Easter 2018 Hamilton/Mt Gambier ride

Pics of yours or other interesting bikes taken out and about. Reports of Choppers Australia rides, with lots of photos and great stories. If you are not confident writing up a story, email Prof & get some help... choppers are all about riding, so let's hear your stories.
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Prof
Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 5751
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia
Contact:

Easter 2018 Hamilton/Mt Gambier ride

Post by Prof » Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:13 pm

This ride has been on the books for a year. Unfortunately for a bunch of CA riders, work or family intervened and in the end only four of us were privileged to hit the road.

I met Kevin and Rob at Kangarilla at 9.00am Friday and we cruised through to Strathalbyn via Meadows where we picked up Terry. I was on my trusty Shovel chopper, Terry on his ever reliable XS650...
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Rob on his newly procured M8 HD (Nice seat for his wife who has back problems)...
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and Kevin on his 81 customised Low Rider that has just had the motor rebuilt from top to bottom...
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Terry had ripped a nail, so we walked across the street to a cafe and borrowed a scissors with which I performed some delicate surgery, then a final smoke for two of the blokes and we were off on our adventure...
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Perfect weather and minimal wind for this stretch not far from Wellington; there is regularly a stong wind of the lake...
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Line up for the ferry at Wellington extended back to the servo; well over 30 cars, campers etc. So we just ambled past on the left and then cut across via a small street to the Murray Bridge/Wellington road and found a perfect spot just 4 cars back!

We were soon on the Ferry and as usual got interest. These blokes were heading down to Beachport for some fun in the sandhills...
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Bit of wind as we turned south towards Menindie and cruised at 110 with the rest of the traffic. Terry bombing along...
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Kevin close behind...
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After a fuel stop at Menindie, we cut through to Coonalpyn. Here we got our only rain for the whole weekend and it only hung over us for a minute or two moving on to look for others less prepared. Coonalpyn was packed with vehicles and traffic was very heavy. A quick smoke and pie and iced coffee stop for the others while I cleaned up a can of backed beans, some rice cream and some fruit.
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We got back on the main drag expecting heavy clogging traffic only to be blessed with a big gap front and back as if we were by ourselves... well how would yaa bee!...

Keith for petrol again (Terry's tank holds less than 2 gallons) and pull up behind this odd contraption. Lady in her sixties was riding it from Adelaide to Hobart and says it rides like a normal bike and very stable...
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Once again straight road this time south to Naracoorte and again not much traffic, just great riding. I played around with a lot of video and quickly flattened the camera battery. Fortunately had a spare...
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Terry...
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At the Naracoorte servo Terry did his regular oil mop up... due to a leak in the centre of the the top of the rocker box. I also noticed oil leaking out of my front cylinder head. Was surprised when I got out the spanners to find most of my head bolts took up to 10 degrees tightening. This is a new motor and I had checked it after 500 miles, so was a definite surprise. Tightening the bolts solved the problem...
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The road from Naracoorte to Harrow is a great piece of chopper riding even if a bit rough in places. We settled in at the Harrow camping grounds arriving around 4pm. Site is to be recommended, very clean, good amenities and a lovely caretaker... she even chased up firewood for us...
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Terry's camp...
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Mine side tent. Made it out of material purchased from Clarke Rubber. Gray mozzie net and end piece I cut out of a dome tent. My mother 83 at the time, sewed it up for me. Assembles quickly and is big enough to just sit up in. Two tent poles are made from TV antennae. Packs into a small package...
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Brian arrived soon after in his 4x4 as his XS1 chopper charging system is playing up...
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Terry relaxing...
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No. That smoke is not from Rob's fag!
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Kevin freshly unpacked...
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As usual, next morning the others were up well before me. The whole area was shrouded in fog and the fog lifting off the lake looked quite surreal. Rob didn't put up his swag properly and got so cold during the night that he got up and huddled by the fire. Terry got up prt way through the night and when stoking up the fire almost jumped into when Rob spoke to him form close behind. Rob had gone to sleep sitting up and was stirred by Terry!..
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By 9.00am we were off after Terry filled up at the local servo. Parts of the road south to Coleraine were only one vehicle width but overall the road was good to ride on and great country to be riding through...
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As we cruised through Coleraine, Kevin's Shovel started backfiring. Terry and I were well ahead and finally realising were alone, U turned and found him trying to sort things out. The shovel started and we rode back 500 yards to a free coffee caravan where once we enjoyed hot coffees and one tea (me) got down to trouble shooting. Turned out to be a broken main earth fitting.
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I took off into town with the offending wire, but the servo was shut. Figuring one of the second hand places that were open might have some tools I tried the first. He had an angle grinder out the back and I trimmed off the old cable end and cable to allow me to crimp on a spare fitting I always carry. The bloke was as helpful as could be and let me take his photo...
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Took the part back to Kevin and while he put everything back together, I shot back into town and checked out the other second hand place. The two owners were both real excited about the chopped shovel and talked a bit about their own bike riding experiences in the day.

