After several Australian toy runs were cancelled, restricted or went “virtual” in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic, it appears many will return to full strength this year.
Organisers are now gearing up their toy runs as states begin to ease restrictions and come out of lockdown.
After a tumultuous year that affected the livelihoods of many Aussies, charity events such as these are desperately needed and warmly welcomed by local communities.
These toy runs not only raise funds, but mainly non-perishable goods and new toys for families in the lead-up to Christmas. Check the conditions of donations at your local event first.
Most toy runs also feature elaborately decorated riders and bikes.
Last year the oldest and one of the biggest toy runs, Bikers for Kids Newcastle Toy Run was restricted to just 50 motorcycles. This year the 44th running of the Newcastle event is back to full capacity on December 4 and organisers say they are planning for their biggest toy run yet.
In fact, most toy run organisers are expecting large turnouts this year after the lockdown.
One of the first toy runs is the Toy Run for Father Bobin South Melbourne on 24 November. That is not to be confused with the Melbourne Toy Run which so far does not appear to have a confirmed date yet.
In fact, several of the usual toy runs are yet to confirm dates, so I suggest you continue to check the Facebook pages in your local area to see if the events are returning.
NSW and Victoria have suffered the biggest lockdowns and restrictions in the past year so their toy runs were the most severely affected last year.
Other states were less affected.
Here is what we know so far:
Despite some restrictions last year the42nd Annual MRA Toy Run in Tasmania still had 500 bikes and they are expecting a whole lot more bikes in Hobart this year on December 4.
In Queensland where there have been few restrictions, it seems most rides are back.
If you are a lover of rare Italian motorcycles and have overseas holiday money burning a hole in your wallet, the Bonhams Autumn Sale next month (9-10 October 2021) will no doubt be a temptation.
It features a collection of more than 40 motorcycles owned by the late acclaimed German film critic Hans Schifferle, including many rare Italian bikes led by my personal favourite, the 1974 Ducati 750 SS.
However, you will need to have a good line of credit or money in the bank as it is estimated to fetch between $A170,000 and $A245,000.
If that doesn’t scare you off, you should still check out our tips to make sure you don’t get caught out buying a dud or spending too much.
Auctions can be a fun experience and you can land yourself a real bargain. However, there are many pitfalls as well.
Ok, so now you know the advantages and pitfalls of auctions, let’s tempt you with some rare bikes owned by motorcycle connoisseur Hans Schifferle who died in March.
Has and his wife, Gudrun, and friend, the former Grand Prix racer Helmut Lichtenberg, visited many of Europe’s “autojumbles” at Imola, Mannheim, Stuttgart and Nuremberg to secure rare parts for his restorations.
Helmut did most of the work having run the classic motorcycle division at Schmid Höhenkirchen where Hans bought many of his bikes.
Hans ensured he rode all his bikes at least 3000km a year to keep them in top mechanical order.
His collection not only includes are Italian gems, but also some British and American models.
My all-time favourite, the 1974 Ducati 750 SS, is the most expensive of the lot.
It is the model that powered Paul Smart to victory at the Imola 200 in 1972.
The Ducati 750 SS featured central-axle forks, Brembo front brakes and a cockpit faring.
This 1974 launch year motorcycle was acquired by Schifferle 2002 and has correct numbers and stamps.
Another ultra-rare Italian highlight is the 1973 MV Agusta 750 GT estimated to fetch up to $A95,000.
Only 50 models in white and bronze were sold due to its initial high price tag.
This bike is one of the most sought-after MV roadsters and one of few not modified or converted into a ‘special’.
Volunteer motorcyclist group Bloodbikes Australia recently celebrated its second birthday delivering blood and other medical samples.
The group started before the pandemic but has become a pivotal last-resort volunteer service for collecting COVID tests.
Founder Peter Davis says the timing of the Bloodbikes with the pandemic has not only been fortuitous, but also a case of history repeating.
He points out that during the 1919 Spanish Flu pandemic, motorcyclists were at the forefront of volunteering in Australia to aid in supporting community efforts.
“They were called SOS motorcyclists, transporting medicines samples even Doctors and nurses. Does this sound familiar?” he says.
“I had no idea of our predecessors when I started Bloodbikes Australia, but isn’t it amazing how history repeats itself,” he says.
