Trevor Diener and Phil Holmes are recognised as the most successful motorcycle trial champions in the state, are ranked equal second of all time when it comes to the number of Australian Sidecar Championship titles they’ve won as a team, and now they’ve been inducted into Motorcycling SA’s Hall of Fame.
The Keyneton Motorcycle Club Life members were honoured together during the 13th annual Motorcyling SA “Night of Champions” held at the Titanium Security Arena.
With Trevor the rider and Phil as passenger, the career of team Diener/Holmes includes winning seven Australian Championship titles and three times runner up.
They were undefeated as a team, winning 11 South Australian Championship titles in a row and also brought home the prestigious Peter Sparkes Sidecar Trophy for observed trials sidecars with the same record of eleven starts, eleven wins between the years 1978 and 1988.
Trevor became the first and likely only person to win multiple Trial Championships in the one year when he took out the 1987 Australian Championships Solo, Greybeards Class.
Along with multiple SA Trial championships as a solo rider, he was also outright winner of the 24 Hour Trial in ’65 and ’67 and won the sidecar class in 1973 with Barry Arthur.
Meanwhile, Phil started his winning ways with younger brother, Roger and collected some nice silverware before teaming up with Trevor.
The Holmes siblings won the Australian Champion sidecar title in 1976; three SA sidecar titles in a row from ’75 to ’77 and another three Peter Sparkes Sidecar Trophies in the same years.
Trevor, now 72 has been a member of the Keyneton Motorcycle Club for 62 years, having joined as a 15 year old when the club was struggling to survive.
“Back then they only had 7 pounds 6 in the bank! The decision was, were we going to close the club or go to the pub and spend it? He decided to keep it going.”
Phil joined in the early seventies with his four siblings and, just like Trevor, played an important role in making the Club the thriving success it is today.
“During my time and Philip’s, we bought the clubrooms – the Wilton Hall,” said Trevor.
With Trevor a builder and Phil a plumber by trade, they proved valuable to the growth of not only the facilities but also its reputation for creating top motorcyclists, including the next generation of Diener and Holmes.
Looking back at their long list of achievements, the dynamic duo have to admit it’s impressive and they are humbled by this latest recognition which lists them among some of the most famous names in the motorcycling world.
“I never thought anything like this would happen but obviously people thought that we were worthy of it,” Phil said of the award.
“We are honoured to be recognised, but it’s not just us. It’s your family, your friends the Keyneton Motorcyle Club and hopefully it inspires some of these young kids to go out and pursue things.
“We are not ‘bikies’ or that sort of thing…we are just people who like to ride motorbikes.”
Phil and Trevor share many funny memories and tales gallivanting around the country side competing during a golden era that once attracted 30 teams in the sidecar class alone.
They’ve also seen many changes in equipment and attitudes toward the sport.
“Dennis Weichert said to me once…If you slowed down a bit you would get there quicker,” said Trevor.
“I thought what’s that all about? What it was, was you wouldn’t fall off so bl**dy much! He was right!”
Whilst today’s riders go faster and thousands of dollars are spent on bikes and sidecars, both Trevor and Phil still treasure the days they rode the old Bultaco with their handmade sidecar.
They are also proud to say they’ve not had too many incidents out on the track either, despite not having to wear helmets in those very early days.
“I’ve never broken a bone, so that’s good!” said Trevor.
“Apparently I fell off a sofa when I was two or three and busted my nose, but I don’t remember that!” added Phil
Still the very best of friends, both are members of the Barossa Machinery Preservation Society and Veteran and Vintage Motorcycle Club of South Australia and continue to enjoy helping out the KMCC because it’s “what we do”.
However, there is one change they both agree ensured they would never renew their motorcycle competition licenses.
“Trevor and I have retired, yes….We decided we should get out before lycra came along!” laughed Phil.