Tag Archives: What’s on/clubs

Tamworth Thunder Rally postponed by virus

Just before the pandemic was officially declared in March, Australia’s country music capital, Tamworth, announced it would host a National Thunder Motorcycle Rally in October 2020.

It has now been postponed until October 2021.

Only a few hundred tickets were sold and all will be valid for next year unless customers want a refund, organisers say.

The rally will be based on the successful 2015 National HOG Rally, but open to all “breeds” of motorcycle.

It will now be held from Friday to Monday 1-4 October 2021 at the state-of-the-art Australian Equine & Livestock Events Centre (AELEC) which also hosted the 2015 HOG Rally.

Organisers expected to attract thousands of riders descending for the long weekend of motorbikes, food and live music … and not just country music!

They are now aiming to carry over existing plans.

Tickets already purchased for the 2020 event will be valid for National Thunder 2021. Event organisers have made contact with all ticket-holders and other relevant stakeholders; those unable to attend in 2021 will be eligible for a refund.

The event was to include plenty of live rock music as well as a show especially produced for the rally featuring real horses and “iron horses” similar to the spectacular staged for the HOG Rally.

National HOG rally to return in 2019Tamworth HOG rally

Other highlights should include motorcycle and car displays, traders, guided rides around the district, more than 24 hours of entertainment and the giant Thunder Run through the streets of Tamworth.

Thunder Run HOIG Raly

The National Thunder Motorcycle Rally registration fee remains at $149 per person which includes all entertainment over the four days, a commemorative patch and t-shirt, rides and $50 raffle ticket.

Day passes may also be available closer to the event for those who can’t make the four days.

Tamworth hostsHarley HOG Rally Tamworth

The 2015 HOG Rally was a success mainly because of Tamworth, its welcoming people, great attractions, quality facilities and tourist orientation

It’s a great central location for riders all over NSW and eastern states.

There are also some terrific roads to get there and to explore while at the rally.

2015 HOG Rally - street 500Touring the Tamworth region

Because Tamworth hosts the annual Country Music Festival they have plenty of accommodation choices including camping at ALEC for as little as $21.94 a night

There are plenty of tourist attractions too. Apart from the iconic Big Golden Guitar and associated country music museum, there is also the popular Powerhouse Motorcycle Museum.

Powerhouse Motorcycle Museum in TamworthPowerhouse Motorcycle Museum

The HOG rally was held in February which was pretty hot, but October should be more accommodating with usually dry conditions and maximums in the mid-20s.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Roving weekend for Himalayans and Rovers

With the borders opening, Royal Enfield plans a Himalayan & Adventure Weekend of roving around the Byron Bay hinterland on their bikes and in Land Rovers.

The border between Queensland and NSW opens on July 10, just in time for this roving adventure on July 18-19.

However, Queensland riders will still have to obtain an entry pass and may face a long queue when they return across the border as police check your credentials.

The event is supported by Royal Enfield Australia & New Zealand and hosted by Salt Creek Motorcycles and 4WD accessories company The Adventure Garage.

RE spokesman Mal Jarrett says they have been planning the adventure for a while and have been fortunate with the timing.

“Salt Creek Motorcycles is an adventure tour company based in Ballina that uses Himalayans exclusively,” he says.

“The Adventure Garage shares the same shed in Ballina and runs Land Rover adventure tours in the same locale, so it made sense to run an event in unison.” 

Riders will find they are roving the beautiful Byron Bay hinterland and Border Ranges roads – both tar and gravel.

The overnight camp is on private land near Kunghur/UKI, NSW, which is a private property with 3500 acres to explore by bike and 4WD and spectacular views of the Border Ranges and NightCap.

While the adventure is best suited for Himalayan adventure bikes, we imagine there will be some riders on other Royal Enfields which are quite competent in many gravel road conditions.

Anyway, Salt Creek Motorcycles have a couple of Himalayans for hire at $260 for the two days.