“About 98% of our current volunteer work is in the fight against COVID pandemic.”
But that’s not the limit of Bloodbikes Australia’s efforts. Volunteers throughout Australia are doing last-resort medical transport when all other methods are not available.
They transport biopsies, medicines, blood, blood tests and even consumables and equipment, helping out when the despatch system is stretched to the limit.
The most resent example of this started last Saturday (11 September 2021) with Bloodbikes Australia offering a weekend medical transport service to the five hospitals in the West Moreton health district in South East Queensland.
Previously Boonah, Laidley, Gatton and Esk did not have a weekend service to get samples back to Pathology in Ipswich Hospital. Now, thanks to the volunteers in Bloodbikes Australia, they do.
The first weekend run — one each on Saturday and Sunday, — covered a 266km circuit and transported samples and consumable between hospitals and back to the lab at Ipswich.
The first weekend was also an induction for around 14 volunteers.
“I’m not sure who got the most out of it; the delighted and grateful healthcare professionals or us the volunteers,” he says.
Lockdowns seem to have sparked a rush on motorcycle and car online and live auctions with strong clearances of vehicles reported around the world.
In Australia, you can get your hands on 10 classic early Japanese classics that highlight the lead the way at Shannons Spring Timed Online Auction on September 7, 2021, with a total of 22 classic and sports motorcycles on offer.
Shannons reports a growing demand for rare Japanese sports motorcycles.
Their auction next month includes three beautifully-restored and superbly-presented 1970s Kawasaki two-stroke triples, a rare 1980 Honda CB1100 RB-1, a model that dominated the 1980 Castrol Six Hour race, along with an iconic early ‘Sand-cast’ 1969 Honda 750/4 K0 superbike in superbly-restored condition.
Two collectible Yamahas, three classic BMWs ranging in age from 1953-1984 are complemented by five British motorcycles led by two classic 1937 models – a Norton Model 18 500cc and an AJS V-Twin 37/2 990cc 990cc – plus a very rare Italian 1957 Aermacchi Chimera 175cc solo round out the motorcycles in the auction.
For classic scooter enthusiasts Shannons has a freshly restored 1964 Lambretta Li125cc offered at ‘no reserve’ and expected to sell in the $6,000-$8,000 range.
The stars of the motorcycles are the three Kawasakis that all come from the Japanese maker’s ‘purple period’ in the 1970s.
Leading the charge is an H2C 750cc 2 stroke triple – a stunning example of Kawasaki’s original superbike with eye-watering straight-line acceleration, that comes from a private collection based in NSW and that has covered just 320 miles since a full restoration by marque specialists.
Beautifully presented in period correct Candy Purple, the bike was originally sourced in the USA, with great care has been taken to keep everything factory correct during the rebuild. It is expected to sell in the $26,000-$32,000 range.
For similar money ($25,000 – $30,000), there is a rare and collectible Australian-delivered 1979 Kawasaki Z1R MkII D3 1000cc that has been the subject of substantial recent refurbishment, including a new exhaust system sourced from Japan.
The line-up continues with a 1974 Kawasaki H1F 500cc triple from the same Sydney-based private collection, this lovely example also originating from America also underwent a full restoration by marque specialist Gary Clarke’s Downpipe 3 in the UK. Now showing just 39 miles on its odometer since completion, the bike is slated to sell in the $16,000-$22,000 range.
There is also a very rare UK-delivered 1978 Kawasaki KH400cc triple also treated to a correct full nut-and-bolt restoration back to its original specifications by Downpipe 3.
Recently imported to Australia by the vendor, a Sydney enthusiast with a small collection of ‘70s Kawasaki’s, the KH400 looks fantastic in period correct colours and even sports its original exhausts, virtually unobtainable these days. Showing just 25 miles on its odometer since completion, it is expected to sell for $14,000 – $18,000.
Honda enthusiasts will find it hard to go past the 1980 Honda CB1100RB that was developed by Honda primarily for the Castrol 6 Hour production bike race, then Australia’s premier motorcycle event, at the now defunct Amaroo Park circuit in Sydney. Future World 500cc Champion Wayne Gardner absolutely dominated the race on debut in 1980 aboard a CB1100RB, scoring a flag to flag victory.
