Best of Brace­bridge Street

2014 Nor­ton Na­tional Rally

Old Bike Australasia - - RALLY REPORTS NORTON NATIONAL RALLY - Re­port and pho­tos An­drew West­more

1–8 Novem­ber, 2014 – Hamil­ton, VIC

Forty three Nor­tons took part in this event which ran from Satur­day to Satur­day, Rally direc­tor Roger Klobe us­ing the well-proven for­mula of the suc­cess­ful Ve­lo­cette ral­lies which use this 8-day for­mat. The Rally was based at Hamil­ton in the west­ern dis­trict of Vic­to­ria, with daily rides to all points of the compass. The drop off mar­shalling sys­tem worked flaw­lessly, with the lead rider us­ing up many of the co­horts be­hind him, such was the in­tri­cate na­ture of the routes cho­sen. The ride to Hamil­ton from Mel­bourne re­sulted in very poor fuel econ­omy due to the gale force west­er­lies while the mer­cury seemed to be stuck on twelve de­grees. Two lone crow eaters com­ing from the west en­joyed a tail wind to the rally. Dur­ing the week we rode to Cape Bridge­wa­ter on the coast, vis­ited wind farms, the Grampians, Har­row, lo­cal wa­ter­falls, a car and bike mu­seum, ex­tinct vol­ca­noes and an old homestead. There was only one re­tire­ment due to a lack of sparks, and one mi­nor mishap at a T in­ter­sec­tion where the rider for­got he was on a bike with drum brakes. The cor­ner mar­shal helped to push the bike back to the black stuff. Steve Tonkin, Isle of Man win­ner and builder of the Tonkin Tor­nado (a road go­ing Manx) came out from the U.K and rode Roger Klobe’s Tor­nado and swapped onto other Nor­tons. He had a great time and was very ap­proach­able and ready to give his ad­vice. He re­tained his sense of hu­mour even when his name was miss spelt on his award. All his new Aussie friends de­lighted in re­fer­ring to him as “Stev” Tonkin. Most mod­els were rep­re­sented with Com­man­does out num­ber­ing all oth­ers. Bruce Camp­bell on his much­mod­i­fied 16H sur­prised many as he swept past at speed. Many mar­velled at the turn of speed the old side valve ex­hib­ited, oth­ers were en­vi­ous of his back which seemed to shrug off the rough bi­tu­men on some of the back lanes. We all had such a good time that the fi­nal din­ner and pre­sen­ta­tions ar­rived sooner than most of us would have wanted. Farewells were ex­changed and we de­parted for home in thirty eight de­gree heat. We re­turned to our loved ones and most im­por­tantly to the heal­ing hands of Chi­ro­prac­tors, Os­teopaths, mas­sage prac­ti­tion­ers, and physio’s. Some of the west­ern dis­trict back lanes proved a tad rough for some of us.

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