In 5 minutes, no

Recently my son (and IIRA member Heath) got his Learners Permit and it may be a surprise to you but beside some riding on a Honda Z50 when he was 8-10 that’s all the riding solo he had ever done with the exception of pillion riding with me. So I had to teach him as a 25 year old from scratch as he even drives a auto car, riding doesn’t come natural he has never had a problem holding or balancing a bike so that was natural, the rest was a serious attempt to orientate him in riding skills, road craft would be taught by the excellent HART ( Honda Australia Rider Training) recognised by Vic Roads. The riding skill is difficult a a Catch 22 problem arises with no permit I had to take him to La Trobe University car park on a Sunday as there are little other areas to train a new rider. Several hours were required successfully and he then was taught the road craft skills at HART enabling him to get a Learners Permit for a maximum of 12 months or a minimum of 3 weeks, which he can then sit for a P plate licence that lasts another 3 years! That means no pillion or a bike over 670 cc no drinking or phones or GPS  and a Fluro jacket for some time while on L plates, so fairly restricted and $600 to boot for the test fortunately he had the jacket and helmet and owns a 1974 Triumph 650 Bonneville you have seen me on occasionally which is red plated and LAMS approved the bonus in Shannon’s insurance at $155 and the club permit scheme at $ 73 a year. For someone with absolutely nothing it’s very expensive to start riding bikes in 2018. So how is he going well, and is going to come on some rides with us so give him a chance please and he has got used to right hand gearchange (actually hated the Honda with L/hand change on his test) eventually he will progress to hand change and foot clutch with your encouragement so please do that as we need lots of young riders to appreciate our older bikes otherwise they will become worthless museum pieces.

Anybody noticing this lately?

With the first seven places filled on Scouts that’s incredible, considering the last factory race bike was “big base” Scouts developed in the forties H_D have a few blips in competing since Triumph in the seventies, times are changing rapidly now with old designs they really don’t stand a chance!

Being caught with your pants down

Back when the IIRA started 2010 we used to struggle to get enough people to come to meetings, rides, or rallies and people grew complacent by booking for events virtually a week or less out, those days, 10 at a meeting, 6 on a ride, or 8-12 on a rally was easy to work around but now times change. Last weekends Association monthly ride was double the booked number, the meetings are well attended with 20+ regularly and the rallies are all booked out early some within days, for instance the Rain-in-the Face rally at Walwa on 1st & 2nd June was fully booked in a weekend so even know its listed in the calendar accommodation is non-existent there at Walwa so I hav”nt even listed it on the Stop Press page, eg: some members have asked to pay for the next Gypsy Tour in 2020 straight after the last one last month to Sydney and back! The Crazy Horse notice has been  listed today so keep your eyes peeled as it will be fully booked in days so don’t just expect to turn up like years ago or you may be caught with your pants down.

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.

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