When you ride your chopper... you're king of the road...



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2009 Events ...

 Our apologies that most of our 09 rides are not yet reported here... just a bit too much happening at present...

May 23rd/24th... ride to Quorn... as reported by Prof 

For over a year I had promised two chopper enthusiasts in the upper north a visit.  After mentioning this to a Peter, our SA ride coordinator a date was set and members notified.

I took off in the early light from Willunga to meet Kevin and Steve in Reynella.  A mile down the road I came across a small 4wd half into a ditch and thought I'd better stop in case it was occupied.  No on there, but I figured it was worth a pic.

From Reynella, the three of us fought with the traffic to get through the city tour main meeting point at Bolivar just north of Adelaide.  Glen, Peter and Kim were waiting along with our new member coordinator, Michelle (not coming with us).

Sky was heavily overcast and the air was chilly, so five well rugged up riders took off for the Easy Rider country.  We rode as one through the traffic past Gawler turning off onto the road through to Kapunda, Eudunda, Robertstown and Burra.  What can one say about five big bikes roaring along great country roads with sweeping bends and long straights blasting past the occasional car in the crisp morning air.  These out back towns are full of history... wide streets, 130 year old stone buildings, gnarled pepper trees half asleep...

Glen and i swapped bikes, him sliding down into my shovel chopper and me perched on his Vmax sports bike.  Whilst I enjoyed the swap, I was glad to get tucked back out of the wind when we hit Burra after 45 miles of blustery head winds!

After a quick petrol and snack stop in Burra it was back on our bikes to have lunch with Rosco and his wife at their pub at Terowie.  When you go there look for the chopper drawing on their wall!

Despite the continued head wind, the riding through Peterborough (quick stop) Orroroo, Wilmington and into Quorn was straight out of easy rider... though a bit faster and no with no hassles or communes.

We cruised around a couple of streets to find fuel and check out a town map so we could get to a very enthusiastic Tony's.  Once greetings were exchanged we headed back to the main street for some food and then Kevin and Steve got into BBQ'ing mode.  Glen unfortunately had to head back to Clare at five and told me later he made it by 10 to 7 after a very enjoyable blast.

The evening was spent around a big fire in the back yard with a bunch of strays form around Quorn and with most of us guys turning in fairly early.

Morning hit very early with a couple of the guys getting out of bed before daylight and disturbing the rest of us sensible souls. But it was good actually, because after a quick breakfast and packing our gear we were out of there by 7.30.  Thanks Tony for your hospitality.  We left him with an important piece of memorabilia... a nice piece of signed slate... which had done exemplary work over night supporting the side stand of Kim's big machine.

Heading through Pichy Richy Pass with the sun just rising behind us was very cooool.  I would have stopped to take some photos, but didn't want to spoil the experience.  It was then down to the main highway briefly before turning once again to the hills this time through Horrocks pass. 

Our perfect riding experience continued on through Wilmington, Melrose and Murray Town  before cutting through the ranges for a third time this time through Pt Germein Gorge.  When we stopped in Melrose we chatted to an off road motorcycle tour group.  A lot of the riders (all mature age!) had fallen off the day before and were a bit sore, but still game for what the day would bring!

The roads around Pt Pirie indicated that it had rained the night before so we felt ourselves lucky so far as the forecast was for rain. We spent an hour with Ken and checked out his partly complete xs 650, farily modern Harley and the off road 4 wheeler he is building.  I for one booked a ride in the dirt car.

Our final call in Pirie was my 80 odd year old Auntie.  She astutely observed that I needed a new front tyre and Peter's bike as a beauty.  She wondered how Kim could ride his monster and told a few stories about her escapades on my dads and her other brothers bikes in the thirties and forties.

Then it was off to Gladstone to see Grim and his Howard chopper in the making... the 1350cc engine cases way more than same jap bikes I reckon and the cam (see pic) which acts directly on the side valves is an engineering feat in itself.

We left Grim and took off at a great rate of knots to our next stop at Clare over some decidedly rough bitumen road.  Steve riding just behind Kim was almost hit by Kim's wallet as it bounced out of the luggage.  A car coming the opposite way hit the wallet and sent notes and cards in all directions! 

After a late lunch at Clare, and a petrol stop, Peter and Kim took off for home and Kevin, Steve and i followed shortly after.  I branched off at Tarlee to see another member Steve in Stockport; gave him a hand with his tractor and then rode on to Brian's in the northern suburbs of Adelaide.  he had been to crook to come with us so I figured he could do with a cheer up. 

As I left an hour or so later in the dark, the rain finally caught up with me, but that's no worries as I enjoy riding in the rain anyway... feeling snug as a bug in a rug, watching the water swishing off the front tyre and seeing all the city lights reflected on the wet road.  My lad Paul had been at Brian's for the day, so he followed me in his 300zx.

