A Worthy Cause.
Last Sunday I stumbled on a festival at Sandgate, about 30km (19 miles) north of Brisbane. It was the usual affair, with lots of colour, music, good food, heaps of people and… a bike display.
The Festival is held each year on the last Sunday in July at Einbunpin Lagoon in the centre of Sandgate. It’s been going since 1992 and is a celebration of the Sandgate village atmosphere, talents and cultures that make up the community.
The local branch of the Ulysses Club had set up a stand and were selling cold drinks, hot-dogs and a snags*, some of the members had their bikes on display too.
While I was admiring the machinery, I got to talking to one of the blokes manning (person-ning?) the stand, he told me a little about the bikes and the club, mentioning the stand at the festival was their major fund-raiser for the year.
Straight away I thought the money was going to the club.
I thought wrong.
The profits from the day were to be donated to The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (RFDS) and Care Flight, something they did each year.
RFDS has been around since 1928 and is a not-for-profit organisation that provides 24-hour emergency medical assistance and primary health care to those who live, work and travel throughout outback and remote Australia. To cover such a vast area (7,150,000 sq km or about 2, 760, 630 sq miles) they have 63 aircraft that operate out of 21 bases around the country.
CareFlight is similar to RFDS, in that it operates as an air ambulance service: they also have the ability to do search and rescue operations. Although not covering an area as vast as RFDS does, CareFlight still looks after a significant part of Queensland with an area extending south into New South Wales, north to the town of 1770, west into the Surat Basin and up to 100 nautical miles out in to the Coral Sea; about 250, 000 sq km (about 96 500 sq miles) all up.
Even though the feral and state guv’mint offer some financial support to the RFDS, they rely heavily on donations to stay afloat. CareFlight on the other hand relies on corporate sponsorship and donations from the public.
When you think about it, both of these services are worth supporting, especially when you consider that almost every week there’s a motorcyclist airlifted to hospital or extracted from a ravine somewhere in Queensland because they outran their guardian angel.
The logic of the Ulysses club is sound, a kind of pay it forward I guess you’d call it.
So what about the bikes?
There were 4 bikes and a trike on display at the stand: A Harley Road King, a Kawasaki Vulcan and a Yamaha Warrior.
It’s the last two that caught my eye though, a Boom Trike and a Deus Ex Machina bobber, both for different reasons. These two machines were easily the most popular with the passing crowd, who gladly paid a gold coin donation ($1 or $2 AU) to sit on and have a photo taken with them on it.
Again all proceeds when to RFDS and CareFlight.
I’d never seen a Boom Trike up close before and although I’m not partial to trikes, I was impressed with this masterpiece of German engineering.
I checked the website and these things produce some serious mambo, anything from 79 HP (58 kW) to 198 HP (146 kW) with top speeds of between 145 and 200 km/h (90 to 125 mp/h) depending on the engine choice. There are 5 engines to choose from. This one had a 1.6 litre 4 cylinder Ford Zetec engine slotted between the rear wheels.
I totally understand the reasons why someone would want a trike like this, but it’s not my thing right now and was too close a resemblance to a car.
Kudos to those that have one though.
My hands down favorite bike on display was the Deus Bobber though. This thing just oozed old school, and yes, I could picture it parked in my garage or being ridden to church on Sundays… very quickly.
It’s a deceptive bike. A lot of punters standing around admiring the Deus thought it was an old Trumpy or something at first glance. I was fooled as well.
As it turns out, the bike is a superbly crafted work of art, which manages to fool just about everyone that sees it. Almost every part on the bike is customised in some way; from the rigid frame and springer seat, through to the increased rake of the triple clamp.
All of this customisation wraps around an engine that comes from a recent model W650 Kawasaki twin. The engine itself is basically stock with the only visibly modifications being the air cleaner and straight through pipes. It didn’t even have an aggressive idle… loud, sure, but not aggressive.
For $25K Australian though, I think I’ll have to give it a miss, otherwise I might end up sleeping outside with Trouble… and she snores, so that wouldn’t be a very pleasant experience.
…. Whats that?
Whats a snag?
No it’s not a Sensitive New Age Guy.
It’s an Aussie staple mate. A burnt sausage on a slice of white bread with fried onion and some tomato sauce. Dee-lish-ous!