Club History

The club held its first official meeting at the Ritz Café in Lonsdale Street Melbourne on the 5th of February 1924 and was known as The Harley Davidson Motorcycle Club. It was commonplace to name clubs after certain motorcycle makes in those days. Melbourne had at that time clubs with names such as A.J.S, Norton, Indian, Rudge just to name a few.

When it came to deciding the name for the club three members wanted The Harley Davidson and Triumph Motorcycle Club. They were however out-voted but it was duly noted that Triumph riders were still welcome.

The opening event for the newly formed club was a run down the bay to Barwon Heads. The run also served as a welcome to Walter Davidson who had come over from the USA to study the local market for the Harley Davidson company. It was a hugely popular affair made up mainly of sidecar outfits.

Image: Just a handful of the participants in the inaugural run to Barwon Heads.

Popular motorcycling pastimes in the 20’s were reliability trials and the club held many. These trials were held on public roads (more like tracks in those days) throughout the state. They were tests of man and machine, some were 24 hour non-stop affairs held in the winter months which made them even more grueling. Probably the two biggest trials of the day were the ‘Sun’ 24 hour and the Harley Clubs’ ‘Mudlark’ trial.

At Christmas of 1925 the club organized a tour to Adelaide in which thirty one sidecars and two solo’s took part. So impressed were they with the South Australian Harley Clubs’ club house at Sellicks Beach that they decided that they had to have one of their own.

One way the club raised the funds was to run football sweeps amongst the hundreds of motorcyclists that congregated along Elizabeth Street on Friday nights. It wasn’t long before work commenced at the site in Balnarring and the first section was completed for the opening in December 1926.