2021 Himalayan Upgrades, Modifications and Accessories

2021 Himalayan Upgrades, Modifications and Accessories

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2021 EFI SWITCHABLE ABS MODEL

I recently purchased a 2017 model Himalayan from Paul, a fellow member of the Royal Enfield Club of Australia, who had already placed an order for the new EFI Switchable ABS model. Not having ridden one before, I wanted to test the Himalayan out in the bush, which you really can’t do on a dealer demo. I wanted to see if I liked how it went off-road and on the highway, not just around the block. I had seen another member Peter, ride his on twisty tarmac on country roads and it seemed to go pretty good. So since there was quite a wait for the new models I bought the bike off Paul without so much as a test ride. I then had some time to try it out and make a decision.

After some test rides on the Hume and Pacific motorways, I knew it was going to be similar to other Royal Enfield singles, more of an 80-100 kph “B-Road” bike. At 110kph indicated it sits at about 5500 revs and the red-line is 6250rpm. At 100 on the speedo, you are doing 92-94kph on the GPS.

I went on 3 off-road rides for which I did trip reports ( see below )

Watagan’s ride in the mud with Peter http://www.k10stuff.com.au/motorcycles/watagans-forest-ride/

Wombeyan Caves Road with DSMRA http://www.k10stuff.com.au/uncategorized/dsmra-taralga-adv-ride/

And a ride around the Hawkesbury with Paul http://www.k10stuff.com.au/motorcycles/wisemans-ferry-and-colo-dirt-ride/

Earlier this year there was an extensive delay in getting new bikes out of India to Australia so the wait time was 6 weeks or more.

For a period of time I had been enquiring as to availability, lead-time and colour options and hadn’t actually committed to putting a deposit on one as yet when I received a call from Santina of Revelry Cycles saying that there was one available, due to land in the country very soon and it was Lake Blue. I bit the bullet and placed a deposit.

As soon as I knew I had one “in the bag” I went about planning what accessories and modifications I would do.

It’s taken a while to compile this info but here it is.

Suspension

On my 2017 bike the rear shock had sagged a bit and the front forks felt very soft.

Having dealt with the guys from SuspensionsRUs in the past with my Triumph Tiger suspension fix, I decided to go with their recommendation of YSS and purchased a shock and fork kit.

I actually ordered the kit for the old bike but never fitted it as a 2021 model became available quicker than expected.

YSS MZ456 Mono Shock

As you can see, in a feeble attempt to create progressive suspension the OEM spring has tightly wound coils at the top, which just bind up quickly and you end up with half a spring. The OEM fork springs are the same.

The YSS shock has rebound adjustment and a threaded-ring preload adjustment. This gives you more tunability but it requires you to remove the rear internal guard to perform preload adjustment as the OEM shock is run upside down and the preload is at the bottom allowing easier access.

Installation required the removal of the battery and airbox in order to fit the shock

Since I do some rides with luggage and others without, I decided to trim the bottom off the guard to expose the preload adjuster. This means I don’t have to remove anything to make adjustments to preload settings.

YSS Fork Upgrade Kit

The YSS fork kit comprises new fork springs (without the tightly wound coils at the top), PD (Progressive Damping) valves which act as cartridge fork emulators, new preload spacers to suit the spring length change (due to insertion of the PD valves), and preload-adjustable fork caps.

The upgrade was not as hard as I imagined and gave me the opportunity to remove some items that I deemed unsightly.

I started out by removing the wheel and then the brake calliper and ABS sensor. Then it was time for the fork brace and mudguard, which I had plans for.

I got one fork off and then followed the instructions which advised me to remove the oil and replace it with 20W.

To get the oil out you need to turn upside down and purge all the oil by pumping it until the oil stops coming out. I bought 1 litre of Bel-Ray 20w as the fork kit only came with a 250ml top-up bottle of YSS fork oil. You need about 410ml in each leg and an air gap of 220mm which I checked using a tape measure set to about 222mm and used it like a dipstick. You can buy a fancy contraption from MX Store if you want to be 100% precise. Then I installed the preload-adjustable fork caps.

Once I had done both I reinstalled the forks. I chose to leave the gaiters off. This will spark some debate but I want to be able to achieve two things. Firstly, improve the look. The chrome fork stanchion breaks up the all-black appearance of the standard forks and secondly allows me to monitor fork travel by being able to see the tell-tale rings of oil/dust left on the fork legs and then adjust preload accordingly. Another thing is preventing trapped moisture from coming in contact with cheap Indian chrome and damaging the forks.

Where’s the mudguard you ask ?. Not quite in the bin but it really does look terrible. I did put it back on recently for a road trip where we expected lots of rain but for off-road riding, I think I will leave it off for the interim and see how it goes.

UPDATE – the mudguard would be in fact useful in heavy mud to prevent the oil cooler clogging up but on a recent 300km trip on wet dirt roads the spray pattern seemed similar to another bike with the mudguard fitted.

Dirt bikes don’t have a guard that runs within a centimetre of the front tyre, so I came up with a solution to raise the fork brace, to which the mudguard attaches, by 20mm.

This was an easy $10 fix from Bunnings Hardware. PS these are the 2 left-overs – you need 4 of each.

Bark Busters, LED indicators and Tail-Tidy

One thing I have found with dirt bikes is that blinkers are sacrificial, they will either be knocked off the bike or fall off eventually due to the rubber mount perishing or succumbing to vibrations. I needed to get Bark Busters so I went for the optional LED indicators as well.

I went out to see the nice people at Motorradgarage and picked up a set of Barkbusters and LED indicators.

This gave me an idea for a “Tail-Tidy” that would lead me to another modification.

On the 2017 bike, the taillight was just about to fall to pieces. I took it apart and had to buy some new screws to hold it together. Knowing this would probably also happen on the new bike I wanted to replace it. The pannier racks include a blinker relocation kit mounted on the cross brace and this had a flat section perfect for a flush-mount LED tail/brake light.

I ordered this one from Third Gear for about $25.

The Bark Busters LED indicators are curved to suit the shape of the handguards. For me to be able to use them on the rear I needed them to be flat. So I had to cut off the plastic contour with a hacksaw and then encapsulate them with epoxy. I could then mount them with double-sided tape to the 125mm x 50mm Aluminium angle that I cut 40mm wide to fit the tail light mount. I sprayed the angle satin black to match.

