Barry Bligh established the Overlander organisation in 1973.
As an engineer, a motor cyclist, and a traveller Barry
designed and built touring and camping gear to fit out his R69 BMW for
an overland adventure to Europe in 1966. The plan was to travel to Ceylon
by sea and then overland from there to travel to Europe through India.
These plans were thwarted by the outbreak of war between India and Pakistan,
which closed the borders so the trip began in Naples. After touring Europe
for several months Barry enrolled for his masters degree at Cranfield Institute
of Technology in the UK. As courses began in October a part time job was
arranged at the Rover Co in Solihull.
Two years toil and study resulted in a MSc. After a further
2 years working in the motor industry it was time to return home on the
BMW, now with a side car attached. This time no amount of warring was going
to stop him travelling overland. Many adventures and 6 months later he
had arrived back in Australia, where he obtained employment with Ford as
a development engineer. In 1972 he retired to his father's farm to
set up his own motorcycle parts manufacturing business.
The first parts made were thermo formed plastic chain
guards for farm bikes. This led to the manufacture of plastic panniers,
top boxes and carrier frames. A few years later the first production stainless
steel mufflers were made for BMW and Vincent. At that time the fledgling
Overlander company was only the second firm in the world make stainless
steel mufflers, after the UK firm, Bakewell and Green, which he had visited
whilst in the UK.
Business was expanding. In 1978 land was purchased and
a new factory designed and built by Barry, where he still operates today.
Overlander’s policy has always been to give good value
for money. In order to keep control of quality all the parts sold are made
in house. This has demanded a lot of experimenting and innovation, the
development of special machinery and methods. As a result of this effort
the product finish and accuracy is second to none worldwide.
Overlander is the only firm that makes a such huge range
of pressed mufflers, from a BSA Sloper to a Z 900 Kawasaki, and is the
only supplier of stainless steel parts with a flash chrome finish. This
finish largely prevents the bronze discoloration of polished stainless
steel due to high temperatures in the exhaust and applies to all engine
pipes and most small mufflers. If required larger mufflers can be plated
If you don't find the muffler or engine pipe you require
on the list, please enquire. If you have a sample there is no system we
There has been a gradual expansion into other sheet metal
and hardware parts and tank badges. A range of pressed toolboxes is under
development. We have made pressed stainless steel fuel tanks for early
Indians and more are planned. We are also making tools to produce stainless
steel seat bases. We now have the capacity to replicate any small part
in steel, bronze, alloy, rubber or Bakelite. We also have gear-cutting
machinery, which enables us to replicate most any gear or sprocket, and
we can rebuild gears and splines to original dimensions.
Should you have a problem it's very likely we can help
you with a solution. Call us!