Keeping the bikes period correct
His efforts are not focused on just the one bike or even on one make, although there is a definite bias towards Nortons. He always restores his bikes using (or creating) parts that are period correct. Sure, improvements could be made to bring a bike up to later specs and use changes that the manufacturer made to subsequent models, but that is not Artie’s way. He wants his bikes to be as close as possible to when first manufactured. The oldest complete original bike is a 1937 War Model 16H side-valve Norton. An earlier 1931 Norton 22 motor sits in an ex–Len Perry speedway sidecar outfit frame. The 22 motor is a 500cc overhead valve with twin exhausts — ahead of its time back then.
Even older is a Norton motor on its own — 1930 DT that is distinctive because of its through-bolted design. The cylinder head bolts go right down to the crankcase and hold the barrel in place as well as the head. It is reportedly one of only two that came to New Zealand.
More trips to Puke
The shed line-up includes an apparently out-of-place 1979 1000cc Moto Guzzi Le Mans–frame bike. It features innovations like a foot brake that works on both wheels and the shaft drive makes it a very smooth tourer. Artie would not have looked for one of these particularly and only ended up with this one as payment for restoration work done on a customer’s motorcycle. It’s possible this one could be sold to fund more trips to Pukekohe in the future, he says.
Four-wheeled vehicles have also featured in Artie’s past. He has the dashboard panel with the speedo off one of the two Hudson Terraplane cars that he once owned. He absolutely loved them and this memento helps to keep those memories fresh.
It will be useful one day
With so much water in every direction here it is no surprise that boating is something nearly everyone is into, so it’s also no surprise to see Artie’s row of outboard motors. He tells us that only two are in working order and the rest are kept for parts. People don’t like to throw things away over here.
In another location are some items that carry on the two-wheeled theme. One of these is a Puch moped. These were very popular in New Zealand and Artie has a story about this model. He came to New Zealand as a 14-year-old with his family from the Netherlands as government-assisted immigrants. Part of the deal was a restriction on how much cargo they could bring with them and it was not easy to cut back on belongings to fit the maximum weight. However Artie’s dad just loved his Puch moped and insisted that it came with the family. This one is not that actual one, but it is identical.
A couple of motorized bicycles here are a fascinating — a BSA winged-wheel bike, and what was a normal bicycle that has been fitted with a 50cc BSA motor. Absolute gems.
For more information on Great Barrier Island go to aucklandcouncil.govt.nz, doc.govt.nz, and greatbarrier.co.nz.
It’s like a different world and that’s why the locals love it
It’s a sparsely populated place