Throttle Roll 2015
2015 was the third annual “Throttle Roll” and my second, the event is held at the Vic hotel and there is nothing different about if only where the Vic is located. The Vic Hotel is located on the corner of two of the main roads in the inner city Sydney at Enmore (Enmore Rd and Addison Rd) and would be the last place anyone would expect to see a motorcycle show.
Throttle Roll isn’t exactly your run of the mill bike show, the three day event is what the organisers would like to call a celebration and an opportunity to show case and pay homage to the Australian motorcycle culture.
Last year I didn’t know what to expect but this year I had high expectations.
Parking is at a premium and motorcycles fill the surrounding streets so my side kick Kaos and I did what any self respecting Harley rider would do, park on the footpath directly outside the pub, a stunt we pulled last year but we would find out later wasn’t a good idea.
First thing on the list after a long ride, a schooner, then we made a b-line through the nearest doors to Addison road and the main entrance to the beer garden and party central.
The walls of the factories that back onto The Vic’s small car park are covered or somewhat tattooed with graffiti and there is a stage at the end of the car park.
The entrance to the pub is via the beer garden decking and it was once in the dining area you can’t help but notice the custom sprayed fuel tanks mounted on the walls and the event flyers hanging around the room and you know, this place is the real deal, if only different to what many of us are used to. The food at The Vic is great and the dining area is packed to the rafters.
The event is organised by the Sydney Café racers so as one would think the crowd is somewhat hip and trendy but there is also that nostalgic 70’s feel and the array of motorcycles to use the phrase once again pays homage to not only the custom motorcycle but the creator and the backyard customisers flock to this event in numbers. There is every bike imaginable pretty much and if there isn’t one displayed in the beer garden there is bound to be one parked in the surrounding streets.
Walking through the doors Kaos taps me on the shoulder to point out an old HD Shovel Rat Bobber sitting at the lights and it was at that moment we noticed a concerned pedestrian crossing the road waving to get the riders attention and to let him know of the smoke coming from the wrap on his exhaust. The wrap was black and soiled from oil.
The expression on the pedestrians face was priceless when the rider casually lent back and with his chin in the air and a smile ear to ear gave the pedestrian a thumbs up “all’s good” gesture and as I watched from the pub door and followed the Easy Rider turn left into Addison Rd I saw the real Throttle Roll!
Both sides of Addison Road for hundreds of meters full of bikes and a constant flow of punters making their way to party central and main entrance to the event in the pubs car park. Rather than making a bee line to the party and with too much happening just there in the street we (Kaos and I) decided to check out the rides on the outside first and we weren’t disappointed. There was a huge
variety of bikes which could be better described as creations, you didn’t know where to look first and it was a fair dinkum celebration of the motorcycle that made an old biker proud of where the industry is heading and the know how, imagination and ability of these ‘’backyard’’ builders. There were owners still with grease under their nails after all-nighters they pulled just to get their bikes there. Even a dude who resembled a reject 70’s surfy on the gutters edge outside a welding shop with his carb completely off his old Trumpy in his hand undeterred and determined to get his bobber running whilst the crowd of punters make their way around and watched in fascination. The whole scene was very serene and the way the crowd interacted, locals and patrons alike made it feel very comfortable, like it could be an everyday occurrence. Entering the car park was Von Daz’s Hustler, a 70’s retro Honda Four he had spent an all-nighter to get to Throttle Roll and it was only a warm up to what was to greet punters as they made their way to festivities. To the left and right there were scaffolds three high with custom bikes the length and breadth of the yard, a mobile bar and bands like The Drey Rollan Band, Pat Capocci, Pappa Pilko & the Bin Rats, The Tequila Twins and The Big Blind Ray Trio knocking out tunes on the stage with scaffolds of bikes as back drops. There were DJ’s Limpin’ Jimmy & the Swinging Kitten, Rockabilly Rhino & Wolfman Dan spinning tunes just around the