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.

Is Thunderbolts Way as bad as is made out?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by Thirsty Dave, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. Hey,

    Has anyone ridden thunderbolt way recently? If so is the road surface as bad as they say.
    Some friends and I are heading up to Walcha from Sydney this weekend and were planning on heading back that way. If it's bollocks, is there another good route back through Singleton that isn't down the New England Hwy?
  2. Ive not done it recently , but you would be mad to skip it even with a few potholes, Its all tar now,i think legend persists from when it was a dirt road (not that many yar ago)
  3. They've been resurfacing the area near the lookout at the top, last time I was there a few hundred metres of roadworks was just clay crud instead of road. Very very slippery. But the really rough torn up bit is around the several sharp downhill hairpins. Other than that its fine imo..
  4. Last time we were up there was before winter and there was a few stretches of dirt about 1km each but they were fine on sportsbikes in the dry.
  5. You'll be fine. I was there a week ago. There are a few stretches where they are resealing, but those were pretty well compacted and not slippery in the dry. I doubt they'd be that bad in the wet, with care. Not much in the way of potholes, but there were plenty of patches where they once were.

    You'd be insane to miss it. I really don't understand what people are on about when they say to avoid it. Either those folk are pansies or there's a reputation still being upheld which is long dead.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Glad to hear the positives about this road. I'm planning to ride it just after Christmas, and was going to do it regardless of if there was/is dirt. Reading this means I'm really looking toward to riding it now.
  7. That is a badarse name for a road...
  8. Nah its fine, its good that its a bit rubbish as there is no traffic on it (and therefore not the cops usually either).
  9. Thanks guys, looks like people are over reacting about some road works and some patchwork quilt surfaces.
    Looking forward to it, can't wait to hit the Oxley Hwy aswell.
  10. We were up there about 6 weeks ago and it's absolute crap in places - our group dubbed one particular bend "The Gravelly Corner of Death"...
    There's plenty of potholes and patchwork, with an abundance of fine gravel for the most part and (as mentioned) either red clay or dust depending if it's been watered recently.
    It's a shame really, because it could be a longer version of the Oxley if it were looked after...
    But as also mentioned, the fact that it's not also means it's pretty quiet - you'd be mad not to do it ;)
  11. Just got back. What an amazing ride. Oxley Hwy is just sick. Thunderbolt Way was awesome too, nowhere near as bad as made out.
  12. was up there a month ago. Mostly ok. Some bad patches, pun intended. good fun though.
  13. Was worse when Captain Thunderbolt bailed you up and demanded your motorbike and wallet.
  14. Gents,

    Thanks for the fresh update RE Thunderbolts way.

    I'm planning my first big solo ride bris to syd for a couple of week's time and so far the itinerary is:
    • Heading outta Qld from Stanthorpe
    • Stanthorpe to overnite in Armidale or Walcha via Thunderbolt's way...
    • Walcha to Singo via Gloucester
    • Singo down the Putty into syd
    • Beers and birdwatching
    What do youse reckon? Any criticisms/tips/suggestions etc will be hugely welcomed and appreciated...

  15. I reckon you're gonna have a blast - solo touring is one of my favourite things to do...
    Have fun, dude!
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Chris,
    Solo touring is great but I'm not sure about your intended route. To get to Walcha or Armidale from Stanthorpe via Thunderbolts way wouldn't you have to travel south of Pt Macquarie then double back?

    How about Tenterfield to Casino via the Bruxner Hwy then to Grafton on the Summerland way and then back up to the Glenn Innes via the Gwydir Hwy and on to Armidale or Walcha. Alternatively, from Grafton head for Armidale via Nymboida and Ebor. A much longer run would be to go from Grafton to Pt Macquarie then up the Oxley to Walcha. Any of those options would be a longer and more interesting ride than straight down the New England. Think about how many Kms you can do in comfort as few things spoil a good trip as much as a sore arse for the last hour or two in the day.

    Enjoy your trip whichever route you choose.
  17. Thank you all for the input and suggestions!

    Thanks Lep - I was thinking that on my way down I'd do NE as there are some time time constraints for me to get down to Syd of "set sail" dates and drinking teammate's availability.


    Duly noted re sore arse and it sounds like a good return trip suggestion to me (obviously, I'd reverse the landmarks :) ).

    Thanks again all - really appreciate your suggestions.

    Stay safe!
  18. I travelled 'Thunderbolts Way' last week on my bike, as I had a week off and thought I'd do as many of the recommended 'top' rides (motorcycle Atlas).
    I thought the 'Thunderbolts Way' was the worst of all the 'Top Rides' that I did.
    Coming from the North, the 40km from Walcha heading south, was potholes on potholes (hotmix) the road was just a massive mix of patched up pot holes. After this 40km it was okay. On another note: I got a crook batch of fuel from Walcha, which made the bike cough for most the way to Gloucester, until I could dump the tank and refill. (I heard from other's they had a similar experience)
    (I will be posting a Ride Report on my evaluations of all the roads I travelled)
  19. Thanks Dobbo - looking forward to it!
  20. Thunderbolts is an amazing route. loads of fun. not for namby pambys though ;)