Motorcyclist follows family passion

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Gary Winter probably had no chance of escaping the motoring bug.
That’s because motoring passion ran across both sides of the Mosgiel engineer’s family.
Mr Winter’s father Colin Winter organised this year’s Brighton Veteran Rally and his grandfather Mervyn Winter originally bought Colin’s 1900 Wolseley Voiturette which Gary drove on its 63rd Brighton Veteran Rally last month.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the family, Gary’s maternal grandfather Des Ruddle was a keen motorcycle enthusiast.
When Gary was old enough to get a licence in the late 1980s he was not allowed a car because there was no room to park it in the family garage. He ended up getting a small 1970s Suzuki 50 motorbike which had an additional advantage for his parents.
“You can’t really pile all your mates on to a Suzuki 50 and hoon around the town.”
Gary’s interest in motorcycles did not stop with the Suzuki 50.
Stored away and out of action in Gary’s Mosgiel garage is his inheritance from Mr Ruddle, a 1918 Harley-Davidson with sidecar. The motorcycle frame sat on a work bench detached from the sidecar when The Star visited last week.
The Harley has not run “in anger” since 2000, when one engine problem led to others.
“Me and a friend went on a big rally and it just got real knocky when we were coming back from the trip.
“Pulled the engine down just to fix one thing and it was just a can of worms kind of thing.”
Also in the garage is a black 1949 Matchless G3 350 which Gary still takes out for the occasional run.
“We take it round the block. Chugs along pretty good.”
There is a more recent motorcycle in Gary’s garage that’s faster than the others: his turbocharged 1995 Ducati. He bought it in 1998 and then made some modifications.
After reading a magazine article about an American business making turbo kits for motorcycles, Gary made some inquiries. Unfortunately the about $10,000 price to buy the kit was prohibitive.
He made his own turbo kit using material from a range of sources.
“The turbo’s off a Mitsubishi car and the wee intercoolers a wee cut down Mazda RX 7.
“The fuel pump’s out of a Subaru and the rest of it’s just fabricated.”
Gary finished that work in the late 2000s and had since taken that bike on more than a few fast spins.
An advantage of motorcycles over cars was being easier to work on.
“I’d rather work on motorbikes than work on cars. I don’t like lying underneath cars.”
“Most motorbike stuff you can lift around by hand.”