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.

Melbourne to Sydney the longish way, Via SR400

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by QuarterWit, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. Deciding to get a head start on the interesting riding, I opted to leave after work, at around 9 o’clock that night. Double and triple checked everything I had to make sure I was all good to go, and off I went. I’m not the most prepared type when it comes to long distance riding – although I did change the oil the night before and pulled my andystrapz panniers out of the cupboard.

    Into the backyard and it was time to pack -

    Excessive toolkit – consisting largely of hex keys, race tape and a large bowie knife. If I get badly lost I can cut up and eat some roadkill. Check.
    Carton of Cigarattes – Good for my relaxation and bartering with country locals under 5’s for fuel. Check.
    Water – Must keep fluids up. Check.
    One large packet of industrial ear plugs - Riding at 120k’s with the SR pinging it’s tits off is never fun, and damned exhausting. Check.


    And all the stuff for when I get here, wallet, paper money, cards, phone, camera, clothes, toothpaste, razors etc. All good to go. Taped some directions to my tank and I’m ready. I haven't really worn my 2nd hand triumph leathers before, so now's a good time to bed it in. Riding a Yamaha wearing all trumpy stuff makes for one confused looking bastard.


    So the plan was to head north along the Hume to Glenrowan, home of the Kelly Gang ltd. From there I’d head up through Bright, through the Alpine Highway, stay the next night at Jindabyne and to Canberra, see the war memorial and other crap and onto Sydney via Wollongong.


    Two hours north of Melbourne, smelling something suspiciously like melting panniers I stopped at a truckstop. The Panniers were resting on the rims and slowly being burnt through. Fantastic. A few more minutes and they would have fallen off, and taken all my earthy possessions with it. Moved the bags back a bit, tightened them and they seemed fine. The good news was that the indicators were now visible as well.

    A quick duck inside the caff attached to the servo for some food.

    “What would you like love?†Said the lady behind the counter.
    “What’s good?â€
    She shrugged her shoulders. “I dunno, I wouldn’t eat here…â€

    Turns out the burger with the lot was bloody good. I even had some handy reference material in the guise of an RTA printout on how to ride through locust storms. Slow down, is the key, as well as spraying your windscreen with mortein. What an insight! So that’s where my taxes go!


    Riding into Glenrowan about fifteen minutes after midnight the pub next to the Kelly Country Hotel/Motel was thumping. Fighting my way through the four drunks to the counter I got a beer, read some jokes about Collingwood on the walls and walked the 5 meters back to the hotel, watching drunks fall into cars and run into a streetsign as they bunny hopped and swerved back home.

    Day Two

    Nice night’s sleep, fired up the SR again and rode out to Bright.

    Still in a bit of an early-morning haze I was puttering along at around 110kph when I spied some lovely cockatoo’s resting by the side of the road. How sweet. Until I got closer, they took flight and everything went in slow motion as I eyed the biggest, fattest **** of a cockatoo I’ve ever seen haul his fat arse up right in front of me…

    Nowhere to go, I just dropped my head and throttled on for good measure.




    Feathers everywhere, I shifted down to first and got off the bike. White powdery crap all over my helmet and a roaring pain down my neck. Just above my visor I’d smacked him on his right side, with clearly-visable marks where his feathers were. You fat bastard. Walking fifty meters down the road poor Mr Cockatoo was looking a bit worse for wear. Just alive, in his death throes. Gotta do what you gotta do. He’s now in heaven, colliding with a better class of rider.

    QuarterWit 1
    Cockatoo 0


    The roads through Oxley, Bowman’s forest were pretty uneventful. The usual charming, semi-ugly-semi-depressing Australian landscape before Porepunka/Bright.

    Bright’s a pretty town, no doubt, but on this day it was infected with young, tanned, good looking lads and ladettes recovering from a big New Year’s the night before. A reasonable breakfast, a quick stop to have a chat with some wanker about my “triumph†and I was off.

    On recommendation from a mate the ride through Tawonga gap road was good, twisty, but otherwise pretty tame. Maybe I wasn’t in the zone, maybe it was mid-corner gravel or the GP wanna-be cocksmokers crossing the centreline through blind corners as they try to get their knee down but It wasn’t that great. Just reaffirmed the notion that sportsbike riders are, by and large, tossers.

    At the end of this road there was a sign;


    Sounds promising. So in I went, paid my $10.00 and was introduced to an interesting new form of motorsport. Sedans around a dirtbike course. Nothing funnier than watching two cars trying for first around a corner that would be tight for two dirtbikes. Entertaining stuff. They also had kids on PeeWee’s fanging about. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching two kids collide, and one going flying and bouncing into the front wheel of another PeeWee and being used for traction. Sick, I know. After being told what a lovely Triumph I had, kicked the SR over and I was off into Jindabyne.


    A quick video of the cars -


    I haven’t done the Alpine Highway before, through the Snowy Mountains area but for those of you haven’t – it should be first on your list of things to do. A tight, windy road, well paved but with occasionally oncoming traffic crossing the centreline the scenery is absolutely amazing.



    Stuck the SR in fourth and just thumped up and around the twisties, sticking to the left and feeling every suck, squeeze, bang and blow as I let the bike struggle up into the revs from corners I was too lazy to change down through.


    Absolutely fantastic riding. The scenery, the surface, and the slow-moderate pace I’d adopted just made for possibly the best bit of motorcycling I’d ever done. I’m going to have to do it again, for sure. And in my opinion there’d be no better bike to do it on than an SR.

    The roads leading out of the snowies towards Jindabyne were pretty cool too, a bit more throttle and the SR was bumping and weaving around the corners flat out. I've been quick on quick bikes before, but nothing really makes you feel like you're going fast like an SR. I was probably doing only 120-130, but you feel every single bump, gust of wind and bit of gravel on the road. It actually feels like you're riding a motorbike.

