Morgan Overnighter & Swap Meet 2020

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Prof
Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 5975
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia
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Morgan Overnighter & Swap Meet 2020

Post by Prof » Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:59 pm

Swap meets finally starting to happen again. Clear Skies overhead. Morgan Swap meet; the first in a long time, so what better excuse for camping overnight and putting a few miles on the old girl. A chance to find some bits for my customers, to promote Choppers Australia and perhaps meet a few like minded chopper jocks.

Terry will be in on it, although his XS chopper is not quite ready for the road again. Rob reckons he needs some wind in his face too. Asks me to bring up some HD oil (Penrite 50/70) for his shovel. I grab it and put it in the pannier while still on the phone. More about this later!

No further response to a general invite over Facebook, so Terry plots a course and we agree to meet at his place around 2pm Saturday and drop by Rob's an hour later.

It is with considerable excitement that I get my travelling gear organised. Have arranged to pick up a new air mattress on the way in on Rayne's recommendation. It is a bit long for my chopper side tent, so I pull out the TAJ instead (called that by the others due to its imposing dimensions).

I've also had the springer of my chopper off the bike for chroming and have been waiting on a front wheel rebuild, so it can all go back on the shovel. I made the mistake of buying a 19" 36 spoke rim from India! Chrome bad and the rim roundness and alignment less than perfect. Wheel rebuilder (DC Motorcycles) had a real job as the dimples for the spokes were angled for a narrow disc brake hub not a large twin leading front brake. Anyway had finally all come together and the day before leaving, the shiny new front end was back on and hopefully ready for a longish trip.

Saturday rolls up fine, but cool and after rushing through a pile of jobs I am finally ready to move out.

As usual, the shovel fires instantly and I let it warm for a few moments while putting on my helmet and gloves. Rilda comes to the back door to wave me good bye and down the drive I rumble.

Plenty of traffic all the way to Terry's. Springer is taking a bit of getting used to. I need to tighten the rear rocker bolts more to prevent the low speed wobble. Once in third gear it is fine, but gee not too precise at low speed when filtering... in fact darn disconcerting. I ran it un-chromed for 6 months previously and it was fine, so I know it just a case of some tightening. I also have a slightly bent frame from hitting a roo earlier in the year so that is not helping. Will fix that some time when I have a couple of days spare.

Get to Terry's right on time and he takes me down to his garage to check out his shiny chopper. Paint is a real credit to him. Pipes yet to be copied in stainless and polished...
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Route to Rob's is via One Tree Hill and Humbug Scrub Roads. Very enjoyable riding, following Terry and just moseying along...
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Williamstown and then Lyndoch and we are soon at Rob's. A mate is helping restore an HZ sedan, so introductions are made. "Where's my oil?" says Rob. Bugger. I forgot all about it. One embarrassed face, one sad face and two amused faces. Rob reckons Sprint in Angaston is open, so we decide to cruise over there. Oil purchased (40/70 Enduro which is all right) and the 1/4 full tank filled and we are again on the road, once again at the mercy of la tourist in de 4 wheeler chopper killers. More about the oil later!
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Soon away from the mad crowd and boring along the Sturt Highway to Truro.
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In Truro, while Rob fills his shovel, and Terry grabs a cherry ripe, by prior arrangement I call new SA member, Shaun who lives off the Eudunda Road over a few K's of dirt. He will meet us on the Eudunda Road...
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We all hit the skids coming up to a rise as Shaun comes boring down towards us. We fly past and he spins around, overtakes us and just a couple of miles on, swings us onto a really smooth dirt road. As I have been doing all the way, I get a bunch of pics and video clips...
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After a general inspection of the machines, afternoon cuppas go down well. Shaun will ride with us to Morgan and again takes the lead.
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Shaun's own painting...
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This is great country, open and no traffic, no signs telling me what to do in every possible scenerio, no concrete, few houses... a man can relax here. Get some more video clips and photos. Come into an unexpected gravelly creek crossing on a corner and have a few anxious moments with camera still running in one hand and trying to pull the chopper around without sliding out. Make it with six inches to spare! I was actually trying to catch up as well, but all ok and accelerate after the others. 130 k on these smooth dirt roads is fine on the chopper. I have fun running it in one of the central gravel ridges, feeling the back wheel squirming from side to side in the loose stones. Good fun and quite safe with the large trail, long wheel base and low machine...
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Back on the bitumen. A car travelling in the opposite direction flicks up a rather large stone which hits me on the inner knee. Man! Does that ever hurt. A nice bruise will develop that's for sure. Rather painful for the next half a dozen hours, but ok by the time I hit the sack at 11pm. My small screen and bag over the springer, protects most of my face from insects, but I still cop a few big fellas on the forehead along this stretch of road...

