Sunday ride review

Association ride to Moto-Bean Cafe, brilliant day and over 15 people out, well done

IIRA Ride 6 May 18 to Moto-Bean Cafe

Sidecars on Indians

Funny how people think Indian’s have an Indian sidecar fitted, as a matter of fact hardly any except the 750 Army Chiefs that came here did. The reasoning was Indian made sidecars on the R/hand side and they were illegal here the other problem was they were very expensive as local taxes protected our local sidecar manufacturers, Dusting, Goulding, Murphy, Tilbrook, to name a few the Indian pictured above has a Dusting and quite a handsome combination I think. A good Dusting is about $4,000 s/hand and an Indian sidecar double that if you can find one off an Army bike or imported close to $10,000 (click on link below) so if you want a period “chair” at a reasonable price buy a local variant.

Pete is a new record breaker

One person that sent his apology for not getting to the meeting is The President Pete Kime pictured above in Burt’s record breaker in NZ. Meanwhile  the All British Rally was on over the last week-end and there was a “Bindian” there a Chief in a 1957 BSA swing arm frame and very nicely fitted as well particularly the generator area, this bike attracted plenty of spectators and was’nt a bad mod if no Indian frame was available, the weather held out and 1000 motorcycles were out on display.

After 9 years a new website is coming

Remember that first car you owned and over the years you think of it fondly, then one day you the opportunity comes along to drive one the same car you had all those years ago, but the vehicle hasn’t got worse your expectations have matured ie: there’s no power steering or power windows, no airbags, and that steering wheel is huge and skinny, the brakes are worse than you remember and the lights are dismal, and to boot it handles like “a camel with a broken back”. Thats how a 9-year-old website is, in geek terms that’s 50 years old so although it looks good its a bastard to drive, your committee has decided it needs an upgrade pronto and this will happen very soon it will look different but all your old area’s will still be there so just test it out &. you must remember it makes your webmasters life easier and seeing nobody wants this job that’s very important to me or someone that’s does this job in the future.

The joke’s on us

New member Jeremy Furness, our new website creator as well Barry the Bike author was bemused today as he attended his first Iron Indian ride to Yarra Glen, as you know (text message) Owen Jones the club captain cancelled that early this morning at 7.00 am because of poor weather conditions. Seeing Jeremy is such new a member (on Friday)  and we havent loaded his details for texting yet, he went to the All American Day at the Yarra Glen showgrounds, he was the only bike that attended and took home all the prizes pictured above and was jovial when he rang me to say what had happened. Jeremy is trying to get to the next Tuesday General meeting on 24th so you can ask him all about our new website and congratulate him on his prizes.

The Real COST , no its not cheaper to import a bike

So you have found the perfect Indian Chief at say $30,000 USD in New York so it has to get to the Los Angeles Port $648 USD then it has to get to Melbourne so with a certificate to import from Canberra and a customs broker add another $1200 Ausd then of course your Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull wants a cut out of the lot including the freight charges and the damn cheap Indian is now $45,000 and it doesn’t look that good in the flesh the photo’s always look better. Yanks don’t ride their bikes so a 100 point AMA restoration means it’s usually looking good but absolutely buggered mechanically but another $8.000 minimum will make it better for the old 1200 cc, 3 speed. Hmm you know what, buy a local bike and ride it because the import bit only works when the $ is on parity and by the way Border Security may impound your import and $4000-$5000 later after the asbestos has been removed by a Gorilla you will get your bargain bike  back in a tea chest, doesn’t look that cheap now does it?

Life moves on

With the recently completed Gypsy Tour to Sydney and back its time to reflect on success of that and future events in the IIRA, these things only happen by dogged determination of a small number of people in your association that do all the “grunt” work for such memorable times together. So what keeps the fibre of the association together, one is the events that are offered which can be a simple monthly run or the quarterly rallies for others it may only be the meetings at the Pascoe Vale Hotel but another is the monthly electronic magazine Smouldering Embers and the quarterly Smoke Signals, this is an important link for members that are not fortunate to live in the metro area so it means so much, we have been lucky with individuals such as Chris Horner & Guy Allen as editors in the past but now the baton has to pass onto somebody else as Guy’s commitments are heavy and he has to reluctantly step down from the role as editor, at this point I would like to offer him a sound grateful thank you from not only myself but everyone in this Association for the effort he has put into both medias in the last 5 or 6 years but life has moved on. Replacing such a person is not easy and I suggest it’s a twin role rather than one person as in the past doing both magazines, so beside a Red Plate administrator we now need an Editor for Smoke Signals and another for the Smouldering Embers don’t be shy and put your hand up to do something back for your Association we need action now to keep the enthusiasm up, we can give you a hand and supply material for help.

