Our Motorcycles

"Olga" at the Point of Ayr, Isle of Man 2011

"Olga" the old girl is great fun to get out and about on.  Mick bought her from a mate as a basket case  in 2008 and then spent quite some time in the shed putting her together and sorting out all her problems. We love taking her on Classic Bike Rallies. She plods along at about 80 kilometres an hour, which is nice and relaxing. In 2011 we shipped her over to the UK and rode her around England, Scotland and the Isle of Man for two months.  It was a wonderful way to travel.
Camping at the Sidecar Rally on the Bridle Track 2012

For those technically minded, Olga is a bit of a bitsa.  The rolling chassis is a 1955 BMW R50.  She has a 1969 R75 motor with 900cc barrels.  The sidecar is a Ural.  We are unsure of the vintage of the  sidecar.

"Snubby" the silver sidecar has been in our lives since 2002.  She was initially bought as a solo with the plan to ride her around Australia.  That hasn't happened as yet, but we sure have taken her a lot of places.

Initially we used her as a solo and towed a little trailer with our camping gear.  We did many trips like this. In 2007 we shipped her to the UK and travelled around England, Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man, France, Italy, Germany and Holland for two months.  We had a ball.
"Snubby" at the very north of Scotland

In 2008 Mick added a Ural sidecar to her. Her name is "Snubby" because the sidecar has a snubby nose.  We have continued to do many trips, as she is our main touring bike.
Janice with "Snubby" 2013

In 2010 we rode her to Western Australia for the Ulysses AGM and Mick bought our new little camper trailer while over there. We now camp in style.  No more sleeping on the ground and we can be in bed in a few minutes if it is raining.  Much easier than the tent.
Camping at the Bridle Track Sidecar Rally 2011

For those technically minded, "Snubby" is a 2002 BMW GS1150 Adventure.  She is from the first batch of that model imported into Australia.  The sidecar is a Ural.  We are unsure of the vintage.  Our Camper is a Kamparoo.
Mick has upgraded the front end with a leading link suspension, which is pretty trick.

UPDATE:  Snubby was sold in October 2023.  We just weren’t using her and she takes a lot of space.  She had 115,000kms on the clock and that was all from recreational use.  It was a hard decision, but the right one.  She has now gone to live in Victoria and is still called “Snubby”.  The little camper trailer has also been sold and coincidentally, has also gone to live in Victoria.

"Sophia" with her little trailer at Burrendong Dam

"Sophia" came into our lives when Marilyn became ill.  Mick had seen one of the model in a bike magazine so hunted her down. She is so named because she is a stylish Italian lady wearing a red dress. 

We have done quite a lot of touring on her towing her little trailer that Mick made, full of camping gear.  She is lovely and comfy to ride on.  I'm usually asleep on the back as we travel along.  We rode her to Western Australia in 1997.  While she was being serviced in Perth the man in the workshop commented "We wondered where the other red one went".  He went on to explain that there were only 36 of this model imported into Australia and there are only two that are red.  The others are all black.  

We don't get to use Sophia terribly often nowadays, as we usually take one of the sidecars.  She is now mainly used for day rides.

For those that are technically minded Sophia is a 1993 Moto Guzzi Mille GT 1000.  They were built as a bike with a retro feel, having spoked wheels and no fairing.  

Mick with "Marilyn" in 1980

"Marilyn" has been in Mick's life longer than I have.  (Named because she has great legs.)  He bought her when he was 20. Mick has never been one for flash cars, but Marilyn was a flash bike back then.  He loved riding her and used her to do a lot of touring.  

Unfortunately, someone ran up the back of her while she was parked and she was written off. Mick was able to buy back the wreck and rebuild her.  The only replacement fibreglass available at the time was orange, so she changed her clothes.
Janice with "Marilyn" in 1986

When I came on the scene Mick promptly bought me a bike helmet and jacket and I started travelling on the back as a pillion.  We did a little touring and joined in on a couple of classic rallies.  However, Marilyn was becoming a little sick by then, needing some internal work.  Parts were nigh on impossible to find at the time so she was wheeled to the back of the shed.  Mick contemplated selling her, but I wouldn't let him and he is now so pleased that he kept her.
"Marilyn" in 2012 before restoration

In 2012 Mick decided it was time that Marilyn was brought back to life.  She was wheeled out of the shed and she looked a little tired.  There is nothing major needing doing.  The motor needs an overhaul, but other than that she just needs a good tidy up.  After all, she is pushing 40.
Mick with "Marilyn" in 2012 at the start of the restoration

Here is Marilyn in the nude after Mick pulled her apart and that is where she is up to now.  We have to wait until our new home is built and Mick has  a new workshop.  He is looking forward to getting her looking lovely again and back on the road.

For those technically minded, Marilyn is a 1976 CR Rickman Honda.  The motor is a 1972 K2 series  750 Honda Four.  The frame is made from nickel plated Renolds tubing and she has Borrani rims.  She is a little unusual as she has the big tank and dual seat, as that is all that was available when Mick rebuilt her after the crash. Rickman motorcycles were a special made by the Rickman brothers in the UK.  
Mick with “Marilyn” in 2022.

UPDATE as at May 2022: During COVID, after ten years in bits, Mick started work on the restoration of Marilyn.  She is now back together and he has started her up.  The final finishing touches are still required and he is unsure what he will do with her, as he is pretty sure that he would no longer be able to ride her, as she is a fully blown race bike with the associated riding position.

Mick showing off "Doug" at the Trunkey Show

"Doug" is our oldest bike.  He has been a part of the family since the late 80s.  Mick saw an ad in the car section of the local paper for a "1926 VW Douglas".  He commented that it was a motorcycle, not a car and got straight onto the phone.  The fellow selling him wondered why he had no interest, so we became the lucky owners.  

We don't know a great deal of his history.  We bought him from a fellow in Oberon who bought him at the Bendigo Swap a couple of years earlier.  Apparently his tank had caught fire many years ago, which had damaged the paintwork, but the tank had been repaired before we bought him.  

He goes, sort of.....  We only use him to put on display, where he always creates a lot of interest, being in unrestored, ratty condition.  Whereas most bikes can't be touched, Mick is happy for kids to sit on her. Unfortunately, I can't find a better picture of her at the moment.

For those technically minded Doug is a 1926 Douglas EW350.  It is one of the earliest chain driven bikes.  They were made in Bristol in the UK.  They were a popular speedway bike, having a low centre of gravity.

UPDATE:  We sold Doug in February 2016.  He was just sitting in the back of the shed for the majority of the time and we couldn't see that changing in the future.  We were sad to see him go, but he has gone to a collector with a private museum.  Hopefully, one day we will get a chance to go and visit him in his new home.


kiwikid said...

What a fantastic collection Janice and real history of you guys together.

ButterZ said...

That's a great story. We have just done a big trip around Aus. I only went along part way but hubby and brother went right around. Keep enjoying the rides.

MoveMyCar said...

Nice Post - An Engaging one. Bikes Always appeal me. Whether it is bike riding, bike reviews, bike shifting, etc. Keep Posting such awesome content.

Raewyn said...

My husband has just read this page (first time he's ever read a blog) and is very impressed with all your bikes and the stories behind them!!