There seems to be less and less events on the motorcyclists calendar these days, but an event that has persevered and grown in recent years is the Conondale Classic, a Vintage Dirt Bike festival held in the Sunshine Coast hinterland in Queensland, Australia. Set at the Historic Green Park  1.5 hrs north of Brisbane, Riders and spectators turn out every year for a weekend of vintage motocross appreciation, riding and all the fun debauchery that comes with Jamming 1000 like minded moto enthusiasts in a paddock for 3 days.

We at Purpose Built Moto were lucky enough to be invited to display a few bikes at the Show and Shine section of the event, and decided to make a weekend of it; embracing the culture around the event and catching up with riders that have come from all over over the country to enjoy the event Sunshine Coast Motorcycle Club has put on for more than 30 years. Hosted for pre-95 Dirt bikes, the facility sports 2 motocross tracks, a trials area, an enduro loop and the ever entertaining and fiercely competitive flat track. Spectators lined the tracks or were perched on “drunks hill” to watch riders pushing their vintage dirt bikes through tests that they probably should have retired from years ago.

The best thing about these Niche events is they really bring out the grass roots enthusiasts and encourage the community to mix it up and share their passion for motorcycles. Wandering the paddock and show and shine area there was plenty to keep the eyes busy, many collections on display, and any number of boutique vintage motorcycle brands that you may never have heard of. Stand around to admire long enough and the owner will wander over and happily bend your ear about their pride and joy. Sharing the story of how they came to own the bike and all the details that make that particular motorcycle special to them.

With large camps and tents dedicated to only one marque you can wander in and see every model of a particular era for that brand on display. We walked through entire collections of Bultaco, Husqvarna, Suzuki, Maico, Honda with the owners all happy to share details on their chosen collection. Usually the only bikes missing from the line up were the ones being hammered around the track at that point in time.

The Show and Shine has some of the shinier (and some not) examples on display, from ultra rare barn find to concourse restored bikes that may never see a dirt track. The club provided a huge amount of prizes for the show and shine entrants and even included a bike giveaway during the Saturday night. We managed to pull over a particularly proud owner of the yellow Anciolotti CR50, an ultra rare Italian MX bike. He had seen the bike in a Motocross magazine in the early 80’s, kept that magazine and hunted for the bike for 46 years before finally finding one in Europe, purchasing it and shipping it over. This sort of thing goes to illustrate just how passionate these guys are about their machines, if nothing else it's inspiring to see that kind of commitment to their chosen vice. 

Opposite the site for the proud owners in the show and shine bikes were the riders that just won’t let their bikes quit. Watching these vintage bikes ridden to their absolute limit around the motocross track can entertain onlookers for hours. A far cry from the modern motocross machines that can be handled with surgical precision these bikes are pointed in the general direction they should go, throttle wide open with the rider hoping for the best. 

As the afternoon went on, and the afternoon ride session was in full swing, spectators perched up along the edge of the flat track to watch arguably the most entertaining part of the weekend. With bikes ranging from XR70’s right up to Maico 500’s put on the track in the same group the races get wild. Watching plenty of spills, bar to bar competition between mates and vintage bikes packing it in after being held wide open for just a little too long.

4pm saw the tracks close for the day as riders cleaned up, got some food and headed into the pavilion for the nightly giveaways, live bands and entertainment. Everyone in a chirpy mood knocking back a few beers and talking about the misadventures of the day. A great chance to catch up with riders you may not see as often as you like, talk shop, and make wild plans for VMX builds that will probably never happen. 

Our first time at the Conondale Classic was a great example of why we should do this stuff more often. A community coming together to have a great weekend celebrating what they love, what could be better. We met a lot of great people that shared their passion with us.

 A full photo gallery can be found in the link below, and if you see yourself in any of the shots reach out to us and we can send you copies if you’d like. 

Full Album Here

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Purpose Built Moto is home for unique custom motorcycle builds. We offer a unique motorcycle customizing experience in the heart of the Gold Coast.