The Shannon’s Insurance Broadford Bike Bonanza was, for the ninth year in succession, blessed with perfect weather, much to the delight of the hundreds of campers who packed the venue. And for the first time, the event began early, with sessions for Ducati road bikes held on the Friday afternoon. For 2017, the theme for the event was Ducati, and dozens of examples of Bologna’s best turned out. Ducati’s triple World Superbike Champion Troy Bayliss was on hand and as well as firing a Panigale superbike around in very rapid fashion, conducted a number of pillion runs for intrepid passengers who included the event organiser Rachelle Wilkinson. Each year the Speedway segment of the SIBBB gets bigger, and this year was the standout attraction in a weekend where every circuit in the Broadford complex was in use. Massive crowds flocked to the Speedway oval across the weekend, with Saturday evening’s Speedway Spectacular crammed to the limit. Jason Crump, three-times World Speedway Champion, thrilled the crowds with spectacular riding and was a great ambassador and willing conversationalist every day, professing himself so keen on the event that he wants to bring his father – speedway legend Phil Crump – along next year.
Nearly 1,000 individual entries were received across the road, dirt, speed- way, endure and motocross sections, with every session on the road race circuit at maximum capacity. For 2017, six separate road bike classes were run on the road circuit, with other fully-subscribed sessions for Pre 1963, Pre 1975 and pre 1990 racing bikes. The Saturday evening dinner reverted to a more open format, being staged in the main camping area in a large marquee to cater for officials and volunteers as well as other guests. Former GP winner Kevin Magee kept the attendees in stitches with hilarious roasts involving ace Ducati tuner Bob Brown and others, while Crump and Bayliss also took turns at the microphone. Ray Owen, Gary Flood and OBA editor Jim Scaysbrook were awarded Motorcycling Australia’s Legend of Motorcycling status on the night. An announcement regarding the theme for the 2018 Shannons Insurance Broadford Bike Bonanza will be made in June, so mark off the Easter dates – Saturday March 30 and Sunday April 1 – for the biggest and most diverse classic-based event on the calendar.
TOP Jason Crump shows his all-action style. ABOVE Ray Owen presented with his Legend of Motorcycling award by MA president Peter Goddard. TOP RIGHT Thundering HRD outfits in action. ABOVE RIGHT Troy Bayliss cut some quick laps – even with a passenger. RIGHT Alan Tidbury fires up the ex-Kel Carruthers 500cc Manx Norton.