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VJMC Inc Australia The Australian branch of the VJMC is a registered association incorporated in the state of New South Wales. Objectives of the VJMC: To foster the preservation, restoration, riding and enjoyment of older Japanese motorcycles.

Membership Applications and Renewals: VJMC Inc, PO Box 5240, Daisy Hill QLD 4127 All other correspondence: VJMC Inc, PO Box 146, Fairfield VIC 3078 Website:

VJMC Australia Committee President John McNair (07) 3133 0191 Secretary Heather Garth 0416 358 882 Treasurer Michael Catchpole (03) 9809 4046 Area Rep Coordinator Jeff Eeles Merchandise Heather Garth 0416 358 882 Librarian Lyndon Adams (02) 4945 1780 Web Manager Raoul Punt VJMC MAGAZINE This is a forum for members in which they may advertise bikes and/or parts for sale or wanted, exchange ideas and restoration tips, seek advice, share opinions and experiences, or anything else relating to the club’s objectives. Contributions are very welcome. Editor Tom Calderwood Postal address: 2/2 617 Spencer St, West Melbourne VIC 3003




President’s Report |4| Ride Reports & Calendars | 6-19 | Yamaha DT-1 Restoration | 20 | Finger Freezer Ride | 24 | Katana Rally | 26 | Steppe-ing Out | 28 | Ace Cafe | 32 | Profile: Dave Parker | 38 | Bits ‘n’ Pieces | 46 | Club Info | 48 | Membership Renewal | 50 |







THE PRESIDENT Hello folks. Its been a little cool over the winter but we still manage to get our machines out whenever possible. I know that up here in Queensland this is the best time of the year with mostly dry weather and days in the mid teens. Ideal riding conditions. Some area’s of the country have rain in the winter and I suppose this is an ideal time for heated garages and catch up on that restoration.


ne of the highlights of October of course is the Phillip Island Grand Prix and I know many of our members in other states will travel to Victoria for this great event. Before you do, get in touch with our Victorian members and arrange to meet up. Its an ideal time to catch up with fellow members interstate. Who knows, if you have a few extra days, some of the Victorian fellows may be able to take you on some of their great motorcycle roads. Believe me, they have lots. The VJMC Forum appears to be popular however there has been some comments made against people which I feel may have overstepped the line. Its okay to have a bit of a stir but try and focus on the issue and not the individual. If you feel that someone has overstepped this line then contact me and I shall look into it, but remember I am the President and not the censor. We should be careful not overstep the mark in anyway that would



reflect on the individual or on the VJMC. Congratulations to Graeme and Lynn Knight for taking on the Membership Secretary position and a big thank you to them for getting through the massive backlog of renewals and membership applications. Lynn has spent many hours in front of her computer however direct debit renewals make a lot of work if you don’t include you name and membership number. Also your current address should be included. Great to hear of the success of some of our regional chapters who are having some great events with lots of people attending. Tamworth is one of these areas. The rides they have put on have been well attended with a wide range of motorcycles turning out for the rides. Well done to those involved. Ride Safe John McNair







These shocks are mainly offered on Ebay and after expansion of well respected UK Ebay source they are available here, we have an exclusive contract with a large OE quality shock maker who supplies to several large motorcycle makers, with no wholesalers or dealers taking a cut and passing savings on to you. The shocks are made to our spec and are not available from anybody else. These shocks have been selling in UK for 2 years with ZERO returns. These are specific shocks for your application, they are not universal style. Prices are kept low by no fancy overheads, no shop front so now shop browsing sorry.

Tecshocks can be contacted by email or mobile 0426 283 228 this is mainly an ebay business and so don’t expect shop hours service, just good value.

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The Macquarie Towns club always puts on a good show with a very wide range of machines and the latest rally was no exception, with a very strong turnout and great weather for the rally in the Hawkesbury Valley area west of Sydney.


uite a few VJMC members participated with bikes in the rally and it was great to see VJMC member Daryl Reith’s 1924 Douglas as runner up in the pre 1939 class. The rally included a ride up the Putty Road to lunch on Saturday at the Colo Heights RFS depot which always put on a good spread. Rumours of various VJMC members getting lost enroute were fiercely denied at last night’s meeting at the Prospect Hotel.



Words Steve Wardle

Things have been very quiet in the Manning with most weekends seeing workdays on the bikes Saturdays; and rides on Sundays. Kevin has his 550 Honda going well. Bob has his 500 Honda almost sorted after fitting a tank liner and repairing the ignition switch. Ray has become a fleet owner with 3 bikes 350 Honda four, 550 Honda and his ever reliable 750 LTD Kawasaki. Mick Pettit has joined up and we are getting his 900 Kawasaki slowly sorted. Steve has his 650 Kawasaki well sorted. Alan has his L5 Yamaha running well and is re-organising a CB250 Honda so he can ride it. Kiwi has found an industrial linisher polisher that will be another great tool to help with our bikes. I have bought another Z1 Kawasaki (it’s a sickness) that we will be sorting out to be able to be ridden. I have too many projects now and need a year off to finish them all. We will be restoring a 1974 DJP sidecar and fitting it to the Old Banana (GS1000 Suzuki). We now have bikes stored all up and down the coast that can be used as spares if any of our bikes play up on our rides. Our group offers help with older Jappers and organise rides that are tailored to suit the riders and their bikes present on the day.




EVENT CALENDAR Sunday, November 6 This isn’t really just a Melb. Metro. event. Any VJMC member is welcome, whether your from Melb. Metro., Central Vic., Western Vic., West Gippsland, or visiting from interstate (well, you never know!!) Feel free to invite any like-minded guests too. A visit to the garage is $10 per person and has to be collected by the group leader on the day (cash please!).


Also included in our visit will be their own ‘Windrush Park’ olive oil tastings and sales and free tea/coffee and biscuits. The Painting Art Studio will be open on the day for sales. Richard McKellar’s newly published book MORRIS MINOR - “ONE IN A MILLION” will be available for sale at $55 (normally $65). Cash/Visa/Mastercard is available on the day. I’ve indicated a likely arrival time of around 10.30am so, for the Melb. Metro. mob, that probably means an 8.30am meet for a 9.00am departure. Please let me know if you’re intending to make the ride so that I can keep track of numbers. Jeff (0411 051 902 or

Last Tuesday of every month Social evening at the Grandview Hotel, Fairfield (cnr. Heidelberg Road and Station Streets) from about 7.00pm onward

Second Tuesday of every month Mid-week lunch in the CBD - Cafe/Restuarant to be decided on the day Meet outside Target Store (236 Bourke Street between Russell and Swanston). Parking available on the footpath (for bikes that is!) From around 12.30 onward


VJMC 2012 NATIONAL RALLY 9-10-11th March - will be at Warilla Bowls & Rec club again for the event.

or booking accommodation etc please contact the club directly on 02-42959595. More details to follow in next issue. Volunteers needed - calling for volunteers to join the rally team for jobs such as putting up and taking down the rally tents, registering arrivals, ride marshals, raffles etc, so please let us know if you can help out. For details and information contact Alan Dykstra - South/Western Sydney (AH) 0298247165; Steve Phelps (Berowra) 02-94562851




MOVEMBER CHARITY BIKE SHOW Words by motopaulie Photographs by Geoff O’Neill, megsy, motopaulie


n Sunday November 21st 2010 the Tamworth Area Group held our first public event. We chose to support the Prostate Cancer Foundation and held a charity bike show in one of the main streets of Tamworth on the local Market Sunday. We had two objectives for the day; to enhance the profile of our still fledgling group and to raise a little cash for the Prostate Cancer Foundation and through that process increase public awareness of the importance prostate cancer prevention and research. I’d have to admit to being a little nervous during the preparations for the day, as I believed we would need at the least twenty bikes on the ground to have any real impact. As it happened, the results exceeded the expectations of not only myself but also all those involved, as we were able to put forty-three bikes on display. The bikes covered a time range from the mid sixties to the early nineties, capacities ranged from 50 to 1100cc, both road and trail bikes, we had a mixture of well used original bikes and fully restored machines with a few project bikes thrown in for good measure. However there was one “ring in” machine amongst the crowd, which very few people were able to spot, see if you can find it. On the day we were blessed with beautiful sunshine and a large crowd of people passed through our display. Many comments were heard along the usual lines of “I used to have one of those” and much discussion ensued, quite a few prospective members took home application forms and a



very good time was had by all involved. Through the sale of blue ribbon prostate cancer pins and cash donations we raised a total five hundred dollars for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. We finished up in the early afternoon with everybody pleased with the results of our efforts and already talking about a repeat performance next year. At present we are in the planning stages of that repeat show, this year we will seek to improve upon our efforts through better organization, a slight change in format and the introduction a “People’s Choice” perennial trophy. These details are yet to be finalized but will be posted in the Ramblings page on the website’s forum. On a personal note, prostate cancer awareness is a particular interest of mine, my father succumbed to the disease in July and I have chosen to champion this cause in his name, a fact you my be familiar with if you have read any of my Area Reports. I wish now to publicly thank everyone who helped to make last years show a success and look forward to another successful event this November. So once again, please have your PSA levels checked so that you too do not fall victim to this very common but very treatable form of cancer.



