Meet the instructors

AMCC is fortunate to have a broad rider experience base to choose from when selecting ART Instructors. The following resumes are an indication to the abilities of our instructors and their level of expertise.

Alistair Wilton  |  Greg Abbiss  |  Paul Pavletich  |  Graham Bastow  |  Brian Deadman

Bill Cooney  |  Greg Sharpe  |  Mike Cross  |  Vince Sharpe  |  Mike Messiter

Alistair Wilton

Alistair's spent more time racing a motorcycle than he sometimes cares to remember! Intially starting road racing while still at secondary school in the 125GP class with a modicum of success through the late ’80s with a number of top 3 positions in the Auckland Club champs. This culminated in winning the AMCC club championship 125GP class in 1989, on a bike that he and his father built in the garage. 

After a couple of seasons in the hotly contested 250 production class on the "bike to have" — a TZR250 — proved that was not his thing and returned to the 125GP class in 1991 with the purchase of a 1990 RS125 Honda factory built grand prix bike. Much amusement was had when it was found to be lighter than the pilot....Alistair had significant success on this bike through the 1991-93 seasons winning the 1992 New Zealand 125 Grand Prix at Ruapuna and approximately 90% of the races entered, also collecting again another AMCC 125GP class clup championship along the way.  Alistair credits this bike with teaching him most of his riding skills as it is less about power and more around how you ride to get the best lap times. 

After a 4 year break from riding and spending some time on the organisational side of the AMCC Alistair and his brother Kerry returned to racing, but rather than the cut and thrust of modern racing, returned in a more leisurely manner with a pair of nearly 20 year old TZ350 Yamaha's to use in the emerging Post Classic class.

12 years on Alistair is still racing this same machine regularly in Post Classic racing in New Zealand and now also Australia with regular trips to Phillip Island each January. During the last 12 years Alistair has continued his passion for 2 stroke grand prix machinery, become somewhat of a geek on TZ Yamahas collecting a number and helping riders and owners throughout Australasia with their bikes and how to make them more reliable and more enjoyable to ride. 

This quest to develop his race bikes has also widened to understand the complete package — developing his own understanding and riding skills not just trying to make his bike faster and by his own admission is riding better, faster and safer than he ever did in his "first" racing career. Also ever the keen long distance cycling nut, Alistair can be a good contact to talk to about ride day nutrition and hydration requirements.

Alistair who was awarded life membership to the Auckland Motorcycle club a number of years ago views the ART days as one of the most instructive and enjoyable (for riders and instructors!) ride days available on the market and can usually be found instructing in group 2, on his exotic limited production FZR750RR / OW01 Yamaha World Superbike special.

Greg Abiss

Greg has raced at clubman level, around some of the great tracks in the world. He has been through the Police advanced rider training for two different countries and has been riding for around 37 years on four different continents. 

He believes competent, fast track riding is 80% craft and 20% heroism. The Craft, woven on top of other road skills translates into safe, confident and skilful progress through the hazards of our tin top world. 

Being a compulsive mentor Greg has been coaching as an advanced instructor both on the road and track for over 20 years in a number of different countries. He says he instructs for a very selfish reason, the only way to experience the sheer joy of those firsts on a bike, again, is vicariously through the smile on your dial.

Paul Pavletich

Raced for team Honda NZ; Team Yamaha NZ; Ducati NZ

Represented New Zealand overseas in Road Racing
Multi New Zealand Road Race Champion
Wynn International series winner F2
11 times Auckland Club Champion
Lap records at Pukekohe in numerous classes
TT winner at Pukekohe
Castrol Six Hour multi class winner

Runner up Vets MX North Island Championship

Northern Sports Car Club Champion
3 times Auckland Car Club Champion multi classes
Winner of Best driver overall Auckland Car Club
Instructor FreemanX dream cars

Graham Bastow

Graham got involved with motorcycle sport at the age of 13 by competing in School Boy Motocross. Started road riding at 16 and has owned a bike ever since.

He started road racing in England at club level in 1985 on a GSX-R 750 then onto Kawasaki ZXR’s had some success at club level and campaigned at national level on a GSX-R 750 for a couple of seasons.

Qualified as a motorcycle instructor through the army and trained the Royal Core of Transport personnel in motorcycle control both ‘on road’ and ‘off road’ and competed for the army in endurance competitions.

Became an instructor and progressed to chief instructor for two trackday companies in Britain, teaching in both the UK and Europe. He has been lucky enough to have ridden on most of the British and many of the European circuits. Graham has always carried a passion for motorcycling as a pastime and as a sport and is always willing to share the knowledge and experiences he has gained.

On immigrating to New Zealand joined the AMCC and instructed with Track Time which has now transpired to become ART and has been the co-ordinator and principal instructor since August 09. Continues to compete at club level with an eye on the nationals in the F1 Superstock class on a 2007 R1.

