Manawatu-Orion Motorcycle Club is based in Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Here are just some of the activities & diverse motorcyclesport that this club has undertaken during its more that 100 years existence

Scrambles later named moto-cross or nowadays MX, Observed trials now called Moto-Trials, road racing, grass track, TT, enduro, cross country formerly called hare scrambles, road trials, exhibitions, displays, etc.



Despite starting in 1961, this was the first BIG International MX at Woodville in early 1964, the one we called the "phoney International" as our International riders were drawn from Englishmen, Australians, Frenchmen, etc. already resident in New Zealand. But it paved the way for real Interantionals from later in 1964 to 1970, & the event is till running to this day with large entries & vast crowds. Tim Gibbes, #9 on a 500cc AJS won the event from brother-in-law Ken Cleghorn #10 riding a Cheney framed AJS 500

 The "Gibbes Drop" on the Woodville circuit, well known & sometimes feared!


100 Years of Motorcycling In Manawatu-Orion Motorcycle Club
but the oldest club in New Zealand is Nelson MCC then South Canterbury MCC

The birth of New Zealand International Moto-cross Series, after 3 years build up beforehand.



The South Canterbury Motorcycle Club held its first Gold Leaf International Motocross round on December 13th 1964 at Lyalldale, Timaru. Thousands turned out to see the local Kiwi riders battle it out on the tough course against the International riders.

Part of the Gold Leaf International Motocross Circus riders

        Frank Underwood (GB) riding Tim Gibbes ISDT AJS 500,
Paul Hunt (USA) Triumph Metisse & Ray Johnstone lining up for a race at Lyalldale, Timaru.
Dave Burns, George Hauger, Tim Gibbes, Ken Cleghorn & Max Morf,
surround Georges Wabeha, really a 250 Montesa,
but not called that because of his contract with Maico!


 The cream of NZ off-road talent were there, locals Ivan Boorer (NZ MX Champion) on his CZ, Ray Johnstone (NZ MX Champion in 1968 on the first Rickman-Metisse in NZ), Dave Burns (DOT) son of the Vincent land speed world record holder Dave Burns, Ken Cleghorn (Cheney/AJS) NZ Champion, etc. plus International rider Tim Gibbes (AJS) Australian and NZ Champion and six time ISDT Gold medal winner.


  The Gold Leaf International series ran from 1964 to 1970 and included many International stars such as Arthur Harris - Harris/Triumph (UK), Paul Hunt - Metisse (USA), Max Morf - CZ (Switzerland), George Hauger - Waheba (Germany), Keith Hickman (GB) BSA, Frank Underwood (GB), Freddie Postman (Austria), Bert Lundin (Lito, Sweden), John Burton (UK BSA), JNĀ Roberts (Husqvarna-USA), Gunnar Lindstrom (Husqvarna, Sweden) and finally in 1970 Dave Bickers - CZ (GB) and Jeff Smith - BSA (GB).


Various cigarette companies such as WD & HO Wills & Rothmans under different badge names, backed International moto-cross series that evolved from the 1964-1970 series, will have included many more New Zealand club riders as the motocross scene developed and boomed through the 1970s, but overall it lacked the panache of the Tim Gibbes Moto-cross EnterprisesĀ organised series.


 It was a change of generations and machines, gone were the British 4 strokes and European 2 strokes of the 60s, and onwards went the domination of the Japanese 2 strokes, none was better, just different machines and eras.


 Events over 2009 Labour Weekend Centenary weekend include both modern and historic, road racing, trials, gravel hill climb, motocross and miniature TT, rally and mystery trial, plus socials and a dinner. More details will at with entry and registration forms available on this site in the next few weeks.



Subject: MOMCC involvement in road racing Just been looking back through some programmes & found this interesting information :


 2011 - Manawatu-Orion Motor Cycle Club Centenary  


 Centenary celebrations of the Manawatu-Orion Motorcycle Club in 2011 where you can hit the replay button, then get faster, braver & louder as never before. Tell your mates, put it in your club newsletter, tell the world. Here are some of the events held in 2011.