corner next to the merchandise stand. The food and grog were flowing and the bars were thriving, as was the food. On the rear deck there was the Captain Morgan Bar and last year it was charcoal chicken cooked on a large open charcoal BBQ, this year lamb on a spit and just through the doors the bistro was hectic. Whilst there seemed to be ample seating as the day went on the crowds only got bigger and there were lengthy lines and there didn’t seem to be any animosity or agro from patrons and staff alike, the whole event had a happy vibe. Last year considering the amount of people and disruption the event must have caused, we saw nothing of the Police on the Saturday and they need to be congratulated, the local residents (besides the occasional motorist) were happy with the event, local resident and Vic patron Les were happy with the event. ‘’It’s quite good! It’s good for the pub and keeps the pub going, can’t get a beer quick enough that’s all!’’ This year however there was a relatively high police prescence, not that it dampened the event the police went out of their way to be noticed and in what has become NSW Police common practice, several officers would divert the attention by walking through the event and be noticed whilst another officer or two would take photos of number plates Now in its third year the event runs over three days and nights. The first day, Friday is set up day and a day when punters can come down and see the setting up of the scaffolding and placement and arrangement of the bikes whilst enjoying a beer. Saturday starts with the traditional ‘Throttle Run’, which takes around three hours and finishes at midday and opens the event and then Sunday night the event closes with movies screened in the beer garden. Throttle Roll was the brainchild and organised by Mark Hawwa and Sydney Café Racers. I caught up with Throttle Roll sponsor and Trojan Classic Motorcycle owner Pete to talk about the event.
‘’We are over the moon with it. I remember when Mark came to visit us back in 2010/11 and said you know no-one’s riding anymore Pete, it’s only once a year to events, I want to ride more. Do you want to come riding we will do something.
I had to be honest and tell him that I’m too flat out and I still am.
I said Mark “I can’t do this with you why don’t you do it yourself. He said what do you mean?”
I said “Start a website call it a name and I’m sure blokes will come riding with ya.” and he said “Do you reckon?” and I said “Yeah, give it a shot, you never know.”
Mark started the Sydney Café Racers from there. He started a website, organised a ride and said we are starting from this location. On the day he rang me up and said gee 30 bikes turned up and I remember saying there you go and it has snowballed from there. There are now chapters around Australia with blokes with Café Racers, bobbers and old school builds all joining the rides.
He has done a real good thing, Mark Hawwa and created a real good thing for the bike industry. When he decided to do the Throttle Roll, he said to me he was going to hold it at The Vic on the park! I pictured it and thought it hasn’t got a large courtyard and when he asked, we said “Yes we will sponsor you.”
The first year we took a couple of bikes down and were actually quite surprised at the turn out, there were at least 2,000 through and over the years it has got even bigger.
The first year there was one bike on the ground and one row of scaffolding, the past two years he had three levels so he could fit more bikes.
The amazing thing was the quality of bikes and the quality of those outside as well. I think everyone enjoyed themselves and it was a quite successful event.
Trojan have been there supporting Mark from day one and we will support him as much and as long as he needs it!
Mark and the Sydney Café Racers would be the first to say an event like this would not be possible without the help of sponsors and it’s for this reason Live to Ride magazine would like to recognise those behind the event and their contribution and support to the motorcycling industry and the biker lifestyle.
MCA Motorcycles Accessory Supermarket, The Shed, Redstar Garage, Rising Sun Workshop, RB Racing, Dime City Cycles, Addiction Custom Motorcycles, Shed Built Motorcycles, Machine, Iron Ride, DNA, Custom Rene9ade Motorcycles, Mischief Makers, Deus, Smith Concepts, Rocker Classic Motorcycles, Shed X, Trojan Classic Motorcycles, Harley Davidson Australia, Motociclo, Salty Speed Co, Gasoline Custom Motorcycles.
You can see more of Throttle Roll @ www.throttleroll.com or facebook.com/theprojectsenmore. The event is held the first weekend of May, what a great way to celebrate Mothers Day!