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First trip 2up - overnight on the GOR

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' at netrider.net.au started by cougs, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. Hi all

    Whilst it will pale in comparison with Benny Boy’s journal, I thought that putting together some quick notes from our first overnight trip may benefit others in their planning whilst at the same time proving a good review for myself.

    The background



    mrs_cougs hasn’t pillioned in years and never for any length of time. A couple months back she decided that she would like to see what I spend my weekends doing so after getting all the gear sorted and a couple afternoon trips to Warburton and around the Mornington Peninsula it was time for an overnighter.

    The plan

    Melbourne (Skye) to Warrnambool and return over 2 days. A nice leisurely pace along the Ocean Rd and night away from the kids!

    The Bike & gear

    Not the most ideal mount for 2 up touring, it’s a 2007 HD Night Rod Special. Powerful and cruisy enough but long & low and built for looks & rider comfort more so than pillion. Its got a mini sissy bar fitted (more for looks than anything) and I bought a cheap set of throw over saddle bags to hold the essentials and remove the need to carry a backpack.

    For those that know the V-Rod range, getting panniers that both fit reasonably and look anywhere near ½ decent is a challenge, and there was no way I was shelling out the $$ for the factory items for what may have been a once only trip. A trip to AMX in Cranbourne and $129 later I had a pair of texture M2R throw over bags. Surprisingly, the bags are not bad quality, they’re on and off the bike in about 5 mins, are expandable and come with rain covers and a heap of straps and vecro straps as well as clips – good buy.

    The idea as it was a first trip was to travel very light – we were booked into a motel so basically just toiletries and a change of clothes to go out in and socks/jocks for day 2 were required. All up with a pair of shoes each, phone chargers, camera and sunscreen neither saddle bag was full and total weight was only about 5kg.

    We both were in Kevlar jeans, leather jackets, boots and gloves with mrs_cougs in her full face and myself the open face with mask/sunnies. Looking back, I will probably take the full face for a longer trip like that in future…whilst I like the open face, after a while at FWY speeds it feels like its being sucked off my head by the wind and you get sprayed with a lot of grime and grit from the road. Of course its easier to practice the ‘harley-rider snarl’ when wearing the open face, but sometimes sacrifices must be made (and being on a V-Rod its not like “real Harley” riders will nod at me anyway…)
     

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  2. Day 1

    Loaded up and left home at 8.30am. Boring 1st stint Eastlink, Monash, Westgate and stopped at the BP Servo just before the end of the Geelong bypass for a break and to top up fuel. Trip time just over 90mins. I am informed at this stage that is about the limit that her butt and legs will take without having a stretch.

    From there we went through Torquay, Anglesea, Fairhaven and stopped at Lorne. Didn’t stop for the obligatory Great Ocean Road sign photo as it was overcast and there were 3 bus loads of tourists there as we went past so figured we’d do it on the return leg. Traffic thus far was pretty good. It started to build from Fairhaven but only got really bust (crawling pace) as we hit Lorne. Took just under an hour from Geelong. Coffee in Lorne and a quick wander through the foreshore market that was on (sorry love, no room on the bike to buy anything) and then back on for the next hop to Apollo Bay for a lunch stop.

    Got stuck behind a couple of sight seeing tourists who obviously missed the “pull over and let others past” signs dotted along the road but generally made a reasonable if relaxed pace to Apollo Bay. Good news – another market to browse through! Lunch was fish & chips at the pub and it was both delicious and came out in record time (less than 10mins from order) – I reckon we would still have been waiting at the take away next door!

    Next stint was to Lavers Hill with a stop at the Cape Otway lighthouse on the way. The road into the lighthouse is one to watch, not in the best condition at the minute and people have a habit of just stopping without pulling over to look at / photograph the koalas. The section to Lavers Hill though is always an enjoyable ride and was this time as well.

    Fuel and a drink at Lavers Hill and then onto the 12 Apostles near Pt Campbell. Spent over an hour at the Apostles, took a few pics and relaxed. Had a quick chat to a German couple on a BMW K1600GT and then off we go again. The good news is mrs_cougs worried about falling asleep if she had a rear seat like that one! Next stop was just for a rest in Nullawarre before the final stage through to Warrnambool.

