Bat and Ball
The British Diesel Motorcycle Rally looked as if it might be rained off this year if the weather forecast was anything to go by. As the first riders began to arrive late Thursday there was rain in the air but I'm told the journey over from the continent wasn't too bad. As it happened the forecasters got it wrong and the whole weekend turned out to be a scorcher. Blazing sun came our way Saturday and Sunday. It was impossible to stay in the tent as it was that hot.Jeff serves up some of his special Vegtable soup along with bread rolls late on Thursday.As always I'd like to thank those that traveled far for making the effort. I'd also like to thank the British lads who came with their bikes and photographs of their on-going projects. German riders were Jocken Sommer and wife Andrea, Peter, Helmed, Wolf, Steffan and wife Silvia and not forgetting Reto and Barbara. Thanks also to Rafael, webmaster of the German Diesel Motorcycle web site for making the trip. The British Riders were Myself, Dave, Nick and Len. Also Rob, manager of ther Bat and Ball for being a great host. Overall, not as many bikes as last year but local advertisements attracted a steady steam of curious visitors. Not being able to confirm the Rally location until into this year meant we were unable to get onto the yearly event calendars which probably didn't help matters. Still, I think we pulled it off again, just.Thursday night and the first photos get taken in the pub.A rather blurly shot of everyone sitting outside the pub.My own machine and Dave's bike Sluggy on Friday.Friday night saw Jeff and Shelley fire up the BBQ and treat us all to some prepared food. Sausage kebabs, chicken and plenty of burgers were on offer as well as corn on the cob in butter. I also arranged for Continental breakfasts to be available because, it seems, some of our guests found the full English breakfast hard going. One chap said he could run his bike on the oil he could ring out of a piece of his fried bread!Visitors and riders alike look over some of the German Sommer Diesel Motorcycles on Saturday.On the suggestion of the German Riders who wanted to do some sight seeing the time of the run out was switched to 10.30am Saturday. We also chose a different route and headed north to popular Bikers haunt known as Box Hill north of Dorking. We were gone for about 3 1/2 hours, the group being led by Jeff and Shelley on a Honda XL. We also had a couple of visitors tag along on CZ 2 stroke machines. As always we try to show our visitors some of the more picturesque places and rode through Ewhurst, ColdHarbour and Lieth Hill area's before reaching the base of Box Hill. All the riders relaxed under the trees for half an hour and had tea, coke and ice cream.For those who don't know Box Hill, it has been a Biker Haunt for any years. Diesel bikes were parked down the side behind the Police car. The cops haunt this place in search of speeding motorcyclists. No trouble from our boys, lol.
Peter's Diesel Motorcycle at the top of the line here.Again the Diesel motorcycles shot from the other end.
Everyone takes a rest (behind the tree) halfway through the ride-out.As always there is much rumour about what is happening on the scene with much speculation that some of the big japanese four along with European manufacturers are experimenting with diesels. I'd like to be able to pass on some news here but there is little or no evidence to back up this talk. I think we will just have to concentrate on our own projects, inspire those around us and hope that in turn inspires the big boys to come into the market. Almost everyone who talked to me was interested in the fuel economy of these bikes and that is obviously because prices are about to go up even higher.
Those guys who attended the rally with project bikes on the go told me they were able to get some very useful information from other attendees. Like the forum, this is probably the best thing about the Rally. We had importers, private and commercial manufacturers along with people asking questions about bio-diesel. If you need an important question answering the likelihood is that the guy standing next to you at the bar will be your man.
Top marks to Len who had a lot of trouble getting his machine registered for road use. He persevered though and finally got it through. It is one of the original Royal Enfield models with a 325cc engine.
Nick's machine is the same as my own. It's a Charnwood bike with a Hatz 350cc 1B30 engine. Nick has recently fitted a pull starter because he just can't get the hang of kicking them over. Keep trying mate!Peter's motorcycle comes in for some close scrutiny. This is the bike with the laser cut primary chain cover.Mick was curious about the rally and came up from Kent to camp over. Unfortunately his Norton Commando got a slow puncture on the way. It was soon fixed though.Len gives a visitor and Dave a quick guide to his motorcycle.
Wolf's 462cc Sommer Diesel motorcycle. Wolf very kindly brought me some beer from his home town. I encourage everyone to do this!
Diesel Dave's 'Sluggy' make another appearance at the rally.Saturday night was finished off when Jeff's band, 'Eugene's Lair' turned up and did a set. I'd like to thank them for the show and the wise cracks! Drop me a line if you want to book them and I'll pass on the info.Early Sunday and some of the German Riders head off home.
As I say every year, I would like to thank everyone who made the effort to attend and hope that we can do it all over again next year. If you own a Diesel Powered motorcycle do try and bring it along. I know so many of you have them tucked away in the garden shed. It's time to brush the cobwebs from them and kick'em over!
If you want to stage an event why not book it in at the Bat and Ball? Check out their website.It is an excellent venue set in the beautiful West Sussex Countryside with three fields for camping and caravaning.
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