Vintage Motorcycle Club of WA’s 2018 swap meet

ONE OF the joys of motorcycling is the diversity of two-wheeled machinery across the years — and of the human beings who share the passion.

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And there sure was a diversity of people and machines at Cannington on Sunday, when the Vintage Motorcycle Club of Western Australia staged its annual swap meet at the Cannington Showgrounds.┬áSure, there was a common thread of ‘vintage’ — but the assortment of interpretation was huge.

In the pavilion, bikes ranged from ancient British to exotic European and classic Japanese.

Outside, there were people selling tired-but-repairable Ducati MHR fairings, rusty BSA frames, plastic Kawasaki KX fenders, operational Rickman-framed Montesa dirt bikes, and art-with-a-welder motorcycle-shaped sculptures.

And that was just the machinery. The people were even more diverse. Old-as-granite British guys with white hair and prim accents rubbed shoulders with middle-aged Aussie blokes with short hair, long beards, colourful vocabularies, bulk tattoos and flannelette shirts.

The vintage display featured a surprising number of ‘new’ machines — bikes that weren’t there last year, many having presumably enjoyed rebuilds that have ended in the past 12 months or so.

It was a visual feast, so we’ll cut straight to the pics.


CAPTION: Into the pavilion, and a star of the show. British marque Douglas was one of the world’s first big-time bike companies, dating back to 1907. The firm is said to have built 70,000 bikes for World War 1. This 1917 three-speed 2.5 horsepower W model sat in a shed in Lake Grace for a very, very, very long time before being pushed out into the sunlight. The restoration took three years, and she was fired up for the first time in eons in 2017.


CAPTION: A closer shot of the Douglas engine. Great stuff.
CAPTION: Now here’s a fascinating piece of miniature bike history. It’s a 1978(ish) Yamaha YZR30SW, made by a company called Southward Enterprises as a promotional product. The bikes were given to Yamaha race teams but were also available for purchase. This one was owned by long-time Perth Yamaha dealer George Forward (Forward Yamaha and, later, Yamaha West). George gave the bike to John Voogt about 18 months ago, not long before he passed away. John is pictured with his wife Sue. “I gave it a good clean, cleaned out the carbs, put some fresh 20:1 premix in it, and it fired right up,” John told us. “I didn’t even put new plugs in it.” John says it runs well, if a bit smoky.


CAPTION: More British iron. A big 1937 BSA outfit.


CAPTION: Another BSA outfit. This time the missus gets to stay dry …

CAPTION: The Laverda Jota was one of Europe’s successful counter-attack bikes to the arrival of Japanese super bikes in the late 60s and early 70s. Released in 1976, the 1000cc triple cylinder Jota was good for 145mph and wore the crown of ‘fastest production bike in the world’ until it was knocked off by Honda’s VF1000R.
CAPTION: They used to race motorbikes at Wanneroo, you know …
CAPTION: Not every restorer reaches for fresh paint and Autosol. Some bikes wore their age proudly.
CAPTION: Mach III Kawasaki adopted front-wheel-off-the-ground stance, as it should.



CAPTION: Classy Brit enjoys a moment of fame.
CAPTION: Martin Leeman bought this nice ’79 Bonneville about four years ago and enjoys it immensely. “It had a few electrical issues when I got it, but Joel at Custom Bike Electrics put it right,” he said. “I also tried to get a bigger tank, but it was a major exercise. I found one in the USA and thought it was on its way across the Pacific to me, but it turned out I needed an engineers’ certificate to verify it didn’t still have petrol fumes inside, before it could get shipped. I gave up.”
CAPTION: Exotic Europeans don’t get much more exotic than vintage MV Agusta. This 1972 350 Sport of Steve Hill’s was just gorgeous.

CAPTION: Outside, the paddock was strewn with bikes and bits for sale.


CAPTION: OK, so it’s not actually a motorcycle. But what a great piece of garden art. The same sculptor made the doll-eating gargoyle in the foreground. Love it.
CAPTION: We found the man behind the gargoyle. He told us his name was “Vaughan The Bastard”, and no, he didn’t want his photo taken. (But he agreed to hold up another of his creations for the Nikon.) We also asked if he’d like us to try to drum up some customers for his work. “Nup,” he said. “I’ve had enough. Not doing any more.” Pity. Pretty cool, hey?


CAPTION: The eye candy started as soon as you walked in the gate. This is basically the visitors’ carpark, and it was packed with marvellous machinery. This Triumph X75 Hurricane got heaps of eye traffic. (The Hurricane was originally a BSA project, but inherited Triumph stickers on the tank instead because, by the time the bike was released ink 1973, BSA was kaput.)


CAPTION: Too-cool-for-school Harley. Nice exhaust.


CAPTION: Harley had custom style pegged.


CAPTION: Cafe’d SR Yamaha was nicely done. Love that front tyre.


CAPTION: Personally, if I owned a nice old Norton, I wouldn’t leave the keys in it in the carpark. But maybe that’s just me …

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Peter Terlick