50 Years on the farm with Honda
There are those long-time Honda riders who can claim they have put their machine through some tough challenges over the years, but NSW grazier Richard Taubman is one extraordinary case.
There are those long-time Honda riders who can claim they have put their machine through some tough challenges over the years, but NSW grazier Richard Taubman is one extraordinary case in hand. The 48-year-old manages the family business – Spring Valley – a 6,500 acre property situated 30 kms east of Young, and says much of the hard work they do would not be possible without their fleet of approximately 30 Honda agricultural bikes.
“I can’t stress enough how pleased we have been with these Honda bikes over the decades and I have yet to see a bike to equal them for reliability, comfort and economics,” Taubman said. “Our family has been at Spring Valley since the late 50’s after moving here from properties in the Snowy Mountains and Upper Murray. In the late ‘ 60’s we were still using horses but Dad then ventured out and bought the property’s first motor bike which was a sliver coloured Honda 125.”
“These were by far the most reliable machine for our job at the time. We even had a jackeroo ride a 125 backwards into a dam at full revs while chasing a problem beast. When asked how far he went into the dam he replied, ‘up to me bloody neck!”
“This bike went on to last for many years and I think it’s still here on the property somewhere. Eventually the family stocked up on the newer CT200’s with an automatic clutch. We didn’t like the idea of changing to the auto clutch at first, but it wasn’t long before we reckoned they were the Gnat’s Spats and now we wouldn’t be without them.”
Taubman explained that the new machines are immediately fitted with” burr hoes” and “dog boards”, sometimes carrying up to five sheep dogs front and back before being put to work on the property. The family certainly has their work cut out for them, managing up to 8,000 merino sheep and 400 breeding Hereford cows at any one time, dependent on the drought conditions.
“Believe it or not, our head stockman and myself still use the two CT200’s that we bought in 1993. We travel in excess of 10,000 kms each on the station every year on these bikes, and even though one of them had a complete engine rebuild a few years ago, the other is still working well with the original engine,” Richard explained. “The bike fires up each morning with one flick of the starter; it is unbelievably reliable for a bike that is nudging 130,000 kms. What a machine!”
“It is a credit to Honda for making such a reliable product and the back up service we have received over the years from our local Dealers in Young has been second to none.”
Since buying the first two CT 200 ‘s, Richard and his crew have purchased a number of additional ‘back up’ machines for future use on the property, some of which are still sitting in their crate waiting for action.
“We hope to continue with the Honda CT 200’s for years to come and maybe upgrade to the newer version (the CTX200) if the Bike Overseer, being our female Jack Russell Terrier ‘Poppy’, approves of the change!”. Poppy thinks she owns all the bikes on Spring Valley and not a bike starts or moves without her on the dog board on the back ready to roll.”
Designed from the ground up to suit the specific needs of the modern day Australian farmer, Honda’s CTX200 Bushlander is loaded with even more practical features. The CTX200 combines the heritage and features of its predecessor, the CT200, and the technology and bullet-proof reliability of Honda’s XR range, resulting in an Ag-bike that is an invaluable tool for any farmer.