Wiring was a pain. I didn’t want to chop the existing connectors so I could put it all back to factory spec. A trick I used on the tail-tidy I did on my 650 Interceptor was to make up a new rear wiring loom for the new indicators and lights. The LED indicators require some resistors to control the flash rate and these had bullet connectors which I removed and added spade connectors to match the original indicator connectors. Job done, nothing chopped or hacked. The tail/brake light also had a separate loom which had a plug under the pillion seat, so I disconnected that with the OEM taillight and used spade connectors to fit into the plug. Again no cutting off plugs from the original wiring.

Once the bulky-breaky tail light was removed there was all this space between the rack and the pannier cross brace and the panniers themselves. I started hunting for toolboxes and then had an idea. A flat-mounted ammo box from Repco would fit and allow easy access and would also have a sealed lid. I decided to utilise the taillight mount, as being pressed metal, it was fairly rigid and already had some rubber grommets perfect for providing a good vibration-free mounting point for the ammo box. The Bark Busters kit was designed to suit both the Himalayan and the KTM 390 and, for the latter, it came with 2 aluminium spacers for the bar ends which were surplus.

I used these, coupled with rubber washers, to act as stand-offs from the cross brace and they lined up the ammo box perfectly with the taillight mount.

Drill a few holes and fit some rubber and nylon washers and fixings and it was done.

I then found a suitable first aid kit from Office Works that fit the internal dimensions and added a bit of bling with a Sandleford First Aid sticker.

SRC

Speaking of bling, SRC Adventure Moto make some pretty good looking and practical accessories for your Himalayan and are very helpful with full instructions in PDF and follow-up emails from Tony the importer.

I think the only thing I haven’t got is the side stand foot enlarger and the rear cargo rack.

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REAR BRAKE MASTER CYLINDER GUARD

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REAR BRAKE FLUID RESERVOIR GUARD

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CRASH BARS

EXHAUST HEAD PIPE GUARD

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GPS BAR

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HEADLIGHT GUARD

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OIL COOLER GUARD

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FUEL TANK + BRACKETS (3 LITRE CAPACITY EACH SIDE)

So I use one of the 3 litre tanks for fuel and the other for spare water, not drinking water as the tanks are not food grade plastic. When camping after a day riding dusty roads it is handy to have some spare water to have a wash and for washing up cooking gear without using your drinking water.

There are 1 Gallon (3.8L) ROTOPAX water tanks available from Motorradgarage if you need extra drinking water.

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 FUEL TANK AND BRACKETS

Seat Improvement

A lot of people in the Royal Enfield Club swear by Air Hawk seat cushions so I thought I’d try one, so I picked up a Dual Sport model from Motorradgarage whilst I was there .

There was an article on the internet talking about the curvature of the seat causing problems and making you lean forward onto the tongue of the seat etc. As it turned out I had the same problem. The fix is to cut a section of foam mattress and place it under the Air Hawk. It stops the seat from collapsing into a curve and allows the air valve to sit behind it, which was sticking into my butt cheek.

EEZEE RACK

Glen from the Royal Enfield Himalayan Australian Group on Facebook makes some useful accessories for the Himalayan.

Ezzee Rack Pillion Seat Rack with legs (makes camping stand)

I had some throw over panniers that I tried to use on the old bike and found that they hung too low and I was also concerned they would damage the pillion seat. Once I saw Glen’s rack on Facebook I ordered one and it fixed both of the problems.

This is the standard model above

The main supports fit into two mounts that attach to the frame and is secured with R clips. At the rear it has a mount that clips over the first bar of the standard Himalayan rear rack.

When I got the new bike I ordered another one but this time the camping version which has legs at the rear that fold down to make a stand for pots or other utensils.

The addition of a MX bar pad makes a great back rest

I used it on the last camping trip to keep the soft esky off the mud and wet ground.

Ezzee Stand (for changing front tyre)

When you put the bike on the centre stand it raises the rear end which is great for oiling the chain. However, the front tyre is still in contact with the ground as the balance point of the centre stand is forward. Removing the front wheel can sometimes allow the bike to rest back on the rear wheel. There usually is weight on the front tyre which makes it hard to change and then can result in the forks ending up on the ground once you do remove the front wheel. At home in the workshop I use a piece of wood or a hydraulic stand however this is not available in the bush.

The Ezzee Stand mounts to the A frame section of the bike’s down tube, between the steering head and the bash plate. It uses a hook welded to it to slot in one of the holes in the frame brace and its own natural tension holds it there. I had some interference with the SRC crash bars so I bent it slightly to fit and added some Velcro to secure it.

 

When in use it is removed from the bike and the large hook at the top is inserted into the centre slot of the bash plate and when you push it back it raises the front tyre allowing you to remove it.

STEDI LED Headlight Upgrade and Driving Lights

I decided to install a LED headlight as a bit of an experiment and also so it would match the light colour the two driving lights I was intending on installing as daytime running lights where the indicators were.

LED H4 Headlight upgrade

This was a bit of a gamble as I didn’t take into consideration that the Himalayan headlight body is recessed to account for the instrument panel. Once I got the kit I thought how is this all going to fit inside.

The kit comes with a H4 LED globe with a massive heatsink and a control module the size of a match box.

I was right it didn’t fit.

The power cable comes out of the back of the heat sink and was being bent at 90 degrees pressing hard against the housing and the headlight still would not close properly.

So I made the decision to forge ahead and drill a hole for the wire in the back of the housing directly behind the globe heatsink and mount the controller under the instrument panel with double sided tape.

Problem solved.

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LED Driving Lights

I wanted to install the small MCX5 5w DRLs (Daytime Running lights) next to the headlight where the indicators were mounted on the side bars. Unfortunately these were out of stock so I had to go for slightly larger and more powerful MXC10 10w LED driving lights

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The 2 x 10W lights will draw about 1.8amps, not a lot but close to the 2amp limit of the switch and thus requiring a relay where the 5w ones would not.

I may order the 5w when they come back into stock and put the 10W on another bike or mount them somewhere else. I originally ordered some mounts for the crash bars but the power cable with Deutsch connectors was too short and would leave the bulky connector hanging in the breeze, hence putting them near the headlight.

Its all a bit of an experiment at this stage. Until I know if I can get the 5w DRLs for the upper mounts or some wide beam LEDs.

I haven’t completed the wiring yet.

