The Roaring Twenties return
The Roaring Twenties Run for pre 1931 Veteran and Vintage machines is the premier event in Western Australia for machines of this period.
The event has been organised by Ken Vincent for the Pre-31 Section of the Vintage Motorcycle Club of Western Australia for the past seven years, and attracts machines from the 1900s through to the end of 1930. Some of these machines are rarely seen, never mind being ridden in the manner they were intended along country roads. For the 2018 event, the machines ranged from a 1911 Rover 500 to a 1930 AJS 1000. Entries came from the Vintage Motorcycle Club of Western Australia (Metropolitan and Albany Sections), The Bunbury-based Indian Harley Club, the Early American Club and the Vintage & Classic Motorcycle Club from Albany. The event is held in early April each year and 2017 was a fairly testing time for the old bikes and riders as it was rather warm. In 2018 the weather was as perfect as one could expect, being mild and with only a spot of rain. The event starts on the Saturday at the Machinery Museum at Boyanup, just out of Bunbury, and follows a level road across to Capel before switching back to approach Kirup and then following a beautiful winding road to the overnight stop at the timber town of Nannup. On the Sunday the run attacks some steep hills along the ever-popular and scenic motorcycling road to Balingup where a morning tea break is held (to recover from the bumps and weaves). Next, the run cuts through the Grimwade forest back to Balingup where a BBQ and awards ceremony is held at vintage motorcycle stalwart, Murray Rudler’s house. For anyone who has never ridden a Veteran or Vintage machine it is hard to explain the intricacies of keeping the machine running smoothly on winding, hilly and bumpy roads, especially with a hand lever throttle, front brake lever and hand gear change all on the one side. Then there is the need to adjust the advance/retard mechanism at times to cope with hills. Some of the older machines of course need a regular dose of oil from a tank-mounted oil pump as well. Then there is the challenge of bumps one would normally not notice which can turn an old machine with girder forks and no rear suspension into a handful as the front end shimmies and the frame flexes alarmingly. Beyond that the fun is bopping along on an old side-valve single or twin or listening to the fine note of a twin port overhead cam 500cc single machine in front of you. The Indians and Harleys make it look effortless as they quietly puff puff away into the distance. For
those of us on smaller side-valve singles however the challenge is to focus on where we are going rather than listen to the various alarming noises coming from the engine. The run always has casualties, as the age of most of these machines is so great. Dave Weeks made all of 4km on his 500 BSA Sloper. John Wightman’s lovely 1929 DKW 2 stroke wouldn’t even start this year and Dave Sugg dismounted to discover his head frame had broken on his old Rover. Otherwise the event suffered surprisingly few major breakdowns, the cooler weather maybe being of assistance. The overnight LEFT Peter Lawson with the 1926 Sunbeam Sprint replica which used to belong to the late Bill Cowlin. BELOW Lat Fuller with his Douglas W350. stop of choice is at the Nannup Hotel for many of the riders and tales of adventure and daring are regaled there late into the night. The camaraderie of riding and maintaining these great old machines a great opportunity and meet and greet old friends. 2018 also included a stop at Michael Rock’s Vintage Steel workshop in Donnybrook, where mudguards are produced for a range of veteran, vintage and Classic machines. So if you want to see some fine and rare machines in motion, and the riders in various forms of period costume, then get down to Boyanup and Nannup in April, 2019. It can only get bigger as more machines come out of the woodwork.
MAIN Rally organiser Ken Vincent gets a hand with his recalcitrant Velo. RIGHT The flat tank Norton open air showroom in Nannup. BELOW RIGHT Jeff Bromilow from Albany with his mother’s 1923 BSA 350 in front and his Father Neil’s 1927 round tank BSA beside him.
Pre-31 machines lined up outside the Nannup Hotel on Day 2.
This month’s nostalgia trip from Gary Reid’s archives shows a young Warren Willing at Amaroo Park in May 1971. The future Australian Unlimited Champion and Grand Prix crew chief is mounted on his much-modified Suzuki T20, which began life as his road transport and which was developed into a handy racer, due to Warren’s incredible skill as a rider and as a tuner. The Suzuki eventually gave way to the latest Yamaha tackle but not before some giant-killing performances.