IBMWR Oz Meeting
& K1200 Dinner
Eastern Creek
& Phillip Island, Australia
October 19th, 1996


From left, clockwise, we have in the white hat, John Cord, Bob Moroney , Craig? (sorry mate, can't remember for sure.) (Johns riding partner), a ring-in,(VI/BOOF contender?) Graham Smith , and Mike Cust.

From: Graham Smith
Date: Mon, 4 Nov 1996

It was not without problems that the IBMWR banner made it to Eastern Creek, Australia to witness the final round of the Australian 500cc Grand Prix, and the final time it will be held at this track (until the next round of political buggering changes it again.)

Wondering how I managed to get myself into this, I waited for the NRMA Road Service man with his little blue and white truck and flashing orange lights to help me in whatever way he could. I'm so glad that I opted for the extended coverage of "NRMA Plus" because on Saturday afternoon at 3:00pm on Parramatta Road in Leichhardt, there was no way I was leaving my beloved k1 alone in Sydney with a suspected clutch failure.

Comming down the hill to a set of traffic lights I noticed a little more slippage on the downchanges than usual. It was when the lights turned green that I knew something was definately wrong. I checked the instruments again, gear indicator reads a nice solid "1", clutch is out, revs at 2,500RPM but I'm not moving. I pull in the clutch and change to second, thinking it may be a stripped gear or slector problem. Same deal, all revs, no go.

Shit, Shit, shit, how am I gonna get the banner to Eastern Creek with no bike!

It wasn't long and the NRMA man had called a flat bed recovery truck and I was pleased that the operator allowed me to assist and even advise how I wanted my bike tied down. From there we left it at my cousins place, south of Sydney for recovery to Canberra the next day, after the race.

A lift back into town with the tow truck driver saw me back on schedule at the Sydney International Motor Show for a extensive look and feel over the new K1200RS. (eat my shorts, guys :-) Strangely enough the best looking women were actually in the crowd instead of on the stands.

A short taxi ride took me to the "emergency" accomodation I had booked, where I knew friends were staying who were also going to the GP. I would get a lift with them out to the track tomorrow and the banner would be "safe".

Arriving at the track I looked around for a suitable place to watch the race and then proceeded to make my way to the designated meeting area. Dressed in whatever BMW gear I could find, including my Nationals shirt and "Ultimate riding machine" hat I searched for Bob, John and Mike. I actually found another friend from Canberra when this guy in a bright orange jacket spoke up and said "Are you Graham, but where's the banner?" And so I met Mike Cust. Realising at that point the others would also be looking for the banner which I left behind in my pack, I thought I had better think of something fast. It was a 30minute walk back to get the banner and by that time they would have given up. I looked around for people who had been hanging around and spotted these guys near the fence who looked like they were good targets. I was right, John Cord from WA. Now that's 3 out of 4, where's Bob? We decided to meet later at a place where we could take a photo with something idetifiable in the picture. The control tower is a unique structure to Eastern Creek and that was the place.

So here it is: The First Australian Gathering of IBMWR Presidents, but not the last.

From: Mike Cust
Date: Wed, 6 Nov 1996

Fellow Prezzes,

We've waited long enough but it finally happened - twice in successive weekends, too.

It was a real buzz to put faces and voices to sig files. Graham Smith, Bob Moroney, John Cord and myself met at Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway which was hosting the final round of the World 500cc Road Race Championship. (At this point I've just gotta mention that Australia's Mick Doohan had already secured the Championship for the third year in a row. Something about patriotism, I think.)

For Bob and myself, Eastern Creek is only about an hour from home so there's not much to say about the trip. Graham rode from Canberra which is about three hours away and as he has already mentioned, had just a little trouble with the K1's clutch. (Graham, you neglected to talk about the broken drive shaft for some reason.) John Cord is the real hero from our gathering having ridden massive distances from Karratha (sp?)in Western Australia. I hope John will fill us in on the details of that trip when he gets home.

The next weekend we were off to Phillip Island for the final round of the World Superbike Championship. (Do I need to mention that the Championship, which was decided at this meeting, went to Troy Corser who also just happens to be Australian?)

Phillip Island is about 11 hours drive South of Sydney. (Yes, I admit it. I drove a cage. I would have happily ridden there on the K100 but the other guys I went with thought that their butts wouldnt survive on an ancient Kawasaki Z650 and an even older Suzuki GT750.)

This has got to be one of the best and most picturesque racetracks around. The track is on the Southern end of the island and overlooks the ocean. The next large landmass is Antarctica, so you can imagine the cold winds coming off the water. Being a rather isolated place, heaps of the 40,000 spectators camped in the camping ground adjacent to the track, so it was quite like a rally atmosphere. This was the first large event I can remember where the campground wasn't almost totally populated with Japanese bikes. There was a large number of Ducatis and also lots of new Triumphs. Not too many BMW's though.

Graham Smith (complete with working K1 this time), John Cord and myself renewed acquaintances again and conducted the obligatory photo/bullshit session before watching some spectacular racing. It was great to be able to have the Banner at both events and to see the badges it carries. We (Graham) have added our contributions to the collection.

How about some Presidents from other countries trying to make it along to our next event. I'm not sure what or when but we'll give you plenty of notice.

Regards,

Mike Cust


Editor's Note: For more text and photos, please see Graham Smiths Page at: http://www.dynamite.com.au/~gsmith/
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