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1901-2017 Over a Century of Indian Pride


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Vic Section IIRA Association General Meetings held last Tuesday of the month (except December- January)  at

Pascoe Vale Hotel

12 Railway Pde Pascoe Vale Victoria 3044

Monthly Association Run

1st Sunday of the month run  check Calendar as these are not on if a rally falls in the same month


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Please note: The comments are the opinion of the webmaster and not necessarily views of all in IIRA


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2018 IIRA Gypsy Tour #1

Speedo drive woes, and small balls

Stewart Warner speedo drives fitted on 741 Scouts and 1948/ Chiefs my one was new and presumably pre-packed at $300+ I fitted it and after 4,000 miles it decided on the last Association ride to not work. It is a pain to dismantle  as you have to remove the wheel to un-bolt the small fibre drive gear then I find the fitted Zerk grease nipple has no little ball in it to stop the ingress of water or dirt, check your Zerk. The gears unlike the earlier Corbin rear drive versions are not easy to find and are $200USD a pair plus post so I ordered a new drive, expensive lesson learned.

Shell oil for your indians

Is 80 KPH fast enough, no its not

Back in the days of yor when meeting another vehicle on the road was a big deal and the chances of that vehicle being horse drawn were 50-50 are well gone, these days such speeds of 80kph are posted on freeways under repair and that can cause huge “tailbacks” on those roads during peak hours, if you don’t believe me its time for you to drive down the Tullmarine freeway soon at those peak times. Recently we tried this 80kph on the Calder Freeway and in some areas this can be 110 kph and riding 30kph under the posted limit is dangerous, causing mayhem and many irate motorists, I made a executive decision that for safety reasons we would sit 10 kph under the posted limit which made everybody on this ride happy. So why did we try this in the first place, mainly because of members at the last meeting complaining that the rides were to fast and that limited the older Springfield models, strangely the people that commented were not on the ride anyway, I rode my Vindian and until Daylesford was the oldest bike on the ride till a new member on a 1944 Chief joined us, the other old bike was a 1949 Ariel 350cc which was comfortable at between 90-100 kph. So whats this all mean to you on a old PowerPlus, Prince, 741 Scout or 1944 Chief with sidecar, lots the first two machines in 2017 are probably more at home with Vintage Club rallies or parades as they have little or no brakes and can be dangerous in some circumstances, the others are capable of being ridden up to 100 kph’s if not geared for convoy use I know having ridden a 1944 Chief outfit to Sydney and back fully loaded with my 12 yo daughter in the chair, I follow Ric at the Crazy Horse Rally every year on his stock 741 at 90-100 kph so they can do it. The thing that is limiting is riding an old machine with inferior brakes ok in the country but scary in the city, if you intend to ride a really old Indian to a rally that cant keep around 10kph of the posted speed limit it might pay to take your later model.

Gypsy Tour 2018 Forms etc

Chris Horner’s 4th Gypsy Tour 2018 Expression of interest forms are listed below these are held every 2 years and are limited to 20 people, of course Indian Riders will have first preference over other brands. Now the secret is as was the now defunct Rain-in the Face rally (for this year) that was going to be the long weekend next week is get your form in NOW, then when a payment is asked for in September pay immediately into the bank account on website listed under the Town Crier above this seems simple but some have a problem with this till the last week before the rally then if  expect to catered for at the last moment! This Gypsy Tour is extremely popular and fills up quickly as it has done in the past and the Tour will be at least 12 days so organise that time off work now if you’re considering going the Route is up the OLD Hume Highway not the new Hume FREEWAY  it’s all paved now not like the photo above and return home down the Princes Hwy on the Coast road, by the way don’t forget the Association Ride tomorrow all details on the calendar

