Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Motorcycles on Display at Mildura Motorcycles Mildura

A big thank-you to Mildura Motorcycles 15th st Mildura for displaying the Bikes for this week. They also have some Books there for sale

Book Launch at the Mildura Spirit of the Motorcycle Classic Exhibition

                                           Vern and Mike signing into history
                                        Mike, Vern, Craig, Kath and Danny with the A7
                                         The boys with the Triumph
                                         Mike trying out the seat again asking if he could go again
                                        and my grandchildren wanting to tag along also.

What a great day with over 50 books sold and a big display of local Motorcycles once again for support    of the local (MASP) Mallee Accommodation Support Program.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012


The book is now out, 128 pages and over 150 picture of this epic Trip around Australia in 1953 and only $25.00. The book is to be launched on the 1st of December at the Mildura Spirit of the Motorcycle display on the Banks of the Murray.
Also you will be able to meet Vern, Mike and Craig and myself there. This Book is a great read of what it was like to ride around Australia back in the 1950's.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012


In 1953 on the way back through Adelaide on their trip a short Film was made called
" OPERATION TRANSMATILDA" and was shown around Australia at many Theatre in 1954.
 To date I am unable to locate a copy, If by any chance you have seen this film or know who may have a copy, please let me know.
The Film was made in Adelaide by a Mr. Campbell Dobbie of Peerless Productions for Mr. Monk of Monks and Blanks who were screen advertising agents.
The first trip to Melbourne but in a trailor to Visit Renold Chains who have supplied all the chains for Both Bikes 

Monday, 8 October 2012

October Update.

After a short hiatus I'm back online, and both bikes are nearly completed. I've been creating and editing a book about Vern and Mick's trip in 1953 which should hopefully be out early next month. Here's a couple of pictures of Mike and Vern beside the bikes:

This Vern, standing next to the BSA.

This is Mike beside the Triumph, similar to what he rode around Australia on.

Over the next few weeks I hope to have a few more photos and I'll try my hand at uploading some movies. Thanks to all who have been visiting this blog, and for your support.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Making Plans

Left to Right Danny, Craig and Jim getting ready for the Trip
Getting ready for the Launch of the trip at the All British Rally at Newstead Vic on April 28th
Stubby Holders are now on sale for $10. ea and Travel flasks for $25. ea
and with over 150 photo's from the 1953 trip and a day by day detail of the adventure we hope to have a book out later in the year.
you can reach us at transmatildarevisited@gmail.com

Craig's Repairs

Rebuilding crank out of BSA for T-Matilda trip (Craig's Bike)
Will change this to the correct A7 Nacelle h-light set-up.(Craig's Bike)
One A7 g-box ready for new bushes & bearings
All brakes & wheel brg's to be renewed

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Danny's Bike

Craig's Bike at the moment

Craig purchased an A7 BSA off another club member in order to go on an extended ride around the country. He has asked me
to look it over and to make any necessary repairs. The engine has been stripped and the main and big end bearings
reconditioned. The head will have a new set of valves and guides and the front forks, wheel bearings, gearbox and brakes
overhauled. The gearbox has been dismantled and a new set of bushes and bearings ordered.

Craig's Profile

About Craig:

Danny and I have been mates for over 30 years and enjoy talking about and riding vintage bikes.
The first registered bike I owned was a 1951 AJS 500 Twin that I rode in 1970-71.
After that it was stored in the shed until 2004.
I got it going again when I turned 50 and I rode it until moving to Perth 2 years ago.

When Danny first told me about his cousin's trip, I was hooked.
The original story is fascinating and the photos bring the story to life.
I'm pretty excited about our proposed ride in 2013 and having fun getting everything organised.

I work as a dump truck driver in the mines, with a two-weeks on/one week off roster, so planning the trip is a great diversion from the long hours.
I'm keen to replicate the ride as authentically as possible and have great respect for the original riders as they rode in harsh conditions- especially the sandy roads.

Danny helped organise the purchase of my BSA for the ride and I haven't even seen it yet!
I'm going back to Mildura in early February and checking it out is one of the first things I'll do.
I'm looking forward to taking it for a spin.

Friday, 13 January 2012

The Bikes 2011

Operation Transmtilda

Representatives of William Adams & Renold Chains with Vern and Mike in Melbourne on the 1st Sep 1953

Transmatilda Revisited
I’m not sure if it’s about my ride or Uncle Vern’s ride. It all started about 12 months ago when my cousin Vernon Train, who we call Uncle Vern, came to visit and took an interest in my old motor bike; a 51 Norton Single Big 4. He was telling me about a trip he completed back in 1953 when he rode around Australia for Renold Chains, a company he worked for at the time, to test a motorcycle chain for them. Renold Chain and their distributers, Australian William Adams, bought 2 Motorcycles- a 1953 500 BSA and a Triumph.

They advertised for someone to scrutineer the trip and got a young bloke from Adelaide named Michael Lockyer, who arrived in Benalla on his Vincent motorcycle. Mick had to get his own camera for the trip.
After Vern set up the bike with long-range fuel tanks and extra boxes for the spares, they set off from Melbourne on the 1st of September 1953, with Mike keeping a daily log of adventures, falls and daily miles. They arrived back in Melbourne on the 11th November with over 12,000 miles on their speedo’s.

A couple of weeks after Uncle Vern’s visit, Mum said there was an envelope at her place for me from Mick about his trip. Well I sat down one night and read all about this trip around Australia and was amazed at their mean feat.
Now, as a once a month rider with only 60 to 100 km per ride with the Sunraysia Historic Motorcycle Club, I’m in!

 I had to share this story with a mate who is away working in WA in the mines I sent Craig a copy to read on his days off and one night on Skype, Craig wanted to know when we were going to do something like that. Well, a week later we decided that if we were to do it, we could recreate this trip and do it on similar bikes. So the hunt was on and I got myself a 500 speed twin from Queensland and Craig got the 500 BSA from a club member, who was pleased to see the bike would be put to good use.

The next step for me was to talk to Renold Chains and William Adams and show them Mick and Vern’s photos and documentation from the 1953 trip. To my surprise, they both want to help and have shown keen interest in our proposed recreation.

Then as we had to have the bikes on full Rego of the trip, I was able to get close to the same Vic Rego that was on the original Triumph and the same Vic Rego that was on the BSA, at the moment we are on Club Rego

After a few test rides both Bike’s are in getting a going over but the triumph needed a major repairs.

To be Continued   

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Creek bed crossing, NT 1953

Katherine, NT main roads

Journey's End, Melbourne 11 Nov 1953, Mike and Vern

Operation Transmatilda 1953, 11000 mile route

The begining - 60 years on!

This is about a Motorcycle trip around Australia back in 1953 when my Cousin Vern Train and Mike Lockyer rode a 1953 500 Speed Twin Triumph and a 1953 500 BSA A7 to test for Renold Chain a .625 INS. Pitch Chain that was made in Benalla. The trial was conducted under the supervision of the Auto Cycle Union of Victoria, and the chains and the Bikes were successful in making a complete circuit of the Australian Continent covering a distance of 11,000 Miles. Conditions for much of the journey were extremely arduous with Roads often no more than rocks or loose sand.

Vern at Bruce Highway junction, QLD

Video of short ride in Mildura