Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Big trip in a week

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by peter-reebok, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. Have a week off in May, and am looking for some advice/experience.

    Have done quite a few long trips, comfortable with 1600klm days.
    Have a big bike, Suzuki M109, which eats up the miles well.

    Planning a run from melb to townsville or thereabouts, and back in the week.
    approx 6500 klm, so some wiggle room on timing.

    Questions are
    Weather? Have the knack of only touring thru rain and snow in the past.
    Is QLD really open for business, or should I be going there?
    2 routes mapped out, basically up the princes highway, but return trip leaves me 2 options, turnoff at blackall
    via lightning ridge,Back via warrego and carnarvon highway, then down thru dubbo etc.
    Back via charleville, cunnamulla,Bourke then down thru dubbo etc.

    Usual MO is to find any accom at the last minute, which is why I am concerned that the floods may limit my options.
    or should I avoid charleville/cunnamulla/bourke ?
  2. I have a question for that's off topic if u don't mind, regarding your M109, would u recommend it and what are the pros and cons of it, thanks bud, not many people here own 1
  3. if your route takes you through Wollongong, Peter, and it coincides with the end of a riding day, you're welcome to stay at our place for the night :)
  4. Not meaning to barge in. Pete's had his for a little longer than me. However, here's my take.

    Most powerful production V-twin cruiser in the world (still!!)
    Beats most bikes (sports or otherwise) in the trafficlight drag
    Beat most cruisers in performance (except the VMAX & RocketIII. Still to see it against a Diavel)
    Extremely cheap for everything you get (try getting an HD/Vmax/RIII/Ducati for under $20K)
    Looks like NOTHING else out there (better get used to the looks & compliments). Wins all the Curb Appeal contests hands down
    Very easily customisable (check out M109Riders.com if you want to see what I mean)
    Been around mostly unchanged since 2006 (durable) and whoever has it (and knows what they have) doesn't let it go.

    NOT for the novice/just off your P's rider. It's unforgiving in the throttle response/torque area.
    Large back tyre + Immense torque = Slip & Slide in the wet
    Gotta be decisive with the handlebar input. This thing does not turn just by you moving your scrawny butt about!
    Clutch is like a tractor. You're gonna have a massive left forearm from the pull, and the sound from the gearbox when you get it wrong is disconcerting!

    To be completely honest, since I got mine two years ago, like every rider out there, I've been looking around at what else I could upgrade to, at what was next.
    I can honestly, hand on heart, say that there is nothing out there at the moment that will give the combination of thrills, customisation, performance, and curb appeal that the M brings to the table.

    That's why I'm saving my $$$ that were intended to go towards another bike and investing them in mods.
  5. SO jealous right now! ;)

    Have fun Peter! (y)
  6. Had it since 2007, and is my daily commuter.
    Few simple mods, heated grips, fuel computer, tre, braided lines, air horns, holley intakes, better seat, xenon lamps, and will go anywhere.

    Every time I get the urge to change for something else, I ride em, and they just dont stack up against the nine.

    Not light on the fuel when the loud switch is used, and eats rear tires when ridden hard, but better than Viagra for lifting the mood.

    Cons - very heavy , don't drop it.
    Scares pakis white if you debaffle it
    Scrapes regularly in corners. Budget for replacement pegs annually.
  7. SE QLD is open for business.

    Not all the shops have reopened yet but you won't have a problem finding food, fuel, accomodation or open roads.

    Just be careful of pot holes.

    As far as your route goes if you get the chance to detour of the Pacific Highway I highly recommend the road between Murwillumbah and Nerang via Numinbah and Natural Bridge. It's ride 10 in the 4th edition motorcyle atlas.
  8. Hey me too!

    (yes I have one as well and commute daily on it).

    Hey Peter - you've got me thinking as I have to go to Sydney for work around then...
  9. Leaving either sat 7th or Sunday 8th.
    You are welcome to join in. Plan is to leave at about 6am, get to sydneyby nightfall, continue on to gosford/port Macquarie before finishing first days ride.
    finish at gladstone/macKay 2nd day
    Townsville/cairns (maybe) 3rd day, then return via long reach, lightning ridge 4th day.
    5th day walgett/parkes
    6 th day home
    This allows an extra day for whatever!
  10. Thanks for the info guys, the only thing that concerened me with the comments above is

    Large back tyre + Immense torque = Slip & Slide in the wet

    i thought due the large tyre it would of had more grip, found a white 9 i have my heart set on but by the time my insurance check arrives it could be to late
  11. Pull the trigger, Goz
    You won't regret it ...+ the white ones look even BIGGER than the blacks. ;)

    My bad. Should have been clearer.
    Maybe it's just me but it took me a few months to learn how to feed power smoothly and quickly to the rear on this bike, without breaking the tyre free.
    No traction control on this Beast...
    It'd happen much more often if the back tyre wasn't that wide.

