Home 2010

The President Writes

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2010 2: 45 PM Posted by Geoff

Contrary to what a lot of people think The Snowy Ride has nothing to do with the Ulysses Club.

Stephen Walter was a young man fascinated with motorcycles.

He contracted cancer and died in his late teens after a long period of illness.

I understand it was his idea to organise a mass ride for motorcyclists each year with the aim of raising money to fund research into childhood cancers.

His parents founded The Stephen Walter Fund (Foundation) as a charity for this purpose.

The first Snowy Ride took place in 2001.

Since that time over four million dollars has gone into research and as a result of that research and the changes brought about, deaths from childhood cancer have
improved from one in three sufferers to one in five, so a lot has been achieved.

In 2010 the number of people registering for The Snowy Ride was over 3280, the highest recorded so far.

Additionally, this year, an around Australia Ride raised a further $450,000.

The Ride has quite a number of supporters.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service provide three days free entry to the park for registrants.

All the accommodations venues in Thredbo associated with the Ride contribute to the charity.

Honda has been a supporter since 2001 with $450,000+ so far and this year Honda Australia committed to the next three years with $300,000.

This includes donating two motorcycles each year – one to be won from the sale of raffle tickets and the other to be awarded at the presentations in Thredbo.

The latter this year was a VFR1200.

Children who are currently undergoing treatment and their families are treated to a weekend in Thredbo and are given rides on motorcycles and the Royal Australian Navy provides a helicopter for joy flights for the children.

Honda Australia also provides motorcycles from their range of current models for test riding by registrants.

This year there were two Goldwings, VFR1200s, the new 750cc cruisers and others.

Merchandise provides another source of funds with tee-shirts, motorcycle jackets and vests, and so on, for sale.

People start arriving in Thredbo on the Friday and there is much partying and meeting of old friends into the night.

On Saturday people are encouraged to ride throughout the Snowy area by the issue of cards which can be stamped at various venues such as Cooma, Berridale, Jindabyne, Dalgety, Bombala, Khancoban, Adaminaby, and Charlotte’s Pass.

Once a card has three stamps it can be entered in the draw for the motorcycle.

At any of the card stamping venues there can be bands playing, sausage sizzles and steak sandwiches and so on.

Merchandise shops are in Thredbo, Cooma and Jindabyne.

In the afternoon riders assemble in the Ski Tube car park and there is a mass ride to Thredbo where at the formal ceremony speeches are made, cards are drawn from the barrel and prizes given, the last being the motorcycle, and the Walter family thank people for their support and assistance.

In the evening a band plays and people party late into the night.

On Sunday morning folk start to head home.

It is the largest non-club rally in Australia.

You can register on-line or by mail and they send you a package with your card, a map showing Snowy Region highlights, a program of events and your N.P. and W.S. entry pass.

You can also register at Cooma on the Friday or Saturday or at Thredbo.

Accommodation is very tight in Thredbo, so booking well ahead is essential, as well as being very expensive, but it is a great opportunity to participate in a big (by Australian standards) rally and the nearest we have in Australia to the Sturgis Rally in the USA, albeit one twentieth the size.

The police presence is noticeable but not particularly intrusive.

Ride safely.

Bruce Walker.


The President Writes

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010 2: 45 AM Posted by Geoff

As our Club grows we’ll have a more organised program of events and rides to choose from.

But it’s hard to beat the impromptu ride when one of the mates from the RECOA phones and suggests a run somewhere.

When the weekend dawns bright and clear perhaps after some days of overcast and dreary weather and the voice on the phone is Ian Lyons or someone like him and a ride is in the offing it is only a matter of setting a time and a meeting place.

It could be a run up to Colo Heights which we did one day making use of Cattai Ridge Road and Halcrows Road to Cattai and South Maroota then down to the Sackville Ferry to cross the Hawkesbury River and then up the Putty Road.

That is a wonderful ride perfect for Royal Enfields with farm or bush on either hand and magic scenery in the bright morning sunshine.

Or perhaps a run down through the Royal National Park from Waterfall to Stanwell Tops, then over the Sea Bridge to Austinmer, Thirroul and back up via Bulli Pass.

Another great run is down to Narellan and over the Razorback Mountains to Picton and possibly points further south or across to Mt Keira via Douglass Park.

The Old Pacific Highway north is hard to beat even though what was once posted as 100 km/hr speed limit is now 60 kph.

One can take that superb road around through Spencer to Wiseman’s Ferry, or out through Gosford to Patonga.

The mountains to the west have possibilities too.

One of my favourites for a short ride is taking the turn-off south of Richmond at St Agnes Banks for Yarramundi and up the mountains to Winmalee and pringwood.

