The Royal Enfield Club of Australia 2016 AGM was held on September 17th at Temora NSW, about 400 km south west of Sydney and about 600 km northeast of Melbourne. We had 47 people registered 27 from NSW 17 from VIC one each from TAS, SA and WA plus some hangers on.
Jenny and I decided to ride down and as we left the weather didn’t look too bad, it was only slightly raining as we headed along the M4 towards our meeting spot at Glenbrook in the lower Blue Mountains. As we approached Penrith there was a distinct gap in the clouds and I assumed the weather was localised to Sydney even though the forecast was for some showers.
We arrived early at Glenbrook and went and got a pie whilst waiting for Hugh who lives locally and the Sydney crew Mike, Gerard and Gupreet. We then took off and caught up with Marie at Springwood and proceeded thru the mountains to our morning tea stop at Lithgow. The rain persisted as we crossed the mountains and as we reached the top at Medlow Bath the wind kicked in. I had not brought my winter gloves nor put on a pair of thermals and was feeling it in the legs and hands. As we descended Victoria Pass towards the never-ending road works zone that is Hartley I was able to warm my left hand on the flats and uphills and my right on the downhills by alternatively placing my gloves directly on the head of my engine, however my wet leather clad frozen knees had to wait till we reached Maccas so I could pull on my wet weather pants.
After a cup of coffee we hit the road to Bathurst and then down to Blainey where I went looking for thermal gloves to put under my unlined cold wet leather gloves, After a a few attempts I found some at IGA but alas they were too thick to fit inside my gloves, a waste of $3.75.
We meet up with Doug Bourke who was trailering his Interceptor and Ian and Roger who decided to sleep in and avoid the cold.
Next stop was Cowra for some lunch and a warm up. We pulled up at the Lachlan Hotel which didn’t look very inviting at first glance but after speaking to a couple who had just dined there we decided it was good enough for us and we grabbed a beer and ordered some food where we had the whole dining room to ourselves since it was about 2pm.
Young was our next destination as people needed to get fuel, just a quick stop on the side of the road opposite a service station where we waited for Mike who was going to fuel up at Cowra and waved us on.
Mike never showed up so we rang him and left a message that we had left Young – he rang back but I missed the call and subsequently also lost the group when I tried to answer it and then return the missed call.
I did not fill up at Young as I had a full tank at Blainey and thought I’d be fine, however when we left my fuel light soon started to flash as I did not account for head winds, luggage and two-up riding and after another 20km it came on on solid so we backed off a bit thinking Mike would catch us up. By the time we reached the outskirts of Temora we were doing 70kph and enjoying the scenery of canola fields etc.
We arrived at Temora around 4pm, I dropped Jenny at the Motel to check in and went and refueled where it took over 12 litres.
The Goldtera motel was conveniently located near the main street of town, the Ex-Services Club where the AGM and dinner would be held and the Terminus Hotel where our friday night meet and greet was being held and where a fair amount of people were staying.
It was the intentions of the organisers of the AGM to visit the Temora air show on saturday since many had ridden a fair distance to get there, however the traditionalists of the club insisted that an AGM is not an AGM without a ride and that some had trailered their bikes, so a ride was organised to Cootamundra with a Lunch stop at the Family Hotel where the bike judging was held.
Here is a short video of the group Leaving Terminus Hotel for the ride
We stopped at the Family Hotel in Cootamundra for judging and lunch (click on the photos to see larger images)
The Annual General Meeting was held at the Temora Ex Services Club at 5pm on Saturday followed by a dinner.
Bill Rice was nominated for Life Membership. Proposed by Sir Charles Todd and Seconded by Sir Anthony Wright. The proposal was carried.
Prizes were awarded as follows:
Age of Bike plus age of rider – Sir Frederick Garland.
Best UCE – Mark Reynolds
Best Electra – Ian Lyons
Best Cast Iron Barrel RE – Owen Bentley
Best Non Enfield – Matt Bunt
Best All round Enfield – Sir Frederick Garland
Best Royal Enfield or Best Twin Enfield – not sure actually – Three awards were given Sir Frederick Garland, Mick Lemon, and Sir Charles Todd.
Longest Distance ridden to the AGM on a RE – Bill Rice
Longest Distance ridden to the AGM on a non RE – Graham Morell
Chook Award actually now a Duck Award. To Marie from Winmalee for a slight dropping of her bike.
Passing the Baton. Matt Bunt passed the baton to Laurie Reeves.
The baton was designed by a past Member to be handed over and a track of the kilometres be kept. It is believed that the instructions contained within the baton don’t make much sense.
Jon Hinton and Craig Katen each received a bottle of whiskey as promised for writing the Winter Rally Report for our Newsletter.
As one of the photographers I tried to do a selfie with Bruce but it was all blurry so Thanks Stuart McKenzie for the additional photos and video
T Shirt Competition to identify Members featured on the shirt was won by Doug Bourke out of four entries. Doug won 3 years free Membership.
The weekend before the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride is the Royal Enfield Club of Australia’s 2016 AGM at Temora in country NSW and they are both “long” trips I thought I’d make it more comfortable for us on both rides.
