York Motorbike Festival, Western Australia

Having waited for over 2 years to see our family in Australia due to Covid travel restrictions, we finally managed to get here on March 28th. Some small delays both in Manchester and Doha meant that the travel time was extended to around 26 hours, about the same time it takes to get to Stoke from Preston on the M6 sometimes. However, Perth WA is a more appealing destination, I think.

In anticipation of being here, I bought a motorbike in February, an ex-Police 2015 Yamaha FJR 1300, pure white with 83,000 Kms. on the clock. Absolutely mint condition and with no bad weather, no salt on roads and full servicing it was a bargain. (See photo)


Ex Police Yamaha FJR 1300


I managed to get out on the bike the day after we arrived and it was great, sunny, warm and good roads, what more could you ask for? The bike is actually in my son-in-law’s name and I’m a named rider on the insurance. This is the best option for me here.

Another few rides out into the open country north of Perth on roads that Henry Cole used in his ride from Perth to Darwin in his World’s Greatest Rides Series, got me into the swing with the bike. This is the 3rd FJR I’ve had in my very short riding career and though a heavy bike they are great to ride, perfect for touring here.

Riding along the coastal road is an absolute joy, turquoise blue Indian Ocean with spectacular beaches, it really is as close to paradise as it gets. Low traffic volumes just add to the pleasure.


Roadside view of Indian Ocean


The title of this little story is York Motorbike Festival, so I’d better get to it. My son-in-law Geoff mentioned that he and his mate Kirk, were intending to ride to this event so it was a no brainer for me to go along. York is about 100Km east of Perth beyond the Swan Valley, an area famous for vineyards and superior quality wines. We are staying in Woodvale about 20Km north of the Perth city, 5 minutes from the Ocean.

The bike festival is a weekend long event starting on Friday and ending Sunday evening, it is a big event for the town which is a farming-based community and as a result brings much needed funds into the town.

We decided that we’d go on Sunday April 10th, which happened to be our 48th wedding anniversary. I thought we’ve had 48 of those but I’ve never been to York WA so an easy choice really. Lynda might have a different view!

Kirk, originally from Scotland and a former Manx GP rider planned the route and what a spectacular one it was. Outbound to York was around 160Km via The Swan Valley and hills. An absolutely brilliant ride, fantastic roads, sweeping bends, tight bends, steep hills and descents and amazing views. It was pure pleasure. It was so good I went back on Tuesday to take some photos, see attached. I will be going again a few times before I have to head back.


Yours truly with Aussie Bike


On the way to York we must have passed over 200 bikes on their way home, groups of 2 to 30 were common, many Harley’s which are very popular here with biker Groups.

The town was still busy when we arrived around noon, street cafes, bike dealers, the usual array of things you get at these events. There were also stunt riders doing all sorts of tricks on a closed roar in the town.


Street Scene at York Bike Festival New Yamaha R7


We spent about 2 hours there before heading back, that was a straight route back towards Perth and I was made to feel very welcome when we rode through a downpour that Lancashire would have been proud of. Fortunately, unlike home it was short lived and warm!

Well, that’s my short tale. A wonderful day out seeing some of the super country around Perth. If anyone gets the chance to ride here, they should take it. There will be a bike you could borrow if you wanted to take advantage of that.

See you soon, Joe Leech

More photos below.


This was for sale on Gumtree


Geoff, Honda CBR600RR, Kirk, Triumph Tiger

Yours truly with Aussie Bike 1

In the Hills above Swan Valley 1