Whanganui Chronicle

Get motors running for motorcycle trial

- Liz Wylie

Entries are open for the 39th Castrol Autumn Motorcycle Trial in Whanganui.

Vintage and classic bikes are always the main attraction for enthusiast­s; however, organiser Bill James said modern machines were also welcome.

“We won’t turn anyone away if they want to join the trial and owners of late-model machines can participat­e,” he said.

They will, however, need to convert their speedomete­r readings from kilometres to miles in order to meet the competitio­n requiremen­ts of imperial unit measuremen­t.

The motorcycle­s are mostly British-made brands including Triumph, AJS, Norton, BSA, Ariel and Matchless.

“There are usually around 40 participan­ts and each one is given an individual set of instructio­ns with a different route although they will all reach the same destinatio­n,” James said.

“Visiting riders come from Wellington, Kāpiti, Palmerston North and New Plymouth. They will be rewarded with a nice lunch at an undisclose­d location somewhere in the countrysid­e.”

Riders select a speed of either 25 or 40 miles per hour and depart at one-minute intervals with written instructio­ns and a destinatio­n unknown until just before they begin.

They will travel over gravel and

sealed terrain at their chosen speed until they reach their destinatio­n and will be penalised if they arrive too early or too late.

The event was founded by late Whanganui motorcycli­st John Kendrick 40 years ago.

In 2022 his daughter Rebecca Brown and her husband Karl were the main prizewinne­rs, riding Kendrick’s 1952 AJS motorcycle.

The Browns won the Cliff Lowe Memorial Trophy for being first overall as well as the Coleman Cup for highest scoring local VCC member and the Kendrick Cup for coming first in the post-war category.

James said there were riders

who had been participat­ing since the competitio­n began and many were disappoint­ed when it was cancelled for the first time due to Covid-19 in 2020.

The Castrol Autumn Motorcycle Trial will be held on Saturday, April 15. The departure point for the trial is the Wanganui Vintage Car Club rooms at 26 Patapu St, Whanganui East.

Motorcycle enthusiast­s are invited to view the bikes from 8.30am until they start leaving for the trial from 9.15am, and again after they return around 3.30pm.

For more informatio­n contact Heather or Bill James on 06 345 2447 or 027 353 2190.

 ?? PHOTO / NZME ?? Classic bikes lined up for Castrol Autumn Motorcycle Trial in 2022.
PHOTO / NZME Classic bikes lined up for Castrol Autumn Motorcycle Trial in 2022.

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