The DGR is a long day in the saddle as the event sees us going all over sydney – well really just from Sydney Uni across the bridge and back – but it seems like a long trip due to the large number of bikes . It’s worth noting that 725 riders have registered and raised $103924 already. This is just the Sydney ride mind you – In 2015, over 37,000 participants in 410 cities in 79 countries raised over $2.3M (US) for prostate cancer research.The goal for this year is $5m USD.
I will take to the bike’s shiny bits with some metal polish before both events to make it look its best and I might also do some facial manscaping myself to try to look even more dapper.
Please check it out and if you can help out and sponsor me it’s all for a good cause – Raising money for men’s physical and mental health
The Temora trip is also an all day ride that is 430 km each way on our route through the Blue Mountains, Bathurst, Cowra and Young to Temora and back.
Trying not to sound like Goldilocks but my original exhaust was “a bit too big and soft” and the one I bought some time back was “a bit too small and loud” this one is just right and will ensure I arrive without industrial deafness.
I also installed a windshield which may or may not protect me from the wind but it just might stop my leather jacket from getting squashed bugs splattered all over it.
My Saddle bags were bursting at the seams from trying to shove too much into them so they had to be repaired.
two-piece rivets are usually crap and either rust out or just come apart and easy fix is two stainless steel washers and an aluminium pop-rivet
Due to a rivet tearing the leather where it was too thin on the edge (cheap and nasty) the stitching had come undone which I had to replace.
In order to do so i had to visit Lincraft and buy all this sewing paraphenalia
It looks impossible to replace the rivet so I will need to rivet in a piece of leather strap on the inside now that it’s all stitched up but finding suitable leather is a problem since that when you buy a leather belt it’s not really leather – some type of papier-mache composite material made out of leather scraps, apple cores and old chinese newspapers I suspect. – that was a waste of $7 and the belt wont even fit me.
Space is always precious on a motorcycle and since this is only an overnight trip all we took was a change of clothes and some shoes so we weren’t stuck in our motorcycle gear for the whole weekend.
Our saddle bags can fit one small backpack each side containing our clothes (jeans T-shirt and hoodie) and we have have a tank bag for our personal items – wallet, phone, cap, sunglasses, neck warmer, water etc
I have a small pannier bag containing tools, spare tubes and cables and I added another pannier to the back bar containing our wet weather gear even though it wasn’t expected to rain it is handy to combat the cold. The second pannier works like a backrest for Jenny but also makes it slightly more difficult for her to get on and off with her hip.
Jenny and I loaded up the bike and left Northmead about 8am for Windsor
Immediately I felt the cold and wished I’d put the wet weather gear and my winter gloves on, my jacket has a traditional collar and does not do up all the way which lets a jet of cold air in around my neck and down my back. Naturally cold air pools in low lying areas and in the shadows and you could feel the change in temperature as we rode through these different geographic features, however we we soon in Windsor basking in the sun.
We arrived at the Bridge Cafe and found Gerad having a coffee so we ordered breakfast. Marie arrived from the Blue Mountains and then Ian from the South and finally the city folk Mike, Gupreet, Roger, Jo and Peter.
Cynthia and Bruce (El Presidente) dropped in to see us off which was nice of them.
After breaky/coffee we left for Wisemans Ferry via Wilberforce, crossing on the Sackville Ferry and up through Maroota.
We crossed the Hawkesbury again and proceded along the northern bank of the river heading for Spencer, Being in the shade it was cold and wet with moss on the road in places only getting relief briefly when the road turned north into the sun or stretched towards the river away from the towering mountains and cliffs of the region.
Soon we were in sunny Spencer where we stopped at the General Store for morning tea.
A lovely spot run by a very hospitable bloke who was very keen to have us bike riders and clubs visit his small riverside community.
He told us of bike club nights that they hosted and how they arranged a chef and a BBQ and people ate dinner by the river and he offered to take a group photo for us.
We wound our way up out of the Hawkesbury river country into the Watagans and stopped at Jerry’s Cafe in Kulnura for a quick fuel stop and then to Wollombi for lunch.
Via the Broke Road, through Broke It was not long and we were in Singleton where “MOST” of us checked into the Mid City Motor Inn.
Roger had found another motel down the road but Mike and Gerad chose to book into the Imperial Hotel across the road from our Motel.
I relayed to Mike the phone conversation I had with the Imperial about their rooms and facilities and how I was advised by them to stay at the Mid City Motor Inn across the road.
Mike’s response was something like “Oh No ! at least it was only $20 !”
About 15mins later he and Gerad turned up back at the motel with a room key, Gerad exclaimed “Hallelujah !” as he entered the room and they told us the story of how the first room in the pub had the door kicked in and the second, which was allocated to them had someone already in it and only one bed and that the barmaid had kindly refunded his 20 bucks. All good in the end.
After changing I followed Ian and Peter across the road for a sherbet. and shortly after was joined by Mike and Jenny and Roger where we discussed dinner.