Essentially hand-made in limited numbers, the purpose-built homologation special being auctioned is also rare as number 14 of just 112 ever made. Coming from long term ownership and offered at no reserve, it represents a rare opportunity to purchase a significant motorcycle with important provenance, with an expected selling range of $30,000-$35,000.
Hugely collectable is a ‘Sand-cast’ 1969 Honda CB750cc K0 superbike that was discovered by its current owner in the USA and underwent a meticulous restoration in Australia from 2017 in time for the CB750’s big anniversary celebrations held at Broadford in April 2019. Offered with ‘no reserve’, it is expected to sell in the $50,000 – $60,000 range.
Other important Hondas include a one-owner and very innovative 1982 CX500 T motorcycle in beautiful original condition. Built for one year only, its turbocharged engine virtually doubled the standard engine’s horsepower. With surviving examples proving very collectible, the Honda is expected to bring between $14 – $16,000.
The other Honda in the auction is a fully-restored 1966 CD125 that was imported into Australia in the early 1990s. Now fully restored and showing 2,477 miles on its odometer, the Honda is expected to sell with ’no reserve’ for $2,000 – $4,000.
Yamaha There are also two Yamahas in the auction – a rare and hard to find 1965 YM1 305cc twin cylinder two stroke (‘no reserve’, $8,000-$10,000) and a low mileage 1969 Yamaha DS6 250cc two stroke twin from long-term ownership– a rare time warp survivor – expected to bring $4,000 – $6,000 with no reserve.
Best of Brits
Of the six British bikes in the auction, the stand-outs are two 1937 models — a fully-restored AJS V-Twin 37/2 990cc (‘no reserve $25,000 – $30,000) and a rare, substantially original 1937 Norton Model 18 500cc motorcycle ‘project’ in running condition (‘no reserve’ $20,000 – $25,000).
Other great Britons are a 1950 Douglas Mark 4 350cc coming out of 40 years ownership (an older restoration, ‘no reserve’ $8,000-$12,000); a recently-recommissioned 1969 Triumph Trophy 650cc (‘no reserve’ $8,000-$12,000); a fully-restored 1969 BSA Firebird 650cc ‘street scrambler’ (‘no reserve’, $10,000-$12,000); and a fully-restored 1952 AJS 18S 500c (‘no reserve’ $10,000-$14,000).
Four classic BMWs in the auction are headed by a now rare 1953 R68 600cc ($40,000-$45,000), while there is a well-maintained 1984 BMW R1000RS 980cc (‘no reserve’, $12,000 – $16,000), a 1971 BMW R75/5 750cc (‘no reserve’, $8,000 – $12,000) and a 1966 BMW R69S updated with a later-model R80 800cc engine ($8,000-$12,000).
Finally, there is a rare 1957 Aermacchi Chimera 175cc Motorcycle in running condition – one of just 119 produced, whose ‘futuristic’ styling was a step too far for Italians brought up with more traditional Vespas and Lambrettas ($16,000 – $20,000).
For the first time the concourse will be held as part of the Mt Gravatt Show in Brisbane this Sunday (25 July 2021) which should attract a lot of attention from the public.
First-time show organiser Fraser McMillan says it is apt that Vincent Owners Club will have a display of Phil’s Vincents.
“Phil was not only the designer of the Vincent — the Rolls Royce of motorcycles — but he also designed the Repco Brabham engine. They don’t get much more famous in Australian motorcycling than Phil,” he says.
Some of Phil’s design genius included a mono-shock, frameless chassis bike which was ahead of its time, two side stands which can be used separately or together to create a front wheel stand and the Rapide was the first bike with hydraulic damping.
The Phil Irving Concourse was started in 1982 by the Historic Motorcycle Club of Queensland which now has 1600 members.
Admission to the show is free for those owners who enter their bikes in the concourse so long as they are at the gates between 7.30-8.30am on Sunday.
The concourse is open to anyone with a machine more than 30 years old.
Categories include veteran which us up to 1919, vintage (1919-30), post vintage (31-45), post war (1946-1959), historic ‘60s,historic ‘70s, historic ‘80s, sidecars, military , competition and 250cc and under.
The oldest model will be a 1911 Triumph.
Fraser, who raced in the Isle of Man Classic in 1998 for his 50th birthday, will display his 1914 military New Hudson made in Birmingham.
