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Author Topic: A Southern Hemisphere rider on a Northern Hemisphere forum - why?  (Read 431 times)
smokemup
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« on: September 30, 2019, 05:33:21 AM »

I had a shed clean up the other day, you know the kind of one where everything on wheels is rolled out, the floor swept and every thing put back in its place but this time rearranged by either Make, Model, Color, Air/Water cooled, Country of origin, CC's, Riding genera  - the list is endless to the lottery winners of OCD. After the rearrangement a space appeared where no space had ever appeared before. It must be filled! (OCD kicking in again).

Hi to all, my name is Mark and I like riding stuff with 2 wheels - unless it has more then I like that as well. I currently live in Queensland Australia and have been riding since 1985. My best ride will be my next ride whether that be intestate or just to the shops but preferably to some shops that are interstate.The smo kem up comes from my love of 2 stroke motorbikes and more about that later. In the shed at the moment there are BSA's, Suzuki's, Cagiva, Yamaha, and the odd Kawasaki or 2 as well as 3250cc's of Honda 250's both with and without knobbly tyres, V4's, some V Twins, a Yamaha Majesty 400, a few that I may have forgotten and some that I am yet to bring up.

I have always had bikes but the early ones were most memorable but for mostly the wrong reasons. As a young man I moved from Perth West Australia to Brisbane Queensland in what I loosely describe as the "character building" years of the 80's. I was pursuing an aviation maintenance career with Australia's largest aviation employer and with a young family in tow I was not always able to afford what I wanted, sometimes this was as simple as a new set of tyres (yes TYRES, I am on the southern side of the planet) or chain and sprocket sets but children need to eat EVERY day apparently! Time passed and eventually  I bought a V-Strom 650 which I consider to be the best ALL ROUND bike ever produced. My wife came out on it a few times then  announced she wanted to get her bike license so we could ride places together just for the fun of it. Does life get any better?? Bloody well right it does!!

The boys got older and more self sufficient, why they could even feed themselves although there was more work to be done on the cleaning up training, I mean how hard could it be to teach 17 - 23 YO to wash dishes???

Wife got her license, I bought her a Triumph Speedmaster as her first bike and off we would ride. She worked in the middle of Brisbane and commuting by train was appx $130 AUD per fortnight or about 6 yen at today's exchange rates. With the Speedmaster too big for city work we bought a Yamaha Majesty 400 with 20K Km on the clock (12K miles) for commuting duties (not the one in the shed - that's my Majesty). Fuel costs are appx $15 per week and she saves over 1hr per day in travel time. This was my first auto/twist and go/no gears thingy form of two wheeled transport and I was hooked (for city traffic anyway).

Being a safety conscious sort of bloke (no second chances in aviation) it was my duty to fully explain 'The rules of motorcycling according to Mark'!
Rule 1   Car drivers are not your friends!
Rule 2   Never buy a bike so heavy you can not crawl out from underneath it when things go wrong!
Rule 3   Never buy a bike so expensive that you cant afford to walk away from it when things go wrong! (mainly for dirt)
Rule 4   In the motorcycling world "WANT" overrides "NEED" every time, and the best of all -.
Rule 5   Motorcycles are like golf clubs, you can play with one but its more fun if you have the whole set!
Rule 6   Any ride is a good ride!

I'll fast forward as I feel there is some boredom setting in.

In 2018 I returned to Perth to catch up with my sister whom I hadn't seen in about 6 years and was doing some work around her rural property. She introduced me to a chap who I'll call Shane (because that's his real name) and of course the conversation was steered towards motorcycles which went something like this:

Shane - Do you ride bikes? If not you must be some sort of sheep fiddler! (cleaned up for the forum)
Me - Yeah i ride, currently building a BSA Bantam (125cc) with a Suzuki RM400 motor in it - I call it Franken-Bantam! No I don't like sheep!
Shane - Suzuki? Love em! Got a pristine RM500 at home and a BSA. Must be goats then?
Me - Uh? Yeah, got a few Honda's and BSA's and some others, looking for my next project. I'm not into animal husbandry Shane!
Shane - You would be if you've seen the locals, how many ya got?
A very worried me looking for an escape route and listening for the sounds of banjos - Sold a few, down to my last 28!
Shane - 28? That all? You need to get a job that pays more! What sort of bike are you looking for.
Me, relieved he was no longer bringing animals into the conversation - Honda CBX1000 6 cylinder, been looking for years, always too late on the phone
Shane - Your sisters neighbor has one. Ask her to introduce you to Kiwi Kev! He drinks scotch! Your welcome!