Initially we anticipated eating at the hotel however It was unanimous that we seek alternative arrangements as it was more of a pub bistro than restaurant with Burgers, Surf and Turf and Chicken Parmy on the menu.
Next closest choice was a time-warp to the 70’s at the Motel’s dining room where they also had Beef with a Medley of Seafood, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Garlic Prawns or Pasta Boscaiola…Hmmm
We ended up not too far away at the Pearl Light Palace for Chinese which was beautiful and they even had chopsticks how fancy !
The next morning we geared up and got ready for our return trip down the Putty Rd.
After refuelling we stopped in town at the Grainery for breakfast which was a bit slow as being the only place open they had a bit of a crowd. Excellent food and service though.
The trip down the Upper Putty from Bulga was great I had not done it before on a bike and I really hooked into those bends and managed to make Jenny feel sick on the back which Jo reprimanded me for with just a “look”.
I was full of sausages eggs bacon mushrooms tomato toast and coca cola so I was sort of glad the road opened up for some easy cruising in the middle section.
We stopped at the Grey Gum Cafe for a coffee which is about 90km from Windsor and then back to Sydney
We all travelled independently to Gundagai with people coming from Victoria, Sydney, Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands and ACT.
Some of the NSW group (not on Enfields by the way) left on Friday for a more adventurous route via Nowra, Nerriga, Tarago, Bungendore and stayed overnight in Yass. The bulk of us left on Saturday. The Blue Mountains group travelled by Ute via the Central West to Cootamundra and rode from there. Stewart rode from Bowral as Terry trailered the Penguin which was their accommodation for the weekend. Due to predicted inclement weather ( and lack of space on the bike for winter clothing) Jenny and I also chose the comfortable option of trailering my bike there, which turned out to be an added bonus in the end as a second recovery vehicle. Since we arrived fresh at lunchtime Jenny and I decided to do a quick ride to the “almost” ghost town of Junee where it was difficult to get a hamburger at 2pm on a Saturday arvo!.
Excerpt Part 1 from Jon Hinton’s Report
From the Victorian side to the other side.,,,,Or: On the Road to Gundagai
The members going from Victoria to Gundagai from Melbourne initially had a few drop outs due to relocations and changed circumstance. On the day all we could muster for the ride up were 3 of us who had crossed the Nullarbor together.
Tim, Sir Anthony and I arranged to meet at Kalkallo just north of Melbourne on the Hume. We arranged to meet at about 9 O’clock, knowing that Sir Anthony wouldn’t show up ‘till sometime later in the day. As Tim & I waited around and got a coffee, filled up with petrol, watched the clouds roll in and wondered if this was the Kalkallo that Anthony had suggested, or whether there was another one.
I asked at the service station and the young lady there told me that “No, this is the only Kalkallo”, and so we waited a bit more.
The rain has now started.
Tim & I put on our waterproofs and waited. We watched a group of about a dozen old Holden’s meet up, and leave – maybe on their way to Winton for a fun day.
After a while we heard the noise of an Electra pulling into the servo. Here he was.
Apparently the rain had caused him to pull over and put his camouflage gear on. Probably not the safest way to travel through the woodlands alongside the Hume!!
Once refuelled we headed off north in the rain and trucks and what seemed like the rest of Melbourne leaving town. I had worked out a route that took us away from the Hume and over to Mansfield and Benalla to add a corner into the mix.
We turned off at Tallarook, and it was getting pretty cold and staying wet. I lent Sir Anthony a pair of silk liner gloves for his gauntlets and we moved on, but he was still pretty cold. Tim and I were faring better wearing ‘proper’ motorcycling gear with better insulation, even though Ant had about 7 layers on. On to Trawool and the Goulbourn Valley Hwy. A fair amount is limited to 80kph due to previous accidents, and that may have been good for a wet day. However we couldn’t get rid of the traffic heading to the High Country.
Yea was full – hardly a parking space to be found, and we got rid of a few of the cars as they paused for a break.
It was still damp, and very cold; but at least the heavy rain had finished. We motored on to Mansfield where we stopped for lunch. We found a great bakery which served a good coffee and thawed out. Anthony was feeling pretty worn out by the cold, but he was persuaded to carry on. By this time Charles was concerned that we would take the High Country route and I must admit that I had also begun to think that the destination was more important than the journey on this occasion.
We left town to head up towards Benalla. The original plan was to head across country parallel to the Hume and catch it up around Wangaratta, but we needed fuel at some time, so we headed into Benalla proper and refuelled. We had a quick discussion and all felt that we should just travel on the Hume and get to Gundagai. Our arrival time was working out to be around dusk as it was; never a good time to be riding in bad weather.
The country around here is spectacular – more so in summer – and a great area to ride in if you’re on the back roads. When on the Hume you just wear your tyre square.
The rest of the ride was now completed as a fairly straightforward run in the now dry and cool conditions. We arrived at the Criterion to meet up with all the other members that had found the bar.
After our ride to Junee Jenny and I headed to the Criterion Hotel for the Meet & Greet. We caught up with the NSW guys that had arrived earlier and Charles and Owen from Victoria and Leon from ACT.
