Terowie chopper only ride... March 2017...

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Terowie chopper only ride... March 2017...

Postby Prof » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:34 am

This ride has been on the books for 6 months. The previous long weekend was cancelled due to heavy rain making back roads impassable for bikes. This ride is designated to be a chopper only ride as we have plans for video clips for u tube. However this doesn't quite work out as at the last moment our video man is called into work. Another rider who has been suffering for months with a bad neck is still unable to make it much to his total annoyance. So though our six riders are down to four we are still going to thoroughly enjoy our weekend jaunt. One of the blokes has been so anticipating this run that he has been packed for a week!

Seven am is the designated meeting time at Villies cafe in Richmond. I'm packed the night before, so just a case of brekky and I'm firing up the shovel and heading out into the dark. It is quite mild and my jacket is tied across the headlight pack and riding in just a T shirt and vest is fine even though it is 6am.

I arrive early due to fortuitous green traffic lights meaning only one stop.

Over the next fifteen minutes I am greeted by the raggedy rumbles of two choppers as Victor and Rayne roll in on shovel and pan respectively.
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No sign of Jett who has determined to at least ride an hour with us before having to get back for his work meeting. A call establishes he is coming but has slept through his alarm and will meet us at Bolivar where we are also meeting Terry.

Sun is now up and shining through a heavily overcast sky (some rain is forcast) as we take of with a roar and cruise through medium traffic along Main South Road. I get some good pics and video as we blast across the 'flyover'...
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Terry (and a few other bikers) is waiting at the Bolivar Caltex and after topping up our tanks settle down to wait for Jett on his KZ...
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Five of us now head out for our adventure; Victor, chopped '74 shovel, Rayne, S&S Pan chopper, Terry, chopped XS650, Jett, KZ750 chopper, Myself chopped 81 shovel. Weather is really mild though the clouds look threatening and for the next two days we push into a noticable gusty head wind...
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Jett and KZ on the Northern Expressway... Jetts KZ runs on an original Jammer springer and I enjoy (always) watching the rockers responding to every little road irregularity...
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Jett turns back at Freeling and Terry and I pull up to say g'by and then blast off in pursuit of the other two who are well ahead of us. We find them at the second servo in Kapunda. I have a 4 gallon (20l) tank so don't have to fill up as often as the others who take every opportunity to top up...
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This classic car (Auburn) riding on a trailer misses its turn and is slowly reversed across the intersection just missed, giving me time to get a photo.
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The four of us continue on our way periodically trading leadership; Eudunda, Robertstown...
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Rayne and I are in lead as we come into Robertstown and turn to the right to head up the World's End Highway... what?! Where are the other guys? Swing our choppers through 180 degrees and head back. Two choppers are parked on the side of the road just before the town. Oh no! I think; our fist breakdown. Terry is just walking off the road holding something. My phone!!! and it is in a lot of bits! At Kapunda in my enthusiasm to take photos I had left an octo unhooked on my food pack and the phone had gradually vibrated to the side and finally come off in a tribute to 'Wild Hogs"! Unbelievably it still powers up but can't see thing...
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Back on our trusty mounts and we roar off towards Burra. Rayne in the mood...
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Terry is keen to check out the World's End gorge. We overshoot the exit, pull up. Quick and turn about and ride up a mile of bitumen past occupied camping sites. People wave as we cruise down the dirt road towards the gorge. Terry came here in the 70's and drove through, but Nanny has once again be about and the road is blocked off. Bugger!
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So around we go and back out onto the highway. Fantastic riding by the way and I get more pics and great video though holding a camera cockeyed in a stretched out left hand with a head wind catching up to riders in front of me can be a challenge. What's the wind pressure at 90mph?!