“I’m too old for racing now, so I’ve taken up rallying veterans which is exciting at 60mph,” he says.
Fraser expects about 50 bikes to be on display in the carpark just off Logan Rd.
If you would like to enter your motorcycle in the concourse, contact Fraser on 0418 625725 or [email protected].
Brad says that if ticket holders cannot attend the event due to border closures or Public Health Orders that prevent travel, organisers will offer the option of a full refund or a credit to use the ticket at the 2022 rally scheduled for Friday 30 September to Monday 3 October.
“We will update registered riders as this develops,” Brad says.
The annual Black Dog Ride to the Red Centre to raise awareness of mental health issues has been cancelled for the second year in a row due to the current Covid lockdowns around Australia.
However, state rides are being organised in its place.
The Black Dog Ride Australia (BDRA) says each state is now developing an alternate ride, but participants will be given the option of transferring their registration money to next year or a refund.
Most state rides will include the first 2/3 days of the original itinerary with additional alternative routes and days added.
In some cases the ride may run almost as originally planned, however now without the inclusion of celebratory functions.
All ride participants will be offered the option of:
An “interrupted” Red Centre Ride 2021, plus a partial refund of $80 per ticket to offset the fact that there will be no longer be any ‘Celebration’ Events;
Transfer of their registration to a planned Red Centre Ride 2022; or
A full refund (less ticketing fee). Refunds can be requested via [email protected] by 22 July 2021. Celebration Tickets will be refunded automatically.
For those who choose to participate in the “interrupted” Red Centre Ride, the full ride kit consisting of Commemorative patches, pins, stickers and t-shirt will still be distributed at the start of the ride, when registering.
BDR will also produce a special set of “Interrupted” merchandise to reward those who stuck it out and rode anyway. Those kits will be posted after the ride.
State coordinators will be in touch with participants via Facebook or email with details of the state “interrupted” Red Centre Ride.
Prior to the ride, the state coordinators and their teams will review and check identity and address details.
Attendees from ‘Red Zones’ or lockdown locations will be unable to attend. All relevant COVID 19 protocols will be followed at all times.
BDRA raises awareness and funds for mental health issues.
West Australian automotive marketer Lawson Dixon took over in February as general manager of the Perth-based organisation.
BDRA was started by Steve Andrews after his solo ride around Australia in 2009. His shock retirement in 2017 was followed by a series of changes in leadership, board membership and administrative staff that the organisation admitted in 2019 had left them “in a state of flux”.
There are some very collectible Australian, British, European and Japanese motorcycles in Shannons timed online Winter auction from 8-15 June, 2021.
Topping the 16 motorcycles and scooters is a desirable Pre-War British V-Twin 1938 Matchless Model X, fresh from long-term storage ($30,000 – $40,000).
Formerly in the Keith Williams collection of important motorcycles, the Matchless is one of an estimated 65 surviving Model X bikes dating from 1937-1939 and one of only 21 built in 1938.
Although it will require some re-commissioning, the bike appears to be complete and in very original overall condition, with Shannons expecting it to sell with ‘no reserve’ in the $30,000 – $40,000 range.
Also in the auction is a very rare Australian-built single cylinder circa-1913 Monarch ‘Jap’ 500cc motorcycle.
Offered in running condition, this very early Monarch is possibly the only one still in existence. Its extensive restoration was completed mid-1994 and the bike has since been seen since at Veteran events around Australia.
Because of its rarity and condition, it is expected to sell in the $20,000 – $25,000 range.
Other great motorcycles in the auction include four Post-War British Classics – an older restored classic Triumph 5T 500cc Speed Twin (‘no reserve’ $8,000-$12,000); two rare and fully-restored 1951 Triumphs – a 500cc Tiger 100 500cc ($18,000-$22,000) and a Thunderbird 650cc ($20,000-$25,000) and a ‘no reserve’ 1972 Norton Commando 750cc restored by marque specialists ($22,000-$28,000).
There are also two sidecar outfits on offer – a Ukraine-built and Australian-delivered 1988 DNEPR (Rocket) MT11S in good, mechanically-rebuilt condition (‘no reserve’ $6,000-$8,000) and a beautifully-restored and presented 1959 BMW R50 motorcycle equipped with a Steib sidecar ($35,000-$45,000).