Others who braved the weather like Anthony, John and Tim, Paul and Sue, Alastair, Roger and Narelle on the ” Monster Outfit” and the Lyons’ , turned up a short time after the rest of us for a well earned drink.
We then proceeded en masse to The Family Hotel for dinner which was just across the road.
We awoke to a cold and foggy Sunday morning in Gundagai. The ride was scheduled for 10am start which we were thankful of since the temps were below zero overnight which frosted our seats.
Sheridan St on a cold Sunday morning Luckily we weren’t scheduled to depart until 10am.
Ian’s top box was frosty
Alastair’s BMW and my Enfield also copped the frost
We assembled across from the Criterion Hotel at around 930am.
Our route was a loop south from Gundagai to Tumut then to Coolac for lunch and then north to Muttama and back down to Gundagai thru Burra Creek.
We headed off for the trip to Tumut and a about half way thru we we behind Stewart and Terry who we following Roger and Narelle on their Harley outfit when suddenly an “object” flew of the sidecar and hit the road and bounced up over Stewarts head, Initially I though OMG Narelle has dropped her camera as on trips she spends more time looking backwards taking photos than facing the correct direction ! When it landed in front of us I realised it was an indicator as it hit the road and sent a spray of orange plastic into the air. It luckily bounced over the ARMCO and disappeared down the embankment. The sheer power of the Harley must have ripped it off.
Morning tea was at Tumut where Mick a friend of Jenny’s who has a motel in Adelong came to meet us and have a cuppa. If we ever decide to hold a rally there we now have accomodation.
Jenny and I heading off from Tumut
Just out of tumut we came across some cows and bulls on the road, one of which took a liking to Stewarts bike and decided to take a closer look which scared Jenny and I for a second time
Mark concentrating on his line
Mike “Ponch” Floyd on his Californian “Highway Patrol”
Lunch was the Beehive Hotel at Coolac where the hamburgers are as big as your head
Just near the red ute in the photo on the right Mike spotted an echidna
The Hinton boys
It was then back to Gundagai where Charles had arranged for the Gundagai Historical Museum to stay open late for us to check out an eclectic mix of old homewares, newspaper articles, books, photographs, office equipment and a shed full of both rustic and rusty farm equipment.
We also discovered Ian’s secret weapon and marvelled at how people communicated back in Ye Olde days
Sunday’s dinner and presentation was held at Gundagai Services Club
They provided the club with our own section us being rowdy biker types !
Mark Reynolds won best UCE
Charles Todd – Best British
Ian Lyons – Best Electra
Ian also received an appreciation award for enduring such a long trip and for services as Tail End Charlie which he valiantly offered to do and noted that it’s the only time you’d see him at the back of the pack.
He was in slow-mode due to a rattle in the engine which he guessed is a cracked skirt on his piston. Jokes were forthcoming that he always seems to be “piston broke” !
John Wright – Best Iron Barrell
Anthony Wright finally won something – Most Distance Travelled – or did he ? 😉
We thought there was some nice looking wine on offer from Charles however he gave it to Owen Bentley as some sort of bribe presumably to help fix his bike!
Such a nice part of the world where things haven’t changed too much
Click on the photos for larger images
There was a truck show in Gundagai on the same weekend, not sure what the Ariel was doing
Monday morning Jenny and I went for another walk thru town, we caught up with Jon, Tim and Anthony at the Bushranger Cafe and then waited for the Lyons’ whom we had arranged to have breakfast with.
As we sat outside in the sun it was interesting to watch people from the club coming and going from their various abodes, meeting for breaky, strolling thru town, or refueling their bikes before making their way home.
Melissa, Kevin and Ian turned up and we as we ate we discussed the fate of Ian’s “Baby” who had an upset in the internal organs. Eventually he relented and we put her on the trailer next to mine bound for Campbelltown.
Speaking of upsets in the internal organs……
Excerpt Part 2 from Jon Hinton’s Report
From the Victorian side to the other side.,,,,Or: On the Road to Gundagai
On the return trip to Melbourne we left Gundagai on a cold and frosty morning. The plan was to leave at 9 O’clock again, and Sir Anthony called me at about 8am to ask if I was coming out for breakfast. I was impressed. He was up and running.
Tim & I joined him for breakfast to find that while he was no longer in his pyjamas he hadn’t got much further – still needing to pack and refuel his bike. Oh well……..
After brekky the clouds and the mist cleared to leave us with a lovely winter’s day ride. We saw a number of the Club leaving with their bikes to travel back from whence they came as we waited for Sir Anthony to be ready.
We made the decision to travel back the shorter way, and stick to the Hume Hwy. My bike had started to make some interesting ‘clacking’ noises that I thought the hydraulic lifters were making. I had tried to track it down by ‘listening’ with a screwdriver and they seemed to be at the top of the motor and at all parts of the cycle.
By sticking to the Hwy we would save about ~150 kms from the planned alternative.
So off we pottered and we were quite happy to be travelling along at about 100kph. The noises seemed to have abated and all was going well.