RIDE CALENDAR SEPTEMBER 2011 Sunday 11th Day ride to Kilcoy for the Kilcoy Classics On Wheels show and swap meet. Show is for cars and bikes made up to 1980. Held at Kilcoy Showgrounds 1 klm west of the town. Meet at the Caltex Garage Gympie Rd Carseldine (just north of Beam’s Rd) at 9am. For more info email to kilcoyclassicsonwheels@

OCTOBER 2011 Sunday 9th Laverda Concours (Cleveland Bike Show) at Cleveland Showgrounds. Starts at 8.30am. Need members there to help with display. Tuesday 11th Club meeting at Belmont Tavern in the Belmont shopping centre cnr Belmont Rd and Burstall Ave Belmont at 7pm. Good meals and safe parking for bikes. Sunday 16th Day ride to Toorbul on the Pumerstone Passagefor breakfast at the Toorbul Tavern with the Honda CB750 Club. Then home to watch the AGP on tele. Beautiful cooked breaky Meet at the Caltex Garage Gympie Rd Carseldine (just north of Beam’s Rd) 8am. Friday 21st Social night out at Munchin’s café Beaudesert Rd Acacia Ridge (just north of old railway level crossing) Huge gathering of classic cars. Meet there at 7pm. 29th and 30th October Gatton Swap meet at Gatton showgrounds. Note this event is now on Saturday and Sunday NOVEMBER 2011 Tuesday 8th Club meeting at Belmont Tavern in the Belmont shopping centre cnr Belmont Rd and Burstall Ave Belmont at 7pm. Good meals and safe parking for bikes.

Tuesday 13th Club meeting at Belmont Tavern in the Belmont shopping centre cnr Belmont Rd and Burstall Ave Belmont at 7pm. Good meals and safe parking for bikes.

Sunday 13th Honda CB750 Clubs 10th Anniversary Ride to Boonah via Albert River Valley, Rathdowney and Maroon. Lunch in Boonah. Leave BP Garage Mt Lindesay Hwy Browns Plains (Opposite Water Tower) at 8.3AM

Saturday 17th Bike cleaning day at the Australian Motorcycle Museum Warrego Hwy Haigslea. Bring some soft rags and polish. Barbeque Lunch . Meet at the Museum at 9.30am.

Morning Tea at Tony’s Café in Tony Armstrongs Suzuki dealership on Kingston Rd Underwood from 9am every Saturday morning for those who wish to attend.





REGION R E P O R T Words Peter Hunt

The small band of SA faithful, plus friends and guests, have enjoyed some interesting rides and gatherings since the revival of the club in our region late last year, and some have travelled great distances to join us. Thank you to everyone for making an effort.


e are lucky here in SA to have such entertaining roads and destinations, and we as enthusiast motorcyclists couldn’t ask for a better location to stretch our legs (wheels?) and explore the handling vagaries of our VJM classics. I, for one, get a real buzz out of seeing several old girls parked together or cruising through the hills – brings back great memories and always sees me grinning like the proverbial behind the visor. If you haven’t joined us yet on one of our outings, please try hard to come along one day – we’re not a bad bunch, friendly, chatty, all seem to enjoy a coffee and a perv (sometimes even on the bikes) and all have one common binding interest – old jap clunkers. What lies ahead? Well, I’ve been making some



enquiries about the SA branch being able to facilitate and administer the historic registration scheme – needless to say it is a bit involved, with a need to incorporate the club in SA, and have at least 2 if not 3 office bearers, as well as a constitution, reports etc etc. Most of us seem to get by with being members of other clubs to enable historic rego, so at this point I really don’t think it’s worth it to us to pursue this line. In 6mths, I’ve only had 2 enquiries about historic rego capabilities from prospective members. If you feel strongly about it, always happy to hear your thoughts. We’ve got the Bay to Birdwood coming up on 25th September, see details elsewhere, the Balhannah Swap Meet display on 2nd October, and the National CBX Rally on the weekend of 22nd and 23rd October – I am in discussions with the CBX club about joining them as a group on at least one of their rides/functions, plus ongoing united rides etc – keep an eye out for further details on that. I’d then like to organise some sort of Xmas ride/ lunch – knowing how hectic that time of year can be for all of us, we might have it early’ish in the season. I’ve got nothing planned for August, but if there is the prospect of good weather there may be a spontaneous run organised, see how it goes. If you have ideas for runs/events, again I welcome your input. As always, I’ll email (and/or post) details of upcoming events, and I also put notices on the website and in the Events Calendar. If I don’t have your email address, please let me know so you don’t miss out on current info – if you don’t have your own email address, ask a mate or family member if you can use theirs – snail mail is slow, expensive and time consuming, so email is my preferred method. Cheers and ride safe. Peter Hunt Mob 0429 900 784


SA RIDE REPORT A small but happy (and cold) group met at the Lobethal Deli in the Adelaide Hills for a ride on June 13. We enjoyed a hot coffee and a chat before some of us headed off for a steady ride along the back roads to Aldgate, where we split for our own destinations.

Bay to Birdwood Member Neville Gray has kindly volunteered to be the contact and coordinator for VJMC involvement in the Bay to Birdwood on the 25th Sept – if you intend to go on a bike and would like to do it as a group VJMC thing, then please make contact with him. His email is Thank you Neville for your offer and support.


he highlight of the day was in relation to Neville’s 175 Bridgestone. One of the modern plastic crotch rocket boys also parked at the deli said to his mate loud enough for us to hear, “These were the fastest thing around until the Japs copied them.” Thanks to those that made the effort to be there (including Ash all the way from Renmark).




VJMC SYDNEY REPORT INTRODUCTION Words Steve Phelps While we’ve been experiencing one of the wettest July’s in recorded history, we’ve also managed to squeeze in a few activities when the weather has been suitable. The most recent postponement was two weeks ago when the Wisemans Ferry / Hawkesbury River ride was put off due to extensive rain and flooding in the area.



wet slurry type of media, which leaves a smooth lustre finish on alloy parts, almost a polished finish which is very suitable for restoration projects. (See the before and after pictures). Morning tea was provided courtesy of Col and the VJMC - thanks to Col for his time, and hospitality in putting on an interesting and informative morning for us, and Alan Dykstra for cooking the sausages. For more details and information, Col can be contacted on (02) 86771379, email classiccycles@ or through the website at http://


ol Campbell’s workshop visit and Hydrablasting demonstration - this took the place of the July meeting, after a COLD start on a Saturday morning. Col has recently set up shop specialising in classic Hondas and general restoration work, with the latest Hydrablasting equipment installed in his Rydalmere workshop. This process can be controlled for pressure and volume, and uses a




VJMC SYDNEY R I D E C A L E N D A R VJMC SYDNEY contacts for the rides etc below are: Alan Dykstra - South/ Western Sydney (AH) 0298247165; Steve Phelps - (Berowra AH) 02-94562851 August 3rd VJMC Sydney meeting at Prospect Hotel from 7pm. First Wednesday of the month except January or as notified. August 14 VJMC Hunter - easy grade trail ride in Mt Sugarloaf area. Contact Lyndon 0249451780 or Danny 0425288847 for details. Another trail ride tentatively set for September 18th if the first one works out well. Sunday 14th August VJMC Sydney ride. Second Sunday every month. Meet at Berowra Mobil to fuel up ready for an 8.30 departure for Ettalong in even months or Peats Ridge in odd months (subject to final decision on the morning) - via the old Pacific Highway for coffee and then return. This is a fine weather ride, if in doubt check with Alan Stevens 0400-751285 or

& Preservation Club ANNUAL CLUB SHOWDAY from 9.00am Motorcycles on display from 1924 through to 1999 at Macquarie Park, Windsor (turn left into the park just over the bridge leading out of Windsor on the Putty Road). For details contact Clyde & Vicki Ikin on 02-9654 2068 Sunday September 25th VJMC invited to the CEMCC Show Day - Engadine Cooper St Reserve, 2$ Entries are accepted on the day. For further details check the CEMCC website at October 30th VJMC Sydney & Hunter - run to Pie in the Sky & Road Warriors CafĂŠ November 20th Norah Head lighthouse ride.