Japanese motorcycle collectors have a choice of four Honda models ranging from a 2007 40th Anniversary 50cc Z50 (no reserve’ $10,000-$12,000) and a totally-restored 1975 Honda GL1000 with a mild café makeover (better known as the first Gold Wing) – ‘no reserve’, $8,000-$12,000.
Two iconic Kawasakis have already tweaked bidders’ interest– a fully-restored 1973 H2A 750cfc triple that has been in vendor’s hands for the past 22 years ($28,000 – $34,000) and a hugely collectible 1976 Z900 A4 superbike, freshly restored to show standard ($25,000-$30,000).
Scooter enthusiasts have an old/new choice between a Classic 1961 Lambretta Li 125 with period accessories that has been freshly restored and upgraded to 150cc specification and a retro-styled 2009 Vespa Piaggio 250 GTV presented in ‘as new’ condition with just 800km on its odometer – both with ‘no reserve’ and each expected to sell for $6,000-$8,000.
The first 500cc World Championship in 1949 was won by an E90 piloted by Frend’s fellow works rider Les Graham. It was his and AJS’s first and only world title.
It was dubbed the Porcupine by the era’s motorcycle press due to its distinctive spiked ‘head’ finning.
Only a handful of E90s were built by the British firm, purely for its works team.
Frend, who earned a gold star at Brooklands for lapping its outer circuit at more than 100mph (160km/h) on his Vincent-HRD Rapide, was signed up by AJS in 1947 after his fourth place finish in that year’s Isle of Man TT.
He was the first rider to win on the Porcupine at the 1947 Hutchinson 100 race.
Development on the E90 continued over the next couple of years, while the motorcycle picked up 18 world speed records and a number of podium finishes before reaching its 1949 zenith. Graham won two of the six championship races, the Swiss and Ulster Grand Prix, securing the rider’s trophy, while teammate Bill Doran rode to victory in Belgium to ensure AJS’ manufacturer’s title.
Despite its successes, the E90 was plagued by various problems concerning carburetion and its magneto – a magneto shaft failure caused Graham to retire from the 1949 Isle of Man Senior TT, which he was leading, two minutes from the finish. In 1952, its successor, the E95, was introduced, with a revised engine and new frame. Although the spikes disappeared the Porcupine name stuck. The E95 had a dream debut, with a one-two finish in the season-opening Swiss Grand Prix.
Between 1949 and 1954, the Porcupine, in E90 and E95 guise, finished 24 races, securing five wins, seven 2nd places and one World Championship. Ted commented that “for its day, the Porcupine had lots of potential, but its development did not keep pace with the opposition.” In total, only four complete E90 and four E95 motorcycles were produced, along with an unknown number of spare engines.
Ted Frend, who left the AJS team in 1950, also finished his racing career in 1954 to concentrate on his sheet metal business. He maintained that the Porcupine’s glory year was 1949, not just for its World Championship win, but also for holding its own against the more powerful rival Gileras and early MV motorcycles. He said: “At Spa, I managed third place, splitting the Gileras. Masetti, Pagani [Gilera riders] and I were the first to average over 100mph for a full Grand Prix.”
The motorcycle offered was found as a collection of parts in the estate of Ted Frend when he died in 2006. It was his friend and neighbour Ken Senior who acquired the Porcupine and other motorcycle-related possessions from the executors, including Ted’s TT trophies, also offered in the Summer Stafford Sale. Senior oversaw the Porcupine’s rebuild, with missing parts custom made.
Bonhams Collectors’ Motorcycles International Department Director Ben Walker says only two other examples have been offered for sale publicly, both of which Bonhams sold for world record prices at the time.
“With the few known examples being in the world-famous Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum or in the possession of private collectors, this is an extremely exciting, once in a generation opportunity to buy a much coveted and sought-after machine,” he says.
The Porcupine leads the Ken Senior Collection of 90 plus motorcycles which are among 650 lots at the auction, including collector motorcycles, bicycles, spares and memorabilia 2 to 4 July, 2021.
Other highlights include a 1940 Brough Superior 1,096cc 11-50HP (£60,000 – 75,000) and the Ron Cody Collection of 48 motorcycles, mostly MV Agustas, a significant Norton collection.