Tramps MC Wangaratta Bike Show

YOU’ll come across some of the most typically Aussie people you’ll ever meet at this show. There’s Harley enthusiasts, farmers, shopkeepers, white collar workers, blue collar workers, no collar workers—everyone’s welcome and everyone in town who’s interested actually turns up on the day.

Once you make it to the Tramps clubrooms (right next to the silo in case you have problems finding it) you’ll find space kindly made available on an adjoining property, and overall there’s close to 30 acres available so plenty of showgoers take tents and swags with them.

As for the attractions… well, the Freestylers turned it on just about all through the daylight hours, three bands played, and the tattoo comp was one of the most cheerful I’ve seen. Seriously good trophies, too!

A couple of Suzuki riders repeatedly did spectacular monos and tyre shredding burnouts, and one even had the rubber sticking to the underside of his bike catch fire just to keep the adrenalin going. Quick action from the Tramps President Ronnie with a bucket of water ensured no lasting damage.

Bikes ranged from pre-war Indians to late model Harleys, with a few customs I would have loved to cover as feature bikes if I’d only managed to find the owners. Next time!

Steeley assured me that his Sideways Motorcycles 125 cc mini chopper took out the People’s Choice award, and with its 300 mm billet rear wheel, custom rigid frame, forward controls, suicide shift and custom slash cut exhausts, I’m prepared to believe him even though the competition must have been pretty tight.

As in previous years, Ron rode his beautiful red Pan down from Canberra, in what’s got to be the combined longest distance/ oldest bike ridden there.

It’s a friendly and easygoing show, with sponsors as varied as the international Jack Daniels and the very local Phil’s Garage. People in big hats you’d never see in the city ask with a grin how you’re doing and they mean it. Clubs mingle freely without bothering to establish their own exclusive areas, and the organisers make sure there’s a few padded chairs around the place for those who need a bit more comfort.

And there’s the hardworking barman’s line that could only have come from an Aussie country town, “I’m busier here than a blowie in a bucket of shit.”

The Tramps have been running this show for years and their experience shows. It’s relaxed and exuberant; laid back if you want and energetic if you’d rather. It’s a show that people keep going back to, and take overseas visitors to. At this rate you can see it going on for a lot more years yet, and continuing to raise cash for the Wangaratta Special School.

words & pics by Chris Randells

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