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Tasmania 2016 Ride Report

SR500 Club Ride ’round Tasmania, 11-20 March, 2016

Friday 11: Departure day for the Tassie ride had finally arrived and it was a cracker of a day, with sunny blue skies and temperatures in the low 30s – a perfect start to our circuit around the Apple Isle! The majority of the group gathered in the Port Melbourne Yacht Club carpark and then moved on to board the ferry at around 6pm. Once on board, the riders all socialised with a few drinks before dinner and then wandered off to their various cabins for a good night’s sleep. Most of us slept well; however, there were some reports of loud snoring coming from several cabins, which made for an interesting crossing for some!

Saturday 12: Arriving in Devonport early Saturday morning, most of the group enjoyed a short ride to Sheffield (via Railton, ‘Town of Topiary’)  for breakfast. From Sheffield, we rode the scenic back roads past Cradle Mountain and on to Waratah for a fuel stop. The group then headed north to Burnie and along the Bass Hwy to our overnight stop at Stanley. With temperatures in the mid-20s and blue skies, it was a very enjoyable day’s ride which ended for most of us with dinner at the Stanley Hotel. Many in the group spent the afternoon exploring the quaint seaside town, with the more adventurous climbing to the top of ‘The Nut’.

Sunday 13: Another beautiful, sunny day greeted us as we departed Stanley for Queenstown via Hellyer Gorge. Regrouping at the bottom of Hellyer Gorge, Ryan noticed that his rear tyre had a puncture. However, this was soon fixed, with most of the group then riding on to Tullah for lunch. From Tullah, about half the group rode on to Queenstown via Roseberry and Zeehan. A smaller group took the much longer, but spectacular route to Zeehan via the legendary Reece Dam road. This road provided the riders with long sweepers and tight hairpins along with fabulous scenery around every corner. Regrouping in Queenstown, we all met for drinks at the Empire Hotel before having dinner at several different places.

Monday 14: A large group took a four hour trip on the West Coast Wilderness Railway, which by all reports was a very scenic ride and well worth the fare. A smaller group enjoyed a ride out to Strahan for lunch on the back roads via Roseberry, Tullah and Zeehan. Another great day’s riding was enjoyed under sunny blue skies with temperatures in the low 20s.

Departing Queenstown.

Tuesday 15: Most of us gathered for a group picture in Queenstown (above) prior to a 10am departure for Hobart. We all enjoyed the climb out of Queenstown on the legendary twisty roads that would lead us to the fuel stop and regroup at Derwent Bridge. The roads between Derwent Bridge and our lunch stop at Ouse were in great condition and were enjoyed by all as we had a ‘spirited’ ride up and down the hills and around the twisties. On approaching the outskirts of Hobart, the group broke up to get to their various accommodations around town. The original plan for the evening was to meet at Joe’s Garage for drinks, but alas, it wasn’t open, so we all met at Irish Murphy’s in Salamanca Place instead and enjoyed a night of socialising while listening to local young musos at the pub’s ‘open mic’ night. Thanks to the Club committee’s sponsoring of the ride, a bar tab was set up, and was put to very good use over the course of the evening. No one left the pub feeling thirsty, and possibly some were a little groggy the next morning!

Wednesday 16: Today was a rest day in Hobart. Many of the culture vultures in the Club went to the Museum of Old and New Art and enjoyed an exhibition by Gilbert and George. The less culturally aware members bypassed MONA and went on another ‘spirited’ ride on the cracking roads that lead to Strathgordon, Lake Pedder and Gordon Dam. The weather was perfect for riding again and the roads were just sensational!

Thursday 17: As the group’s accommodation was spread around Hobart, it was decided to re-group for a coffee stop at the historic old town of Richmond, prior to riding on to our overnight stop in Swansea. As luck would have it, there was a very impressive display of vintage, veteran and classic motorcycles in the Richmond Town Hall. An immaculate Brough Superior took pride of place alongside several Vincents and numerous BSAs, Triumphs, Nortons, and lots of other rare and beautifully restored machines. From Richmond, the group spread out and made its way along the coastline with several stopping at the fishing town of Triabunna for lunch. It had been another lovely sunny, but as heavy rain was forecast for tomorrow, Brendan, Gary, Matt, Jeff and Tony decided to ride the legendary Lake Leake Hwy across to Ross for a coffee and a giant, award-winning vanilla slice from the Ross Village Bakery! While the others returned to Swansea via Lake Leake Hwy, Brendan and Gary decided to ‘go bush’ to try to find their way back to Swansea via dirt roads. They got as far as Tooms Lake before the track started to peter out, and they started running out of time (daylight) and fuel, and they had to turn around and return via Lake Leake Hwy also.