I also need to install a fuse box which was an idea I got from a fellow member of the Himalayan page on Facebook, Ossie, who mounted a Jaycar 6 way Fuse Box with bus bar under the seat in the small compartment built in to the rear guard. I will also mount any relays required in the same space.

So in other words this project is still work in progress. A bit like the rest of the bike. Stay tuned.

Wisemans Ferry and Colo Dirt Ride

Wisemans Ferry and Colo Dirt Ride

Wisemans Himalayan Ride

The guys from the pub arranged a ride to Wisemans, being on Harleys and being from the pub I guessed that they wouldn’t go much further than the pub at Wisemans Ferry so I thought I’d leave the Harley at home and take the Himalayan out for a play in the dirt. I messaged Paul and he was keen and we left here about 9am arriving at Wisemans at about 10am. The pub guys were at the pub as I suspected so we quickly said gday and goodbye and took off for the ferry.

We crossed the Wisemans Ferry and turned left for a change and went along dirt on the Settlers Rd to St Albans. We stopped at the old cemetery on the way and Paul realised his yellow tinted head light cover had fallen off his Husqvarna Svartpillen 401 on one of the larger pot holes he bottomed out on. Whilst he doubled back to find it I had a look around the cemetery.

We then continued on to the Settlers Arms at St Albans for a coffee and Paul let me ride the Husky the 20km back to Webbs Creek Ferry. Wow that thing really goes well for a 373CC single with 42 HP and only about $7000 ride away.

Makes you think “What the hell are Royal Enfield doing ?” The Himalayan is so slow in comparison

So from Webbs Creek Ferry we went up over the ridge on Chaseling and Bicentenary Roads and then back down to the river following Greens Rd. Along the way Greens Rd cuts through the middle of the South Sydney Juniors on Hawkesbury holiday retreat. While I was looking around at the resort  I ran over a dog turd which sprayed up onto the bash guard and then smeared itself under the mudguard

 

Luckily I had my SRC Jerry Cans and had 3 litres of water. A quick wash down and top up of the fuel from the other tank, put the tanks  back on and  we were away

At the end of Greens Rd we turn right up Wheelbarrow Ridge Rd which brought us out on the Putty Rd,

From there we went down Colo Heights Rd to Upper Colo and crossed the river

This took us to Upper Colo rod where we road down to Colo and had a rest under the Putty Rd Bridge.

There was a War Memorial near the parks toilets which had been set into the cliff

The Lower Colo Rd took us to Lower Portland Ferry

We crossed the ferry and then followed River Rd to the Sackville Ferry Rd and then up to Wisemans Ferry Rd where we stopped for a steak Sandwich at the Stone House.

A pretty fun day and again the Himalayan performed well on the dirt and the bitumen, The first two rides involved using Freeways, the M1 Pacific Hwy and M7 / M31 Hume Hwy. The transport section on this ride was the Old Northern Rd which varies from 60-90 zones and has undulating hills with fairly high speed corners. The Himalayan performed much better on these roads and was right in the sweet spot for the power and gearing to basically stay in top gear most of the way except for a few hills that required 4th.

 

 

DSMRA Taralga ADV ride OLD

DSMRA Taralga ADV ride

The Dual Sport Motorcycle Riders Association posted a ride calendar on Facebook and listed a ride that I had been meaning to do since buying the Himalayan from Paul. A ride that the bike had done before when Paul took the bike to Taralga and beyond. They were intending to ride from Mittagong to Taralga via the Wombeyan Caves road and back via Swallow Tail Pass and through to the Highway via the Canyonleigh Road.

I recently purchased some 3 litre auxiliary jerry cans that attach to the tank frame on the Himalayan and wanted to see how they stood up to a rough road. The SRC mounts are very well made and easy to fit https://srcadventuremoto.com.au/products/royal-enfield-himalayan-fuel-tank-mounting-brackets?variant=31633602936931

The idea is to carry one full of water for washing up when camping and the other with spare fuel.

These attach using Rotopax style holders that fit through the jerry can and have a t-bar bolt to secure them.

I also fitted the leather panniers I bought with my Classic 500 years ago from Motociclo to use as tool/spares bags.

I have a compressor and a jump starter on one side and a tube, a tyre repair kit and spare clutch and brake levers in the other.

The pillion seat rack I bought from Glen off the Himalayan Facebook group holds the tool roll and tyre levers etc.

DSMRA is a national club with branches in most states and sub branches in major cities. They run graded Enduro and Adventure/Dual Sport rides and hold an annual premier event in Canberra called the Kowen Forest Ride which attracts around 850 riders. Now that I have done my complimentary ride with them I think I will join up and try to fit in a few ADV rides in between all the other stuff I do.

So I spoke to the ride organiser Tim Clarke who happened to live in Baulkham Hills. We decided to meet at Norwest Maccas at 630am and jump onto the M7 from there. I initially intended to trailer the bike to Mittagong and save the boring 100 kilometres each way of the Hume Hwy. Riding @ 5000 rpm just sitting on 100ks on the clock (93 on the GPS) and getting passed by trucks and learners isn’t my cup of tea, but since Tim was riding a Dual Sport bike as well, a KTM 640 Adventure, he wasn’t in a hurry we decided to ride down together.

We arrived at Mittagong at about 745am and topped up fuel at the first servo in town and then headed to Maccas to meet the other riders at about 8am. There were about 9 in the group, from memory a BMW F800, BMW F650, KTM790, KTM640, KTM390, AFRICA, WRF250, HUSABERG, and the Himalayan.

After a coffee we started out and headed to Wombeyan Caves road and regrouped at the Bullio tunnel.

The road was dirt from just before the tunnel which lies at approx. 764m ASL and descends via a rough fire trail with switch back corners down a ridgeline into the valley to the Wollondilly River Ford at about 200m elevation where we stopped again to stretch the legs and get out of the heat.

We climbed up away from the river towards the caves with some more interesting and challenging terrain which was tackled standing up for most of the sections and then detoured onto Langs Rd and then back onto the Wombeyan Caves road which by then was a fast gravel road almost all the way to the Taralga Rd.

We got to Taralga at about 11am and we had lunch at the café as it was too early for the Pub Bistro.

The trip home was via Swallow Tail Pass which winds down to the Terlo River and back up through farmland along the Canyonleigh Rd to the Highway and then home.

The off road riding was a mix of low speed 2nd gear 20kmph on climbs and descents and up to 60kmph on the open fire trials and about 80kmph on gravel roads.