Sunday 11th September VJMC ride - meet at Macquarie Towns Motorcycle Restoration

MORE RIDES FOR Spring 2011. Suggestions from members are for the following rides to be scheduled in as the spring - early summer weather arrives including one or two overnight rides: Putty Road; Tablelands Way via Oberon/Taralga; Bucketts Way-Thunderbolts Way-Oxley Highway & return (best for a long weekend); Bells Line of Road-Blue Mountains; Illawarra Coast etc, and so on. Please contact Alan or Steve to schedule and advertise planned rides. Once the hot weather arrives in December, rides are generally shorter with more early morning starts.


Saturday August 27th VJMC Sydney club ride & get together - Post Classic Racing Round 3 at Eastern Creek. Meet at the Creek from 9am (start of qualifying) onwards - this is a three heat meeting and as a club day it’s a good chance to see the action close up and to get around the pits etc. Contact Steve Phelps 02-94562851 for details.




AT MANGROVE DAM Words Steve Phelps

VJMC Sydney & Newcastle groups combined rides to meet up at Mangrove Dam on the Central Coast Hinterland for this run on a cool but beautifully clear and sunny Sunday morning.

T 14

hanks to Vince Foreman who organised the ride and provided the barbeque which went down very well for about


thirty VJMC members at the Dam picnic area. It was good to see the dam water level higher than it has been for many years, (but still nowhere near full). This is always a nice run put through farms and bushland and the location is about midway between Newcastle and Sydney with great riding up the old Pacific Highway via Peats Ridge or down through Wollombi to the dam which is just North of Kulnura. After lunch we managed to squeeze in afternoon tea at Mount White on the way back to round out a pleasant Sunday ride.


VINCE’S REPORT FROM THE LOWER HUNTER Words Vince Foreman Hi everyone, It’s been some time since I have had a report in our magazine, but on saying that the club in this area is going very well. Before I give you a rundown on what has been happening, I would like to thank Jeff Eeles for his time as club president. Jeff always made himself available to answer calls and inquiries whenever members needed to get in touch. Thank you Jeff. I would also like to congratulate John McNair for taking on the Presidents Job and Graeme Knight for taking on the membership secretary’s job. As for the Rally this year at Warilla what a well run and organised event, thank you Steve Phelps and his band of male and female helpers, great job. On March 27th we had a hot dog run to Stroud with twelve bikes attending, with Steve Wardell and a friend down from Taree, which is a long ride, nice to see you both. A nice hot dog and a cup of tea or coffee goes down very well with everyone. I didn’t get to the Maitland Steam fest or the Barry Sheene memorial at Eastern Creek this year, hopefully I can rectify that next year. The second of the year Morisset swap was all but washed out with only about 10 venders getting along. May 22nd saw us riding out to Jeff Wolfgang’s motor museum which is on the Golden Highway not far from Denman, Jeff Lockhart brought along three friends, this he often does, good man Jeff. They along with all the rest of us enjoyed a great ride and an eye opening day looking around this place. Motorcycles are not the big attraction, there are all sorts of mechanical stuff, from drag lined, trucks, cars, tractors, motorcycles, push bikes you name it and it’s all there. Jeff Wolfgang puts on a sausages sizzle along with sandwiches, cake, tea, coffee and soft drinks at a cost of $10 which everyone thought

was good value, and he was pleased with the two hundred plus dollars. June 26th we rode to the Central Mangrove Dam. We met up with two northern Hunter members, Alan Kensitt and Scott McCrohon, this made fourteen bikes riding out to Wollombi Pub, where we stopped for a break and to warm up, then on to the dam for a sausage sizzle and tea and coffee. About eight Sydney members made it which was good to see. Steve Phelps and myself had arranged for us all to meet up at the dam. We have lost some members from time to time but they have been quickly replaced with new members. The number of members at our meetings is still small so come on guys and gals, the meetings are on the second Thursday of the month at Club Macquarie at 7.30 pm. All members and friends are welcome, it’s easy going and informal so please try and get along. Just ask at the front desk where the VJMC meeting is being held. That’s all for now. Stay Safe. Vince




teve Searl, Rod Hemmings and Bill Mounter all participated in the Scrapheap Ride; a charity event to raise funds for NSW Downes Syndrome suffers. The basic rules of the event are to build or resurrect a bike from the Scrapheap and ride it to Cameron’s Corner in order to arrive there on Easter Sunday. I’ll leave the details of the event for Steve’s forthcoming story, but as you can see Steve did a fantastic resto on the SL350 Honda that he rode, the bike proving to be reliable and comfortable, the only problem being the result of a chance meeting with a furry, bouncing local while Bill was mounted upon it. Sadly, this brought Bill’s stint as support vehicle driver and relief rider to an abrupt halt, but fortunately he is well on the road to recovery and the SL was able to complete the journey. Of special interest was the Honda SL125/

James175 hybrid machine that Rod had constructed in the true spirit of the event, it’s quite a beast, the details of which I will again leave to Steve. The Jamda, Hones, or whatever it becomes known as, turned the head of everyone who saw it, completed the journey without problem and took out the award for best Scrapheap special, just one of several awards the trio earned. Through their efforts the boys raised eight thousand dollars and deserve a resounding three cheers, well done chaps. On the subject of charity events, we are currently in the planning stage for our second charity bike street show. With the fantastic turnout we had last Movember (43 motorcycles in various stages of repair/disrepair) we expect the event to be quite significant this year. We learned quite a bit about organization and structure last year so this Movember turn out to be bigger and better and we are hoping to improve upon the five hundred dollars we raised for prostate cancer research. We will release details through the national website “Ramblings” page when they are finalized, stay tuned. Members of our group also attended the VJMC’s National Rally at Warilla; perhaps you saw us in the camping ground, enjoying some light refreshment, or remember seeing one of our machines zoom by on the runs? We had a fantastic time and congratulate the organizers for a well-run and enjoyable weekend, even the bit of poor weather failed to dampen the enthusiasm of all those in attendance. Actually, when you think about it, we were all a bit lucky with the weather, as it was only about a week or so after the Rally that Warilla and surrounds got a spot of rain and experienced a bit of flash flooding. I expect we would have needed to build a wharf at our campsite and fit floaties to the bikes! So, not just well organized and executed but bloody well timed as well! We also attended this years Barry Sheene Festival of Speed meeting at Eastern Creek



A lot of water under the bridge since the last issue, quite literally in some parts of the forest! Since then, the Tamworth group has maintained our usual monthly meeting and ride day schedule, (with a few additional ride days thrown in for good measure), had a few motorcycles come onto historic rego, expanded our membership, and attended several significant events.




Raceway. Thankfully, the organizers no longer feel the need to schedule this event at on Easter weekend, which in my humble view makes it a little more accessible. We journeyed down via the Putty Road (on our modern Bikes) and enjoyed a fantastic programme of historic racing. Personally, the shrill note of the two CB72 based race specials of Levy Day and Alan Wood was particularly thrilling for me, as was their dominance over the British machines. But alas, that was to come to a halt when they succumbed to either an off track excursion or an unusual dose of unreliability. Still all in all it proved to be a marvellous weekend that was fortunately blessed with perfect weather. The opportunity to stroll around the pits, gawking at the wonderful machines and chatting with their owners and riders is also something to be treasured. If you haven’t been to this meeting it is well worth the effort and highly recommended. Some of us also took part in the local Antique Motor Club’s annual rally at the beginning of July. This was the second year of this event and was another success for the club. Approximately one hundred motorcycles of all types and some that could be classed as ancient attended, there were some very lovely old things there and the normally cold weather of the northwest was supplanted by near cloudless skies so it was a mild

sun that shone down upon the many hardy souls who enjoyed the ride day. This is another event that I would personally recommend if you like old bikes and good company. Our local membership has now increased to somewhere in the mid thirties, I can’t give an accurate figure at the moment as we are still going through the transition stage with the new membership secretaries (a complex and demanding job). At last count it was thirty-two but I have since been approached by a couple of fellows who have sent away forms and money. No one should doubt the workload of the membership secs so we patiently await the end of the transition period and look forward to working with them in the very near future. On that note, congratulations to the new President and National Committee members, the Tamworth crew wishes you good luck with future ventures. Well, that’s probably enough from me, in short we are going very strongly up here in the northwest of NSW and can only see bigger and better things in our future. Once again, if you haven’t already done so, then gentlemen please get your PSA checked and get a bit more “intimate” with your GP, it’s worth it in the end (pun intended!).