    That being said, changing from the stock back tyre helped a lot. Went to Dunlop E3 but swapping tfor Metzelers usually helps increase the grip even more.

    Can't get rid of that completely though. This isn't your typical cruiser.
  12. Went ahead and did it -cos I can

    First half trip report below. Leaving for home tomorrow, will post second half and pic then.

    Written while sitting on a balcony overlooking cairns harbor. Siping a few cold beers and watching pretty young things in their bikinis.

    Left home at 5:30, cold but no dramas.
    No dramas at all, just a day riding.
    *As usual, the segment from cann river to pambula is a joy.
    Had a play with some sports riders, who weren't playing very hard at all.
    Only drama was where the princes highway goes thru Sydney, where if you follow the signs leads you on a 2 hr scenic tour of Sydney suburbs at about 20 kmh. Will find a better way back, cos that one sucks.

    Bit quieter than previous runs, I stayed within my fun limits, and only managed 1388 klms today, finishing when it was just too cold for me. Managed breakfast with an old acquaintance on the way, which was worthwhile.
    You know you are getting old when you want a hot shower and cup of tea instead of looking for a set of twins to keep you warm.

    The princes highway has been spoilt for me with the speed limits, lower and lower every time I travel it.

    Day 2
    Scratch one wallaby, and a crow that took off to slowly, and ten thousand bugs that committed hari Kari on my visor and bike.
    A few moments at night, gravel roadworks at speed at night are not good for the heart.
    From about 50 klm before gin gin, to rockhampton, was invigorating, almost a suicide run. Thank god for the hid lamp, as I never ran out of vision in the twists and turns at speed. Few drops of rain, but not enough to worry about
    Made it to rockhampton, about 2700 klm on the speedo now for the two days.
    Off to cairns tomorrow.*

    Day 3
    Raindrops keep falling on my head.
    Doesn't stop this 109 from making it to cairns and in daylight too!
    Only rained until about midday.
    But, that meant taking off the sheepskin, cos it takes a week to dry!
    Yep, the sheepskin is the magic weapon!
    Uncomfortable, not sore without it. It makes a huge difference, in making sure * that your clothes don't stick to your skin.have a day*
    So, 3758 klm done in *3 days, and tomorrow will have the day off, a short ride up the coast to port douglas if the weather holds, to see the crocodile farm. Mileage so far has worked out to an average of 6.5 l per 100 klm. *If speed is kept below 130, first bar disappears at about 170 klm. If faster, I have seen it down to 120 klm. Ave range *I work to is about 250 klm. I must be getting slower, or the opportunities aren't there, as I have not spent much time at the $2 shop this trip.*
    Good fun spinning the rear in the wet when passing people tho.
    Bike has not missed a beat.
    Rider has had a few moments though. Especially with the gravel left after roadworks.
    Constabulary attention has been limited to being mistaken for a Comanchero when the police were rounding them up, they were on a club run, and passing a police car in the fog at double the speed limit -oops!
    Will have to wait for the mail for other tickets.
    Wednesday - ride home, NOT on the pacific. Will go via the inland route.*