The Himalayan went really well in the dirt considering the extra weight I was carrying, approx. 10kg on the front and similar again on the rear. I didn’t bottom out the rear shock too badly despite some big potholes and a very soft spring. The front took some hard bumps too which didn’t seem to faze it. It was the first time riding the new Mitas E-07s on dry dirt and not mud like last time. They performed quite well and I only had a few issues mainly some lock ups due to over enthusiastic rear braking and a bit of a sketchy front on what seemed like fine power on hard pack, from time to time the dirt would build up into mounds on the road, due to cars tyres, where changing lines around corners was a little un-nerving. On the gravel they were great. I was pretty impressed that the bike kept up with the group only getting passed by a few of the bigger bikes on the straights and by some of the smaller more off-road oriented bikes on some of the uphills. It did not miss a beat.

It was a long day but worth it, If I did it again I would probably take the slow way down via the old Hume Hwy (which makes it an even longer day) or trailer the bike to Mittagong and enjoy the ride home in the truck in air conditioned comfort as the bike is just not suited to hours of freeway riding.

A great ride with a new club and a nice bunch of people.

Link to video of the ride made by Peter from DSMRA  https://youtu.be/8qTscdAergU

DSMRA Taralga ADV ride

DSMRA Taralga ADV ride

DSMRA Taralga ADV ride

The Dual Sport Motorcycle Riders Association posted a ride calendar on Facebook and listed a ride that I had been meaning to do for some time. A ride that I had not done but the bike had done before when Paul, the previous owner took the bike to Taralga and beyond. The group were intending to ride from Mittagong to Taralga via the Wombeyan Caves road and back via Swallow Tail Pass and through to the Highway via the Canyonleigh Road.

I recently purchased some 3 litre auxiliary jerry cans that attach to the tank frame on the Himalayan and wanted to see how they stood up to a rough road. The SRC mounts are very well made and easy to fit https://srcadventuremoto.com.au/products/royal-enfield-himalayan-fuel-tank-mounting-brackets?variant=31633602936931

The idea is to carry one full of water for washing up when camping and the other with spare fuel.

These attach using Rotopax style holders that fit through the jerry can and have a t-bar bolt to secure them.

I also fitted the leather panniers I bought with my Classic 500 years ago from Motociclo to use as tool/spares bags.

I have a compressor and a jump starter on one side and a tube, a tyre repair kit and spare clutch and brake levers in the other.

The pillion seat rack I bought from Glen off the Himalayan Facebook group holds the tool roll and tyre levers etc.

DSMRA is a national club with branches in most states and sub branches in major cities. They run graded Enduro and Adventure/Dual Sport rides and hold an annual premier event in Canberra called the Kowen Forest Ride which attracts around 850 riders. Now that I have done my complimentary ride with them I think I will join up and try to fit in a few ADV rides in between all the other stuff I do.

So I spoke to the ride organiser Tim Clarke who happened to live in Baulkham Hills. We decided to meet at Norwest Maccas at 630am and jump onto the M7 from there. I initially intended to trailer the bike to Mittagong and save the boring 100 kilometres each way of the Hume Hwy. Riding @ 5000 rpm sitting just on 100ks on the clock (93 on the GPS) and getting passed by trucks and learners isn’t my cup of tea, but since Tim was riding a Dual Sport bike as well, a KTM 640 Adventure, he wasn’t in a hurry we decided to ride down together.

We arrived at Mittagong at about 745am and topped up fuel at the first servo in town and then headed to Maccas to meet the other riders at about 8am. There were about 9 in the group, from memory a BMW F800, BMW F650, KTM790, KTM640, KTM390, AFRICA, WRF250, HUSABERG, and the Himalayan.

After a coffee we started out and headed to Wombeyan Caves road and regrouped at the Bullio tunnel.

The road was dirt from just before the tunnel which lies at approx. 764m ASL and descends via a rough fire trail with switch back corners down a ridgeline into the valley to the Wollondilly River Ford at about 200m elevation where we stopped again to stretch the legs and get out of the heat.

We climbed up away from the river towards the caves with some more interesting and challenging terrain which was tackled standing up for most of the sections and then detoured onto Langs Rd and then back onto the Wombeyan Caves road which by then was a fast gravel road almost all the way to the Taralga Rd.

We got to Taralga at about 11am and we had lunch at the café as it was too early for the Pub Bistro.

The trip home was via Swallow Tail Pass which winds down to the Terlo River and back up through farmland along the Canyonleigh Rd to the Highway and then home.

The off road riding was a mix of low speed 2nd gear 20kmph on climbs and descents and up to 60kmph on the open fire trials and about 80kmph on gravel roads.

The Himalayan went really well in the dirt considering the extra weight I was carrying, approx. 10kg on the front and similar again on the rear. I didn’t bottom out the rear shock too badly despite some big potholes and a very soft spring. The front took some hard bumps too which didn’t seem to faze it. It was the first time riding the new Mitas E-07s on dry dirt and not mud like last time. They performed quite well and I only had a few issues mainly some lock ups due to overenthusiastic rear braking and a bit of a sketchy front on what seemed like fine power on hard pack, from time to time the dirt would build up into mounds on the road, due to cars tyres, where changing lines around corners was a little un-nerving. On the gravel they were great. I was pretty impressed that the bike kept up with the group only getting passed by a few of the bigger bikes on the straights and by some of the smaller more off-road oriented bikes on some of the uphills. It did not miss a beat.

It was a long day but worth it, If I did it again I would probably take the slow way down via the old Hume Hwy (which makes it an even longer day) or trailer the bike to Mittagong and enjoy the ride home in the truck in airconditioned comfort as the bike is just not suited to hours of freeway riding.

A great ride with a new club and a nice bunch of people.

Here’s a link to a video made by Peter from DSMRA    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qTscdAergU&t=5s

Watagans Forest Ride

Watagans Forest Ride

Watagans Forest Ride

I had just purchased some new off road tyres for the Royal Enfield Himalayan as I intended to use the bike mainly on dirt roads. There are a vast number of options for off road tyres ranging from 80/20 (80 % road and 20% off road) to 50/50 and even 30/70 which are basically rounded knobby tyres approved for use on the road.

I went with some cheap but effective Mitas tyres that were recommended by Paul who I bought the bike off who also bought some for his new bike and based on a review I watched on YouTube they seem to come in OK for value for money and performance.