Riders will be joined by Land Rover owners on the trek.Roving Land Rover Royal Enfield Himalayan

They say they will have qualified senior first-aid personnel attending and a briefing to ensure the vehicles are separated for safety.

There will also be a support vehicle and trailer to transport your gear on both days.

The event is not associated with Land Rover Australia but is restricted to Land Rover owners.

Click here to make bookings and enquiries with Salt Creek Motorcycles.

Roving weekend detailsRoving Land Rover Royal Enfield Himalayan

  • Start: 7.30am, 18 July 2020, 2/39 Southern Cross Drive, Ballina, NSW 2478
  • End: 3pm, 19 July at the same place or Seven Mile Brewery around the corner
  • Cost: $100 each or $150 per duo
  • Includes: Camp fee, Saturday nibbles and dinner, and Sunday breakfast

What to bring:

  • Swag or Tent, sleeping mat and bedding. Swags are available for hire for just $25.
  • Backpack with at least 1L water or Camelback
  • Warm and waterproof clothing in addition to your bike gear as it will be chilly at night;
  • Personal medication, cash and some snacks

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

World’s biggest bike show postponed

The world’s biggest motorbike show has been postponed from this November for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, switching new model launches to the virtual world.

The announcement that the EICMA show in Milan will be postponed a year follows the recent axing of the competing biennial Intermot in Cologne in October.

We wonder if this is the start of the end for motorcycle shows, anyway.

These shows have been the world’s biggest and most motorcycle companies have used them to launch new models, prototypes and concepts.

However, the strong competition for the limelight has forced many companies to conduct launch their new models on social media a few days before the shows open.

On Tuesday night, MV Agusta will hold a virtual media launch of its new Brutale 1000 RR.MV Agusta Brutale 1000 RR Blue & White M.L.

Other new model launches have also been conducted on social media, rather than flying moto journos around the world.

It’s cheaper and gets them just as much media exposure.

We expect this virtual launch program will accelerate in the wake of these motorcycle shows being postponed over the pandemic.

Shows and events postponed

Distinguished Gentleman's Ride Brisbane Jeff Gough fundraising2019 Brisbane DGR

Many other motorcycle shows and events have been cancelled or postponed, including the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride which this year goes virtual.

Yet the world’s biggest motorcycle event, the Sturgis Rally in South Dakota will go ahead.

It can attract up to a half a million riders and pillions. Perhaps not this year, though.

2015 Sturgis Motorcycle RallySturgis Motorcycle Rally

The 80th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally from August 7-16 will not include the usual parade, opening ceremony and B-1 bomber flyover.

Vendors will be required to wear personal protective equipment.

Mass testing is being considered for the safety of residents, but has not been approved.

Each test could cost $75 to $150 per person.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Pandemic forces virtual DGR and INTERMOT

The pandemic has forced the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride and INTERMOT motorcycle show to go virtual, while the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will go ahead. 

DGR operations manager Ramsey Sayed says it will still go ahead on 27 September 2020 around the globe, but as a “ride solo, together” event.

Riders around the world will be encouraged to dapper up and either hop on their bikes if they’re able to, or snap a shot of them with their classic and vintage styled motorcycle and join us online,” he says.

In the absence of formally organised rides, participants are asked to register online, fundraise for Movember, dress-up, and ride as individuals and/or with a pillion.

While it could conceivably have gone ahead in some countries such as Australia, it would not be possible to conduct the event in the usual manner in many other countries as they still have stringent lockdowns in place.

Virtual DGRDistinguished Gentleman's Ride ladies

“The focus for this year will be to connect riders from all around the world, despite their COVID-19 social distancing restrictions,” Ramsey says.

“We want riders to know that we may be socially distanced, but we can still be connected digitally. It definitely came at a difficult time.

“We not only need to take people’s local lockdown restrictions into consideration, but we also needed to consider how riders and hosts have been financially affected in losing jobs and security, and how this may have impacted their lives. It’s a three-degrees of separation thing, some hosts either had COVID-19, or knew someone who did, and even have family members who lost their lives because of it. We wanted to be sensitive to those who spend countless hours volunteering to run their ride, who may not be able to get involved. 

