Mys­tery deep­ens over dug-up mo­tor­bike

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Janie Smith

A vin­tage mo­tor­cy­cle found buried on a Three Kings prop­erty re­mains a mys­tery.

Karen Amor found the bike three weeks ago while dig­ging her veg­gie patch.

The Auck­land City Har­bour News has been in­un­dated with calls since Ms Amor’s story and a pic­ture of the bike was pub­lished.

But de­spite the in­ter­est, no con­sen­sus has been reached on the make and model of the bike.

While most call­ers be­lieved it to be a Bri­tish BSA, oth­ers were con­vinced it had dif­fer­ent ori­gins.

Ms Amor says she will prob­a­bly put the bike on auc­tion web­site TradeMe.

“What I would like is for a proper col­lec­tor to see it, know ex­actly what it is and put it all back to­gether.

“It would be nice to see it re­stored to its for­mer glory.”

Motat’s road trans­port vol­un­teers are ar­rang­ing a field trip to Ms Amor’s house to see the bike first hand in an ef­fort to iden­tify it.

“I would like to hear what they say about it,” she says.

Hills­bor­ough man Doug Bunting be­lieves the bike is a sin­gle cylin­der, 250cc BSA, sim­i­lar to the 1929 model he owned as a school boy.

“It was quite a pow­er­ful ma­chine. I rode it all around the north­ern part of the coun­try.”

Block­house Bay mo­tor­cy­cle en­thu­si­ast Hugh Batty, 92, also be­lieves the bike is a BSA.

He says shortly af­ter World War Two be­gan, the gov­ern­ment be­gan req­ui­si­tion­ing mo­tor­bikes made af­ter 1930 to be used by army dis­patch rid­ers.

“At that time, if you could save up enough to get one, mo­tor­bikes were like BMWs to young peo­ple.

“The army did pay for them, but some boys said ‘they’re not go­ing to get my bike, I’ll bury it in the gar­den first’. It’s pos­si­ble the owner of the bike is one of the boys who just didn’t come back,” says Mr Batty.

Mr Batty started rid­ing BSA bikes in 1932 and is a life mem­ber of the Auck­land Mo­tor­cy­cle Club, al­though he doesn’t ride any more.

But he recog­nised the bike as soon as he saw the pic­ture of its rusted body.

“There’s no doubt about it, it’s def­i­nitely a BSA. In­dian Chiefs were the size of Har­ley David­sons.”

But a Kings­land res­i­dent who has worked on mo­tor­cy­cles all his life says the bike is not a BSA, it’s a Mac Valisette.

He says the Bri­tish bikes were used by traf­fic po­lice af­ter World War One.

And Hills­bor­ough wo­man Pat Grey says the bike looks like a Nor­ton that her late part­ner used to ride.

But re­gard­less of who made the bike, there’s an­other part to the mys­tery that Ms Amor would like to solve.

“I want to know where it came from and what hap­pened to the rider,” she says.

Photo FIONA GOODALL

Mys­tery bike: Doug Bunting be­lieves the bike found buried in Three Kings is a BSA like the one he used to own.

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