Tim Who? 

Who is Tim Gibbes ? Not to bore you, but perhaps to answer the reason why!


I was born 12th October, 1933 near Sydney. However our family moved to Adelaide when I was 4 years old, so really South Australia is my base country.

The gloomy years of WW2 were around us as I grew up, but my interest in mechanics, technical things especially cars & motorcycles were most prominent.

The decision went to motorcycles on the basis of cost, but it was a decision of enthusiam & adventure which still exists to this day.

The awards shown below indicate a wide interest in life, all inspired by the great outdoors of life provided initially by South Australia, the desire to travel, meet people from many other cultures, survive under challenging conditions. Thoughout life my decisions have been based on just a few phrases > The only answer is "YES", no negative words like "can't, don't, won't etc. they don't exist in my dictionary.

I married a New Zealand girl, Joan is my wife, in 1961 since when we've lived more or less, in New Zealand, but many forays around the world when the travel itch came on again.

Hopefully this brief will give  you some background. I've written a book about my adventures "Tim Gibbes Trophies & Diaries" living updates. It is free to anyone who wants  to send a falsh drive/memory stick, so you can share some real life adventures, not all about motorcycling, but it was the catalyst.


Some of the stories are related on this website under "Those were the days", enjoy!


More information about New Zealander of the Year Awards go to http://nzawards.org.nz/  "Honouring the best of us".







            Born in Australia , you could have called me a motorcycling swagman or nomad racing motor bikes around the world wherever there were 2 wheels & something to race. England , most countries of Western & Eastern Europe , USA , Japan , New Caledonia , Australia & of course New Zealand were all ports of call.


            Specialising in what is now known as motocross & enduro, I also rode many other disciplines including road race, observed trials, grass track, desert races, film stunts, motorcycle design, building circuits, cleaning up & replanting grounds after events, coaching riders, what ever, which spilt over to car rallying & racing for a time. From 1963 for some years I visited Japan many times working with their factory design teams & coaching their amateur federation's riders. At this time Japan was just starting to think about off road motorcycles for competition & farm work.


 I bought this New Imperial in Adelaide about 1950, when this first photo was taken, for 10 pounds. It sowed the seed for a lifetime of motorcycling as some of the photos below depict. A friend of mine Wayne Algie bought this & other bikes from me about 1985 after we sold the motorcycle business located in Palmerston North, New Zealand.in 1984. Wayne restored the bike to original & in 2013 it was in immaculate showroom condition, & turned out to be a 300cc, not 250cc as originally thought! By the way the JAP engine is English made by J.A. Prestwich, who became more famous for making the JAP speedway engines. 

          Kelvin Grove Community Association members

During the period 1955 to 1963 I won six Gold Medals & one Bronze at the equivalent to the Olympic Games of motorcycling,  the International Six Days Trial, (the term trial later being dropped in favour of the modern buzz word enduro , as well as competing reasonably successfully in World Championship Motocross events.


            I spent a few years as a motorcycle test rider for various English factories, Matchless, AJS & Ariel mainly, as well as writing & testing off road motorcycles for motorcycle news papers, then later during the mid 80s, tyre testing cars & motorcycles for a Japanese company.


When first arriving in this country to marry Joan in 1961, I was aware of the hunger of riders in motorcycling sport to have events along similar lines to those overseas.



In 1965 I bought an existing motorcycle shop in Palmerston North, during which time it became one of the largest retail stores in NZ, with various franchises, at its peak selling 100 motorcycles per month. I sold the business to ANZA Motorcycles in 1984. We sold 10,000 motorcycles in the 20 years of operation


            Probably one of the better known events in which I became involved was the New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville, now NZs largest competition stand alone event, which in 2004 attracted about 750 riders! I should add that I no longer front this event, & it continues to draw large crowds & rider numbers.


           Also for some years I fronted the Central Enduro Series as well as becoming involved both Nationally & Internationally with this form of motorcycle sport.  Arranging and taking New Zealand teams to the International Six Days Enduro and Motocross des Nations, both annual world championship events, as Team Manager and/or Juryman (which also included close associations with the Australian Teams) have been another part of the involvement scene.


