Ted God­dard

Old Bike Australasia - - UNDER THE CHEQUERED FLAG -

One of the true leg­ends of Aus­tralian mo­tor­cy­cling, TED GOD­DARD, died sud­denly on De­cem­ber 30 while vis­it­ing fam­ily in Mel­bourne. Ted was born in 1936 in Grif­fith, NSW and worked on farms in the district, where he de­vel­oped some very in­no­va­tive equip­ment such as the Or­ange Trac­tor Spray with mov­ing spray heads which is still in wide use to­day. He would reg­u­larly com­mute be­tween prop­er­ties across the Hay Plains, then just a clay and gravel road, on his 350cc Jawa. He gained a rep­u­ta­tion as a man who could fix any­thing – a skill that would take him to lo­ca­tions around the world in the food pro­cess­ing in­dus­try. Dur­ing this time he also co-owned the Honda deal­er­ship in Grif­fith, and be­gan a keen in­ter­est in the rel­a­tively new sport of En­duros. At the age of 40, he took part in his first In­ter­na­tional Six Day En­duro in Aus­tria, win­ning a sil­ver medal. He com­peted in four ISDE events win­ning two sil­ver and one bronze medal, but more im­por­tantly took on the man­age­ment of the Aus­tralian teams, set­ting stan­dards that have seen those teams rise to the very top of the “Olympics of Mo­tor­cy­cling”. In 1983 he started man­u­fac­tur­ing hand guards for en­duro bikes, call­ing the prod­uct Bark­busters. That busi­ness was de­vel­oped into a world leader and Ted even­tu­ally sold it to Matt Philpott. Af­ter re­tir­ing from off-road rid­ing, Ted drove his own Toy­ota Land Cruiser to sixth out­right in the 1986 Wynns Sa­fari – his first car event. Con­tin­u­ing his knack in the work­shop, he in­vented the Ten­sor Sen­sor which al­lowed farm­ers to tighten fence wire cor­rectly, and a spin­ner which elim­i­nated wire tan­gling. Ted con­tin­ued to ride road bikes up to the age of 68 when he suf­fered a nasty fall, but con­tin­ued to live a busy life in his home work­shop at his prop­erty at Wil­ton, NSW. In 1959, Ted mar­ried Ann, a nurse from Coolac, and they had three boys; An­drew, Michael and Peter. Sadly, Ann passed away in May 2018 from a brain bleed, a dev­as­tat­ing blow to the fam­ily but par­tic­u­larly to Ted. In 2014, he re­ceived a Leg­end of Mo­tor­cy­cling award from Mo­tor­cy­cling Aus­tralia in recog­ni­tion of his con­tri­bu­tion to the sport. His sons all fol­lowed their fa­ther into mo­tor­cy­cle sport. Michael was twice win­ner of the Wynn’s Sa­fari, An­drew also an ac­com­plished en­duro rider, and Peter, for­mer Grand Prix rider and 1997 En­durance World Cham­pion is now pres­i­dent of Mo­tor­cy­cling Aus­tralia.

The Bark Buster, Ted God­dard’s in­ven­tion that is still in pro­duc­tion.

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