Rip­per rub­ber

Old Bike Australasia - - BLOW YOUR OWN -

In the ar­ti­cle on the Match­less G15CSR (OBA 60), you speak in less than glow­ing terms of the Dun­lop K70 tyre. I have a 1971 A65 Light­ning which I bought new. It was orig­i­nally fit­ted with Eng­lish made K70s, and they were fan­tas­tic road hold­ers. As a young man in my early 20s, I rode that bike fast and fu­ri­ously. The speeds that I did, and the an­gles of lean that I achieved on the Old Pa­cific High­way be­tween Calga and the Hawkes­bury River, well, I prob­a­bly shouldn’t be here to­day. The BSA was a great han­dling bike, but those K70s were great too. They stuck to the road like the prover­bial to a blan­ket. Back then, in about 1972, I was rid­ing up the Putty Road, in the area of Colo Heights. I broke down with a pushrod off its rocker, so to speak. A few months ago, I was out rid­ing up the Putty Rd with my son Cameron (1982 900SS Du­cati), in the same gen­eral area near Colo Heights, when the BSA broke down again. The Boyer ig­ni­tion mod­ule failed (I think). The point is, that the same bike has bro­ken down twice on the same gen­eral area of the Putty Rd, only about 44 years apart. Spooky, eh? In the same OBA, you men­tion Ade­laide man Hugh Dun­lop. I had the plea­sure to briefly make his ac­quain­tance back in the late 1970s. I was look­ing for some parts to com­plete the restora­tion of my 1951 350cc Pan­ther. My sis­ter had been liv­ing in Ade­laide at the time, and put me on to him. We drove down there for a hol­i­day in our 1963 40hp Bee­tle. Hugh was a de­light­ful man, and was able to sup­ply the parts I needed. I re­mem­ber that you had to have a bit of moun­tain goat in you to climb over the en­gines etc strewn about the floor of his shop. Ade­laide has al­ways seemed to be a hot bed of Pan­ther ac­tiv­ity. If you know the ABC show Aus­tralian Story, in Novem­ber 2014 they did a two week episode on Bob Hawke. As I am sure you know, as a young man, Hawke rode a 1947 350cc Pan­ther in Perth, which he crashed and very nearly lost his life. In the show, I played an 18-year-old Bob Hawke, with the very same 1951 350cc Pan­ther I got parts for from Hugh. The bike and I were on for 35 sec­onds! We even staged the ‘crash’. We filmed in Par­ra­matta Park.

David Lewis Via email

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