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Big Little Trip

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' at netrider.net.au started by peter-reebok, Feb 15, 2007.

  1. My (little) big trip.
    The day started out uneventfully, but soon changed.
    Up at 6:20 - ready to leave at 6:30 am.
    Pitter patter of rain on the roof as I move the bike outside.
    Sorta set the pace for the day.
    You could be forgiven for wondering if we were in a drought!.
    Run across lysterfield road, always good to get the heart started.
    Down Wellington Road =- What was that flash - bloody speed camera!.
    Down Belgrave Hallam Rd, and on to the freeway. Rain is more constant now, glad I packed everything in plastic bags.
    Drop in at Rosedale to see a mate who has a winery there - down 5 km of dirt road - packed sand - wet sand, and very corrugated. First sightings of wallabies - a reminder to watch out.
    Breakfast at Sale Maccas - time for a quick getaway!.
    The real roads start after Orbost. Not raining now, and just made for touring on a bike. Long flowing corners - and you can just sit on 120, and flow through them all. No surprises, except for a few damp patches.
    On to Cann river, where the rain starts again, and convinces me to cancel the side trip via the Monaro hwy to Bombala, and just press on.
    10 minutes of rain in every hour!.
    Bike not missing a beat.
    Lunch at Eden - sky looks bad - but Hamburger is good!.

    Plenty of road works after Cann River - with plenty of sand and rocks washed over the road - gives me my first scary moment when the front and back BOTH wash out for an instant!.
    Lots of loose stones in the centre of the lane - makes mid corner drifts a possibility!.
    And the wire rope barriers started appearing. Cheese graters we call them, and in NSW, they are used as lane dividers, without any high visibility protection. And they are everywhere! How can we stop them before riders die?
    From there to Wollongong was more of the same - good roads, great corners, little traffic that bothers me - soon despatched by twisting the throttle. Had some fun with a monaro for about an hour. Start thinking of a bigger bike for more response.
    Just before Wollongong the heavens opened with a vengeance - with an absolute downpour that lasted an hour, and I was actually splashing through standing water - in places about 3-4 inches deep. Speed starts to come down DRAMATICALLY. Visibility is even worse, with water on the inside and outside of the visor. Wollongong got 210mm of rain! Most areas I passed through got 100mm or more. I can sure pick the dates – NOT.

    On a stop for fuel at Wollongong realise that I should press on. I am already soaked, and don't relish the prospect of facing monday morning traffic in Sydney when it is pouring with rain as well.
    Not one of my better decisions perhaps - as it rained incessantly, all the dickheads were out in force on the road, and I became frustrated at the Sydney Road System. How can highway 1 go in 3 directions at once? In Sydney it can!
    Bulli pass was shrouded in fog, and visibility was about 50 feet.
    At the tunnel toll booth, I dropped my money, and then couldn't get my wet glove back on. The visor was wet on the inside and out, and visibility along the Pacific Speedway (highway) was nil. The lanes move about, and there are hardly any markings at all. And the road surface is worse than crap!
    Finally made it out to the Newcastle expressway - looking for a motel - any motel - couldn't care less what they charge - to find none, and roadworks slowing us all down to 60km an hour in the dark. In the meantime, god is giving me subliminal hints on ark building while he sends buckets of water down on me.
    Finally found an open motel in Gosford at about 9pm. Hot shower, change of clothes, full belly, (only thing I could buy was a toasted tomato sandwich.) and almost ready to start day 2 . But I did complete over 1100 kms in my first day!

    Day 2
    Took a bit longer to get ready - waterproofing was the name of the game. More rainex for the visor. Filled up the bike, then followed a bike cop along the hill approach from Gosford. He was not mucking around in the traffic, so I followed his lead and had some fun to start the day. He didn't seem to mind me tagging along, even though we were both being a bit naughty in the traffic, and even gave me a wave when we separated near Woy Woy.
    The sun was out, requiring sunglasses for about 60 kms. Then the rain started again, and stayed for the rest of the day.
    Then a bird hit me! It flew straight in to my helmet. I was more startled than anything. Big explosion of feathers!.
    Amazing how you adjust to the conditions, just decided to enjoy the journey, and so it became fun. Cars I passed were surprised, I think, to see me smiling when the weather was so bad. Aquaplaned a few times, but no dramas.
    Not a fan of the el cheapo road repairs, where they dribble hot tar in
    the cracks, the bike tramlined badly on these in the rain.
    I am a fan however of my Suzuki M50, the gear ratios are nice and wide, will sit on 140+ all day, nice predictable handling, and pretty vice free. Tank gives a usable range of 200-250kms.
    The weather did clear for a few minutes at a time, allowing me to take a few photos, like the big banana and the big prawn. And a service station outside Bulahdelah shaped like Ayers Rock. Is this the Ayers Rock that the Leyland brothers built before they went bust?

