Home 2011

The President Writes

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011 9:30 PM Posted by Geoff

From what I’ve heard our Club’s Rally to Culgoa was another winner.

Sadly I couldn’t be in two places at once and was off on another event which I usually attend at this time of the year.

Generally the week-long ride, which is organised by a good friend, Rory in the Ulysses Club, culminates in The Snowy Ride which is on the first weekend in November held at Thredbo each year.

This year Rory’s ride was earlier and overlapped with the Culgoa Rally and ended on the 31st October.

The Snowy Ride was on the 4th-6th November.

Rory’s ride this year took us to Lightning Ridge via Coonabarabran (visited earlier in the year on our Mt Kaputar camping trip) and back via Moree, Tenterfield, Brunswick Heads, Nymboida and Ebor.

The road from Grafton to Nymboida is like the Gillies Highway near Cairns with hundreds of bends! (The Gillies has 263 tight bends in 19 kilometres.)

It was a big ride covering over 2500 kms and a great test for the Carberry which is my only motorcycle now.

I have to say I am mightily impressed with it too.

I have no idea how fast it can go as Royal Enfield speedos all seem to stretch their springs when ridden at speeds over 120 kms for any distance and so read around 15 to 20 kph over the actual speed.

But the engine just wants to go. It pulls and pulls.

After some fast winding sections when we’d pull in somewhere for a coffee or fuel stop, some of the others would just walk over and stand around the Carberry staring at it.

A couple of times strangers walked up and said “I’ve read about these but this is the first one I’ve seen.” I haven’t quite sorted the clutch but I have threaded and tapped some three sixteenths machine screws into the handlebar clamps to stop the bars slipping around.

This is likely to be a problem for all Royal Enfields where non-standard bars have been fitted.

I do prefer American style raised bars to the flatter English style.

At one stage along an unsealed road I hit a patch of soft blue metal and with two bikes down in front of me, I had nowhere to go, so touched the brakes. In an instant I was down with the bike on my leg.

Fortunately I was pinned by the soft pannier so was unhurt except for a very slight bruise on my elbow.

As all the Club know by now Royal Enfields are tough and no damage was sustained other than a bent right foot peg – soon straightened.

Interestingly the engine kept running although on its side, petrol pouring out all over the place.

I switched it off with the key. Others lifted the bike off me and after re-tightening the mirror we were on our way to Walgett in no time.

At a service station in Warialda, the only person I know who lives there arrived to fuel up for a camping trip – Two Bob Turner

This is a fantastic time to be out touring in the Australian countryside.

With all the recent rain I have never seen it so green and with such a profusion of plant life, streams and rivers running and dams everywhere full of water.

Just beautiful!


The President Writes

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 8:30 PM Posted by Geoff

Another RECOA AGM is over.

Tasmania was cold.

Tasmania was windy and like a lot of island environments, could experience four seasons in one day – well three anyway, as there wasn’t any sign of summer.

Cloudy, bright blue sky and sunshine, wind, snow, sleet and ice and rain – they all happened at one time or another.

We even had the extraordinary experience of walking in rain with a bright blue sky and sunshine above!

But Tasmania’s scenery is magnificent and the roads are made for riding on Royal Enfield motorcycles.

I wasn’t expecting a big AGM but with five from NSW, six from Victoria and four from Western Australia and another five from Tasmania, it was a nice cross section of our Club’s membership.

It was great to meet our Tasmanian Members as well as renew my friendship with Tassie Bob Pearson.

The Thursday night gathering at the Brisbane Hotel was interesting to say the least, and I’m referring to the locale not the people.

The pop band blasting out beneath us was reasonably melodic for that type of music and I dropped off to sleep easily.

Everything seemed to come together on Saturday which dawned rainy, windy and freezing for the ride up Elephant Pass to the Pancake Barn which we almost missed due to the sign having blown over.

Lunch at Campbell Town was better when some of the WA riders braved the rotten weather and rode up the Lake Leake Road and met us.

