Monday, 19 March 2012

Deja vu on the Dominator

Saturday morning I had an early lunch geared up and headed off on the Domi I turned right onto the Highway and took the first left and left again onto the Colac Apollo Bay road .I ran to the Birre back road and turned left into Warncoort Cemetery Road and followed this down to the Cemetery,parked the bike and took a few pics of headstones, I thought, would be of interest to members of my family .
Next stop was a couple of miles up the Highway and more pics from the past, I remember vividly sitting on the Domi and riding down that gravel road with Keith on his Ajay beside me , this was the place where I learned to ride and drive and shoot ,we towed a sled up a dry creek bed with a Austin car in order to entertain ourselves , all were made welcome here and all came away the better for it .
The bike was running well and cruising nicely so I decided to cut across to the township of Birregurra through to Deans Marsh and up to Benwerrin and roll down the coast at Lorne .When I hit the curvy bit I found I was changeing between third and dropping back to second in the tight ones mainly for the engine braking it was a nice run, no cars infront or behind .I rolled into Lorne and went straight through without stopping got into the curves around past the Pacific Hotel and thought ,will I go to the Bay or turn back ? Just one more bend ,its easy to find your self in Apollo Bay and realize you are now going to be late for some function, so I pulled over at the St George River went over the bike took a pic and stretched my legs .
The Domi started first kick [after tickling the amal] so I rode back along Mountjoy Parade over the Erskine and up the Colac road and got stuck behind a 121 Mazda . I rounded the car up and climbed back up to Benwerrin, but the motor was missing in the mid range, if I tried incremental throttle openings , it only liked full open throttle [common symptom of worn throttle slides] but not in this case .The problem is I have fitted a Amal Concentric 600 series carby to the bike I have it set up with a 27 mm bore, 40 idle jet, 3 and half cutaway slide , 106 needle jet and a 170 main jet, with these settings it was running pretty well through the gears but wouldn't wind right out, the plugs were telling me its running lean. So I ordered a 180 and 190 main jet and a new needle jet 106 from Amal in Wiltshire . When the jets arrived I installed the new needle jet and the 190 main jet and thats where I'm at now , so I think I have to lean down the mid throttle section with slide cutaway and needle position .
Once I got out of the hills the bike ran beautifully on the flats back to Colac , speedwise Its hard to tell as I am using an original speedo drive 2 to 1 ratio and an Indian repro speedo ,my gut feeling is that its showing 10 - 15 mph fast in the mid range, got some more tricks to try with this later on . All in all I'm very happy with the bike , it tracks well, stops well for its age [with the new front linings ] starts first kick ,vibration is not a problem the only annoying trait is not being able to select neutral when stopped . This is caused by clutch drag and it seems to me that you have to walk a fine line between drag and slip I'll have a go at this later . " So endeth the lesson "
Click on pics to enlarge, you will need to wait for them to load up .

The shearing shed
There's fun to be had in dry creek beds the absense of rocks make them suitable for all sorts of mischief on one occasion Phil Provan trailered out his 650 Thunderbird Triumph and we got a taste of power that afternoon .
Head out on the highway !
Jules recently recalled when on one occasion he was pillion on Keith's 500 Ajay ,and were doing laps of the gravel road, but this time when hitting the highway instead of turning around ,Keith pulled out on the bitumen turning right and rode down to the creek over the bridge and right into the driveway of the property owners and from there back to the start point .Pretty cheeky considering they were about sixteen on an unregistered motorcycle on highway 1, and it wasn't the last time either !
The Domi parked at the St George River

Friday, 2 March 2012

Ballarat Swap Meeting 2012

The Ballarat swap meeting , the write up states 2,300 sites and 30,000 visitors ,certainly must be one of the biggest swaps in Australia .Previously known as The Super Southern Swap Meeting this swap was run by an enterprising local who for a mountain of reasons relinquished the control to the Ballarat Rotary Clubs who have run the event as The Ballarat Swap Meeting .The new operators have changed a couple of things , the site holders and public have swapped their entrances and carparkes ? more toilets , NAB ATM's on site more street signs and the service clubs doing the food ,all in all an improvement .
The site is located on land abutting the local airport and has an old landing strip running through the centre of it, this lines up with the operational strip and we were swooped by light aircraft most of Friday afternoon , a minor matter more interesting than irritating ,they use this bit of seal to line up cars for sale ,we arrived to set up camp / site on the Friday afternoon, with temps in the mid to high thirtys Andy was keen to get the fridges plugged in to the batterys and in some sort of shade . When the camp was set up its time to tramp the streets and pick up the real bargains before the public are allowed in on the Saturday morning , but we found none! probably less than half of the sites would be occupied at this stage and some sellers kept stuff under wraps until the official opening .The afternoon progresses with sellers rolling in from interstate and setting up , so you wander over and peer into their trailers searching for stuff on your list . By 7.00pm the swap moves to stage 2 the social stage we pull up chairs under the annex and settle down to bike talk with a string of visitors who drop in with a couple of cans and talk motorcycles only .
When I first went to this swap I was surprised to see a number of special purpose vehicles made by the shoppers , the distance involved at this swap is huge ,serious blokes bring push bikes to cover the distance [ I have never seen all of the sites ]so carrying junk becomes a big problem in the past I have seen blokes wheeling push bikes with milk crates mounted ,bag trollies ,kids 4 wheel carts ,and then the hybrids ,converted ride on mowers with esky racks and shade sails and my favourite was half lawn mower and half a supermarket trolley, the driver sat over the motor and the thing articulated in the middle to steer a bit like a scraper. Unfortunately they had to crack down on all these motorised units and you don't see them any more .

The spoils of war ,various bits I thought I might need in the future , the other half of that Big 4 crankshaft will be hard to find , Geo managed to grab an original Model 7 front guard for me on the Saturday morning some bastard has cut one side of the front edge away , my guess is that it has been reversed and used as a rear guard and needed to be trimmed to clear the rear chain .

The camp / site , on Saturday morning while the tail end Charleys were still trying to find their sites a four wheel drive pulled up and a woman got out and addressed Chris and said " do you know that you're flying the Union Jack upside down " Chris immediatly replied " yes , whe're in distress " . It was a half truth really ,but I thought he deserved 10 points for the quick retort .

Northerly view looking down the disused runway , the place is still pretty quiet at dusk on the Friday evening but was humming by 9.00 am Saturday .Pics from ground level fail to convey the magnitude of this swap meet ,the website has an ariel pic that gives a true impression ,on Saturday morning the wind was getting up and many of the site holders were pulling down the cabana's and tarps and so forth for the fear of having them go West ,or South in this case .

This pic is taken from the South West corner looking East down along a fence line, the layout is in a 'L' shape with the tarmac running down the centre of the L, the service blocks admin ATM's food tents are located in the crook of the L and the two entrances and associated carparks are at the distal points . I found a map showing an approximate area designated "motor cycle area"we're about in the middle of that zone . One little tip for anybody thinking of pitching a tent near the tarmac ,they will need a small sledge hammer and good sturdy tent pegs .