Saturday, 2 November 2013

Trail bikes.. I just love them!

Forty five years ago, back in 1968 my mate around the corner, Wayne Pinna bought a Honda CL90. Man what a motor bike. All blue paint and chrome exhaust and a 90cc power house motor. Gees... even our Victa was a 125! My good mate Ken had a look and saw the potential for going riding in the bush on this beast. We conned Wayne intro letting us teach ourselves how to ride on his bike at Kalinga Park. From here we took the little blue wonder to my brother Viv's "farm" at Clear Mountain to learn how to ride it in the bush.. well sort of.

Ken was a visionary compared to me. He saw this little bike as a way to explore all the dirt backroads around our corner of South East QLD. Very soon he had a Suzuki 90cc Honcho. Wonderfully underpowered bike, even for his light frame. Not long afterwards Ken bought a second hand Yamaha DT2. This was a 250cc trail bike (Yamaha are generally considered the inventors of the traditional trail bike with the DT1) that he purchased from Bruce Alison's father out at Mt Gravatt. I remember the day we picked it up. Bruce and his family owned Hobby and Toyland at the 'Gabba. His dad said his back wouldn't take much more bike riding.. so it had to go.

Eventually I was trail riding on my own bikes too. Started out with a new DT100A from Barry Tapsall at Moorooka and then changed that to a TY250A trials bike. The TY250 made a magic trail bike.. although the small fuel tank could be a problem on longer trips. Eventually most of my mates from the Ford Car Club of QLD were all riding trail bikes. Geoff Gay, Ray Clark, Gordon O'Donohue, Geoff Frohlich, Ian Abercromby as well as Ken and his old school mate Don Anning who is now our long suffering family dentist. Most Saturdays were spent in a haze of dirt trails and blue two stroke smoke out the back of Arana Hills. We also attended a couple of rail rides at Stanthorpe in 1974 and 1975!
(At the 1974 ride I managed to ride Don's Dt3 through a barbed wire fence!)

A succession of bikes followed until divorce brought about a severe cash flow problem and the Honda XL250R had to go. But then.. years later a Kawasaki KLR650 came into my life and now I have a Yamaha Super Tenere 1200. Sort of a nuclear powered trail bike. Love getting out for long exploration rides with my mates... Gregor, Ian, Bruce and others. (Clement you need to come home mate)

Exploring the road less travelled on two wheels still gives me a buzz! As the Jeep advert says.. if you have to have it explained to you.. you wouldn't understand.

Clement, me and Gregor. Armidale 2012

Me on the mighty DT 100 at Lacey's Creek near Dayboro. 1975
None of the safety gear and no idea on board Ken's DT2 near Beenleigh, boxing day 1973
Would you buy a used bike from this guy? Studio shot before I sold the XL250R 1985.
Ken (hidden by tree) and me Lake manchester 1981.