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
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
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
Stopped for a break at the Picnic area
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Best Enfield – Mark Reynolds – Bullet 500 EFI
Worst Enfield – Paul Selwood – Himalayan (Just because it was dirty)
Best Non Enfield – Richard Shannon – Mk3 Norton Commando 850
Longest Distance Travelled – Paul Selwood – 438.8 KMS via Wombeyan Caves Road
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
Sir Bruce Walker recalled the first Royal Enfield Club trip that he and Ian went on.
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.
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.
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 ! ” .
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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,
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.
The spade connectors are not insulated so the needed to be heat-shrinked so they dont short out
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.
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.
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
$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
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.
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.
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 !
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.
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.
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.
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.
Peter and Jo leading, Jenny and I followed by Mark
We turned off at Gloucester and went along the “twisty turnies” of the Buckets Way through Krambach to Nabiac.
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.
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.
Thanks to Peter for organising this ride again and thanks to Narelle for taking the action photos from the sidecar of the Monster.