2019 Ride to Pt Pirie and then the Lockleys Bike Expo...

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: 5914
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia
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2019 Ride to Pt Pirie and then the Lockleys Bike Expo...

Post by Prof » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:38 pm

Last entry on my chopper tank lists a ride to Kadina swap meet June 2018. Yoiks! Gawler swap meet is about the furthest I have ridden in 16 months. Now, that, my chopper friends is NOT good. I have run up plenty of miles, but all local stuff. How I crave a couple of weeks out on the open road!

Get an invite to a high school reunion where I once taught at Risdon Park High School, Pt Pirie. Hmm! Cogs turn. Hmm. Have two Chopper Shed customers up there. Chance to see them on their home turf. Now I know Pirie is not far; if only I taught at Coober Pedy or something! But better than nothing.

Ok! It's done. Leave a day early and cruise. But wait. A major SA bike show is on the following morning. Would have to leave Pirie about 4.30am and be Kangaroo bait for a couple of hours. My new twin headlights are brilliant, so doable. Yep. It's on. Notify wifey who is all in favour and make arrangements. Will stay overnight with Rob... and he's ok with getting up at 4am to see me off. Ring Ken. Yes. He'll set up his display for CA at the Bike Expo early. All ok.

Aim is to leave Friday morning, straight after taking my wife to an appointment. Put special effort into the workshop to get things moving including taking on a worker... which makes a big difference. Still haven't set up a guard on my new springer and leave a day aside for it. No luck, a customer has an emergency a few days before departure, so there goes the guard idea. Will take the Pt Broughton road where there is less chance of Highway Patrols who might just get excited if they see a missing front guard. "Hey sarge, Lookee here. Defect bait. Drop that donut and let's get him!"

Thursday night. Computer program mucks up trying to get up a story on the forums the night before. Bugger! Has to be done before I leave. Call my son to sort it out.

Friday morning. Take Rilda to her appointment. Bike is packed, but the computer sorted, so get story written up. Takes an hour, so my ride won't be so cruisy now.

Say goodbye, Vest, jacket and gloves on. Shovel fires instantly and once the choke is off, she settles to a nice rumpety idle. Mount up and with some difficulty negotiate the chopper past a truck and the big forklift Paul has blocking the workshop park.

On the road at last. A lot of riders don't like city riding. I have to say, that except for idling at traffic lights I enjoy the challenge of filtering through traffic, seeing how many 4 wheeled cages I can get ahead of. Always think of the opening scenes to 'Then Came Bronson"; " Wish I was you". I like putting the chopper on display. It gets a lot of attention and I like to think that at least some of those will get an urge to get onto 2 wheels and hopefully eventually a lovely classic chopper.

Cruise over the Skyway at the end of South Road, sweep around onto the Port Highway and finally head out of the city and into adventure land.

Pull up at the Bolivar Caltex and as usual have a couple of blokes admiring the chopper. Then rumble off to my next stop, Mal at Two Wells. He was a very early member of CA and rode his Honda 750 chopper in our first Muster. Can't ride anymore due to a stuffed shoulder from his trucking life.

He's home and tells me he is enjoying a new sport; making knives. Has this nifty little furnace made from a coffee can lined with a 50/50 mix of plaster of paris and fine sand...
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If these, his first three knives are any indication of his potential , we can look forwards to seeing some very cool quality knives...
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Half an hour later, back on the road, weather is just off cool, but quite windy, so my head cops a bit more buffeting than usual. How I hate these stinking helmets! Take a few cruisy video clips and pics as I cruise at the 110 k speed limit. Those of you who ride this road will be familiar with these killer statues dominating a mile on each side. They were a protest against a proposed uranium dump here. Hope no politically correct moron ever insists they be removed. They are an entertaining distraction, but more importantly an example of a genuine Aussie who was actually willing to put his time and money where his mouth was instead of just bitching about things...
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Pt Wakefield Road is now four laned, mostly straight and smooth... great for laying back against my pack, feet forwards, left hand in my lap and just putting along. Time to relax and time to think and time to plan and design...
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Trundle though Pt Wakefield. Pass the last servo and then figure, although I'll have enough fuel to get me to Pirie, should fill up anyway...
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As I move out I hear a familiar sound and look across to see a Harley with pillion rumble by. Move off after him and cruise close enough behind him to hear his exhaust. Enjoyment doesn't last too long, as they swing off to the peninsular while I am headed straight on.
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Blast along the flats and then into The Hummocks where the road sweeps up through them via a number of sweeping curves some of them poorly cambered. On one right hander, I realise I am going in above my limit. Heel the chopper over and bit more and get through. This is the worst cambered, but I am instantly disappointed with my new springer's performance... until a look at my speedo suggests otherwise. Wow! Going quite a bit faster than I thought!