2018 IIRA Gypsy Tour #1 

Aussie/NZ engine number debacles

I have recently helped Martyn Goodwyn in producing this article below for the on line OVR magazine, Martyn for those who know him has done a excellent job by checking with all authorities in Australia and New Zealand, the bottom line is “Do you feel Lucky” as Clint Eastwood said, the offence for reclarifying your Indian 4 engine number is 14 years jail and if you don’t the risk of de-valuation to it can be expensive as well on some rare machines. The picture above is a brand new set of Vincent crankcases well stamped so no doubt can be there but others can cause major problems for instance the Triumph frame pictured is actually a 9 not a 0 so this would cause concerns and a decision to re-stamp and conserve the provenance or have a 17 digit frame number stamped and the original number obliterated could cause concern, thats your decision.

Engine :frame number article

So you still think Harley will beat Polaris-Indian

I always have a chuckle when the “knuckle draggers” spout that Harley will outlast Indian, hmm that’s not happening at least in this century. As we know Polaris doesn’t rely on selling motorcycles they amount to only 4% of their sales profit with sales in everything from off road vehicles to buying GEM electric vehicles, the remarkable Slingshot and the Sea Cat and Snow Cat divisions being the big money earners, poor old Harley sells bra”s and leather knickers and dress-up chrome bits for a bit on the side, totally reliant on motorcycle sales since airconditioner, golf cart, and caravan division were sold in the sixties. You will notice at the end of this link below that Eicher (Royal Enfield) which is part of Mitsubishi and Ducati originally owned by Vatican City but now owned by VW is now selling Ducati. Royal Enfield is partially “in bed” with Polaris so in the long run Ducati should get a big boost and that will feed back to Enfield. So how big is Royal Enfield, remembering that in 1983 that JS Bloor, Les Harris and Royal Enfield bid for the Triumph manufacturing rights, Bloor won, Harris built Triumphs initially for 6 years under licence, and now that brand that causes a serious threat to the Japanese Royal Enfield has quadrupled since that period, so Ducati will in the end if they (Enfield) aquire it will end up like Jaguar has now owned by the Indian’s and still built in Britain and a better car to boot that the Pom’s ever made in reliability alone, I still see Ducati with some models built in Italy but as for others that are already made in India or Thailand who knows. All this of course feeds back in either monetary or development exchange for Polaris, seems funny that Harley bought MV Augusta a few years back for a few million dollars and sold it for $2 I’m starting to feel sorry for the “Boat Anchor co”

Royal Enfield to Acquire Ducati? Rumors Have Started

Anyone else had this problem?

My 1947 Chief used to break rear spokes after every run annoyingly, and caused me to buy a new pack from Starklite Cycles these were Buchanan stainless spokes and they have made spokes I believe since the sixities. When I built the the Vindian I bought new stainless spokes and they started breaking 10 in all over 3 years, so last year before the Great Race in Tasmania 2016 and the Gypsy Tour I checked my rear wheel and found yet another snapped I had been replacing them one by one with JTR stainless spokes from  Queensland and they never seem to break, anyway I blamed the hub and bought a whole new wheel from Mark at Zorro’s sourced from Starklite Cycles again, surely this would cure the problem, well guess what two more broken spokes in the new wheel, I’m beside myself. Next step is original Indian steel spokes re-plated and seeing they have lasted over 60 years already hopefully that will fix it, I might mention here no more stainless spokes for me especially in the rear wheel.

Not riding because of the weather?

We are at the moment in Autumn and the signs of winter are here with us still with a “bumper” crop of riders (12) at the last ride day we have our fingers crossed for the same next month on 4th June. This time it will be to the Moto-Bean Cafe in Malmsbury as it was planned earlier for this month but they were completely booked out as its a popular venue still not to far for a ride at this time of year. A presence from Phillip White on his “new”Yellow Drifter that has been named General Custard this month got everybody talking as now there are three in the Association, they are popular though the reasons seem to be they are under $10,000 and are dimensionally smaller than the current range of bikes from Indians made since 1999 excepting the new Scout of course and parts are readily available and cheap, so till current Indian’s drop below ten grand I expect people will look at them as a suitable alternative.