“The main thing we’d want people to be aware of here is that we know that some areas of the world might be opened up by the time DGR hits in 2020, but DGR isn’t only a local event – it’s a global movement – and when we have so many folks who are integral in running their rides who have been heavily impacted by this, we need to look out for each other.”

Many DGR fans may not like the virtual DGR idea but it will be a real test of the commitment of participants and whether they are doing it for the benefit of others and in the spirit of the event, or just for pleasure.

Movember fundsDistinguished Gentleman’s Ride record year Brisbane

Meanwhile, Movember has released the $A1.15 million DGR-funded Social Connections Challenge to provide grants for new programs helping the mental and physical health of men in motorcycling.

Movember and DGR are looking for ideas that:

  • Cast a wider net to engage socially isolated men and strengthen social connections;
  • Leverage opportunities to engage hard-to-reach men;
  • Strengthen peer-to-peer support;
  • Improve knowledge about mental health and suicide prevention; and
  • Create opportunities for role modelling and mentorship.

If you are interested in submitting an idea, click here to learn more or email [email protected]. The closing date for submissions in all markets is 6 July 2020.

Motorcycle show cancelled

Intermot motorcycle show virtualIntermot motorcycle show

Meanwhile, the biennial Intermot motorcycle show in Cologne in October has been cancelled.

It will be replaced by a virtual event before the end of the year with the event not scheduled to return again until 2022.

There is no word yet on the fate of the annual EICMA motorcycle show in Milan in November.

Sturgis goes ahead

2015 Sturgis Motorcycle RallySturgis Motorcycle Rally

While the pandemic has forced events, races and shows to go virtual, the world’s biggest motorcycle rally will go ahead in real life.

The Sturgis City Council has voted to go ahead with the 80th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally from August 7-16.

The event may not draw the usual hundreds of thousands f spectators this year and it will not include the usual parade, opening ceremony and B-1 bomber flyover.

Vendors will be required to wear personal protective equipment.

Mass testing is being considered for the safety of residents, but has not been approved.

Each test could cost $75 to $150 per person.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Worldwide Ride to Work Day

The 29th worldwide, annual Ride To Work Day on Monday (15 June 2020) will be a great demonstration to the world of what post-lockdown commuting could look like.

Unfortunately, in Australia, it’s winter and we don’t join in the worldwide event, so we lose that global impact.

Instead, we will have our fourth Ride to Work Week in September 2020.

Spread out over a week instead of a single day, it doesn’t have the media impact of the worldwide single-day event.

Our event is organised by motorcycle companies and the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.

They target riders (and inactive riders), rather showing the rest of the population that riding is a great alternative to being stuck in traffic.

There is no media event and virtually no broad-based advertising.lane filter filtering splitting traffic commute commuting congestion Brisbane worldwide

Worldwide event

In contrast, the worldwide Ride to Work Day targets non-riders and seeks employer recognition and support for this form of transportation.

The focus is on increasing public and government awareness of the societally positive benefits of utility riding.

Adding motorcycles and scooters helps traffic flow better, according to Ride to Work, a non-profit advocacy organisation.

Studies have also shown that across the same distances, riders reach their destinations up to 20% faster than those using automobiles. Most motorcycles and scooters also consume less resources per kilometre than automobiles.

The worldwide Ride to Work website includes:

  • Useful tools and in-depth information about issues and programs;
  • An interactive forum to discuss Riding to Work;
  • An assortment of Ride to Work supporting merchandise;
  • A wholesale program available to dealers and retailers; and
  • A photo gallery to show your Every Day Ride on the website.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Replica of first Harley-Davidson in historic sale

A replica of the first Harley-Davidson motorcycle ever made is being offered in a sale of historic motorcycles through Heroes Motors in Los Angeles.

The genuine first Harley sits in a glass case in the Harley museum in Milwaukee and would cost millions.Historic Harley

This replica of the 1905 model is a comparatively cheap $US120,000 (about $A180,000).

