Category Archives: Noticeboard

Yamaha recommences production of the SR400

You may recall that production of the SR400 ceased in 2017, to allow Yamaha Japan to re-engineer the bike to conform to new motorcycle exhaust gas regulations.

Well, after a 12 month hiatus, Yamaha has announced that production of the SR400 will recommence in 2018! The new model will be released in Japan on November 22 in two colour schemes: Yamaha Black (classic!), and Greyish Metallic Blue. In addition, a special 40th Anniversary Edition (in Dark Orange Metallic Brown) will also be released, limited to 500 units.

Features of the new SR400 include:

  1. “Accuracy improvement of O2 feedback control realising excellent environmental performance and fuel economy”
  2. “Adoption of a canister to reduce the discharge of evaporated gasoline to the outside air”
  3. “A new muffler with improved bass and crispness”

It is currently unknown when the 2018 model will be available in Australia.

More info: Yamaha Motor Co.

 

Old Bike Australasia, issue #73

Check out issue #73 of Old Bike Australasia magazine! Featured on the cover is a great shot of a Club member’s (Brendan’s) SR500 at Lake Pedder during one of the Club’s trips to Tasmania. There is fascinating article on the SR500 inside the magazine, and many more great pics!

Copies of the magazine are available from www.mymagazines.com.au, and digital versions via the ‘Old Bike Australasia’ apps for iOS and Android.

SR500 Club membership fees due!

Hi fellow Club members,

For those of you who have not paid your membership fees in the last few weeks, it is that time of year again, and you should pay by 30th July 2018. The 30th of June is our membership renewal date – we like to give you a little time to pay! When you pay, you will be paid up until 30th June 2019.

If you have a bike on a Club Permit using the SR500 Club, that bike will be unregistered if you are not a paid-up member!

On a brighter note, the annual membership fee is still only $25.00!

Also, don’t forget the annual SR500 Club Rally is on in November (see the Events section on the website for details).

Also, it might be a good time to contact us if you have changed your address, telephone number, email address, marital status, or T-shirt size, recently. You could fill out a membership renewal form, and return it to the SR500 Club.

There are a couple of ways of paying your fees:

(1) The preferred way is to make a direct credit into our bank account:
Account Name = SR500 Club
BSB = 033 068
Account Number = 164061

Put your name in the transaction description field!

(2) Post a cheque with a completed renewal form to:
SR500 Club Australia, PO Box 500, Braeside, VIC 3195

Or just turn up at a Club meeting and pay me directly (I am the old guy with the eye shade and quill pen)!

Regards, Mike Cowie
(Treasurer)

The Club is now on Social Media!

The Club website is the primary source / depository of Club information (notices, events, photos, technical information, etc.). But with the prevalence of smartphones & tablets in our lives (and the instant notifications that these devices make possible), the Club has decided to sign-up to Facebook and Twitter!

From now on, whenever something new is added to the Club website, we will also update the Club Facebook and Twitter feeds.

This gives the Club another way to keep members up-to-date with all the latest information (especially Events, e.g. Sunday rides, that may be organised at short notice).

Please click on the link(s) below, and ‘follow’ the Club on Facebook and/or Twitter today!

 

Vale Rob Rode

We are sorry to advise that Club member, Rob Rode, has passed away – while out riding with mates in South Gippsland on Saturday, 20 January.

Anyone who has attended the Club’s annual Rally in Bethanga in the last few years will remember Rob from his winning of the ‘Best Stock SR’ award for the last five years in a row (2013-2017), with his immaculately presented 1984 SR500.

In Rob’s honour, the Committee has decided that the charity the Club will support this year will be Kidney Health Australia, a charity that was close to Rob’s and his family’s hearts.

Our sincere condolences to Wendy, Katie, Mathew, and all of Rob’s family and friends.

RIP Rob.

2017 Rally Report

The Rally was a great success again this year!

Thanks to three days of clear blue skies, attendance was good (128 people signed in), and there was a great selection of bikes on display!

Show ‘n’ Shine

At Saturday’s Show ‘n’ Shine, there were eight award categories. Congratulations to the following winners!