Regards, motopaulie




WANDERINGS Words Allan Stork

Monthly Rides In an attempt to meet our members needs the Regional Reps decided to offer to organise a monthly ride and via the exchange of phone calls and emails the last Sunday of the month was agreed on to be our regular ride day. The May ride saw only Vic Muller Honda GL 1000 Goldwing and Alan Stork Suzuki GT550L free to have a ride. It was agreed that Daylesford would be a good destination. We had what Vic described as a spirited ride (the sight of a Goldwing scraping the centre stand whilst counter steering between the white lines is pretty impressive!) whilst at all times sticking to the speed limits.

The Road Not Travelled July 31 and we were greeted with another lovely sunny winter’s morning (pretty rare for Ballarat). The plan by regional reps Pam and Alan was to meet at the Krooze In Cafe at Mt. Helen. Mark and Loreen Jackson (tasty Suzuki GT500) found the cafe OK.

Not So Finger Freezer The last Sunday in June was one of the mildest days that we had experienced for some time. Rick Reynolds Suzuki GS450 cafe, Mark Jackson Suzuki GT500 and Alan Stork Honda VF400F set off for Bendigo. After a pleasant ride we rendezvoused with a good number of Melbourne Metro and Central Vic members, it was good to catch up and see the line up of desirable VJs. The Western Vics decided to make our own way home as time was pressing.

However David Ellis probably had the RZ350R doing about 8000 rpm in 3rd as he went past the turn into the cafe and proceeded onto Buninyong, another 5 km down the road. A quick phone call with a message asking David if he was lost soon had him heading back our way.ďżź




A wee stop at Cressy with the ride leader confessing that he had lost his road did not cause too much consternation with the troops. It was agreed that we would throw out the plan and make our way back to Smythesdale via Rokewood. A nice ride through some very narrow roads was had and we arrived back in Smythesdale with Pam’s 350f running out of fuel right on cue.

Alan had planned the route for the ride the night before and proudly showed the team his Google map and instructions. He promised to find a road that had the most sublime set of twisties (swervies actually and suited to old Jap Bikes) and with that the motley crew set off.

As usual the GT 550L did not miss a beat!

ďżź Unfortunately, the plan went somewhat awry when after a good start going through Mt Mercer with about 15 km of bends sign posted at 70kmh the road straightened out with nary a curve in sight!

A lovely day out and for all you 2 stroke fans, three to one four stroke (Pam who rode tail all the way finished the day a little light headed from the fumes!)




YAMAHA DT1 RESTO NSW member Glen Palmer picked up trophies for Best Single and Best Off Road with his lovely restored Yamaha DT1 at this year’s National Rally. We caught up with Glen to find out a little bit more about the man and his bikes .... 20


Tell us a bit about yourself. To begin with, I am 51 and counting, and living on the North Coast of NSW. I’ve been working for the past 32 years as a communication technician (time flies). Where did your love affair with bikes begin? My interest in bikes started back in 1970 in Blacktown. My next door neighbour bought a new Honda z50. He gave me a double on it ,and the rest is history. In 1971 we moved to a farm just out of Goulburn, and that’s where my string of bikes started. I was supposed to get a Deltek Rockhopper from


Waltons ($199.00) but on the same day I wrote dad’s FC ute off. Back then, utes cost around $199, so no Rockhopper. So my first bike was a Honda 50 step-thru ... man i gave that old girl a hard time! The best place to ride bikes was on our 85 acre farm. Heaps of kids would come out on weekends to ride. How many bikes have you had over the years? My count so far is 28 bikes. My favourite would be my 1975 DT250C; she could do 145 kmh ... thats fair dink. You just had to cut half the baffle off. I also had a nice YZ125, and an old Suzuki KT120, which was very heavy and underpowered for a trail bike. But I did enjoy all my bikes, and myself and best mate Tony Baxter went riding all day every weekend. Those were the days.

Tell us a bit about the DT1. The year was 1968 and the world was looking for a real trail/road bike, so yamaha produced one; the DT1. My uncle bought this particular bike when it was six months old from well known rider of the past, Laurie Alderton. He rode it for six months and then stuck it in his garage. It took me from 1980 until 2008 to finally persuade my uncle to sell it to me. It was pretty ordinary; paint shot and a fair bit of rust. Thank goodness he kept it out of the weather, so the seat base was good and the vinyl seat cover is just as good as when it was made. So it was a good restoration candidate. Tell us how it all came together. About 10 years ago I had restored an XY GT Falcon, so when I tackled the DT1, starting in 2009,




it was a lot easier than a car. I completely stripped the bke and either reconditioned or replaced everything. Steve O’Conner from Coffs Harbour V Twins reconditioned the motor and made it look as good as new, while I sourced a lot of parts from the States on Ebay; they were a very popular bike in the US. Grayson Saunter Yamaha in Coffs Harbour also supplied a lot of available Yamaha parts. The day after I had finished the restoration, my uncle came up from Sydney and he couldn’t believe it was the same bike. After 39 years idle, it started on the third kick! That was unreal. When it comes to polishing, some people over do it. My uncle had pictures of his when it was only six months old, and I re-polished all ally parts the same. It gives me great satisfaction to make something new again from a wreck, especially something as collectable as a DT1.




Do you get out and ride it much? It’s only on club rego, so i don’t ride it a lot. When you hop off a current trail bike, then ride the DT1 ... boy, you really go back 40 years! But she likes sitting on 80km/h and does it easily. It’s a typical, fairly noisy 2 stroke, but it’s so easy to work on; only points and a simple carby. Two strokes are my favourite to work on. My favourite ride in my local area would be the Gwyder Highway, from Grafton to Glen Innes. You have a stack of top corners up the Gibralter Range, and it is a good road with very little traffic.

something isn’t going right, leave it alone and come back tomorrow. The best thing about restoring is you get to talk and meet people with the same interest as you. You can both learn from each other. Just remember, you can do a lot of work on your restoration yourself, but if you are not confident you can do a top job in certain areas, you are better off paying someone who does it professionally. That’s what I found. Anyway that’s a little bit of my story, enjoy your resto!

Have you got any advice for members about to embark on a restoration? You can really get a lot of fun and satisfaction from restoring a bike. Japanese bikes are great to restore; even after 40 years you can still get almost any part you want off Ebay, and if you ring up dealers in Australia for your brand of bike it’s surprising how much old stock they have. Problem is, when you are a perfectionist you are not easily satisfied, but the end result is well worth it. You need heaps of patience and if

What other projects have you got coming up? Well, my uncle’s best mate died last year and guess what he left me? Another 1968 DT1! To get one of these is lucky, but to have two of them is incredible. So I am halfway through restoring the new one. Fortunately I had a lot of left over NOS parts. Both bikes are only five months apart in production dates, so they are very similar. Having a complete parts list and manual sure is a fantastic help.




Outside Kyneton, the boys ponder the ride

THE LEGENDARY FINGER FREEZER RIDE World Famous in Melbourne since 2007!

he “Legendary Finger Freezer” originally grew out of the birth of the VJMC Central Victoria group. In late June 2007, the Melbourne Metro Group decided to ride to Bendigo to say ‘G’day’ to the then fledgling Central Vic Team, have brunch with them, and then head off for a combined ride back toward Melbourne. Just why we chose mid-winter isn’t recorded but, what is known is that the temperature in Melbourne at 8.00am that morning was -2c. There was thick fog for most of the 150-odd kilometre trip and, it didn’t climb past 2c until after 1.00pm! By the time we arrived in Bendigo, we were convinced we must be insane! Despite, or because of, that first ‘Finger Freezer’,

the Melbourne Metro guys have continued to support the ride each year since. The 2011 event started out looking like a Finger Freezer fizzer. Overnight temperatures in Melbourne were reported to be 10c (although, it did seem a bit cooler) and, we met at our designated spot under clear blue skies … not a cloud or hint of fog anywhere. We even had our own Vintage Japanese Motor Cyclist, with Kimiko Chadwick accompanying Garry on the Kawasaki Voyager. 17 Bikes left Melbourne for the quick run up the Calder Highway. The blue skies and relatively mild weather continued until we got to the Black Forest area and over the Great Dividing Range. There we hit the fog and the temperature dropped noticeably! The ‘Finger Freezer’ was on! The rest of the ride was mostly through fog, quite thick at times, with the occasional break of blue skies … but it still got fairly cold.


