THE National Motor Museum, an hour’s ride from Adelaide in the Mount Lofty Ranges, is a treasure trove for Australian motorcyclists.
I’ve visited the place twice — once 30 years ago while riding Perth-to-Hobart-and-back with my new bride pillion on the back of my Yamaha XV1000, and more recently in the leather and air-conditioned comfort of the Jeep.
On the first visit, the collection was modest and mostly about cars, with a few tasty bikes thrown in. We were in a rush, and my Nikkormat was packed way too deep in the ocky-strapped-on backpack to capture the memory. (To be honest, my strongest recollection was being delighted by the endless corners and sensational scenery on the ride from Adelaide out to Birdwood, but frustrated at the high volume of cars making it impossible to enjoy those corners to their fullest. I seem to recall being stuck behind a cop car for most of the ride. Very frustrating.)
But I did remember the place fondly enough to put it on the itinerary when we holidayed in the Barossa Valley earlier this year. And I’m glad we did.
The museum started as a private collection put together by a couple of motoring buffs in the 1960s. These days it’s owned by the South Australian Government and boasts near on 400 vehicles including an impressive collection of bikes ranging from ancient to modern classic. You need a couple of hours or three to do the place justice.
I remembered the Nikon and the tripod this time. These were my favourites …