As we were about to take off it occured to me that Brian might like to ride back to Hamilton on the shovel... I didn't have to ask twice. Here he is wearing my gear and ready to rock and roll. I had to be content with following in the 4x4... but great road and beaut country...
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got to Brian's and first order of the afternoon was to get our sleeping accomodation sorted on his back lawn. As my tent requires the chopper, I enjoyed a bit of tight manoeuvring to to get the shovel into position. sissy bar just fitted under the Hills hoist...
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We took off down to the supermarket to grab meat and beer and then a BBQ tea was enjoyed. It was getting chilly, so Kevin got a small fire going. Only trouble was the wood was too large and didn't provide much heat. Prof (that's me) got out my little camping axe and proceeded to split the partially green wood... It did it, but was hard work, so Brian produced a heavy plumb axe and that did it easily. The comments flew thick and fast including, " Prof's at it again he's always got to be chopping something"!..,
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Beer and rum flowed freely and Kevin ended up a bit the worse for wear though he swears it was a cheep Aldi lasagne that did it... and we all believe him. Other than being woken by a loud crash during the night when emerging from his tent turned left instead of right crashed into a bunch of pots and bits and pieces, we had a good sleep.

In the morning Rob and I cruised down the street for some fags for him and water for me. These two children got very excited about the shovel and were keen to sit on it. Got a nice pic with dad's phone as well...
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Rilda loves flowers and I always watch out for interesting ones she may not have. These in the super market garden caught my eye...
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Riding past the Botanic Gardens this cannon caught my eye and I took a pile of photos to add to my collection. My son and I used to make working steel model cannons and we have quite an album of different types and eras. This is a 6 pounder and quite a large lump of ordinance. Would be a real job just to roll back and forth...
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Whenever I am in a new place I like to check it out so while Rob turned into Brian's, I cruised on and looked around. Vehicle museum was closed which was a pity. I was riding back in along the main road from Casterton and to my surprise saw a familiar little 250 three wheeler putting into town. I followed her until she pulled up at the BP servo and of course I stopped and said g'day...
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... but for $10.00 the Ansett Museum was worth looking through. Engine in the plane is 9 cylinder radial, twin plugs and twin magnetos (mounted at the front). Motor on stand has a double row of cylinders... quite a brute. History of Reg Ansett's bus transport business is cool. Victorian government at the time protected its passenger rail services by not allowing passenger buses to run to the same towns. Reg obtained a caterers licence and sold each passenger an orange at a high price (for an orange) which nicely covered what would have been their fare and so expanded his passenger services. Would have fitted right in with us bikers!
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When I got back the others were packed and ready to go, so I got on with the job. Brian led us out towards the Dartmoor road... and once again we were in the wind with the roar of our pipes keeping us company. Weather was perfect and despite a rather rough road once we got to where the forest was being cut, riding could not have been much better.

Kevin, Terry and I lead at various times and it was while Kevin was ahead that that I got these next pics. I was behind thundering along behind him when it appeared he hit something that jumped up in the air and flew to the side of the road. Looked someone had dropped a package of some sort that he'd hit. A hundred yards on something else went flying. OK! His bag's coming apart. I blasted up alongside as quick as I could and pulled him over.

I had been revelling in the fact that the forests here in many places were not fenced and remembering the days of old when we used to pull up for the night and camp in SA forests. Can't now. Everything up our way is fenced and has locked gates.