Coming home can be via Blaxland, Mt Riverview and Castlereagh/Llandilo. Bells Line of Road to Kurrajong and beyond has endless possibilities too with roads through Grose Vale to the south and Freeman’s Reach to the north and there are nice stops at Bilpin like the Fruit Bowl and Pie-in-the-Sky (there’s another one of these at Mt Colah).

All of these roads are perfect for Royal Enfields and are rarely heavy with traffic.

Is there a better way for shaking out the cobwebs and shrugging off the miseries of the working week than to take to two wheels with a few like minded mates?

Ride safely.

Bruce Walker.


The President Writes

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010 10: 15 PM Posted by Geoff

What a fantastic AGM we had !

There were almost no dramas, wonderful rides and roads with terrific scenery as well as that great sense of camaraderie when Royal Enfield Club Members get together.

Thanks to Steve Farrer for organising such a tremendous event.

As you all know we bought a G5 EFI bike in February this year.

We’ve had a few minor warranty issues and I have to say it’s hard to find strong enough words to praise the after market service that John and Nicole provide at Motociclo in St Peters.

I wonder whether the importer knows just how highly Motociclo is regarded by its customers.

Last week I went to a presentation on the new 1200cc Ducati Multistrada by Warren Lees who I think is CEO of Ducati Australia. This bike has been introduced to go head to head with the BMW GS1200.

In my travels in Italy, France and Germany a couple of years back, I would say that BMW have that market sown up. It is the most common single model bike anywhere and you see them everywhere.

The new Ducati has the most astonishing level of fancy electronics I’ve ever heard of.

It has the ‘ride by wire’ throttle (REs have this, except on our bikes it’s called a throttle cable) all electronic, of course, two power modes where it develops 150hp in one and 100hp for more sedate riding in the other and four levels of power/torque/suspension settings/ electronic traction control to give it its ‘multi’ purpose label. ABS brakes are standard.

The stroke is slightly more than half the bore and it positively bristles with technology (although a friend who owns a 1200GS BMW pointed out that it doesn’t have electronic tyre pressure monitoring involving tiny sensors, batteries and radio transmitters in the tyre valve!!! And $350 a pop when they go wrong).

This technology is all terrific stuff but I don’t want it on my bike. When it goes wrong and despite great reliability, it will go wrong at some time, you are then faced with eye-wateringly massive expense.

The seat was way too high and I’m not short although my legs are relative to my height, getting on wasn’t too bad but getting off I almost needed assistance – however there is a lower seat option. I didn’t ride it but I’d be surprised if the suspension is anywhere near that of the BMW which is truly sublime.

And like almost all modern bikes the torque curve is steep making for a very lumpy engine at lowish revs. These bikes sure make me appreciate the purity of my Royal Enfield.

Ride safely.

Bruce Walker.


The President Writes

Saturday, September 4th, 2010 1: 15 PM Posted by Geoff

A friend recently loaned me some historical stuff about motorcycles.

I’ve photocopied some RoyalEnfield advertisements from 1925 and they appear in this issue of our Newsletter. More will beappearing over the next months.

I don’t believe it’s possible to ride a Royal Enfield motorcycle andnot have some interest in the history and development of powered two wheelers.

Our machines are an anachronism amongst machines today and it would be fair to describe the 500cc Classic Bullet (not Electras and EFIs) as being at the forefront of motorcycle design in the late 1940s.

Racing bike technology always had a few years lead over what the public were sold.

The Gilera Rondine and later MV Agusta across-the-frame four cylinder engines pre-dated the Honda Four by almost 30 years so it will be interesting to see what people are riding in 2040.

Similarly OHV single cylinder racers died out in the 1920s (although I understand the racing version of the 500cc Vincent Comet was the fastest OHV bike to ever lap the Isle of Man in the late 1940s).

So one must suppose our RE Classics have their genesis in the 1920s.

And one should never hesitate to remind that smug sports bike rider on his GSXR 1000 that the genesis of his bike was 1939!

For some 30 or 40 years an anonymous correspondent of the UK magazine The Motor Cycle (commonly called the “Blue-un”) was a fellow who signed himself ‘Ixion’.

He was involved in motorcycling from the very beginning, like 1900, and rode over 300,000 miles on a multitude of motorcycles.

He writes well being clearly well educated and his humour is delightful although often wry and subtle.

The same friend mentioned above loaned me a volume of Ixion’s reminiscences and I will be forwarding extracts to the Editor in the coming months.

Even our idiosyncratic Royal Enfields are a far cry in what we have come to expect in terms of reliability and performance than the motorcycles of those days.

The biggest advance in technology and reliability around 1904/5 was the introduction of the magneto for ignition sparks!

I look forward to seeing many of you soon at our up-coming AGM in Tanunda.

Ride safely.

Bruce Walker.


The President Writes

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 6:50 PM Posted by Geoff

A friend phoned late on a recent Saturday afternoon.