The Bicheno RSL Club Manager generously opened the Club (and bar) for us to have our AGM on the premises which was excellent.

Finally around 20 people sat down to dinner at the restaurant for the main dinner and prize giving. On Sunday morning the sun was out but the wind was stronger than ever.

Andrew Bright, the Tasmanian RE Dealer and proprietor of the Bicheno Motorcycle Museum hosted our visit to his establishment.

Norm Keen as usual was the centre of a moving workshop throughout the four days repairing Royal Enfield bikes which always remind us of the sort of bike we love to ride.

No-one will ever accuse Royal Enfield motorcycles of being boring.

There is a place for less technology rather than more.

I know Tasmania is an expensive exercise financially and timewise to visit, but I think the AGM, although small, was a winner.

I for one would like to see another AGM in Tasmania in a few years time and hopefully later in the year when it is slightly warmer.

And I resolve to take my bike.

Bruce Walker.


The President Writes

Monday, August 1st, 2011 8:30 PM Posted by Geoff

My new Carberry Enfield was finally registered in late May following the usual fuss caused by RTA staff.

There was no time to do a test ride because the Cooktown Event was on us.

The motor was started and run after removing some of the moisture it had been subjected to whilst on the trailer in heavy rain getting its Blue slip.

With two and a half weeks on the Cooktown trip and my precious Carberry languishing in my garage beside our disabled G5 and Mal Gillies’ similarly disabled Electra, I was anxious to get it out on the road.

On the Monday after returning, some extra bits sent up by Paul Carberry arrived in the mail.

These needed to be fitted.

I also had to pull the forks apart to fit the yoke I’d bought from Hitchcock’s.

Finally after three days I set out for Wiseman’s Ferry.

After some 20 kms I found I was sweating trying to hold on, so I turned back for home.

Clearly I’d done something wrong with the front suspension which felt nearly non-existent.

After a few more test rides and much fiddling with the front suspension and different grades of fork oil it seemed as if it was sorted.

A friend reminded me that it was bought as a ‘hobby’ bike.

During all this time I modified a sissy bar I’d bought and fitted the large black sheep skin covered seat which some of you may remember being on our Classic Bullet at the first AGMs Cynthia and I attended.

Now at last I had a bike I could ride.

Mind you, the strong steady beat of Paul’s engine has never faltered. It starts easily.

For some reason I have found the Carberry corners better than any bike I have ever owned.

I guess it’s the geometry coupled with the pull from all that torque which allows you to get on the power so quickly.

After our monthly meeting Mike Floyd and I rode our Carberrys side by side along Parramatta Road from Leichhardt to Strathfield.

It was sensational! The speedometer is misbehaving and a check with a friend on his bike suggests that it is overreading by 12+kms at 60kph to 20+kms at 100kph.

I found an electronic bicycle speedo at Aldi for $6 which I will fit to keep an eye on things. There’s more to be done yet.

Ride safely.

Bruce Walker.


Update 27th  June 2011

The club is pleased to announce and also share The Royal Enfield Club of Australia Inc 2011 calender. Thanks for your efforts once again Simon.

You can save a copy on your computer by right clicking here, and then Save Link As… .

It may take a few minutes to download as it is a large file [13.7MB].

 


The President Writes

Monday, May 2nd, 2011 10:30 PM Posted by Geoff

Well folks, the next few months are going to be busy times for Members of the Royal Enfield Club of Australia Inc.

In just a few days some of us will meet at Mt Kaputar in North West NSW.

This is a camping, bring everything on your bike ride with a round figure distance of approximately 1300 kms.

That should be interesting. Then looming large is the Ride to Cooktown in June.

This is a BIG Event with quite a few committed to going.

My last trip up north was cut short so we’re looking forward to seeing some of the sights we missed particularly north of Townsville.

Not long after we get back, we have the Winter Rally at Holbrook in July.

