Getting more than 110 motorbike riders together for the Wagga Classic Motorcycle Club’s annual rally and long ride was always going to include a bit of cheek of the sore kind.
After breaking away from the Griffith Club two years ago, the event is Wagga’s second, but many came across from Griffith to join their friends on two rides – a 200-kilometre long ride ‘up in the hills’ around Tumbarumba and a short 80 kilometre ride to Tarcutta with a ‘pleasant stop at Oberon Creek for lunch’.
“It’s just getting everyone together to have a good weekend and enjoy the bikes,” Wagga Classic Motorcycle Club member John Dawe said.
“We’ve got 110 entries for the ride. We had 103 last year and it’s nice to have a lot of the Griffith riders come over to help us with the ride this year.”
At the tender age of 84, John Dickson from Griffith chose his Honda VTR 250 for a Saturday spring cruise.
“It’s a new bike with an old rider,” Mr Dickson laughed.
Joining him from the Griffith Classic Motor Cycle Club was Terry Leehan, who at at just 76, was too young and too busy discussing the finer points of his 1959 BSA A7, claiming BSA stands more for ‘bloody sore arse’ than the official British Small Arms brand. Just don’t start talking about Harley Davidsons.
“We don’t mention Harley’s. Not in our club. It’s a swear word,” Mr Leehan said.
The British invasion of classic bikes were on show; a small fleet of AJS motorcycles, hailing from A.J. Stevens and Co that ran from 1909 through to 1931. They clocked an impressive 117 motorcycle championship world records before the company was sold yet continued the AJS name with Matchless, Norton-Villiers and Associated Motorcycles.
Brian Hampel from Griffith showed off his 1962 Matchless Explorer to fellow Matchless rider Eugene Heffernan from San Isidore.
The Birmingham Small Arms Company or BSA bikes were proudly displayed. Dave Phillis from Queanbeyan had his 1969 BSA Firebird, Bill Lewis travelled from Canberra to ride his 1969 BSA Rocket III whiles Griffith’s Peter Conlon took his 1972 BSA Rocket III for a spin.
Continuing the European flavour; a 1969 Italian MV Agusta, and a 1968 Spanish Bull Taco.
Stuart Ingold from Junee took his Suzuki RG 500 while cousin Warwick Ingold from Muttama rode Stuart’s Suzuki GSX 1100.
“It’s just a great outing for families and basically a great mob of people and we’re here to enjoy the day,” Stuart Ingold said.
“I’ve loved bikes all my life and I’ve got photos that go a long way back.”
Like most riders who gathered for the rally, having just one bike is practically unheard of.
“I’ve got a couple of bikes. I’ve got a couple of Mark 4 Quakers, I’ve got a Norton 850, a Katana, I’ve got an original Goldwing, um, if I go a little bit more modern I’ve got a BMW 1200, I’ve got a (Harley Davidson) Night Train, and there’s probably a couple I’ve forgotten,” Mr Ingold said.
By the end of the day, many were more than happy to spend an hour or two standing up with a cold one in hand and telling stories about how their bikes didn’t fail, but rather purred along the winding high country roads, until the next ride.