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Lions Road on Royal Enfields

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by RErider, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. Royal Enfield One Ride – Australia.

    Lions Road

    Around the globe, mainly in India, people alight their ancient looking steeds to take part in the Royal Enfield One Ride. It’s an opportunity to get together with like-minded souls and ride…wherever.

    RE One Ride.

    Adventure motorcycling is huge across the globe, assisted in no small by Charley and Ewan of the Long Way series, but I believe that anybody can call themselves an adventure motorcyclist. It doesn’t require the latest ABS, traction control 250kg specialist adventure machine, all it really requires is a motorcycle, an unknown destination (to the rider) and the will to go.

    With that spirit, my wife and I wheeled our trusty Royal Enfield Classic 500s out of the garage and set of for the exotic sounding “Lions Road”. It was going to be our version of the Royal Enfield One Ride, and also our longest trip since we got these bikes and my wife got her licence.
    Lions Road.

    Since we live on the Gold Coast, we decided to head to Beaudesert via the Bikers breakfast and coffee heaven of Canungra. This is a pleasant little ride with enough twisties to warm us up for what was to come.

    Alas and because of a late-ish start, the Canungra cafes were bursting to the seams with bacon and egg scoffing, espresso drinking bikers, so we continued through to the sleepy country town of Beaudesert for our caffeine top up.

    The roads in all directions were filled with sports bikes, groups of cruiser’s, and Harley’s galore, so our little Enfield’s were the rarity and as usual gathered a number of on lookers whenever we stopped.

    “They made in India, mate?” or “Geez, they look the same as one me dad had!” are common comments, but every now and again someone just walks by and says “Cool!”, and they are!

    We set off towards Lions Road not really knowing what to expect. Lions Road was built by Lions clubs of the area after state governments refused to build a road for the regional people to get to Brisbane without making long detours. I had been told that it was steep, narrow and with a rough surfaces and potholes everywhere. An adventure indeed.

    In truth it is narrow in places, some of the surfacing is broken up and potholed, and some of the corners are interesting, but really this is just a delightful country ride through absolutely beautiful countryside. Whether this type of road is what an Enfield is built for, or we were just so enchanted by the sights to notice any real difficulty, I can’t say, but the 500cc singles’ with just 28hp lapped it up. We never found ourselves looking for a lower gear as the bikes have plenty of torque to carry you through any of the tightening and rising corners.

    Along the valley often next to creeks and rivers, through so many corners you just stop counting and over multiple old style wooden slatted bridges, the border with New South Wales comes up quickly. At the border there is a Lions club donation box that assists with the funding of the roads upkeep, please donate something to maintain this great piece of history.

    The lookout where you can view one of only two spiral railway tunnels in Australia is nearby and provides a lovely rest stop with facilities.

    Mt Warning.

    From here we wound our way down to the town of Uki, and appreciated a café stop for a late lunch and more caffeine. Regretfully the rest of the days ride covered roads that we had been on many times before, although they are still wonderful for motorcyclists. We left Uki and headed to Murwillumbah and then over Tomewin Mountain to home.

