A selection of bikes I have owned in no particular order:
1955 Velocette MSS
Soft spot for this bike as it was built in my bedroom (I know yours was too but this was on the first floor) Took two years to source all the parts in Queensland and was very reliable, boring but reliable.
Sold it when I returned from Queensland. Had a lot more hair then too.
Winner of the first Desert race in Victoria in the seventies. I admit I shouldn't have made it into a café racer.
Factory 600cc works motor mostly hand made. Still had the chisel marks where they cut off alternate fins.
This bike was awesome. Nearly all magnesium and light as a feather. I put the Ducati front end on it along with the Lyta tank and Ducati seat and altered the ignition for lights.
It was a real weapon on tight corners and around the Black Spur. Favourite country road. Sold it to a fireman who came to buy a gearbox!
One of four specifically built frames for a Laverda triple motor. Total overkill on the swingarm using the same system as Bimota and using the best of everything. Great bike. Sold to racing.
Bought as the donor bike for the CATT. Evil handling bike. Never ridden a normal Triple before this and hope not to again. Top heavy, doesn't stop and falls into corners. Not very confidence inspiring.
it because of the name.
This famous KTT engined racer was used by Karel Morlang to win many state and interstate championships from 1975 to 1992 when it was retired from active racing.
Engine number 911 was never assigned a frame or gearbox number and was bought by Bertie Goodman (Director of the Velocette Company) in August of 1947 and raced in the Ulster Grand Prix finishing in third place.
How it came to be in Williamstown in 1974 when Karel bought it is a mystery that has never been explained but talking to George Campbell, the brother of Keith who raced Velocettes in the Nineteen Fifties said they imported complete KTT machines and parts of KTTs and this may explain how it came to Australia.
Karel rebuilt it over a period of 12 months with the intention of racing it again in historic competition. His circumstances changed and I bought it during 2003.
The engine is in a 1954 Manx rolling chassis complete with rare twin leading shoe front brake.
Swapped the first Goldie for this. It was a chopper and in bits so it was a major job to rebuild it. Nearly finished it. Did the normal things like putting the engine in the oven etc, etc. Got sick of buying things that never amounted to a bike so sold it Larna who put sixteen inch wheels on it and rode it for years after.
the second worst motorcycle I have owned. I couldn't believe the English
could produce such an inherently bad design. Everything that could go
wrong did. That's when I went back to Italian.
Truimph Tiger 100
Well I had to put this in, as it was the first attempt to go racing. It was bought with the intention of making a sidecar racer out of it.
How uninformed I was? Imagine racing a Tiger 100 with a chair. It would have put me off forever if it ever eventuated. Luckily I was involved in some other project at the time and sold it off. Thank goodness.
8 valve Rickman Triumph Bonneville 1974
I really started to pour money down the black hole with this bike. Bought the basic kit then went berserk and bought the top end, Corrilo rods, 5 speed Quaife, special crank, special everything.
Handled well but vibrated like all hell and it was still only a Triumph!
St Vincent Place
Pity the poor people who live in St Vincent Place Albert Park. For some years some members of the Victorian Section of the Vincent Club made a pilgrimage to St Vincent Place to celebrate the day.
showing some times. Maybe we should start it up again with number 87!
1972 Laverda SFC
Without question, this is the best road bike I have ever owned. One of two that were imported by Stanco into the country, featured in Two Wheels and raced with great success before being totally rebuilt with all new parts.
I asked my friend what he was going to do with it and after a moment said he had to sell it, as he didn't want it to lose the sparkle.
I couldn't get the ute quick enough to pick it up!
Able to cruise at highly illegal speeds all day and every day (which we did on many occasions). This bike epitomised what I thought a bike should be. Nothing ever went wrong with it. Unfortunately, during a momentary lapse in judgement, I sold it to finance another project.
also the reason for a long and happy relationship with 180 triple Laverdas.
Probably the fastest bike I have owned. Using a base Kawasaki 900 motor and then beefed up to 1200 with cams, smoothbore carburettors this was a projectile. Handled extremely well and very stable.
I just had to make everything out of alloy!
This is when I decided to make my own bike and based it on this type of frame.
One of the last eight of the second series of 250 built and imported into Australia. This 120-degree crank triple was the last attempt to save the original Laverda company.
This model used the latest, most expensive components available. I wanted the best example I could find. The former owner had it for almost 15 years.
me two years to find and nearly three years to get rid of it. The worst
motorcycle I have ever owned.
One of fifty complete motorcycles built by ????.
Karel Morlang rebuilt this example to race and used Kawasaki liners and Triumph Daytona pistons to increase the capacity to 850cc.
Karel made a factory replica clutch to substantially reduce weight and incorporated a 5 speed close ratio racing Quaife gearbox.
Carburettors are Dellorto 36 mm and uses an electronic ignition system.
All engine components were lightened and balanced for maximum efficiency. It is a historically important example as it uses all Rickman parts including the Metal Profile forks and spool hubs all of which Karel was able to source from New Old Stock.
registered the bike and it proved to be a very, very fast road rocket.
1961 DBD BSA Gold Star Clubmans
My philosophy was always to own the best possible bikes and this was the start of the line. I had the choice of 3 or 4 different bikes and this was in pieces so I opted for it as it was cheaper and I restored it. Except for the headlight brackets!
Excellent bike. I just got bored with it and swapped it for a 1955 Series D Vincent Black Shadow.
1978 Mk1 second series LeMans MotoGuzzi
Only bike I bought brand new. A revelation after owning so many English machines. This bike went through so many transformations that I can't remember them all.
First thing I did was to change the carburation, exhausts, cams... Well, really, I changed the whole bike. I even changed the gearbox and put wire wheels on it (at a huge expense).
All for optimum performance and I wasn't disappointed. This bike came close to the Laverda SFC in satisfaction but didn't quite do it for me. Although I kept it the longest of any of the bikes, I evebtually sold it to buy an Egli.
1965 Velocette Thruxton
Had to have the arch enemy to the Goldie just to see what it was like. Remember this was when these bikes were worth nothing like they are today, but it was still difficult to find a good example.
This particular model was three engine numbers from the original Earls Court model. Funny how I like these quirky bikes.
We had a bit of a race to the Winton races once and the Goldie seemed to inch away in top speed. Both seemed to get above 115 mph readily.
I preferred the Gold Star as it seemed to be more robust and could be used (not abused) without having to pamper it so much. Sold it to buy another Goldie.
1959 DBD BSA Gold Star Clubmans
Same style as the last one except for the 190mm brake. Came with lots of spare motors and gearboxes. Wish I still had them. Sold it to famous racer Jimmy Guilfoyle.
of the coffee stop to the races at Winton one year at Yea. We used to
go the back way through the mountains, scare ourselves silly then come
home by the highway thinking we were pretty tough. You don't see this
type of machinery ridden as they were now although it was about 20 years