Brian Deadman

I have ridden motorcycles continuously for 38 years. My main means of transport on a daily basis is by bike. You could say that I am addicted. I have had wide experience in most disciplines of riding from MX to touring to road racing.

I have owned over 100 bikes and currently have ashed of about 15. My preferred ride is a Kawasaki but any bike with a motor is fine with me.

My recent racing results :
2007 NZ GP 1st
2008 NZ TT 1st
2008 NZ #1 NZPCRA
2008 Vic Club Series Pre 82 1st

I currently race a 1980 Kawasaki Z1-R in Post Classic Pre 82 Open class.

Professionally I own the Bike Vault Co which specializes in secure motor bike storage and run a restoration and raced prep workshop.

We are rebuilding over the winter for a strong season.

My current road ride is a Kawasaki ZRX1200R

Bill Cooney

Bill started Road Racing 1979
1982Pole position Junior Production Pukekohe 3 hour
19824th Junior Production Castrol 6 hour Manfield
19851st NZ TT Formula II
19852nd Formula II NZ Chanpionship
19862nd Formula II NZ Championship
19874th Bears NZ Championship
5 x AMCC Club Championship Formula II & Post Classic Junior
3 x NZPCRA Club Championship Post Classic Junior
2 x NZ TT Titles Post Classic Junior
2009 Lap Record Pukekohe Post Classic Junior
2010 Lap Record Hampton Downs Post Classic Junior

Keith Brock

As long as I can remember I have always competed and raced something or other.

1975 I guess it all started when I got my 1st bicycle and racing mates around the streets and next it was the local velodrome, or eventually chasing and racing cars down the street. I got pulled by the cops when I was 14 for passing the cars, up the left hand side. But I think it was that I was doing it NO hands that was the most issue for the plod, they obviously thought I was just taking the proverbial ... as you do!

1980 When Iwas 14 or 15 I started running. I was a 100m and 200m guy. My best time was 10.91 for the 100m, which wasn’t too bad since Ben Johnson only managed 9.97 and that was on drugs!

1989 It was racing on yachts. I raced on Young 88s, we did win occasionally in the Harbour series and we got a second in a national race.

1991 I turned my attention to Sky Diving, but that was fairly short lived as you needed to combine a fine Saturday or Sunday with less than 15 knots wind and about four or five hundred dollars burning a hole in your pocket. And what's the odds of all that happening at the same time !?!?! 

1995 I was introduced to Sled Dogs and racing them… and I was bloody good at it! In fact I won my class nationally. 

1999+ Then it was various social Go-Kart events. My team always won, the most convincing win was a 160 lap grand prix where we finished a convincing 5 laps ahead of second place.

Then came motorbikes proper like...

I first road a motor bike when I was about 12. It was on my cousin’s farm, I got told the 1 down 4 up thing, left hand clutch, right hand for Go and Stop. So after my 2 minutes of training I took the AG100 out the gate and down the road a few miles. When I eventually came back in the gate and over the 1st cattle stop I had a thought that I can probably stand on this thing! So I got my feet up onto the seat and went no hands over the 2nd cattle stop… but the throttle was now closed so I had to jump to the seat to regain control… and yes I use that word control fairly loosely because that was my first ride of a motorbike.

Some years later I was riding around on the street, then when Speed Cameras came out I decided I better get my licence before the plod put two & two together. Mind you I was guessing that they knew their sums!?!? Erm anyway… I passed everything and moved through the bikes… I had to get a 250 for the licence thing so I got FZR250RR which is a brilliant learner’s bike, they do a ton two up! They are such great fun when you are doing 10,000RPM at 110kph in 6th. Boy racers think you are tapped out but they are SOOOO wrong! Tap straight down to 3rd, run it to 20,000RPM and say Taa Taa!

So from the …
89 FZR250RR to a
93 FZR600, then a
95 GTS1000a, the best handling bike I’ve had, EVER! then a
91 GSX-R400R, as I started racing, then a
93 GSX-R400SP another one, ’cos leaning real low through Castrol is a bit destructive sometimes
94 CBR1000, cos you gotta have a road bike even if it has to be a Honda, then
91 GSX-R400R for a fun road bike and spares, then a
04 GSX1300R Hayabusa then a
08 CB1300 (yes another bloody Honda! only ’cos it was cheap and I needed something, anything!) The Hayabusa had been written off at 80kph into the side of a truck. (Not me though 'cos I’m tougher than that.) Lastly I got another , yes you guessed it…
another ’04 GSX1300R Hayabusa (they are just sooooo much fun, everyone should try one at least once in their life).