I went with the E-07 50/50 Dual Sport and was keen to try them out in the bush as soon as I could

I had the week off after working over Xmas and New Year and the weather forecast seemed to be OK for the Wednesday after the rain we had earlier. So I called Peter and asked him to come along on a ride across the Watagan Forest.

We met at Wyong after an hour’s ride up the freeway and then took some back roads to the start of the forest road.

We climbed up onto a ridgeline and the tyres went great on the dirt / gravel etc

As we ventured deeper into the forest the road got worse with some thick heavy mud.

There were deep tyre ruts from four wheel drives that made it hard to change lines . The Mitas E-07 tyres  went exceptionally well

Peter trying to get out of a rut

Eventually it got worse

Peter got stuck

Peters bike had half worn Pirelli Scorpion MT60 ( i think) and they did not do as well  as the Mitas due to the tighter tread blocks not clearing mud

Eventually we got him out

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Stopped for a break at the Picnic area

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We were a bit worn out with all the mud and slow going and were getting hungry so we headed down to Cooranbong for some lunch at a café and then hit the road back to Sydney

I was very impressed with the Mitas tyres and would get them again if I dont go for something more aggressive next time

Royal Enfield Club of Australia Inc Winter Rally 2020 – Boorowa

Royal Enfield Club of Australia Inc Winter Rally 2020 – Boorowa

Boorowa once called “Burrowa” ,  said to be named after the aboriginal word for the Australia Bustard or “ plains turkey”, is a farming town in the Hilltops Region on the South West Slopes of New South Wales approximately 340kms from Sydney.The town has a strong Irish farming background and produces wine, wool and canola.

 

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The Winter Rally was held at the Boorowa Hotel, where the publican Mike was very hospitable and excited that we had chosen to have the rally at his establishment. He went to great lengths to make our stay enjoyable and nothing was too much trouble for him or his staff. A quaint pub that has many posters and quotes adorning the walls, has a restaurant serving great food and has its own café offering a hearty breakfast menu.

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Attendees

Mark and Jane  – Bullet 500 EFI

Ken and Helen  – Honda CL250

Roger and Narelle – Harley Road King Outfit

Peter and Johanne – BMW 1200 GS

John and Viv – Morris Major Elite

Bruce and Cynthia – Continental GT 535

Ian and Bev – Interceptor 650

Craig and Jenny – Interceptor 650

Kevin and Mel- Continental GT 535

Bruce Butler  – Bullet Trials Works Replica 500

Wes and Julie – 2 x Classic 500 EFI

Boris and Jody – Harley Softail Springer

Paul Selwood  – Himalayan

Richard Shannon – Mk3 Norton Commando 850

Jim Pennington – Himalayan

Geoff Richards – Bullet 500

 

27 people and 16 Bikes, 11 Enfields and 5 Non-Enfields

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During the judging at the Chinese Tribute Gardens, Roger took both Jody and Boris for a spin in the “Monster” Road King Outfit as they had never been in a side-car before.

The meet and greet was followed by dinner on Friday Night where the Pub put on a guitarist to create some ambiance.

The food was fantastic with an extensive menu providing many choices for you to explore further the following night.

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The Rally’s Saturday ride took us along country lanes and through lush green pastures with patchwork yellow canola fields and sheep paddocks on our way to Young via Binalong and Harden.

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We stopped just out of Young where the bikes were lined up for judging.at the Lambing Flat Chinese Tribute Gardens located in the Chinaman’s Dam Reserve.

The development of the gardens began in 1992 and was established to recognise the contribution of the Chinese community to the settlement of Young in the 1860s, and to the ongoing contributions of the Chinese community to Australia as a Nation.

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Leaving Young we headed north towards Cowra and then turned off the Olympic Hwy and followed a country road along a valley to Murringo and then on to Boorowa.

After a bit of a relax people assembled for pre-dinner drinks and once everyone arrived we commenced the presentation.

The trophies were complemented with a bottle of red wine courtesy of Mike the Publican.

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Best Enfield – Mark Reynolds – Bullet 500 EFI

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Worst Enfield – Paul Selwood – Himalayan (Just because it was dirty)

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Best Non Enfield – Richard Shannon  – Mk3 Norton Commando 850

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Longest Distance Travelled – Paul Selwood – 438.8 KMS via Wombeyan Caves Road

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Ian Lyons received a Life Membership Nomination for longstanding membership and unswerving dedication to the Club and the Marque which the publican graciously complimented with a gift wrapped six-pack of Reschs Pilsener Silver Bullets

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Sir Bruce Walker recalled the first Royal Enfield Club trip that he and Ian went on.

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The Winter Rally was an terrific success this year, having a great location, nice weather and good company it was only marred by the fact that members from other states could not attend.

Thanks to Mark and Jayne for organising it.

Thanks to Narelle and Jenny for the photo contributions.

Thanks to Mike and Young Ward and the Boorowa Hotel Staff for their hospitality

Craig Katen – Vice President – Royal Enfield Club of Australia Inc.

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On Sunday morning before we left for home  we spent some time looking around the Town

There is a courthouse and  a few churches  near by the pub and one had its own pet sheep which when you approach the fence comes running for a pat.

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Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Tail-Tidy, Mufflers and Indicators

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Tail-Tidy, Mufflers and Indicators

When I first saw the new Royal Enfield Mk3 Interceptor 650 I noticed the massive wide spread  upswept mufflers , huge brake/tail light and wide indicators and thought,

“There must be something you could do with that ! ” .

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When the bike first came out I initially intended to purchase one to use as a tourer, I thought it was going to be a larger more comfortable  version of  the Classic 500 but alas it was almost the same size and seemed cramped for the pillion and did not accommodate luggage very well. I test rode it and thought it goes great lets see how it goes 2-up. We came back and did a quick test ride around the streets and it felt too small and less accommodating compared to our Triumph Tiger touring setup that we had just jumped off of.

That was a few years back and I recently made the decision to replace the Classic 500 ( i.e. give it to my son who just got his L’s ) and bought the Interceptor as a solo bike but I still wanted to be able to carry a pillion with some light luggage like wet weather gear etc so we could attend Royal Enfield Club of Australia events 2-up on an actual Royal Enfield instead of a Triumph.

