BLAST FROM THE PAST: 11 Norton Commando motorcycles from 1967 to 1977 are currently on display in the Queensland Transport Museum.
BLAST FROM THE PAST: 11 Norton Commando motorcycles from 1967 to 1977 are currently on display in the Queensland Transport Museum. Dominic Elsome

Nortons roll into Gatton

MOTORCYCLE enthusiasts have a lot to get excited about in Gatton, with a new display of antique motorcycles open to the public.

The Queensland Transport Museum is currently host to 11 Norton Commando motorcycles ranging from 1967 to 1977, from factory tourers through to custom cafe racers.

The bikes are the pride and joy of Historical Motorcycle Club of Queensland president Brian, who requested his last name be withheld, and said he arranged for the bikes to be displayed so people could learn more about the classic bikes.

"A lot of people probably don't understand a lot about Nortons ... so if people are in the area and they want to drop in and have a look (they can),” Brian said.

"It's just something different to look at and just appreciate some of the British bike history.”

Brian has been involved with motorcycles almost his whole life, gaining his motorcycle licence at the age of 18, and said it was simply his passion.

"I've been doing this for 40-odd years as a hobby and I did it for 30 years as a business,” he said.

"In the last 30 years I've been trying to collect some Commando stuff to represent the line-up that the factory offered - I'm still four short of that but I've still got a pretty good range of bikes.”

Brian said he had a soft spot for older motorcycles and never felt compelled to move to more modern bikes- his newest bike was a1978 model.

"I haven't bought a new bike since I was a kid in the late '60s, through to now, I've only owned old bikes,” he said.

"Never actually wanted a new bike.”

It's the simplicity that draws Brian to older motorcycles and he believes the simpler design made you a better rider than the more complex modern machines.

"A lot of the modern technology is wasted on a lot of the riders and, really, a modern bike is so good that it's so forgiving that you don't have to be a good rider because of the power and the brakes,” he said.

He pointed out that few riders knew where motorcycles came from and displays like this were important windows into the past. "Some young fellas will jump on a brand-new bike and think that bikes were invented yesterday - they weren't, they all evolved from something,” he said.

The display will be at the Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre museum for several months and is open from 9am seven days a week.

For more information, phone the museum on 54663426.