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This is a good job for someone in the Association only four times a year and it’s a paid position, most of the articles will be provided and there is help available for the initial setup from our previous editor. Everyone enjoys our magazine and complains about it not being more regular, it used to be monthly and had a Smouldering Embers flyer fortnightly but because of the difficulty getting an editor it’s now quarterly. So if you think of anyone that’s been doing a similar thing or is a member please contact me 0400922022 during business hours


So now there are four in Victoria and the latest one is your presidents Mark Barthelmie, weirdly the first one I provided all the then known details to Pete Arundel and eventually it was fabricated by our ex Chairman Lindsay Urquart. The second one again fabricated by Lindsay for Pete Birthistle, I not only found the engine in S.Aust but then overhauled it, eventually sorting out the finalities like cables and magneto so it settled down to be a good reliable bike. The third one was and is the one I mostly ride that I completely ignored the two previous attempts and built it stronger than the factory based prototypes that Lindsay made. It’s done heaps of miles and is doggedly reliable, and now we have Mark’s I found the new motor for this in a JMR Norvin and Mark got the 1948 rolling chassis, I recommended Greg Brillus (Vincent guru) to fit it in with the help of my 30 page book I had written on this subject, plenty of phone calls from QLD and the engine was in! Mark has all the fiddly work to go, painting, wiring, exhaust etc but it’s nearly there so that’s another one done and I’m looking forward to seeing it on the road. There are 3 others in the world, Mike Thomas of Kiwi Indian it has a Terry Prince 1200 engine and 2 front heads with the Vincent dynamo drive system and huge carb’s and cams, I prefer the opposite for tractability each his own, the other one is a abortion again in America this one is dangerously made where the Indian frame rails are completely cut out and the engine is hung as in a standard Vincent frame, if it was in Australia it would be banned! Lastly the factory frame that was delivered back to Indian Sales at Springfield in 1949 sans the engine, they were agents for Vincent and fitted a Series D engine and a Vincent front wheel, it still exists apparently in the DuPont museum.

What’s old is new again, the editors of our newsletter Smoke Signals of the past have been hard working and dedicated and enthusiastic they have covered 13 years of our history and changes in tabled written form both hard copy in the past and now electronic media. Martyn Goldwyn is stepping down and was one of our editors most familiar to our members he has decided to step down as his interest in motorcycles has waned so at this point I must thank him for he’s hard work over the last 10 copies, our previous editor Guy Allan has put his hand up and volunteered to take on the job again, Guy writes professionally for Unique Cars, the now defunct M/cycle Trader and many other mast heads so we’re  grateful he’s coming back to his old job and he still owns a Indian as well as Ducati and a Triumph also a shed full of classic cars and Japanese bikes. As you know we are reliant on articles and info from you so you don’t say “Not another article from/about Phil Pilgrim” Anything will do, maybe your other hobbies or how you ended up with you bike/car or you last trip were all ears.

How do you write a snapshot of the recent Gypsy Tour if you’re been following the Facebook page of the IIRA you will have seen Gary Hogg’s living maps with a day to day update of what happened. After 44 times going to Tassie since 1977 I’m looking forward to going again next year to the National Vincent rally and have already booked, what amazes me is after 2 years of advertising this event in the end only 5 came out of 12 that expressed interest all I can say is your not getting any younger and seize the day because these opportunities are meant to get your machine out on the road. Jason Douglas drove the back up Mercedes Vito of Dave Kimpton’s and it was a positive benefit to all as our bikes were not loaded down with luggage, no flat tyres if anyone got ill or we had a breakdown it was simple, nothing happened anyway. I decided to not take my  Vindian at the last moment as all the others were on pre 1976 machines I rode my Vincati instead same as Owen Jones, Gary Hogg was Triumph as was Dave Kimpton, we had a guest on a 1978  BMW R80 and also a mate of Dave’s and a ex member on a Hog. The weather was fine all the way  except for one morning at Eaglehawk Neck, the food was fantastic as usual and the roads superb the next trip might be on in March 2026 if you interested, if your not we don’t care we had a fantastic time and are all ready to go again.