    I know that to many this won’t seem like a big adventure, but to us we had been places that we hadn’t seen before, rode through some great country and created a wonderful memory, all on our old style, very basic Royal Enfield’s. Surely that is adventure motorcycling.
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  2. Thanks for posting about what looks to have been a thoroughly enjoyable ride along the Lions Road, REriderRErider. I knew of the road but your report spurred me to find out a bit more about its origins. The region isn't short on nice views is it. Not to mention your immaculate Royal Enfields complimenting the view! How many hours did it take to ride the whole route?
  3. I have always like the RE but have never been game to go the next step. So I would love to hear how they last as the miles clock up, if you have problem with them.
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  4. XJ6N The road and surrounds are worth the trip. Depending on stops and riding speed I would allow 3 -4 hours Beaudesert to Uki, mind you we are no speedsters and like to stretch our weary bones... a lot! The Enfields are a delight to ride, easy, comfy and light..they look good too!
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  5. Eric, I think pre UCE engine there were some long standing issues, but after 6000kms these are rock solid. They start first time, everytime, nothing has fallen off, they are ridiculously cheap to run. Mine has a minor (and I stress minor) oil weep. I do check bolts etc every 500kms or so, but I would do this with any single. The vibrations are no worse than any single and they will sit on 95 -100kph for long periods. If you want to go quick this isn't the bike but if enjoy simply, easy motoring maybe an RE is for you. PS they will go just about anywhere.
  6. Nice write up. I haven't done the Lions rd yet as everyone says its terrible with river fording detours. Guess it cant be much worse than many of the other roads in the area I've been on - shall have to try it one day. Very beautiful area to ride around!
  7. What fords? What detours? When I did Lions Rd about 18 months ago it was a nice easy run. A couple of the bridges are low and could possibly be underwater following very heavy rain but that wouldn't be too common.
    There are places where the road surface is a bit pot-holey or chopped up but generally it is fine. The section of road north of Lions is also quite a pleasant ride through farmland.
  8. was going to go over it couple weeks ago on group ride, some of the guys tried go over few days before and reported they were doing repairs on the bridges and had to detour miles on shitty dirt roads and ford stony bottomed rivers. they couldn't get thru, couple bikes dropped so turned around. hence the question.
  9. Sounds like you had a lovely time. It's very green up there...
    Last month I rode my RE Continental GT 2300km in 4 days with the Vic/NSW Netrider crew on the Jindabyne ride. I loved it. The RE coped just fine.
  10. Such gorgeous bikes. I like the chrome/cherry red variety.
    I want one!
  11. CaffeineMonster, there were no detours or fords when we went through, there are some potholed areas but nothing that should worry most bikes. It is not a fast ride option though
  12. Thanks they are lovely simple bikes that make you smile, take one for a ride...nothing to lose!
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  13. gizzo, The Jindy area is awesome and I would image a Conti GT would lap it up.
  14. BanzaiElise, there were no detours etc when we were there and therefore we had a nice easy ride through this beaut part of world. I hope you had time to ride the roads around Murwillumbah as well
  15. Lions rd is mostly ok ... but if you want real adventure try Woodenbong to Stanthorpe via Legume :)

    Some very nice newish sections interspersed by absolute crap bitumen and even about 15K corrugated gravel ... absolutely wonderful :) :) this is not a negative review btw ... awesome scenery and an excellent day out :)
  16. Thanks Fractalz I will look it up and give it a go, sounds great.
  17. I did the Woodenbong to Legume stretch on the weekend and the new sections are great, nice wide flat fresh bitumen. Did same run about a month or so before and whole stretch was potholes, so very impressed with new road sections. Wish they'd do the whole run.
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  18. REriderRErider, that's a great trip. I went on the inaugural LionsTT in 2014—we got to ride the road one way when it was closed to traffic. A couple of clowns came off at great velocity which gave the police the opportunity to put a stop to it, but it was fun while it lasted! No traffic improved the entertainment value a good deal as you could be confident you weren't going to meet something hideous around a blind curve. Lions Rd isn't bad; it just requires care on the parts where there's no centre line and the road is narrow and the surface poor.

    You can't really lose in that part of the world. It's a great ride from Rathdowney to Kyogle via the Lions Road or via the Mt Lindesay Highway. Then the leg from Kyogle to Murwillumbah, after the first very rough bit, is also truly excellent.

    FractalzFractalz, I rode Woodenbong to Killarney via Legume recently and enjoyed it a lot, although the road was patchy. When it's good, it's terrific, but here are patches of very rough, narrow bitumen with no centre line and plenty of interesting corners. Spring Creek Road from Killarney to Boonah was also heaps of fun.
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  19. Cormanus, your right about us being spoilt for great riding routes. Do you know if the TT is going to be on again.
  20. REriderRErider, I'm still getting email. You can check it out on the web at http://www.lionstt.com or on Facebook at Lions TT. It's unlikely there'll be an event across the Lions Road again, but there will be a festival centred on Kyogle. Us Queenslanders missed a damned good tourism opportunity as a result of the government of the day's ridiculous view of anything that got on a motorbike.
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