It was made in the mid-1990s by a group of artisans who ensured it was technically correct.

They included such details as the early engine’s case studs, and the thread and pitch of various fittings.

The engine has never been started but was planned to be fully operable.Historic Harley

Cosmoline has been applied to the internals to protect the finishes from the expected long-term storage in a collection or museum.

The bike is one of several historic models being offered by the prestige LA motor showroom.

Historic trike

Another is a 120-year-old De Dion-Bouton tricycle built by Jules-Albert de Dion who won the world’s first motor race, in 1894, run over a distance of 122km from Paris to Rouen. He was actually the only entrant!

This original 1900 De Dion-Bouton tricycle showing VIN 157 and engine No. 15568 comes from Sweden, where it is the oldest street-legal registered bike.

It features a 2.75hp motor, correct and original mechanical details and will set you back a whopping $US145,000 (about $A218,000).

1904 IndianHistoric Indian

Heroes Motors also have a 1904 Indian Hedstrom Camelback for sale at $US90,000 (about $A135,500).

It is essentially the same bike that Oscar Hedstrom built to show George Hendee as the first prototype for the fledgling Hendee Manufacturing Company in 1901.

This clean, black example of the early Indian models features the famed “Hedstrom Improved Carburetor” on the 260cc single-cylinder motor that serves as a stressed member of the cycle’s frame.

The direct-drive chain Indian used from the start was more reliable than the tensioned leather belts of other cycles.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Premium auctions thrive despite pandemic

Auction houses such as Bonhams have continued to thrive during the pandemic in a virtual way, demonstrating that there are still riders out there with both taste and money!

Two high-end motorcycle dealers tell me the current appetite for premium motorcycles is similar to post 9/11 when people thought “I may as well get the bike I want while I’m still alive!”

It’s a fatalist view, but if it sells bikes and gets people to enjoy themselves, then we’re all for it.

If you’re after a collector’s bike, many of the auction houses are running virtual auctions.

Click here for tips on how to buy at auction.

Currently, the Shannons’ Timed Online Classic sale is running until 3 June 2020 with the headline act a 1960 Harley-Davidson FL Duo Glide that spent 37 years sitting in a shed in Queensland.

Harley Duo GlideHarley Duo Glide

Mecum action

On July 22, the Mecum Indy 200 auction features 25 bikes from the collection of gym/fitness club owner Al Phillips. 

“Phillips’ varied selection of two- and three-wheeled machines will demonstrate that, to him, it didn’t matter what country built it; if Phillips liked a motorcycle, he bought it,” Mecum says.

The British ex-pat moved to the US in the 1960s and raced throughout the US and Canada.

The oldest bike in his collection is a 1937 Moto Guzzi GTS500 with a sidecar, and the newest one is a 1990 Honda GB500.  

1937 Moto Guzzi GTS500 sidecar1937 Moto Guzzi GTS500 sidecar

Others include a 1950 Vincent Comet Series C, 1982 Honda MB5, BSA Gold Star, Norton Atlas, Matchless G15, Ariel Red Hunter 500, Panther 120, AJS Model 16, Ducati Hailwood Replica, Moto Guzzi V1000 outfit, 1979 Honda CBX, 1982 Suzuki Katana and a Harley-Davidson XR1000.

1985 Ducati Hailwood replica1985 Ducati Hailwood replica


Premium auctionsVincent Rapide

In August, This Vincent Rapide, believe to be one of the first Series-A Rapide’s manufactured and possibly the last Vincent-HRD motorcycle to leave the factory in 1959, will headline the Bonhams Summer Stafford Sale.

The rare machine is expected to fetch £190,000 – £220,000 ($A380,000 – $A440,000) at the August 15-16 auction, alongside the 40th International Classic MotorCycle Show (if it is still on!).

It was used as a factory demonstrator, Vincent Director’s mount and a road test star.

Heroes Motors

Harley-Davidson 1972 750 XR1972 XR750

Heroes Motors in Los Angeles also has three drool-worthy classic bikes for sale, not auction.

