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Assault on the Prom - Chairman goes south

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by robsalvv, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. [Posted by Rob for Chairman who was having a bad internet NR day]

    Destination - Wilson's Prom, Victoria's southern-most point of land.

    The SZR660 was never intended for touring. The riding position (knees up nose and heels up bum) doesn't lend itself to long hours in the saddle and the pillion seat is...firm. The bike was designed to be a lightweight racer and has few concessions to confort. Moreover there are no luggage racks available and the tank is plastic - not ideal for a magnetic tank bag.

    So this trip was to see how the bike (and riders) would handle mid-range touring and to test the modifications. With leave-passes from our respective ex-es, Chairman and Libby left their children behind and set out on a trial run for their Tassie tour.

    My bike has altered footpegs and raised clip-ons, making it a little more comfortable. I've also made a rack to take a large gearsack bag and found a tankbag that straps on. The instrument panel now includes a 12V cigarette socket to keep mobiles charged and MP3 players running.

    Saturday was Laverton, Sylvan, Reefton Spur, Black Spur and back to Knoxfield - grand total of 250km with a mix of high-speed twisties and urban commuting. Two-up with food and luggage for 4 nights the bike handled everything well, although it clearly preferred to run 500rpm higher than when I'm on it alone.

    Dinner in Knoxfield and stay the night with Libby's brother. Nasty hangover on Sunday.

    Back to Vermont to watch MotoGP and we set off in light rain for Venus Bay. The sight of bikes returning from the GP was great, but the best part was peeling off at the South Gippsland Freeway, knowing that mr Plod would be focused on the Bass Highway.

    Now we start to get some pace. A reliable source informs me that the SZR660 holds 120km/h quite happily. I'm led to believe that it can do this carrying me (85kg) Libby (none of your f*%cking business kg) and about 15 kg of luggage. Humming along at 4000rpm, it sailed through the corners on rails and still had reserved for overtaking. On damp roads the GPR70s stuck to the tarmac like sh1t to a blanket and we were able to hold a good speed all the way to Inverloch. With darkness falling we made Venus Bay at sunset, found the caravan and relaxed.

    Monday morning, time to head for the Prom. Chairman's big tip - ride Venus bay -> Walkerville -> Yanakie -> Tidal River. The bits that aren't exquisitely twisty have great views, and the bits that don't have great views are racetrack-straight and bowling-green smooth. Remember - Chairman supports responsible speeding.

    Home to Venus bay tired, happy and with much thinner chicken strips. Dinner at the Tarwin Lower pub - highly recommended. They have a bus that takes you home if you're too pissed to drive. Also highly recommended.

    Tuesday and our little excursion must come to an end. "we're plannin' out a route, we're gonna take real soon...we're waxing down our surfboards..." ...sorry, lost focus.

    How to get home...well, via Inverloch, of course, to ride the "Little Great Ocean Road" to Cape Patterson. You can always tell there's fun ahead when the "High Risk Area" signs begin to appear. Yup - high risk of fun! Bye-bye Inverloch, hello Cape Patterson. That was fun - lets do it again.

    So we've retraced our steps to Inverloch and its inland to Kongwak. Now, kiddies, listen carefully because I'm only going to say this once. Glen Alvie. There, I said it. This road starts at Kongwak and ends at Grantville. Mile after mile of sweepers, narrow hillside roads, magnificent scenery and no-one in sight but us. We got lost and found more roads just like it. I ate the map, for fear of escaping from this maze of magic roads.

    Sadly, we eventually stumbled onto Grantville and lunch, followed by a ride back up the freeway in the strongest winds I've ever encountered. The bike was laid over for serious straight-line peg scraping and I was making involuntary lane changes.

    We made it back to Caulfield where my grandma had a pork roast and a bottle of red waiting. Dinner and home to Laverton.

    Here's the summary. About 1000km over 4 days - not serious touring but a fair test. The SZR was magnificent, handling hard riding in tight conditions, returning 5l/100km even when tootling along at...speed. The tyres and Paioli forks allow corners to be taken at the advisory speed plus 40km/h without any trouble. And the luggage rack held together beautifully.

    Things I'll change? Apart from a service and new rings, the bike is right to go. I may have a crack at making a new screen and a belly pan - handy but not essential. A double-bubble fairing would be great but, as with most SZR accessories, rare as rockinghorse poo so I'll have to manage without.
  2. Great to hear you guys had a wonderful time & the bike saw you proud :grin: 21 weeks & counting .........
  3. Straight out of the, "If it was easy any mug could do it" textbook, Mark! A fascinating read and proof yet again of the flexiblity and versatility of the modern motorcycle (and its rider, too :wink:)

    Sounds like a perfect shakedown, and a fabulous four days.....
  4. well done, hope you get many more trips done :)
  5. What a brilliant story! So well written had me enthralled! Must try that trip when I get some time off!
  6. Chairman and Libby....I live at Cape Pat....work at Inverloch - and when I get my Ls I intend to ride to work :shock: ...via Wonthaggi. :grin:

    The Cape to Inverloch road is hazardous in spots....once Im more confident and experienced I will try it. Cuts the trip to work shorter too!

    Ex - inlaws live at Glen Alvie....yep - beautiful views. Watch those roads though - been surprised in the cage by a truck here and there.

    Everyone who decides to do this Prom Trip - if you're coming near Cape Pat - let me know. Would love to get out on the roads with you. :)