One of the convincing factors for me getting a bike was watching Ewen & Charlies Long Way Round trip, i have always wanted to go for a long multi day ride since i started riding last june, whilst i spent a year researching bikes and riding i was constantly planning long rides that maximised backroads and twisties. Trips to Tasmania and Brisbane being the best destinations for maximum corner carving. Until recently there was little reason for me to ride to either of these destinations, but i did a lot of long day weekend rides through western ACT backroads, wee Jasper, Kings Hwy, Nasho/Kv/MacPass and of course Old Road/Putty/Wollumbi and surrounding areas. However about three weeks ago a good mate of mine ive known for about 7 years moved up to Brisbane for a job, so now that i had a place to crash and the weather had gone into temporary summer mode, it seemed like the perfect time to go for my first ever multi day tour of just about every backroad, mountain pass and set of twisties between Sydney and Brisbane. It was time to realize one of the reasons of why i bought a bike. Preparation: My bike is a 1988 (24) Honda VFR400R NC24 Tri Colour Limited Edition. It has a 400cc V4 that makes around 65hp and a lot of low down talk, it also has very skinny wheels, a very small amount of legroom and agressive clip ons. Its not really the kind of bike to take on a multi day tour, but at least i would enjoy the hell out of it in the twisties. I was fairly worried about taking my bike on such a long ride, if there was a mechanical failure the tow truck bill would likely exceed its value. In light of this i topped up the brakes, lubed its chain and checked its oil, seemed fine. I bought along a tyre repair kit, duct tape, cable ties, screw drivers and a cresent wrench, and spare clutch and brake levers. So i loaded it up, taking what some may consider a lot of gear, full wets, a textile jacket with removed armour and liner (great to wear over leather jacket if it rains or is very cold), a hi vis vest (i want to kill myself for buying this, but i thought it might come in handy and was worth the 5$ at bunnings) full thermals and a neck warmer. I wore takamii kevlars, my vintage style leather jacket from Ozmotorcycleathers/Gimoto (yes i know textile is better for touring, i dont care i like leather more) and a shirt. Also bought my racing gloves and my casual gloves, but stuck to the casuals after my first fill up. For navigation i had my oxford tankbag, which has a clear map window, what i did was slice out the fabric backing, and then place my motorola xoom 2 10" tablet under the window with a pdf of my directions if i needed help, it was great, i could scroll down the directions and i rode with gloved hands through the plastic window. could have even used facebook or watched a tv show, but that probably isnt a great idea. I highly recommend people with tablets do this when they go touring, it worked bloody well. So, thats the admin out of the way, and now we were set for the off: You will notice in this picture that my fuel tap is set to off if you look closely, this became quite awkward at the lights 800m up the road at peak hour when the bike died... Day One (Thursday 23/8/12) I had been ambitious with my route, and had hoped to reach as far north as Armidale by nightfall, however leaving my house at 9am probably threw this out the window. my main plan had been to ride out of Sydney via the Old road, jump on the F3 too Freemans Reach (decided to skip wollumbi and so on, i ride those roads every weekend anyway) then head through the back of Maitland and other sundry random places left isolated by the construction of the divided F3. I reached the Berowa Mobil at about 10am to come across the Ulysses MC assembling for what i was told was a weekly thursday ride up to Sugerloaf mountain, i wasnt sure where that was exactly, but i passed it somewhere along the way i think. I was amazed the at the number of riders they had assembled, at least 30 bikes it seemed, i wheeled over to get air and started chatting to the rider of a Bombardier Spyder, they were quite amused to see me going for a massive ride in such a inappropriate bike, most of them were on proper big touring bikes, Goldwings, ST1300s, 1200GS's and such. You can just see my bike hidden behind the huge super tourers by the air pump. I was very kindly invited to ride with them, they were heading to Wollumbi then onto sugerloaf, but i was made an Honorary member considering me and the bike are 45 Years old together and road with the fast group (dam those Goldwings can be muscled around) for the ride down the Old Road. It was actually really special to have the flotilla