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Best Ride Yet - Adventure Touring or just nuts?

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by CrisisBiker, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. Been riding for three months (learner) and decided to just take off on the bike and head north with only a small day pack and the tools for the bike. Rode from Frankston to Bairnsdale, to Euroa via Omea and Mt. Hotham and back home again all in 2 1/2 days. It was brilliant! Lots of twisties, lots of highway work and all on my Honda VTR 250. I got cold, numb, bug splatted and wet, I even screamed in my helmet at times.. Exhausted now, but worth every minute, especially the ride from Bairnsadale to Omeo and back down the other side of Mt Hotham. Highly recommend the ride but, was a little out of my comfort zone on a couple of occasions. Looking to upgrade to a V-Strom or CB500x next.
    A side note: if it wasn't for the Net Rider mentoring and Saturday practice would never had the confidence to do this ride or the skills.

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  2. This should be an inspiration to all new riders.
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  3. Take care and learn from the "out of my comfort zone" moments. Watch fatigue when riding longer distances. Enjoy every moment. Get a vstrom. They run forever.
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  4. Nice work (y).

    Upgrades are always tempting, but get a screen for the VTR and spend the difference of a new bike or on skilling yourself, some warmer riding kit and (most importantly) more trips! Those VTR's run forever, too (as do most modern bikes).

    I clocked around 30k km on my 250 starting bike, including one 700km day to Whitfield and various twisties along the way.

    If you just can't resist the allure of a new shiny bike though, consider a Versys also (Poor mans Ducati Multistrada imo) - they're a really underrated bike.
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  5. Good on you MAVPMAVP Your bike can be the gateway to a lot of great adventures. To use the Nike slogan, "Just do it"
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  6. Wow, that's quite a distance! How how much time did it took you to get back to where you started?
  7. #7 CrisisBiker, Apr 2, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2015
    Thanks for all the comments people. It was a n exciting little adventure. I am planning a bigger trip later in the year so need to also get experience on longer trips. I love the VTR, what a little ripper she is - needs some mods to keep me comfy, but she did really well. I wont ever get rid of her, she'll stay in the garage once I finally upgrade - but in no hurry. I looked at Google maps and total kays was 889 (home was laverton). Really early starts, mid arvo finishes (stayed overnight in Bairnsdale and Euroa).

    The funny thing is, I have only been home since 9.30 this morning and I am already considering taking her out again, maybe down the Great Ocean Road. But one thing I did feel on occasion was vunerable to the weather and need some better protective gear. Draggin Jeans just aren't giving me the peace of mind I am after.

    What I learnt - Thermals are a great idea. You need to be prepared. Stiff arms are not going to cut it on twisties, stop if you need to, I love this biking business!!!

    She need a good clean as does the helmet.

    Ride Safe

    Thanks mate, it would be good to have some company as well on the longer rides.

    yeah I am considering an upgrade but not in any real hurry. The only time I felt let down by the VTR was going up MT Hotham where it struggled a bit and when I wanted to pass a few cars/trucks, just didn't have the power. That's when I realised why a bigger bike would have come in handy.
    700 kays is a lot, I just couldn't physically do that on the VTR, my right leg became really numb, nearly dropped the bike on one occasion where I put my leg down and felt nothing!!
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  8. I think this means you should have short rest breaks more often. As the saying goes, you should rest before you feel tired.
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  9. Well done MAVP, that's nice going on an naked. I supposed you Hume'ed it back to Laverton Hmmm.
    Draggin Jeans as far as I'm concerned are only good for Lygon St Riders an and not much else.
    They suck in the Wet.
    The thing is, If you have uncomfortable riding Gear it can put you from going for a Ride or a Tour.
    So, go into lots of Bike shops over a period of a few weeks and try on lots of different Gear. After a few Weeks you will gravitate towards the most suitable gear for you.
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  10. Hi MAVP!

    Good work on the ride, man! I'm on a GS500F (learner bike too); I had four days off over Easter, and rode from Adelaide to climb Uluru, then back again for work.. 3900 K's of riding and swag camping). Amazing!

    Thing is, I got the same numbness in my right leg. Five days have now passed and the numbness continues. I went to a doctor and they identified two possible causes; damaged spinal disk swelling due to stress impinging on nerves, or compression of the nerve/blood flow caused by a tight belt & seating position. Keep an eye out for those two problems in long rides!

    Might be worth looking into some cheap thermal undergarments too, man.
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  11. Great ride! I did THIS ride in 1 day 2 XMas's ago. The Spada and I where one after that day, but I stopped every hour or so to stretch the legs. Not the best tool for the job, but it was a fun trip! Would loved to have had enough time to go through Delegate and the Bonong HWY on the way home, but time was limited. So I did THIS ride. Pretty boring after Bairnsdale given the roads I had been on previously.