A short stop for Rayne to double check something on his machine...
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Rayne and Terry...
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We rumble into Burra in time for an early lunch (actually really only mid/late morning, but we did start early)...
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We have hardly stopped and a familiar figure walks across the street to greet us... Peter an ex member who has a retirement house in the town has recognised my distinctive shovel chopper. Here Victor and Rayne relaxing in the shade...
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Back on the road our machines forging ahead eagerly into the headwind, tyres singing on the bitumen and air crackling past our helmets, exhaust notes lost in the slip stream. Much of the time we ride in pairs, other times spread out. I like to be close to another machine, so I can enjoy the distinctive chopper stance and enjoy its roaring exhaust...

Terry at speed. Is this how someone got the idea of jacket airbags?...
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Terowie servo comes up on our port bow and we roll in to fuel up. Then move off and pull up at Ross's old pub (now house only). After a careful inspection of our choppers he invites us in; a relief as it is now in the 30's and we can do with a cool down. (Photo by Rayne)
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A bunch of us were up here 5 or so years ago and camped out in the scrub. I have searched it out on google and show Ross where we plan to go. He suggests that unless we want to get a few 308 rounds through our choppers (and our selves) we'd better go somewhere else! Seems that have been a lot of problems up there lately, major theft, wanton destruction and quite a bit of dope growing, so the locals are very edgy and intractable.

Ross makes some calls, and get a mate to drop by and they find a couple of places for us on private property. A detailed mud map and we are on our way over 21 k's of dirt...
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Through a few 'cocky' gates and we are in a secluded spot in a wide deep creek bed. The choppers with their large amount of trail negotiate the soft sand well and we proceed to find our spot and set up...
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I unhook my set up off the bike and Terry and I go 'bush bashing' We restrain ourselves a bit as we don't want an irate owner to tell us to move on. The shovel now sports some more lost paint and scratches, but choppers are for fun not just to look at. We just about get bogged in deep sand in the creek bed and throw up high sandy rooster tails getting through. Dodging big rocks is tricky and I briefly get hung up between a couple of large ones. We find a spot to blast up the steep bank and just make it over the top. A bit slower and I might have been going 30 feet backwards to where I was! Good fun though. Break a few dead small branches as we negotiate through the scrub and I forget I have a tall sissy bar following close behind.

We eventually get back on the main track and do a bit more exploring before I realise I have a copious oil leak and we cruise back to camp. Here a ipc by Rayne of Terry rolling in ....
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Its a dislodged 'o' ring at the top of my rear rocker cover. Would have happened when I checked clearances before I left and only showed up with the motor getting really hot bush bashing as the temp is in the mid thirties. Takes a couple of minutes to fix and oil level is still ok...
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Flies from all over SA must be having a convention here as they are out in harassingly great numbers. Victor and Rayne not accustomed to country inconveniences armed with green branches constantly swish away the troublesome pests.

We wile away the hot afternoon and after cracking open our cans of food just before dark sit around shooting the breeze before early retirement.

