Just goin' to a meetin' ain't always that simple...

Pics of yours or other interesting bikes taken out and about. Reports of Choppers Australia rides, with lots of photos and great stories. If you are not confident writing up a story, email Prof & get some help... choppers are all about riding, so let's hear your stories.
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Prof
Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 5884
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia
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Just goin' to a meetin' ain't always that simple...

Post by Prof » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:34 pm

I'm a member of MRASA (Motorcycle Riders Association SA) and have been for many years as was my father. Before that we were members of FAM (Federation of Australian Motorcyclists) which in the mid seventies amalgamated with MRA. Members are welcome to sit on on monthly committee meetings. I have wanted to attend for a number of years because of my concern with the way legislators are stuffing up motorcycling for us... plus the restrictions on motorcycle customising. Finally decided to bite the bullet and start attending and perhaps be able to put in my two bobs worth on behalf of SA bike customisers.

Last night was the night. Day was hectic with a capital H and I had no chance to eat before I took off on the Diamond CB I am riding at present. Rain had been promised, so I chucked my waterproofs in the sissy bar bag and rugged up well. Honda has been running beautifully for the last year, but played up at the swap meet last Saturday, so I had earlier checked charging (13.5V max which is a bit low), but battery was only 7 Volts with the ignition switched off. Hmm. Dud battery. Put in another that showed 12.5 Volts and showed same charge rate as the other. Ok. Will be right now.

Bike fires up first kick. Clunk into first. Full right lock, throttle, swing feet onto forwards and blast off down the drive. Big stainless turnouts sound great when just sitting on the speed limit or accelerating... and the crackle when the throttle is shut off is magic man.

Some traffic, but riding is great... until I take off at the South Road/Victor Harbor road lights. Motor dies and I have to wheel it across three lanes which I manage to do holding in the clutch and rolling it along while sitting on the seat. Huge embarrassment. Check fuse first. Only one on this bike while I like to run one for each system. Much easier to find and if a light fuse or accessories fuse blows you still have a running motor. Fuse blown. Wire cut by seat mount. Fixed and moved out of the way.

Because the headlight on this bike is very poor (old sealed beam), I tucked a LED cluster in between the tool bag and Sleeping bag (wind break!) just before I left. I hooked it up the low beam, so I would have a better chance of being seen in the dark streets with other bright car lights around me...
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Getting the tool bag would be a pain, so I walk (dodging lots of 4 wheelers) the 100 yds to the servo. Buy a pack of fuses and head back. I just get across the road and a young bloke on a very tidy Honda Shadow pulls up to see if I need help. He insists on staying with me until I take off. Nice bloke who has mate putting a springer on his bike. I give him a card and invite him to drop by the workshop some time.

Back on the road again and it is 'plain sailing' to The Parade where the meetings are held. End up doing a couple of u turns before finding a spot along side a big scooter on the footpath.

Meeting is interesting (I have rolled in 15 minutes late) and I am welcomed. Chat with a couple of the committee members re SA bike regulations over supper. One member recognises me. We were both teaching in Pt Pirie in the early seventies. Two of the members run Moto Chat on a community radio. I spoke on it last year prior to our Annual Chopper Muster.

Starts to drizzle as we go out to our bikes, so on with the water proofs and blast once more into the night. While I prefer the effortless long legs and beautiful handling of my shovel, I do thoroughly enjoy riding the Honda chopper especially the loud pipes. I would happily ride a well set up CB chopper around Australia. They are a great bike.

You can't beat riding at night on wet roads with all the city lights reflecting off the asphalt. So I am in my element... until I take a short cut off springbank road and the chopper dies once again...
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Not a simple problem this time, so out comes the toolbag. Drizzle kindly stops for the duration. Fuse it not blown. Battery shows 12.5V, but with the ignition on drops instantly to 3.5 volts Switch off and it slowly climbs back to 12Volts. Short? Faulty battery? Bad coil. Check through all the wiring. Spend half an hour but with no success.
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There's a servo across the road. Might have a rack of car batteries I could buy to get me home. Walk across dodging traffic once again. No luck. Tell the attendant I am not impressed. Service Stations used to live up to their name. No more... just overpriced petrol and overpriced food...
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OK. Now almost 11pm. Text a mate who's not far away, but no reply. Call Rilda to let her know what is going on. Neville, a long time friend is staying with us helping take care of Ma and Rilda and although he is almost asleep, offers to bring down a car battery. Spend the next 20 minutes setting up wiring for the car battery. I'll be waiting an hour, so head over to the servo again for some chow. 15 yards from the door, the lights go off. Bugger! Walk back. Chopper looks pretty cool under the street lights so steady the camera against a few poles and get some shots. Sit down to wait and decide a bit of creative photography would be worthwhile. Call this one 'Frustration'...
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This one 'Contemplation"...
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Able to take these pics with a ten second delay and a small tripod that fits in my pocket...
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Neville arrives at 11pm. Chuck in the battery. Bike fires up. Gear on and off we go.

Chopper runs perfectly... well almost. Couple of miles up the road, bike cuts out once again. Pull off between bollard and under the new but not yet used over pass at the South Road interchange. Neville just blocks the lane and puts on his hazards. Out with my torch again which keeps shutting off. Blown fuse. What now? Find a possible short at junction box so move it across a bit. CB fires up again and weave through a bunch of steel and then bollards and we are on the road again.

Rest of ride home is without incident. Race by a few semis and got overtaken by one doing a very respectable clip on a down grade. Pass him later on an upgrade. This is repeated a couple of times. Good bit of fun. Drizzle occasionally but mostly clear and just beaut riding.

Pull up to the workshop door at 1am. Tired, but happy. Bit of a frustrating time, but it's all part of the adventure on old school choppers my friends. Wouldn't exchange it for these complex, electronic, fuel injected modern contraptions.

Picture of the battery wired up. I always carry 10 feet of electrical wire. Also the benefit of a kick start. You can start the bike with minimal battery power. Points ignitions will run on 4 or 5 volts. Electronic ignition won't and fuel pumps won't either. Also the benefit of lights not coming on automatically with ignition. A headlight drains the power very quickly. Green wire at left of photo is a direct connection from battery positive to LED cluster which gave me a headlight to get home that used virtually no power. On that note, I have ridden my shovel chopper home at night on 4 volts using my LED torch for a head light...
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Well folks. Hope you enjoyed the story and pics. Despite the problems, I really enjoyed the ride. Sure wasn't boring!

As the title says, what could be simpler than just goin' to a meetin'??!!
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

StephenHaslam
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:45 pm
Location: Ararat
Interests: Riding, Custom Bikes, Electronics, Computing, Talking with good people, Livin on the road.

Re: Just goin' to a meetin' ain't always that simple...

Post by StephenHaslam » Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:56 am

An excellant read. Was the cause, that last roadside stop before home ?

Prof
Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 5884
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia
Contact:

Re: Just goin' to a meetin' ain't always that simple...

Post by Prof » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:21 pm

I suspect the connector block (see plastic) was touching seat bracket. Used the plastic bag as an insulator. Will however check whole wiring .
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

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