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Popped my 'Bonang Cherry' today

Discussion in 'Bikes' started by Mick M, Apr 29, 2016.

  1. Feck Yeah!

  2. Hell No!

    0 vote(s)
  3. On my to-do list...

  4. Not in this lifetime, buddy!

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Here's a quick wrap up of my 2 day mini-epic

    Left Mooroolbark at 9am Thu and rode to Noojee, down through Fumina Sth, Toongabbie, Perry Bridge, Bairnsdale, Lakes Entrance, Orbost, Cann River, Delegate (NSW), back over the Vic border to the start of the Bonang Hwy.

    About 650km found me facing a sunset and it was time to set up camp. Lights out at 7pm, alarm set for 6am.
    The idea was to break camp by 7am and get home mid-avo.

    My body had its own agenda, though.
    I woke at bright-eyed and bushy-tailed just after 3am and thought; 'What the feck! Let's try to beat the storms'
    Broke camp by 4.30 and acquainted myself with this challenging road with the assist of my magnificent high beams. Thank you, Suzuki!

    I quite like this road. It's a sort of three-in-one deal. Fairly tight and technical on the Nth end, then that decent dirt, onto the beautiful fast sweepers on the Sth End. I allowed myself a fairly loose relationship with the speed limit in some parts, as there was no traffic at all. Beauty!

    Hit Orbost around 6am, just in time to capture a magnificent sunrise and a servo opening.

    Then home, in time for lunch. Only caught a couple of quick showers near Traralgon and pushed on.

    The 'ahem' new panniers worked well. Nothing fell off the bike, including me. Need to sort out a screen before the next road trip, as my neck is a bit sore from the wind blast. Boo-Hoo!

    Just over 1,100 km travelled and only 2 refuelling stops. Really lovin' the big tank.

    001.JPG 003.JPG 007.JPG 008.JPG 013.JPG 016.JPG 021.JPG
    • Like Like x 18
    • Winner Winner x 10
  2. If we get down that way I'd love to give it a shot :)
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  3. I love it and still havent had a full dry run yet!
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  4. I've done it twice now, and, aside from my luggage falling off the bike and me not noticing, had a ball!
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  5. That sounds like the perfect overnighter MickMick! The V-Strom is just such a versatile can-do bike - two fuel stops in 1,100 kilometres! I have a feeling in me waters that there's either a DL650 or 1000 in my future too. I really like the day-night cycle of camping where you sleep more-or-less soon after dark and can be up with the sun, or in your case well before. I haven't travelled along the Bonang Highway yet. I like your summation of it's length - gives a good impression of what to expect. How many litres does the DL650A tank hold?
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  6. The DL650 is a great bike for these sorts of trips.

    Regarding fuel, it's a 22 litre tank. I've done 485 km's on a tank out in the hills, the last 50km was a little nervous, considering the second low fuel warning came on at 380 kms, lol. The last 100km's was far slower than the first! I put in 21.7 litres I think.

    I can't vote in this poll, I don't love or hate the Bonang.
    I am not a fan of the southern end of the Bonang. I don't like the fact I can't see far enough around these slow left handers to setup my line and throttle. You either have to go faster than you can see ahead of you, which is pretty unsafe given I came across two cars in my lane coming the other way, or go slow.
    So I end up having fun in the right handers, and not in many of the lefts. Ruins the rythem.

    I enjoy the rest, and even enjoy the larger section of dirt. But it's not my favourite road in the area by a long way.
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  7. I liked it so much I made it my profile pic

    Doing the whole thing in the dark though... that's pretty keen !
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  8. One of Australia's best roads. Done it many times, wet/dry. Always look forward to it.
    Glad you enjoyed the ride.
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  9. Great report, and I love the bridge picture...
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  10. Those 'panniers', what are they? It looks like their some sort of modified plastic chopping boards or boat bait boards.
  11. I totally agree with you, XJ6NXJ6N.
    The day-night cycle, as you call it, is a great way to shake off the tv-alarm clock routine I'm used to.
    It just feels so free to wake up in the middle of nowhere, and act on your body clock.

    Mine also holds 22L of fuel and I regularly get 420-440km before refuelling. It then takes 18-20 litres, with the fuel gauge blinking empty.
    Although far from perfect, the Strom's a lot of bike for the money, especially 2nd hand..
  12. You're close, but it's actually 8mm thick plastic, old workbench top.
    Cut it up with a jigsaw and used hex bolts with nylon lock nuts. The rear cross bar is 25mm PVC pipe, heated and bent to shape.

    I used a 3mm metal bracket bolted to the OEM luggage rack just ahead of the top box plate. Its sole purpose is to support the weight. The other mounts just provide additional stability.

    Even though I flattened the rear tube, and tucked it into the mudguard, the rear tyre still rubbed on it, when the rear suspension was fully compressed.
    I'll probably make a new one, and fix it to the outside of the guard, with stronger number plate bolts.
    The tool tube is 100mm PVC pipe with a 15 degree elbow up the top, for a better fit. It's bolted to the pannier frame. It fits my wet over-suit and gloves. I tried to simulate a 2nd muffler. Vain, I know.

    The whole thing is rough as hell, because I just wanted it ready for this trip.
    In time, I'll shape it all properly, and spray it black.
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  13. Free - now that's about it isn't it. It's been a couple of years since I've done a multi-day (non-motorcycle) trip with camping. The early morning is probably my favourite time of day.