  • Best stock SR – Rob Rode (1984 SR500). Again!
  • Best modified SR – Steven Findlay
  • Best XT/TT 500 – Colin Jay
  • Best 4 valve (XT/TT/SZR/SRX 600/660) – Peter Hickey (XT600 Ténéré)
  • Best non-SR – Tony Jones (Virago XV920R café racer)
  • Peoples’ choice – Leno Pirotta (Mazda 10A rotary-powered BMW R50)
  • Best rat bike – ‘Mudguard’
  • Longest distance – Drew Jackson (for riding his SR500 all the way from Warwick, QLD)

Saturday night raffle

A number of companies kindly donated items for Saturday night’s raffle, resulting in many lucky people winning some great prizes!

A big “thank you” to everyone who donated prizes:

  • Andy Strapz, Seaford (VIC)
  • Deus ex Machina, Camperdown (NSW)
  • KEDO Parts Australia, Raymond Terrace (NSW)
  • Motorcycle Trader magazine, Oakleigh (VIC)

Saturday night entertainment

Big thanks to Cracked Pepper for a great set on Saturday night.

Annual General Meeting

At Sunday’s AGM, nominations for the Committee were heard, and the following elections were made:

  • President: Jeff Gillman
  • Vice Presidents: Paul Newbold, Craig Lemon
  • Treasurer: Mike Cowie
  • Secretary: Tony Jones

Congratulations to Jeff Gillman (President again), Paul Newbold and Craig Lemon (joint Vice Presidents), and to Mike Cowie and Tony Jones (who retain their positions as Treasurer and Secretary, respectively).

2017 Rally – A Club Member’s Report

Drew Jackson and John Davies rode all the way from Warwick (QLD) to attend the 2017 Rally in Bethanga.

Here’s Drew’s account of the long ride down and back!

The ride to the Rally began in Warwick on Wednesday [Nov 22] and it was raining. We usually ride down to the Bruxner Hwy via Killarney, Legume and the Tooloom Scrub to Urbenville and eventually to the Bruxner; however, with the rain, we decided to go directly down to Tenterfield on the New England Hwy.

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Our bikes are good back-road tourers, but constant highway speeds seem a little cruel. The KL250 Kwaka is happy at 95 kph, and so is the SR, especially as the round trip will be about 3000 km.

The Bruxner Hwy from Tenterfield to Drake is a great ride with a good variety of corners, but take care, as there are a couple of corners posted at 30 kph that tighten up pretty quickly and have caught out a few riders. Just before Tabulam, we turned south and headed for Grafton. Because of the small tanks on our bikes, it was necessary to fill up whenever we needed to cover more than 150 km. Both bikes were getting over 25 km/L, but running out of fuel is not much fun, so we were being careful.

After a quick lunch in Grafton we headed towards Ebor and Armidale. This is one of my favourite roads, with plenty of corners and only light traffic – it was a pity it was still raining lightly. The new Metzeler on the back of the SR was performing well on the damp roads. From Armidale, we headed to Uralla, and then Walcha, where we spent a very comfortable night at the Apsley Arms Hotel.

An early start the next morning saw us in Gloucester for a coffee after an interesting ride over some pretty rough sections of road. From Gloucester, we headed to Dungog, and then Singleton and Denman. The next section was the Bylong Valley Way to Rylstone; this is great ride with great sandstone formations and plenty of tight corners in a couple of places. I hope the protesters manage to keep the coal miners out of the area. From Rylstone, we headed to Kandos, Ilford, Sofala, and Bathurst – there are plenty of good corners on this section. Our destination for the day was Blayney where we were booked into the Royal Hotel. It was steak night at the Royal and it was booked out – every table in the pub was taken, but the barmaid found us a spot, and for $12 we had a steak with a great selection of sides. We had done about 650 km and we only had about 500 km to go to get to Bethanga for the Rally.

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From Blayney, we headed to Cowra and then Boorowa and Jugiong where we joined the dreaded Hume for a few kilometres on the way to Gundagai. It was good to get off the Hume and head to Tumut, Batlow, and Tumbarumba for lunch. We were getting pretty close to our destination, so after a pie and a coffee, we refuelled and headed off to the border at Jingellic. The ride down to Jingellic from Tumbarumba is another good ride, with plenty of good sweepers, and with the aid of gravity, the bikes performed well.

After crossing the Murray River, we turned along the Murray Valley Hwy and headed towards Granya where we turned off to Bethanga. We arrived mid-afternoon and set up our camp before going to the hotel to meet a few of the regular Rally-goers. All up, we did 1615 km getting to the Rally.

The Rally is fully catered and the food is very good and the prices charged are fair. Hot showers are available and there was a cricket match to watch on the Saturday. Saturday night was the official part of the Rally, with awards given out for the Show ‘n’ Shine – Best Original SR, SRX, and so on. There were some very interesting bikes on display.