Words Jeff Eeles




Arriving in Bendigo, we were greeted by a good contingent of the local lads; by a small group of guys for Western Vic (Ballarat); and, by some of the CBX-6 boys who also like to tag along with some of our rides. The next hour and a half or so was spent in pleasant conversation, fine food at the local bakery and warm(ish) sunshine. Eventually, a few of the guys started to get itchy throttle hands again and, “Where are we off to next?” started to be the question on several lips. Some of the Melbourne members had alternate arrangements and headed off in their own separate directions. However, the Central Vic team, with ride leader Alan Haines (SRX250), had a plan to escort us part way back home taking in some very interesting roads, over Mt. Alexander to Kyneton, before they turned and headed back Bendigo way again. A combined convoy of 19 bikes made the run south. Don McLean in “American Pie” might have sang that, “ … moss grows fat on a rolling stone … “. Well, no! Moss grows fat on the road on the south side of Mt. Alexander! In several spots, and on down hill corners! Luckily, those of us who did the Finger Freezer last year, knew this road and, were aware of the mossy road surface. Someone speculated later that it only grows in the cracks between the stones in the tar. I didn’t see anyone testing the theory though… At Kyneton, we pulled up and spent a little more time chatting but, the temperature felt like a good 10c lower than what we’d left in Bendigo so no one hung around for long. From here, members could choose their own way home. Some headed to the Kyneton cafes while others made straight for the highway. John Towle (VF1000R) and I (z13) were making a run down the road in the sun (even if it was still a tad chilly) when I pulled into a servo to top up before the final short hop home. There, I

ran into the Brothers Whitty (H1 500 & CB750), Nick Eckersley (ELR) and Rex Paull (XS11 Midnight Special) who’d left Kyneton a few minutes before me. We all detoured to the adjacent KFC for a snack, before continuing on. It was an excellent day out. Very well attended, with someone from all the Victorian Regional Groups (thanks to Nick flying the flag for West Gippsland). The Central Vic team have a great Sunday morning coffee location. The bakery could have had some of us spending quite a bit longer there, with their range of sweets and savouries.


Nick’s tasty Eddie Lawson Replica

Ivan & Colin - Brothers ... Nah, not us

VJ’s all in a row ... Steve dribbles!



2011 Katana Rally - lineup

2011 SUZUKI KATANA OWNERS RALLY he meet was organised by the Australian Suzuki Katana Owners Group which is an informal collective of Katana enthusiasts. Formed in 1998, the Group operates an excellent

website (developed and maintained by Shane Riley) which provides information to Australian and International Katana owners. The forum section of the site has over 750 registered members with an even blend of local and global participants. The Meet was held at a reserve in Wodonga. Upon arrival, I was greeted by fellow VJMC member David Hutchinson and instructed to park my Kat at the end of an extraordinary long line of the distinctively designed and instantly recognisable motorcycles. David’s Katana 1100 is currently undergoing restoration (code for “in pieces”). However in the spirit of the Meet, he had transported his Katana 750 (whilst intact but not roadworthy) via van and had it positioned in the Katana conga line. In total, there was forty seven Katanas at the meet – including four racing Katanas on display from Mick Hone. The 1100 model was most numerous, followed by the famous “pop up” 750. The Katana fraternity appear to be divided into two camps – those who strive to restore their Kat to early 80’s glory through to those who love to bling their Kats with hot exhaust, suspension, brakes and wild colour schemes. It was enjoyable ambling from Kat to Kat inspecting each machine and admiring the handiwork undertaken by their owners. In addition to the Katanas, there was a special guest in attendance – Mr Ryosuke Suzuki from


Words Andrew English

On a superb Easter Saturday morning, my ’82 Katana 1000 and I slipped off the Western Ring Road onto the Hume Highway and headed north in search of the 30th Anniversary Suzuki Katana Meet.

T 26


the original founders of the Group) was master of ceremonies. My four hour ride from Melbourne paled to insignificance compared to some riders who made the odyssey from as far away as Western Australia and Queensland. After numerous photos of the assembled Kats were taken, prizes awarded, thanks awarded to the sponsors and organisers, the Meet came to a close. With the unmistakable sound of an air cooled four in line replete with noisy clutch I departed for the road southward.

the Katana Owners Club of Japan. Mr Suzuki flew in that morning to witness the event on behalf of his club. No Meet would be complete without awards! Included in the categories were “Best Rat-Kat”, “Best Modified”, “Best Original”, “Peoples Favourite” and “Longest Distance Travelled on Kat” and a special award was presented to Mr Ryosuke for the Katana Owners Club for their recognition and attendance to help celebrate the Katana 30th anniversary. Darren Morris (one of

Mick Hones bikes





STEPPIE-ING OUT... AGAIN Wayne Lavers tackled the 400km ride to this year’s National Rally on a Honda CT90 step-thru. Here’s his tale of how it all unfolded ....


reparation for a rally is different things for different folk. My preparation for the 2011 Warilla Rally was double-barrelled. The preparation on the CT 90 was started in the run up to the 2010 Healesville Rally. We had ridden relatively hassle-free to and from the 2009 Rally and I wanted to attack the trip again,



this time without backup. So I fabricated a front rack and some pannier frames to carry the extra gear. But in the week running up to the rally life conspired against me and the trip was called off in the 11th hour. About a month before Warilla my cousin Darren suggested he come to the rally as my backup in the ute, as he had in ’09. Dar-


ren had been riding all his life on ag. bikes but had never got a licence. So I suggested he take the plunge and get his ‘Ls”. I would re-rego the ‘BLOOP’ and he could ride that. I have had the Suzuki B100P for years. It has been on historic rego for a good few of the last 10 and has been used for club runs and Sunday arvo putters, never any really long rides. The bottom end was a bit grumbly but it had been like that for the whole time I had owned it. It had never let me down, so why would it now? An ideal touring

partner for the CT, so she got a service, front fork oil change with new fork boots, fresh tyres and a new battery. Straight through rego and on the road, we were rolling. Darren got some miles up to familiarise himself in the week before we were to leave. All preparation was finalised. Thursday morning rolled around before we knew it. Preparation had been thorough. We were going to take two short days for the run from Grenfell to Warilla, a trip of about 400kls as the crow flies, staying off the main roads and out of the traffic. 40 MPH is a comfortable cruise on the CT and the BLOOP is happy to about 50 so travelling at CT90 speed shouldn’t stress things to much. A B-double overtaking at 70MPH is like being hit in the back by a massive feather pillow followed by a suck that pulls you about 2ft off line, very disconcerting. The log trucks heading to Healesville gave me a whole new perspective on motorcycling, big bike riders never truly get to savour the taste of adrenalin that small capacity tourers do in highway situations. We were on the road early arvo and hoped to make it to Crookwell by sundown, where we would have a pub feed and camp in the caravan park. Out on the road both bikes were running fine. We turned off the Grenfell - Young road, past Iandra Castle and on to Bendick Murrell via Wirrimah, through Murringo Gap to Murringo. At the start of the climb out of Murringo the BLOOP faltered and stopped. Inspection showed carbon bridging the plug gap. A quick clean and were motoring. “Just the sort of thing you’d expect from an old 2 stroke. Don’t worry about it.” I reassured Darren. The pull out of Murringo is long and steep and at the summit I pulled over to check the BLOOP. “Running like a dream” replied Darren. So off we motored. We passed the school bus with waves to the kids. Checking my mirror I could see Darren pulling to the side of the road. I did a ‘U,ey’ and went back. “What’s up?” I enquired. “She just made a clatter, lost power and died” he replied. Didn’t sound healthy.