April 2nd  and 3rd  NZ National Road Race final round at Manfeild, organised by Manawatu-Orion MCC., included displays of earlier bikes followed by a lunchtime parade. These bikes will include >


1920 TT Triumph

1926 Indian Prince ex Midland Motors 

1926 Peashooter 350cc Harley ex Doug Collison

1928 Zenith ex Bill Skilton

1947 Manx Norton

1963 Greeves Silverstone

1953 BSA MC1 replica  built by Don Lowe of Bunnythorpe

1957 NSU Sportmax

Triumph 250cc ex David Lowe

Ex Hiscock Holden Plastic Fantastic built by Steve Roberts :

Colemans Suzuki - Steve Roberts built "alloy spar" bike


Note Steve Roberts won the Inventor of the Year Award on TV some years ago from these 2 listed bikes & many other inventions & restorations.


Add a few more to these >

Fred Merkel the American who won the World Superbike Championship in 1988 and 1989 will have his World Championship winning Honda RC30 on display.

John Hepburn from Timaru will have his NZ Championship winning Superbike at Manfeild too.


Manawatu-Orion Motorcycle Clubs history of involvement with road racing in the past few years has not been strong, but here are some events that the Club has been involved with a few years ago >

MOMCC was  also involved with a number of car/bike meetings and also some wings and wheels events at Ohakea.

1988, 1989, 1990 and 1992 World Superbike Championships were at Manfeild. 4  years of World Superbike Championship events, two of which saw American Freddie Merkel clinch the World Superbike Championship here at Manfeild. Merkel has now immigrated to New Zealand & lives near Taupo. His son Travis is now riding in road races on a Honda CBR600, & will compete at Manfeild April 2nd & 3rd.


1974 to 1988   Castrol 6 Hour Endurance Races held at Manfeild


1992  Golden Handlebar multi-discipline events at Manfeild in 1992 including road races

1993   Classic Hits - Golden Handlebar multi-discipline events at Manfeild including road races


1995  Suzuki - Mobil - Metzeler Two by two Endurance races at Manfeild.

1995  Mobil Motorcycling NZ Road Race Championships at Manfeild.

1996  Central Power Round 1 at Manfeild of Motorcycling NZ Road Race Championships

1996  Suzuki - Mobil - Metzeler 2 x 2 hour endurance races at Manfeild

1997  Suzuki - Metzeler 2 by 3 hour endurance races at Manfeild.

1997  Motorcycle Trade Motorcycling NZ National Road Race Championships at Manfeild, Round 2

1998  Motorcycle Trader Motorcycle NZ Road Race Championships at Manfeild

1999  Motorcycle Trader Motorcycle NZ Road Race Championships at Manfeild

1998 thru to 2001  Suzuki Road Race Series run jointly between Manfeild & Taupo circuits.

2000  Quality Hotel joint car/motorcycle endurance championship bikes a 4 hour endurance race.

2001  Motorcycle Trader Motorcycle NZ Road Race Championships at Manfeild




Those in red were Manawatu-Orion MCC members

Provided by Peter of Thomsons Motorcycle Museum at Rongotea.


When did that happen?
3rd June 1912 staged the first Paekakariki Hill Climb
February 1913 staged the first grass track race meeting for the area at the Awapuni Race Course
22nd January 1918 stages the first grass track meeting to be held in the Horowhenua on the Levin Race Course


L = Lightweight championship (up to 350c.c.) M = Middleweight championship (up to 600c.c.) H = Heavyweight championship (over 600c.c.)


EVENT    RIDER                                   MACHINE                                     LOCATION                  DISTANCE                           TIME


L      Percy Coleman      Douglas                Wellington, Trentham Racecourse





L      Jim Dawber         Douglas                Napier (Easter Monday)

M      Joe Boucher        Rudge                  Napier (Easter Monday)

H      Sid Morrison       Indian                 Napier (Easter Monday)



This event was run as a single race for all engine capacities and called "The Championship of New Zealand"

(It appears that this event was the first time competitors competed for a

New Zealand Grass Track title under the auspices of the ACU.

See article on page 3 of Wheeling magazine dated March 1st 1915.


       Percy Coleman      Indian                 Tauherenikau. Held on 4-2-1915 10 miles           9 mins 22 4/5 secs



L      H.E. Edmonds       Royal Ruby             Christchurch       10 miles           12 mins 53 3/5 secs.

M      Alan Woodman       Triumph                Christchurch       10 miles           10 mins 25 secs.