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The Rally was very good and the SR Club did a great job. The venue is a cracker, with a fair amount of shade and green grass to camp on.

The ride home was a lot faster, as we took a more direct route – back to Tumbarumba, then up to Cowra, Wellington and Gulgong. The next day, we headed north to Coolah, Manilla, Bingara, Warialda, Yetman, Texas, and finally to Warwick via Greenup. It was a long day and we did have a break at Yetman at the Codfish Hotel.

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We refuelled in Texas – still the cheapest fuel in Queensland.

Over the six days, we averaged 500 km per day, even given the rest day on Saturday.

 

Snowy Mountains 2017 ride report

Snowy Mountains ride, 21-24 November 2017

The Club’s inaugural pre-Rally Snowy Mountains ride was blessed with fabulous weather (except for a short, sharp thunderstorm, which will be described later!), great roads, beautiful scenery and plenty of laughs for all the attendees, most of whom had never ridden in this region before. The ride officially started in Khancoban on the Wednesday morning and concluded back in Bethanga at the SR500 Rally on Friday afternoon.

Craig and Matt met in Yea on the Tuesday morning to lead a ride via Whitfield/Beechworth to Bethanga for any interested members, but as it turned out, no one else arrived, so they enjoyed a small group ride on their own! Ian, David, Ryan and Tony had trailered their bikes and camping gear to the Rally site earlier on Tuesday and were ready to go when Craig and Matt arrived. Departing Bethanga around 3:00pm, the group rode in very warm conditions on the legendary River Road around Lake Hume and beside the Murray River before taking a short break in Walwa to re-group. A short distance from Walwa is the famous Tintaldra Hotel which sits at the gateway to the Snowy Mountains. After an obligatory ice-cold schooner on the pub’s veranda (yes, it is bad luck and possibly illegal to go into the Snowies without first having a cold beer in Tintaldra!), our group crossed into NSW and followed the Tooma Road and Alpine Way into Khancoban, which would be our base for the next few days. After settling into our accommodation in Khancoban, we met at the pub for drinks and dinner, where we met up with Brendan and Nick van de Zand (who had trailered their bikes and camping gear in a few days earlier), and Jack Bridges.

On Wednesday, we were greeted with beautiful blue skies and a gentle warm breeze – just perfect for riding in the mountains.  Departing Khancoban around 9:00am, we headed for our lunch stop at Jindabyne via the Alpine Way, stopping at Murray 1 Power Station, Scammel’s Lookout, Geehi Hut, and Tom Groggin station on a very narrow stretch of the Murray River. The Alpine Way was in superb condition, with everyone enjoying the long climbs and steep decents on twisty roads through the magnificent scenery that only the Snowies can provide. After we all took a break and re-grouped on the top of the Great Dividing Range at Dead Horse Gap (1,582 m), the tight roads leading to Thredbo opened up and became wide, open sweepers as we made our way to Lake Crackenback and Jindabyne. After lunch and re-fuelling in Jindabyne, we rode towards Berridale and picked up an awesome little backroad linking us to the Snowy Mountains Highway, which in turn lead us to Adaminaby and Kiandra on wide, open, very fast sweepers (just ask Matt and Ryan!) where you can see for several kilometres in the distance and really enjoy some great riding. After another re-group and drink in Adaminaby, we headed back into the mountains at Kiandra where we picked up the link road to Khancoban via Cabramurra, Australia’s highest town. Khancoban is around 70 km from Cabramurra and virtually all downhill. The road takes you through stark tundra-type landscapes where brumbies live, and over the massive Tumut 2 and Tooma pondage dam walls. Our route back snaked through some really tight twisty sections on good quality, but narrow roads, constantly rising and falling before we rolled into the undulating plains around Khancoban. After a few beers and dinner in the local pub, we all had relatively early nights as we’d done a lot of riding that day and had another big day in front of us!

