Old Bike Australasia
From small beginnings…
For many of our generation and some younger ones, our first riding experience was on either a Deckson, Deltek or Grand Prix Minibike. All of these were initially powered by pull-start 2 or 4-stroke lawn mower engines, mostly Kirby/Tecumseh or Victa from 125 to 162cc.
Each of the brands had three main styles; rigid frame, rigid frame with front suspension, or front and rear suspension. Swingarms and torque converters came a little later. When they finally had reached their peak, the Japanese had entered the market and captured the hearts and minds, offering telescopic forks and gearboxes.
Many of us started our riding journeys on minibikes including Classic racers such as Bob Garner, Michael Johnston, Mitch Mulligan, Mick Lendrum and myself. Brian Howard, one of the guys on our Facebook site, Aussie Vintage minibikes, was a paid junior rider at the Sydney Showgrounds where approximately 60/70 minibikes could be ridden around a typical road network. He started at the bottom and ended up head rider with his own bike. Bob Garner describes riding there as one of the best days of his youth.
A few years ago Dean Pomeroy started the Facebook page hoping to get 250 members. It now has over 2,000 members and we all work together to preserve, restore, ride and promote the good old initially Aussie-made Deckson bikes. After a while the Deckson was made in Taiwan where the Deltek and Grand Prix were made, and assembled in Australia.