As we edge closer to the first ever Australian Three Day Vintage Enduro (A3VE), the anticipation continues to build as further details emerge surrounding the quality of the tracks. Running from the 23-26 May in Wombat State Forest, located in Blackwood, Victoria, the A3VE is an Australian first that opens up greater opportunities for historical bikes to have their time in the sun once again!
One newly entered competitor, Craig Ralph, will be one to keep your eye out for as he traverses the four individual loops, each spanning 50-60 kilometres. Ralph has entered the A3VE on the original Yamaha IT 250L which he rode in the 1984 FIM International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) in Assen, The Netherlands. In atrocious wet, sandy & boggy conditions as a member of the Silver Vase Team, Ralph scored a fourth outright in the event which was the best result to date!
A strong talent in the Australian Enduro scene in the late 1970’s to the mid-1980’s, Ralph was sponsored by the Roy Hill dealership in Shepparton, Victoria and Yamaha Motors Australia. The Yamaga IT 250L, wasn’t his to keep, was sold much to Ralph’s devastation.
“Gone for good’’ thought Ralph, “I retired from Enduro and Dirt Bike riding cold turkey in mid-1985 at the ripe old age of 25 to pursue a new career and focus on my newborn daughter. In 1995 the bike’s new owner tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I wanted my old bike back! That night, it was back in my garage”.
Sitting in storage until 2014, the Yamaha IT 250L then headed to Paul Day’s Ridewell Motorcycles, where mechanics spent 50 hours getting it back to brand new. This ‘family jewel’ sat untouched for years, with Ralph unsure whether to use it or admire it. The die was cast though when the Vintage Class was announced at the 2018 Australian Four Day Enduro (A4DE). Upon the close of the 2018 A4DE, Ralph finished the the top ten of the class!
Now Craig has his sights on the A3VE and will be forming a Victorian Trophy Team to tackle the New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland (QLD) Trophy Team entrants.
After riding the Blackwood Vinduro earlier this year, Ralph is as keen as a 25-year-old to just do more. Be sure to watch this man in the special tests, he knows how to boogie!
Another exciting entrant is UK import Tim Embleton, who has raved about the Blackwood Vinduro.
The Blackwood Vinduro will featuer as the first loop in the upcoming A3VE.
“I didn’t know forest like this existed here, it’s amazing! The variety of the terrain exceeded my expectations. Great trails, well-marked too. I can’t wait for the A3VE.”
The competitive classes available to compete in the 2019 A3VE include:
- V1 pre-1976
- V2 pre-1980*
- V3 pre-1984*
- V4 pre-1988*
*Please note that V2, V3 and V4 also includes under 45 and over 45 divisions.
For those seeking to partake on a non-competitive basis, a Rally class is also available where no timed special tests will be included.
For further details and updates, keep an eye peeled on the Motorcycling Australia and Vintage Enduro Riders Incorporated (VERi) websites and socials!