May 10, 2017 - Posted by: Prickle

Crazy Day Catching Up At Ray Owens Show & Swap Meet 2017


Well, these events are swinging around faster each year. The planning for me to cover this show started as always at the last minute, but I did get time a few days before to send a text out to a few mates, four to be exact Stew, Feral, Chops and Wayne and surprisingly....

they could all make it, wow the planets must be aligned or something, hey I’m not complaining, will be great to catch up.

Was an early start on the day, as I did have another event to get to after this one, but if I get here early as I usually do, and there is a reason for that folks, yep, I do have a method to my madness, first the soft morning light is welcomed to any shutterbug, and second it's way less crowded and as at this show they park the bikes really close. By parking, the bikes close together makes it more difficult to shoot even without the crowd, but I can manage to get my shots pretty much without interrupting anyone, or being interrupted by the mesmerised patronage, I call them bike show zombies, it’s like they don’t see anything other than the bikes. Next time you’re at a show, stand back and watch the crowd you’ll get a giggle I reckon I know I do.

Meet the last two mates at the BP at Waterford and we all agreed we would up and over Mt Tambourine and then down the good old what our local riding folks like to call the goat track then into Cunungra where this show is held at the show grounds there. It’s a sleepy old town during the week and a beehive of bikes on the weekends, which the local shopkeepers love ching ching!

As usual, as we turned into the road leading to the show grounds the parking directions were given with a friendly wave, a point of the finger and a big smile. The members of the Historical Motorcycle Club that host this show are a really friendly bunch and I feel that’s one of the greatest things that gets more and more people to attend this event each year. Once we all parked up. The gear that was keeping us warm on the ride in, was coming off, as one could start to feel the heat even before we started walking around.  The day started nice and cool, but with a clear blue sky, it was showing signs of being a warm autumn day, paid our 5 dollar entry fee and then we all shot off in a different direction like kids at a carnival.

With a leisurely walk around the swap meet and bike club tents, we were sure to be entertained as certain items caught your eye or cameras viewfinder, most people we met along the way was with a morning nice day what a friendly lot. As the crowd was building at a steady pace it was time for me to get down to the business of capturing the ambience of the event.

I swear each year there are more and more of the classics of vintage that appear and a few that has been seen in disrepair a few years back, now taking their place amongst the fully restored.

The marques are plenty, and in a condition that could only be said to be loved with an affection only hundreds of hours spent in garage tolling over these two-wheeled contraptions, we all love to hate at times, until we once again throw a leg over, bring her to life then all is forgiven. The crowd were meandering their way through the bikes, it was a mix of owner, restorer, enthusiast also mums and dads bringing the children along to have a look at a little bit of history that comes to town once a year. The crowd was building, there must have been two thousand people there by now and it was still early and they were still coming and going.

Now how to describe the next generation I was heading towards, well for a better word I would call them, the modern modified classics, you know the Honda fours, Kwaka 9’s and 1000’s are manifesting themselves in ways of a modification not seen very often. One that was eye catching, it is owned by a good mate of mine, but that is not the reason for turning my head, the bike goes by the name JaffR and with all the modifications done to her, I could look at her all day. There is one of her mods that when folks are admiring her, I ask randomly what stands out to them and they answer with varied things they’ve spotted, all I say in answer, is yeah, but what about the rear end? Then when you see their eyes open wide then you know the penny has dropped and if a word is uttered, it is normally “wow” didn’t even notice that, wait for it, you’re in suspense now, aren’t you, it has a mono shock rear end which is an outstanding structural modification I don’t know about you folks, but this is the only one I’ve ever seen. It is modified in such a subtle way you really have to look closely to see the mods and each time I see her I pick up on something else I hadn’t seen before. The others in this category that caught my eye was the BMW, um… now what could you class this as,  well, it’s a bit of café racer, but you could just as easily call her a street fighter, what a clean machine she is,  that rear end so minimal and made more so with the BMW shaft drive, for me in this class I would call her mods minimalist, to say the least, strip the bike to its bare bones to only have onboard what is necessary to ride her but she was also one that stood out in the sea of magnificent two-wheeled machines.

Time always goes by so quickly or so it seems to when viewing life through a camera viewfinder. I was just finishing a conversation when one of the blokes I rode up with come over and said I’ve found you, I stated what do you mean, I wasn’t hiding said with a smile, seemed the boys were more aware of the time than I, thank goodness for that, but it does show they did listen about what time we needed to leave to get to the next place we were heading to, yeah who am I kidding as when I got to the bikes they were all discussing where to go for lunch, so the timepiece wasn’t a watch but their stomachs, now who would have guessed. Funny buggers they are!!!!!

So I hope all that read this could get an idea of what this show has to offer and also appreciate what these members of the Historic Motorcycle Club do, but not just that, it is also about how this sleepy country town appreciates days such as these and as a community, it really is everything and when you mix community with motorcycles, well for me and I'm sure for you that’s “NIVANA”.

Photos that were taken on the day of this show, may be viewed by clicking the link below, please mark this event on your calendar and until next we meet whether here or on the road somewhere, “Ride Well” and watch out for those damn cars.

Write-up & Photos

By Steve Prickle Clancy

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