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 by order.
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 can't make.
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!