Old Pom moving to Oz and bringing his bike(s)

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Bike: Dot TDHX 1959
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Old Pom moving to Oz and bringing his bike(s)

Postby gongon » Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:13 am

G'day all (got to get into the Oz way of life sharpish!

Posted an item under the "Twinshock.......... category before saw this.

Wife & I are 61 yrs old & have just been granted visas to emigrate to join our 2 daughters in WA. (One is still in UK, has the visas but waiting to sell the house like we are)

Hankered after a DOT since an apprentice (saw a magnificent square tube frame 250cc in red and alloy in a shop in Birkenhead (across the Mersey from Liverpool) whilst out riding my BSA Bantam special), couldn't afford one then (£175 new in 1963). When I could, my kids had arrived.

Once they'd flown the nest, much to my wife's dissaproval, 10 yrs ago, I bought a genuine trials Triumph cub (1957 T20C) in bits for £50 (!) but never got around to doing anything with it. Still wanted a DOT (In my mind a proper trials bike).

Found a DOT a year later, an absolute mess. Been rebuilt but had a 19" rim on the back with a speedway tyre, footrests in "road" position and it had a round tube frame.

Didn't care, it was a DOT.

So I sold the Triumph cub (for the £50 I paid for it !?) - oh how little I knew about the classic trials game!

Rebuilt the DOT as best I could then entered my first ever trials, Red Rose Classic in Eastern Lancashire. Thought "won't be bad, clubs are full of old men" (trouble was, those "old men" included ex works riders like Eric Adcock, Peter Gaunt & Mick Andrews ("god") together with Mick Grant (yes THE Mick Grant - Road racing legend)

What a shock that 1st trial was! Speedway tyre had as much grip as a slick, steering needed power assistance (leading link forks), magneto kept flooding everytime I dropped into a stream

I then sent off an application for the 2 day pre-65 Scottish trial (to classic trials what the Isle of Man TT is to road racing), not to actually get an entry but to join the queue as I'd been told it took 3 yrs of applications to get an entry. Enthusiasm running riot.

Of course, I got an entry straight away! I bottled it & gave my entry away but volunteered to go as an observer. What a brilliant event it was.

The following year, I entered but decided that the DOT wasn't competitive (it wasn't really but I was the main problem! So I bought a 1955 350cc Royal Enfield Bullet trials in the belief I would have more of a chance. Problem was it was totally unmodified for the event (riders have modified their bikes to win, clerks of the course have designed the course to give these bikes a challenge, the bikes have been further modified.............. you get the idea, to win nowadays needs a very special bike (unless you are Mick Andrews, in which case you'll win on a pushbike!)

Enfield had the wheelbase and turning circle of a truck with a 6" ground clearance - what a disaster. I retired early on the 1st day (after about 5 hrs riding) with no back brake (ripped off - a whole barrel of laughs trying to ride down the side of the Pap of Glencoe) & a hole in the chain case. Everybody rallied around and fixed it for me but the truth is I'd had enough. I went out the following day but retired early.

Annoying thing was that the Triumph Cub now seemed the weapon of choice and they were fetching real money for half decent ones & I'd sold mine for peanuts! (what a pillock! - the guy who bought it moved it on for £750)

The following year I bought a Beamish Suzuki off ebay and began my proper apprenticeship in learning to ride and it helped but I'm still only a mediocre rider. Thing is, it isn't a "pre-65" bike so it has to be entered as a special.

So I've resurrected the DOT with all the mods I wanted to do and I'm now very happy with it. It won't be a winner (still has leading link forks - but without them I reckon it's no longer a DOT) but so what? - it's a product of my own efforts, copying the works DOT in many ways, most of it using my welder and lathe (not bits bought from a shop), I love fettling old bikes.

I have more ideas to make it better but all within the ethos of pre-65. (except, I have to admit, it has electronic ignition, carefully disguised)

So I'll be riding it (and maybe the Beamish) in Oz (not quite like the biting winds and drizzle of the English Pennines I guess) to give it some fresh air and prevent it being an ornament.

I have nothing against modern trials bikes - I like all bikes - might even add one to my stable if I can afford to.

So there you have it, the sooner I can get to Oz the better.

Might meet up with some of you.

All the best


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Re: Old Pom moving to Oz and bringing his bike(s)

Postby yamfan » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:45 pm

Hi Gongon!

We have quite an active trials sceen here in Perth with upwards of 25 trials in a given year, a few are two day events with the usual nightly activities around the campfire.

Feel free to email me if you need any more details.


We even have a couple of scousers in the club to translate for us so there should be no language barrier, I know i'm married to one!!!

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Re: Old Pom moving to Oz and bringing his bike(s)

Postby Twinshock » Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:45 am

Hi Tom
Your surname isn't Pickering is it, I've been looking for an old pommie mate of mine from riding together in the Midland centre in the 70's.
Are you here yet

Roger Galpin

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