When Dave Robinson and Chris Watson sat down over a couple of beers four years ago and dreamed up the Australian Postie Bike Grand Prix they had no idea how popular it would become.
Motorcycling is in the Hunter’s DNA but who would have thought teams racing 110cc Honda posties maxed out to a mighty 6.5hp would be such a hit.
Watson for one is hooked and he and co-rider Michael Kirkness are back to defend their 2016 title in Cessnock on Sunday.
“I’ve been in the workshop trying to coax and extra 0.3 horsepower out of the bike,” Watson said this week.
“There’s not much difference between the bikes. They’re not exactly monsters you are looking at 5.5 to 6.5hp max, but everyone tries to get the most out of them.”
Watson put their title win down to good luck and a bit of skill.
“You really have to concentrate for the full race,” he said.
“It’s not a case of accelerating out of a mistake and not losing ground.
“Every corner you take wrong, every time you get held up, every little mistake takes four or five laps to make up for.”
Watson said the Postie GP was chiefly about having fun and raising money for charity, but with motorcycling culture so firmly entrenched in the Hunter it was still ultra competitive.
“The Hunter has probably the biggest motorcycle culture in Australia. From Harleys to Honda, KTMs and Suzukis, off roaders to road bikes, the Hunter tops sales lists for Australia,” he said.
“Footy and riding motorbikes that’s what growing up in the Hunter meant to my generation and it hasn’t changed much.”
So why postie bikes?
“A place up in Queensland had a scooter GP, but scooters have never been big here, so we thought why not postie bikes,” Watson said.
The postie bike grand prix action is centred around the Cessnock TAFE grounds.
The parade lap at 9am starts the fun which runs through to the 90-minute GP starting at 3pm.