This situation is the one that gets those ugly big fat tired rigs in trouble. No way I could have hauled one of them over enough to get around... instant high side. Take note fellas. If you want to seriously ride, keep to 150 wide. Ah. Good slogan; "Want to really ride, keep to 150 wide."

Right at Kulpara and the road gets a bit bumpier with frequent rises, dips and some sweeping corners. Great riding though. Only one or two cars the whole way. Have fun doing a whole lot of video clips and photos. Here's a few pics...
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The Kulpara to Pt Broughton is rough and gives the springer a good workout. Works fine and when I pull into Broughton it is still together! No cracks and no loose bolts! Time for a snack and drink, all of which is carried in my kit...
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Broughton to Pirie is excellent tarmac and once again my faithful 'girl' and I just cruise together. Steady roar of the motor, slight vibration and some wind buffeting. Get wacked in the face by a large insect and a bit later a bee gets very upset at being stuck in my helmet and lets me know with a good sting behind my ear. Other wise all uneventful...
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Roll into Pirie, a place once my home from 1974 to 1981. Loved the place and would happily live there again. Now down to 60k and after a couple of miles of new houses pass what once was the first house to be encountered. In 1974 on my first day of teaching, already late due to a slipping clutch which I was able to adjust sufficiently at Pt Wakefield, I pulled up at this house with petrol pouring from my carby. Owner of the house was mowing his lawn and insisted I put my U model chopper in his shed and he take me to work. My new senior master was not impressed. A grease covered biker, an hour late and fresh out of college as well!!!

Visited with some friends who were once our neighbours and with whose son I had ridden for a number of years... along with the son of the lawn mower man. Mick had a 550 Suzuki and the other lad, a 450 Honda. The other guys rode mostly CB500's and a smattering of other makes...

Then time to catch up with Rob's family in town for tea, but not before his dad insisted on showing me his WLA and sidecar which they ride in the Christmas parades...

Next morning Rob and I headed into Pirie in his truck (He is on a farm out of PIrie). He had to cut down a tree for his dad and insisted I go visiting. So fired up the shovel and headed out to my other customer, Garry. Chatted for a while, but he has been on a myriad of back to back shifts and had to get some jobs done, so off I cruised once again...
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Can't believe all the roads that were dirt when I lived there are now all bitumen and lined with houses! Pulled up at the wharves and had a bite to eat and just sat back on a rock and relaxed...
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Ship here is ex Australian navy and being cut up and transported to Whyalla for reuse of the steel. Garry had told me some interesting stuff about the operation. Whyalla ship yards could not accomodate her hence her location here. However crane needed to remove the bits is too heavy to go on the actual wharf, so has to sit back on solid ground. That then means the crane can only lift 10 tonnes at a time and worse still can only just reach the edge of the ship. So everything that is cut out has to be carefully weighed and manhandled to the top deck and to the very edge! The empty hull is to be towed to Whyalla, so as each piece is weighed, the corresponding water has to be added for ballast to stop her turning turtle. Just as you are thinking this is all unbelievable, the EPA won't allow any sparks to enter the water in case of contamination. Yet a short distance away the dock is being watered down to prevent dust! Unbelievable bureaucratic clap trap!...
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I and my shovel wander up and down the Pirie streets and finally rumbled past the RSL which now has a Military museum. OK. I'm into military history. Will cost me, but let's have a look. Take a pile of pics as I know a number of blokes reading this are vets. This flag believed to be over 100 years old. I asked the attendant if he's seen the new movie, "Battle of Long Tan", He said no, but he was in Vietnam at while it was on...
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Was hoping the story board would be clear enough to read. It recounts the story of a mobile cooker invented by an Aussie cook in WW1 to help our troops enjoy quality food compared with the very outdated and inconvenient British cooker used at that time. Story of so many Aussie inventions offered to our army. The top brass were so intimidated by their British counterparts that our troops were left with second rate equipment for years. Happened again in WW2 and almost sent the inventer broke. This was one example, the Owen gun another...
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Some more of the displays...
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Pride of their collection is a Huey helicopter. The Pirie RSL had to fight long and hard to get it and finally achieved their aim because they had already built an under cover display for it! It was one of 5 available. This one a Bofors anti anticraft gun of WW2 vintage...
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Back to Rob's parents in time for lunch, after which Rob did not need to be asked twice if he wanted to take it for a spin...
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Then helped his brother in law put up some 8M sheets of iron and checked out his massive collection of oil cans, Ford racing memorabilia and hundreds of model cars. This was followed by an enjoyable and a very late night at the High School Reunion. Interestingly, one of my students now lives at Pt Adelaide and rebuilds Japanese bike motors. Rob and his sisters left around 11pm, but I wasn't able to leave til well after midnight!