I bought the 1st GSXR400R to be used only as a track bike. I went to Pukekohe to see what me and it could do. I was complete crap my 1st flying lap was only 1:27 but regardless after that 1st session I was hooked and I decided to go racing!    

2001 I started racing. My first actual race was in the winter at Taupo. It was a Saturday Sunday affair.  I ran on slicks throughout the 1st day practicebecause the Saturday was fine. The Sunday, however , was not! I’m an organized fella and I had wets. But I had never ridden on wets, ever! So after taking some advice from David Manuell I went into my very 1st motor bike race ever, at Taupo, in the cold of winter, on wets and raced through the puddles…. I even got a respectable finish… erm mainly ’cos everyone else was crashing….  But that, they say, is racing.

The best results I have had are a few fourths at various events, all of them have been in the wet/rain…. And NO it is not 'cos I am still a bit wet behind the ears!  I just like it that’s all… wet 'n' slippery is better than friction burns when its dry…. Don’t you think?
It was about 6 months after my Hayabusa vs. truck accident that I first went back to Pukekohe to see what I could do. While I certainly aren’t as fast as I was, I am comfortable to be racing again and filling the grid. On a more pertinent note I am now helping with the instructing at the AMCC ART days. I thoroughly enjoy being able to help others increase their skill, concentration, to enable higher speed and calm thought, skill and control.

It is very rewarding to watch people wobble around during session One, then by session Four or Five be smooth and controlled. Hopefully it will help keep them out of the way of all those bloody idiots on the roads… And in order of complete RUBBISH they are Taxis, Buses, Slow Drivers, Boy Racers, any Car Anywhere, Cyclists and of course Trucks.

I dunno what’s next but I have always had a hankering to build a fairly fast but very agile plane… It can’t be that hard, after all I rode a bike without a licence so…erm… so I guess we’ll see what we’ll see… 

Greg Sharpe

I have been riding since I was 8 years old and started racing at 47 I have owned about 80 bikes, all types; my first was a Puch scooter.

Achievements:  4 National Titles and No. 1 Plate in Post Classics riding my only race bike, a highly modified Suzuki GS1000.

My current bike is a Suzuki GSX-R1000 K7 stock except for sticky Metzler tyres.

I am an instructor and scrutineer at training days and race events

Mike Cross

I've always been into two wheels from as early as I can remember, raced BMX when I was at school and got my first motorbike at 16 and my licence at 17....
Rode every day from there for the next few years, and had a variety of bikes including RZ250's, an RG400 and the first of the GSXR750's and my last road bike was a Yamaha FZR1000 Exup which was the bike I first started doing track days on and only sold it to buy my current bike a 2007 GSXR600, otherwise with the mods I had made to it I would have kept it.
Started racing and came 3rd in the AMCC clubman class in 2008/2009 and moved to F2 for the season just gone and came 5th overall. I've raced in the B.A.D.D endurance for the last two years and also raced at Paeroa this year.

Vince Sharpe

Vince first became involved in road racing production motorcycles in 1976 and has been a member of the Auckland Motorcycle Club since then. Over the years he progressed with more competitive motorcycles and became lead rider for Blue Wing Honda, had guest rides with Honda Australia, and finished with a professional career with Matich Australia as a tyre development rider and for their competition team racing (particular work with the Pirelli Phantom and MP7 radial tyre ranges).

Vince has previously owned and managed his own motorcycle tyre and suspension business and has held a board position on Motorcycling New Zealand. He was the founding member and rule instigator for the successful Post Classic Road racing class and still enjoys competitive racing in the class today.

Having been involved with the rider training concept with the AMCC since it was launched, Vince has a wealth of experience to share with newcomers and experienced racers alike. He also coproduced the 2005 NZ Endurance Road Race Championship at Pukekohe Park Raceway (with live TV coverage).

Vince Sharpe remains on the AMCC executive committee and is a life member of both the AMCC and Post Classic Association (NZPCRA).

Mike Messiter

I started riding 24 years ago at the age of 15 when I first got my licence. Within 2 years I had got the bug to go racing, and so started racing on my Yamaha RZ350 which was the bike I used as my daily transport getting to and from school. Over the next few years I raced at National and Club level in 250cc and 600cc production classes.

By the early 1990's I made the move to 4 wheels and spent the next 10 years racing at Western Spring's Speedway. By about 2000 I got back into bikes, working for Henderson Motorcycles for some time as well as returning to racing, albeit in a low key way.

I have recently become qualified as a motorcycle instructor, able to carry out and issue Basic Handling Certificate test, as well as teaching people who have never ridden a motorbike how to ride.

I commute daily in the Auckland traffic, as well as enjoy open road riding when time allows (both on my GSX1400). I also have a Suzuki SV650 which is used for track days as well as a bit of Club racing.