I didn’t recognise his voice as he was sobbing.

Not something I’ve seen him do in the twenty plus years I’ve known him.

It seems the ride leader of my friend’s group had failed to negotiate a corner and gone into a ditch. His Harley Davidson had flipped and landed on his head.

Although they tried to revive him he was dead. He was fifty eight years old.

The causes of the accident were plain.

He was going too fast, he had been drinking alcohol – although not excessively, and his open faced helmet didn’t help.

The July Issue of TWO WHEELS has an interesting article on motorcycle accident statistics.

In general, motorcycle accidents per 10,000 registered motorcycles have dropped markedly over the last few years (measured between 2004 and 2008).

There have been more crashes but there are many more registered motorcycles on the road than before.

Younger riders below age 26 are the most represented in accidents with interestingly, rear end crashes (motorcycles into the back of cars) the most common multi vehicle accidents.

The area of tyre contact with the road on a motorcycle will never match that of a car, so cars will always have the edge in braking.

There’s a clear lesson there.

More crashes are recorded for the over 60s than for the 26 to 60 age group particularly in intersections.

Forty one percent of all crashes are single vehicle rider-at-fault affairs with surprisingly 51% of those on straight roads, although 75% of single vehicle fatalities were on bends.

For straight crashes, fatigue was a significant factor (17%), surface hazards (14%), animals on the road (6%) and speed (13%).

As seems to be usual with motorcycle magazines, the speed factor is played down. Many of the accidents occur in 50 or 60 km/h zones with only 12% occurring in 100km/h zones.

This doesn’t remove the possibility that the rider was going too fast for the conditions, the rider’s ability and experience, or the zoning.

Alcohol was not a major contributor, however in car and motorbike accidents where alcohol was involved the rider was ten times more likely to be over the limit than the driver.

Unlicenced riders were disproportionately represented in all types of accidents. So there are lessons to be learned about speeding, riding too close behind cars, cornering and drinking.

Please ride safely.

Bruce Walker.


Update 19th July

After a MAJOR website failure, I have been able to get it restored (only offline for 3 hours).

Sorry to anyone that was inconvenienced.

I had been working on a new feature of a Calendar with events, meetings and rides added to it including an interactive list in the sidebar that shows events coming up within the next 30 days.

All of this has now become LIVE.

Ride Safe,

Geoff


The President Writes

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010 6:50 PM Posted by Geoff

When I was elected as President of the Royal Enfield Club of Australia at Talbingo I put the proposition to the Committee that we should try to hold our Annual General Meetings as widely throughout Australia as we could because we are an Australia-wide Club.

To that end we held we held our AGM at Murwillumbah so as to involve our Members in Southern Queensland.

This year our AGM is being held in Tanunda in South Australia.

Last year some of us were fortunate in being able to ride to Alice Springs and meet up with some of our more remote members, Jeff and Cheryl.

This year some of us were also fortunate in being able to get across to Western Australia and meet up with another of our more far flung branches, and ride with them to the Principality of Hutt River to meet our Patron.

These are great people and enthusiastic Members.

There is a proposal to be debated at Tanunda that we have our next AGM in Tasmania.

Having the AGM in Tasmania is designed to coincide with a visit to Tasmania proposed by our West Australian Members.

It enables them to attend an AGM which they have not been able to do previously and enables our Tasmanian contingent to also have some input into the running of our Club.

You maybe aware that we haven’t heard much from the Tasmanians in recent times and it may be that they feel less involvement in the Club.

We are a Club for all Royal Enfield owners and enthusiasts in Australia.

I am aware that this is expensive for our mainlanders to get their bikes across Bass Straight and a long way for many of our most distant Members.

On the plus side is the continued growth and strength of our Club.

Bruce Walker.


Update 2nd July 2010

The club is pleased to announce and also share The Royal Enfield Club of Australia Inc 2010 calender. Thanks for your efforts 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 [19.5MB].

 


The President Writes

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010 9:36 PM Posted by Geoff

Some folk in the wider motorcycling community seem to regard our Royal Enfields as a bit of a joke.

Even Peter Thoemig, the respected editor of Road Rider magazine doesn’t understand what these bikes are about.

Most of the knockers haven’t ever ridden one and are used to the engine characteristics of their boring, high revving, but oh so reliable Japanese mounts.

One of the great charms of the Royal Enfield motorcycle is its torque.

(Lady readers will be starting to glaze over at this point, but bear with me.)

I believe that it’s mostly the torque of the engine that people love.

I see red and my blood starts to boil when I read some motorcycling journalist describe a 600cc single cylinder dirt bike engine motor as really ‘torquey’ when lower down I read that maximum torque is developed at 6500 rpm.