    All trite photos, but typically australian!
    Got into Ballina about 4pm, and decided to press on to Cooloangatta (original destination) and reward myself with an early end to the day. Maybe the rain will finish tonight?
    Heading inland in the morning, so should at least be warm rain.


    Day 3
    After reading the papers,I made the right decision to press on sunday evening. The city was chaos. Glad I was miles away.
    Clear skies today, didn't rain until about 3pm, then only for an hour.
    The run to Lismore was foggy, but fun. The run from Casino to Tenterfield is heaven. Show me a sign in NSW that says national park, and I will show you some great biking roads.
    From Tenterfield to Goondiwindi is the place to have some fun, but watch out for roos! You could run this road with the throttle hard against the stop, except for about half a dozen corners.
    But, I came over a crest, and encountered a mob of roos across the road. I somehow managed to only hit a small one, but ran off the road, and into a barbed wire fence. I reckon I was doing about 10kmh when I hit the fence, but would have preferred not to hit at all. The strands caught bits of plastic on the bike, and ripped them off.
    The roo was dead, I was on the ground, and the bike was in the fence.
    Only superficial damage to me, but the Bike is now missing a front guard, a rear indicator, and a left side panel. Bloody hard to drag out of the fence too!
    I had to connect a few wires that were cut, and replace a few globes.
    Duct tape to the rescue! Big dent in the front header where the roo hit it. Both my thumbs are a bit sore, and I have a cut on my leg from the barbed wire.
    Bent the brake pedal back to shape, tightened the mirrors, and I could be off.
    Cut my strides, but duct tape will get me home. Checked the tyres, rims etc before heading off – didn’t want a second bigger accident! Left indicator reattached with duct tape.
    No pictures of the roo - just another dead roo - no extra points for sharing the pain.
    Goondiwindi to Dubbo was a race against the weather. It seemed the front was taking the same path I was.
    The road from Coonabarabran to Dubbo was heaven on a stick, flowing corners,no traffic, and sunshine. The front followed me, but didn't catch me!

    Tomorrow – home
    Day 4.
    No rain!
    Sunny skies, as I head out. Another guy on a FZ1300 leaves the motel at the same time, and we share the ride to Parkes, where I stop at the satellite tracking station featured in ‘the dish’ for some photos. He continued on.

    On to Forbes, then West Wyalong – great roads – NO POLICE PRESENCE and no rain. Very illegal speeds the norm today, and it seems quite appropriate, and right. Stop at a roadhouse that had seen better days – but do they cook a great hamburger!. Will do for Breakfast and lunch!. The names flash past – Narrandera, Cobram – I am back in Victoria.
    Just before Narrandera, the funds for roadworks must have dried up – because the roads are awful. One stretch of about 20km felt like one of those bucking bull rides.
    And still no rain! Tried the IPOD today – cant get the earpieces to stay in, settle for near my ears!.
    Interesting how the different pace if the music seems to coincide with the pace of the riding.
    Metallica/Wolfmother/Blackeyed Peas is great for the twisties, Bach and Vivaldi for the straight roads.
    Stop at Shepparton, and visit some work colleagues, getting hot, only notice how hot when I scull about 10 glasses of water, and am still thirsty.
    Head out to Seymour, in school traffic, I am back in Vic now, so have to watch out for the speed limits. Find a new piece of road I will be revisiting again – from Seymour to Yea. About 50km of sweeping corners, and you can sit on 120+ the whole way, and just concentrate on flowing the corners. From Yea to Kinglake – surprise surprise, it is raining again. My confidence in corners is up, and I surprise myself when I try some stuff from books, like hanging off the bike, and keeping it more upright in the rain. Feel a bit foolish – I am on a cruiser LOL, but you can hold a fast line in the rain, and it doesn’t feel like sliding!.
    Into traffic after Kinglake, but it is sunshine all the way home.

