If you have a bike that’s older than 25 years the Indian Harley Two-Day Rally is a great event to attend. Run by the Indian Harley Club of Bunbury it's very well organised and this year’s was the 40th year the Rally had been run.
Andrew, Bob (Boyes), Chris and myself rode up from Albany on
the Friday. The weather was beautiful when we started off, but
getting hot after Walpole. We had many stops but the ride was
uneventful with no problems.
When we arrived at the Bunbury Motorcycle Club’s premises where the Rally is based we found a nice grassy spot to set up camp. Shortly after Wendy arrived. Later we were joined by Ronnie and Antoinet, Bruce and Kylie who were camping, and Huw and Elina who came over for a visit as they were staying with Elina’s parents in Bunbury.
We had a relaxing night around the BBQ before the Rally started on Saturday. There is a long and short course. Chris and I were entered in the long. Its a great opportunity to meet up with old and new friends and to check out the 150 plus bikes that were entered.
After a receiving the route sheets and a short briefing we were timed out of the Club and on the road. The idea is to complete the course losing the least amount of time from what’s been nominated. There are check-points along the way, but you don’t know where they are so it can be a bit tricky to get it right.
Heading into the Ferguson Valley my bike (1962 BMW/ Steib sidecar outfit) started making some metallic noises! The bike was still running OK, but I pulled over, and thought the engine noisier than usual. I went down the road, came back and it did it again.
Hmmm, started OK, went down the road again and as I was pulling
in there was a seizure. I pulled the clutch in and stopped.
Kicked it over again no worries, so it wasn’t still seized and
it ran OK, but I wasn’t game to go any further on it and do more
damage. I’ve got a feeling a bearing has gone in the engine, but
I’ll wait till I take it apart before I’ll know for sure.
Chris pulled up with me, her ‘51 BMW running lovely. After a
while two back-up vehicles arrived. One already had a Harley on
it. We had to transfer the Harley to the other trailer as the
BMW outfit is quite wide and would only fit on the one.
Chris, my lovely generous wife, said, “You take the ‘51 BMW and
I’ll ride in the back-up vehicle” which we did. All the other
riders were long gone, but we followed the course and caught up
with them in Collie where the remaining riders were having
Eventually we made it back to the Club house and unloaded the
trailer. Question was how do we get it home? Murray Rudler had
said we could leave it at his place and he’d bring a trailer to
take it there. But eventually with everyone being very helpful
we worked it out.
and Antoinet had brought their bikes up on the Club trailer as
they left late and we needed the BBQ Friday night. They had to
be back in Albany on Sunday by 6 pm, and there was no way Ronnie
and the Indian would be able to ride and get back in time as the
Sunday Rally doesn’t finish till 1 pm.
Mike and Gloria Hyland came to the rescue, as there was room on
his trailer for his BSA and the Indian.
Antoinet would ride her Moto Guzzi home and my sidecar outfit would end up on the trailer with Ronnie driving and Chris passenger. I would ride the ‘51 BMW home.
I was quite relieved when this scheme came to fruition as it
saved Chris and I a trip to Bunbury to pick up the broken bike.
Time to relax and have a couple of drinks.
During the evening there was a delicious two course meal which included a short talk by a couple of the original members of 40 years ago, followed by a quiz. We thought we might have a chance this year with a particularly bright fellow with us, but the questions were split about motorbikes (which is fine) and footy (not so good). We’ve received the prize for coming last a couple of times, but not tonight as they only announced first and second tables!
Next day is a shorter ride where all but the veteran bikes ride together. Of course we were out of it, but it was good to watch the others take off on the rally. After everyone had left Chris and I took down our tent and I headed off to Albany with Bob Boyes who decided to keep me company as he needed to get back to Albany early. He had found his lost spare key with some help from his friends.
Chris gave a hand in the kitchen area as the ladies were
preparing lunch for the riders' return. Sitting on 80kms it
started off hot when we left Bunbury, but by Bridgetown the
weather was getting cooler. About 10kms out of Manjimup and it
started drizzling and it was colder still.
Or it was for me as I only had a t-shirt on under my summer
jacket which is vented for warmer weather, no wet weather gear
either. After filling up at Manjimup we took the Muir Highway to
Mt Barker. After a few kms the sun came out and it started to
warm up - it was very pleasant and I was enjoying the ride.
Come Rocky Gully where we stopped the temperature was dropping
again. Approaching Mt Barker it was wet again. We stopped at the
bakery for a pie and coffee.
Phil and Garry pulled up on their bikes as they had been on the
Frankland, Kojonup ride. And at the same time a car with a bloke
in who I used to work with 40 years ago - it was good to catch
Eventually we headed home, unusually, although it happened the
weekend before too, the weather was warmer as we approached
Albany. But a nice hot shower was appreciated as soon as the
bike was in the shed. Ronnie and Chris turned up at 5.30.
Even though it was disappointing that we couldn’t finish the
rally it was still an excellent well-organised weekend with good
company, looking forward to next year.
Special thanks to all those who helped me out, Ronnie, Antoinet, Mike and of course Chris. We were pleased to hear later that evening that Elina had won “Best lady rider” and Huw “ Best on Sunday”. Well done to you both.
Don’t forget to write it in your calendar next year. As long as
your bike is 25 years or older you can enter.
And you don’t necessarily have to camp, there’s plenty of accommodation in Bunbury.