Luggage

I have a pair of small leather “Royal Enfield” pannier bags that I used on the Classic 500 to attach to the mudguard stays and thought that they might attach to the rear subframe on the Interceptor. I got excited and got them out of the shed and pulled the seat off the bike to attempt to fit them only to find they 1) blocked the pillion pegs, 2) touched the mufflers and 3) rubbed on the indicators. Not one to shy from an engineering challenge I attempted to work around the problem and find a solution.

Wanting to go riding on my new toy I quickly masking-tapped up the shock reservoir, spring and the chromed-plastic back of the blinkers to avoid any wear and simply pushed the bags back high on the rear grab bar until they cleared both the pillion pegs and the massive stock mufflers. This worked for the moment but they moved around and sagged onto the pipes and I also didn’t want to have the bike tapped up like a footballer to prevent injury.

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The indicators needed to go, I wished I had replaced the ones on my 2012 Classic 500 as the chromed plastic is now quite pitted. I will put them away and if I ever want to sell the bike it can be restored to original spec and the indicators will look like new. In order to move the blinkers out of the way the huge heavy tail light assembly needed to go along with them.

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I set about removing the rear assembly and found, just like the KTM Freeride rear-end  I recently repaired, for weight savings the rear mudguard, tail lights, rear mudflap etc all bolt to each other and form a composite unit were you cant just remove the tail-light for instance as the mudguard bolts to it and then the number plate  attaches to it as well. It was all or nothing. With the cast aluminium mounting block and the other oversized components the rear light assembly weighs over 1 kilo.

Having removed the whole assembly I found that there was a diamond-shaped, four-holed, bracket attached to the rear sub-frame. I didn’t even have to get in the bath to have a Eureka moment and quickly the design came to me in my head. I quickly re-assembled the rear lights and mudguards and It was off to Ebay to buy bits and wait for them to come.

The thing next was the exhausts

There are a more than a few problems with the stock pipes, diameter , weight (4.5 kilos each) width (splay) and upsweep  and there are a few options on the market ranging from cheap chinese EMGO knock-offs to AEW Pune Indian stainless steel slip ons, to the Stars and Stripes S&S version or the hand-built-in -Tassie Verex customs .

Eventually I want to make some performance changes as well as replacing the muffler’s size and location but since the pipes are double-walled and also needed to be changed to achieve the desired muffler position I would need to make changes to the engine management system to accomodate for the better breathing. This would invalidate the factory warranty so I decided to leave those changes till the bike is out of warranty. I also didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars to get a few horse power more when i have more powerful bikes to ride if i want to go faster …….performance modifications are another story that I will cover in due course.

In order to achieve the clearance I realised that the pipes maybe didn’t need to be relocated requiring new headers and that all they need to do was be reduced in diameter. This became apparent when watching The Enfield Guy  Jimi Swan’s video on installing a sump guard (click for video) and noticed that he had put some black EMGO styled reverse cones with a pipe wrap on his Ravishing Red (and black) 650 which looked great so I messaged him and asked him about them.

I ordered some chrome ones  from Ebay and for 100 bucks I had solved both the width issue and the pannier clearance problem and had some better looking and sweet sounding reverse cones that are not too loud but make a deep HSV Commodore V8 burble when downshifting.

Another benefit is the weight – the stock mufflers are 4.5 KG each these ones save over 6 kilos in weight

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The rear end….and a pain in the arse

The bits started to arrive, but I was getting impatient.  I am careful when buying stuff especially at the moment with corona delays, of where stuff on Ebay comes from. I chose a few parts from Melbourne thinking it would take only a few days. The sneaky buggers can lodge the Consignment Note with Aust Post and you get sent a notification and an estimate of the delivery which was about 3-4 days. I kept checking each day but there was no movement at all. This went on and on and when I complained they advised a new CON-NOTE number and ETA and when it turned up 2 weeks later it was evident that this had come from China to Melbourne as all slack arses did was turn the mail satchel (covered with chinese post labels) inside out and mail it on to me. Oh well it’s a bit of a chuck of the dice, The pipes had come from Revesby in 2 days as had the other bits from Melbourne.

Anyway, I started to rip the back end apart and think about the design and how to  do it without destroying the original setup so I could return it to stock if needed.  I realised I needed to fabricate a bracket but also be able to tie everything in as mentioned above like the old song.

The foot bones connected to the heel bone
The heel bones connected to the ankle bone
The ankle bones connected to the leg bone

Once apart I did some measuring the Idea came to me to use the stock number plate holder and to modify the cheap Ebay tail-light not the $10,000 bike.

The rear sub-frame has a diamond shaped bracket with four rubber bushed holes, two horizontal across the middle held the number plate holder and miraculously the tail-light hole spacing was also 4cm and this would bolt on to those holes. I chopped the number plate holders off the Ebay tail light and  I also needed to fabricate an indicator mount which would also use the two horizontal holes.

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The Indicators needed to clear the number plate width wise due to the location of the holes otherwise they would be behind the number plate. For uniformity and aesthetic correctness and a bit of OCD, I made the bracket the same width and used 30mm steel strap which was the same height as the number plate bracket mount as well.

A couple of bends and some holes and it was ready for paint,

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The bottom of the four holes was used to mount the plastic mudguard to the rear sub-frame by drilling a 6mm hole through it (the only irreversible mod by the way) and the top hole will be used to mount a black metal cover plate to hide the wiring.

Speaking of wiring

Like the indicator and tail light mounts, i did not want to modify the bike in any way so I could reverse it if need be. I looked under the seat and found the rear wiring loom connects to a plug. Rather than chop up the rear loom to suit the new indicators I decided to make my own rear wiring loom out of 7 -core trailer wire and went off to Jaycar to buy some small spade connectors to suit the plug and some bullet connectors for the indicators.

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The spade connectors are not insulated so the needed to be heat-shrinked so they dont short out

Front end

The front indicators were a simple swap and go procedure. Unbolt the stock ones, take the lens of the headlight, unplug the OEM indicators and remove. Then change the connectors on the EBay indicators from bullet connectors to  spade connectors to suit the stock plugs located inside the headlight and bolt them on to the original mounts.

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Finished Product

I am happy with the look but it was more about the practical side of being able to have a pillion and panniers without the two interfering with each other or the bike. I now can fit the panniers without them touching the mufflers, rubbing the indicators or getting in the way of the pillion foot pegs.