We are up by 7am and eat and pack. This is what happens to a tent if you don't leave enough opening for the air to escape! (photo by Rayne)...
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Back on the choppers after getting some starting up video. I also get quite a bit along the dirt back to Terowie... at times doing 70mph to catch up to the leaders, one handed in the dirt. Turning sharp corners while holding the camera low in the left hand requires clutchless shifting and a bit of right hand muscling, but I manage it all without coming to grief such is the sure footedness of a long chopper with 10" of trail...
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We finally catch up with the others at the Terowie servo about to head out in a couple of four wheel drives... they don't like riding in the dirt and needed a guide anyway. Rayne has been called home and heads south. He tells me later he hits pouring rain near Adelaide with combined with a very very strong sidewind made for an interesting cruise home. He met up with a bloke on one of the new water cooled 500cc HD's. The bloke absolutely loves it and has racked up a lot of miles in a short time...
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And now there are three! We fill up at the servo once again and then...
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... explore the streets of a once populous rail centre. The trains changed from broad to narrow gauge in Terowie creating a town of 2000 inhabitants. McArthur made his famous "I shall return" speech on the station platform. The streets and buildings showed a once well cared for and well built town...
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Great shot of Victor...
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As we leave town stop for a photo of a paddock full of whimsical metal sculptures...
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We now blast off for Peterborough 20 minutes north west. Head wind is quite noticable but we twist our throttles and boogie. I lead the fellas through the main street of Peterborough to the Railway Museum. Prices for access and tours are more than we are willing to pay, but the young woman in charge is a enthusiastic rider (adventure bike) and insists on checking out out machines...
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With Victor's and Terry's permission I lead them around the streets. There is some outa sight architecture and I have to stop and get a photo of this old house standing up on my seat to see over the fence. Later Victor tells me how his dream is to finally own a house with spires, so he did like this one. Details in carvings, woodwork and stained glass is something else. I'd love to have the money to purchase and restore it to its former glory...
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Lunch time and we park in the main street. The other two buy takeaway while I grab my tinned food and find a park seat in the shade...
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As usual the choppers generate interest and over the next hour I/we talk with three different sets of enthusiastic folks; this fellow and his wife being one lot...
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Next stop the motorcycle museum...
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The only motor of its kind; a Ducati bicycle 'pullrod' motor. The rods pull the down the tappets rather than pushing them...
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The others were going to visit the museum too, but we have waited long enough and crank up our motors and push on to Orrorro. The xs650, pan and shovel are all kickstart only and with the exception of only one or two instances start first kick every time. Mine is electric start due to me having a badly busted knee some years back so I get it easy, but it does show that these old machines do not have to be problem starters...
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Brief stop in the main street, which is quite familiar to Terry as he built a shed in the district recently...
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These metal horses wag their heads in the wind: they are made of corrugated iron...
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We move on through more fantastic riding country and road to Morchard and then turn onto the 40ks of dirt to Booleroo Centre. I pull the blokes up at 'Kettle Corner" and tell them a story. Back in the early days a Booleroo resident used to overstay his wlecome at the local watering hole and finally get kicked out drunk as a Lord. He would ride home and usually fall off his horse at a corner not far from home. He'd be found fast asleep here next day. I soon became known as 'pisspot corner' and some wag nailed a potty to the top of a post. It became a reference point when giving directions. The five way intersection where we are now stopped got keetles nailed to the posts and called Kettle Corner...
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We hit Booleroo bitumen shedding dirt and dust from chopper and rider and pulled up at the house my wife and I renovated and lived in for 10 years in the 80's when the town was booming. This place and the whole country about still seems most like home to both of us as well as the kids. The neighbour has bought the house next door since we left and was keen to chat, attracted out the front by our old school choppers.

The elderly lady who lived there when we did was plagued by starlings sitting on her TV antenna (antennas were very tall then) and dropping messages all over her windows. Finding out we were keen shooters she requested help to get rid of the pesky blighters. The local cop shop is on the other side of the street and a hundred yards west, so I used to wait til the antenna was loaded and let off a #7½ twelve gauge round. Six birds was our best bag. I figured we could get off one shot with out the copper knowing where it was coming from. He never bothered us...
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Booleroo has a 24 hour card service petrol pump which is very handy for the other two. Once filled up we once again fire up our lovely steeds and move out onto the road this time to Wirrabara via Murray Town. Terry is keen to get to the pub for a six pack for supper, but cruising down the wide main street I see a bike parked outside a shop and do a U turn to check it and the owner out. Bike is for sale...
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The bloke is very happy to chat and invites us in to check out his hotrod and some chopper parts including a partly disassembled CB750 he also has for sale...
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It then transpires that his neighbour a couple of shops up has a CB chopper as well. So up we troupe to have a gander...
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He hasn't ridden it for years because he was told it would be too hard to transfer regio from WA to SA. He also says he used to build small cars and trucks for children. Here's one...
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Better find a place to crash for the night. What's that? Heavy rain lashes down without warning. A brief lull and sunshine and down it comes again. Our new friend suggests we camp under cover back in Murray Town. The progress association there has set up cheap lodging for travellers and we are told we can park out bikes undercover and lay our sleeping bags out there as well.

