Remembering Geoff Sim
Anyone associated with motorcycles over the past 50 years, and a postcode that places them in or around the coastal Illawarra region of New South Wales, would most likely refer to Geoff Sim as a friend. As the founding owner of City Coast Motorcycles, located in Keira Street in Wollongong, Geoff built the business into the institution it is today.
Geoff sadly passed more than two years ago, but the stories of his unbridled passion for motorcycles continue.
Despite being a Wollongong legend, Geoff’s childhood and early years tinkering and racing motorcycles were as a Shire boy on the banks of the Woronora River that snakes from Como to Woronora.
His purchase of a 250 Honda CB72 in 1966 kick-started (literally) his life-long passion for all things motorcycling. It didn’t matter if he was dirt bike riding, open road touring, racing or adventure riding; as long as it involved two wheels, Geoff loved it.
A naturally fast rider, a succession of speeding fines suggested road racing circuits might be a cheaper way for Geoff to obtain his speed jollies. So he began racing at the start of 1968 on the 250 Honda before progressing to a 350 Honda.
Geoff purchased the ex-Ron Toombs TD1C Yamaha shortly after and raced this bike at the legendary Bathurst motorcycle races in 1969. That bike now resides in a glass case in the showroom of City Coast Motorcycles, restored to its former Ron Toombs glory as a tribute to one of Australia’s greatest riders.
A kitted R5 350 Yamaha twin, sponsored by his partner Robyn, followed and brought Geoff much success, including three memorable scraps at Oran Park and Amaroo Park with a young Gregg Hansford.
Always looking for the next two-wheeled challenge, Geoff also tamed larger production-based machines. One memorable Unlimited Production Race at Bathurst saw him in a race-long duel with Mountain Maestro Ron Toombs. The legendary Castrol 6Hour production bike race also beckoned Geoff. With the help of skilled teammates, including Peter Stronach and Roy Denison, Geoff achieved some impressive placings. However, the high point of Geoff’s racing career was his back-to-back Australian 125cc championships in 1975 and 1976 riding a TA125 Yamaha provided by Kevin Cass.
It was through his friendship with Kevin Cass that Geoff opened Centrestand Motorcycles in Wollongong in 1973. Running a motorcycle business agreed with Geoff; he was running three motorcycle dealerships at one stage before deciding to concentrate all of his efforts into one business. He purchased Kevin Cass Motorcycles (a Yamaha dealership) in 1990, and rebranded it City Coast Motorcycles. The big white building remains in its original Keira Street location.
On 12 February 2021, Geoff Sim passed away, aged just 72. He will be remembered for his intelligence, steadfastness, generosity, and decency. Along with a legion of cherished friends, he leaves behind his son Timothy who remains at the helm of City Coast Motorcycles, and grandchildren, Jasmine and Taj.