Soaking night... by chopper of course...

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Prof
Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 5770
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia
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Soaking night... by chopper of course...

Post by Prof » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:49 am

I need to catch up with Ken, our Merchandise Coordinator. Tuesday evening looks like it will be reasonably clear. I arrange to drop in at 6pm. I also arrange to meet up with Victor for a snack at a 24 hour cafe in Norwood soon after 8pm. So far so good.

Then the forecast changes and steady rain moves into my spot. Not to worry, my water proofs and 'winter rain helmet(has a visor!)' keeps the water at bay. I really enjoy riding in the rain, but not so much in the city at night with the resultant poor visibility. But I do love the kaleidoscope of colour in the rain at night, not only do the street lights take on a completely different appearance, but the reflections on the wet bitumen is magic. So no big deal.

Comes time to leave and I get delayed, so a bit of a rush to kit up... the rush because Ken has an early morning start in a tanker to Queensland and needs an early night. It's dry when I leave, but by Old Noarlunga it is teaming down. Bugger! I've brought the wrong gloves; just plain leather and they are soaked in ten minutes. And. I've forgotten to put on my light water proof coat over my (rather old and worn) jacket. It's not too long before I feel the tell tale cold spots appearing on my arms opposite the stitching. But my water proof pants always keep that part of me dry. Yikes! that same cold feeling appearing in my crotch. You guess right. They decide to leak and I am destined to sit in a pool of water for the rest of the night!

I have an alloy welding job to drop off in Lonsdale to BikeWeld. It's the beginning of my new springer project for the shovel. He is quite amazed that I should be out on a night like this, but what the heck once you are wet you are wet... and it is not all that cold. And, as the old saying goes, "Rather wet on a chopper than dry in a 'cage'". However, concerned out how much more soaked my jacket is likely to get, I drop into the local boat place to see what they have in the way of a light water proof coat. Nothing. Total Tools... nothing. Ride past a Safety shop. Hmm! They should, but a pain to turn around and time is moving on. Just press on. The rain is still steady as I cruise down the Expressway. Pity it isn't earlier and light, so I can get some cool video. As usual, I have a great time with the shovel motor thundering beneath me with any excuse to accelerate and sweep from lane to lane. Rain on my visor makes it a bit harder to see clearly, but never the less, I zip past lots of cars.

Now onto South Road Darlington and all the road works. Here it gets a bit tricky with indistinct lane marking and confused car drivers hedging me on all sides. Some big bumps and thick bitumen edges keep me on my toes! Rain really comes down hard here and visibility is tricky. Clarke rubber appears on the right. Do I check there for a coat and risk getting rear ended while I wait to turn across traffic. A truck pulls up in front to turn, so I swing around to the inside of him and open up the first chance I get. Swing a bit wide and hit six inches of water pouring across the road. Makes a fantastic display. Wow! To get that on video! Stay in my gear and helmet once again as I go into the store. No luck. Back on the chopper and another crossing in the dark and rain and deep water. And off we go. South road movement is pretty good and I get plenty of green lights. A bit more tricky to filter between the vehicles due to the loss of side vision accuracy with the rain and wet visor. Keeping it up works if I go slow, and I reckon it gets more flip ups and downs than its had the rest of its life!

Traffic is really thick up Regency Road and my filtering is not helped by its narrowness. A number of times its feet down to weave and lean the chopper between two sets of mirrors. Cut between stopped cars a couple of times and finally near the Main North Road intersection take a left down a side street. Ah. Much better. No traffic.

Fuel is low, so pull into this servo at Enfield. Once again squelch into the shop. But must say, my good ol' flying boots are dry inside even if everything else is rather soggy!
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Get to Ken's a few minutes late after a couple of missed turns and some U turning. One time turning indicators (we used to call them blinkers) are useful... to stop someone running up my rear...illustrated by one near miss tonight. Squelch into Ken's garage and we check out his recently built shovel chopper. It vibrates a fair bit and he is finding riding unpleasant. We start his chopper and mine and compare. My current motor vibrates more than my old one, but Ken's is definitely much worse. It's been built by a recognised shop, so should have been done right. Can you believe it. I don't take a photo.. What a dill. Sorry about that!