If you haven’t been on a Winter Rally before you’ve really missed something.

Again it’s a not-to-be-missed event.

And then, with barely time to catch your breath, we have our AGM in Tasmania in September.

Members attending need to register NOW.

You should also be starting to think about booking your passage over to Tassie.

I attended the Ulysses AGM in Newcastle in March and found a group conducting rides in the Hunter Valley using new C5 Royal Enfields.

I asked why they chose Royal Enfields.

I was informed that their tours are about seeing the scenery and enjoying the ride and there’s no better bike in their opinion.

I couldn’t but help agree.

Ride safely.

Bruce Walker.


The President Writes

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011 10:30 AM Posted by Geoff

My brief sojourn in Tasmania was most interesting.

For starters I met our Club’s three members, Richard Edge, Bob Pearson and Bill Matthews, all splendid fellows.

Although I was in a hired car I was able to imagine myself on my Royal Enfield
riding on those roads, and through many of the twisty bits, wishing I was on the
motorcycle.

It seems Tasmanians regard the Midlands Highway between Launceston and Hobart as their most boring road, but it is less than 200 kilometres and there is a fair bit to see along the way, so if that’s the worst they can come up with just imagine how good the rest of it is.

I suspect there isn’t a bad motorcycle road in all Tasmania.

They depend on tourists down there so things seem to be a little more expensive than on the mainland.

Petrol is around 10 cents dearer and I guess everything else is about 5 -10% more expensive.

Possibly accommodation is cheaper in the less tourist frequented areas but on the whole expect to pay more.

House prices in Tasmania have caught up with the mainland and I believe the big drift of mainlanders to Tasmania which for a time was greater than those departing, has settled down to about evens.

Plans for the September RECOA AGM are well underway.

I urge those Members who are contemplating going to make up their minds to go do soon, because bookings need to be made a.s.a.p.

Our AGM is on the middle weekend of the Tasmanian school holidays so expect there to be more traffic on the roads although nothing like on the mainland.

Even ‘peak hour’ in Hobart is about 10 minutes long and some people complain about that!!

Expect it to be coolish in September but Bicheno is on the warmer dry east coast.

Like old England, Tasmania experiences rapid changes of weather with sometimes four seasons in the one day so come prepared.

Remember, start planning to attend our AGM and make bookings NOW, so you don’t miss out.

Ride safely.

Bruce Walker.


The President Writes

Saturday, February 3rd, 2011 10:30 AM Posted by Geoff

I’ve been trying a bit of motorcycle camping lately.

There were no four wheel drives or back-up vehicles, just the bikes and the gear.

It’s somewhere between hiking and car camping.

What you carry doesn’t have to be as light and compact as for hiking but it does need to be relatively compact.

You need to carry full wet weather gear, items which are unnecessary in hiking where a plastic poncho is adequate or in a car where you can have whatever you like including umbrellas.

My preference is for a mattress. I like airbeds but mine went down within the first hour and despite thick growth underneath the night was rather uncomfortable.

I next tried a plastic full length yoga type mat, but found any irregularities in the ground were transmitted to the part of my body directly above.

I decided not to trust the last remaining air mattress at home and bought a self inflating mattress in the thickest variety I could find.

The ground was relatively smooth so I enjoyed a comfortable night. I am aware that the more nights I am out camping the more likely I am to sleep no matter what I am sleeping on.

I am using a two man tent but it is tiny inside particularly for my length so I need to sleep diagonally.

My self inflating pillow is very good. Sleeping bags can be either down or synthetic.

Hikers prefer down because the pack down to a really small size, are light in weight and are really warm. However from my years of boating I know that down bags are utterly useless when wet so I prefer to use bags with synthetic filling.

I found a device in a camping shop which compresses my bag to a size which is acceptable. The weight is less important because the bike carries it. Ian Lyons favours a swag, and I’ve noticed there is quite a range of these in camp shops.