The Gypsy Tour of Tassie 2024 is now less than 4 weeks away for those who have booked your preparation should be now done, but knowing some of those Gary Hogg prepares months in advance but Owen Jones and Dave Kimpton will be fixing on the day we leave, personally I’m one of the former and have started preparing when I booked 12 months ago! Owen compromises by bringing 40 kgs of tools and even a portable spark plug cleaner and Dave just relies on a last minute service and grand faith in the marque, but getting back to you how would your bike shape up to a good ride or a rally, theoretically nothing more than check the tyre pressures the oil level and the petrol should be all you need to do, if not fix it and as the scouts say “Be prepared”

The 2024 year is off with a bang, the Midday Express Run to Thornton for a overnight stop this Saturday, then 11th Feb the Macedon Car Club Show & Shine at Hanging Rock, the 1st March is the 15 day Gypsy Tour of Tasmania 2024 with a General Meeting on at the Grandview Hotel on 27th Feb! So the winter Rally we used to have is now cancelled  this makes the Crazy Horse Rally (Spring) in October at Corryong one of the remaining events on this year beside the odd quarterly club ride, which is why I will reinforce why you need to book accomodation as soon as these events are announced an example of this is this weekend the Rubicon Hotel/Motel is virtually booked out. Similar thing with the Tassie trip this March the ferry is full because 140 classic British motorcycles are going to the British Motorcycle Rally at the same time as us, we booked accomodation in different places because some areas were completely full. Some members of our club are dismayed they cant go on the Tassie Tour because a month out there is no way to get there. Member Phillip White is straying to the dark side no not a Harley (as pictured above) but to another V-Twin Moto-Gutless, this guy is into weird things Sunbeam’s, Ariel Square 4, and that old conrod disemboweler BSA A10, times change.

 

Always a good time, out with the old in with the New as it is said, theoretically the weather is good for riding and the sun is out longer and your riding time should be more not less. The Midday Express is just over 2 weeks off and I would advise those who are thinking of attending to book your accomodation if the Rubicon Hotel/Motel is booked out there are other places to stay in Thornton and this is a complete overhaul of a much loved event on our calander to suit the conditions and riders attending, remember the only way we are holding all of these events is with your support no support means the event will be cancelled in the future. Last year we had one event at Corryong the year before in 2022 we had 4 rallies, 9 ride days and 9 meetings a year. We addressed this because of the downturn of support by completely altering not only events but also our membership type encompassing BEA pre 1976 which I’m pleased to say seems to have reversed the slow downward spiral, 8 new members last year compared to nil in the previous 2 years proved this point. Our new criteria will be to only give you events that are supported it takes as much to organise a rally with 6 people as 25 so its not worth setting up one to find 3 people are attending also its good manors to return a Expression of Interest as this helps for booking of meals or accomodation please.

Meet at Ampol service station at 11-30 am for a ride to Thornton arriving at your pre-booked Rubicon Hotel/ Motel 1362 Taggerty-Thornton Rd Thornton 57 732251 please mention Iron Indian riders, then an evening meal at the Hotel. Sunday morning return home after breakfast. Please reply if your interested in attending and don’t forget to book your room.
This event has been “saved” by members at your last meeting, it was going to be scrapped so to  ensure it’s continued please support it, we have rejigged it to a more user friendly time and stretched it out, also located close to Melbourne 120 klms or under 2 hours.. all details on the calender all click on the sidebar listing this event

 

The committee has passed a new resolution that any brand new members from January on will only pay the annual membership fee of $60, the new member joining fee is now redundant. This means you can switch into our association without the penalty of an extra cost with the added advantage of B.E.A (British, European & American)  up to 1976 including Indian’s of any era, Christmas has come early!