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Hello. I'm Gary. I have been passionate about motorbikes for as long as I can remember.

Starting in the 1960’s as ‘just a teenager’ with nothing else to do, I got to test ride, buy, thanks to Dad and then had my own first motorbike ever.

The most exhilarating sensation, feeling and freedom I had ever had – and this feeling lives to this day!

Earlier, when I was ‘just a toddler’ in the 1950’s, I got fascinated ‘bout motorbikes. Guess it might have started when my Pop during one of our weekend visits was heading off to work one morning.

With his helmet & glasses on revving his bike just awoken from his garage, picked me up and put me on the tank and we rode down his driveway together.

Pop lifted me off then ‘roared ‘ down the road! It was an absolutely magnificent feeling that I remember vividly till this day!

A small wind, just down a driveway, but it was in my face!


Author on his motorcycle
Photo of Bernie's motorcycle



Told Dad how happy I was and years later he said ‘That was a Honda, I rode a Triumph back in England when I was a lad!”

That’s when I started to try and understand and respect and research brands and loyalty for motorbikes, which became very, very important, even to this day!

Many of my secondary schoolmates in the ‘60’s were already into unregistered ‘paddock’ bikes or cars for off-road fun on the weekends. I wanted in!

I was a few years too young for junior footy and other sports so riding a motorbike on the weekends in local paddocks, swamps, tracks sounded really cool!

When my best mate at High School said ‘do ya wanna buy my bike’ I was already there same day having a test ride up and down some fairways on the local golf course near his home. Got the same feeling as with Pop – freedom and fresh air in my face!

I thought I was a natural and learnt very quickly right-hand twist throttle, left-hand lever clutch, right-foot gear changes – 4 all-up, left-foot rear brakes but then right-hand frontbrake lever non-existent as were the brakes! However, only wanted $50. Went home, Dad said OK and gave me the money. Dad was cool!

My First Motorbike

So I had a 1950’s German Adler, 250cc Twin 2-Stroke, solid-framed, unregistered off-road bike that had no alternator and relied on a battery that had to be recharged at the local service station after every day in the paddock! Also, 2-stroke fuel was special and had to be pre-mixed at the servo.

I was to learn not-that-much-later that right foot gear change was German Adler unique, most gears were left-foot 1-down then 4 up, front brakes were very, very important with a right-hand lever, rear brakes were right-foot and an alternator meant you didn’t have to recharge your battery every bloody weekend!

4-stroke fuel meant quick refueling at the servo no need to manually blend!

Me and my 2-stoke Adler was very unique, maybe not the fastest, nor the coolest, but ran all day!

In the ‘paddock’ I was up against a host of UK branded bikes including Triumph (Bonneville my fastest experience as a pillion), Norton (Commando my first choice for a road bike), BSA Twins, BSA Bantams, Matchless, AJS and a Harley-Davidson built from a WWII box amongst many others!

I learnt that riding a registered motorbike on the roads to work and back or for recreation was very, very dangerous for a young inexperienced ‘paddock’ biker like me. So it was not until almost 30 years later in the late 90’s that I got my motorbike license and bought my first road bike.

Why I Bought a Harley-Davidson

To be honest, back then it wasn’t that hard a decision for me to buy a Harley-Davidson as it had been over 30 years since I had bought my first motorbike in the mid ‘60’s and this would be my second bike purchase in the late ’90’s!

In between, I had plenty of time to watch bike movies, read biker & bikie magazines, view bikes on-the-road & off-road, see bikes on the race-track & at the speedway. Loved it and loved motorbikes.

​But I also saw the danger of peak-hour commuting on a bike in a big city and the temptation with a ‘rocket’ machine. I decided not to buy a road bike from the day I got my drivers license in the 70’s.

More practical and safer to me back then, during those next 3 decades, I got into cars! Panel-vans to go to the beach for surfing weekends. 4WD’s to go bush-bashing for camping, shooting & fishing! Freedom with my family, mates and girlfriends to go on holidays.

However, bikes were still on my radar and continued to stir my emotions!

As above my first motorbike was well & truly second-hand being an unregistered off-road 1954 German Adler 250cc 2-Stroke Twin that only cost my Dad $50. Not big, not fast but so much fun with that wind in your face & freedom!

I used to ride in local paddocks, swamps, abandonedrace-circuits and dirt-tracks every free weekend for years with my mates who also had off-road unregistered bikes! Back then, my dreamroad-bike was a British Norton Commando 750cc Twin.

In the ‘swamp”, there were up to 20 off-road motorbikes at times, mostly British brands such as 4-stroke single & twin Matchless, AJS, BSA, Norton, Triumph & Cotton and my German Adler plus one sole Harley-Davidson a V-Twin with foot-clutch, hand-gears, car size wheels/tyres built from an Army Surplus WWII crate one of my mates bought. Originally khaki green but repainted white.

1942 WLC Civilianized

I guess from my research that it was a 1942 WLC Civilianized Flathead 45ci (740cc). It was slow, awkward, but with the sound of that deep 45 degree V-Twin ‘potato-potato’ exhaust as you could literally count the pistons firing with its huge torque as it cruised away, made a huge impression on me back then!

This was a Harley-Davidson, everything else was a motorbike! An impression and expression that lives today.

I was used to screaming 2-stokes like my little Adler and the scramble bikes, and thebeaut 4-stroke British sound, but that HOG V-Twin sound is very unique with worldwide recognition that still turns heads everyday. Sit down in the saddle, lay back, twist that throttle in any gear and cruise at legal speed on theopen-road with an open-face helmet and stretched legs!

I had seen it at the movies, particularly “Easy Rider” with Peter Fonda throwing away his wrist-watch and riding away to Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild” on his pan-head chopper!

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I decided to buy a Harley-Davidson in my 40’s. Many folk refer to it as a ‘mid-life’ crisis but I refer to it as a sensible motorbike purchase at an age and maturity to both “Live to Ride” and “Ride to Live”.

I placed an order for a brand new 1998 model FXDWG DynaWideGlide, the ‘factory chopper’ but with some additional rear suspension instead of a ‘soft-tail’ for my planned long journeys.

Harley-Davidson Motorcycle DWG

It cost almost $30,000. Twice as much as most Japanese sports bikes then and twice as slow but cheaper than a Ducati, which has almost the exact same sound – which is my sports bike fav today! Almost 20 years later, I still have my DWG to this day and with its stock 80ci (1340cc) Evo V-Twin engine.



Owning a Harley-Davidson allows you to join the Harley Owners Group (HOG), which was fantastic for meeting new friends, go on regular rides and attend brilliant rallies.

Nothing like your first ‘thunder ride’ with literally hundreds of fellow riders riding together through city or country towns with the locals and kiddies out in awe!

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