We rolled to a nearby mailbox to asses the situation. There was an obvious problem in the bottom end. The BLOOP was going nowhere. Before we left Grenfell we had made vague rescue plans with Darren’s dad and my dad, should the need arise. The cavalry was called. They came bringing two utes, a loading ramp and tie-downs. In two hours we were on the road again, Darren getting to drive the backup vehicle just like he had wanted in the first place. We camped the night in Boorowa and dined in the local Chinese – recommended should you be through that way. After a comfy night’s sleep we had a slow start due to a heavy dew; everything was soaked. A couple of other blokes from Grenfell, Hopey, Z1R and Brian, GS 1000, stopped for a yarn, which I cut short because I had to move. They could travel twice my speed without trying. They could make Warilla in 3 ½ hours – I was going to take 6 or 7- On to Crookwell through Rugby, purchase makings of lunch – rolls, cold meat and tomatoes, and on via Laggan and Taralga, lunching by a creek showing signs of a recent massive flood. After eating I headed out ahead of Darren, leaving him to pack up. He’d catch me before long. The road from the creek up to Richlands was

a steep climb and the best tactic for long steep climbs on a CT90 is to crouch as low as possible behind the gear on the front rack. Don’t laugh, it works, but it has one major drawback – you can’t see in the mirror. So here I am, chin resting on the triple clamp, whispering encouraging words into the airbox with the throttle twisted to the stop for the next two kms or so till I could see the crest. A quick check of the mirror showed a bullbar and 2 massive driving lights. A further check showed bold black lettering and additional blue lights … cops! How long had they been there? This’ll be interesting. I’ve been off in boy racer land for what seems like 5 minutes and one of the state’s finest has been trying to overtake up a steep, winding hill. As soon as a break came in the white lines he indicated and overtook, waving and smiling from ear to ear. From Richlands the road is dirt, not gravel, dirt. Water-filled potholes are common. Damp slippery clay hides in the shadow of trees. This is a great trail bike road but the leading link front-end CT90 soon can get out of its depth, corrugations send you skittering out wide on the corners and there is always the threat of oncoming traffic. I found riding the berm above the corrugations on the right handers and tucking down tight below the corrugations on the left handers the best ploy, but it only worked where conditions allowed. Wombeyan Caves is a great place to spend a couple of days with pretty good camping, shop and tours of the caves. There’s even a nudist camp for those who can bare it, on the road out to Mittagong. This road passes through some of this state’s most spectacular scenery. It is only single lane for a good bit of the way, with no guard rails or even guide posts in places, so a constant eye must be kept open for other road users. In one place a tunnel has been dug through solid rock for the road to pass through a ridge, a great photo opportunity if there’s not much traffic. Nearing the end of the dirt I stopped and




waited for Darren, I had been pushing it a bit so I expected a longish wait but to my surprise he turned up in about 5 minutes . He’d flagged down an oncoming car and asked if they had seen a bloke on a little red bike, they said yes , so he knew neither of us was lost yet. Richlands, Wombeyan Caves, Mittagong leg took about 2 ½ hrs for about 85kls. A road worth travelling. Then it was down the hill Bowral, Kangaloon to where the road joins the Macquarie Pass just below the Robertson Pie Shop. This would be one of the ‘funnest’ roads in the state, even on a Honda 90. We overtook 3 cars!!! I waited for Darren, as he knew the area and he lead the way to the caravan park. We arrived about 5 o’clock, about an hour behind Hopey and Brian. After registering we set up camp, washed the dust from our throats, dined on fish and chips then settled down to an evening of lies and frivolity. Saturday dawned with soggy expectations, showers could be seen on the ranges and to the south. We had decided not to go on the rides. If everyone had to travel at CT90 speed we wouldn’t be back before midnight. So our morning was

spent exploring and talking. The display of bikes, old and not so old was mind blowing, to get to see bikes that were only seen in U.S. magazines in the 70s beside long forgotten loves (or is that lusts) is truly good for the soul. Talking with the likeminded and meeting old mates is a special thing that doesn’t happen anywhere near enough. The dinner was exceptional, made even more so by my unbelievable luck in the raffle. Thankyou very sincerely to Jim Scaysbrook for the “Castrol 6 Hour” book and to “Raritee” for the shirt. We also picked up the Hard Luck award for the dead BLOOP which will make it next year with her new bottom end, all of which and the rally badge make mementos of a top weekend. The AGM brought to the fore problems that beset just about every club and voluntary organisation in the country - too much to do and not enough willing hands to do it. I really can’t say enough in praise of the executive of this club; their work load is massive. Just handling membership renewals must take 2 or 3 days a week. Then there’s the “Mag” and merchandise. It all couldn’t leave much time for tinkering, riding and socialising, which after all is what the club is all about. We finally hit the sack about 1.30 after solving the world’s problems over a night cap on the back of the ute. Sunday saw us break camp about 9.30. I whimped it and loaded the CT onto the back of the Hilux. Darren and I had a 5 ½ hr drive home which was uneventful, except for happening across some pretty little vintage Italians at the pie shop. We arrived home in time to do the afternoon jobs before sharing our weekend adventures with family and friends. Thankyou to the Sydney crew for such a memorable national rally. There’s 2 little red bikes and two aging teenagers looking forward to next year. See you then.




VJMC member and café racer enthusiast Michael Catchpole visited the fabled Ace Café on a recent trip to London.


couple of big-bore, much-modified Suzukis, an immaculate GT750 and some neat café racer conversions on Honda CB750s and Suzuki T500s were amongst the classic and custom bikes gathered recently on a rare sunny Sunday at London’s Ace Café. The classic Japanese restored and custom bikes did not look out-of-place amongst the old (and new) Triumphs and the Nortons, Ariels, Velocettes, BSAs and other stars at the Ace Café’s annual Triton and Café Racer Day on Sunday 26 June. The Suzuki GT750 Waterbottle (“Kettle” to the



Poms) was parked with more modern bikes, but beautifully posed against the café’s 1940s truckstop façade, leaving the front row of parking for the café racers. Similarly, a Kawasaki W650 was tucked discreetly in one corner, keeping an eye on the Busy Bee (another retro café club) and 59 Club marquees. The feature bikes on display changed through the morning as the early-arrivers headed home and more riders joined on their classic and custom bikes. One hardy duo had travelled hundreds of miles on a Velocette 500 single and a smaller,


horizontally-opposed Velo twin, winning the trophy for furthest-travelled. With the smaller Velocette LE having a top speed of barely 50mph (80 km/h), it was going to be a long ride home. But at least they could enjoy an English summer’s day – after a week of typically-changeable Wimbledon tennis weather, the sun shone on the classics and café racers and the many modern bikes that turned out at the global centre (perhaps the birthplace) of café racer-dom on London’s North Circular Road. There were café racers of every description, including some very sharp Tritons, a Harleyengined Charlaton, a modern (?) Royal Enfield factory café racer, and variations on the modern Bonneville and Thruxton theme. And there were some truly-tasty customs on classic Japanese bikes, including the two big-bore Suzukis (GSX1100s?), one of which was shoe-horned

Lots of polished alloy tanks, particularly on the trad-Brit café racers.

Just another Sunday at the Ace – only it’s sunny!




This classic Ariel idled in and parked up with the café racers – and nobody minded in the least.

This Honda CB750 has had the treatment, from chromed headlight to solo seat, and gold-painted frame to twin disc conversion.

into a Norton Featherbed-style frame painted in a strangely-familiar “Paul Smart Replica” pale greenish-blue. (My Honda CB550 café racer features a similar-coloured frame, fantastic Trevor Whitty-painted tank-seat unit and about one-third the horsepower…) The Norton-framed Suzuki boasted Wiseco barrels and its full-faired twin looked equally



A Harley-engined, Norton-framed hybrid, this Charlaton was indeed a charlatan, but a pretty good-looking one.

healthy in the engine department, while on the other side was a lightly-modded Honda CB750 with a period Giuliari cafe-style seat and standard paint and exhausts. When the Wisecomodded Suzuki fired up, the rumble through its peashooter pipes drew an appreciative crowd. The owner was a hefty bloke and must have had the testicular equipment of King Kong!


This classic Suzuki GT750 Waterbottle was posed beautifully amongst the modern bikes, with the Ace Café London façade in the background.

This Honda GB500 wasn’t the neatest custom in the line-up, but the owner was proud of his minor mods on what is arguably the best of the Japanese factory café racer retro Singles.




One of two big-engined Suzuki café racers, this one featured a classic Sixties-style race fairing and lots of trick parts.

As a contrast, the day also attracted some beautiful classics, from Ariel to Triumph and BSA to Norton to Velocette. The rider of one Ariel was suitably-clad in pudding-basin helmet, goggles, period leather jacket and rockabilly jeans. His mate on a small ratbike had too-short jeans, a polishing-rag T-shirt and greasy hair; he also appeared to be a regular at the Ace. “Too cool” did not begin to describe these dudes! London’s Ace Café is a great place to visit, par-

ticularly on weekends when there’s sure to be a classic and custom bike or car gathering. It’s also easy to get to via London’s Underground. Take the Bakerloo line to Stonebridge Park Station and it’s about 100 metres from the station’s pedestrian entrance on North Circular Rd. Look for the chrome and listen for the rumbling exhausts – you can’t miss it! Link: aspx




There were two Suzuki T500s, one a half-faired Titan with some very neat expansion chamber exhausts. As a rolling advertisement for Titan Performance, you couldn’t get much better. See:

In one corner, a retro-classic Kawasaki W650, in another a pristine BMW R100S. Not all the good bikes were in the front-row show.