Mal Gillies uses a hammock arrangement which looks good but does need trees to sling it between.

Although it’s a bit of an extra, something to sit on is nice particularly where there isn’t a convenient picnic table log or rock handy to the campsite.

Most of the folding armchairs are largish so I have to investigate this one further. I’ve been using one litre metal bottles from camp shops to carry water and these seem okay.

My stove is a very old folding metho unit which needs a separate fuel supply but so do gas stoves. You will need something to cook in or boil water in, something to eat and drink out of and some implements including a sharp knife.

You need lots of spares for your bike and a good tool kit. What you take in spare clothes, toiletries and food is a matter of individual choice.

Clothes depend on how much water your wet weather gear lets in and for how long and prepared you are to go without showering.

A pair of thongs are good for when you take your boots off or for having to get up in the night.

I found a MOTODRY pillion bag to pack it all in and with my small saddle bags I don’t need the tank bag.

I think I’m getting to like this new form of Royal Enfield motorcycling adventuring.

Ride safely.

Bruce Walker.


The President Writes

Saturday, January 1st, 2011 7:30 AM Posted by Geoff

Firstly may I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Saturday 11th December was a wonderful day.

The weather Gods smiled for the first time in weeks and Lyonsey and I with a few others (from Ulysses) rode down to Berowra Ferry.

Ian Lyons had a broken clutch cable but fifteen minutes quick work with some spanners fixed that and he was on the road in no time.

That’s the beauty of a Royal Enfield – they can be fixed easily at the roadside.

The others waited up at Berowra Heights.

We then rode the Old Pacific Highway up to Mount White and took Peats Ridge Road to Mangrove Mountain Golf Club where we lunched.

After that, the day was just too good to part so we rode via Spencer to Wiseman’s Ferry alongside the river which I noted was much higher than previously.

Finally after an iceblock at Wiseman’s we said our farewells and took our different directions for home. It was a splendid day.

The next day was again fine and sunny so I joined my friend Greg and we rode out to the Model Club at Luddenham.

Only the tethered racing cars were operating and we watched these little speedsters doing 185 kph. You can’t actually see them at those speeds – they’re going too fast.

Naturally the RE G5 attracted attention. One fellow told me about his pre-WW2 BSA, his ’49 AJS, Desmo 250 Ducati and others.

As we readied ourselves to leave another chap came out and told me about his Moto Guzzi collection from a 98cc Zigolo to a 500cc Falcone and some rare race bikes inbetween.

We then rode the kilometre or so to the Hubertus Club where they have a lake for radio controlled power and sail boats.

No sooner had we stopped than one of the RC Yacht skippers came over attracted by the Enfield exhaust.

It was Dave who has a new RE C5 and we’d only met the previous Tuesday at the Royal Enfield Club meeting at Stanmore. It’s truly a small world.

I hope to see more of Dave on some of the rides we are planning for next year.

Greg and I rode on to the pub at Wallacia where seafood baskets satisfied the hunger pangs.

Then it was on to Warragamba Dam to check on Sydney’s water levels. Not bad, but they could be better.

We turned onto the M4 at Mulgoa Road.

We sat on the 110 kph speed limit with occasional bursts to get around slower cars and trucks.

At one stage I noticed my speedo reading 130.

There was plenty more throttle in hand. I estimated 140+ to be easily attainable.

Now the run from Mulgoa Road to the Bennet Road overpass is slightly uphill as well so I was fairly impressed with the performance.

Greg on his 1800cc Suzuki Boulevard confirmed the speed.

I noticed when I turned off at Prospect Highway that I had had a reasonable tailwind, but the performance of these new  UCE Royal Enfields is impressive.

All round it was a great weekend of Royal Enfield riding on all types of tarred road: straight, twisty, flat, hilly, wide, narrow, speed limited, fast, you name it, and always scenic.

Is there a better way to spend the weekend than on your RE on a ride with some mates?

Ride safely.

Bruce Walker.