Until we neared Wangaratta.
Then there was a loud ‘clatter, clatter – bang’ and my back tyre locked up just as I had overtaken a car, and my companions were catching me up. A quick dive to the side of the road as I pulled in the clutch lever allowed me to coast to a stop with a much seized engine. The kick start lever felt welded to the block. It was obvious I was going no further on two wheels, so I invoked the “Recover My Ride” clause, and waited 2 hrs on the side of the road before being picked up and taken home on a flat bed truck.
The other two had left me to my own devices and so were home just 2 hours ahead of me, having had an uneventful ride home.
Thanks again to Charles Todd and Anthony Wright for organising such a great event
Thanks to Narelle and Jenny for the photos
Thanks to Jon Hinton for the “Victorian Perspective”
Craig Katen Royal Enfield Club of Australia Inc. Member of the Month Report
How long have you been riding?
About 40 years, I started out riding friends mini bikes around 10 years old and eventually ended up with a family hand me down which I out grew and handed back. At age 14 my friend’s parents had purchased a holiday farm property up the North Coast and bought him a Honda XL 125 on which we took turns riding around a scramble track in a paddock. We also used to go exploring around the fire trails and bush tracks in the area which got me interested in Enduro / trail bike riding.
What bike(s) have you owned?
After leaving school I landed my first job with a motorcycle products importer/distributor which eventually became Monza Imports. I used to place the orders for parts and accessories , look after the computer systems and warehouse and quickly became interested in getting a bike .
I bought my first bike, a 1983 Honda XR200R, from one of the guys at work and I got involved in trail riding and Enduro racing.
In 1985 I then purchased a new Honda XR350R which was a mistake, a total pig for racing, 135Kg and 20Hp – soft, heavy and not much quicker than the 200 and after a year or so I realised that to be “competitive” you needed to have a European 2-stroke bike.
The answer was a 1986 Maico GME250 Enduro which for me made an amazing difference. It was fast light and incredibly easy to ride. Weighing 100kg and having 49 horsepower, 300mm/350mm suspension, front and rear disc brakes it was like going from a Nissan Cedric to a Group B Audi Sport Quattro rally car. A proper race bike, It went, it stopped, it handled . I joined a club and raced it in the NSW Enduro Series and I’d dare say it would be competitive even now.
1989 at Watagan State Forest
1989 at Watagan State Forest
A career change, relationship, buying a house, going overseas, friends moving on and a change in hobbies all accounted for a bike sitting in the shed for 15 years and me not riding any motorcycles what-so-ever.
During that period, however I became a keen mountain biker which kept my riding skills up to a certain degree.
Sometime in July 2012, I did a job in Sydney and was passed by a bike that I had not seen before “in the flesh”. It was in military spec so I assumed it was old, it had a single cylinder motor with wartime Harley Davidson looks about it. I followed the bike for a while in the traffic, along South Darling St, across the harbour and lost it about Falcon St.
I have always had an interest in choppers but had become more interested in recent years after watching the American Chopper series, I even bought a classic cruiser push bike with similar looks to the Enfield – black frame with chrome bars / wheels / etc, springer seat and full mud guards as there was no way I could afford the $50k required for a custom Harley.
I considered other classic styles of bikes, Triumph, old BMWs even Ural but it was still out of reach. A friend of mine has a 2005 Triumph T100 Bonneville and I always thought I’d like to get a similar bike one day if I had the money. I had heard of the Royal Enfield brand before and knew a bit of the history (well, enough to know it was originally British but then made in India) They originally made guns and then bikes and went broke like BSA, Norton et al with the Jap bike revolution. So I went on the Internet and started investigating out of curiosity. I had no idea they had been revamped, were imported into the country and available new here as I assumed the bike I saw was a private import and old.
The Enfield seemed to “tick all the boxes” – Classic look and feel, affordable, not too powerful, easy to ride, customisable, no work compared to buying an old bike. After a couple of visits to the local dealer Motociclo who were great , I eventually went on a test ride. No brainer – within a month of seeing one I had one!
After reviving my interest in motorcycling by purchasing a Royal Enfield , and being asked by my son Angus “Don’t you already have an old motorbike in the shed and…. CAN I RIDE IT !!!!! ? ” I decided to restore my old Maico which had sat in the shed under a shower curtain since the 90’s.
After it had been dragged out and dusted off with most parts accounted for and an engine that started after only a few kicks I stripped the bike down, commissioned the brakes to be totally rebuilt , replaced the air filter, chain and front sprocket and here it is. Needs a carby service and new tyres and as you can see the rear guard has gone chalky.
2012 Almost 100%
My old gear still fits !
Pacific Park 2012 First ride in 15yrs
Then I really got the bug and bought the kids trail bikes and me a 2014 KTM 500 EXC Enduro in 2014
Bikes I’ve owned
Mini bike at age 10
Honda XR200Rc 1983
Honda XR350Re 1985
MAICO GME250 1986 – Present
Royal Enfield C5 Classic Black 2012 – Present
KTM 500 EXC Enduro 2014 – present
Have you done any interesting rides and where to?
