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.

Old Bike Australasia - - OUT’N’ABOUT - Re­port Mur­ray Barnard Pho­tos Michael Rock and John Wight­man

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.

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