Te News January 2020

There has been some chinese whispers out there from concerned vintage riders that we may have died as there has been very little activity on Barnstormers since May last year (gasp!!!). Lets just say that we were in a Sleeping Beauty phase and have been waiting for the handsome prince to appear. However as can be seen of late there are a few new bits and pieces appearing. We have been adding more sales catalogues and old manuals to the ‘to do’ pile and will slowly work through them over the next few months. So stay tuned.

A friend of old Knobbys has acquired a 1930s Coventry Eagle 2 stroke, hence the Coventry Eagle sales catalogue published a few weeks ago. Powered by 250c Villiers engine it is a kitset jobbie and has a few parts are missing. So if you have a couple of the fishtail mufflers and tool boxes then we would like to hear from you.

Just Happened –

A Brough Superior Revival -At a recent meeting of the motorcycle section of the Auckland Vintage Car Club (well actually it was September 2019 but still of immense interest) Robert Creemers and his son Ben bought along their 1927 Brough Superior. A late import from the UK having been purchased from an auction sight unseen the machines reliability was questioned when upon being ridden to the owners home the engine exploded, the front cylinder becoming detached from the crankcase, driving itself vertical into the bottom of the petrol tank and smashing the steering head. Hanging on to a free floating set of handlebars became a challenge. Fortunately the rider was not hurt.

The frame has been repaired with a new steering headcasting and the frame retubed where necessary. Like the majority of Broughs the engine is a JAP unit of 1100cc. It has been rebuilt with brand new cylinders, these having been made with better more modern material, and with the balance factor at 50% there is no decernable vibration. Drive to the rear wheel is through a 3 speed Sturmey Archer gearbox with top gear being engaged above 70mph. 115mph has been seen on the back straight of the Pukekohe Park race track, with reports of power to spare.

To enthuse the attendees of the meeting the Brough was fired up and made a few impressive runs up and down the street. To those who attended they were not disappointed.
Many thanks to Malcolm for the information and photos.

An impressive machine which is still being used despite its value. Good to see.

Distinguished Gentlemens Ride – This event was held on 29th September and is a yearly event aimed at raising awareness for mens health, especially mental health, and prostate cancer which kills more males every year than breast cancer in females. Money is raised from sponsorship by the riders and Knobster decided to do his bit by entering his 1925 Royal Enfield. There were 280 motorcycles with Knobby riding the oldest machine and he managed to raise $630 after a small amble around the Auckland central area. Well done Knobby.

And what was Mr Policeman saying to the Knobster?

About to Happen –

Taupo to Napier Mail Run – A yearly run from Taupo to Napier held in early March. It is for pre 1950 motorcycles with an emphasis on girder machines. It is too early for entry forms so check back at the being of February to see if we have been able to get some. 

New Zealand Classic Motorcycle Racing Registers Classic Racing Festival.- This is on 1st and 2nd February (yes this coming weekend) and is the 41st event. It is still being held at the Pukekohe Park Raceway after a brief period at Hampton Downs Raceway and with classes including Vintage, Pre War, Clubmans and the assortment of pre 1995 classes there is going to be some excellent racing.

On display will be the Daytona winning Britten motorcycle, back in New Zealand for the first time, and with the passing of Rod Coleman last year there will be a commemorative display of his achievements. I.O.M TT winner John McGuiness may be attending, subject to his commitments and the lawns being done (so he says), and hopefully a display of some stunt riding. So generally a good time, and the weather looks to be great as well.

Starting on Friday at 6pm there is a run from Pukekohe Park Raceway up to the Pukekohe town centre of race bikes to display to the local community what classic racing is all about. This is an event that was popular in the 1990s and good to see it return. There is close parking spaces for the support teams and for those who may want to trailer their bikes instead.

Saturday is the start of the practice rounds and then racing, finishing up with some friendly socialising, and of course banter on who is the fastest, fattest, and the biggest wobbler around the track. There is a band playing called DYAD (might have to ask Uncle Google about that), and then perhaps nap time at 9.00pm for all those over 50??