Having been an off-road only rider for so many years I did not ride on the road except for pre-race tuning and warming up the engine before an oil change. I had not done any real road rides at all until I started coming along to Royal Enfield club rides.
The way weekend rides are organised by the club lends itself to being partner friendly and soon Jenny was interested in coming along too.
We really enjoy the “Ride somewhere – Have dinner and drinks – Stay overnight – Ride home next day” format. Jenny recently had a hip replacement which has made long trips easier but prior to that she had trouble getting on and off and discomfort after about 30mins in the saddle.
On the 2014 Bundanoon trip she had a ride in John Wrights sidecar and last month on the way back from Orange we rode Mike Floyds’ Moto Guzzi California which she almost fell asleep on it was so comfortable.
We are still looking at getting a bigger touring bike to make long trips more comfortable and allow more luggage but until then we are happy touring around on the Enfield.
Do you have any other interests, hobbies which may be on interest to your fellow Members?
In summer we are involved in a Surf Life Saving Club where I am a Nipper coach and Jenny is Nippers Secretary and a SLS Official.
Jenny ,our daughter Emma and I are patrolling members and our son Angus is a Nipper competitor so most weekends are spent working at the club, patrolling the beach or attending surf carnival competitions.
In Spring and Autumn we try to do some downhill mountain biking at Thredbo or dirt bike riding or camping.
In winter we are keen downhill and back country skiers spending time at Thredbo and in Kosciusko National Park
I also maintain an internet blog site www.k10stuff.com.au which I use to chronicle my adventures and sell some gear.
I have included links to some articles of interest. ( this is a work in progress as I am changing hosting platforms and design layouts)
Do you have any special skills which may be of interest to other Members ?
IT Equipment Sales and Support , Website hosting , e-Commerce and Blog site setup
Electronic Security, CCTV, access control systems
Technical writing and documentation
Do you have a ‘wish list’ for bikes you’d like to own in the future?
BMW R1200RT or BMW R1200GS
Ducati of some description
Harley Chopper – if I won lotto and could waste $50K on a garage ornament
Is there anywhere you’d like to ride in Australia or overseas?
On an Enfield there would be 2 destinations – India then England
On an adventure bike Central Australia
On a touring bike down the east coast then to Perth
After reviving my interest in motorcycling by purchasing a Royal Enfield (see previous blog) , and being asked by Angus “Don’t you already have a motorbike in the shed and…. CAN I RIDE IT !!!!! ? ” I decided to restore my old trail bike which has sat in the shed under a shower curtain since the 90’s.
The bike is a Maico which like the Royal Enfield is a marque steeped in history.
Founded in 1926 by Otto and Wilhelm Maisch, Maicowerk A.G. made road bikes and scooters but were most famous for their high-powered motocross and cross-country bikes of the 70’s and early 80’s.
Maico went bankrupt in 1983 and a new company was formed by the sons of Wilhelm Maisch , Peter and Hans called Gebruder Maisch (Maisch Brothers), hence the GM prefix in the model numbers and GMStar brand on the seat which distinguish it from a “real” Maico.
Before I purchased the bike I had been a Honda fan having bought my first bike second hand, an 83 XR200R and quickly upgraded to a new 1985 XR350R and started competing in Enduro races.Back then I was a skinny 19 yr old weighing in at about 65Kg on a bike that was twice my own mass.
With lots of weight, not much power and pogo-stick suspension I quickly was persuaded by the German riding crew from Hawkesbury MCC that I had to ” Go German or Go Home”. At that stage European bikes ( Husqvarna, KTM and Maico) were miles ahead of the Jap bikes especially in Enduro.
This was the motocross bike, the Enduro had different gearing and a head light & tail light.
Maico manuals and brochures list the bike having an Ohlin shock rather than the White Power that I have so it is possible that I have one of the pre-production models.
Not many of these bikes were produced, I read on one forum that only 100 were made. I knew about half a dozen people who had one of them in Australia back in the time. I assume most of them are dead and buried ( there was one mentioned on the forum ) It also mentioned the existence of another pre-production model. Maybe its mine that they were alluding to ????
The new model was a bit of a break-thru as it had massive suspension, excellent handling, front and rear disc brakes and an exhaust power-valve that gave grunty off the throttle bottom end torque like a four-stroke. From the specs I gather it had 17HP off idle and 49HP at 8000rpm.
As you can see from the above specs the bike had an outstanding power-to-weight ratio 100kg( 220LB) and 49HP = 4.4LB / HP or the same as a McLaren F1 GT Supercar.
I wished I had a 500 – but my arms would be 6 inches longer now trying to hang on !!
Here’s me back in the day
So I purchased the Maico some time in 1986 and rode Enduros on it for a few years and then as things change and people move on, I lost interest in competitive riding but over the years managed to go for the odd social ride however eventually I ended up simply not knowing anyone who owned a dirt bike anymore and I gave up 🙁
The bike developed a problem with the hydraulic brakes and hence did not pass rego the next year and then due to neglect over time the master cylinders seized and it was all put in the “too hard basket”.