Welcome to Big Mutha’s House – this Wiseco-modded Suzuki has more power than three or four old-style café racers could ever manage, and probably more than even the fabled Norton Featherbed-style frame can handle.




DAVE PARKER When Victorian VJMC member Dave Parker was busted smoking by his dad many years ago, he was banished to the country as punishment. As luck had it, the property where his “sentence” was served had a little Honda farm bike, setting off a lifelong passion.


e caught up with Dave to find out more about his bikes, shed, favourites rides, and how he managed to spend $14,000 on a light globe for a Honda XL250. Well Dave, let’s start with the basics. I was born in Townsville in 1950 and completed an electrical apprenticeship in 1971. I decided to travel with a couple of my mates and moved to Sydney in 1972. We stayed there a few months then started an anti-clockwise rotation of Australia working back in Townsville then Darwin (via



Alice Springs) and Perth and then Melbourne where I got married and had a couple of kids and settled down, and I now live in Crib Point on the Mornington Peninsula, an hour out of Melbourne. So tell us how smoking led to an obsession with bikes. After being caught smoking at 16 years of age, my old man decided to teach me a lesson and sent me to a sheep station near Cloncurry for three months, to isolate me from the “bad influences” in Townsville. The bloke who owned the sheep station was a mate of his. While I was there the jackaroos taught me how to ride the little Honda farm bike. Of course, they also taught me how to roll my own cigarettes, and at the end of a day’s work they’d give me a beer to drink ... I don’t know if my dad had factored all that in. By the time I came back to Townsville I could roll my own smokes, handle a couple of beers, and ride a motorbike ... good lesson!


So with a beer in one hand and a smoke in the other, you asked your dad for a loan to buy a bike? Well, not quite, but I loved riding the motorbike on the farm, so when I could I bought a CB90 Honda to hurtle around Townsville on, and then got a CS2 180cc 2-sroke Yamaha, which was a good fun bike. I really wanted a 350 Yam, but my old man would only put up the dough for a 180 because of the number and size of the stacks I’d had on the CB90. I had a couple of good ones early on.

Good advice. Let’s talk about bikes, and why not start at the bottom. What’s the worst bike you’ve had over the years? A TS250 Suzuki. It went fast enough to be scary, but braking and handling were virtually nonexistent. A road going trail bike, or a trail going road bike? It didn’t do either well enough to be called one or the other. In the end we came out square; I thrashed it relentlessly, and it took one of my fingers! Later on I sold it to a guy I worked with who wanted “a reliable bike to putter around on”. Oh dear ...

Unfortunately those early crashes weren’t your last. Anyone who’s ridden motorbikes for more than 40 years is bound to have had a stack or two, as I’ve done. Some minor and some major. Due to the injuries I got in an accident in ’03, my left leg won’t bend at the knee anymore, so any bike I ride now has to have a forward mounted peg on the left side which makes it cruiser one side and sport the other. It’s not unusual to see people walking around the bike scratching their heads like “what the ……” When I taught my son to ride on the road I passed on some of the things I’d learnt, usually the hard way. One thing is to not be influenced by the people you’re riding with. Ride at your own pace and do your own thing, do only what you feel safe with. Be alert to what’s happening around you and expect car drivers to do the unexpected, turn without indicators, u-turn in front of you, pull out in front of you as you approach a corner, etc. Ensure the bike is in good riding condition, mechanically, brakes, tyres, etc. But sometimes you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time and an accident is unavoidable, so to minimize the injury it’s essential to wear the correct riding gear, and most definitely a good quality helmet. As they say, “wear a two dollar helmet if you’ve got a two dollar head”.

The best? Well, if we’re talking about modern bikes, it would be the Honda VTR1000; it’s so much like the big powerful trail bike that Honda made one out of it, the Varadero. Miles of low down grunt with a top end of about 250K/H. My mates reckon my now naked VTR with handlebar risers and motocross bars is like an XR1000, and I reckon that’s pretty close to what it is.


Favourite classics? My Suzuki GSX1100 is fast and reliable, with a bulletproof motor, and it’s still good fun to ride. The Kawasaki H2 is a perfect example of



how things used to be; petrol guzzling, smoke blowing power with no concessions to the green movement. I first saw an H2 when I moved to Sydney in the early 70s. The first model had just been released and it was a thing of beauty. Then, later, I worked with a bloke in Perth who rode one. From from then on I had to have one, although it took me about 35 years to get it.




So tell us about the world’s most expensive light globe. Well, I needed a neutral indicator bulb for the XL250 trail bike. The neutral light didn’t work so I went to the local Honda dealer to get another one. I knew the owner pretty well and he had a runout model 1993 Fireblade, the last one before the updated model, which he talked me

into buying. I came home and told my wife I got the bulb, paid $14,000 for it, and they threw in a new Fireblade for free!


Living where you do, you have easy access to some great rides. What are the good ones? Living on the Mornington Peninsula is a great place for a short Sunday morning buzz. From my



place at Crib Point across the windies to Dromana, up Arthurs Seat, across to Flinders via the Gunnamatta windies, then home. It takes about an hour or a bit more with a brew stop at Flinders. For longer rides I love the roads through Gippsland; plenty of bends and not much traffic. We often ride to Poowong, and from there down to Archies Creek via Loch for a counter meal, then come back the same way. Reefton and the Black Spur are good rides, but there’s usually a lot of traffic and the plethora of boys in blue stop you having too much fun.

You’ve also been involved in motorsport a bit over the years? In ’93 when I was working for BHP at Western Port, a couple of us hired the racetrack at Phillip Island and got together 40 odd riders, made up of people who worked at BHP and their mates, and spent the day doing sessions on the track. It proved so successful that we ended up hiring the track another five times in the next few years. Eventually we had to stop due to the cost of public liability insurance. I also spent some time marshalling for Race




Marshalls Vic, and was on turn 2 at the notorious “rained out” second race of the World Superbikes ... wet, wet, wet! The best thing was being in the pit area at Phillip Island and getting Barry Sheene’s autograph on my Oz GP marshals cap.

school, but over time I’ve been able to build a shed and work area so I can work on the bikes in a good environment, and I’ve accumulated some pretty handy tools for the jobs. Living in Melbourne means there’s some cool weather over winter, so I’ve put a small wood heater in one corner that lets me work in the shed no matter what the conditions are like outside. Probably the most useful thing I’ve bought is the bike lifter, as it lets you work on the bike without having to bend over or sit on the floor all the time, and for $500 it’s worth every penny of it. The dream of every shed owner and bike collector is to have more space, and I’ve just about used up all the space in my current set-up, so my project for summer is to expand the shed into the pergola area beside it, which will give me half as much room again as I’ve got now, and it should do for the next couple of years.

As well as riding bikes, you obviously enjoy working on them. Tell us about your shed. As with most bike riders, I didn’t have the time or money to put into a workshop area, tools, equipment etc when the kids were going to

And what projects have you got on the go at the moment? Currently I’m rebuilding (not restoring) the XLX250 Honda that a mate gave me, and my next project will be the S3 triple Kawasaki. Having rebuilt the motor in the H2 after a seizure,




I’m pretty familiar with the internals of the triples, so I’m really looking forward to working on it and getting it going. After that I’ll be doing the postie bikes, with one being a resto and the other getting chopped with a Chinese pitbike motor for the grandkids to fool around on and worry their parents. It’d be good to be working on all the bikes so that if there’s a 1972



holdup on one I could move to another, but that could end in disaster with mixed parts and losing track of where I’m at, so at this stage it’s “finish one project at a time”. Any tips you’ve picked up over the years? The thing I’d recommend to anyone doing repair or resto work is to have a clean environment, a 1976



designated area for laying out parts, preferably in the order they come apart, and to put tools away at the end of the day. When I rebuilt the H2 motor I used freezer bags for the small parts and wrote on them in permanent marker what was in them. Later on it was really useful when I could find the parts easily. I also wrote down how things came apart, drew diagrams and took photos so that I could reassemble them later. What seems simple at the time might not be as clear 3 or 4 months later. Current Bikes 2000 Honda VTR1000 Honda (rebuilt naked after a stack in ‘03) 1982 Suzuki GSX1100 1974 H2750 Kawasaki S3 400 Kawasaki XLX250 Honda 2 X Postie bikes A Grass Grub Bikes Owned CB90 Honda CS2 Yamaha Ariel square4 Mk1 Kawasaki KH 500 2 X MT250 Honda Elsinores 75 CB750 Honda 79 Honda 750 1986

