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Bulli Bike Show | Events

The Bulli Bike Show has a goal to become Australia’s premier classic bike meet

The Antique Motor Cycle Club of America – Australia states that its aim is “to host an annual National Meet to promote all makes and models of vintage and classic motorcycles 35 years and older…and to become Australia’s premier motorcycle event each year, and bring like-minded enthusiasts together.”

The second running of this event took place at Bulli Showgrounds, north of Wollongong, and has gone a long way to furthering these aims.

Dodgy weather kept crowd numbers down on Sunday, but the venue was packed on the Saturday, particularly for the highly anticipated auction which completely filled the main pavilion. The biggest sales of the auction were both Harley-Davidsons; a 1946 EL61 Knucklehead fetching over $70,000 and a 1953 FL Hydra Glide with just 28,000 miles from new attracting $65,000.

Club displays, including a spectacular turnouts by the Australian Speedway Riders Association, the Vintage Motorcycle Club, ex Police bikes, the Ducati Owners Club and several others added to the colour in the main hall. Throughout the weekend, Tech Talks were held with experts advising on topics as diverse as magnetos and generators, speedometers, gearboxes, metal repairs, pin striping, as well as an explanation of the official AMCA Judging Process by Chief Judge Don Dzurick from the States.

Jim Scaysbrook gave an account of his experiences racing with Mike Hailwood in Australia, with the famous Castrol 6 Hour Ducati 750SS on display and, despite the drizzle, the Swap Meet did brisk business all weekend.

AMCA President Tony Blain said the club was well pleased with its second effort and is already well advanced on plans for the 2019 event, which has now established a set date on the last weekend of August each year.

Maico Enduro.

David Trevor

This 1979 250cc Maico Enduro was a sad old wreck when David Trevor acquired it a five years back. Investigation revealed that it had been bought new by Chris Cater, long-time campaigner in local events as well as the ISDE. Bent forks, missing parts and no-standard items were all challenges David faced in the restoration, with some of the straightening out work performed by Cater’s enduro rival and fellow Maico owner Laurie Alderton and his son David. David panel beat the petrol tank himself as well as doing most of the other work, but admits he faces an engine strip down to replace leaking crankcase seals.

1914 Whiting V-twin

Julian Lowe

One of the most significant motorcycles on display was Alan Lowe’s Whiting, built in 1914 by Melbournian Saville Whiting, who later built his own V-4 motorcycle which still exists in South Australia. Whiting’s first creation used a Douglas engine, and he took it to USA and Britain in an attempt to find a backer to put it into production. While in England, he built this machine, powered by a 500cc V-twin JAP engine. However it is the chassis which is most noteworthy, as it contained leaf suspension at both ends; the rear using a swinging arm system, which he patented. Thereafter, Whiting’s swing arm rear suspension became almost universal fitment, and remains so to this day. Owner Alan Rowe’s son Julian displayed the bike and started it up several times, to the delight of the crowd.

Hailwood Ducati 750SS

Motorcycling Australia

The motorcycle on which 9-times World Champion Mike Hailwood made his comeback to serious (as opposed to Historic) racing at the 1977 Castrol 6 Hour Race at Amaroo Park is now owned by Motorcycling Australia. Originally owned and entered in both the 1977 and 1978 6 Hour races by Newcastle motorcycle wrecking firm Moreparts, the Ducati 750SS was ridden to 6th place outright in the first event by Hailwood and co-rider Jim Scaysbrook. The same pairing also finished ninth outright in the 1978 Adelaide Three Hour and Scaysbrook took first in the 1978 750cc Production race at the Australian Grand Prix at Bathurst. It suffered extensive damage when a gearbox seizure sent it into the wall in the 1978 6 Hour, after which it lay unloved for 20 years until owner Malcolm Bailey had it restored. When it was offered for sale in 2004 it was purchased by MA as the first machine in their collection which now numbers around 25 bikes.

Brough Superior 680

Dave Reidie

Noted collector and vintage era expert Dave Reidie brought three bikes to the AMCA event, two of which were sold at Saturday’s auction. The third was his Brough Superior 680, smaller brother to the more famous Brough Superior SS100. Both these models used v-two overhead valve JAP engines, while the 1100cc 11-50, a favourite with police forces throughout the world (including in Victoria), used a side-valve version. First appearing in 1927, a total of 527 examples of the 680 were built, making it the company’s second

Words & photography Peter Turner