I dragged it out of the shed dusted it off and assessed the damage. I knew the brakes needed a complete rebuild and were my worst nightmare.
After all, the brakes were the cause of the demise of the bike in the first place and if they could not be fixed it was a show-stopper, even if I managed to get the bike to “go” it was no use unless it also “stopped”.
Front suspension – fork legs rusted, needs fork service Rear shock – don’t want to think about it Chain – seized, wear pad and roller rotten Front sprocket – broken tooth and worn Air filter – foam disintegrated but the cage was intact I removed the spark plug and it was black and oily Opened the radiator and its contents were clean and green Checked the gearbox oil and it looked water-free Plastics looking a little worn and sun faded Electrics – fingers crossed Engine – cranks over OK Tyres – rock hard rubber Exhaust pipe – needs dent removal and welding
I have some schrader valve (tyre) fittings from an earlier repair that you weld to each end of the pipe and after heating up with an oxy set you pump and pressurise the pipe to blow out the dents
The old home-made bash guard needs some TLC along with the pipe
Riding gear – 80’s style and too tight, waist 32″ but still fits my 36″ butt
Ok things don’t look that bad in the “Go” department – still worried about the stoppers though.
After talking to some people I thought I would take the plunge and try to start it
I used some mower fuel as it is richer in oil and started it up briefly just so I knew it ran.
Phew !!! – off to the intamanet
Found some local sites/forums and came acrosshttp://www.vmxunlimited.com/which listed some of the parts I needed and some that I might need in the future. Gave them a call and got some good advice from Les and also some contacts for servicing.
I decided to concentrate on the brakes and found http://www.burtbrosautomotive.com.au/ who rebuild brakes and after a quick chat bundled up my parts and brought them over. Troy arranged a quote for the master cylinders and callipers to be refurbished and some new hoses and fittings.
Whilst I was waiting for the brakes I thought I would investigate all the other parts required and decide on a plan of attack since I did not want to spend money on frilly-bits if the brakes were totalled and I was back to square-one. I also did not want to replace anything that was not absolutely necessary as until I rode it I would not know if the bike had any other serious problems…..Like a bottom end bearing or piston ring etc.
To get the motor running properly it needed an air filter so that was the first investment.
Uni-Filter had a filter in stock and still have the pattern if they need to make more.
Next the oil and coolant needed to be replaced and after dumping the murky gear box oil I thought I better open the clutch cover in case coolant had leaked into it thru a gasket or the water pump.
There was a little rust on the top of the clutch plates just where they were exposed to the air but no signs of water ingress as all of the gears etc were fine.
I also drained the coolant and it looked good too – no rust or oil to be seen
After buying some Loctite RTV silicone to make a gasket I re assembled the motor and mixed up some fuel prepared to start it up. It ran OK, a bit smokey but it revved cleanly and idled once warmed up. So that’s another test out of the way but I still won’t know if the thing is any good till I get it on a track.
I got the call from Burt Bros. that the brakes could be repaired but custom seals had to be made and it would take a few weeks. I went about fixing the second group of items needing attention to actually ride the bike.
I removed the rear wheel and cleaned out the chain adjusters and spacers waiting for the calliper to return before completing the rear end assembly.
I replaced the front sprocket as it was worn out and had a broken tooth (sounds like me)
Lucky Maico used the same shaft as KTMs and the sprocket is an off the shelf item $35
I had a spare chain but before I could fit it I needed to replace the chain wear pad and roller which were not available locally and could not be seen on either the UK or Canadian Maico sites. I went down to Motor Cycle Accessories Supermarket and looked around their plastics dept. as they had heaps of UFO gear which was stock on the bike.
I picked up a pair of fork gaiters $30 and some UFO headlight straps $15 and a UFO chain guide from an XR600 for $50.
Turned it upside down since Maico runs the chain and kick-starter on the opposite side to other bikes and it sort of fitted but due to differences in the shape of the swing-arm I had to “take to it” with my electric hand planer. After making a jig to hold it I was able to remove the too-thick bits so it had clearance for the roller and fit the swing arm properly.
Next I needed a roller so I went and saw Jason from ESS Boardstore who had some second hand skateboard wheels but unfortunately they were too large in diameter even though the bearing etc fitted – I quickly discounted turning them down on a lathe as I could see a wheel comming out of the chuck and being implanted in my forehead. DOH!
By fluke I needed some motor oil for Angus’ bike and when I went to DHZ’s factory to pick it up I noticed on the shelf next to the oil an assortment of chain rollers!!! Only $10 ea.
So the drive line was ready but I could not install the rear wheel properly untill the brakes came back.
I got the call that the brakes were fixed and after picking them up I went about installing them ASAP as they were the last thing “stopping” me (yes sorry bad pun) from riding it.
I fitted the rear calliper first as that would facilitate installing the rear wheel and chain etc
Then I went about installing the master cylinder and hose and completed the rear end assembly and refitted the chain then needed to bleed the brakes ……ARGGGH!!!!