Friday 18: The wind was blowing a gale off the sea overnight and the day started out with some light to moderate rain in the Swansea area. Further south in Hobart, the radar showed very heavy rain, so we were lucky to have avoided a major storm. After breakfast at the Bark Mill Bakery, we started heading north towards our next overnight stop, St Helens. Several of us stopped at Bicheno on the way, to check out the Motorcycle Museum there, which contained a very nice collection of old & new machinery, including Vincent Rapide, Bultaco Pursang, Triumph X75 Hurricane, Noriel 4 café racer, and Yamaha HL500 replica (feat. a GMC Cro-Mo frame). Some of us then turned off the Tasman Hwy and rode up a very misty Elephant Pass to Mount Elephant Pancakes for refreshments. By the time we reached St Helens, the rain had, thankfully, eased off.

Saturday 19: A rather leisurely start to the day, this being our last full day in Tassie. From St Helens, it was a short ride to the Shop in the Bush for some souvenir shopping, then on to the Holy Cow Café at Pyengana for coffee, and to watch some very clever cows at the Pyengana Dairy using an automated back scratcher on their way to the milking shed! From there, we rode up to the spectacular St Columba Falls (which had obviously benefited from the previous day’s rain!), and then on to the Pub in the Paddock for a beverage or two. Many of us were staying at Devonport this night, so we had a few k’s to notch up before the end of day! So we pushed on along the Tasman Hwy through Weldborough, Derby (for lunch), Scottsdale, north to Bridport, then west again, crossing the Tamar River at Batman Bridge, and continuing, carving up the back roads (through Frankford) to Devonport. Yet more spectacular, fast roads again today, this was what a great way to end the trip!

Sunday 20: Many of us had an early start, to catch the 9:00am sailing of the Spirit of Tasmania, back to Melbourne. For many of us, it was also our first day sailing, and we found this was a nice, restful way to end the trip – and start planning for the next trip!

Summary: All things considered, the 2016 Club Ride ’round Tassie was a fun event and was thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended. Other than our planned overnight stops, there were no other formal plans, so there was plenty of flexibility for everyone to travel at their own speed and stop as often as they wanted to enjoy the sights and sounds of Tasmania. There were no mechanical breakdowns, only ONE wet day, no accidents (worth mentioning!) and no speeding tickets that anyone has admitted to so far! The ride provided a fantastic opportunity for all Club members, and non-members alike to socialise and get to know each other better while enjoying our motorcycles and the unreal scenery and roads that only Tasmania has to offer. Well done to all who attended and thank you for making the ride such an outstanding event.


Andy Hunt Kawasaki GTR1000
Darren Marston Yamaha TDM900
Colin Warner & Andrea Chenery Triumph Bonneville
Craig Lemon Yamaha TRX850
Brendan van de Zand Yamaha SR500
Drew Jackson Yamaha SR500
John (from Warwick, QLD) Kawasaki KL250 Super Sherpa
Gary & Karen Cuthbert Honda CB500
Jeff Gillman Suzuki RF600
Matthew Vellere Suzuki GSXR750
David & Mary Ell BMW R1200RT
Marcos & Maria Anastassiou BMW R1200GS
Ian & Janet Janetzki Yamaha XV1000 Virago
David & Kerry Prior Yamaha XT600 Ténéré
Kerrigan O’Neill Hyundai iLoad
Paul Norstog Yamaha SR500
Ryan & Brodie Jones Triumph Speed Triple
Tony Jones BMW R1200GS
Michael Prior Mercedes Benz van



1976 Yamaha TT500 sets new speed record!

Brian Fullard from Bike Mart Ringwood (VIC) has set a new speed record on his 1976 Yamaha TT500 at Speed Week 2016 at Lake Gairdner, South Australia!