Our planned route for Thursday would take us back up the Cabramurra road and back into the mountains where we would turn toward Tumbarumba on the Elliot Way before stopping in Tumut for lunch. Brendan and Nick, mounted on their XT500s, decided to hit the dirt for the day on various roads in the mountains, so the road group now consisted of six riders. The start of our ride re-traced Wednesday’s last leg from Cabramurra, but because we were riding in the opposite direction, the scenery and roads appeared from a totally different view and were just as enjoyable as before. Turning onto the Elliot Way, we rode down the mountain on smooth twisty roads to the bottom of the valley where the massive Tumut 1 underground power station is located. Normally there are tours available for visitors, but the station is undergoing some maintenance work, so plant visits have been temporarily suspended. Maybe next year! The Elliot Way is truly a motorcyclist’s dream as it snakes along the bottom of the gorge beside the Tumut River, crossing little creeks and cuttings before climbing up onto the plains towards Tumbarumba (pine plantation/logging), Batlow (apple orchards) and onto Tumut (logging and sawmills). After a bakery lunch in Tumut, the group headed for home via Talbingo, past the huge Blowering Dam and back onto the fast sweepers of the Snowy Mountains Highway. Re-grouping at the Cabramurra turnoff, it was obvious that we needed to put on our wet weather gear as the sky where we were going was black. Really black! Within a few minutes there were spots of rain. Then the rain got heavier, a lot heavier in fact. Then the thunder and lightning started, and the rain got really, really heavy – just like a tropical downpour in Queensland! Just as we got to the really twisty bit, about 5 km from Cabramurra, it started to hail – not golf ball size, more like marbles, but there was so much of it, the road was completely covered, just like a snow storm! On some corners the rain was washing the hail across the road in large drifts just to test our nerve and throttle control skills! Everyone made it to Cabramurra – unscathed, but soaked. No one dropped their bikes, but everyone’s wet weather gear had failed to varying degrees and we were wet; very, very wet! After a short break in Cabramurra, the skies cleared, allowing us to ride down the mountain in sunshine, which made it tempting to take off the wet weather gear. None of us did, which was a good thing, as about 10 km from Khancoban, the rain started again, making it a soggy end to an otherwise fabulous day. All up, we covered over 380 km on the day, saw some beautiful scenery and enjoyed some of the best motorcycling roads in Australia.

Friday morning came all too soon, and there we were, packed and ready to head for Bethanga and the Rally. Brendan and Nick had left earlier, while Dave and Ian decided to ride via Corryong along the Murray Valley Highway. The rest of the group rode back along the river road past Walwa and on to Tallangatta over the Granya Gap. Craig decided to head to Koetong for lunch at the pub, Matt had to go to Albury to buy a new rear tyre. while Ryan and Tony enjoyed a leisurely break in Tallangatta before taking the Granya Gap again on the way to Bethanga.

In summary, the ride went as planned and everyone who attended enjoyed absolutely great weather, relatively empty roads and incredible scenery. The trip covered around 1,100 km from Bethanga and return. No one dropped their bike or had any reliability issues, and everyone rode within their capabilities, so all things considered, it was a fabulous few days of riding with like-minded motorcyclists on a range of different bikes. Well done to all who attended! Roll on 2018 so we can do it all again!

Participants

Tony Jones BMW R1200GS
Ryan Jones Triumph Speed Triple 1050
Brendan van de Zand Yamaha XT500 & SR500
Nick van de Zand Yamaha XT500
David Prior Yamaha XT600 Ténéré
Ian Janetzki Yamaha XTZ 750 Super Ténéré
Matt Vellere Suzuki GSX-R750
Craig Lemon Yamaha TRX850

 

Peninsula ride report (4 Nov 2017)

Mike Cowie reports on the Club ride down the Mornington Peninsula on Saturday, 4 Nov 2017:

The Peninsula Ride went well, even if the weather was a bit overcast and damp at the start!

See photos below, taken outside Andy Strapz’s shop in Seaford, which was the second stop of the day (the first stop was at Antique Motorcycles near Moorabbin Airport, which was after the main group rode down from the West Gate bridge meeting point).

We then rode on down to Balnarring for a lunch of lovely meat pies and coffee.

After lunch, with the weather on the improve, two of the guys, Paul and Jeff, decided the pace was too hectic and left the group to return home (or maybe they were just bored). They missed the best part of the ride!

[Actually, they got separated from the main group and headed off in the wrong direction, but still had a great ride after finding themselves on the southern side of Flinders].

We left Balnarring and headed up to the back of Arthurs Seat, then back down to Flinders, where I took a few more photos (below).

After Flinders, we headed down to Sorrento where the guys from the west of the city took the ferry across to Queenscliff , to ride home through Geelong.

The three of us that didn’t take the ferry went back to the city by another route and arrived home at 5-6pm.

I don’t know about the others, but I had a very enjoyable day, cruising about the Peninsula. There are some great roads down there, and the scenery is spectacular.