2021 Gawler Swap Meet

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Prof
Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 6033
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia
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2021 Gawler Swap Meet

Post by Prof » Mon Sep 20, 2021 1:56 pm

A swap meet at last. They've been few and far between with the ridiculous government restrictions and demands on swap meet organisers. I usually camp overnight and enjoy the camaraderie of a dozen other sellers who have spent the afternoon setting up their stalls. Not this time though, they only have an hour in the morning before the buyers roll in.

At Rob's invitation I arrange to camp at his place at Lyndoch Saturday night.

I still haven't tidied up the shovel since my encounter with a wombat some months ago, so spend much of the day doing jobs that have needed to be done. But right side rubbers (footpegs as well) will have to wait...
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Repair a crushed front exhaust...
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Whole bike needs to be pulled down and repainted; 20 years of scars!...
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...and open up my baffles with my old 70's baffle punch (Man has this ever seen a lot of exhausts over the years!...
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Adjust solid lifters that have been getting rather noisy, sort out my original speedo. I have tried three analogue GPS speedos and they either don't last or just don't work on a chopper with unsuppressed electrics. Cable and drive gives me grief (lots) and I just about give up on it, but finally as departure time is looming, get it fixed.

Rush to chuck in what I need to pack and then hit the road.

Exhaust note sounds better, but still not that nice round sound you get the open pipes and the brilliant rumble when throttling off. First time I hit the front brake, nothing! Readjustment needed, but ride on and will be careful. As it turns out running just a back brake on a long chopper is not as bad as one might think as much more of the chopper's weight is at the rear. Still need to be a bit more careful though... but then again when running drum brakes front and rear, one is anyway.

Had forgotten to check rear tyre pressure (very slow leak) before I left so pull into the Meadows servo and grab a cherry ripe to eat while I ride as well. A note on tyre pressures. I often shock new chopper jocks when I tell them I run 24-26psi on the rear instead of the 40 psi which is the current fashion. Tyres were actually designed to flex to smooth out the bumps (and don't we need that these days on our un-vehicle worthy roads). Run 40 psi and you wear out a 2" strip in the centre of your tyre. Your contact patch is also that same narrow strip... not the best for grip especially in panic stops.

My take on the issue is to run as low a pressure as possible without being squishy in the corners and spreading the contact and wear surface evenly as wide as possible. Safer and smoother and though the tyre might heat up and wear more, the wear being spread over a wider area tyre wear is not compromised. Sports bike riders might want to do it differently, but I think this is the best approach for any chopper jock. Work out what pressure your tyre needs to get even wear across 60% percent of the tread. Too flat and you will wear the edges and leave a ridge in the centre. Tyres are different and bike weights differ...
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Ride to Lyndoch is uneventful. I had intended to leave so I arrived before dark. Birdwood to Williamstown can be a kangaroo problem, but tonight I see narry a one. When it comes dusk I switch on the low beam and as it gets darker hit the high beam. Oh Oh! No high beam. Pull up and fiddle with a few wires, but no change, so will just slow down and watch out extra hard.

Rob gets the BBQ going soon after I arrive and we chat to midnight.

The 6.15am wake up call comes all to soon and 'baby its cold outside'! Quick bite and I follow Rob on his springer HD. Get into the grounds easily, but a marshal yells out "Mask!" I ignore him and we find our usual spot and set up as a puffing bloke comes up to tell us to mask up... something that gets ignored by a number of other attendees as well.

I had let the swap meet guys know other choppers were coming into join our display, but sadly that does not happen. We have a number of members and others who know us come up and chat and some CA literature is taken by interested parties...
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I do my usual rounds and only find one thing that chopper jocks might like; a nice chrome eagle for the sissy bar. Not cheap, but not common either...
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10.30 an we pack up and Rob and I take off back to his place. I pack my sleeping bag and blanket and take off for home. One of our members says he wants to work on his chopper. My phone is playing up (again) so I can't call him, so just make sure I get back in reasonable time. Need to fuel up at Lyncoch. 25c dearer per litre than Willunga, Meadows etc. Bit rich, but they look independently owned, so wouldn't get the normal discounts, such is our biased economical system these days. Super markets can often sell cheaper than independent stores can buy!

Riding is less pleasant today with a strong and gusty wind mostly off the starboard quarter. I decide to pull up at the Meadows bakery for a toasted sandwich as it is now midday. Sit down with a Uliysses bloke and we enjoy our meals chatting about bikes and choppers and riding.

Home half and hour later and do a pile of chores (no customer) and watch a couple of DVD's I bought before cooking tea.

Nice to be able to get out on my chopper and go for a bit longer ride. Swap meets are no longer really economically feasible for me as there is now so little chopper gear available to purchase and resell. But you never know, the one I don't attend may be the one that I should have! Dilemna!
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

El Skitzo
Posts: 836
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Perth, WA

Re: 2021 Gawler Swap Meet

Post by El Skitzo » Tue Sep 21, 2021 9:45 am

Great to see the Chopper back up and running again.

A note on tyre pressures, on our rigids we're running down around 16psi to try and soak up some of the bumps and irregularity in the roads.
'65 Triumph Chopper (project)
'64 Triumph Chopper (project)

Prof
Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 6033
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia
Contact:

Re: 2021 Gawler Swap Meet

Post by Prof » Wed Sep 22, 2021 8:24 am

Agreed. Until the forties bike tyres were narrow, then in USA they brought out 'Balloon' tyres to soften the roughness of the road. Yank bikes were still mostly rigid. My WLA manual advice on tyre pressure is 10psi solo and 12 psi two up. I have found that the side walls of modern tyres are not built to flex like the old 16 x 5's and had one crack along the side walls pretty quickly. Brands I use now are fine at the pressures I run.
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

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