    I pull into the driveway and quickly park the bike in the shed before my wife sees the missing bits. She is a bit anxious about my safety, and I will get some new parts before telling her about the roo incident, or the speeds I spent the last 4 days at. Then it won’t look so bad?


    So, a total of 3608 kms in 4 days, bike didn’t miss a beat. Hands now lack any strength, I reckon it is from vibration, and the seat is getting another overhaul. Rider learnt lots of new skills, and as soon as I get feeling back in my hands and arse, I reckon another trip is the go.
    Didn’t use half the stuff I packed, but I bet if I didn’t have a tyre repair kit or compressor I would need it. Didn’t use the GPS once, or the phone charger, or the camera charger, or the PDA charger, or the IPOD charger. Next time – will leave most of them at home.
    Off to Adelaide next week (in the car) and to the US in March. Maybe next year, longer distance – some companions, and more time – maybe a 2 week ride? Suggestions?

    And my el cheapo rack mounts for the ventura bag and rack? Held up, including the stack, very happy with my $12 mounts.

    Now, about that bigger bike – Is it too soon to look at a M109?

  2. F A N tastic ride report, Peter, just like being there!!!

    Rotten luck to have travelled all that distance and to have been taken out by a roo: even at 10kph a barbed wire fence is still a barbed wire fence..
  3. Sounds like a great trip! Why the need for a bigger bike, seems the one you have performed flawlessly! I have the same problem with my hands on long trips, I think you are right with vibrations, and I also think having to hold teh one position for hours has something to do with it too.

    Unfortunately, roos are a huge hazard at teh moment, they are grazing on the longer grass by the side of roads, it is nasty down here too.

    Regards, Andrew.
  4. Nice ride report, bugger about the roo. Can't say I've seen anyone hang off a cruiser!
  5. Pete ,these M50 cruisers are not just like any others, there
    MUSCLE CRUISERS :wink: :LOL: .

    Sounds like a big adventure Peter ,loved the report and pictures of all the BIG stuff for the M50 site the yanks will love it :)
  6. That's the Bruxner Hwy...and I agree with it being heaven. :grin:

    I stopped at that Ayers rock place in Buladelah.

    Great report.

    Bugger about the roo - glad you came out of it okay.
  7. A new front guard is about $170.
    A new indicator is $180!
    Bought a set of four catseyes indicators for $40, and will replace them all!.
    The side cover is over $200, so I will change that area a bit, and make a custom fibreglass piece.

    The bike did perform flawlesly, but it is easy to be seduced by speed and power. The minister for finance and adult recreation doesn't agree that I need a bigger bike either.
    However, I had a test ride on the 109 this morning, and ......

    I bought an oil filter, and some oil. Will give the bike a service instead. LOL. This bike is only 3 months old, so I better kee :grin: p it a bit longer!.

    Anyone with a cruiser should try hanging off it in the wet - the difference in lean angle is amazing, and I am convinced that it keeps more traction available for cornering. Hence a faster (safe) speed available.

    Anther observation that I have remembered this morning, is that I was only treated with absolute respect by Motel owners. I was expecting an amount of reluctance from motel owners, but they were all happy to rent me a room.
  8. Sounds like a great trip, bummer about the 'ricochet off kangaroo into fence' incident. Glad yr ok.

    Yr bike looks v cool, I googled Suzuki and checked out their cruisers (especially the Intruder as I'm a pre-learner :wink: ) I still love the Virago best tho :grin:
  9. :facepalm: aaaaah, so thats how you do it, write all the report in 1 post :grin: Melbourne to Gosford in 1 hit :( your a better man than me, no thanks, did that 3 years ago and went =; never again. Thats a long haul dude, sore ass material :butt: but each to his own. And bird and roo strike :? Great ride and great write up. 3608KM in 4 days :applause: thats hauling ass :applause:
  10. Thanks Peter great write up. Yep the rock is where the Leyland's lost thier money.