    Jindabyne itself is a depressing, parasitic town. I’m sure many people love it, and I’m also sure it’s not without it’s charms but there’s something sad about the place. The weather, the lack of permanency and no shop being opened on New Years day, which led to 2000 tourists wandering around looking for something to do. Got a terrible pizza, stopped at an internet café to find the place I was staying at. The Aalberg Chalet was a lot more like a motel than a chalet, but I wasn’t in the mood to care. Watched some British superbikes on the teev, fell asleep.

    Day Three

    Well, I can see why the included breakfast was free. Two eggs, some crap bacon and a hashbrown the size of a panadol.

    Getting some fuel when a Japanese chap came up to me, looking at my bike a grin spreading across his face.

    “Hooooooooooooooor. CRASSIC SR!†Yep, that’s it, I told him.
    “Why you have wrong jacket?â€

    Finally, somebody with half a brain. He came from around the world, but it’s refreshing to know that someone is switched on enough to read the engine covers. Turns out he’s riding his bike down from Darwin, a little 250cc Suzky dirtbike. Ambitious little bastard. Now I know how they conquered half of the pacific 60 years ago.

    I’d planned on staying in Canberra for the night, but as I was riding in I noticed something was wrong. There were cars everywhere. And not good cars. Shithouse, rattling, tappety VN commodores. Heaps of shit. Full of shirtless dickheads doing 6 grand starts at each set of lights.

    Into a servo.

    “Is there a wanker of the year competition on or something?â€
    “Close. Summernats.â€
    “Ah, fcuk that.â€
    “What, don’t you like motorsports?â€
    “No, love it. Is this motorsports?â€

    Gesturing outside, impeccable timing as a wanker did a almost-impressive running burnout down the street.

    “Point taken.â€

    So, all accommodation gone, wankers everywhere I thought that I might as well punch on into Sydney via the boring way – the Hume.

    Besides, I was starting to hurt. The usual aches and pains that you get on a bike like this. My backside was burning, my right wrist, the one I need, was really feeling the pain. Having to keep the throttle pinned open starts to hurt. I’ll have to look into this in the future, either one of those fancy hand/palm things that sticks out or maybe some thicker grips. Either way, I was suffering from a bad case of the CBF's.

    So, went up the Hume, almost got taken out by an overzealous highway patrol as he tore out of the bushes and across two lanes outside Goulbourn in pursuit of a child molester, a murderer or something I’m sure.

    So now I'm staying at the folks house in North West Sydney and pondering my options. I love the SR very dearly, but it's just reaffirmed my want/need for something a bit more tour orientated. After asking around on the forums and through some other channels it looks like I'll be getting a K100, or something of that sort. I'll paint it black, drill the mufflers out and it won't attract homos.
  2. Great read! ANY long bike ride is an experience to be remembered.

    But I have to point out that on a K100, especially if you look under 30, you'll have strange old men coming up to admire it instead! :LOL:
  3. :LOL: And you can confuse people by riding the K100 wearing a Yamaha jacket :LOL:

    Top ride report, mate, all the bases covered, I loved it.
  4. Thanks fellas!

    Special props to you Hornet, for helping me plan the trip. I owe you a beer sometime in the next week.

    Bring on the K100 and I can start doing some more miles!
  5. that would have to be one of the coolest looking SR’s ever…. !!
    liked the video clip…
    if you want to do more touring then get a touring bike… always ride the bike b4 you buy…
    I had my heart set on an FJR until I test rode it and found it to be top heavy… same with the top of the range BMW tourer…
    and oh… give up the fags ;)

    one of the things that i've learnt to do since riding over the Nullarbor is to toot when seeing birds on the road... they can be very slow at times and need a warning... a magpie took out my RH mirror on my RocketIII once... filthy beast!!! :evil:

    thanks for the writeup :)
  6. cool write up.

    might have to finally go about doing the syd-melb ride via the snowies, i've always been thinking about...
  7. Love your write up!

    What happened to the GT750, and how about a Hornet for a touring bike?

    ...You're not going to sell the SR....??? :eek:

    (I know what you mean - it would be nice to have a bike that planted itself on the road and dropped into a low-revving sixth gear on the highway).

    Hole-in-one re sports riders! :LOL:
  8. Great writeup, Quarterwit. I had a good laugh. :)
  9. I was warned off the GT750 by Stew and some guys from the VJMC. Maybe they talked it out of me, or maybe I just couldn't front the cash. Either way the 900 odd I was going to pay for that is in the kitty.

    Couldn't sell the SR mate! So many hours on that thing, so many adventures and so much time spent modding it etc it'd be like selling a kid. And not the crap middle child, but the dux, footy captain son.

    I hit a rabbit on the way down. Really low speeds out of Glenrowan (again). Part of me is frightened the RSPCA are going to lay charges. But I figure If I do get that K100 I'm going to paint the thing black, put one of those big WW2 Luftwaffe Maltese crosses on the side and start painting silhouettes of all the animals I've killed on the side of it, liked downed Spitfires.

    A Hornet would be fantastic, but they seem to hold their value well compared to something like an ER6N, which are down to 8 grand on occasions for 08 models :shock: The Hornets I've seen probably aren't going to be in my price range.

    I have to say I -almost- traded the SR in for a W650 while I was in Sydney. At Deus I spotted one that had 17" Excel rims, small headlight and one or two other things. Nothing too fancy. But sheesh. That's a good looking bike. Damn.
  10. Now that's an Adventure - top write up and pics

    If you're still around on Saturday, why not join us for ride to Robertson Pie shop :cool:
  11. https://netrider.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?t=60756

    What did they have against GTs - great bikes! :mad: