish’ and was quite happy to talk about his creations. More to come no doubt.
So what do you do if you only have an engine? Well you build your own idea of a semi period frame around it and then go out and have some fun. I particularly like the rear leaf spring for suspension.
Last year Ken bought along his idea of what a V8 Indian should be like.
This year he bought along his latest vision. Still a work in progress but one thing is certain – that Ken guy sure is clever.
I deem this the interesting section. There are many and varied ideas from people with a vision that others would just say wow!! But then some just say why? Which are you? Knob and me are more of the Wow!! group because these builders are daring to be different.
Nothing really special here except for the kick start pedal and exhaust pipe clamp. But then there is the front wheel!! You gotta love bullets.
The iconic XS650 with its own springer front end. Definitely the old with the new. This guy must drink a lot of tea to have his own built in copper kettle. Or is it really a mobile still!!
Another take on the old rigid frame with springer front forks. And yes that headlight will work as it is neatly fitted with a modern bulb and reflector. Like the polish too.
Not that unusual as these individually created beasts have been around for a while. However how big is too big? Evidently not for this keen builder. An interesting cradle type frame to support this engine would at least make working on the engine an easy task. A information board would have been great ‘as to why’ the owner decided to take on such a challenge, as well as engine size and possible weight. What I can tell you is that it does have a Harley gearbox hidden behind that massive lump which is slightly different from other builds that have a hydrostatic drive to the rear wheel. Hopefully we will see it being ridden in to some future event, possibly a hot rod gathering like Kumeu?
A club display from the BSA Owners Club. These guys went to a lot of effort in putting this together. They should be proud. It looked even better being there.
A action display depicting speedway at Western Springs in Auckland. Motorcycles first raced there in 1929 and in the earlier days it was called dirt track or cinders racing. Our Australian neighbours always challenge ownership rights to things like the Pavlova, Phar Lap and Russel Crowe but yes in this case they can claim the blagging rights for being the first in the world to have invented dirt track or speedway. Mind you they did it with the assistance of a Kiwi called Stewie St George (so there!!!). Owning a 1929 Dirt Track Douglas I can relate to the thrills that these riders would be experiencing.
For those hard to get places.
I liked the little addition to this petrol tank, which belongs to this well traveled machine.
The iconic Captain America. Makes you want to rush over to the dvd player and put on Easy Rider. Need we say any more.
A closer view of the effort that has gone into the building of this replica.
Every display should have a information board. It makes it easier for the uninformed to understand what it is all about. Shame about the spelling on this one.
My favourite of the new retro bikes appearing, the Triumph Thruxton R. The thought that has gone into the detail on this bike includes the throttle bodies for the fuel injection resembling 1950s AMAL Monobloc carbs. Neat Eh! However at a pricey $24500 I won’t be dipping into my pension fund to purchase one. After all its just another Triumph twin, isn’t it?
And I think that this is just brilliant. A little bit of Kiwi. Enough said.
I am not privy to the awards given out for various machines and displays but my choice of awards would be –
Best club stand – BSA
Best action display – The Springs
Best retro motorcycle – Triumph Thruxton R
Most explosive idea – 1941 Indian Scout Turbocharged
Knobster – get off that bike!! And for goodness sake have a shave.
And as the sun sets and time is called for us all what better way to have a final ride.