H      Roy Lofty Crawley Excelsior Big X        Christchurch       15 miles           13 mins 26  ½ secs.





H      Percy Coleman      Indian 8 valve         Napier       15 miles          



L      Jim Dawber         Douglas                Danniverke       7 laps             9 mins 32 secs.

M      A. Boag            Norton                 Levin       10 miles           11mins 35 2/5 secs.

H      Roy Lofty Crawley Harley-Davidson        Marton       15 laps            14 mins 37 secs.



L      W.W. Davy          Douglas                Hawera       6 laps             7 mins 21 secs

M      Jim Dawber         Douglas                Marton       10 miles           11 mins 14 secs.

H      Len Mangham        Harley-Davidson        Palmerston North       15 miles           14 mins 30 secs


Percy Coleman arrived back in New Zealand from the U.S.A. aboard the S.S. Moana on the 11th December 1919








L                                                New Plymouth.         Held on 5-3-1921

M      Len Mangham        Harley-Davidson 3 1/2 h.p.        Hawera.                    Held on 9-3-1921   8 miles                8 mins 29 secs.

H      Len Mangham        Harley-Davidson        Marton.                     Held on 19-2-1921  10 miles               9 mins 49 secs.




M      Len Mangham        Harley-Davidson 3 1/2 h.p.        New Plymouth          Held on 25-3-1922  10 miles               10 mins 47 secs.

H      Percy Coleman      Harley-Davidson        Auckland, Takapuna Racecourse 4-3-1922



L      N.E. Webby         ?                      Nelson

M      Steve Whitehead.   ?                      Opotiki

H      Percy Coleman      ?                      Auckland, Takapuna Racecourse



L      Alan Woodman       ?                      Blenheim       8 miles                                   9 mins

M      Spencer Stratton   ?                      Hawera       10 miles

H      Percy Coleman      ?                      Christchurch       12 miles           10 mins 27 secs.



L      Chas Goodwin       ?                      Hamilton       8 miles            7 mins 16 secs.

M      Henry Moller       ?                      Rotorua       10 miles           10 mins 4 secs.

H      Percy Coleman      ?                      Feilding       12 miles           10 mins 2 2/5 secs.



L      Chas Goodwin       A.J.S. 350c.c.         Napier       8 miles            7 mins 53 3/5 secs.

M      Henry Moller       Norton 500c.c.         Opotiki       10 miles           8 mins 40 secs.

H      Percy Coleman      Harley-Davidson        Feilding       12 miles           10 mins 2 secs.



L      Chas Goodwin       O.E.C. / J.A.P. 350c.c.       Manawatu           8 miles                7 mins 55 2/5 secs.

M      Henry Moller       Norton 500c.c.         New Plymouth       10 miles           8 mins 41 2/5 secs.

H      Percy Coleman      Harley-Davidson        Nelson       12 miles           10 mins 29 3/5 secs.



L      George.W.  Dixon   A.J.S. 350c.c.         Wanganui       8 miles 328 yds    8 mins 4 1/5 secs.

M      Dave Managh        Norton 500c.c.         Foxton Racecourse       10 miles           9 mins 31 2/5 secs.

H      Percy Coleman      Harley-Davidson        Gisborne       12 miles           10 mins 28 secs.



L      Jack Arnott        A.J.S. 350c.c.         New Brighton Racecourse       8 miles            7 mins 21 secs.

M      Reg Ranby          Indian 500c.c.         Takapuna Racecourse       10 miles           7 mins 55 2/5 secs.

H      Percy Coleman      Harley Davidson        Carterton, Taratahi Racecourse                12 miles               10 mins 17 2/5 secs.



L      Tui Morgan         Harley-Davidson 350c.c.       Opotiki            8 miles                7mins 21 secs.

M      Reg Ranby          Harley-Davidson 500c.c.       Napier             10 miles               9 mins 47 secs

H      Percy Coleman      Harley-Davidson        New Brighton Racecourse       12 miles           11 mins 8 1/5 secs.



L      Ben Bray           Velocette 350c.c.      Foxton Racecourse       8 miles            7 mins 42 2/5 secs.

M      Alby Lemon         New Imperial 500c.c.   Carterton, Taratahi Racecourse                10 miles               7 mins 47 2/5 secs.

H      Tui Morgan         Harley-Davidson        Levin Racecourse       12 miles           11 1 1/5 secs.



