Classic times ahead at rally

Matchless, BSA, AJS – no matter what flavour your classic bike, it’s the perfect time to wheel it out of the garage.

Next month Tauranga Classic Motorcycle Club are hosting the national classic motorcycle rally and club president Roy Knowles is keen to hear from any classic enthusiasts who want to come along for the ride.

Pyes Pa classic motorcycle lover Lionel Reeve is still deciding which bike he will ride at next month’s national rally in Waihi Beach.

Roy, who’s had a passion for bikes for 60 years, actually joined the club himself when it last hosted the nationals in 1999 and is expecting similar again this year.

“Almost every time we go for a run we end up with new members after people have seen us and asked how to get involved,” says Roy, who admits to having owned a motorcycle of one type of or other since he was 16.

Among the bikes stowed away in his shed these days is a ’54 Matchless, along with a BSA and an AJS.

For Roy, a big part of the appeal of riding continues to be the sense of freedom it gives you, but it’s also about celebrating those favourite bikes and memories from his youth.
“You look around the clubs and the most popular bikes are those from the 50s - the bikes most of us were riding back in our day,” he says.

The national rally, which is based at Waihi Beach on November 14-15, is expected to attract more than 100 bikes. Rally secretary Dot Reeve told Bay Driver that 90 were already confirmed earlier this week, with more expected.

At that point the oldest confirmed bike was a 1928 Triumph N Deluxe, from Huntly’s John Roberts. Other early bikes included 1939 Ariel models from Tauranga members Lloyd Baker and Todd Ashton.

Dot herself was looking forward to taking part in the rally, but was encouraging husband Lionel to ride his 1982 Suzuki, rather than his older classic BSA Golden Flash.
“It’s just a lot more comfortable,” says Dot, who rides pillion. “We did the Burt Munro (rally) on it last year down in Invercargill, and despite facing some terrible weather it was great to ride.”

The rally is being based in Waihi Beach so they can include a ride to Paunaui and take advantage of ideal accommodation at Te Rau Aroha Camp.

“Everyone likes to have a good ride in the Coromandel, so it’s good to be able to offer that,” says Roy, who knows many of the riders who are coming from around Wellington are extending the trip to return via the East Cape.

“That’s got to be one of the great appeals of biking, it’s just getting out there on the road and taking it all in.

“We don’t do it now, but we’ve had lots of great times over the years with other couples, touring and camping around the South Island as well as the North.”
To find out more about the club or the national rally, contact Roy on: 576 9332.


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