Sunday, July 19, 2015

Roper TT

July 4th marked the social event of the season, the Roper TT, put on by my brother Doug and his wife Amy.  People started arriving Fri., the 3rd with Gordon Pulis coming over on the ferry from eastern Long Island on his CL 175 Honda.  Rich Ronay probably gets the long distance award riding his '90 VFR 750 Honda from Tracy's Landing, Md., east of D.C, via Roscoe, N.Y. (although we had a couple from Brisbane, Australia who were visiting the Brauns and rode J's R100RS).  Rich and I go way back having raced against each other in the mid '70s in AAMRR.  He had come to a race that I competed in at Summit Point and expressed interest in the Tiddler Tours, so I told him that I'd sponsor him on my '68 TC200 Suzuki.  When he arrived, I had just finished changing the failed petcock on the Suzuki to a Bridgestone one my brother had given me.  So, Rich and I went for a shake down run, me on my '53 Moto Guzzi Airone Sport.  After ten or so miles, we stopped to debrief.  Rich was having a lot of trouble with the motor loading up and, after a minute sitting there, we saw that the right carb was pissing gas out.  We switched bikes and headed back to D & A's house, me turning the petcock on and off to control the stuck float.  When we got back we decided that the carbs had to come off and be cleaned.
Doug and Gordon supervise while Rich and I clean the carbs on the TC200.  Amy Roper photo
The TC is the high pipe model, which most people think looks really cool.  But, I'd prefer to have the low pipe model as it gives easier access to the carbs.  We decided we'd be better off removing the pipes completely, which didn't prove to big job.  Carbs cleaned and back on, the flooding stopped and we were ready for the next day's ride.  A TT wouldn't be complete without a little pre- ride wrenching for evening entertainment.
Amy Roper photo
All told, about 40 bikes showed up for the ride with people from N.H., Ma., N.Y., R. I.?, and N.J.  Bikes included three Bultaco Metrallas, a Ossa Wildfire, a couple of R27 BMWs, Honda CB 160, CL 175, and CL 77, Yamaha YDS5 and R5C, Kawasaki 305 GPZ and 250 Sherpa, Jawa 350, my brother's 260 Benelli, a couple of H-D Sprints and a Triumph T 25 SS.  
Mark Turkington checks out the TC200
There were quite a few cheater bikes, being well oversized or new, but a few that were interesting and didn't deserve chain whipping, including a Yamaha 550 Vision and a beautiful Norton Commando.  
A 'Taco, 850 Commando, 550 Vision, and 350 Jawa

Yamaha 550 Vision
Another was a Ryca CS1, which is a U.S. made chassis kit for a Suzuki 650 Savage single motor.
Ryca CS1
The morning ride headed east across the Connecticut River to E. Haddam, Moodus, E. Hampton, N. Westchester, Colchester, Salem, Lyme, Old Lyme, Hadlyme, and back to E. Haddam, and Haddam, picking up lunch and returning to D & A's house, a total of 75 miles of great back roads with little traffic.
Before we left for the afternoon section, I gave my nearly 15 year old 1st cousin, once removed a ride on the Airone.  This was the 2nd motorcycle ride in her life as I had given her a brief ride around a parking lot maybe 8 years ago.  She remembered it and asked for another.  There's always the question of how fast to go as one doesn't want to scare the newbie and turn them off motorcycles, yet one wants to go fast enough to give them a feel for it.  I guess I did about right for, though she left holding on pretty tightly,...

...she came back with a big smile
Amy Roper photos
Some lightweights skipped the afternoon ride, but I rode with my old buddy, Leif Gustavson, on his egregious cheater bike, a EX 650 Kawasaki, (when he had a perfectly good TW200 Yamaha sitting at home).  I made him work to keep up with the mighty Airone.  The afternoon ride headed west through Higganum, Durham, Middlefield, Wallingford, back to Durham, on to Killingworth, Chester, and back to Haddam.  Again, about 54 miles of great roads, though maybe slightly more traffic and the roads were surprisingly dirty and there were quite a few trees and limbs down from a heavy storm a few days before.
Some loaded up and headed home; some stayed to join a bunch of neighbors who came over for a pot luck dinner.  Then, a spectacular fireworks display, put on by J. Braun, Hannah, and Erika.  Several stayed over Saturday night.
Sunday, Rich Schlachter and Al Hahn, more sparing partners from roadracing in the 70's, came over on bikes.  Rich Ronay hadn't seen Doug, Schlachter, Al, and Leif for 37 years, and Leif hadn't seen Al for almost as long.
left to right: brother Doug, Rich Schlachter, Rich Ronay, Leif Gustavson, yours truly, and Al Hahn, still riding after all these years.  Amy Roper photo
We all went for a ride, with Amy on her new Moto Guzzi V7 Stone, lead by Doug.  After 30 or more miles, Ronay headed back to Roscoe, and Schalchter and Al headed back to Old Lyme, and Doug, Amy, and I back to Haddam.  So ended one of the best Tiddler Tours in the history of the know universe.
Markus Koelbl's Yamaha YDS-5 (and a bit of my finger)
John Strempher with his Metralla
Parker Heath gassing up his Metralla
Phil Turkington's Metralla, 'Camilla'
Al Anderson's and Ching Chiang's R27 BMWs
Rick Bell's nicely hot rodded Yamaha R5C, which he's owned for about 40 years. 
Jamie Goodson's 250 Sprint
Bob Bendix brought a bike to sell
It could be yours
Charlie Van Deck on his beautifully restored 350 Jawa twin.


  1. Actually, the long distance visitors might be Chris and Sandra Duppen from Brisbane Oz who were riding my R100RS. =;^)

    J. (not "Jay")