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Did you notice the mud-flap ? – this is work-in-progress as on the last ride it got sucked into the back wheel by air pressure and got zinged by the tyre

Back to the drawing board

 

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Parts List

$95.95 2pcs Universal Motorcycle Tapered Exhaust Muffler Pipe Silencer For Cafe Racer  

$18.95 Universal Motorcycle Tail Brake Light Number License Bulb Retro Rear Stop lamp

$46.95 4x Bullet Motorcycle Chrome Turn Signal Light Indicator Harley Chopper bobber XL

$159  Pannier bag, BLACK. Royal Enfield embossed  NB Black are currently out of stock but Brown are available

 

 

Royal Enfield Club of Australia Inc 2018 Gloucester-Forster Rally

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Royal Enfield Club of Australia Inc

Gloucester/Forster Rally – 12th – 14th October 2018

By Craig Katen

This year’s Gloucester/Forster rally was a great ride, with 10 people in attendance.

Despite a forecasted wet weekend we were greeted with all four seasons and limited inconvenience due to the rain.

We left Sydney on Friday morning meeting Peter and Johanne at the Myrtle House Cafe in Wollombi for lunch. As Mark and Jane and Ken and Helen travelled via Wisemans Ferry it was a logical meeting spot due to the convergence of the roads and the opportunity to avoid the M1, which Jenny and I used sparingly. We went via M1 and Old Pacific Hwy and stopped at the Pie in the Sky at Cowan for morning tea and then travelled to Peats Ridge and then down George Downs Drive to the Great Northern Road.

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After a quick lunch we made our way back to the A1(Pacific Hwy) via Cessnock / Kurri Kurri and on to Bulahdelah for fuel before travelling along the Lakes Way to Pacific Palms / Elizabeth Beach where we were staying at Pacific Palms Caravan Park. It was a good days ride arriving in time to freshen up.

The park has a variety of basic but comfortable cabins and was located a few minutes’ walk to both Elizabeth Beach and Pacific Palms Recreation Club (the “Recky”) which is where we went on Friday and Saturday nights.

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The Club is situated on Wallis Lake and normally provides stunning sunset vistas. The weather was good enough to allow us to enjoy an afternoon drink on the deck before dinner. Whilst relaxing and enjoying the serenity we heard the thunderous roar of Roger and Narelle arriving on the “Monster” .The food was great and the consensus was that it was the best club food that anyone has ever had.

Before setting off on Saturday’s ride we had breakfast at the Kembali Cafe at Bluey’s Beach which was a fusion of Indo and Aussie cuisine. Great bacon and eggs !

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Despite the spring weather, grey skies loomed in the distance and it wasn’t long before the heavens opened on us whilst retracing our route to Bulahdelah along the Lakes Way.

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A quick change into wets was required, we forged on through the rain and it wasn’t long before favourable conditions returned making the trip more enjoyable.

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Mark on his Royal Enfield Bullet following Ken on his Honda CL250s ( Helen in the Honda support vehicle in the back)

We stopped at Bulahdelah, some requiring fuel, and then rode along the winding Booral Road to Stroud for morning tea at the Crepe Myrtle Cafe.

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From Stroud the rain came and went as we travelled north towards Gloucester through “Shakespeare Land” crossing the Avon River at Stratford and on to Gloucester.

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Peter and Jo leading, Jenny and I followed by Mark

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We turned off at Gloucester and went along the “twisty turnies” of the Buckets Way through Krambach to Nabiac.

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Mark leading Jenny and I on our Triumph Tiger which we had to bring this trip due to my Royal Enfield C5 being prepared for the long ride to the Mt Gambier AGM via the Great Ocean Road later this month.

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We arrived at Nabiac and had lunch at the Greenhouse Cafe. After a quick look around we made our way back to the highway and then down the Failford road to Forster and back along the Lakes Way to Elizabeth Beach where Humpback whales were breaching out at sea on their migration south back to Antarctica for summer.

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Thanks to Peter for organising this ride again and thanks to Narelle for taking the action photos from the sidecar of the Monster.

Royal Enfield Club of Australia Inc Winter Rally 2018 – Tathra

Royal Enfield Club of Australia Inc Winter Rally 2018 – Tathra

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Royal Enfield Club of Australia Inc

Winter Rally 2018 – Tathra

By Craig Katen

The 2018 winter rally was held on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend at Tathra Beach on the NSW south coast.

Tathra was chosen for a number of reasons, one being the location is easily accessible by both NSW and VIC members being close to the New South Wales / Victoria border and another was that we wanted to assist by giving our patronage to the local community after the recent devastating bushfires which claimed 69 homes, 30 caravans and cabins and damaged a further 39 houses.

Attendees were; from TAS Club President Mick Lemon, from VIC Anthony Wright, From ACT Allan and Elaine Bartlett and from NSW Bruce and Cynthia Walker, Jim and Jean Pennington, Ian Lyons, John and Viv Wright, Roger McCall and Narelle Whitworth, Peter and Johanne Jackson and Craig Katen and Jenny Graves.

Being a long weekend, two rides were organised for the weekend, a shorter ride on Saturday up the coast and a longer Rally ride on the Sunday heading up the escarpment and looping back thru the mountains.

Saturday saw us heading north from Tathra crossing the Bega River at Mogareeka Inlet then through the villages of Tanja and Wapengo, where the Walkers lived from 1979 to 1982. Bruce and Cynthia stopped to show the group the house that they had built.

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One of the many one-lane bridges that cross the creeks, lakes and inlets on the far south coast

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Allan leading the pack on his Electra-Zuki

Continuing through Murrah and Cuttagee Beach we arrived for morning tea at the fishing village of Bermagui where my Grandmother was born in 1900, by the side of the road under a horse dray as my ancestors passed through this area via the same roads we had just ridding on, travelling from Cooma to relocate their family to parts unknown before eventually settling in Sydney.

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The picturesque fishing village of Bermagui

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Upon leaving Bermagui we crossed Wallaga Lake and joined the Prince’s Highway briefly before turning off towards Tilba on Corkhill Drive.

Central Tilba is a perfectly restored and maintained period village protected by National Heritage listing. It features a host of unique shops and galleries showcasing antiques, traditional crafts and woodwork, a range of cafes and the ABC Cheese Factory.

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Craig and Ian checking out Ian’s Triumph opposite the tiny Tilba pub.

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After bite to eat and a stroll up and down the village looking at the wares we headed back.

