The weather forecast was dismal - 100km winds,
rain, hail, cats & dogs. But the ride saw none of it, although it
was windy, not 100km - but windy, and sunny skies. I arrived early at
the starting point as I had a 9.30 start in the mag and 10 am start in
the paper - nothing unusual in that ha ha.
10 bikes and passengers roared up raring to go.
Five older bikes and five newer ones, including John Woodbury’s 2005
Gold Wing which Chester had gone over to Queensland for to pick up and
ride back, they were both very happy about it.
I’d taken my 650 BSA apart, put a few new bits
in it and this was its first ride. I’d only ridden it up the street and
now we were about to do a ride of about 160kms. Mmmmm, should be OK.
Riding along the Yellanup Road to
Narrikup with Phil on his 1961? Triumph Bonnie (which ran like a dream
- and looks like one too) and Ian on his great looking Suzuki for
company, the BSA was going well, although pinging a little on the
hills. Nevertheless the motor sounded sweet, no noises, maybe I’ll
retard the ignition a bit when I get home.
Had a good stop at Narrikup for coffee etc with
everyone chatting and carrying on. Then it was down the Spencer Road to
the Denbarker Road and into Mt Barker and up the hill for lunch. Bike
going well, still pinging a bit, I thought I’d vary the speed a little
to bed in the rings and went a bit quicker here and there. Heading
towards Mt Barker on a bend and the bloody thing nipped up (partially
seized). I pulled the clutch in straight away and pulled over.
Chris and Lurline were in the back-up vehicle
behind me and pulled over too, as well as Chester and Ian. I kicked the
motor over, to make sure it hadn’t seized completely and it was OK with
plenty of compression. Hmmm, I’ll let it cool down a little and take
off again I thought. Chester said there was a bit of smoke coming off
the engine at Narrikup - so it must have been the pistons nipping up a
bit, and that was also causing the pinging I was thinking.
Took off again gingerly down the road
and the bike was running fine. Increased the speed a little to 50mph
and it was still running well, as a matter of fact the pinging had
stopped. Ian and I pulled into the Caltex at Barker to fill up and I
was grinning - its running better now than ever.
We then decided to find the others who had already rode up to Mt
Barker Hill (which incidentally was the original Hillclimb). I thought
this will test it, and sure enough the bike ran brilliantly. So the
pistons/rings just needed bedding-in a bit. Hopefully its now fixed.
The rest of the crew were at the top enjoying their lunch and the
view. Some sitting around a picnic table and chairs with no top! We
were fairly sheltered from the wind, but as a bonus the wind will be
behind us on the way home.
We had a good laugh up there before deciding to head home, Greg and
Gail were taking off on their Honda when Ronnie yelled out, “You’ve got
a flat tyre”. Greg had thought the bike wasn’t handling the best and
had checked out the front tyre - but the back was the problem. He
carefully rode to the servo at the bottom of the hill and though we
couldn’t see any obvious nail or anything it got him home OK.
It was a good ride and as usual good company, and it just goes to
show you can’t go by the weather forecast.
Thanks to Chris and Lurline for going back-up, and I was most grateful that all I had to do was park the old Gold Flash in the shed and put a sheet over it knowing it was ready for the next run.
Who said BSA stood for “Bloody Stopped Again”? (Anyone who ever
owned one! - web ed)