Western Wanderer Ride Report, 19 – 20th October 2019

Day 1  – Saturday

Our arrival on Friday at our designated motel in Stawell – the Magdala Motor Lodge, immediately reminded me of the Rally the club held in July about 5 years ago. Very aptly named the Brass Monkey Rally where we stayed [ or should I say thawed out] in comfort, while off the machine.  It was a coincidence I was riding the same bike- my trusty early model Goldwing, that does not have heated grips and I remember suffering at the time! However, October is a far safer time for motorcycling and Saturday saw a line-up of keen members that had no need to wear all the clothes they owned to remain warm, dry and comfortable.

We were heading east for the day, into the Wimmera which is such a contrast to travelling west towards the Grampians. Our ride leaders and Rally organisers Daryle and Kay Kope had done their homework and set an easy pace for the bikes that ranged from 1951 to 2016.The roads are somewhat of a grid pattern with long stretches of strait road with pasture and cropping land all around, but relaxing riding with no traffic and no roadworks. Yes, you heard correctly- no roadworks. Our destination for morning tea, via Campbells Bridge and Glenorchy, was Rupanyup [ an aboriginal word meaning “branch hanging over water”] and we stopped in Gibson St to see the Silo Art painted in 2017 by 29-year-old Russian street artist Julia Volchkova. I find this artwork fascinating and am so impressed that the artist can get the balance of the portraits seemingly perfect. We then moved to Woods Farming and Heritage Museum which was an eye opener. Two brothers, John and Michael Woods, started many years ago to collect farm machinery and their interest has developed into one of the finest collections of farming machinery and memorabilia in Victoria. It is not just about farming, however, for in the midst of stationary engines ,tractors, farming tools and implements ,you will find the earliest sewing machines, vacuum cleaners, a matchbox collection ,a vast biscuit tin collection and so much more .The original street of Rupanyup has been recreated within the huge shed ,with the Grocer,  Chemist, Boot Maker, Post Office, Butcher, Paint Shop etc all being faithfully replicated. I was excited when I saw a magazine in the Newsagent shopfront entitled “Woman” dated 1956 as it explained among other things, the etiquette and correct hairstyle for the period but most importantly it had a feature article headed “How to be Charming”. I knew exactly who would enjoy such an article and indeed heed the suggestions. I went straight to Ian Snadden to tell him, but he looked at me strangely and what he said, does not bear putting in writing

After a hearty morning tea at the Museum we travelled through more of the Wimmera enjoying excellent motorcycle temperature and the backup trailer having no customers – always a good thing! We arrived at St Arnaud where we stopped for lunch at the local bakery.

On our way back to the motel we travelled through a tiny town called Paradise but shortly after we realised, we had certainly left Paradise as the heavens opened up, but thankfully only for a short time. The next stop was the local Goldmine which has mined some of the biggest nuggets on record and around the corner we stopped on top of the hill to enjoy a wonderful view of Stawell. We covered about 200ks for the day with the corner marker system working perfectly!

Day 2 – Sunday

With a 9.am Briefing and 9.15 start time, weather on the improvement, no rain on the radar and the wind slowed down it was the beginnings of another great days riding.
James Linton gave the usual spiel on safety and corner marshalling before we headed off.

We rode towards Lake Lonsdale, then onto Lake Fyans, did a loop of the lake as far as the bitumen road would allow, and then back tracked to the turn off to Pomonal.

We had morning tea at Moyston to the great delight of the staff who took photos of our bikes and gathering.

No one was in a rush to leave as our weekend was wrapping up, enjoying the banter and fine weather on the large balcony.

It was a great morning ride of approximately 115ks on lovely winding roads.

From Moyston there was a scattering of bikes in different directions, some back to Stawell via Great Western and others straight back through Ararat.

A big thank you to Daryle Kopke: lead rider        Rob Mullins Tail End Charlie.

And Collin Sullivan Backup trailer.

Dinner was held at the local Stawell racing club where Ian presented the following awards:

  • Best 60s bike – Burger Drake’s 1970 Triumph TR6R
  • Best 70s bike – Greg Costello’s 1977 Honda GL1000
  • Best 80s bike – Ed Sleightholm’s Yamaha SRX250
  • Best bike of the Rally – Colin Borthwick’s 1972 Norton Commando


Rider Bike Year
James Linton Honda CB 750 1974
Colin Borthwick Norton Commando 1972
Rob Mullins BMW  S1000R 2014
Ian Snadden BMW   R90S 1974
Richard Somerville Honda CX 500 1981
Graham Boulter BMW   R90S 1974
John & Vicki Best BMW R80 1986
Paul White Triumph Bonnie 2015
Terry Hoare Honda VRF 2019
Paul Clayton Honda VRF 800 2014
Brian Mapleback BMW R65 1986
Janet Walker HondaVTR250 2004
Mike Walker BMWGS1200 2005
Greg Costello Honda GL 1000 1977
Peter Cullen Car & Trailer
David & Jennie Langridge Car
Reg Hammond Triumph Bonnie 2016
David & Mez McLennan Triumph Thruxton 2016
Daryle & Kaye Kopke BMW  R1100RT 1977
Burger Drake And Pauline Triumph TR6R 1970
Allen and Michele Prentice Suzuki  GS 850 1981
Warren Blandy AJS 18S 1951
Colin and Julie Sullivan Backup trailer
Ron Study Guzzi Cali  1000 1981


Thank you to all, I had a great weekend,    Ron Study.