We particularly like the above 1972 Harley Davidson XR750 racer which is one of only 100 machines built in 1972 and one of 200 built in total.

Every authentic XR750 was hand built in the Harley-Davidson competition shop, and this machine, Serial No. 50, looks like it rolled out of the shop last week. Price is $US55,000.

1971 MV Agusta 750S1971 MV Agusta 750S

This low-mileage MV Agusta 750S is among the most beautiful motorcycles made by the “Ferrari of Motorcycles.”

It was recently restored by Heroes Motors Los Angeles and is priced at $US125,000.

But our pick is this 1972 BSA 500cc GP is in original condition and priced at a comparatively modest $US25,00.

1972 BSA 500 GP1972 BSA 500 GP

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Shed find Duo Glide headlines auction

A 1960 Harley-Davidson FL Duo Glide that spent 37 years sitting in a shed in Queensland headlines Shannons’ Timed Online Classic sale later this month.

The bike is one of seven motorcycles crossing the “virtual auction block” from 20 May to 3 June 2020.

The highest bid lodged by close of bidding on June 3 buys the lot, providing that the bid exceeds its reserve price (if any). All registered bidders can follow the bidding online.

You can arrange a virtual video tour of any specific lot by contact the Melbourne or Sydney auction teams on 13 4646 (Option 6) or via email at [email protected]

Duo GlideHarley Duo Glide

The recommissioned 1960 Harley-Davidson FL Duo Glide is expected to bring $20,000 – $24,000 when offered with ’no reserve’.

The 1960 FL Duo-Glide replaced the Hydra-Glide as the big American touring bike of choice.

It was a major innovation in the history of Harley-Davidson, introducing a number of changes, introducing proper swing-arm with coil-over shocks rear suspension.

Purchased from a deceased estate, the Harley had been the subject of some previous mechanical and cosmetic refurbishment, but a major service was carried out by marque specialists Macksville Motorcycles in preparation for its sale, with recent invoices on file totalling almost $2,500.

The one-owner Velocette Sportsman 500cc solo is one of only 40 Sportsmans made available for Australia.

It was purchased new from Burling & Simmons on Parramatta Road, Auburn, in Easter 1970 and has been cherished by its original Sydney owner ever since.

Well-known in the Velocette community, the bike remained registered in NSW until 2012, when it was deregistered and kept in storage until now.

Still largely original, the Velocette was completely overhauled mechanically in 1994 and is offered for sale for the first time in 50 years, with its odometer showing just 2,983 miles.

It is expected to sell in the $18,000 – $22,000 range.

Bonneville 1961 Triumph T120R Bonneville 650cc

This 1961 Triumph T120R Bonneville 650cc solo is expected to sell with ‘no reserve’ for $15,000 – $18,000.

The T120R remained the most powerful, fastest and desirable bike in Triumph’s catalogue for over a decade, with numerous variants offered for sale along the way.  

Fully restored by a specialist workshop in Melbourne several years ago, this early Pre-Unit T120R Bonneville with corresponding engine and frame numbers dates from early 1961, comes in the correct Sky Blue over Silver Sheen colour combination. 

With its mileage reset to zero at the time of restoration, the bike was showing just 285 miles on its odometer at the time of cataloguing.  


There are two restored 500cc Pre-War BSA solos in the online auction – a circa 1935 Model W35-7 and a c1937 M20 – each offered with ‘no reserve’ and expected to sell in the $14,000 – $16,000 range.

Fully restored by its previous owner in West Australia, the 1935 W35-7 has a rebuilt motor and numerous new parts, with the addition of a rare brass trouble light to illuminate its instruments.

With its frame and engine numbers both dating from the first year of the model’s production, the 1937 M20 has been the subject of a fresh ground-up restoration by its current owner. 

The bike features the correct hand gear change, Brooklands silencer and fishtail, genuine Smiths speedo and drum speedo gear and is showing zero miles on its odometer.