of bikes leading me out of town, considering LWR and LWD were such an inspiration for me getting a bike, to have a send off just like they enjoy on the television was great. So yeah, cheers Ulysses MC. I separated from them at peats ridge, and jumped on the F3 at Kariong for the burn up to Freemans Reach, where i left the F3 and started to make my way through the backroads to Bulahdelah and Wootton way. after navigating some nice old towns, i started on the quiet backroads, some of which were so isolated and out of the way they had not even had their lines repainted from yellow to white. Interesting sights along the way were what looked to be some massive temple or cult site on top of a ridge covered in trees several stories tall, just west of a small settlement called Girvan. Other highlights included Booral Servo on the bucketts way, here is where i got the best bacon and egg roll i have ever had. Thick cut bacon that was clearly farm fresh and an egg laid probably by the chickens wandering around the servo forecourt. I have not tried other things on the menu, but this place is ace. Most of the roads around here were extremely patty caked and pot holed, in parts it was only about a land cruiser wide, which made for a few close calls with locals and commercial vehicles, but nothing the VFR and i couldn't handle. Speaking of the bike, it was performing well, the tankbags fullness allowed me to ride with next to no weight on my bars, this allowed the front end to chatter to its hearts content as the bike and i bounced and skipped over the bumpy roads. At speed this is quite exciting, the super skinny tires and worn suspension give it a very "classic IOM" type handling. I think it could use a steering dampener, but its not worth the expense on a 4 grand bike. I left the isolated backroads of inner Maitland nearing 1:30pm, getting lost a few times with out cell reception delayed me a bit, either way i quickly jumped on the F3 to ride to the start of one of my favourite roads in the state, Wootton Way, its an old part of the F3, that is very twisty but also 3-4 lanes wide with lots of good cement barriers, its mostly deserted but suffers from lots of leaf litter, however in the dry this isnt an issue. Its a great road, full of huge sweepers with great camber, a fast road for sure, anyone wanting to excite themselves on a big bike, should head here. The picture of the road is from when i drove up this road in February to Byron Bay in the cage. At this point it was about 2:30, it was clear i wouldnt make it all the way to Port Macquaire then up the Oxley to Walcha and onto Armidale, that was simply out of the question. I still hadn't visited the National Motorcycle Museum at Nabiac yet, a must see for sure. I stopped there and spent an hour pouring over all the bikes, there must have been thousands, i really enjoyed seeing an RC30, the bike my bike is inspired by. One day i would like to own one along side my NC24, just so they can match. So many nice bikes its impossible to list, worth a visit for just 12$. The RC30 at Nabiac After i left Nabiac, i took the tourist drive into Port Macq, besides being held up in a traffic jam caused by an old bitty driving her bloody mobility scooter over a shoulder less bridge (what the **** mate? when the govt took your license away, i dont think they meant you should ride your effing scooter on a 80kph road) Anyway, that traffic jam wound me up a fair bit, so i pulled over at a park for a break and some water and enjoyed the sun going down. I then headed up ocean drive and into port macquaire, some nice views along the way especially at sundown. then a bit further up the road, I drove into town looking for a dodgey motel with vacancy, there was a place that looked like something out of scarface, i was intrigued, but i pressed on and found the Ozzie Pozzie backpackers run by a nice french girl, for 40 dollars i got a bed and a roof, perfect. I actually really enjoyed the backpackers, spent the night playing pool and having a few beers and pizza with some fun young people from England/Germany/Scotland/France. so that was great. I will be staying here again when i next want to do the oxley. I hit the sack at about 11, knowing i would have to get up early for day two, i had not made it nearly far enough that day, and still wanted to do a loop over the great dividing range taking in the Oxley and Gwyndir highways before also going through Lismore, Nimbin, Mulliwimbah and then onto Brisbane. I knew it was going to be a big day. But i think thats enough for one post. Here is a map of the route i took on the first day: http://goo.gl/maps/Ev4n1 Will post up day two later tonight.