Rob's farm is a long way out of Pirie and I've only been there once and not from this direction and not at night. He gave me some cryptic directions as he left, so it was with considerable trepidation that I headed out. Rode and rode and rode. Was a beautiful balmy night and as the ribbon of road unrolled ahead of my driving lights with no signs of his landmarks, I began to consider just riding on straight through. Sleeping on the cold hard ground in Adelaide for four hours did not seem too attractive. But, it was really a beautiful night!

Finally the first landmark slid by me in the dark and my decision was made for me.

Knock on the door at 4.30am finds me only dozing. I'd ended up sleeping for less than an hour! Dress and throw on my vest and jacket. Grab my phone off charge and we walk out to my machine patiently waiting in the moon light. Air has quite a moist feel to it (off the sea a few miles away I am told) and is cooler than before, but will still be nice riding. Bike fires and once the choke can be taken off, I mount up and move off down the sandy drive. Then onto 5k's of dirt (which is smoother than the Kupara/Broughton stretch), narrow bitumen road and finally turn south towards my destination...
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Riding is really pleasant. Only once, two roos bound across the road 30 yards ahead. I accept the caution and concentrate on the road ahead a little harder. Throughout the night it is an effort to not let my mind wander due to lack of sleep. No likelyhood of nodding off, just not concentrating as well as I should.

See a line of lights appear on my right. Pt Broughton? No. Would be Fishermans Bay. Pass a new RV park sign and coming over a rise, finally am surrounded by Broughton's lights. Sign states Bute 31K and 171 to Adelaide. Do some mental calculations on time I will arrive at the Bike Expo. Will be a bit later than planned, but ok. Cruise on. Need a pee stop, Looks like Bute will be it. Will already be slowing right down, so that I will save a bit of time. Bute finally shows when I am a few miles out. Relieve myself and quickly down a can of peaches...
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Step up my speed a little as the road is now smoother and the roadside a bit more open. Have seen no further signs of roos, so feel reasonably confident. Chopper is running beautifully. The dampened springer handling the road with great ease. Settled down in my highback seat with a pack behind me sure makes for comfortable riding. Then hit by a few damp drops. Sky which has been slowly getting some colour is showing up pitch black to my left and slightly behind, so hopefully am just catching an edge. Drops increase is size and intensity. Screen is soon covered in droplets. Cold begins to penetrate my knees; a sign of them getting damp. Do I stop and don waterproofs or keep on. Keep on, but over the next 10 minutes this question pops up a number of times. Drizzle finally lessens and disappears. Knees are damp but not sopping, so figure I made the right decision.

Back though Kulpara and down through the curves of the Hummocks. Pass a familiar corner where I once came to grief on my CB500 chopper. Note with satisfaction that the 4x4 jarrah post cemented into a culvert that flashed by my right leg way back then is now gone! Temperature drops suddenly and for the first time I feel really cold. A pungent smell tells me a pig farm is close by and a mile on I see the sheds dimly off to my left.

