Recap: Mods vs Rockers 52nd Anniversay Ride in Brisbane, Australia

Mods vs Rockers Brisbane was first proposed several years back by Jeff Gough to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Bank Holiday riots in England to Matt Jones of Rocker Classic Motorcycles. Not that anyone wanted to host a punch up, really. There is no denying “an event” took place on the beach in 1964, however, most historians seem to agree it was not a case that the two groups could not get along, but was more a media scare campaign that blew the events of the day out of proportion.

Matt was keen and they agreed to host the event and help with arrangements from their cafe/workshop which at the time was in Nundah. The ride was embraced by the cafe and scooter communities and had a great turn out with the ride going through Brisbane’s Brighton, a group photo in Margate and finishing at the Redcliffe hotel. Originally the ride was going to be a one-time event to note the 50th anniversary, but everyone had enough fun and the interest was there to hold the event again the following year.

Harrys Diner

This ride departed from Harry’s American style diner in Newmarket to a route through some of the cafe districts in Fortitude Valley, Spring Hill and Breakfast Creek before heading up the coast to Sails in Redcliffe. The ride was a success with a good group making it to Sails and enjoying a very nice area to lounge or have some fish and chips before heading off.

Which brings us to the 2016 ride. Rocker’s is currently going through a relocation and refit of their new premises so it was not possible to depart from there. After evaluating some options to hire some marquees and alternative ride routes to make the event better each year, the reality was that it would require more time than Matt could spare. Time for plan B – so to not disappoint and not have a ride, the best alternative was to organise a similar event to 2015. Since last year Harry’s diner has changed hands, and when Matt contacted them to see if they were interested to take part in the event they were more than happy to open at whatever time suited and put on a breakfast BBQ for the ride departure point. Sails was not available this time, but the Morton Bay council came through with an offer to end the ride in Pelican Point, so all was settled and the arrangements made and confirmed with Queensland Police who were happy to assist Marshall execute the ride.

The changes made such a big difference, with the ride taking in the cafe strip there is a so many traffic lights the ride would end up a straggly mess pretty quickly with the group being broken up into chunks as the lights changed. It seemed like a very slow build up this morning, the carpark was dotted with cafe racers when we arrived just before 11:00.

MvR 2016-002

One of Matt’s Norton’s was parked in front of Harry’s and a quick scan of the car park spotted Jeff’s red Triumph Thruxton and some other familiar bikes from Brisbane Cafe Racers. Bikes kept rolling in sporadically with quite a few members of The Four Aces and Brisbane Street Feed appearing before the 59 club arrived.

In good time a swarm of scooters arrived that had grouped up at Brisbane Cane Toads H.Q. This was a great turn out from the “Mods” who travelled from Northern NSW, Gold and Sunny coast and all over Brisbane.

After a quick arrival rendition of “We are the Mods” there was a bit more milling around and admiring each others rides. The weather was neither summer or autumn – seemed a lot more like summer in full sun in near the middle of the day and will limited shade most were looking forward to the arrival of the police so the ride could get under way. Matt gave a welcome and ride brief before inviting the Godfather from the 59’ers to explain the charity he had proposed we raise some money for. Youth Care provides assistance to youth that need nursing care, as those without the resources Youth Care provides would end up in a nursing home with senior citizens. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but given a choice most would prefer to mix with people closer to their own age if they find themselves in need of care.

MvR 2016-029

The Godfather’s helmet was passed around for anyone that wanted to donate before we all got on our bikes and prepared to be ready to ride. The Rocker’s lead the group out the car park, closely followed by the scooters then other bikes that were interested in taking part in the ride toward the back of the ride group.

The police were able to get us through most of the lights with only a couple of regroup stops before taking off again. The ride seemed to go well with the occasional bike or scooter stopping (as they do) – but when we checked our mirrors at the next stop they seemed to have rejoined the ride.
Once we arrived at the park there was a few photos of the assembled bikes, followed by some staged ones for the camera and then a group photo.

Thanks to Matt and the organisers for putting the event on again and all the participants that make the ride memorable. Rockers Classic Motorcycles workshop reopened on 4th October after their relocation to Samford. It is stage one of their project, which once completed will see a burger restaurant, a craft beer bar and a new showroom for their Norton franchise (and perhaps a few others) along with custom builds, smack bang at the foothills of Mt Glorious.


The 59 club also hosted the ninth Mod vs Rockers event in Melbourne Australia – on November 13th. Vespa Club Melbourne, P-Range Owners Group, Melbourne, and the Melbourne Crusader’s riders depart their usual cafe to arrive in Brighton for a 11.30 departure for the ride to Antique Motorcycles in Grange Rd, Cheltenham. Once they arrived there was live Music by The Strays, Food, Bar, Show n’ Shine, and Trade Stalls. After the event Jason Peiris summed up the event perfectly with a video and had this to say “To be honest the only motorcycle/scooter event I love to go. They are well organised. Will attend all of them in the future. After all it’s a good cause… Everyone loved it. Regardless the funny usual Melbourne weather in the morning we had a lovely ride with fellow Rockers. They were not scary as I thought, such wonderful human beings! But I hope to see more Mods next time. Because the Rockers hung most of Mods today”. The following gallery of pictures by the event host Antique Motorcycles/ Naked Racer Bar Cafe


You do not have to travel to Australia to enjoy a Mods vs Rockers event. Here is a list of some of the USA events to keep an eye out for in 2017.
• Mods vs. Rockers Chicago has morphed into an event that encompasses all of motor cycling’s rich heritage… MOTOBLOT!
Charm City Mods vs Rockers – Maryland Motorcycle Event
Cleveland Mods vs Rockers
San Diego Ton Up Club – the longest running Mods Vs Rockers in the nation
• L.A. Mods vs Rockers
• Bakersfield Mods vs Rockers hosted by 59 Club & San Joaquin Treads S.C.
• Dallas – Texas Rockers vs Mods
Capital City Rockers vs Mods Austin Texas
Houston Hustle Town Rumble VIII
• Bull City Rumble – annually on Labor Day Weekend in Durham North Carolina hosted by Ton Up NC
Steel City Mods vs Rockers – Millvale, PA.
• The Cretins MC Seattle Mods vs Rockers – Group ride, games and all the normal shenanigans you’ve come to expect from The Cretins
• The Apocalypse Scooter Club and Calgary Rockers Cafe Racer MC group Mods vs Rockers

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