MotorFest displays motorcycle gems – Motorbike Writer

The annual RACQ MotorFest has included motorcycles for several years now and although the display is usually small, there are always plenty of gems on display.

The event this year on July 9, 2017, will be no different with some historic racing gems coming and these interesting customs from Brisbane collector Paul Baltzer.

Paul says he has owned “hundreds of bikes” over the years and will display his 1973 Triumph Bobber custom and his much-awarded 1972 Harley-Davidson Shovelhead custom at MotorFest.

1973 Triumph Bobber custom

The rare electric-start Bobber was built with a Factory Metalworks dropped and stretched frame with oil in the rear down tube.

“The reason I bought this a couple of years ago is it was electric start,” says Paul, 61, who displays scars on his shins from kick-starting his Honda XR400 dirt bike which he rides on a special 1.5km track he built on his acreage property.

“I’m over kick-starting bikes at my age,” he says.

“I restored a Harley Panhead some years ago and had so much trouble kicking it over.  With a fresh high compression engine and belt drive, it was a challenge to kick.”

Paul has added several modifications to the Triumph which he has done in his backyard shed brim full with bike parts and future projects.

“Old bikes have the ability to develop faults and problems when they are just sitting around in the shed. It’s a great stress relief to tinker away whilst having a bourbon,” he says.

“Old Triumphs are a real cottage industry type of bike. New Triumphs are nothing like the old ones.

“I don’t ride it much but I like to keep it clean and take it to shows where it gets a lot of attention.”

1970s Harley-Davidson Shovelhead customPaul Baltzer with his 1973 Triumph Bobber custom and 1970s Harley Shovelhead that he will show at the 2017 RACQ MotorFest

Shovelheads took over from Panheads in 1966 and ended in 1984. Paul says his is “somewhere in the 1970s”.

“It’s a hard bike to handle because of the Springer front end and cross-play tyres; it’s been dropped three times in the five years I’ve had it,” he says.

“I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with it. It’s ugly but there is something about it.

“I’ve had it apart so many times and oil leaks are part and parcel of it. With its bolt-together components and vibration they are an invitation to leak.”

Because of its crashes, the tanks has been repaired, repainted and “speed ball” stickers added.

There are heaps of other Harley accessories, aftermarket parts and customised brass bits and bobs added to make it look somewhat like a 1930s Knucklehead.

“Harleys are great to customise because there are so many parts available,” Paul says. Paul Baltzer with his 1973 Triumph Bobber custom and 1970s Harley Shovelhead that he will show at the 2017 RACQ MotorFest

MotorFest details

MotorFest will be held at the Eagle Farm Racecourse on Sunday, July 9.

This year it celebrates the Holden marque with highlight exhibits being Peter Brock’s Holden Dealer Team Torana A9X and Kev Bartlett’s Channel 9 Chevrolet Z28 Camaro. “Big Rev” Kev will be on hand to sign autographs.

Entry is $2 and children under three are free.

All entry fees support RACQ LifeFlight Rescue, RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue, RACQ CQ Rescue and Heart of Australia.

Gates open at 10am with roving street entertainment, stalls, displays, and food and beverage stalls until 3pm.

Free off-street parking is available with shuttle buses for locations further away.

Click here for more info.