Hopefully the Brough Superior will be present as well as Kerry Piggott campaigning his 1920 Harley Davidson 1000. Yes it is 100 years old.

Burt Munro Rally Event 2020 – Happening from the 5th to the 9th February. This event is growing in popularity, even more so now that it has been moved from the unpredictable November weather to the better February weather. The amount of Australian competitors attending seems to be growing.

Race entries have closed and so have the online rally entries but on site entries are still available. The major issue if you haven’t already planned your visit would be accommodation. This is usually booked out by the end of October, availability also made more difficult by non motorcycle holiday makers touring the South Island as well. Not a problem if you have a tent.

The agenda for events is –
6th February Thursday . . . . . Bluff Hill Climb 10.00am
6th February Thursday. . . . . Twilight Drag Racing, Teretonga Raceway 6.00pm
7th February Friday . . . . . . . Oreti Beach Racing 5.30pm
8th February Saturday . . . . . Sprint Racing, Teretonga Raceway 9am
9th February Sunday . . . . . . Invercargill Street Racing 9am.

And of course while you are there the Motorcycle Mecca museum, Transport World and Hayes are well worth visiting for more motorcycle and automotive displays.

Check out www.burtmunrochallenge.co.nz for more information.

Indian Motorcycle Owners. Every year the Indian Owners Register of NZ have an annual rally which is alternated between the North and South Islands.This years rally is on Feb 7-9th in Invercargill, the same weekend as the Burt Munro Rally and Racing. Great planning for a great weekend and what a tribute to Burt Munro himself. I have found the Indian owners a keen and enthusiastic group and as in the past the challenge of attending this rally is to ride their 80 year old motorcycles to the rally itself. The limiting factor in this is usually the age of the riders and not that of the machines. And for those who are keen to race at Teretonga on Saturday there is the New Zealand verses Australia Hand Shift Racing Duel. Compulsory attendance if one lives anywhere south of Nelson. Not sure if anybody is blogging the trip down and back but check out www.indianmotorcycle.co.nz for any updates.

NZ Jampot Club. This is the New Zealand club for AJS and Matchless motorcycles and for the 2nd time only they are having a International AJS/Matchless Rally. Held over the weekend of 14th-16th February 2020 the rally actually starts off on the 3rd February with a pre rally 11 day tour of the South Island, heading down the West Coast with a stopover in Invercargill taking in the Burt Munro Rally and Racing. The riders then return back to Nelson travelling through Alexandra, Geraldine, Hanmer and Te Mahia arriving at their rally base at Tahuna Beach, Nelson on the 14th to start the weekend activities. We are not sure if they are blogging about their trip but you could check their website www.jampot.co.nz for any updates. And for those of you on the road and might pass them give them a big hearty wave from all of us.

The Cannonball Classic. This is something to really think about. The Inaugrual Cannonball Classic is being planned for 2021 by the boys and girls across the Tasman. Named after the legendary American Erwin “Cannonball” Baker, who in 1915 rode an Indian twin from Sydney to Melbourne in 18 and a half hours, a Cannonball Run traditionally is a transcontinental event, and has been a feature of US veteran and vintage activity for many years. The Indian-Pacifc Cannonball Classic is scheduled to take place in 2021, beginning at Busselton Jetty, Western Australia, and running east to Eden, on the NSW South Coast – a distance of 5,000 km. From the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Open to motorcycles of 73 or more years of age, in other words, built in 1948 or earlier, to be presented in a condition close to original from the factory. For more information and expressions of interest contact ipcannonballclassic@bigpond.com Now that would something to enjoy.


And now if you have a few spare minutes have a look at this youtube clip. It is a few of the IORNZ (Indian Owners Register) guys taking a ride over the Gentle Annie road from Taihape to Hawkes Bay in Central North Island, New Zealand on their Indian motorcycles. A great ride with scenic views of Mt Taranaki in the distance accompanied with a sound track that wants to get you out riding. Thanks Malcolm.