Fun events that I organised included were "Golden Handlebars", a weekend of every motorcycle & quad discipline imagineable, Top Gunn MX Series, "Little Bear Run" - a cross country race, MNZ Road Race Championships, Harley-Davidson "Thunder" events, Endurance Road Races - 2 & 4 hour, MX & trials coaching in several countries, and many enduros, moto-cross & cross country events.


Another series in which I have been coordinator, is the Winter Motocross Series, now, in 2004, 25 years young.  It attracts 1200 riders annually with an average of 175 riders per round. I resigned from coordinating this series at the end of 1997, but it continues. Again an unbounded market.


            Turning more of my attention to the road race discipline over the past few years, I found again the hunger and willingness for riders to race their bikes. In the background I s a resistance from traditionalists who, while well meaning, tend not to have fronted major events or tried to pass on the motorcycling message to the outside world, nor keeping up with inevitable changes in life style, technology, markets, demands & controls.


From 1997 I fronted the annual six round Suzuki Road Race Series at Manfeild & Taupo circuits, which catered for as many different disciplines as possible, attracting an average of more than 150 riders per event, something rarely heard of in motorcycle road racing. I withdrew from this fronting this series at the end of 2002 as I felt I was no longer giving it full attention, tended to be taking shortcuts & found fronting events became a steeper hill to climb with age creeping on. Regrettably this series has fallen by the wayside, as has this discipline of the sport, but there are recent signs of a resurge of interest & new sponsors coming on board. Road racing has a place in NZ motorcycle sport, with huge potential of rider talent, media profile, & market investment.


 In 2003 was awarded the John Britten Innovation & Service to the Industry Award at the New Zealand Annual Motorcycle Awards. Wife Joan has always been supportive


For a few years around 1990 I was on Motorcycling New Zealand Executive. That was an experience in involvement that enabled me to learn about character building and assassination. Not always PC, and conscious of the need to provide good events for our riders, I was not acceptable to MNZ hierarchy. Nevertheless I will continue to do my best for motorcycle sport. However, despite my shortcomings, in 2003 I was elected a life member of Motorcycling New Zealand, & in 2003 was awarded the John Britten Innovation & Service to the Industry Award at the New Zealand Annual Motorcycle Awards.

This award was joined by another in 2011 from Motor Sport New Zealand called Distinguished Service Award again a compliment & testimony of our work with transponder timing & results. 




Moving to the background from there, in 2002 my wife & I invested in an AMB MyLaps transponder lapscoring & timing system, which is now used widely in motor & motorcycle sport throughout the country. This has enabled us to maintain contact with our life within motorsport motorcycles & cars.


Results & points of events we have timed, which from 2010 are now Live results, timing, audio, video, chat room, scroll back, schedule & other innovations, in maybe viewed on this website www.motorcyclesport.co.nz

Under MyLaps Results one can view results of all the events we have timed back for about 18 years.

 Up to date information, photos, race reports both International & local, are on the site under different headings. Any person interested in motorcyclesport may attach their own information, but not commercial advertising, under the heading OnLine Talk free of charge.

On this same website are updates of events happening in NZ & around the world, plus a special section called Those were the days where I have tried to provide stories & illustrate the golden days of times gone by.

This website averages about 50,000 views per month, so obviously serves a purpose.


Tim Gibbes.


Left over relics when we sold our motorcycle shop.


These are some more of the relics that we had gathered up at Tim Gibbes motorcycle shop when we sold it in 1984. The BSA M21 & Ariel were used on the shop sidecar to pick up bikes all around town, so were very useful, but as can be seen degenerated from abuse, which presented big problems for the restorers!


Wayne Algie bought all of these & has arranged for their restoration over many years, a credit to those people who have the patience & drive to get them back to original - well done fellas!


The BSA M21 600 sidevalve after Morley Shirrifs raced it at Ohakea at a Classic event. He didn't get too many friends from the dedicated Classic guys!




The Ariel VB 500cc sidevalve shop hack that towed a sidecar at our shop now being restored by an Ariel Owners Club member, Ross Newlands in Hawke's Bay



This 1928 BSA "Sloper" 350 came from a Manawatu farm, but lovingly & fastidiously restored over many years by Ian Algie from Pahiatua


 Yamaha YD5 250cc was a bit messy!