Friday, April 27, 2018

International Festival of Speed 2018

I thought I'd better get off my fat lazy ass and post this up, it only happened a month ago. I've had a lot on lately so here it is in all it's glory even though I've forgotten half of it.

The 2018 International Festival of Speed was on again last month and our good mate Stu managed to supply me with a free ticket to get in to the track to watch the action. I was busy on the saturday so we decided to head out there on sunday. The lads from the Tassie trip all showed in support of Rick and Stu.

The Festival of speed or as it was formally know 'the Barry Sheen Festival of Speed' is held at Sydney Motorsport Park every year. It is put on by the Post Classic Racing Association. A list of international guests as well as local riders take to the track on over 400+ historic bikes. There are autograph sessions and plenty of bike porn on offer for everyone.

This years riders included

  • Troy Corser - World Superbike Champion 2x
  • Troy Bayliss - World Superbike Champion 3x & MotoGP
  • Pierfranceso Chili - World Superbike & 500cc GP
  • Jeremy McWilliams - 250cc GP
  • Steve Parish - 500cc GP
  • Kevin Magee - 500cc GP
  • Chris Vermeulen - World Supersport Champion & MotoGP
  • Sir Alan Cathcrt - Journalist

Both Rick and Stu, good friends of mine were racing in this years event, but unfortunately by the time we got to the track on Sunday Ricks bike had already expired and we didn't get to see him racing. However Stu had both his race bikes and was entered into 2 different classes.

It seems like every year the crowds are getting bigger and bigger. And why not? Its a fantastic day out with historic bikes and famous riders all in attendance. There are trade stands in the back of the pits and best of all you can actually get up close to all those bikes.

Troy Bayliss had his 2001 winning World Superbike and his current 2018 Australian Superbike in attendance. It was fantastic to see these 2 bikes side by side. One classic and one soon to be a classic.

Greg Prettys Yamaha #17

Not only are there classic bikes racing but punters turn up on some classics of their own like this Suzuki Katana. It was immaculate.

This next bike makes me feel very young. Why? Well, what the hell is Norvin? Sounds like a cross between a Norton and a Vincent. I'm sure a certain Geoff James from across the ditch will be able to tell a young fella like myself all about this machine and its ancient history as it's probably from his era. Hahahaha


Dr Kwoks ship of broken dreams.....

Art or Junk?

Autograph signing sessions
For us slightly older guys that still remember going to 500c GP and such there's nothing like the smell of Castrol R from the two strokes. Yeah it's probably an older guys thing. You young people just wouldn't understand.

Bruce and I did a little pit crewing for Stu whilst there. However we had a little failure moment where he had 2 races back to back which we didn't realise where we got him out of the pits too slowly and he had to start the second race from pitlane due to his slack pit crew. It actually helped him as turn 2 turned into a massive accident mid-late pack taking out a few riders, so luckily he missed that carnage and stayed upright. Sometimes things happen for a reason.

Another successful day out at the races. If you get the chance get yourself out to the Festival of speed and support local racing. It's a great day out with plenty of things to see and do.

Here is a quick video of the event from Old Bike Australasia. Check them out.


  1. Nice. That a plastic fantastic in the 2nd to last pic?

  2. You young whippersnapper! I am 46 and know what a Norvin is..... (FYI - Any combination of Norton frame and Vincent engine) Maybe I need to hang out with younger folks at Saturday morning coffee.

    Looks like you had a great day out!

    1. I'll be 45 soon and had no idea. I'm not big into historic bikes as I'm far too young, hahahha.
      Sure is a great day of racing and classic bikes. It get better every year.

  3. Ya cheeky bugger! (but entirely accurate). Yep, in the days when most British bikes handled like they had a hinge in the frame, Nortons with their famous "Featherbed" frame handled sublimely. That gave rise to other engines being shoehorned into Featherbed frames, the most notorious being Triumph twins, making a Triton. The Vincent engine was less common but there are still quite a few about. That motorcycle museum in Bicheno, Tassie; has one with an Ariel Square Four engine in, although he did have to lengthen the frame a bit. History lesson over, Grasshopper ;-) .

    Aside from that, what a fantastic day and great photos! The track is just about the only place you see hot 2 strokes nowadays. Used to see lots of RGV 250's on the road, even if you did have to change the piston rings every 10,000 km or less! That wire wheel Katana is my favourite and would command a goodly price. Nice going mate!

    1. Wow you learn something every day and yes I am a cheeky bugger. Thanks Geoff. Lets hope theres not going to be a test though.
      I don't see many two strokes on the road anymore either. There were heaps in the nineties.

  4. Handy that the fella from NZ knows his old Brit bikes. Wideline or Slimline Featherbed Geoff? Looks like a terrific event Steve with lots of really interesting bikes. Geez, they really buggered the paintwork on that Jota though. A Jota with the original orange colour really is a thing of beauty. Here's a link to a pic of one

    1. Hi Jules
      Yes the paint work isn't anywhere near as good as the one you saw. I think the Island Classic is the equivalent of the Festival of Speed event which you have been to. Its a good day out you'd love it.