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Father and son to take on 24 Hour challenge

A Williamstown 16 year old has dragged his father out of retirement to ride in this year’s 24 Hour Reliability Trial.

Shaun Buckley will be the passenger and his father, Barry will be the rider as they compete in the Open Sidecar expert class of the event which starts at the Kapunda Harness Racing Complex this Saturday.

It will be Shaun’s first 24 Hour, but for his 63 year old father, who is an eight times Australian Motocross Sidecar Champion, it’s a matter of getting back on his bike after a seven year break and adding to his list of more than 10 starts in the gruelling event.

The Levis Motorcycle Club Life Member admits it’s “quite good” to be riding with his son.

“He’s had an interest since he was knee high to a grass hopper and he’s done a lot of watching and he’s done a lot of learning from just watching. He has very good capabilities,” said Barry.

Barry and Shaun are fairly confident they’ll finish as long as it doesn’t get too foggy.

The frame of the sidecar outfit they are riding was hand built by Barry back in the nineties and has a 1989 Yamaha XTZ 750 motor. This season they installed a brand new light that will help them through the blackest of nights and Barry is confident of his bike’s reliability.

As for Shaun, he said he’s there to “keep dad upright” but admits to being nervous about the weekend.

When asked what daunts him most he said, “The whole 24 hours!”

Shaun will be keeping track of all the tools and spare parts along the way and said all he wants is “the bike on three wheels and finish. I don’t care what place we come.”

He is hoping for good weather conditions.

“Not really dusty, not really wet – somewhere in between.”

But despite his nerves, Shaun said from the moment he turned 16, he’s been at his dad to compete in the 24 Hour Trial after watching the event for years.

“I like the adrenalin rush and just love riding motorcycles. I’ve wanted to do this ever since I was a little kid,” he said.

This weekend’s 24 Hour event will be the fourth Reliability Trial the Buckley duo have ridden in since the season began in May.

They placed fourth in the expert class of the sidecar section in the Gawler Six Hour Trial.

“That’s when we had 100 mm of rain two days before the trial. We got stuck I don’t know how many times!” laughed Shaun.

The duo also placed fourth in the Keyneton and Robertstown 6 Hour events.

This weekend will be a family affair for the Buckleys. Barry’s wife, Leanne and 21 year old son, Adam are the team’s biggest supporters and will travel to designated spectator points throughout the trial to cheer on the team.