Best of Bracebridge Street
2014 Norton National Rally
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.