SL 100 Honda TS 250 Suzuki YZ80 Yamaha Bultaco Mk8 Pursang 3 X GSX1100 Suzukis 1990 CBR1000 Honda 1979 CBX1000 Honda CBR250RR Honda RM250A Suzuki IT250 Yamaha 1993 Honda Fireblade GN400 Suzuki 1998 CBR600 Honda 1998 VTR1000 Honda 2 x XL250 Hondas









nternationally-respected motorcycling journalist and motorsport commentator Ken Wootton died on 24 July while resting at a hotel in Brno, Czechoslovakia during a European holiday. Ken was a great enthusiast for both modern and classic bikes and a generous supporter of the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club and its events. Ken and his colleagues at Motorcycle Trader magazine provided excellent coverage of the last three VJMC National Rallies, and Ken often mentioned the VJMC in his articles about his own bikes, which included a Honda RC30, a Kawasaki 750 H2 (which he rode enthusiastically at this year’s Broadford Bike Bonanza), and a Honda CB750 Forgotten Era race bike. On behalf of all VJMC members, we extend condolences to his family and many friends.



AND HIS Z 2 0 0 Words Mitch Farina Hello how are things? I’m over in London at the moment for the next 6 months. Thought I might just send you a photo of my new bike I just brought here … enjoy! The bike is amazing I arrived about 2 moths ago then saw the bike on eBay and had to get it. It was in a place called Kendal in the north of England just near Scotland and road it back over 2 days to London. It was an amazing trip I might be able to write something up for you and send you some nice photos. As for me, I’m just having a long holiday staying at girls houses doing road trips, with people on the back, to amazing countryside out of the city. It’s been amazing. I then aim on heading down to Spain next week. Not sure if the little bike will make it but we will see.



VJMC member Michael Samootin’s 1979 Kawasaki Z1300 has topped his bulging trophy cabinet with the inaugural Draggin Jeans-Old Bike of the Year trophy. The Kawasaki Z1300 was one of six finalists in the Bike of the Year competition, which was co-sponsored by Old Bike Australasia. Other finalists included John Fretten’s 1972 Yamaha TX750, a Moto Guzzi V7 Sport of similar vintage, and a former Australian land speed record holder, a 1951 Vincent Black Lightning, in original, as-raced condition. Michael was presented with the trophy by Old Bike Australasia editor Jim Scaysbrook at a recent function celebrating the opening of Draggin Jeans’ new headquarters in Melbourne. The impeccably-restored Z1300 Six had already won Michael a swag of trophies, including Bike of the Rally at the 2010 VJMC National Rally (plus Best Restoration, Best Kawasaki and Best Motorcycle 1976-1980!). The Z1300 was also the cover bike in VJMC Mag issue number 119.

Mick Pettit and the Kawasaki 900 he has owned for 30 years. It still has the paint he bought it with. Mick will be sorting this bike over the next few months to make it a good rider again with more original parts, with the help of the guys in the Manning chapter. Steve Wardle

Here are a couple of pics (below) of Peter Hun’s current rides – they are both “ongoing never ending what can I do next I need to spend some money on them oh that bit needs a polish when will I get over this crazy obsession” projects, but they provide hours of enjoyment, pride, frustration, fun, conversation and domestic disputes about credit cards. I’m sure you can all identify with that! My partner Maxine normally rides the 400 when she gets the time, but I’m starting to enjoy it more and more too. I’ve also included a pic from the old days – yes, my 1st CB750 in ’73 being shamelessly thrashed and abused – gee they were good days too. The hair was longer, the stomach smaller, bigger!

Proud VJMC member Michael Samootin (right) accepts his trophy from Old Bike Australasia editor Jim Scaysbrook.




HISTORIC REGO NSW CONDITIONAL REGISTRATION Sydney Roadworthy Inspections David Bernardi | (02) 9808 1482 All other NSW areas contact Lyndon Adams | (02) 4945 1780

ACT Stan Perry | (02) 6296 7274



he VJMC is a worldwide club. There are independent branches in North America (USA/Canada), UK, New Zealand and Australia. Some enthusiasts are members of more than one branch.

VICTORIA CLUB PERMIT SCHEME INSPECTORS Melbourne - North East Brian Cutler | 0409 024 482 Melbourne - West Kevin Drazdauskas | 0419 884 560 Melbourne - South East Trevor Whitty | 0419 807 212 Central Vic Graeme Climas | (03) 5446 3844

Direct enquiries for overseas branches of the VJMC to: North America President: Stuart Covington, 55 Howard St, Lunenburg, MA 01462 USA. Website: Email: United Kingdom Chairman: Malcolm Linsley, VJMC PO Box 21671 Falkirk, FK1 9AL. Website: Email: New Zealand: Ross & Trudy Charlton, 2 Te Miti St, Paekakariki, Wellington. Email:



The club has a sizeable library of magazines, workshop manuals and parts manuals for members to use. Enquires:



MEETS VIC Melbourne Metro Meet: Grandview Hotel Cnr Station Street & Heidelberg Road, Fairfield 7.00pm on the last Tuesday night of each month Contact: Neale Binnion (03) 9857 5256


REPRESENTATIVES ACT Canberra Stan Perry (02) 6296 7274


CENTRAL VICTORIA Meet: Garlands Bakehouse & Cafe 124 High Street, Kangaroo Flat 10.00am every Sunday morning Contact: Ivan Eeles (03) 5448 4746  



Mid Hunter Meet: Greta Workers Club Cnr New England Highway & West Street, Greta Quarterly social meet - contact for time & dates Contact: Allan Kensitt (02)4938 7223 or 0405 492700

Meet: The Mawson Club Heard Street, Mawson, ACT 7.30pm on the first Monday night of each month. Contact: Greg Russell 0414 469 016 Stan Perry 6296-7274

North West Graeme Tonkin (02) 6724 8454

Mackay Peter & Helen Douglas (07) 4954 3653

Queanbeyan Rob Hogan (02) 6299 7579


South Coast Patrick Sager (02) 4473 6191

Bathurst Vacant. Rep required.

Sydney David Bernardi (02) 9808 1482

Far North Coast Rob Andrews (02) 6621 4083

Sydney South/West Allan Dykstra (02) 9824 7165

Goulburn Malcolm Peden (02) 4821 5060

Sydney Inner Steve O’Farrell (02) 9517 3490

Hunter Vince Foreman (02) 4973 1852 Mid Hunter Allan Kensit (02) 4938 7223

Melbourne Neale Binnion (03) 9857 5256 Central Victoria Ivan Eeles (03) 5448 4746 Western Victoria Alan & Pam Stork 0401 995 060 West Gippsland Dennis Flynn 0407 359 278


Tamworth Paul Rowling 0411 696 852

South Australia Peter Hunt 0429 900 784



Manning Steve Wardle (02) 6551 5546

SE Queensland Steve Day

Mid North Coast Trevor Ellis (02) 6655 5911

Sunshine Coast Rob Skewes (07) 5451 1972

Tamworth: Meet at the Tamworth City Bowling Club ANZAC Park, Brisbane Street, Tamworth. 6.30pm on the last Thursday of every month Contact Paul 0411 696 852 or

Reps needed. More Info: Contact Jeff Eeles 0411 051 902 if you are interested in getting VJMC happening in your area.





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retro-modern sports-tourer. They span two decades and as many shades of that stirring lime green that shouts “Kawasaki”. Add a W650 and new-old Jaffa ZR750, and it’s our tribute to the Big K.

Classic Bikes & Café Racers

Yamaha SR500 undergoing radical surgery. And we’re also into café racers like our Honda CB550CR with Trevor Whitty paintwork (above left) and another showpiece, Sammy the CB100.

n S O atu N LY rd a


It’s not that we’re Kawasaki-mad at Mid Life Cycles (but it does help). We’ve got a classic Honda or three, several Suzukis and even a


It seems fitting this issue to feature the Kawasaki corner at Mid Life Cycles: here’s the first of one model, the best of another, and a great


Tribute to The Big K

VJMC #123  

Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Magazine

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