    Pulled up at the motel in town just on 6pm. Booked on a Wotif special for under $100 the room had aircon, Foxtel, mini bar, off street parking and was clean and nice enough. The first beer didn’t even touch the sides then a quick shower and we wandered into find a feed (we were about 4-5 blocks from the CBD). Had a great steak and couple of cold ones at Whalers Bistro in town and recommend it for a nice relaxed meal. The only issue we had today was a budget mini bus pulling out of a carpark in front of me which I anticipated well in advance so didn’t have to break too hard and the boss on the back let him know by hand signal what he had done wrong.
     
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  3. Day 2

    Got going at 9am, the first stint was a real short one out to the Whale Watching lookout at Logan’s Beach in Warrnambool. Not that there’s any whales this time of year to be seen, but the morning was clear and warm and the surf was up so there were plenty of people about. Back onto the bike and time to do it all again and pick up the sights we missed the day before.

    Stopped at The Grotto and London Bridge and already the day was warming up so we were better on the bike and moving than standing around taking gear on and off! From London Bridge we went through to Lavers Hill and topped up with fuel again and a cold drink before heading to Apollo Bay for a coffee and sunscreen stop.

    The trip all morning was great with people moving over to let us past and not much traffic around. The only bikes we saw this morning were 2 Gixxers that blew past us outside Lavers and then later near Lorne. Had a great chunky steak pie for lunch in Lorne and mrs_cougs reckons the pastie was A1 as well.

    Coming out of Lorne some woman in an SUV decided to try a U turn in bumper to bumper traffic in front of me between the 2 roundabouts which was annoying but she looked around just as she turned so aborted the turn. Luckily she had her window open so I could remind her to use her mirrors in future. Stopped at the GOR sign for a couple pics and it was a lot less crowded then the day before and then turned inland from Anglesea to Geelong.

    By this stage mrs_cougs was starting to feel it. 2 long days on the bike after previously only a few hrs at a time, the weight of the helmet she’s not used to and the heat were making for shorter stints. Geelong to Shell Westgate for another stretch and then from there home.

    Walked in the door about 5.30pm for a shower, cold beer and dinner.

    All up 845km over 2 days door-door.

    18hrs travelling time including breaks.

    Just under 3 full tanks of fuel used at an average of 280km between fills (19l tank filling with about 1l remaining) which is pretty good economy for the bike 2 up.

    Bike never missed a beat. El-cheapo panniers performed admirably, never moving an inch. Plenty bugs to wash off this week though!

    No close calls, just the 2 minor incidents described above but neither were sphincter tightening or especially worrying.

    Popo spotted parked in Lorne on the way down and just outside Wye River on the way back but they obviously weren’t concerned with heavy handedness (both us and the Commodore in front were carrying $1.20 instead of $1.00 and no reaction) so it made for an enjoyable couple of days.

    Conclusions

    The V-Rod is OK for 2 up as long as you’re not in a hurry. The limited cornering lean angle is reduced with the extra weight on – in bumpy corners the frame will sc**** long before the pegs. Other than that with a light load and sensible breaks it is an enjoyable experience which is what we were after – Ewan and Charlie we definitely are not, but subject to future finances and some renovations being completed I have a conditional green light to replace the rod with a more friendly tourer (read Road King  ) for the trips and possibly squeeze a fun bike into the shed as well (*cough* Buell/Gixxer/Daytona *cough*) in a couple of years.

    All up a really enjoyable cruisy couple of days and I urge anyone who is contemplating the same to just do it!
     
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  4. Good write up, cougs.
     
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  5. nice write up Cougs, d'you need a butter menthol or something ? lol see the option is open at least for 3 bikes [well onr of 3] :)
     
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  6. Thought for a moment we were on the same ride. Loved reading this, and im glad i wasn't the only one annoyed by cars stopping on the road to take pics of Koalas.
     
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