Story: Taranaki region

Callender's first farm bike

Callender's first farm bike

Motorcycle enthusiast Johnny Callender established his own business in New Plymouth in 1957, at age 30. In 1963 he designed and built a motorbike able to handle the tasks and terrain of the average Taranaki farm. It kept momentum at very low speed (so it could follow cows), had enough grunt to climb hills, and was light enough to be lifted by its rider unaided. Though the ‘mountain goat’ was an immediate success, Callender only sold around 120 of them. The bike had a Suzuki motor; Suzuki and other automotive companies made design and production improvments, and their motorcycles soon dominated the market.

Courtesy of Puke Ariki

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How to cite this page:

Ron Lambert, 'Taranaki region - Farming', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/25333/callenders-first-farm-bike (accessed 18 February 2020)

Story by Ron Lambert, updated 1 Aug 2015