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11th November 2011

Classics At The Downunder MotoGP
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A mix of modern motorcycles and classic bikes is rarely seen at UK races. Derek Pickard found the new and the old rubbing shoulders down under...

Every year the Australian GP at Phillip Island attracts huge crowds and every year more motorcyclists join in the many activities. The famed Bikes-Only ride down to the Island is now a must-attend part of many motorcyclists' calendar.

The incredible Saturday morning ride sees no less than a few thousand motorcycles line-up in the main street of Cranbourne in Melbourne's outer south east, to be flagged off as one huge group. Police ensure the entire highway down to the Island is sealed so the motorcycles have an uninterrupted run.

The bikes travel in convoy and the local rural populations line the highway. The on-lookers cheer the riders and the riders wave back. An incredible sight and a fantastic experience. Truly one of the world's great bike rides.

Mmmm, breakfast. Was there bacon?... A neatly restored Road Rocket marks the breakfast site for the BSA Owners' Club

And every year the classics join in. Part of that precession is the BSA Owners' Association breakfast as members join the local rural residents to cheer the machinery and their riders as the long procession goes by.

Looks like Damian ate all my bacon... Norton Owners Club's Howard Morton and Damian Conway

This year the Norton Owners' Club organised a Classics at the Island display in Cowes where a line-up of mainly Nortons were in a special enclosure on the beach road. The area was a gold coin entry with all proceeds to charity. The 'Classic on Cowes' raised Aus$5000 which was donated to the Royal Flying Doctors Service.

They don't make 'em like that any more... All classics are welcome by the NOC. This curious 'Ratsaki' drew many smiles

And as the annual ride was so big this year with many going to Cowes as well as the track, the NOC event proved well attended.


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