Fill up again at Pt Wakefield. Back on the road and see the second car for the night. This one is going my way and I very slowly overhaul it. Road way is two lanes each way. The left has most of the traffic and is quite rough. I choose to stay on the right lane. Any cop who wants to pull me over will be told my old chopper is too rough to ride on that side, especially when the rider has a rather sore head. Well. My neck is rather sore, I guess from having to carry a helmet that catches the wind and has had to put up with some very rough roads.

Sky steadily lightens but the pink strip on the horizon gets no larger due to heavy cloud cover. By Two wells, traffic begins to appear and by Virginia cars and trucks now constantly in view. I just cruise on. Daylight now and as I slowly overtake a ute in the left lane, I notice a flash in my mirror. Could only be me, though I can only be a few K over the posted 90k limit. Run it over in my head for a few minutes and then force myself to dismiss it. If I'm to get a ticket, nothing I can do about it now, so why waste time worrying. Back over the South Rd flyway and then enjoy the amplfied rumble of my pipes through the new underground section of South Rd. Traffic becomes quite thick ahead of me, so I turn right down Henley Beach Rd only to discover a large portion of it is now 50k. Left onto May Tce and then passing a couple of cars waiting to enter ride up to the gate of the Expo. Lion's blokes there know me from previous years and wave me through pointing in the direction of the CA stall.

Ken has already set up and has his two classic choppers (Shovel head DOHC CB750) on display. Ken, a new CA member has his lovely little XS traditional chopper also in the lineaup. I unpack and give Ken some extra stuff to display. Barry from CB750 Hospital has asked me to come over and look at some chopper gear I might like. Here are a few of the displays...

Monkey Madness...
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Nice old Indian...
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Trike club...
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CB750 Hospital...
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I purchase a pile of gear from Barry. By now Rayne (Classic S&S Panhead chopper), Victor (Fully homebuilt classic shovel chopper) and Jason(S&S long bike) have pulled in. Man. Our display is looking good. People are coming in now and we are getting our fair share of attention...
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Ken is in his element, giving out literature to everyone who comes by. A couple of gents take application forms...
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A not uncommon scene. Numbers of folks are keen to see what sitting on a chopper is really like. Victor's machine is a real standout and gets the lions share of interest.
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Peter (Classic CB750) and Kevin (traditional 500 Trumpy chopper) roll in. The best chopper display we have had at one of these events. Thanks to all who put aside the time to do this for the club. Terry's XS chopper was smitten with electrical troubles and he regretfully couldn't make it. It is a very classy machine and would have gotten much interest.
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Photo shoots were not uncommon...
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Interest in our stall is the best for many years (back when classic choppers were unheard of) and I expect that if we can get the same kind of roll up at Macclesfield next month we will built on the impact we have had here.

By 11.00 am I need to make a move as I have a visitor from interstate waiting for me. A number of the others had left, so with an apology to Ken I pack up. Jason and his mate (on Jason's Fatboy) and Kevin also are ready to leave so we decide to ride south together. I had purchased some bulky items from Barry (rigid frame and complete front end) and had an offer from a visitor to our stand to take it to Willunga for me, so he loads up and we all leave together... doing a circuit through the Expo as had the others before us.

Good fun having three choppers and one stocker wowing the heavy Sunday traffic down past the airport and along Brighton Road. Get plenty of looks as usual.

Kevin...
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Jason...
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Jason and I ride close most of the time exchanging banter at red lights...
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Fatboy close behind and my kind transporter in the blue wagon...
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The others gradually peel off for home, Kevin being the first...
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Clifton follows me home and once unloaded we have something to eat and drink and then a tour of the workshop.

My lack of sleep is catching up on me. On top of that, being unused to so much time in the saddle I decide a lay down is a good idea and so ends a most enjoyable 'long' weekend. My ride though far too short was refreshing and the CA display at the Expo and great success.

With a lot of recent troubles behind me I can now get work cranked up in the workshop and then I'll feel free to take some more days off on a LONG ride.
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

El Skitzo
Posts: 780
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Perth, WA

Re: 2019 Ride to Pt Pirie and then the Lockleys Bike Expo...

Post by El Skitzo » Tue Oct 15, 2019 7:00 pm

Great line up of Choppers!

I really dig Kevin's Triumph, wow! 8)
'65 Triumph Chopper (project)
'64 Triumph Chopper (project)

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