Before I start, I must say that Darkhorse is a champion. Seeds of worry are planted after seeing his pale pink tinged skin and freckles and your fears are confirmed when he takes the helmet off to reveal his red hair, heed them not. There is actually a real being under the scalp and he even seems human. The Plan: Darkhorse and I both have mondays off. This gives opportunities for the occasional ride. I've been hankering to do Jenolan and Tarana area for a while now and after Darkhorses failed attempt 21 days after purchasing his 'tona he was determined to get it right this time. After a bit of research by the name of street view, this route was decided upon by a one person committee of me. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sou....588311,150.114441&spn=0.718428,1.454315&z=10 The start: Meeting at North Richmond British Petroleum at 8:30 (had somehow managed to pull Darkhorse out of bed at an ungodly hour), I left home at 7. Jumper on the m4 and as I'm getting to the cumberland hwy exit I feel the sensation of a honda spada misfiring while in the far right lane. Is that, there again... and power gone completely. Reach down turn on reserve. Yay things are happy again. I've never run the spada dry, and while I know it can get from just south of waterfall to heathcote on reserve, I didn't want to push it. Ok, there is the roadhouse just before the m7. How far am I from the m7? No idea. After an executive decision, pulled onto prospect highway and drive a few keys into blacktown and put $10 in at $1.30/L. Jump back on the m4 and after a minute see the sign to the roadhouse telling me it's 1km away ](*,). I get to north richmond and go to top up the fuel. Fuel is $1.16/L ](*,)](*,) of which the spada wont fit to much more into her. I pour some down the overflow just to let myself think I'm getting more for my money. Also filled up a milk bottle with spare petrol as our route gave about 200k's between stops and bikes I'm riding have a mysterious tendency to think it would be funny if I get a few kays less out of a tank than I ought. Time is precious and despite wishing to head around gross vale to start us off, we headed straight up bells. To the ghost speed camera which noone can see and ensure we take those lovely curves up the mountain at a steady 40 to 60 (school zones). Deciding the speed camera was a phantom, I ventured into a comfortable range up the hill. I ventured into a comfortable range for most of the trip truth be told. From past experience I know there is a speed camera somewhere and getting toward the top of the hill I spot another sign. Ah here it is. And then another sign. and another. Then we pass the camera. Seems that the RTA felt the camera was so unnecessary and ill thought that they put five signs up to warn us peaceful slow-loving motorcyclists. :furious: Thanks for nothing. I have to say I really enjoyed bells - at the speed limit. Gentle sweepers, rolling hills and impeccable scenery - once you get past all the apple farms at least - all the while with the gentle tunes of Metallica beating softly against my ears. I'd almost prefer to do it in a car, that way you get to look at the scenery while driving, because watching the road isnt important. There's pretty much no traffic at all, and we can precede ahead without needing to make any risky overtaking manoeuvres that seriously endanger yourself and other road users. Honestly, the views from this road are amazing. Cars moving the other way warn of a mobile revenue raiser in the shape of an ss commodore. Pass him and all business resumes as usual. Road gets a bit damp heading towards Lithgow and some caution is taken. Did I mention it was cold? I don't think I did. It was cold. And windy. But mainly just cold. Despite Hornets assertion that his hands have always been nice and toasty in his Black Ice gloves and heated grips, I'm left wondering how much of that was his heated grips and how much wasn't his gloves. When it got to the point where I was having to peel my fingers off the handgrip, I started sitting on them. It's much harder to do this with the right hand than left I found. I cant steer well using my left hand to hold the right handlebar. Pull into Lithgow and I wait at the turn off we were going to take as all the traffic I didn't pass overtook me to finally reveal the glowing headlights of a back triumph. In the meantime, I was holding my hands to the exhaust. I then decided that wasn't warm enough and warmed them on engine block instead. The finish: Head up hartley vale rd and do a small freak out to the ice on road sign and then dismiss it out of hand. But just for kicks I decided to test the coefficients of both static and kinetic friction and found neither stood up to expectations. Less then a kilometre later my spada is lying in a ditch after distributing riders, sparks and various