Meanwhile the Gypsy Tour and big hand from everybody to Chris Horner for putting on such an event and it was fantastic, the camaraderie of a group traveling on Indian’s over a long distance whether new or old is a feeling that cannot be described unless you have done it before, a typical picture above fixing Sandy’s bike on a remote road when out of the blue a guy “Chook” who has ridden with us on the Crazy Horse Rallies pulls up to help talk about a “fluke” of timing. The weather held out most of the time except the last day when I was waylaid with food poisoning and it “bucketed down” for a short period was acceptable, last week one of the participants wanted to pay his deposit for the next one in two years, talk about getting in early but shows how successful it all was. There will be another few new rallies coming up later this year and they will be limited to certain numbers when the Expression of Interest comes out don”t hesitate and yes we still need a editor to print such newsworthy items, think about it.


The Sunday Ride report done by Pete Kime for last week-end, thanks Pete it was really the first ride of the year that was’nt a Rally, weather was spot on and for a change I took my sons Triumph T140V 1974 which went fantastic through the hills being nimble and light. While riding it I thought of another idea that I will put toward the ride committee a “Closet Ride” to define it that means your other bike  and not the Indian (unless you always ride the other bike, then ride your Indian). This gives you a chance to show other members what other machines you have and perhaps might surprise you that there other machines on the road apart from Indians

Iron Indian Riders 1 st Sunday Ride March 18

Tall tales and True from Tassie

Hi Phil

Read with interest your article on the new Indian Dealer in Launceston. I originate from Launceston & as a small boy the highlight of my early years was to be taken into town and left outside Sim King Motorcycles to look at the display in the shop window. I recall seeing an outfit one day & telling my parents “I will have one of those one day” finally got my outfit 4 years ago. Bought my first bike a BSA C11 from Sim King when I was 16. Sim King were in Elizabeth Street Launceston and prior to that in Brisbane St & were competitors with John King & Sons.

This link you may find interesting.

Incidentally the first vehicle to get into Waldheim Chalet (Cradle valley) was an Indian Motorcycle in the 1920’s. Gustav Weindorfer the owner of Waldheim was so impressed he bought an Indian & this was his sole means of transport into Waldheim for many years. I read a book a few years ago about the history of the Cradle area, the book was called Three Indians & the Caterpillar by Anton Hudson Lade (Indian referring to motorcycle & Caterpillar referring to a half track vehicle that also made early trips into Cradle) I recall Gustav used to light a fire under his Indian to warm it up so he could get it started on sub zero mornings. I think he died from a heart attack trying to start his Indian one cold morning. Great reading if you can get a copy. They were tough men in those days, fascinating stories being lost in time.

Cheers Ian Snadden President CMCC of Victoria

That same old question again about Classic Bikes

I recently approached the Classic Club President of Victoria Ian Snadden about his editorial in the recent article in Sprocket on “true classics” and the old “bogey” on what’s a Classic raised its head again as it has done in the past in the IIRA. The CMMC have an ageing membership and are worried that as they have nearly 500 members and they are looking at 1/3 probably becoming inactive within the next decade for age related reasons & with not many younger members who are joining to replace them, seems similar to most clubs at the moment but not all. The best thing that ever happened to Indian was that in 1999 the game was on with Indian making a comeback and the roots of this are with the new Polaris Indian’s today, remember the hiccups with Indian, Gilroy, Kings Mountain, etc till we are now at a point where Indian’s are no longer the “new kid on the block”and are a serious threat to the Motor Co, for the IIRA it is and was a blessing in disguise as a small number of original souls formed the Iron Indian Riders decided the future of Indian would have roots in the past but we would embrace the future, others did’nt see it this way and of course, the end will be inevitable how that turns out as time passes. The IIRA has had it ups and downs but we embrace all Indian’s and as a result have a decent mix of all era’s and late model owning members have sometimes bought early Indian’s and visa-versa this can only lead to a viable and healthy future for us and the enviable position some clubs like the Velocette, Vincent, AJS, Ariel owners can only dream about. But back to Ian’s great article its good to see another club looking to the future and not relying on the past we are all people that like old bikes and not want to see them in the scrap bin, surely the basis of anybody’s future.

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