I could not manage to get any pressure at all and then I noticed the fittings were weeping indicating a leak. The problem was the copper washers were too large in diameter and were fouling the recess where the brake line fitting screws in.
I dropped in and saw Steve from http://www.bandrbrakes-castlehill.com.au/ and he sorted me out with an assortment of washers and some circlips for the brake pad retainers. It turns out he is an MX rider himself and was very helpful with advice and well wishes.
The smaller washers did the trick and after a few phone calls and some advice from Troy and Mick from Burt Bros I finally managed to get pressure on the rear brake.
Next was the front. I installed the calliper and master cylinder and started the bleed process and again had issues with the washers but knew what to do this time as I had got some some extra washers from Steve just incase.
Once the pads started to bite I thought I will do a rolling test and then start it up and have a bit of a ride around the back yard WOO HOO its running…..But my joy was short lived.
I got some more pressure happening in the front by continuing to bleed the brakes but noticed that the lever hit the bars so I went and adjusted the position of the master-cylinder on the bars to get better purchase and a complete stroke and I knocked the plastic inspection window out of the master cylinder !!!!
Fluid pissed everywhere and I just stood there mouth open for a few seconds while my damaged brain processed the information and realised what I just did.
The thing was brittle yellowed plastic with S.F.A. chance of glue working on it especially since it was held in with an o-ring which would prevent the two bits sticking back together.
Then my natural reaction kicked in and I started chucking tools and kicking the dog.
At this time of the restoration, after spending two days bleeding the brakes, I just wanted to put the bike on a trailer and take it to the tip
IT WAS FRICKING RUNNING 2 MINUTES BEFORE ..NOW ITS STUFFED AGAIN
All that work down the drain and I still did not know if the bloody engine worked properly.
No riding today….sent the family off to Surf Life Saving Nippers training and packed the tools up.
I got a beer out of the fridge and forgot about motorcycles for the rest of the day.
Sometime during the night after lots of beer I had a brain wave. I had used a product before to repair surfboards and other broken things called Selley’s Aqua Kneed It – a water proof epoxy putty.
Sunday morning was the Bennent Board Carninval at the beach but it was 4ft plus solid onshore and I knew the outcome. I passed on Nippers and sent the family off to the beach without me once more and got on the Enfield and rode down to bunnings. Walked to the adhesive aisle and after discounting any araldite or expoy glues which may not stick to the plastic anyway I found what I needed – Selleys Metal Kneed It.
It said – “repairs radiators engine parts fuel tanks etc – can be machined or drilled etc”
So without getting my hopes up I roughly fashioned a plug for the mastercylinder fluid level inspection window and moulded it into position and went and watched telly for an hour.
I mounted the master cylinder on the bike again filled it up with brake fluid and “Hey Presto” no leaks – BULL SHIT !!!!!!! I could not believe how easy was that…..I was kicking myself
Why the hell didn’t I do that yesterday ? – I was too pissed off to think straight and consequently did not take any photos of the disaster either.
So I quickly bled the front brakes and packed up all my gear, rang the missus and found that as suspected the board race was off as Warringah Council closed the beach.
They returned home in time for me to load the bike on the trailer and head to Pacific Park.
We arrived at the track with only a couple of hours riding time since it was almost 4pm
I unloaded Angus’ bike and whilst he geared up I unload mine and started them both up.
I left Jenny to supervise Angus and Emma on the beginners track and I took off to do some laps on the flat track.
The bike felt good but I did not push it as god knows what’s been going on inside the motor.
After a few laps I came back and assessed things and oiled the chain. For some reason the air valves on the from forks were letting oil out and it sprayed all over me which its probably due to the fork oil thinning over time. Some tyre valve caps did the trick.
A fork service is next on the to-do list along with installation of the fork gaiters I purchased.
I have already spoken to Allan from http://www.maw.com.au/ at Castle Hill about doing the work since he is also a Maico owner having a 70’s motocrosser and a Bultaco. The front brake still felt a bit spongey and scared me approaching a few fast corners. Another factor is that there was some scale on the fron disc and I may have bought pretty hard sintered pads which I may swap to the rear to save drag-wear which happens from touching the pedal with your foot by accident etc.
Everything else seemed OK so I just went and rode it for a while and then took the kids for a ride out to the back tracks where they had not ridden before.
It was good to finally be able to ride the bike again after over a decade and it was certainly good to go riding with the kids – can’t wait for Emma to get her bike.
Emma all pimped out in her new riding gear on Angus’ bike
Angus leading the way
I turned to the left, whilst Angus and Emma, being experienced went right
So even though there is alot to do on the bike I am very impressed that I was able to get it running again after so many years in the shed.
The plan is to attack the front forks asap and then some tyres followed by new bars and grips then look at the electrics and lights so I can attempt to get it re-registered again.
Thanks again to
Les from VMX Unlimited (Mainly Maico) Troy and Mick from Burt Brothers Steve from B&R Brakes Allan from Motorcycle Accessory Warehouse Ben from MCAS Auburn
for the advice and great service in helping me get it going again.