I met Kev the following day and the conversation was rather short and went thusly:
Me - Hi Kev, heard you like a scotch and ride bikes?
Kev - Not so much lately but I do like a scotch. Is that a Johny Black?
Me - Sure is. You off the bikes then?
Kev - No, started pulling a CBX Honda to bits in the shed, cant get my Yamaha out coz of all the crap around it. Don't want to buy a CBX1000 do you. Ill sell it cheap and throw in that TGB scooter over there. The Honda's not worth much, the scooter was last running about 8 years ago. Maybe a rat or 2 under the seat!

Anyway, the scooter had 4000km (2600mi) on it and runs well. The CBX was relocated to my sisters so Kev wasn't tempted to sell it to someone else. I fly back to Perth 9 Oct 2019 with the plan to ride the TGB R50X back to Brisbane via the MotoGP Phillip Island then home to Bris about 11 days riding and 5600km or 3500mi. The plan also includes a crack at the (unofficial) 24 hour 50cc scooter record while crossing the Nullarbor Plain. On the way I'll visit some shops on this memorable for whatever reason ride.
What could possibly go wrong?

Riding "Downunder" requires one to view the world differently - like upside down!
Rule 2 and 3 in action!


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CathyN
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« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2019, 06:09:01 AM »

Wow that was some intro.  Welcome from the Northern Hemisphere, Chicago.IL.
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Expat47
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« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2019, 03:19:25 PM »

Welcome from Athens, Greece.

I got the wild idea some (a whole bunch of) decades ago to tackle a 150 mile round trip on a Bridgstone 90 and you're going to to 3500 on a 50?? Good luck!
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« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2019, 04:07:56 PM »

Those are good rules to live by! The CBX was a great find-I've always lusted after one. I'm on an Australian board, 2FiftyCC.com, and wish we could have gotten your variety of quarter liter fours  here in the States.  There's no sound in the world like a small bore, four cylinder hitting 16,000 rpms!
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smokemup
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« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2019, 11:53:43 PM »

Thanks Expat47

Love the Bridgestone bikes, they are quite scarce over here and getting very collectible. Did it have the 2 rear sprockets?
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smokemup
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« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2019, 12:38:23 AM »

Thanks as well minimac, in-fact your the reason I joined this forum. I read a trip report of yours and followed a link you gave to the modernvespa site for write-up of an MP3 trip. Both inspiring to get out there regardless of the climatic conditions and see some of this glorious continent, although I believe your roads are in better condition than ours and there is more scenery to look at. I figure that if I travel half as fast then I'll see twice as much.

Have you dried out from your drenching yet? :2tu

I'll checkout the 2fiftycc site as I have story of a previous Perth to Brisbane ride I did about 2 yrs ago. Essentially I bought a CBR250R sight unseen over the internet in Perth, flew over, spent a day prepping and packing it then rode it back to Brisbane 4300km in 3 days. The last day went for 21.5 hrs, had to call my wife with the phone to come to the garage and help me off the bike.

Then there's the China bike ride across the center of Australia - once again Rule #2 and 3 in action, just copy/paste into browser if your interested.
 https://www.chinariders.net/showthread.php?t=15169&highlight=australia+v-retro

I'm getting round to posting some of my bike adventures as I have finally realized the value of other peoples experiences and the inspiration (if only to one person) that can be generated by them.

Any ride is a good ride

China bikes where it was said that they would never survive 5500km in 8days 2500km bitumen 3000km dirt.
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Maggie
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« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2019, 02:51:07 AM »

Hello and welcome!! Nice write up!! I enjoyed the read.
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Expat47
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« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2019, 06:52:33 AM »

Thanks Expat47

Love the Bridgestone bikes, they are quite scarce over here and getting very collectible. Did it have the 2 rear sprockets?

I don't think so but those details are lost in the mists of time.
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smokemup
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« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2019, 07:12:17 AM »

I know the feeling Expat47, its OK to forget the details but never forget the dreams!