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Jenny and Craig

Most people chose to return the way they came and to quote Sir Bruce “A road ridden in the opposite direction is a different road”.

Notwithstanding, Craig and Jenny and Roger and Narelle decided to go back via the highway stopping in historic Cobargo to check out the town which has similar tourist attractions to Tilba and then through Bega to Tathra.

For Sunday’s ride, which would see us going to Nimmitabel for morning tea and Bombala for lunch, we assembled outside Tathra School before proceeding thru Bega and up Brown’s Mountain.

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Allen’s well engineered Electra-Zuki

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Mick Lemon’s Carberry

 

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Anthony wearing three sets of riding gear but surprisingly no thongs !

We went through Bega and along the Snowy Mountains Highway through the foothills of the mountains before our climb up to the plateau.

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The “better half” of John’s outfit !

The road wound up Brown’s Mountain which has an elevation of 1243m ASL through the White Ash forests and ferns and up onto the Great Dividing Range.

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Peter and Johanne, Craig, Allen, Anthony and Mick enjoying the corners

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Wringing its neck to maintain momentum up the hills

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Once we reached the summit it was evident that we had climbed to a fair altitude as the temperature dropped considerably.

From there it was a short ride to Nimmitabel for a stop at the bakery which has an elephant next door !

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From there we rode to Bombala over the freezing cold high country plains

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Anthony looking cold

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Some nice rolling hills and corners to warm us up on the way to Bombala

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Cows !

We stopped in Bombala for lunch then headed through Cathcart and down Mt Darragh to Wyndam and on to Candelo via Myrtle Mountain.

Both of these mountain roads had plenty of bends and scenery to keep us entertained.

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Bruce and Cynthia leading in the Camry due to Carberry problems

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More curves !

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A catch up with Mal Gilles at the Candelo Pub

Sunday’s dinner was at the Tathra Hotel where we awarded the following trophies.

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Best Non-Enfield – John Wright – BMW R80 Outfit

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Best Royal Enfield – Allen Bartlett – “Modified” Electra

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Longest Distance Travelled on an Enfield – Mick Lemon

Thanks again to all those who attended this year’s Winter Rally, for me it was good to ride an area that I hadn’t been to on a bike before. I think there is scope to return to discover another part of the NSW South Coast in the future.

Campervan Fitout – Origo Stove Test

Campervan Fitout – Origo Stove Test

Dometic Origo Stove Test

Some time ago I bought a Dometic Origo 3000  two burner alcohol stove for use in our campervan.

I didn’t want to install gas in the van as I was happy with a two way 12v/240v fridge and will be using diesel hot water and heating. I also don’t like those cheap canister gas stoves as I worry what temperature the car gets to during the day. It would be nice to have a gas BBQ though, so I am trying to work out how to carry a 4kg gas bottle, however I learnt that you can not ( or should not) carry them lying down and that is the only way for one to fit under the car. Another option is to fit a sealed gas cabinet to the inside of the car just to store the gas bottle and have it vented outside in case of a problem – but that’s another project to add to the ever growing list of things to do.

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I thought I better test it out as ski season is approaching fast and this year I am going to try to eat out of the van rather than spend ”Thredbo Dollars”.

We have already worked out how to do the first two meals of the day on the cheap with our “up-and-go / oat bar” breakfast and our “down-the-pants” cheese burgers or pizza lunch. However, dinner is a bit more difficult and socially it is easier to go to the pub and have a few beers and a bistro meal with the guys. I calculated that it was costing me about $100 per night for beer and two meals at the Local which had to stop. It can get particularly expensive if you follow that up with a bakery breakfast of bacon and egg roll or meat pie as a heart starter and then a coffee and cake for “morno”, add fuel and sundries and the weekend can cost about $400 before you even hit the slopes. Due to mental stress I won’t even attempt to add up the cost of our seasons passes, skis and equipment.

However one of the prerequisites for being able to cook and eat in the car in the cold is a heater – which be the next project followed by the water tanks etc.

When I opened the stove I was shocked to find no tank and two open canisters. our previous campervan had a metho stove that had a tank and produced the flame by running the fuel delivery pipe thru the burner to turn it into gas and to get it to ignite you had to let liquid fuel spill over into a small tray under the burner and light it and it would flare up and then once hot it would turn into gas and light the burner. This was a dangerous method as if you let too much liquid run in it could spill over then when you light it it is a raging flame in your face.

This stove has canisters that have some fibre in them to absorb the metho and then they seal to the underside of the burner which has a “trap-door” mechanism allowing you to to vary the amount of flame and close off completely to extinguish.

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It came with these neoprene pads to put over the holes when not in use to stop fuel venting thru the burner

 

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The canisters are easy to fill and have a maximum capacity of about 1.2 litres or a bottle each. I just poured a cup full in as it won’t be used every week.

The two tests I wanted to do was cooking and then boiling water to clean up since I have not yet installed a hot water service in the van.

I propose to potentially cook a hot breakfast of porridge or bacon and eggs depending on my mood.

Dinner would be kept simple to make life easier and for this I will bring some pre cooked meals to re heat like mince and pasta or chicken and rice or tuna and noodles. The main thing I want to avoid is cooking fatty foods and making a smell and mess in the van.

Bacon and eggs for breakfast was the first test which was quick and very easy.

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After a few seconds on the stove the butter melted and I added the egg which cooked pretty quickly on the number 2 setting.

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I had to turn it down once I put the ham in as it was sizzling too much and was very thinly sliced which is preferable over bacon due to less fat and splatter when cooking in the van.

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I wanted to know how long it would take to boil water so i measured 1 litre into a saucepan and cranked up the burner to number 4 and whilst it heated up I prepared the meal.

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I had some leftover chicken and vegetables with Singapore noodles from last night’s meal. This was a perfect test as it would be similar to what I would bring with us to eat during the winter.

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I took the chicken straight out of the fridge so it was cold and put it in a saucepan and turned the stove down to low.

I also put a bit of water in the saucepan so it would not burn on to the bottom.

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The food was heated in few minutes on number 1 with the lid on and then another couple of minutes stirring on number 2 with the lid off.

The water took about 10 minutes to boil however it was windy, by the time I had eaten the food it had boiled so i was ready for washing up.

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If you use it sparingly 1 litre of water would easily be enough to wash up two plates and two saucepans/frypans

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This will have to be the way we do it until the hot water service, water tank, pump, sink and taps are installed.