I totally agree

A short time ago I wrote a post on Lethargy will get you want you want and mainly the core subject was members not committing to rides, rallies or even meetings we have had to cancel  the Rain in the Face Rally (last years poster above) next month because of so few commitments and as you know accommodation and meals can’t be organised in the last week. Some of our country members rely totally on our four seasonal rallies a year to catch up with you and look forward to each magazine or Rally in earnest much more than city folk that come to monthly Association Meetings or attend the monthly Rides as well, your committee in the past has cancelled all monthly rides that fall in the rally months to ensure a good attendance, this hasn’t seemed to help I know some of our rallies are very well supported so they will continue, but when the rally forms are out either texted to you or on this website, emailed, sent with your monthly e-mag Smoldering Embers, or quarterly Smoke Signals even FaceBook we expect an answer whether you can make it or not please it takes a fair bit to cater for and we have no idea who may turn up, in the past we had to ring the motels to find out who would be attending! So that was the reason we decided to arrange all the accommodation for you this ensured we could get an idea on numbers and get a good deal for you on accommodation or meals the entry forms out 8-10 weeks before should help to organize your life to enjoy a rally or two a year but unfortunately this has’nt proven true. I have decided with Noel Thornby’s & Gary Hogg’s permission to print their letters that will be past on to your committee next week.

I write to express my disappointment in your decision to cancel the Chief Rain In The Face Rally .
As a country member Sunday runs are not practical for me . Rally’s are my connection with the club ,as they are for our interstate members . 
All rally’s are much anticipated and planned for . A rally is a time to do some serious KM’s with friends and fellow members , stay over , shoot the breeze , taste local food and wine and enjoy the Joy of country riding . 
I get that some members don’t ride in winter but with modern thermals , heated gloves , heated grips , and screens I wonder why .
I get that a part of our core rider group will be overseas and numbers will be limited but should this kill the remaining riders fun .
I understand that we don’t have the no’s to get discounted accommodation and meals but is that a deal breaker , not for me .
We should consider the work Garry does to organize this event and show our appreciation by showing no matter the no’s .
We are the Iron Indian Riders Association , not The Iron Indian Polishers , or lookers , or coffee drinkers , but the Iron Indian Riders Association so lets Ride .
Yours in thermals
Noel Thornby  
And another view from Gary Hogg
Fellow association members I am attempting to write this short note to express my disappointment in the cancelation of the Rain in the Face Rally on the Queen’s Birthday weekend, I
understand some members will be overseas but as a country member I really look forward to these rally’s it is the only time I get to ride with other members which is a real buzz for me, I fully agree with Noels letter, why are we members for if we don’t attend fully organised events. Would having this rally earlier say May for instance help as it might be a little warmer nothing guaranteed though.
hoping to catch up with you all soon Hoggy

1 million and a half hits, and Anzac Day “Lest we Forget”

A million and a half minutes is about 2.85 years, a million and a half hours is 171.12 years, a million and a half days is around 37 years that’s a fair bit of time, and its the number achieved on this website in 7 years and about 174 different countries have looked in on us at one time or another, our American friends are the most loyal next to the Aussies but then surprisingly the Indian and the UK are also in there as well, so whats next probably 2 million time will tell. Anzac Day is always a sign of reflection “Lest we Forget” 60,000 died in the Great War and over 27,000 in WWII that’s not counting the casualties, in 1914 there were only 5 million people in Australia 7.2 million now live in NSW and 4 .17 million in Victoria and 2.35 million in W.Aust, a staggering that amount that died and although we needed to fight in the Second World War to save being invaded, the First War seems to me a waste of time. Mind you we hav”nt counted the Kiwi’s in these figures and they suffered equally with an even smaller population, war is futile unless you’re defending yourself and it seems with all the “sabre rattling” going on these days people have short memories

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