Tag Archives: Rallies

2016 Rally – A Club member’s report

Drew Jackson from Townsville (QLD) attended the 2016 Rally in Bethanga in November 2016.

Here’s his account of the long ride down!

GETTING TO THE RALLY

The annual SR500 Club Rally was the destination for a week-long ride. The ride began in Warwick on the Darling Downs after travelling from Townsville in the ute. My riding companion was already with his Kawasaki KL250 Super Sherpa packed and we set off south on Tuesday morning [15/11] with the intention of covering about 400 km per day and arriving at the rally on Friday [18/11]. We had decided to travel the back roads to avoid traffic and find as many windy roads as possible while still heading south. So we headed to Killarney and from there we headed for Urbenville through the Tooloom Scrub. These roads are narrow, but good fun. From Urbenville, it was then off to Tabulam for our first fuel stop.

First fuel stop, Tabulam (NSW).

The service station was out of 95 octane, so I filled the SR with 91 and it ran just fine at the speeds we were doing. The KL used about 10c less on this section and a quick calculation on the phone returned a consumption figure of 66 mpg (imperial). I don’t like L/100km. From Tabulam we headed down the Clarence Way towards Grafton where we stopped for a pie and cold drink and to fill the tanks again. The SR only holds 12 ltrs and the KL250 only 9 ltrs, so keeping them topped up was essential. From here we headed to Armidale on the Waterfall Way, one of the best roads in NSW, especially the first section to Tyringham – really good fun on the SR as you can ring its neck and enjoy the handling. John was having a ball on the KL as well. We refuelled just before Armidale and again our consumption figures were within a few cents of each other. Our next stop was Uralla before heading to Walcha. This is where the first signs of trouble emerged. I was following the KL when I noticed a couple of puffs of white smoke from the exhaust. We pulled over and checked the oil, but all seemed OK and we spent the night in Walcha at the pub. They provided a shed for the bikes.

Walcha (NSW).

The next morning, after loading all the gear, we were about to head down Thunderbolt’s Way when the KL refused to play ball. It wouldn’t fire. John is a skilled mechanic, so we set to work to diagnose the problem. We had spark, compression and fuel, but nothing could coax the KL into life. So after an hour it was decided that I should push on and John would catch up at our next overnight stop. I headed off towards Gloucester on my own. There was a lot of roadworks and some of the hills required a bit of a run up and even the occasional downshift to maintain a good speed.

Summit, Thunderbolt’s Way (NSW).

I stopped in Gloucester for coffee and rang John to see if he’d managed to revive the KL, but he was stumped. He eventually rang a mate who came and took him to Newcastle where repairs took a couple of days. As a result, he didn’t get to the Rally, which was a real shame as we were going to catch up with some of the SR Club members who we rode around Tassie with earlier in the year. I eventually rejoined him in Canberra after the Rally for the ride back to Warwick.

From Gloucester, I rode to Dungog, Singleton, and then onto Denman for lunch – a schooner of Toohey’s Old. It was pretty hot and the Bylong Valley Way was waiting. This is a beautiful part of Australia and the protest signs along the way made me wonder for how much longer will it remain beautiful. The coal miners want to stuff it up like they have the Hunter Valley. The road itself is great with a variety of sweepers and tight sections.

Phipps Cutting is a rest area on the Bylong Valley Way (NSW).
Bylong Valley Way (NSW).
Bylong Valley Way (NSW).

By the time I arrived in Rylstone, I’d had enough for the day, so I took a room at the Globe for the night and was seated in the bar in time for the Happy Hour. They also provided a lock-up garage for the SR. I am an early riser, and after a quick breakfast, I was on my way south to Kandos, Ilford, Sofala and Bathurst. I did of course do a couple of laps on Mt. Panorama. It still staggers me how the likes of Crosby and Hansford could do the speeds they did around the mountain.

Mount Panorama, Bathurst (NSW).

From Bathurst, it was once again on to the back roads after a short ride on the highway to Woodstock, where I turned south to Wyangala, Boorowa and Harden.

Wyangala (NSW).

This is a very pleasant ride and again plenty of corners and bugger-all traffic. Because of the early start, I had plenty of time to cruise along at a relaxed pace, and the SR was running really well. The Airhawk on the seat made it even better. Eventually I arrived at Jugiong where I had to take the Hume Highway for a few kilometres to Gundagai. Sitting on 110 kph was OK, but the SR prefers a gentler pace.