parts and over a range of about thirty metres. The aftermath: There wasn't any ice on the road I later determined. It was very unusual for me because I was 99.9% certain I had done everything right. Lines were pretty much perfect, smooth throttle application, tipping in further to get round bends and apexing the longer ones. If I was to describe my riding up to that point I would say "smooth". I head round this corner, which was significantly less sharp than previous ones, point for the apex and gently throttle on, feel my tyres move sideways, watch my bike slide out from under me and ever so gently deposit me onto the road. I'm serious about the gently thing too, can't even remember a discernible impact. Neither can my ass. Further assessment of the road revealed the slightly damp road was in fact very greasy. The act of tipping in a bit further than I should have on coldish tyres (lets face it, despite the 70 k's before it, the heat capacity of water and the already cold road is enough to keep the softest most tractable rubber cold and tyres on a 250 aren't really the softest most tractable rubber available) on a cold greasy road seemed to be the cause of the off. Darkhorse seemed to be able to see a dip in the road that I couldnt. Maybe he has something there. Dunno. Corner in question: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sou...=cHPKBbzo4of5hXrv5HSDHA&cbp=12,109.66,,0,3.39 The off happened right at the exit of that corner, so much so I went straight down the road and off at the next corner. It was a surreal experience sitting upright sliding down the road watching my bike sliding down the road in front of me. While sliding I remained convinced that I would be able to pick the bike up and keep going. Towards the end of the slide I see showers of sparks flying out from under my bike. My initial thought was "Don't do that, that's expensive". I vaguely remember sparks coming from my feet and wondering why they were doing that. Turned out to be some metal on my boots burning away. Then the next corner approached as did the gravel and embankment. The tyres of my bike dug into the gravel and sent the bike flying and it landed about 4 metres away. I dug into the gravel and stopped. My draggins held up well, the denim ripped in a fair few places, but the kevlar barely looks scratched Shock does stange things to some people. It doesn't effect me in the usual hysterical manner, in fact, I become hilarious. Seeing that the bike is virtually a write off I remember the petrol in my bag and think about having a bbq. Then common sense kicks in and reminds me if the bike catches on fire, SES will come. SES means police. Police means 3 points and $300 because some fool was stupid enough to crash. This must be avoided. I remember a HWP officer saying that if the person or the bike needs a tow from the scene, police must be notified. The bike was still in perfectly rideable condition after the slide and pirouette. Hitched a ride back into Lithgow with a lovely elderly pair who graciously stopped upon request. When I say hitched I don't really mean the thumb in the air, I mean middle of the lane, hands out in a "stop" position. Now I must take you back to the start - Darkhorse is a champion. Over a breakfast in lithgow, he offered to duck off home and grab a trailer which he had to hire so that I can ride my perfectly rideable bike back home. And he did just that. Despite having a pre-pre-drinks session to go to. Two and a half hours home to pick up a trailer, three hours back fighting peak hour, and another two and half to three hours back to Barden Ridge to make sure I rode home safely. While he was heading home to grab the car and trailer, I jumped on the train back to Sydney which meant I didnt have to spend 6 hours in lithgow, and got picked up again at strathfield I will now have an aside. If you ever get the chance, take a train ride from Lithgow to Mt Victoria. It is stunning. It offers view not seen from the road, and right up against the cliff edge. Huge cliffs just rising out of fields, all over the place, forming the western edge of the mountains, spectacular vistas looking down into gorges and the flowing valleys. Breathtaking. Of course I hope when you take the train ride that you do it under better circumstances. There's not really much more to this story other than the amazing day of awesome riding that went unridden. There are one or two things though. How does one attach a trailer to ones car if ones towbar isn't sufficiently fastened to ones car? a bit like this (click) Also, there may be some footage of some sort of hooning activity by some random guy on a different spada. Did you know it's quite possible to pull good burnouts on gravel? I didn't either until today. Oh and to explain the title, the only injury sustained is a slightly scraped and jarred thumb.