Bob Howle

Old Bike Australasia - - BUZZ BOX -

ROBERT JOHN ‘BOB’ HOWLE, who passed away on 8th June aged 81, was a Life Mem­ber of the Syd­ney Vet­eran and His­toric Mo­tor­cy­cle Club, and a life­long mo­tor­cy­cling devo­tee. Born into a poor fam­ily in inner west­ern Syd­ney, Bob com­pleted an ap­pren­tice­ship as a Cop­per­smith, a trade that was to lead to a life work­ing in metal. He owned a large va­ri­ety of bikes, from the usual Bri­tish fare to a 250 Adler, which he raced in the in­fancy of His­toric Rac­ing at Ama­roo and Oran Park. He also worked in nu­mer­ous ca­pac­i­ties in the sport: as a scru­ti­neer, race of­fi­cial, com­mit­tee mem­ber or any­thing else that needed do­ing, Bob never shied away from a task. Af­ter see­ing a friend fa­tally injured against a con­crete fence, Bob de­signed the first crash pads, and even­tu­ally con­vinced the ACU of NSW to em­ploy them at the Syd­ney cir­cuits – pro­vid­ing Bob hauled them to the track, in­stalled them (and re­paired them when nec­es­sary) and took them down at the con­clu­sion of rac­ing. He also de­signed and built the rev­o­lu­tion­ary fair­ing for Bob Levy’s ‘Ch­ester­field Wedge’ out­fit, bent up un­count­able ex­haust pipes, and made all man­ner of fit­tings, of­ten re­fus­ing pay­ment. When his days of rid­ing solo mo­tor­cy­cles on the road came to an end, he hitched a side­car to his Royal En­field and con­tin­ued what he loved most, of­ten with the fam­ily dog in the side­car seat. Bob was farewelled by a large gath­er­ing of fam­ily and friends on 17th June.

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