Gundagai (NSW).

From here it was off to Tumut and Jingellic. The road along the Murray was interesting as recent rains had filled the Hume Weir and the water was backed up all the way.

Kennedy’s Reserve, Thologolong (VIC).

A huge contrast to the drought conditions at home in Townsville. Eventually I made it to Bethanga and proceeded to set up camp for the weekend. I had arrived early, but a few other members had as well. In total, I had ridden 1680 km to the Rally and my fuel consumption varied from 62 mpg to 75 mpg. I did lose one bolt from my side cover, but I had a spare. The oil consumption was nil.

Made it! Bethanga (VIC).

The ride home is another story!

SR500 Club Rally Bethanga 2016

2016 Rally Report

The Rally was a great success again this year, even better than last year!

Thanks to three days of clear blue skies (just like the previous year), attendance was good (132 people signed in), and there were some awesome 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! We need to nobble this guy!
  • Best modified SR – Geoff Garlick (magnificently modified SR500)
  • Best XT/TT 500 – Bob Kerwin (XT500)
  • Best 4 valve (XT/TT/SZR/SRX 600/660) – Andrew Wilcox (Yamaha SRX600)
  • Best non-SR – Tony Jones (Triumph)
  • Peoples’ choice – David Barker (modified SR500, very flash)
  • Best rat bike – Andy Brebner (Yamaha FJ1100 )
  • Longest distance – Drew Jackson, from Townsville, QLD (rode from Warwick on his SR500)

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. It was the biggest and best raffle to date:

  • Andy Strapz, Seaford (VIC)
  • Court House Hotel, Bethanga (VIC)
  • Deus ex Machina, Camperdown (NSW)
  • KEDO Parts Australia, Raymond Terrace (NSW)
  • Motorcycle Trader magazine, Oakleigh (VIC)
  • Old Bike Australasia magazine, St Leonards (NSW)
  • Vanem, Lane Cove (NSW)
  • Victorian Motorcycle Wreckers, Heidelberg West (VIC)

Annual General Meeting

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

  • President: Jeff Gillman
  • Vice President: Craig Lemon
  • Treasurer: Mike Cowie
  • Secretary: Tony Jones

The Club wishes to thank Andy Hunt for being a dedicated President / Vice President for the past 8 years! Andy chose to decline nomination altogether this year (but the Committee may still need his help from time to time!).

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

2016 Rally badges are here!

Here’s a pic of our new badges for the 2016 Rally. We hope you like them as much as we do!

Everyone who comes to this year’s Rally in Bethanga will get one of these beauties to keep!

2015 Rally report

The Rally was a resounding success again this year!

Thanks to three days of clear blue skies, attendance was good (112 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)
  • Best modified SR – Luke Pirotta (SR500 engine in a GSX-R400 frame)
  • Best XT/TT 500 – Peter Taylor (1976 XT500)
  • Best 4 Valve (XT/TT/SZR/SRX 600/660) – Paul Newbold (1983 XT600 Ténéré)
  • Best non-SR – Maurice Thompson (Kawazaki Z900)
  • Peoples’ choice – Leno Pirotta (Triton)
  • Best rat bike – Ian Hamilton (Honda CL90)
  • Longest distance – Millsie from Warwick, QLD

Saturday night Raffle

A number of people and 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:

  • Deus ex Machina, Camperdown (NSW)
  • Andy Strapz, Frankston (VIC)
  • Limerick Castle Hotel, North Melbourne (VIC) – meal voucher
  • Russell MacDonald – 2 nights accommodation at a hotel in the Melbourne CBD
  • Victorian Motorcycle Wreckers, Heidelberg West – parts for the trophies

Annual General Meeting

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

  • President: Jeff Gillman
  • Vice President(s): Andy Hunt, Craig Lemon
  • Treasurer: Mike Cowie
  • Secretary: Tony Jones

The Club wishes to thank Andy Hunt for being a dedicated President for the past 7 years! Andy chose to decline nomination to be President again, and accepted nomination for Vice President instead.

Congratulations to Jeff Gillman (who is our new President), and to Mike Cowie and Tony Jones (who retain their positions as Treasurer and Secretary, respectively).