The fully-restored 1974 Norton Commando 850 MkIIA comes in black with gold pin-striping on its tank, a black saddle, chrome mudguards and wire wheels.

Norton introduced the 828cc Commando in 1967.

It has been mechanically updated and is expected to sell price for $12,000 – $16,000.

There is also a 1978 Honda CT70 Mini Trial Bike in good operating condition that is being offered with ‘no reserve’ and is expected to bring $3,500 – $4,500.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Electric LiveWire aids pandemic recovery

Harley-Davidson has donated a customised electric LiveWire motorcycle autographed by the Davidson family to be auctioned to raise funds for the United Way Worldwide COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund.

The special edition LiveWire also has custom paint and carbonfibre accessories including screen, tail and tank trim.

It is being auctioned online at bonhams.com with auction fees waived. The auction ends on Tuesday 26 May 2020 at 4pm (EST).

The custom LiveWire is #500 of 500 “First Strike” edition LiveWires.

These are specially numbered versions created to celebrate the first 500 units produced of Harley-Davidson’s first production electric motorcycle.

“The Harley-Davidson design team created the custom paint and graphics on this motorcycle to accentuate the natural forms of the LiveWire,” Bekefy says.

“It’s a stunning motorcycle that is truly one of a kind.”

While the auction is available for participants from around the world, the motorcycle can only be registered and retained in the US.

The winning bidder and their guest will take part in an exclusive delivery experience and “behind-the-scenes” Harley-Davidson tour.

This private, hosted experience will include a tour of the Willie G. Davidson Product Development Centre and an archival tour of the Harley-Davidson Museum.

Harley-Davidson museum in MilwaukeeHarley-Davidson museum in Milwaukee

United Way to recovery

United Way’s mission is to aid those on the frontlines and those who are affected by this crisis around the world.

Harley spokesman Jon Bekefy says the company is a “longtime partner of the United Way”.

“(We are) inspired by their continued resilience in this crisis,” he says.

“Harley-Davidson is honoured to play a small part in the relief effort to inspire our community around the world about the open road ahead.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Last Motorcycle on Earth film too real

In these days of pandemic where many can’t even ride their motorcycles, The Last Motorcycle on Earth depicts a world where motorbikes are banned. The film is almost too real!

Director Eric Ristau tried to get crowd-funding for the movie and failed, but went ahead and produced it anyway.

It is now available for download her from Vimeo on Demand for $A3 or North American and UK viewers can stream it from Amazon Prime.

Apart from the cold reality of the film’s theme, it’s a great show to pass the time during the current pandemic lockdown.

The Last Motorcycle on Earth!Scene from The Last Motorcycle on Earth!

The film depicts a not-too-distant future where motorcycles are banned because they are the last dangerous vehicles in a world of electric automated cars, trucks and buses.

It’s the fictional story of a vintage motorcycle collector and bike builder, Conrad Mendel (played by co-producer Neil “Morto” Olson), as he grapples with a new world of technology that threatens to destroy his passion and way of life. 

Last Motorcycle on Earth goes aheadScene from The Last Motorcycle on Earth!

Down to earth film

The sad fact is that the film may not be too far from reality.

The safety nannies consistently and unfairly target motorcycles and riders. They want motorcycles off the road.

The Last Motorcycle on Earth!Scene from The Last Motorcycle on Earth!

In fact, it’s already happening.

Cities such as Paris, Singapore and Milan ban older motorcycles from their CBDs for pollution reasons and they have been banned in some Mid-East and Asian cites because they are the preferred vehicles of assassins and thieves.

Around the world police and politicians are also seeking tougher laws on “bikies” and loud exhausts.

And in 2017, a group of American motorcycle industry luminaries, aptly called “Give a Shift”, released a report on the future of motorcycling saying bikes are in danger of being killed off by autonomous vehicles.

With the rise of allegedly safe, electric-powered automated vehicles, motorcycles will stand out as the last “dangerous” and polluting vehicle.

Let’s hope the film raises public awareness of the possible dangers to our freedom.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com