It seems so long ago since our first Early American Motorcycle Club ride, but now we head into our second decade with great memories of some magic rides and events. Before we revisit some of our past activities by photo and word, we should go back to the scene that existed in the late nineties and some of the events that led to the formation of EAMC.
Through the 90s, small groups around the metro area involving individuals who had or had restored old Indians and Harleys, went on rides to “give the old girl a run”. Other than for those who were members of the VMCC, these activities took place pretty much on an ad hoc basis, often with no real structure to bind rides or riders together.
The commercial activities of Stuart Fyfe and Murray Morell provided some common ground as did the restoration efforts of folk like Bill Walton and Wayne Elezovich. Others like Rod Payze, Jeremy Bromley, Dave Bunning and Graham Datsun and many more were active getting their old machinery into good working order.
Whilst there were notable exceptions, many of the bikes restored were not used on long runs at reasonable cruising speeds, but rather closeted in conservative fashion. Not too many machines did the hard miles they had as young bikes.
Much of that changed as the Club was formed, with challenging rides, some to as far as Albany being accomplished on a regular basis. Riders gained more confidence in the ability of these old machines, or went back to the workshop to make sure they avoided the pickup trailer next time!
The enthusiasm prior to the formation of the Club was there but no-one had drawn it all together to maximize the enjoyment we could get in restoring and riding these magnificent old machines, some over 70 years old.
Whilst there are probably many factors which occurred to see the Club established, the one that stays clear in my mind is the day a few riders from around the Swan Valley were invited by Barry and May Makin to attend a VMCC function at their place, and a ride after to Bindoon. We enjoyed their hospitality, and the ride, but on arrival at the Bindoon Hotel were berated loudly by the VMCC President at the time for not all being members, despite Barry’s kind invitation to share their day.
Many of us came away from that quite determined to do something and do something we did. Word got around and on 24 September 1999, 21 restorers and riders met at Stuart Fyfe’s home in Dunholme Place, Osborne Park. There were 7 apologies.
This gathering determined the need for the formation of a new social club to be called the Early American Motorcycle Club Inc.
The inaugural committee elected was Murray Morell, President, Wayne Elezovich, Vice President, Linda Elezovich (Forsyth), Secretary, Jeremy Bromley, Treasurer, and Stan Butler (dec), George Wood, Ed Buegge (dec), and Bill Walton as committee members.
An invitation was issued for members to design a new logo. The cutoff eligibility for motorcycles was agreed at that stage to be 1950 (later changed to 1953, and more recently to 1966).
The Club objective was initially proposed as “promote the restoration to original condition and use of early American vintage bikes.” Although the words have changed the spirit of this remains to this day
An inaugural run was organized by Geo Wood for Sunday 7 November, going through the Chittering Valley to Bindoon, with a lunch stop at the Farmhouse Restaurant on Chittering Valley Road.
The 18 bikes all behaved impeccably and all hugely enjoyed the run. A photo captured the group at Bindoon – we were underway!
Subsequent runs were all well attended and gradually destinations became farther away from our departure points.
Notable weekends were enjoyed at Toodyay, Mogumber (whole trees on the camp fire and almost total destruction of our camp one stormy day), and to the Porongorup region and Albany.
A real highlight was in July 2001 when we celebrated the 100th anniversary of Indian Motocycles. 42 Indians and significant memorabilia were on display and hundreds of spectators turned up for the event. Who could forget Dave starting up his Powerplus and riding along the train tracks with the crowd enthralled!! Just magic.
The Indian Harley Bunbury Two Day Rally has always been a highlight event for our Club, and although a major win has eluded us we have picked up a few trophies along the way.
We have displayed at Whiteman Park Class Show, York, Northam Motorcycle weekend, Moora Show, Maylands and at Albany. Members have entered the IHC Bunbury Two day event, the Albany Hill Climb and we have had many rides through the Perth Hills area as well as farther afield to destinations in the South West of Western Australia.
The Club has been blessed with active Committees and Events Co-ordinators, and the standard of organization has been excellent. Challenges in the future facing the President and the Committee will include growing the Club by attracting people to what we do and in conducting rides which suit and attract members.
Long may we ride and restore! Keep Pass’n Wind!
Bikes on the inaugural run in Nov 1999
Bikes at the Bunbury 2 Day 2020