Greg Leech gets his club plate. And a lot more into the bargain…
Registration. The whole concept befuddles me. You pay to use the thing you paid to buy. At the time of purchase, the government took some of the action. Bit off a nice gobful.
Now, you bring it home, but don’t you dare start it. Well, you can start it, but don’t go anywhere. Not until you give us another gobful, we’ve swallowed that last one. That’s why the government looks like a big, fat, slovenly old whore with torn fishnets and an eye for you in your smalls when you close your eyes. That could be just me.
Anyway. Did you know that the first vehicle built in Australia was a motorcycle? Easy to believe when you see my old mate Groff’s garage, but that’s not my point. You see, it seems a Mr Vivian Lewis built a ‘motor triplet cycle’ in Adelaide (explains the Vivian bit) in 1896.
It coincides that the first motor infringement in Australia was delivered the day after to a Mr V Lewis, for ‘operation of a motor triplet cycle to wit Hindley Street with complete and wilful disregard for the requirement of an approved affixment of a certificate of registration to wit the near side pedaling-apparatus’. Pay your rego Viv, you tightarse.
Anyway, registration is not going away in a hurry.
I happened to be in the good offices of VicRoads (see what they did there? ‘Vic’ and ‘Roads’, put together to make a new word. Clever), to put my Norton on club registration. You see, I ride it approximately 3000km a year. Full rego is a stupid idea in such circumstance. So, I joined a motorcycle club, had the bloke there inspect my bike and got a bunch of paperwork together and headed into VicRoads (Christ that’s clever). Stay with me.
It’s a big joint, the VicRoads place. When you walk in there is a lady. Right there, near the door. She looks really pissed off that you have entered. Not just you, but the 46,000 friends that have arrived before you that are sitting about, splay-legged, looking like they no longer care whether they see their loved ones again, such has been the pain of thinking about that issue for the last 29 hours. I gather that foyer-based lady’s job is just to get you in the right mood for what’s to come.
‘Don’t like the look of this’, I think to myself. ‘Could be here a while’, I cleverly deduce.
I head to the machine that says ‘Obtain a ticket’. I follow orders, obtain a ticket and I see that it has the number ‘12’ printed on it. Ha! How hard can this be? At the most there are 11 poor, sorry excuses for humanity in front of me. I toss them a smug Matt Preston look. ‘Read it and weep you car-driving knobheads, Us bikers get priority. Ha!’ Then, I hear the speaker that sounds just like that poor bastard in the wheelchair that invented the Big Bang engine, or something like that, saying ‘number 879, go to window three’. Oh nooooo!
After I’d been elected leader of the ‘caravan and trailer registration area tribe’, it started to feel I’d been there too long. And Marion (the lady that looks pissed off in the foyer) is actually quite a nice person, she’s just had a terrible run with her eldest, Trevor who really isn’t a bad kid…
No wonder Vivian Lewis decided to run the gauntlet and lay a few patches on Hindley Street unregistered. The blasted motor triplet cycles would never have been first if he’d had to wait for the average roads authority to whack him out a plate. And ‘VIV 01’ was probably gone anyway.
Anywho. I’m pleased to announce I have a red club plate now, am saving a shipload on registration and all is right with the world.
I can only ride it in certain circumstances, but I only rode it in certain circumstances anyway. They were different certain circumstances, but I’m hoping that’s not going to matter. They don’t pull up people on club plates anyway. Groff told me that and he’s never wrong.
I’ll just keep the thing away from Hindley Street. That’ll show that slovenly old whore who’s wearing the pants.
Snag’s career in motoring journalism spans 29 years with stints at major bike mags Australian Road Rider, Motorcycle Trader and AMCN along with contributions to just about every other outlet worth a hill of beans. He was editor of Unique Cars magazine and hosts his legendary podcast ‘Snag Says’ when he gets off his date.