What a weekend... we all loved it and wondered why we waste so much of our time earning a living instead of enjoying more times like this!  When's the next one Peter?  

   May... family day... as reported by Prof 

Choppers Australia is a family club...  and we encourage the whole family to take part in club activities (after all the family that plays together stays together).  Our 'G' rating on events and in our publications is a part of this plan as is our extension of membership to the whole family.  Husband & wife and kids up to 16 are part of a single membership and can wear members shirts etc.

Choppers (often single seaters) don't make it easy to involve everyone but, both Jeff, our previous events coordinator and Peter our current coordinator have been especially keen to make this aspect a reality in the club... so this month's event was the first of four family days for Choppers Australia in South Australia planned for this year.

This event was scheduled as BBQ lunch in a lovely park in Summertown just east of the city in the Adelaide Hills.

Families began arriving around 10am with Paul and I coming in last after a beautiful ride on our choppers through Clarendon, Corromandel Valley, Crafers and Cleland National Park.  The towering trees, steep hill sides and curling roads are as spectacular as anything you will find in Australia.. what a blast!

The weather was fine; warm while the sun was out and chilly when it hid behind clouds.

Four families attended, necessitating their coming on four wheels. Paul and I (on Honda & Shovel) represented our family (Rilda in Qld) and Jeff (on Yamaha) left his wife Kate catching up on some much needed sleep between shifts. 


Paul and Dave (Bear CX)... 

Jeff (JP) and Dave's wife Heather...


Brian and wife Jackie (on right) with Peter's partner Michelle...

Dave, Kevin (Kevin's family in background), Peter (Hatchet) and Michelle...

The kid's spent quite a lot of their time playing on my chopper.  Posing for this pic was the only time their smiles left them!  The two girls at the back, Bethany & Grace belong to Michelle. Monique is Jackie's girl and the two lads are nephews (who just love choppers)  

They also amused themselves in the park and also joined in some footy kicking with Brian and Kevin.

Doing what I love... making kids feel important... All but one were keen to get a ride on the shovel, so that's what they got!



Jeff and Brian look on while Dave tries Paul's low riding Honda CB500 for fit... like a glove he said!

Around 3pm, we  all took of  for home.  Here's Jeff the rocket man about to mount his space traveller.

Paul had headed off to meet a friend after eating, so I headed home with Steve who had come for a quick ride after lunch.  Once again the riding through the hills via Crafers and Cherry gardens was spot on.  We dropped in on Tim at Reynella who was crook for the day and had been unable to make it.  After cheering him up we parted.

All agreed  (kids included) that the day was a success and we are all looking forward to the next one on June 21st at Elizabeth...


February... a ride of contrasts... as reported by Glen (& Prof) (photos coming) 


Well what a ride of contrasts!

It all started for Prof (chopped shovel) and Paul (chopped CB500) early Saturday morning, in the cool (25 degrees!) of the day, quickly evaporating to become a little warm.

Joined by Brian (chopped XS650), together with Peter and Michelle (Harley Street Bob), the journey was made to Port Wakefield, as the temperature hovered in the mid forties and the strong gusty head winds rose.

I met them in Port Wakefield on my VMax (chopped CX500 still in the process)by around 9. Peter and Michelle  headed south, and the rest of us headed north, directly into a strong, hot headwind and dust storm.

A long 40 minutes later, we stopped for fuel at Snowtown, with Prof, Paul and Brian turning on the air conditioner  (using a tap – Paul even soaked his boots and helmet !), then pushing on towards Gladstone.

By Brinkworth (15km), we were all dry again, then experiencing fog (red fog – heavy dust), the wind a little better from the side.

By Yacka, the air conditioner was needed again, so a brief soak to cool down, and we pushed on.

More headwinds and dust, but we made it to Grim’s alive, to meet his partner... and Wes, who had been waiting for us to arrive, having left much earlier (smart man).

Several hours under their air conditioner later, and having drunk lots of water and had a BBQ lunch under the carport,  we wandered over to the shed, to see the Howard power plant for the chopper Grim is building. This may be the first chopper also eligible to be registered as a light truck, but is coming along nicely, and will certainly be a unique and beautiful bike.

By 4pm, the change had come, and we ventured out to ride around Gladstone a little, then back to Grim’s, as the change meant it was only 35 degrees.

Soon after, Prof, Paul and Brian headed north to Murraytown to a friend’s party. I headed back to Clare to collect his son, arriving just after dark. By this time riding was very pleasant indeed.

Rumor has it that the three boys' late night return from Murraytown was eventful and very cool! (Prof says: It was Glen, jeans only, perfect temperature, bright moon, shadows of the trees gliding by in the night, choppers cruising side by side etc etc)

On Sunday, with my son Josh on pillion I arrived from Clare around 9, just in time for breakfast.