On 2 March 2016, Brian attained 121.237 mph in the M-F class (Modified-Fuel), surpassing the previous record of 111.666 mph set in 2015 by Vaughan Shaddock on a 2008 Yamaha WR450.

This is how Brian described the week on Facebook:

Back from the salt. It was a bit hot over there, 41°C under a quick shade Tuesday and 48°C Wednesday after a short shower! We started with the Keihin FCR carb and fairing on and ran 116 mph. We then put on the Mikuni and ran 118 mph. We then took off the fairing and retarded the ignition timing about 10° as we had advanced it on the dyno the Friday before we left. We ran 119 mph, so we put in a larger main jet and ran 121 mph on a 111 mph record for naked [M-F] class. The bike would rev to 8 grand in 4th gear, but when I changed into top, it would drop back to 6500 rpm and hardly improve. We then tried 6% nitro and I revved it to 8000 rpm in what I thought was 4th gear, but I was already in top, it was pulling so hard. After realising I was in top gear, I opened the throttle again, but the bike sputtered and died. I had damaged the piston.

Bad luck, Brian, in having some ‘tuning challenges’ this year, and damaging a piston, but…

Congratulations on setting a new record in the M-F class!

Good luck in getting the TT500 ready again for next year.

Note: Brian still holds the speed record of 126.627 mph in the MPS-F class (Modified Partial Streamlining-Fuel), set on his TT500 in 2014 (which, sadly, he was unable to improve upon in 2016).

Above: Brian Fullard’s 1976 Yamaha TT500 in 2014 (with full fairing on for the MPS-F class). Photo courtesy of Dry Lakes Racers Australia.
Above: Vaughan Shaddock’s 2008 Yamaha WR450 in 2015 (M-F category). Photo courtesy of Dry Lakes Racers Australia.

Andy Strapz has a new HQ!

Andystrapz Kangaroo stylisedAfter 15 years crammed into a tiny, old factory in Frankston (VIC), Andy Strapz, long time member and valued sponsor of the SR500 Club, has a new HQ!

And there is a Grand Opening on Saturday, 2 April! See Events for details.

Situated near the junction of the Frankston and Mornington Peninsula Fwys in Seaford , the new HQ offers much easier access for visitors.

New address: 1/95 Brunel Rd, Seaford, VIC 3198.

If approaching from the North, take the Rutherford Rd exit off Eastlink / the Frankston Fwy (passing Gravity Zone Seaford on the left).

Link to Google Maps

Welcome to the new-look website!

The old Club website (see pic below) was set up for us in October/November 2009 by Rick Kwok (Club member and SR racer from NSW), and his company Web Enterprise Solutions.

Recently, Rick moved on to a new career as a Digital Commerce Manager with a large Australian technology hardware & equipment company. This is exciting news for Rick!

Unfortunately for us, Rick advised us that he would be winding up Web Enterprise Solutions at the end of the year, which has hosted and supported the Club website these last few years.

So… the Club needed to set up a new website!

A sub-committee was formed to look at options, with the aim of maintaining the look and functionality of the old website. Features such as Noticeboard, Events, Classifieds, and Photo Gallery needed to be retained.

We believed that using a free and open-source content management system such as WordPress was the best solution for the Club, as WordPress is well supported and successfully used by millions of websites worldwide.

The services of an IT professional was employed to set up the new website for us. We believed that this was the best way to ensure a speedy and smooth transition to a new, fully functional website before the end of the year. Ongoing maintenance of the website (adding and editing content) would then be managed by the Club, as per usual.

And so, here we are!

All the content from the old website has been copied across to this new site (e.g. Photo Gallery, which is now fully functional again!), and the members-only section has been replicated (Newsletters, Reviews & Articles, and the SR500 Parts List). You will need to login with your Membership Number and new Password (you will have received an email asking you to reset your password) to access the members-only content.

So… we hope you like the new website!

The Club wishes to thank Rick for hosting and maintaining the website for us these last few years, and we wish him well in his new career.