Stacked line-up of bikes, riders set for Classic Motorcycle Fest
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It could be considered a walk down memory lane, but it’s likely to be a lot quicker than a mere stroll.
The 39th annual Classic Motorcycle Festival at Pukekohe Park Raceway this weekend (February 3-4) is sure to bring tears to a few eyes, either as former racers share funny moments from their past and recall distant memories, or from racers still active and keen to prove themselves on the race track. Or perhaps eyes will merely moisten slightly as enthusiasts survey some of the classic bikes that will be on show over the two days.
Whichever category you fit into, the host, New Zealand Classic Motorcycle Racing Register, promises this event will be high-class entertainment.
The bikes — on display and racing on the track — will include various models from famous factories all over the world — BSA, Jawa, Ducati, Aermacchi, Bultaco, Velocette, CZ, Benelli, Husqvarna, Royal Enfield, Montessa, AJS, Matchless, Triumph, Honda, Morini, Yamaha, Rudge, Norton, Triton, AJS, Suzuki, Weslake, Kawasaki, Ariel, Harley Davidson, Moto Guzzi, Suzuki and others.
Register president Ken McGeady said though this event is the opening round of the 2018 race series, it is unlike most other race meetings.
“It’s more than just a race meeting,” he said. “It’s a celebration of motorcycling history and has quite a different atmosphere.”
The world famous New Zealand-built Britten motorcycle, which will be in action at Pukekohe this weekend. Photo / Andy McGechan
The register will again be celebrating its heritage with an incredible display of World Superbike Championship machines and some of their riders, while also providing a tribute to New Zealand great Geoff Perry, a world-class rider who died in 1973, at age 23, in an air crash.
Australian three-time former superbike world champion Troy Bayliss will be riding his favourite 996RS Ducati — while New Zealand heroes Aaron Slight and Andrew Stroud will also be on the race track.
Stroud will demonstrate the World Bears Championship-winning Britten bike, while former superbike and Britten rider Gary Goodfellow will demonstrate the first Britten — Aero-d-Zero.
In the main marquee will be a display of world superbikes and the tribute to Perry with static and action displays, while there will also be a display of photographer Peter Beazley’s work — classic photos from the 1960s and 70s.
The pit area will be open to the public and recreate a bygone era, where the fans can mingle with the bikes and riders, taking their photographs and getting autographs while talking to their heroes.
Racing will continue throughout the two days with classes from Vintage to Pre 1989.