We spend the time sorting out merchandising ideas. He is getting these rings made for CA members. They are pewter and $40 each. I'm getting one made, but narrower and with deeper cut. Send Ken your Aussie ring size and it will be made to order. We are also looking at some small patches with sayings on them. Stay tuned. Ken will be setting up a decent stall at the Macclesfield Bike Show coming up in SA and will do the same once again at our coming Muster...
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Time to let him hit the hay. He gives me a pair of work gloves to go inside my soaked leather gloves and that makes a difference as my fingers were getting cold. The rain has stopped and I encounter only wet roads on my way to the next stop. "On the road again" Never fail to get a kick out of firing up the shovel and riding, no matter how short the ride.

Pull into Norwood. Pass a cop car pulling someone over part way down The Parade... Quietly quietly. Open pipes are a bit noisy! And there's Victor's 'new' shovel parked outside the cafe. It looks great, a real classic chopper. Pull in and he comes out to meet me. Discussion on latest plans including some different bars and...
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...a look at the new speedmaster ribbed tyre. What's this, screw staring us in the face, cocky as Ol' Jacky...
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The tyre hasn't gone flat, so it must be short. He pulls it out with a dental pliers I carry, and we go inside, eat and enjoy an hour of chatting about choppers, chopper riding and future ride ideas.

Time once again to move off. Victor's fires up first kick after switching on after a couple of primers. I cheat with my electric start, a hated necessity due to a badly damaged knee years ago. We have a grand time riding side by side much of the way back to his place; with of course lots of hard acceleration and car passing!

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Wave to Victor as he peels off and have a most enjoyable ride home over wet roads, but free of rain. Wet clothes get hung up in front of the wood fire and one very happy and relaxed chopper dude, has his supper and hits the sack.
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

Hottentot61
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:06 pm
Location: Murray Bridge
Interests: Obviously I am interested in bikes. At the moment I am building a bobber style 1972 tr6r triumph. I have been into choppers and bikes from the time I could straddle one. I am also into doing leatherwork and have had shops over the years. These days I work from home as I am semi retired and waiting for a new set of lungs.

Re: Soaking night... by chopper of course...

Post by Hottentot61 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:32 pm

Hey Prof sounds like a good if wet ride and on that note acouple of years ago a mate and I went for a ride to Pt Augusta where his folks are buried. It was cold and wet but a trick keep your hands warm and dry is a pair of surgical gloves worn inside normal gloves, doesn't matter how wet or cold your hands will be dry and warm. I now always carry a pair in my pocket. They work a treat!!!

El Skitzo
Posts: 731
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Perth, WA

Re: Soaking night... by chopper of course...

Post by El Skitzo » Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:11 pm

Just curious Prof, what size tyre are you running up front? Looks like a tight fit in that front end.
65 Triumph Chopper (project)

Prof
Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 5770
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia
Contact:

Re: Soaking night... by chopper of course...

Post by Prof » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:12 pm

Both of us are running 3.25 x 19's. Mine is a Dunlop K70. I think Victor's is an Avon Speedmaster. They are genuine 3.25 inches not modern equivalents. My tyre does a nice job and wears well. I found that the full rib like Victor's tends to follow road grooves more, but Victor is liking the rib... of course ribbed tyres were all that was available as front road tyres until the K81's came along and were all the rage... front and rear. Reason given at the time for the block was better braking and I think better grip on extreme leans... Rears hadbeen blocks for many years, but closer to a trail bike block than the K81...

This one is the modern Avon Speedmaster...
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Modern K70 as on the front of my shovel...
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The modern version of the old K81... first tyre to lap at 100mph plus in 1969 according to the advertising...
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The modern offset patterns seem to get very scalloped on my shovel both front and back, probably because I run lower pressures than modern recommendations so I try to run the patterns that are mirror image side to side when I can.
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

Prof
Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 5770
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia
Contact:

Re: Soaking night... by chopper of course...

Post by Prof » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:49 pm

I'll keep the surgical gloves in mind. I always have them in my toolkit. I've also ridden in heavy rain with plastic bags over my gloves and shoes. That works really well, but throttle grip is poor.
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

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