L      Doug Collison      Velocette 350c.c.      Napier       8 laps             12 mins 52 1/5 secs.

M      Harry Mangham      Rudge 500c.c.          Marton Racecourse       10 miles           9 mins 14 3/5 secs.

H      Harry Manghan      Indian                 New Brighton Trotting Track  12 miles           11 mins 28 secs.




L      J. Fenton          Velocette 350c.c.      Hamilton       8 m 31 chains      8 mins 1 3/5 secs.

M      Harry Mangham      Rudge 500c.c.          Danniverke       10 miles           8 mins 47 2/5 secs




L      Charlie Goldberg   Velocette              Takapuna       8 laps             6 mins 41 secs.

M      Harry Mangham      Rudge 500c.c.          Foxton       10 laps            8 mins 56 2/5 secs.

Open   Ben Bray           Norton                 Takapuna       12 laps            10 mins 0 1/5 secs.



L      Doug Collison      Harley-Davidson o.h.v. 350c.c.       Palmerston North   8 miles                7 mins 11 4/5 secs.

M      Harry Mangham      Rudge                  Napier       8 miles            no time

Open   Harry Mangham      Rudge                  Foxton       8 miles            7 mins 10 2/5 secs.



L      P. Phillips        Harley-Davidson o.h.v. 350c.c.       Awapuni race course Palm.Nth.             8 miles

M      Harry Mangham      Rudge                  Nelson                  Held on 15-2-1936

Open   Doug Collison      J.A.P.                 Napier.   Held on 13-4-1936  8 miles            7 laps                 7 mins 42 secs.



L      Len Perry          Velocette KTT Mk 1     Palmerston North       8 miles





L      Doug Collison      Harley-Davidson        Danniverke       Held on 1-1-1938   8 miles                7 mins 9 2/5 secs.

M      Len Perry          JAP Special            Palmerston North       8 miles




L      Doug Collison      Harley-Davidson        Foxton    Held on 21-10-1938   8 miles            7 mins 3 secs.





Manawatu-Orion Motorcycle Club, 1923.


 This photo was found recently when Manfeild staff member Sue was cleaning out the old Feilding Racing Club building.




 It was taken on January 27th, 1923 at the Stewards Stand Manawatu Racing Club & is of the Manawatu-Orion Motorcycle Club members listed below > some of the notes are hard to read so have done the best, so if you can help would be appreciated >


  Back row from left – Bill Stevens (Caretaker of Racing Club), E.B. Cook (?? Living member), ? Sherman (Salesman Nanpareil Motor Co. this company name hard to read, & probably incorrect), Allen ( Committee), Gus Forstensen (Handicapper of Club), Jack Sweeny, Ted Tucker (Auctioneer Mounsey & Co. member, competitor), Spencer Stratton (Former Competitor).


 Front Row - … not known.., Bert Palmer (Secretary Auctioneering), A. Wood (Agent for Harley-Davidson), Claude Page (Assistant Secretary & Signwriter), Ernie West (Architect & Committee), Arthur Way (Committee), Tom Peat (Member), ….., Ford (Member), Percy Coleman (Competitor). Rod & Bob Coleman’s father, all well known competitors in motorcycle sport, who were based at Wanganui.


 Hopefully someone may be able to help identify some of these people along with some more history of motorcycling in the region.


 I have laminated copies of this photo. Tim Gibbes




A shot from the Woodville 50th Celebration  from Left Trevor Ronowicz, Dave Wareham, Fred Billot partly hidden, Ken Cleghorn and Tim Gibbes









 After each Woodville International MX GP we "christened" our International riders by throwing them into the river! Here American Paul Hunt gets the "treatment"!


But he could not resist! In the water, from left Frank Underwoord from England, Paul Hunt USA, Keith Hickman England & Tim Gibbes in blue


  MOMCC Centenary - 50th Woodville MX                             

Are you in these photos? Or should you be? Then you should read this >>




Memories have a habit of getting faster, longer & braver as they mature as we all know. But it doesn't hurt to have them any way!   


 Those were the days, a REAL Club mud scramble - it happened when we were young as they say, in black & white, the only colour in those days! Except for mud!






This set of photos were found in Photo News published in 1964, a proper muddy scramble!


Some of the names are incorrect but we'll forget that now shall we?