Laverda lovers hit the high coun­try

Na­tional Laverda Rally

Old Bike Australasia - - RALLY REPORTS - Re­port and Pho­tos Serge Canale and Tim Pick­er­ing

Septem­ber 27-28, 2014 – Bellin­gen, NSW

Fol­low­ing on from the suc­cess of two ear­lier Na­tional Laverda Ral­lies held five years apart, in 2004 and 2009, it was agreed to hold the lat­est this year, and Club Laverda Queens­land again agreed to or­gan­ise the event. Pre­vi­ous ral­lies were held around Easter and both were im­pacted by wet weather, so it was also agreed to change the tim­ing to late Septem­ber. Rid­ers came from most states, with forty-seven Laver­das fi­nally as­sem­bling at the rally site, which must be the largest gath­er­ing of Laver­das any­where in Aus­tralia for many years. We Vic­to­ri­ans were fac­ing a round trip of 3500kms as we headed North – de­tour­ing on the way, to take it many of the great roads – the Monaro High­way, Bell’s Line of Road, the Putty Road, Thun­der­bolt’s Way and Wa­ter­fall Way in­cluded.

The fif­teen Vic­to­ri­ans rid­ing, with eleven on Laver­das, left in dif­fer­ent groups at dif­fer­ent times and con­verged as we ap­proached Bellin­gen. We met with the ACT con­tin­gent at New­cas­tle and then col­lected the NSW crew at Uralla be­fore the short ride through Dor­rigo to Bellin­gen. By the time we reached New­cas­tle, the group in­cluded thir­teen Laver­das, so the ride as a group was a rare ex­pe­ri­ence and a high­light, and the change of date worked a treat, as the en­tire rally was amaz­ingly rain free. “Tazzie Tim” fer­ried and rode up from Ho­bart with the un­re­stored Laverda 3C he has owned from new. On Satur­day Terry from Ade­laide ar­rived on his RGS “Yel­low Peril” to sam­ple the bar­be­cue, check out the two bands play­ing in the farm ma­chin­ery shed, and then on Sun­day he set off to ride 1,800km all the way home again.

All the rally vis­i­tors gath­ered at the Fed­eral Ho­tel in Bellin­gen around Noon on the Satur­day and the large line-up of th­ese rare bikes caused a great deal of in­ter­est, with many lo­cals pho­tograph­ing the lineup and ask­ing for de­tails of the var­i­ous ma­chines. Most mod­els were rep­re­sented – nu­mer­ous 120 de­gree and 180 de­gree Jo­tas, 1200 TS Mirage, RGS triples, 750 SF twins, SFC 1000’s, Cor­sas, 750 SFC twins, a lone 650 At­las and so on. Only about 500 ex­am­ples were ever made, and Yogi brought his one to Bellin­gen sim­ply so those who’d never seen one be­fore can now say that they have. Another high­light was the un­veil­ing of a new Laverda triple techno-racer built by Redax Laverda for their friend Paul to ride in Aus­tralian BEARS rac­ing.

Ac­cess to the rally site re­quires rid­ing across a ford on the Kalang River, which proved to be a huge chal­lenge in 2009, as the area had just en­dured a one-in-a-hun­dred-year flood, which made the river a fast­flow­ing tor­rent. Pic­tures of Jo­tas be­ing rid­den across through crank-case deep wa­ter and plough­ing their way through the soft river bed made a very un­usual sight! The steep gravel in­cline from the road to the river’s edge is also a chal­lenge, as big­ca­pac­ity Laver­das are not known as great off-road bikes! The river level this time was very low and the cross­ing was al­to­gether a less ex­cit­ing business than in 2009.

A cou­ple of lo­cal bands pro­vided en­ter­tain­ment on the Satur­day night while the vis­i­tors camped in a beau­ti­ful set­ting in the forested area be­side the river. The bril­liant weather and large rollup made the rally an ex­tra­or­di­nary suc­cess and there is al­ready talk of the next one, which may not be five years away!

Tasty SFC replica.

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