    The honda 250 V-twin in the Spada and VTR is a reliable little thing.
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  12. Wet weather gear,the best you can afford especially gloves.I have started using gel padded pushy shorts on muilti day rides,and even with a much more comfy custom seat I still use my Air Hawk.I also have foam grip puppys over a set of heated grips. Numb bum,pins and needles in hands and legs can be mitigated with bike and gear mods and it helps to keep you alert. Nothing better than looking for great alpine bike roads especially when your warm and comfy.Have a look at magnetic tank bags as well,way better than back packs
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  13. G'day MAVP, what a fantastic ride it would have been, +1 to the 'good on you' from everyone else.
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  14. Congrats! I've only been riding for 3 months too but during that time I've done a load of long trips on my VTR250 too and I just love it, it's got plenty of power but is still small and nimble! Unless you're trying to overtake on a really steep incline, as you said, or have a super nasty headwind.

    My only issue has been a numb right hand (see the thread with the same name if you're interested). Frequent stops are the key as it's most likely not the bike causing the numb leg but probably a combination of gear and riding position (?). I also found that a piece of sheepskin on the seat also meant no sore bum! We cut a bit off an old car seat cover and put it on there, nice cheap solution.

    I would also second getting a wind screen, they make the world of difference. Enjoy :D
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  15. Congrats MAVP. There's no substitute for just getting out there and doing it. In tossing up your upgrade options, it really pays to think about what type of riding you'll be doing most - if it's longer range touring or weekend stuff then you won't go wrong with the V-Strom, or even the Versys, but they may prove a little bulky if most of your riding is city peak hour commuting. The CB500x is an unbeatable commuter and does really well on the longer trips. There are many comparisons between the 3 on the web - I know because I reckon I read every one of then before settling on my X. I have no regrets at all and can't wipe the grin off my mug every time I get on it. Whatever choice you make, it'll be the right one.
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  16. Nice work MAVP, sounds like a great ride, thru my backyard too. Thanks for posting this, I have found some great pointers here for when I do my first distance ride. Great efforts man.
  17. Well done. The VTR is a loyal companion.

    IMO, touring as a newbie, is kind of like going out into the world as a growing kid.

    It makes you grateful just for being able to see brand new places / or experience places you know in a new light. The independence factor is the real kick.

    BTW, Last w/end I rode to Barmah National Park, camped 2 nights and rode back via Echuca. Almost 800kms travelled and I just want to go again.

    Life on 2 wheels, sunshine and the beckoning horizon. Brilliant.
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  18. +1 to this.

    When I got my bike "P"s 35+ years ago, all bikes were naked but it did not stop me from riding round the county side. I had an '80 Suzuki GSX250 and it did not take me long to to get gloves after a long ride from Sydney's western suburbs to past Orange and back after a cold snap one summer without them. The same for jackets and pants. I tried the cheapie route at first as I was in my first job but soon learned the value of good leather for all three items for road bike touring (and commuting).

    I hear now days that there are synthetics that are just as good, but I don't know. When I had my GPz900R, I rode up as far north as Townsville, all over NSW, through VIC, SA and bits of WA in leathers in all seasons. But that was the best stuff back then. I sold the 900R back in '95 and no riding until about 3 weeks ago when I got my KLR650.

    I'm in the same boat as the OP but I think in my case, leather will not be the way to go. I have seen some great adventure touring jackets the are almost water proof, have removable liners and ventilation zips for summer and still offer good crash protection. I'll be looking at similar over-pants, if they exist. I also have a rain coat and rain pants to go over my current old leather jacket and jeans and they will used over the new gear in the rain, when I get it. Dry is good.

    Way back in the day, I wore out 3 pairs of Rossi P134 boots and I hope I can still get them for general riding and commuting. I have some MX style boots and O'Neal "Pumpgun" knee/shin guards for the dirt road stuff. I will probably use the Pumpguns on any long tour anyway, coz many years ago I had an off on the 900R and kneed the road and lost the meat over my knee cap and ground some of it away as well. Ouch!

    I have some medium weight leather gloves that are rain resistant ( heavy rain/storm will get through) and some winter and water proof gloves of leather/synthetic construction. I may need a third pair but will need to think about this.

    Besides rider protection, the OP should consider bike protection, such as crash bars, sliders, bark busters, etc. Between the GSX and the 900R, I had an '81 Z650-F4 and had an off. The ignition side cover was bashed in and it broke the ignition bits and the bike was off the road until spares and crash bars were installed.

    Ride on!
  19. Wow so many great comments! I've been a bit distracted of late and its been a while since I've checked in and I am super psyched by all the comments. Its great to know there are so many of us out there. Loved reading what you all had to say about gear and riding and the trips you have done,, makes me want to ride now!!

    Sadly, the VTR is in the garage atm, I need a new chain and sprocket but I am looking seriously at the Honda CB 500X as an upgrade option - but love the look of the more sportier bikes too, maybe I can get one of each!!
    There are some great rides around, apparently new Caledonia is great for riding as is Romania!! One day when I win tatts maybe.
    I have been looking at the Suzuki GSX 650 and the versys as well. Lots of good bikes on the market, although because the VTR has been so good I think I am inclined to stick Honda.

    On a different note - been watching the doco closer to the edge Isle of Man TT - just WTF these guys take it to the next level - insane.

  20. I've got a CB500X, just about due for its first service. It's been a fantastic bike so far, been through all sorts of ridiculous weather so far.
    Once I get the service done, fitted some crash bars and hand guards, I'll be taking a few days off and hitting the road from Adelaide to Melbourne via the Grampians, probably hit the GoR on the way home. Be a nice way to burn a few days I reckon.
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