Harley for the ages

By Yarrawonga Chronicle

At almost 100 years old the 1925 FE 1000cc Harley Davidson is popular with vintage motorbike lovers  and vehicle enthusiasts alike.

But this one in particular has a special place in the hearts of Corowa’s Crosthwaite family with the almost 100-year-old motorbike being manufactured in the same year family patriarch Albert was born.

At the ripe age of 94 years old, Albert has a keen interest in the vintage motorcycle his grandson Sean bought and restored almost six years ago.

Sean raced a motorcycle for many years and had an interest in restoring bikes, so when he saw this one had become available he decided it was the perfect new project.

“I have a little collection of Harley’s and I like to restore bikes, I saw this one became available so I decided to purchase it,” Sean said.

“It is quite rare, there are not many in Australia and ones that are still running so I thought it was a great opportunity.

“The bike is also fitted with Acetylene Lights, front and rear, so it’s pretty impressive.”

This bike is also special because 1925 saw the introduction of new frames across the Harley-Davidson range, which lowered the rider some three inches. 

The ‘teardrop’ style fuel tank also made its debut, while the only paint option remained Olive Green, as it had since 1917. 

Sean’s grandfather on his mother’s side of the family was also a motorcycle mechanic, so the family has always been surrounded by motorbikes and enthusiasts.

Many years ago Albert had an interest in bikes and owned one just after serving in the navy in WWII.

Albert’s first bike was a 1942 BSA 250 which he purchased for 90 pounds, which in today’s economy amounts to around $150.

“Dad always had a bit of interest in them and owned one or two in his younger days but when Sean bought and restored this one he was very interested as it was the same age as him,” Albert’s son and Sean’s father Arthur said.

“I’ve always had more of a keen interest in cars, owning a cooper s and a 62 Austin Mini but Sean has shared part of both of his grandfather’s passions with bikes and won at a Motor Classica (Melbourne) recently with another of his bikes which is a big deal.”

As well as its reputable name, the restored transport has caught the eye of many over the years at car shows and classics alike. 

“It’s well accepted at shows and has won differing awards,” Arthur said.

“It’s done very well in vintage rallies and has been successful in riding rallies too,” Sean added.  

For a vintage motorcycle that has numerous unique qualities, has been restored and is widely popular in car shows, motorbike musters and classics, the belief would be that this model would be worth a bit of money.

“It’s worth is what someone will pay for it really,” Arthur said.

“But Harley Davidson are well known and obviously manufacture good bike’s so they are always worth a bit.”

A similar motorbike with the same vintage recently sold on Shannon’s for $40,000.

The Crosthwaite’s have enjoyed the Boosey Creek Club Motorbike Muster Show and Shine for numerous years and are once again looking forward to this year.

“The Boosey Creek Club Motorbike Muster is an absolutely fantastic event in the perfect location and we are all really looking forward to it,” Arthur said. 

“I am going to bring three bikes over and see how they all fair, but the 1925 FE is a special one,” Sean concluded.

The Boosey Creek Club Motorbike Muster Show and Shine will be held this Sunday, February 24 at the Mulwala WaterSki Club foreshore from 9.30am – 2pm with many great categories and prizes on offer.

For more information visit the Ski Club website or call Ross MacCartney on 0407 042 334 and Barry Bennett on 5873 4267.

Make sure to get down to the Ski Club lagoon foreshore this Sunday to observe some great motorcycles and vintage vehicles.