    Value-for-money and versatility, there's probably none better than the Strom. I've been looking at an '07 DL1000 with 50K on the clock but in perfect condition for $5,000...
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  14. damn straight.
    you may want to send me a pm in regards to your exhaust.
  15. Hello peeps that have done the Bonang before;:)

    Mick MMick M - cool photos and write up - love it! :cool:

    I'm toying with the idea on which route to take back up north to Qld.... it will most likely be in end of May/early June....cold madness! I would have to do it leaving from Orbost heading northwards. It's going to have to be done on my road tyres for the Duke KTM 390. I will need to do it in one hit since I haven't got any camping gear.
    I also have very limited offroad experience (but people keep telling me that the only way to get it, is to just go out and do it!) lol

    So... I have a few questions to put it to you and others that have done this awesome road...

    With limited off-road experience on a road bike - would this be an ok road to do it
    a) in 1 hit starting from Orbost early in the morning? I would assume so since Orbost to Bombala according to Mr Google maps is 161kms....
    b) doing it alone? (Is there phone reception for large parts of it)
    c) how many kms of dirt is there?
    d) how bad / ok / good is it? Hard packed, soft, sand, gravel?
    e) what would be the average kms / hr that one does on the dirt section?

    Tight blind twisties do not bother me or my bike, neither do long sweepers. It's the dirt part that I am a little humming about on whether I will attempt to take the Bogong Hwy, or have to stick to the Monaro Hwy (pls shoot me!) or the Princes Hwy (full coastal way)....

    If anyone has answers and or would like to accompany me for an o/n there for a laugh at a newbie on dirt :wacky:- I'll be most appreciative! o_O:D(y)

    PS. Mick MMick M _ where exactly is that nemo fish???? I have a fascination with large ridiculous statues in towns and I'm 'collecting' photos of them along my travels. This would be a lovely trophy to my growing collection!! I must have it! lol
  16. I should be able to give you some insight ValvolineValvoline.

    Offroad bike/tyres are not a requirement at all. The dirt wouldn't be all that fun if it has rained recently though. Best to try out a couple of dirt and gravel sections of road near yourself first. Practice is the best way to learn - slow speeds but keep up momentum, light braking mostly from the rear, no sudden jerkiness in steering, throttle or braking, and minimal lean. Stand up on the pegs to absorb bumps and gain more control if required.

    a) Early morning in 1 hit not a problem. Would recommend sunlight though. I didn't see roos and other wildlife there but I can imagine you should be aware of them considering there is minimal traffic to scare them off.

    b) Pretty sure you won't get reception anywhere along the Bonang. Doing it alone isn't the greatest idea, as you could well end up 80km from anywhere with a flat you can't fix with no help in sight. It's not a perilous road however, decreasing radius corners are mostly signposted and the majority are constant radius. Keep within your limits and there shouldn't be a problem in terms of needing anything other than mechanical assistance... Take from that what you will. Personally I wouldn't shy away from doing it alone, but it could be an hour or more before you see another vehicle at all.

    c/d) 10km ish of gravel and about 2km of dirt. The dirt was by no means soft, but it would be a nightmare in the wet. The gravel was good for the most part besides a handful of areas which are packed up and a little slippery. Mostly uphill if coming from Orbost which makes it easier, just take the couple of hairpins slowly and brake early for them, and stay on your side of the road since you have little maneuverability on loose surfaces. These two sections are not far out of Delegate.

    e) 30-40km/h through most of the dirt and gravel on a road bike no dramas.
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  17. Yep, the gravel is hard packed. It's still a road, so you won't have any offroad experience after either :p

    Take it slow and remember to stay light on the handlebars in the gravel, give the bike a little freedom. Sit back on the seat, or weight the pegs.

    The northern dirt section will be slippery if wet and I'd advise attempting on the bike it if I'm honest. But if it is what it is, give yourself time to go slow. Even if you go at 10km's an hour it will only take 10-15 mins to get through the dirt. Don't be afraid to get off the bike and walk it if it feels too slippery. Even then it's only a 2 km walk.

    When are you going? After this wild weather you will need to be mindful of fallen trees, or dirt gravel washed across the road. It's also an extremely narrow road, so be prepared to get out of the way of any cars or motorcyclists who stray over the line.
  18. Thanks HarbHarb , I'll keep it in mind since I have to get to Orbost for my 1st night anyhow. I'll just have to see the BOM the night before and how the day begins (and how chicken:chicken::chicken: I feel) and make a last minute call as I'm staring at the turn for Bogong way.
  19. BjpittBjpitt lol yeah I guess technically it isn't "offroad" is it!? :rolleyes:

    I would attempt it in about 3 weeks time so (end May) I'm hoping to only have to contend with the cold, rather than the crazy wild wild weather that's been hitting the southern coastline! I have some some nice gravel roads around Gippsland area - but they were piddly and wouldn't really count them as 'experience' :oldman: One that I remember is the Donna Buang Rd, and the State forest tracks for the Arapiles and the Maryborough Regional Park. In total it would have been about 30kms max.

    I wasn't game to do more than 40kms/hr in those sections and I have a puncture kit - but I'd rather not use it!:angelic: Cheers!
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  20. #20 jmc, May 3, 2016
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
    Easy peasy. It's only about 120km to Delegate. Road is only twisty as far as Delegate. From Delegate to Bombala is a normal boring highway.

    Just take it handy. Especially your first time up the road. Pretty much no phone reception between Orbost & Delegate.

    Long 12km section starts about 78km from Orbost. Short 2km section just before Delegate. So 14km all up.

    Meh its dirt.

    I managed about 40kmh. My advice is to ride in the car wheel tracks, they'll be smoother and you'll have more grip. You need to think ahead with your cornering lines more on the dirt. Make sure that you're in the left wheel track approaching a right hander, and in the right wheel track approaching a left hander. As soon as you can see which way the next corner is going get yourself into that wheel track. Use light steering & braking inputs, prefer the rear brake, if your bike has different riding modes use the least aggressive 'rain mode' or B for Boring mode on an MT09.
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