One of Rob's okky straps breaks and a quick stop is fine by us anyway...
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The Rob stance...
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We pull into Morgan around 5.30 and I lead the others looking for swap meet signs. I recognise Zac, one of the bikers in a seated group outside the pub and motion to the others to pull up so I can have a chat. You can see his Evo sporty chopper in amongst the group of bikes...
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On the way in Rob has recognised a disused servo that a mate now inhabits. I talk him into going back up there to see if he is home. He, his son and a mate are and we get invited in...
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He has some interesting bits and pieces including this old springer with a Hallcraft (or copy) mini brake. Barely holds a chopper on a hill, but definitely cool...
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Some of Pablo's work with textas only. Turns our he and the local hotrod club are the organisers of the Swap Meet, so we get directions...
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Group photo. Pablo is the tall hairy one...
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Pulling into the Swap Meet grounds, we are met by a fellow and couple of ladies. One of them, who turns out to be Pablo's missus gets all excited about by chopper and as usual I offer her a ride once I am unpacked. This suggestion is most enthusiastically taken up. Her trumpy is off the road atm. Left my camera in my jacket, so didn't get a pic, but we cruise around the streets and then 5 k's out of town at speed.

Tent laid out to stake our claim; sellers are steadily rolling in...
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Always good camaraderie on evenings before swap meets and most particularly this one. Walking around, hear my name called and meet up with one of my students from Risdon Park High School in Pt Pirie. He remembers my chopped CB500 parked outside my art room, but not the model U chopper I had first. Have a bit of a chat. Darkness slowly rolls in and when I get back to our site Terry and Rob have ridden off, I assume, to the pub for tea. I was going to use Terry's little gas cooker, but so what, begin eating my can of beef stew cold... when the two blokes arrive with hot pizza for three. Needless to say, I eat some of that too.

Bed reasonably early and sleep comes soon on my comfy new mattress, despite raucous laughter from a number of quarters. Terry and Rob complain in the morning that they were kept awake much of the night by the beer fueled merriment.

6.15am Rob comes to...
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Brekky. Our neighbour happily loans me a spoon as I'd left mine home (took it in for a quick wash!)...
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6.30 am Terry reluctantly comes to...
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The area soon fills with sellers and buyers and I do a number of rounds necessitated by many overnight stall owners taking their time to uncover their goods. In fact at one stall Terry and Rob wait for ages for the owner to appear. Rob finally puts the item aside and they go on their way. Come back half an hour later and see stall owner next door. Yes, he'd seen them, but didn't bother to come over. Lazy bugger deserves no sales at all...
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Terry and Rob catch up with me at a stall and show me this Bantam tank. What weird thing do you notice. I missed it.
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Aussie answer to Invader wheels!!!
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We stay until 11am and in that time meet a fellow and his dad who are quite enthusiastic about the shovel chopper and pleased to actually find someone who knows a bit about chopping a bike. The son is chopping a CB 750/4 and will no doubt be showing up on our Facebook page and spending a lot of time on these pages... most likely become CA members eventually.

Now for something funny (?). I open my left pannier to put in some bits I have bought, and guess what is staring me in the face? Four litres of Penrite 50/70. You've got to be kidding!!! The boys decide Prof is finally losing it. Damn! Now what's my name? Heck! Where are we? Hmm! Bit of a worry.

Anyway, where to now? Maximum dirt roads is the order of the day. Rob and Terry doing some research...
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Terry leads off and we are soon travelling along a long and mostly straight dirt road that is in really good nick and a joy on which to ride; Stock Route Rd. It takes us almost to Eudunda...
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Seeing as i'm taking all the pics, I get the blokes to stop and Rob does a few clips of me riding past...
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Rob's shovel is playing up and revving strangely and blowing smoke (excess fuel). He has been playing with the choke to see if he can rectify it, so I pull out a small screw driver I carry and adjust the jet on his S&S carb. We soon find a quarter of a turn is all that is needed... and off we go...

Some tiny flowers where we pull up...
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We'd initially agreed to check out any interesting ruins we come across and I spy quite a collection on a road off to the left, accelerate to catch up with Terry and we U turn and check them out. Meant to get a photo, but forgot. Naw what was my name again?!!.

Rear axle and part of a chassis of an old Essex truck got the fellows quite excited...
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Underground tank would have been blasted out of the limestone with black powder... a good 20 feet deep and 12 feet across... Lots of old steel bits everywhere and one of the old roofless sheds still had the remains of their wooden floors and a large block of cement. Would have originally housed an oil engine that ran the sheep shears. Lot of history there and fun to consider possible scenarios, wonder who lived there, were there children. When did they finally leave. etc etc
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Back on the road for more steady cruising. We sit about 100 yards apart due to the dust, but I still get well coated. At one stop I see that my twin rectangular headlights are thickly coated with a mixture of dead insects and dust; not a lot of light would get past. I wipe it off then realise it would have made a good pic. Terry has to brake hard for a bunch of sheep barrelling mindlessly across his path!

