Motorcycle Love #59: Bungdoozle Skidmarks, Bonalbo

Deena Lagrant had designs on a mad motorcycle buff from Casino known as  Ollie ‘Pee’ Ragmatic.

She badly wanted to be his pillion, to rest her head against the cool yet sizzling leather of his back as they hurtled into the night on his Harley.

She was tiny and thought that this diminutivity would be her ace in the hole because her light weight and minimal wind resistance would have a negligible effect on the Harley’s handling.

But first she had to get noticed. So, she bought herself a Harley. An Aeromacci Harley 350.

Yep, in their wisdom, Harley Davidson had done a deal with an Italian mob to produce them.

Things didn’t go completely Deena’s way, or her way at all. The electric start only really worked when the engine was warm. Deena was so small she could barely kick the candle off a fairy cake, and while she was trying to start the beast it would usually fall on top of her.

One day ‘Pee’ noticed a motorcycle lying on its side. ‘Oh man, some dude’s bike fell over,’ he observed as he one-handedly set the bike to rights, completely oblivious to the flattened Deena underneath, and mooched muscularly off.

“Oh, good grief!” Deena screamed to the Universe, and she abandoned the chase then and there.

It wasn’t long before the Harley started to play up like a French sailor. Deena took it to ‘Technology Dan’, the hippie mechanic, who promptly took it to pieces. Two years later, when Dan was at the point of thinking about maybe putting it back together, Deena fumed in, chucked all the pieces into the boot of her Nissan Cedric and indicated that she wouldn’t be expecting a bill, but she did expect that he would “rot in hell, or Nimbin, as if anyone could tell the difference!”

Things went quiet, Harley-wise, for a year or two until Wes Piddens heard a knock from quite low down on his front door.

“That’s gotta be a lost three-year old, or Deena Lagrant,” he predicted.

“Do you want the Harley, free?”

“Are rockets pointy at the top?”

“It’s in pieces.”

“Good. A one-piece motorbike wouldn’t move.”

“You’ll have to put it together.”

“OK. Sweet. Thanks a lot. Will you take some cheese?”

Wes put most of the pieces back together and got the result road-registered, but no way was Alice going to get up behind him on that thing, let alone rest her cheek on his sweat-wet flannelette shirt, so the Harley didn’t get too many outings.

One day Toddy and Duster Krink, the trail bike twins, invited Wes on a ride in the state forest up beyond the Bungdoozle Five Ways on the Richmond Range, to investigate an igneous intrusion (see Great Intrusions of the World #46). Wes was keen, but hesitant.

“Although keen, I’m a bit hesitant. This is a road bike,” he confessed.

“She’ll be right. If it breaks down we know you can carry it out.”

“Thanks very much.”

The Krinks had a maxim, ‘If you notice the scenery you’re not going fast enough’.

Wes, nursing the Harley, lagged behind on the forestry tracks like a mule at the Melbourne Cup. Once or twice he got close enough to see their dust. Eventually they left the bikes and legged it through the rainforest to locate the columns of basalt.

“Something different,” commented the Krinks as one.

“That is a goddamn intrusion all right,” confirmed Wes.

After a picnic scoff, they turned their handlebars for home.  What a pleasant outing.

On one steep downhill pinch Wes suddenly found himself executing a 30m skid.

“Something different,” he observed when he came to a halt. But the halt was permanent. The alloy case of the rear hub had disintegrated.

The Krinks returned an hour later to see what was keeping Wes.

“Foolhardy, bringing a bike like that out here, Wes.”


Turns out the alloy used for the rear hub of an Aeromacci Harley was produced for the nose cones of Italian fighter jets. The recipe was a state secret. Wes was unable to weld the stuff, so he put the bike on the market.

“How much?” asked a mad and muscular motorcycle buff from Casino.

“Easy come, easy go. Hundred bucks?”

“Deal, dude.”

And that is why, all these years later, Big and Little Minch still castigate their father. “A hundred bucks? A hundred bucks?  For an Aeromacci Harley? Dad, the thing’s a collector’s item. People would be forming a queue to knock you down in the street and give you five or ten thousand for it!”

A lesson to us all.


False Friends #57: Laughing Clowns, Mummulgum


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