With hard work and enthusiasm, a small classic show in Auckland has expanded into the country’s biggest motorcycling event
In the global motorcycle market, we often say that Australia is a drop in the ocean. Spare a thought then for New Zealand, where yearly sales numbers are smaller still.
Being such a modest market brings its challenges, especially when it comes to motorcycle shows. It’s hard for the big brands to justify splashing out on promotion when it might only lead to a handful of sales. And this makes the achievement of the Ride Forever Motorcycle Show all the more remarkable.
In just six years, what began as a cosy display of classic bikes in a small hall at the Exhibition Centre, adjacent to Auckland Airport, has blossomed – boomed even – into a full-blown expo encompassing everything from vintage machines to the very latest model releases.
Initially the show was a fund-raising event for the Papakura Rotary Club, with the exhibits drawn from private collections, classic bike clubs like the New Zealand Classic Racing Register, and various individuals. The first show in 2102 raised $30,000.
Despite its casual beginnings, the emphasis has always been on quality and a skilful approach to the organisation. The winners and placegetters in the various award categories always have their bikes professionally photographed and the competition for trophies is intense.
Show organiser Colin Macdonald has seen the event rise in prominence year on year: “We started out purely as a classic motorcycle show, largely because of the interest of one of the Rotary Club members, Graham Viall, who had his own classic bikes and is still involved with the show. Graham and the Rotary Club ran the show for the first two years out of the Manukau Exhibition Centre.
Read the full story in the current issue and Yearbook (Vol 67 No 12) of AMCN on sale now!
WORDS PETER TURNER
PHOTOGRAPHY INDEPENDENT OBSERVATIONS