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June 2014 Club News

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Annual Club Week Long Old Bike Ride
or... a Bad Thing Happened to My Ariel(s)

 Story by Garry Blake; pics by John Mc and Garry B (exploded view of Ariel engines :)

It was a wet ride to Walpole.
The annual twenty-five year or older bike ride was the event, and we rode from Albany to Walpole during which we all got thoroughly drenched between Denmark and Walpole. A new jacket that I had just purchased was more of a sponge than a waterproof cover as I was soaked through. This was an omen of things to come. We left Walpole with many other bikers going in all directions, who were also very wet, mostly because they were only wearing leathers.

Got to Northcliffe late afternoon where we set up camp in the rain. The weather improved and we had a pleasant evening in the campers kitchen. Next morning we headed off to Hamelin Bay via Nannup but halfway to Nannup there was a bang and the bike stopped. Raelene was following and saw a big puff of black smoke ejected from the exhaust. A quick investigation revealed no compression so the bike was loaded onto the backup trailer and we continued to Hamelin Bay

Getting the Ariel ready for a trip back to Albany.
After setting up camp we decided it was not a roadside repair and Daniel volunteered to trailer the bike back to Albany so I could bring another bike for the rest of the trip. The next day a short ride was planned as we had two nights at Hamelin Bay, so Daniel and I loaded the Ariel 500 onto his trailer and made the round trip and brought back the Ariel 350.

New-tech panels to recharge old-tech Ariel battery.
Tuesday we set off for Bussleton for a couple of days camping and a few short rides. The generator decided to stop charging on the 350, and as I needed to have a stop light, the owners of the caravan park lent me some solar panels.

Swinging the Ariel through the Karris.
I borrowed Raelene's Guzzi for the day while the girls went shopping in town. After a good day out we returned and the battery was nicely charged, so I knew it would be right for a couple more days.
After a couple of nice sunny days in Busso we headed for Pemberton and had a lovely ride through Donnybrook, Bridgetown and Manjimup.

Riding through lovely forest near Pemberton.
Alas after leaving Manjimup about halfway to Pemberton I detected a rattling noise coming from the engine but by the time I found somewhere safe to pull over the rattle had intensified and the bike stopped. I knew this was going to be serious so once again the bike was loaded onto the backup trailer.

We spent a night at the caravan park and had an excellent meal at the Pemberton sporting club. I had the rest of the trip back to Albany on Saturday with Warwick in the support vehicle while the rest of the riders enjoyed the last day on their bikes.

Dropped valve - 500cc.
Sunday was spent stripping down the bikes to find the causes of the trouble. The 500 had dropped a valve so a new piston, valve guides, valves and spark plug required here.

Broken crankpin causes a lot of problems - 350cc.
The 350 had a big meltdown. Pulled off the barrel and the top half of the piston was sitting at the top of the barrel and the rest was disintegrated and floating around in the crankcase along with the bottom of the barrel which was also smashed. Split the crankcase open and voilą, the two flywheels parted company, revealing a split crankpin!

Many thanks to Daniel and Mary for their generosity of car and trailer to swap over the bikes and to Warwick for bringing the support vehicle and club trailer.

More pictures of the old bike ride

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