True, it may give high torque figures on the dynamometer at those revs but I know that its on-the-road manner will require you to rev the hell out of it through the gears and if you’re in the wrong gear when the revs are too low the motor will want to jump out of the frame.

Do a test ride on a modern BMW Boxer Twin for instance, and see what happens when you’re in third gear and you should be in second. Try opening the accelerator in one of the higher gears when the revs drop below 2000.

You’ll see what I mean. None of that happens on a Royal Enfield.

The engine pulls smoothly from just above idle and when riding in traffic which most of us have to do before we can get to some decent roads, that’s just what you want.

Royal Enfields (and Harley Davidsons for that matter) develop maximum torque at around 3000 rpm.

Most of the modern engines have their torque maximum at over 6000 rpm.

(Note that the Harley Davidson V Rod has its maximum torque at 6000 rpm which may be why traditional Harley owners aren’t buying them.)

Sadly the ignorant often describe engines which have their torque at low revs as ‘tractors’ which although insulting does, to some extent, describe their pulling power.

I need to point out that four cylinder motorcycle engines usually have useful amounts of torque at lower revs (because of two power strokes for each revolution) and can pull from a little above idle in most gears.

But comparing the torque of singles and twins with fours is unfair.

(The new 4 cylinder VFR1200 Honda and BMW’s K1300 have their maximum torque developed at 8500+ rpms!)

So next time you’re out and about on your Royal Enfield pay attention to the wonderful torque of your engine.

Bruce Walker.


The President Writes

Monday, May 24th, 2010 7:36 PM Posted by Geoff

The Hutt adventure was quite a feat: nine days of riding just to get there!

There were no hardships but the journey was arduous and just for once, the journey was not the destination as it usually is with Royal Enfields.

I think most who went had a great time.

The people of Hutt put on a tremendous welcome for us.

Prince Leonard and Princess Shirley were gracious, self-effacing and thoughtful hosts.

It was a real pleasure for me, meeting and talking with our RECOA Patron, Prince Leonard.

Visiting the Principality of Hutt River, having conversations with Prince Leonard and Princess Shirley and reading some of the history in William Pitt’s book ‘An Australian Monarch’, I would be very surprised that anyone could leave not being a supporter of the family and of this enchanting little country.

The place is a testament to an ideal that ordinary folk can take on the madness of a massive impersonal bureaucracy and defeat it.

On behalf of our Members I offer a huge thank you to Prince Leonard and Princess Shirley for inviting us and for being such wonderful hosts.

Members of the Royal Enfield Club of Australia should look forward to some more great road trips in the future.

As the world diminishes in size folk need to find real adventure and what better way of exploring this great continent is there than on a motorcycle, specifically a Royal Enfield ?

Bruce Walker.


Update 3rd May 2010

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2010 7:36 PM Posted by Geoff

Firstly I would like to appolagize for the time between updates of the website.

Racing commitments have been full on this season.

The Events list has been updated to show the current club calander and it is definitely looking healthy.

The News section has been updated showing the continued growth of the club.

The amount of new members each month from all over Aussie is great.

The “Run to Hutt” went well and from the reports everyone had a safe trip.

Remember the “Club” is your club and if you want features added to the website or “MEMBERS ONLY Forums” ask.

Ride safe,

Geoff.


Update 1st April 2010

Thursday, April 1st, 2010 5:36 PM Posted by Geoff

Events list updated to show the current club calander and News Updated.

Geoff.


Update 5th March 2010

Friday, March 5th, 2010 3:27 PM Posted by Geoff

This weekend has couple of events running. There is the Bungendore / Gippsland Retreat, and 2010 Right to Ride Poker Run in Victoria (Hells Angels)

There is only 2 weeks left until the Vic Mob Pre-Hutt Planning BBQ and the calander is looking good for the next few months.

Geoff.


Welcome to Recoainc

Sunday, January 31, 2010 7:27 AM Posted by Anthony

Welcome to the new website of The Royal Enfield Club of Australia Inc.

Firstly I would like to thank our sponsors as without their generous support alot of what we do would not happen.

We have both a Yahoo group with email notifications and a Forum that are available to members of RecoaInc.

There is alot to talk about so keep coming back to the site as we will be adding information on a regular basis.

Until next time,

Anthony.


Why I started The Royal Enfield Club of Australia Inc.

  1. There wasn’t one
  2. I wanted to have friends to ride with as you never saw them on the road
  3. and millions of other reasons!

I planned a lot of this when I was about 14, When we are riding through the highlands or the outback, I am pleased because that is what I have always wanted to do.

Anthony.


What the club means to me.

The club is a place to share the triumphs and heartaches of Royal Enfield ownership.

It is a forum for technical help and social interactions; a place to share our passion – motorcycles.

Jeff Cole
Alice Springs, Australia
The journey IS the destination