These critters are quite numerous, crossing the road in front of us in pairs. I want to get a photo of two of them close to my front wheel, but by the time I pull up and get the camera out, they have skitted away... too sunny I guess!...
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The last half a dozen miles of dirt sees a change from natural grazing land consisting of red dirt, grey saltbush and mallee trees to green cultivated pasture and well tidy lived in homes. Then Stock Route Road meets the highway a few miles from Eudunda and we try maintain our speed even though the bitumen is far rougher that what we have been enjoying...
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Eudunda provides Terry and Rob with the opportunity to get some lunch. I pull up an extra seat at one of the small footpath tables and consume some canned goodies I carry. A bit of good natured banter ensues with some of the locals sitting by or walking past. Lunch over, we check out a rather spartan curios shop and then ride up to a big shed packed with second hand stuff most of which I call just plain junk. I do pick out a DVD however.

In response to a question from Rob, the owner gives us a history of the shed. It was built as an aircraft hanger. The builder had designed and built an aircraft that he planned to mass produce in the hanger. Sadly, starting his first plane (this was the 1920's I think) he didn't' get his arm out of the way of the propeller and he lost it. End of that dream. The bottom chords of the trusses are amazing; single pieces of 10" by 4" Oregon timber 60 feet long (20m) and with barely a knot! Purlins and top timbers are of similar length. Apparently current owner was offered new trusses, and roof plus $40 grand for the existing timbers!

The story is dragging on and we need to make a move, so I kit up and fire up the shovel to give Rob an excuse to break the conversation. Even then still difficult!

Now down to Truro again via the Eudunda Road. Getting chilly so when we hit Truro I pull over and get my Jacket and gloves on. Rob answers a call from his son and heads directly for home. Terry leads me off down the Truro and Muculta Roads to Angaston. I had previously arranged to drop by Peter B who lives just out of Mt Pleasant, so give him a call (3 calls). No answer. Tell Terry I will ride with him as far as Birdwood and them give Peter another call. Off we go again. Springer with its loose rockers lacks precision when cornering and requires extra concentration to negotiate some of the bends at speed... chopper tends to swing wide. Will have to fix it, but might be a week or so as I have a lot to do back home and in the workshop.
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Coming into Birdwood Terry swings into the servo and I cruise on into the main street and pull up by Bill's Bike shop. Terry pulls up, agrees with me that it was a great weekend and says goodbye. Shortly after, a lady comes up asking to take a photo of the bike. I go one better and get her to sit on it while I take a couple of pics with her phone.
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Another call and still no Peter. Just up the street is an antique shop I have enjoyed a few times. Shouldn't have gone in there because I find three books I can't resist, two Biggles books for my older son and a beautiful book on the history of ships. The latter will be a Christmas present for me from Rilda. Would love to read it now, but will have to wait.

Finally a call from Peter. He's been down in the bottom paddock with out his phone. Yes. Please drop in. About to take off and two people I know well came up; a recent customer, Cliff and his wife. Chat for a while. They too are heading home from a ride.

Ten minutes later I amble up Peter's long drive and am greeted by numerous sulphur crested cockies in the trees, donkeys, a kangaroo, various other feathered creatures and a bunch of very noisy peacocks and peahens...
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A cuppa and chat and I am once again on my final leg towards home. I sit on the speed limit now travelling on through Mt Torrens, Woodside, Meadows etc and finally to Willunga. Sun is getting lower, but traffic is minimal and the ride is very pleasant. I keep a watch out for roos, but only see one crossing a few car lengths ahead. I love riding with other choppers, but cruising alone is also pretty cool too. A showy sunset is developing as I pull into the Willunga servo to fill up. Three gallons later, I'm thundering up our road away from the sun. Sunset is caught in the mirror and good for a last couple of pics...
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Rumble up our drive and into the workshop. Pretty tired, so I think I'll just head inside and unpack later.

So good to be out on the highway again, that mighty engine pounding away beneath me, exhausts roaring in my ears, changing every time I alter the throttle position... absolute music to my soul... how fortunate we are to be able to experience such wonderful things.

Chopper will only do short business and domestic runs for a few weeks, but a good ride to the Macclesfield Bike Show soon and then I'm heading up to Coober Pedy for three or four days... now that is something to look forwards to. Viva la Chopper!
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

El Skitzo
Posts: 806
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Perth, WA

Re: Morgan Overnighter & Swap Meet 2020

Post by El Skitzo » Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:55 pm

Good to see you all out and about again!
'65 Triumph Chopper (project)
'64 Triumph Chopper (project)

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