Even the weather was die-hard…. appallingly so. The campsite was a virtual flood plain, and everyone got wet to the bone at least once. But did that stop them from coming? Hell it did! Riders from as far afield as Gladstone and Melbourne, who had ridden in pouring rain for the entire journey, were smiling like Cheshire cats.
The place was abuzz with non-stop stunt riding by Australia’s best riders, who use the event as their own personal playground.
The sky grew opaque white, thickened with tire smoke as countless tires were destroyed in the AFR burnout pit – only occasionally broken by a Sloth Industries motocross bike, flying through 35 feet off the ground. No “weekend warrior,” fair-weather bike riders here!
So how come so many tires were burnt out? That would be the doing of the Gold Coast Tyre shop (The Motorcycle Tyre Shop), which brought tire-changing equipment and a stockpile of used tires. All a rider had to do was give them their bike, and they’d stick an old tire on it! Needless to say, they were busy the entire weekend. One guy on a ZX9R went through over 15 tires!
The fitful rain didn’t stick around for long, though, and the “dry runway,” as it’s called, (being grooved to let the rain run off fast) was just that in no time. Welcome to 1,200 meters of playground, open for all and sundry to run the bikes they had brought along.
And weren’t there some monsters!
Pete was there, as always,with his GSXR750 (with a 300hp turbo Hayabusa shoved in it, spinning it up until 4th gear). Ben Shaw from Extreme Creations was there, with his purpose-built AFR bike – another turbo ZX9R but slightly stretched and lowered to settle a score from last year. Shayne Parker brought along his k4 GSXR drag bike for its maiden voyage and gave it so much he ended up smashing his crank case to pieces.
The Show and Shine tent was organized by Shannons Insurance this year – a lucky thing for one ASF member, who crashed his bike on the way to the AF; Shannons pulled his name in their drawing, giving away $500 of insurance. The Show and Shine attracted some amazing sights, proving that real bike fans aren’t scared to take their pride and joy out in the rain.
The “People’s Choice” winner went to a bike familiar with winning trophies: Mark’s dragon-painted turbo Buell. There were more entries than ever, so listing them all here would take forever but trust me when I say that the turnout reinforced my suspicion that Australia is turning out streetfighters of a world-stage standard.
Australians don’t spare the entertainment. Nights were busy with riders filling the bar marquee. Putting a stunt cage right next to the bar, though, is far too tempting for some beer-fueled bike nutters. Halfway through the second band (dressed as pirates?), my attention was drawn to a 3-meter high wall of flames with bikes riding through it. It appears that when Andy said he wanted to burn the tire out on his pocket bike he actually meant it, pouring 15 liters of gasoline over it and setting a fire.
And the band played on – even with fire extinguishers going off. I expected at least one injury, but it appears the only casualty onsite over the whole weekend was Scott, from Melbourne, who managed to mess his wrist up pretty bad chasing a rabbit 30 minutes after he arrived. You’ve got to wonder about these Victorian guys, hey? I don’t know what they’re on, but they do too much of it.
Skip’s Performance brought along their mobile dyno, adding to the mix this year; only thing is no one planned for the bad weather! This meant the dyno was under the same marquee as the Show and Shine – and damn, was it loud! It made for some great faces being pulled, although a few guys may have lost their hearing for life now. As expected, nobody outdid Pete’s 300hp Busa, so he took home the “Most Power Overall” trophy.
This event really does pull the best bunch of blokes out of the woodwork, and it gives Australian Streetfighter and sport bike fans something truly unique, so if you are kicking yourself for not attending this year, check out what you missed at www.aprilfoolsrun.com.au or www.streetfighters.com.au. Maybe we’ll see you next year.
Although the event was a great success and much fun was had by all, a black cloud hung over the weekend. A long-term member of ASF, Jeremy Hansord (aka Bullfrog) was tragically killed on his way to the event. Many lifted a drink in his memory over the weekend. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him personally and through the ASF forum. He left behind a family, wife and unborn child.