The way we were: RACV’s first motorcycle patrolmen

Living Well | Helen Stitt | Posted on 22 June 2017

The way we were: a look back at RACV's past.

BSA Motorcycle Fleet

When RACV introduced emergency roadside assistance in 1924, its mechanics patrolled on four single-cylinder, 3.5hp BSA motorcycles. The BSAs were purchased from Finlay Bros., on the east side of Elizabeth Street, where Melbourne Central Station is now located.

The service began patrolling the main commuter routes to the city during the week and the roads to the hills and Port Phillip Bay on Sundays.

The patrolmen carried their tools in the sidecars. In the first seven months these four mechanics got 943 cars back on the road. The majority of jobs were caused by flat or burst tyres, dead ignitions or choked carburettors.

In the late 1920s, a Model A Ford utility was added to the fleet, so the patrol manager could deliver spare parts to his fleet of riders.