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January 29, 2015

Glory Road Motorcycles

There is still a future for manufacturing in Adelaide, and CityMag found it on Wright Street. Adelaide stuff-maker, Tom Harrison, shows us around Glory Road Motorcycles.

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  • Words: Johnny Von Einem
  • Pictures: Andre Castellucci

If you’ve heard anything about Australia’s manufacturing industry recently, it’s probably that it’s on the decline; the by-product of our growing preference for cheap consumption over labour-intensive production.


Visit Glory Road Motorcycles at Shop 3/249 Wright Street, Adelaide

While assembly lines may be shutting down, hobbyists still exist who can’t help but tinker and build the kind of machinery we’ve been marvelling at for generations.

This aptly describes the owner of Glory Road Motorcycles, Tom Harrison.

“I hand-make everything pretty much,” he says, glancing at the prize 1973 Honda CB750 sitting in the shop window behind us.

“I got that one from a guy on the other side of town. He had four of them in pieces, like wrecks, so I bought them off of him.

“All the back end is hand-made, the battery box, oil tank, that exhaust. So I try and make as much of it as I can. I try not to buy too much new stuff because I like keeping the old stuff on there.”

Tom bought his first car when he was 12 and has had his head under the bonnet ever since, going straight from high school into mechanical workshops.

Three years ago he started working on a motorcycle as a personal hobby, and quickly found himself acquiring more. The idea of opening a retail store soon followed.

“There’s not really anyone in Adelaide doing this,” he says.

“There’s other motorbike shops, but I’m more vintage and custom motorbike shop. I don’t do anything new or anything modern. It’s just all old.”

Glory Road does, however, stock modern clothing. They’re the only Australian stockist of Trophy Clothing (and only the third outside of Japan), as well as a few other choice brands, and Tom plans to expand to basically anything that catches his interest.

“I’m going to put surfboards in here. I make surfboards as well. I surf a bit, but I’m not that good at it, but yeah, I just really enjoy making surfboards. I like making anything. I like making stuff,” he laughs.

The store has a very cool and very relaxed feel about it. It seems very much like an extension of the owner.

“Pretty much,” Tom confirms, “it’s just all the things I like.”

Glory Road Motorcycles is trading now, and an official opening party will be happening in-store on Friday, 6 February (check the website for further details).

Drop in to talk shop, even if it’s only to see the glory of the ’73 Honda CB750 in person.

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