Motorcycling WA are pleased to announce the induction of Robert O'Leary into the Motorcycling Western Australia Hall of Fame for 2017, Bob is one of two Inductees to the Motorcycling WA Hall of Fame in 2017.
Robert (Bob) O’Leary was born in 1940 in Carlisle. On leaving school he completed an apprenticeship with State Electricity Commission as an Automotive Engineer.
Bob’s first Motorcycle was a 1953 500cc International Norton which he purchased when he was sixteen years old, even before he had gained his driver’s licence. He became interested in racing in 1958 and joined the Lightweight MCC. Bob was assisted in his racing by his father Jack and brother Terry, who shared his love of motorsport.
Bob won Australian Championships in the 250cc and 500cc scrambles classes at Archerfield, Queensland in 1963 and in the Unlimited Class at the Short Circuit in Forrestfield in 1969.
His passion for Speedway saw him finish second in Australian Speedway Solo Championship in 1971. He also captained Australia to win a Test Match against England in 1973 and was awarded the Australian Speedway Association Sportsman of the Year.
During the 1973/74 season, he was Manager and Captain of the Western Australia Team in an interstate speedway competition.
Bob competed in most Motorcycle disciplines. Especially those where speed determined the outcome, such as Motocross, Speedway, Long Track, Short Circuit, Road Racing and Endurance. Over his racing career, Bob won State Titles in Scrambles, Short Circuit, Grass Track, and also a Claremont Sidecar Championship on a Vincent. Not only was he able to excel on Solo machines but also on sidecars, both as a rider and a passenger. Later Bob turned to Historic Road Racing and was still racing into his late 60’s on a borrowed 1957 500cc Manx Norton at Wanneroo and Collie.
Although retired from the workforce he still enjoys an occasional ride at vintage events and continues to be involved in the sport as a Sponsor. He loves watching and helping his children and grandchildren competing in Motocross.
Bob is totally thrilled to be inducted into the Motorcycling WA's Hall of Fame and said this week- "To be inducted into the Motorcycling WA Hall of Fame, alongside some of W.A’s greatest riders and sportspeople that I tried to copy, and on many occasions beat is the greatest honour, WOW!"
'This was made possible by the huge help my sponsors over the years that supplied motorcycles, equipment and transport. Something that I always appreciated and tried to give them the best advertising I could. If a bike failed, I had the art of falling off and pushing it back to the pits and nobody was aware of a mechanical problem.
Special thanks to my wife Margaret and kids Steven, Bradley and Kathryn who did the leather cleaning, entering me in events, and all the rough travelling and camping that went with racing motorcycles. Without their help and patience, not to mention Margaret’s scrap books that let me trace back the history of it all, none of this would have happened".
Bob's son, Steve and his wife Kerry are actively involved in the sport with Steve in the pits assisting their their kids who compete most weekends whilst Kerry officiates as a Level 4 Race Secretary at most meetings and volunteering her time on the WAMX commitee. Steve proudly commented this week “I couldn’t be more proud of everything my Dad has achieved in Motocross and Speedway his passion for the sport has made such a big impact on my life and now seeing my own children enjoy the same sport as their grandad is fantastic, thanks Dad.”
Bob's son Brad, is also very proud of his father and said "I have very fond memory's growing up camping in the back of the bike trailer most weekends at tracks all over WA watching dad race. Nowadays dad has become a great mentor for others and all the grandkids lookup to him. We are all very proud of him and his achievements in motor sport"
Register now for Motorcycling Western Australia Shannons Insurance Night of Champions Register Here
Registrations close Friday 6th October 2017.
We would like to sincerely thank our Night Of Champions-Hall of Fame Sponsors
Naming Rights Sponsor
KTM & Husqvarna Motorcycles Australia
Joondalup Motorcycles/JMS Suspension
South West Signs & Stickers
The Esplanade Hotel
Five Star Yamaha
Australasian Dirt Bike Magazine