By 11 we were on the move again, heading for Terowie, to meet Ross and his partner owners of the Terowie pub. A much cooler, stiller day, we stopped for a photo opportunity just out of Terowie. On re-starting, it was realized that Paul’s glasses were lost, so the search began, and after half an hour of first gear clutch slipping searching, we located half of them. It was said it is a good way to get used to how a bike handles.

Having arrived at Terowie, we had the tour of the pub, a good chat and a drink. Ross bought out his custom oz trike for a look.  The locals were certainly curious about what was happening.  Terowie pub: very biker friendly and well worth a visit to say G’day!

It was now about 3pm as we made the run to our place at Clare, stopping only to collect gear that fell off bikes and to get oil for one machine at Burra.

Arriving at Clare around 5:30 to a light shower of rain, an hour or so was taken up looking at my projects on the go.  A quick drink and snack, then Prof, Paul and Brian hit the road again.  Gladstone to Clare in 7 hours – how it should be on a chopper!

Prof takes up the story...

Our next destination was Steve's place as Stockport.  Our ride was steady and very enjoyable with light traffic and a nice temperature.

We spent an hour with Steve discussing his second Honda 750 chopper project and other bike related things and once again got into the saddle and with darkness now on us headed down the dirt and then through a few miles of  roadworks (more dirt.. but this time firm and smooth).

Cruising together on choppers (there's nothing quite like it) comes no better than on two lanes with the three choppers side by side.  A fuel up at Smithfield (Brian's sporty tank means filling up every 60 miles) and then shortly up to Brian's new place at Valley View.

Paul and I left him there (with a big grin on his face) and following a few phone calls caught  up with a new frined of Paul's who was quite keen on having a ride on the back even though it was now after 11pm.

Being the good dad that I am, I let Paul take her on the shovel as his Honda's motor, which needs a rebuild  was Doing a Beeza in the oil department!

After an nice cool run up to Mt Lofty and then down to the Pancake Kitchen we dropped Laura off at her car and back to  headed back through Adelaide and home.  At 5am the sky was just beginning to lighten as we rolled into our drive.

Monday was a bit of a wipe-out but the weekend was worth every bit... we experienced 45 degree heat and head winds, rain and a final cold run home... and felt quite pleased at our achievement...


January... Choppers Australia 2009 Muster... as reported by Prof 

Once again SA provided perfect weather for our fourth Chopper Muster. 

It began the night before with a BBQ for Bacca and his family coming over with two choppers from Stawell, Victoria.  Unfortunately Bacca was too late for the barby, but the guys got to meet him before they left ready for the big event.

Crowy tries out Henry's chopped Virago... Steve and Henry watch... 

Southern and northern contingents and various individuals converged on our central meeting place: the "cement pines" servo at Gen Osmond.

Phil on his Trident... (a 500 bobber is in the process of being built)

Mark's xs 650 so far has short rear shockers (Honda rebel) and custom mufflers... 

Quite a few new folks rocked up this year, so there was plenty of activity and enthusiastic discussions around the bikes while waiting to head off to Birdwood.  The group took off up the Freeway with myself and Rilda, my trusty photographer in the middle lane taking pics as the choppers and bikes roared past.  I won't let on the speeds we got up to at times chasing those who got past us!



We had a glorious ride to Birdwood via Woodside and Mt Torrens.  Jeff and Greg who were there early to set up and guided the bikes into position at the front of the Museum entrance. A number of unfinished projects were brought up on trailers including Jeff's very colourful street fighter.  Once the shiny machines were parked,  participants spent time checking them out and talking or headed into the museum while the organisers found out about the meal set up and got literature and merchandise set up. 


During our catered meal on the premises, Kevin did a great job of manning the table, watching the bikes and selling merchandise and answering questions.  Then Jeff went about the difficult judging task (a lot of customs this year)  while Steve B and Dave H organised raffle ticket sales and "Peoples Choice" cards.


Steve doing a great job at the display tables...

Dave S collecting his "Frame" trophy from our judge Jeff...   Steve B and Greg in the background.


Choppers were required to stay on display until 3pm.  Once that time had passed, riders began moving off singly and in groups, in some cases joining up with new friends.  The ones I have since spoken to said the ride home in perfect weather topped off a perfect day.  

Steve G and his mates ended up taking a group of bus tourists around a pub car park on the backs of their choppers... reckoned it was a real blast.  Before we left to head back south, Kevin and I took a local couple for a half hour ride.  As she had not ridden before, we went at a fairly relaxing pace.

Participants came up to me and congratulated the club on a excellent day... the most common comment being their pleasure at meeting people who had nothing to prove and were just ordinary friendly folks.

So, my thanks to all who made the day such a good one... and special thanks to Crowy who was an excellent 'gopher" (go for this and can you do that), Jeff and Greg for organising set up, Jeff as judge and for Kevin, Steve and Dave handling the table and raffle...