    Day 4
    Rest day, so what should i do? I know, I will go for a ride!
    Not far, just to see the croc farm ( hatterleys).
    They got some big crocs there!
    Captain cook highway is just fab! Views to die for, and a pleasant surface and good curves.
    then off to the city centre, casino (it is a joke), bottle shop, and time to catch up on some emails etc.*
    Tomorrow it is back home, and work (Monday). Found where I put my throttle rocker, so will see if that helps ease the pains in my right hand. Should be home late Friday.
    Reckon I will head back to rockhampton, then down Leicester hwy and Newell. That way I can avoid the centers of Brisbane and Sydney, where they have made it too hard for visitors. The pacific *hwy is a national highway, so why are there so many traffic lights, detours, and 40, 50, 60, 70,80,90 kmh zones? Maybe they do it deliberately to herd us onto freeways and toll roads where we can be managed.
  13. Day 5 heading for home
    Left cairns about 5:30.
    Completely uneventful. Weather perfect, roads good, minimal traffic, time to enjoy, until making rockhampton as light faded. Didn't want to go back down pacific hwy again, wanted to avoid Sydney and Brisbane centers.
    Off towards emerald, down Barnett hwy near Westland, where itstarted to get real cold and real dark.
    Down the Leichhardt hwy, where it got real enjoyable. Was heading for banana, where there was fuel and accommodation. Problem was, fuel was there, but accom was full up. A cow cocky at the servo said, best bet is Theodore, or taroom *60 and 170*klm down the road. Follow me he says, if you can keep up!
    He is in an old ute, with a cage on the back, with about 10 dogs in it. How hard could it be. He obviously knew the roads, cos he took off and sat between 150 and 190 klm per hour the whole way. Unfamiliar roads, dark, real cold, roadworks made it an adventure for me. Just agreed to enjoy it when we arrived at Theodore. No room at the inn for Pete!
    On to taroom, another 100 or so klm further. In record time, we made it there, almost relieved not to have had any moments! Bid the cocky adieu, where he expressed surprise that I had kept up with him, " usually people don't keep up with me -good luck". Now, I was low on fuel, next fuel is 140 klm away, and the servo at taroom is closed. 2 forms of accom in taroom, the pub and the motel. Both full. Shit. The girl at the pub was happy to ring around for me, but didn't hold out much hope. The guy at the motel was an arrogant prick, who just said, didn't you read the no vacancy sign, can't help.
    Back to the pub to see if I could buy some fuel from someone. After a half hour, the servo owner was contacted, and he agreed to open up for some fuel.
    When I got there, he asked if I was looking for somewhere go stay. Emphatic yes, temp down to about 2 degrees by now, and it is after 10 pm. He had a 'cabin' that was empty, I could have that if i wanted. Not warm, but some extra blankets were in the offering. I accepted gratefully, returning the next morning to get fuel, and pay him for the accom. Probably not many star accom, but a bed to sleep in!

    Day 6*
    Le taroom early, for goondiwindi. Once again, weather is fine, but cold. Love these country roads! a stop at a Roadhouse for some hot coffee and another 'big breakfast'. On to goondiwindi, and joined the newel hwy towards dubbo.
    Weather looked threatening, but no rain today! No dramas, fuel light came on a few times though. Looks like there is about 2-3 liters left in the tank when the light starts flashing. *In to dubbo by 4:30, time to have a feed and get warm. *The iPad is in it's element, google pizza dubbo, and a nearby pizza shop is located, with maps to get there. Love technology! Early night.

    Day 7 *- home
    And of course it had been raining overnight, so wet weather gear time.
    Good time was made, except for the roadworks, where you have to wait for 10 minutes to drive at 40 kmh past a single guy working 20 m from the road. Ohs has meant the cost of road repairs must be sky-high compared to the past!
    Hit shepparton, and dropped in on some friends for a chat, plenty of time.
    Then it started raining, and raining.
    From yea, it was VERY cold, and the traffic Detiorated significantly, people can't drive in the rain!*
    From yarra glen to home it was really fkd.*
    I got home, I jumped into the shower, and made myself human again.

    The big adventure was over.
    Bike - first class, never missed a beat.
    Seat - if yours is uncomfortable -get a sheepskin !
    Heated grips - indispensable
    Body - I have lost about 50% of the use of my left hand. Think it is because of the vibration, but will wait to see if it improves before seeing a doctor. I have a history of small strokes, and had a 'medical moment' the previous week. I am still cold after 2 days.

    Would I do it again - YES in a heartbeat. The lure of the open road still calls me. South America is calling me, stay tuned for a ride thru there next year.
    In all, 7050 klm was travelled, and only a few animals were injured/killed in this ride.*

    Just get out there And ride!
  14. Good effort sounds like a good ride, but why so rushed? Wouldn't you have enjoyed it a bit more if you could have taken a bit more time?
  15. Got to hand it to you for the enduro run. This sounds like fun, even if it did rain. I have to agree the Pacific Highway is a shocker.

    What happened regarding the wallaby at the start?
  16. The trip wasn't rushed . The journey WAS the purpose. And I only had a week off work.

    The wallaby simply jumped out in front while I was riding along. Wallaby now deceased. Lower plastic panel beneath my radiator now smashed. No other damage.

    Wildlife is a problem at speed.
  17. I agree, at least the animal didn't finish the trip before you had really started.

    I like the fact that the jouney was the purpose. If it was just about getting there, a plane is cheaper and quicker. Riding, you end up with a story.

    There are some great places to visit along the way, but that's a reason to do it again.