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We accept his advice and as soon as the next shower clears hit the road which is awash. Victors bike in front of me throws up an 8 foot rooster tail, quite spectacular with the sun's rays shining through it. By the time I get my camera out, the water has thinned out. I set my camera on video and as I expect the lens gets a good dose of water on it and the video clip ends up with a big blob right in the middle!
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Aside from the road spray we stay dry and find the camping area at Murray Town as described, put our money in the honour box and park under the verandah of a large shed. Soon after, our friend from Wirrabara drives in and insists that we shift our bikes and sleeping gear into the open kitchen. A beaut setup with microwave, jug, toaster, soap, tea towels etc as well as showers and toilets... all with signs saying "Don't lock doors"!
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I pull down a folding table and put my sleeping gear on top to reduce cold coming up from the concrete. The other two for some reason put up their tents.

Two other outfits are sharing the park on the other side of our shed and Victor and I go around to them to let them know who we are. They seem appreciative.

Next up is our evening meal. My can has no ring pull and although I carry a can opener, I follow Victor's advice and tryout something he has seen on U tube. We rub the tin on some concrete and wear through the rim allowing us to remove the lid. Takes about 1¼ minutes...
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Terry cooking up a storm...
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As darkness comes Terry and I relax in our chairs and demolish a box of shapes. Victor has retired to his tent and Terry repeatedly feeds him like a caged monkey...
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The night passes uneventfully and I wake up just before dawn and get a couple of silhouettes from my bed...
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I think this one really expresses the solitude of riding a chopper on the open road...
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Packed and fed soon after day break, we leave our safe haven and cruise back through Wirrabara, Stone Hut, Laura and onto Gladstone...
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Just out of Laura I miss a great photo; three big geese waddling along the road in front of my chopper. They look hilarious, but soon decide it is a good idea to get out of the way of this noisy monster coming up behind and make an ungainly take off, one taking sudden evasive action to narrowly miss a tall willow on the roadside...

Gladstone and a gas station on the left. We pull in to fill up. As we do, an adventure bike swings in from the south and joins the queue. The rider is about my age and we soon get talking. He and his mate are heading into the Pirie Hills to do some trail riding. He is intrigued by our choppers and wonders how well they handle... to which I happily respond.
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Neither Victor nor Terry have seen the Gladstone Gaol, so I lead them down the long west wall and across the entrance. A rather weathered lady comes eagerly across as we stop for a photo... another person keen to talk about our choppers. I talk the other two into getting a photo along the West wall...
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Terry spies a Corvette up ahead so we ride up to check it out... pretty cool car...
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Grim, one of our members lives on the outskirts of Gladstone so we cruise along the main street and out to his place. Some spirited knocking only rouses the dogs inside, so we prepare to move on when a car rolls up. The driver had seen us in t he main street and guessed we might be headed here. He feeds the dogs while Grim is away for a couple of days and thought he'd better let us know he was away.

Victor is keen to get home by mid afternoon, so we get a move on once again blasting out of his driveway and onto the main drag. I get out my camera on a number of occasions to capture footage of my shadow, but seem to play can and mouse with the clouds. Eventually get some pics and video...
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We have decided to ride home 'down the middle' via Blyth, Balaklava and Mallala. I have taken a short cut off the Clare-Gladstone road to Brinkworth a number of years ago, but aren't quite sure, so on two occasions the other two choppers almost get shortened front ends when I slow right down. I finally play it safe and take the bitumen into Brinkworth.