But here was a chance too good to be missed, so I gave Rob my camera and he grabbed some shots of me in amongst the pines. Pity we were committed to Mt Gambier for the night...
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Another mile and this time Terry stopped Kevin. By now he'd lost all his tea! This time I taped up his bag zips so they couldn't come undone!
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Dartmoor sign said they had fuel, so we swung in. Servo was shut, but another traveller pointed to a sign that said fuel available in a back street. Yeah! If your bike runs on diesel!!! Well I have run mine on 30% diesel but not by choice... leaves a nice smell behind you too! Our two human smokestacks once again had to light up their cancer sticks...
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PIne and eucalypt plantations most of the rest of the way into Mt Gambier...
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I'd arranged to meet John, one of our CA members and lo and behold; a lovely white xs650 parked in the Caltex servo. Must be john and so it was. The guys grabbed something to eat and then John led us to his place...
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Very small workshop and one of the tidiest I've seen. He is building a rigid chopper. My second camera battery went flat at this point and I missed a pic of the frame. Honda chopper in the poster on the wall was one of two he had in the eighties and of course deeply regrets selling...
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John then led us out to Dave and Leah's place well out of the city. He's just put his chopper back together after engine problems and had started it for the first time that afternoon in anticipation of our arrival. Of course, we got him to start it up... and oticed oil pooling under the left side case...
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Pull off the case and out runs lots of oil. We finally figured out that the non return valve in the oil pump was not working and when he'd first installed the motor he'd filled the oil tank. Come today and checking the oil tank found it empty. Figuring he must have drained it again, he'd refilled it. Oil pushed its way out of the gear case. So when he has time it will be off with the sump and rebuild the oil pump. Bummer. No ride with us after all...
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Kevin loaned me his camera so I could keep filming. Cool double acorns I've not seen before...
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Wow Dave! These look beaut! Dave,"Ihey're rocker box racers I built with my children" It's a popular sport in some places." And it is too. Here are some official rules in New Zealand... http://www.sporty.co.nz/asset/downloada ... 5e3878aebf
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Dave and Leah not only welcomed us to camp on their lawn, had us join them for tea and offered showering facilities... and in the morning fed us royally. Next morning the boys got to know their Scottish highland cattle (this on is a bull) and three Jesus donkeys.
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In the morning, I stayed in my cosy tent way after the others had packed up... didn't hear a thing. Once I was packed and we'd finished with the cattle, we said our goodbyes to a really nice family and hit the road for home. I got well ahead, parked and waited for the boys to come by, Terry first, Tantanoola servo in background that fed my mates and I a few times back in the day...
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Just steady riding against a medium wind off the port bow to Salt Creek and then on to Kingston Southeast. Big lineup of vehicles here...
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By the time we hit Kingston SE I was hungry and not willing to pay high servo food prices cruised into town and picked up a tomato, cucumber, sliced turkey and a banana for less than one servo sandwhich! Came back to the guys who graciously waited while I enjoyed my repast. One hapless 4x4 owner was stranded with a failed auto gearbox and was going to be towed by his son who was with him in another 4x4 to Warrnambool I believe... will be buggered by the time he arrives I'll bet...
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We enjoyed fast steady riding the rest of the way home, opting to bypass the ferry this time due to the expected lineaup. After Murray Bridge we got a bit spread out in the heavy traffic and I rode on alone, stopping at the Mt Barker turnoff so we could all say goodbye. All agreed it had been a good weekend. I rode home via Meadows and Terry went through Handorf, Kevin opting to go down the freeway and back to Reynella via the Southern Expressway with Rob tagging along.

I was a bit tired by the time I rolled the shovel into the workshop, but could easily have taken off again after tea for another couple of hours, but Rilda would not have been impressed! Nuff said... until next time. Get out on your choppers and keep upright!
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

El Skitzo
Posts: 727
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Perth, WA

Re: Easter 2018 Hamilton/Mt Gambier ride

Post by El Skitzo » Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:11 pm

Great pics, always so inspiring!
65 Triumph Chopper (project)

Tri4
Posts: 116
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:10 am
Location: The Hills, WA
Contact:

Re: Easter 2018 Hamilton/Mt Gambier ride

Post by Tri4 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:17 am

Hey Prof, you write a good yarn, and get some good shots, and have a great time just riding, de-stressing, who would change that for the "lotto life"!!

Prof
Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 5751
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia
Contact:

Re: Easter 2018 Hamilton/Mt Gambier ride

Post by Prof » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:13 am

Very short ride compared with the ones you do! But this one was just long enough to start to really get in the groove. Will get your latest offering up in the next couple of days.
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

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