Did you ever do the ride on another bike? If not then maybe its time?
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Jim Caudill
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« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2019, 12:29:49 PM »

Welcome! 28 bikes plus the new acquisitions is quite a collection. I've given up my Goldwing (gave it to my son-in-law) and have a Silverwing, Reflex, & Helix. I also have a couple of antique Salsbury scooters. I'm thinking I need to thin the herd (no animal references intended). Good to have such a diverse 2-wheel lover on board.
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Expat47
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« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2019, 12:54:33 PM »

I know the feeling Expat47, its OK to forget the details but never forget the dreams!

Did you ever do the ride on another bike? If not then maybe its time?

It wasn't much of a destination & it now lies some 9,000+ kmeters (as the magpie flies) to the west near my home town on the banks of the Mississippi river.
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smokemup
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« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2019, 02:22:23 PM »

Welcome! 28 bikes plus the new acquisitions is quite a collection. I've given up my Goldwing (gave it to my son-in-law) and have a Silverwing, Reflex, & Helix. I also have a couple of antique Salsbury scooters. I'm thinking I need to thin the herd (no animal references intended). Good to have such a diverse 2-wheel lover on board.

I'll have to see what a Reflex and Helix looks like as they don't have them in Oz although I did spy some pics of your Salsibury on your intro page. A very interesting take on 2 wheel mobility and one I'll chase up on Google. My wife has more bikes than I have, think I may regret introducing her to riding. She has taken a liking to minibikes and BSA's. After a lengthy search she managed to track down her Poppy's original 1926 500cc side valve BSA and the 80cc Deckson Eagle she was given as a birthday present from her Poppy. No talk of thinning the herd here.
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smokemup
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« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2019, 02:50:56 PM »

Hello and welcome!! Nice write up!! I enjoyed the read.
Thanks Maggie, good to be on the site. To tell you the truth I prefer to look at the pictures posted in the reports and set a mental picture of scenery. On not so good days (with getting older their getting more frequent) its good to imagine being there or planning to be there, to see it in person. Maybe its time to hit North America for a ride and a Meet Up?
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« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2019, 03:38:03 PM »

.......Maybe its time to hit North America for a ride and a Meet Up?
[/quote]

 That would be awesome!
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« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2019, 06:59:06 PM »

Welcome from Virginia! That was one great intro to read.

Eric
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« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2019, 12:25:46 AM »

Thanks Virginian Eric, Your single seat conversion looks sooooo much better than the stock look of the 946, Italians do styling differently than the Japanese or Koreans or most any for that matter. I had a look of many of the pics you posted and read a few of the signs that tell of early settlement of Virginia which I understand was the only title given to 'The Americas'. I was surprised by the lack of size of the transport boats the early settlers used to cross the Atlantic, makes my upcoming across Australia trip look like a walk in the Park -  although the temps starting to climb here so maybe a desert park (nearing 42C/107F across the Nullabor ATM). One of the covered bridges you posted was built before the first European settlers arrived in Australia! yep, love reading signs.
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Virginian
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« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2019, 07:14:34 PM »

Thanks Virginian Eric, Your single seat conversion looks sooooo much better than the stock look of the 946, Italians do styling differently than the Japanese or Koreans or most any for that matter. I had a look of many of the pics you posted and read a few of the signs that tell of early settlement of Virginia which I understand was the only title given to 'The Americas'. I was surprised by the lack of size of the transport boats the early settlers used to cross the Atlantic, makes my upcoming across Australia trip look like a walk in the Park -  although the temps starting to climb here so maybe a desert park (nearing 42C/107F across the Nullabor ATM). One of the covered bridges you posted was built before the first European settlers arrived in Australia! yep, love reading signs.

Wow, thank you for the kind words. I sometimes wonder if my meanderings are of any interest to folks. Thanks for commenting.

Eric
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« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2019, 06:08:06 AM »

[quore]Wow, thank you for the kind words. I sometimes wonder if my meanderings are of any interest to folks. Thanks for commenting.

Eric

[/quote]Just wondering Eric if that makes you a new species of man known as the Meanderthal?
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Virginian
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« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2019, 06:47:11 AM »

Lmao! Good one!
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