Once again, we cruise down a country main street and sure enough, a couple of blokes comes out of a house to check out the choppers. They are keen riders, but without registered bikes at the moment. We definitely enthuse them. While we are talking, one of them walks off and brings back more bodies. One is the mother. I ask if she's been on the back of a bike and she laughs and points out she has been riding bikes since she was four! Until recently she had a Harley, but injuries prevent her riding for the time being. We have quite a comical time and then it is time for us to move on. You can see them heading back up the street...
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The middle route is surely almost as good as chopper riding gets;little traffic, open fields and straight good road. I take a pile of pics and video. Figure I should get in a photo for a change...
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Get some shots and video of Victor...
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... and Terry...
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Lunch at Balaklava and we talk with a Ulysses member who is doing some caravanning with his wife. She is blighted with the same problem my wife has; a bad back and can't ride with him anymore...
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Wheel study...
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The guys had hoped to top up with fuel here but nothing open. We press on to Mallala... Tree skeletons from the massive fires we had up this way last summer...
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Terry runs out of fuel on the outskirts of Mallala. Bloke from this farm came across on his trail bike to see if we were ok. He said he just had to come and look at the 'three old school choppers. You don't see these every day."...
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I ride into town looking for the servo, but it is closed for the public holiday. Next street across is where Tony, one of our members lives. I drop around to his place and get some juice for Terry. Victor knocks up a funnel out of his drink bottle...
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Tony is an enthusiastic hotrodder, but has joined Choppers Australia and is hardtailing a GS750. We have a good chat and cuppa and then it's back onto our choppers...
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Victor is keen to get home and after a fill up at Two Wells, he heads straight down the main highway while Terry and I cut through Salisbury to visit Brian a member who'd wanted to come, but is prevented by a bad neck. Victor told me later he came upon stopped traffic and ended up riding along the median strip to pass hundreds of cars. The road was blocked by a bad accident, but he got through ok.

Meanwhile Terry and I ride through pesky city traffic once again on the watch for cops and speed cameras (civilisation!! You got to be kidding!!). We both agree at one of the many traffic lights we could do without out all of this rubbish. We have to resist the urge to turn around and head back into country sanity. Stay at Brian's shooting the breeze for a hour or so and then head out again.

I part with Terry soon after as I head into Norwood to update Jett on what he'd missed out on!
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Jett comes out as I rumble past his flat and pull up on my dusty, grimy noisy, but lovely beast.

At 8pm I think I'd better make a move and once again fire up my trusty machine and roare off.

I am 'dropping out of my tree' and realise I also need to let my wife know what I am up to as she was expecting me home a few hours ago. My phone is in pieces, but I'll be blowed if I can find a phone booth anywhere, so I decide to ride into the city and my favourite eating place The Pancake Kitchen.

Traffic is really thick, but I roll into their narrow lane off Hindley Street past a bunch of cops without incident. As usual, i park right by the door and don't even get to sit down before a fellow rider (lady) accosts me and we end up in a long conversation. She tells me there are 500 female riders in Adelaide. I believe her, but certainly rarely see a lady riding a bike. She is kind enough to let me use her mobile phone to call Rilda and let her know what I am up to...
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A vegetarian pancake (I'm not vegetarian) polished off in quick time, I say my thanks to the staff and on getting out to the chopper wam asked by some folks if they can get a photo. That done I offer the daughter to sit on my machine for her photo. Don't have to ask twice...
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Then just a great ride home.

I catch up with the others over the next couple of days and they reckon it is one of the best rides they have done. Well there's more to come and that's for sure...
Chopit'nrideit... Prof
Prof
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Re: Terowie chopper only ride... March 2017...

Postby El Skitzo » Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:44 pm

What an adventure!!

Brilliant pics, thanks for sharing.

Great to see ALL Choppers too, and excellent examples at that!
65 Triumph (frame only)
50 Ford Coupe
El Skitzo
 
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Re: Terowie chopper only ride... March 2017...

Postby Tri4 » Fri May 26, 2017 12:52 am

That sounds like a great ride, and you sure know how to put pen to paper, and take the right photo's, keep up the good work!!
Gerry
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