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August 2016 Club News

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Rod Chessell
1946 model, 23 broken bones, some sanity left, Corinne helps heaps there

by Rod Chessell, who recently joined the Club, and sent in a brief history of “Life with Rod”

Born: Sydney, NSW. By 1964 a 2nd-year apprentice sparkie, 7 pounds, 10 shillings/week. Thus first bike is a BSA Bantam 1952 125cc, 15 quid . . . oh well . . . later stolen by some no-taste neanderthal.

18 year old: Bought a 1954 G80 Matchy fer 14 pound with 15 pound fix-up via Jim Eade, Ashfield. My first deluxe interstate bike . . . Melb, Adelaide, Dubbo; Newcastle; Nowra and of course `65 BATHURST - brrrrr . . . open fires; wet great coats and pass around VO Invalid Plagons . . . moving on... all of the above well improved my roadside bush-mechanikicking!

1966: Upgrade to 1965 T'Bird . . . fast-reliable = see various lock-ups till wised-up and came West with W.A. mate and his '61 BSA A10.

Four days, 650 mile dirt, 3 crashes using "white horse balm" for soreness! Sydney-Bodallin and wheat/sheep farming for exercise.

Rod and road-racing a Honda 450 in Mt Barker.
1968: We lost my travel mate, killed night riding around Perth . . . so quit that scene, and went road-racing around Caversham, on first the Trumpy then a vague-handling BSA B33 we had on alcohol, predictably crashing and first visit to Shenton Park Annexe . . . fergetable.

Further brainstorms had me in a speedway sidecar with Graeme Sigley on his tidy Triumph Bonny outfit with limited success at Claremont.

1969: Saw the light and raced a 250cc Bultaco with small success 'round Wanneroo, great handling, brakes but when Yamaha TD2 came, sighs. Put the lovely 5 speed Bully in a Kerr Frame and with Doug Underwood, went short-circuit racing in S.A. - Vic - NSW where I was lucky to be acquainted with the Alderton Bros, Laurie and Dennis and Barry Ryan, Phil May great riders, including John Heaviside of Sunshine Vic, a true Master Forger in titanium.

Rod and Ivan Mauger at Claremont.
1969/70: Claremont Speedway, was then my work boss, PMG engineer Ian Crowley sponsored self (novice) on a full JAWA DT SOLO! See more crashes, but dirt's softer! Still made A Grade with the then big-kids Chum, Bob O`Leary, Les Leisk etc...

1971: UK speedway  - Bradford Northern - Odsal Yorkshire. 5.00 pt ave, a struggle on a diet of spam-eggs & chips,with a leaky, woefully powered 105E Anglia Van. Broke collarbone, thumb and pride but did run into Peter Collins MBE whom I much later in 2009 IHC two day had him ride Bernie McCormack’s 350 Ariel. Peter at 17 then was quicker than most all who met him but carried this same unaffected enthusiasm throughout his illustrious career .

My UK host (Romford) at the time was Alan Sansum a RR outfit Pilot what ran 3rd I.O.M 1971 in the senior sidecar class. A definite IOM lunatic with a heart of gold. pretty sure the `works` BSA triple he had with titanium rods, Rod Quaiffe 6 speed gearbox, and fabled Rob North frame, co-designed with Alan. No slouchers so far?

1972: Claremont - broke leg avoiding fallen rider = no UK return - see more Shents' instead. Rucky-Ricky!

1973: Claremont, second to Ivan whatsisname, (Mauger, six times world speedway champion) then back to UK, Bradford, small successes but then Teeside, another same leg broken, bending existing screw in knee, can be said I'm no screw loose, see X-rays . . . still have it.

1974: Claremont,with the aid of mechanic Dale Lings, we luck a 1st in WA, at this time worked at Mortlocks and punted a Suzuki 750GT waterbottle around town, smooth as, but no mpg, and no ground clearance but effective nonetheless.

A young Rod and Corrine.
After that various jobs, motorbike vagabonds drift too, till I married Corinne, hairdresser extraordinaire of Collie.

Forced real world aspirations = Home - in Collie - kids - dog, back to electrical trade with one left-over TM125 Suzi fer bush work, Bill McDermott as a confederate sympathiser, which followed unwisely to a WR Husky 250.  Some painful enduros, till double BRRRRR! crash and burn had it sold fer a road XT500 fer a while. Then the CX500 work transport, NICE ! as I worked at the SEC Muja (soft, easy and comfortable) ta boot. Rod and one of
          his children on CX 500 Honda.

1983: More kids and a move down to Gelorup needed the CX650 fer the longer dashes, they only ate plugs, filters and oil changes but yer got quick, reliable easy care bikin'. Great . . . till 2 yrs later and 1pt left on license. Predictably onto four wheels - the 626 Mazda lpg '90 model ran forever cheaply with aircond, bugger! Too much logic to ignore. (sighs! sez Corinne) at last no worries, fair enough!

Around 2000: Been yachting fer the most part, most summers since 1978 really, crewing, owning an 8m S80 then crewing again successfully always near the pointy end but not a lot of cigars, unlike bikes.

Generally with yachts $$$$ means wins, I did help a bloke with his tired XT500 and re-acquainted with Glen Britza,who then loaned his '50 model Ariel 350 to me a few times that incl. a dead dog story. So thus re-hooked agin, joined IHC, got weaving with them literally helped heaps as you do.

Found Murray and Sharon Rudler super diehards, so liked them lots which led to the ex-Bill Wylie 1954 Ariel 500 and after Bernie, self and Ray Easson in Perth combined engineering skills rendered the "Grunter" a reliable easy pedal on any trip we've gone on, that's 10 yrs service out of an old design surpassed in 1938. But you know the Brits, when yer on a good thing, keep 'em leaking!

So first Hillclimb at Australind then same year '06 at Albany Hillclimb with the remarkable '27 BSA/JAP of Murray and Sharon's, missed one year with dodgy gall bladder. The JAP'S proved a hit with all who listen and like a good bellow and the friendly rivalry with Macca & Lorraine certainly re-kindles the more favoured memories outa this brief epistle that I hope you've enjoyed.
Rod directing a photo of the hillclimbing bike he

Regards, Rod & Corinne Chessell.
The above article roughly translated from the Bunbury talk which at times is a bit like a different language!
Bob O’Leary and Rod at a recent Albany Hill Climb.

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