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Visiting Sydney & Melbourne - lots of questions!

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by em_in_seattle, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. Hi All!

    Thanks for reading! I'm going to be visiting Sydney (starting Monday April 7), then flying on to Melbourne from April 12 to April 19. I've been thinking of renting a motorcycle to do some exploring while I'm there. I'm probably going to have 3 or 4 full days leaving from Melbourne to ride, although I may have some time out of Sydney as well. This is kind of a last minute trip, so I haven't really had time to do much planning. Some local knowledge would be great!

    So, my questions:

    Where to rent:
    I've found a number of sites that rent bikes on the internet - bikeroundoz dot com and rental-motorcycle dot com (sorry, it won't let me post links) - does anyone know anything about these, or know of anyone else that rents bikes?

    What to rent:
    I ride a Ninja 650 in the US (I think they call it the ER6 in Europe, not sure about Australia). Since I won't know the roads and since you all drive on the wrong side of the road :wink: , I was thinking of renting a 250 to avoid getting myself in trouble. Does a 250 seem like an OK choice to you all?

    Where to go?
    Here's the big question - If you had 3 or 4 days to ride from Melbourne, where would you recommend? Also, any nice places to stay along the way? One note - I' a single girl from 1/2 a world away, so I'm hoping for some pretty scenery and interesting places to visit, not an off-road crocodile wrestling trip!

    Helmets & Gear
    I have a shoei helmet here in the US that has the "DOT" (US department of transportation), and SNELL (Snell Foundation) certifications. You have to have at least DOT in most states. I'm wondering what standards are required of helmets over there, and whether I should ship mine, rent one, or buy one when I get there. Also, any other big gear suggestions?

    Driver's Licensing:
    I have a motorcycle license here in the US, but just noticed that some of these rental sites talk about an international license. I'll do some research on my own, but does anyone know anything about the requirements???

    Day trips in Sydney?
    I just got an email that makes me think I might have at least 1 day in Sydney without too much to do. Are there any day trips, or 1/2 day trips I should look into? (I may rent a car for this since work will be paying for my 1st week)

    Any other suggestions, thoughts, etc. would be great!

  2. try these

    you should be able to rent an ER6/5 pretty cheaply (doubt it would be much more than a 250) and then you will have a machine that you know so one less thing to worry about on the roads

    really the only road to ride as a tourist is the Great ocean road, its not the fastest (50mph most of the way) but it is one of the most scienic and there are lots of places of interest

    rental places will rent or sell helmets, better than bringing your own as we have this thing called ADR (Australian design regulations) and if it doesnt have that sticker on you are classed as riding without a helmet for police and insurance purposes so prolly better off getting one over here

    dont think you need an international licence with an American licence but definately check it out (better safe than sorry)
  3. Hey em... You'll have a ball over here i'm sure!

    I cant really help with many of your questions, but if you're thinking of hiring a bike here in Sydney, try:


    Great bunch of guys and very reasonably priced.
  4. You're selling your home state very short there mate.

    OP If you have a US photo license you will be ok over here.
    Just remember you cant go through red lights when turning (as you turn right over there) FWIW Riding a different bike on the wrong side of the road would have to be the most daunting thing anyone could do. Its bad enough when you have a steering wheel in front of you that can remind you where you should be. A bike has nothing. I chickened out of hiring in FL for that very reason. A big GMC Denali was good enough!
  5. The links you mentioned are agencies that link enquiries to other businesses. In Melbourne, the main renters are Garners and Clipstone Yamaha. (There may be others).

    I would seriously think about getting something a bit bigger. The distances are quite large, and while a 250 will get you there, a bigger bike will do it in a more capable manner.

    The Great Ocean Road is very scenic, and a nice ride, but very exposed in bad weather. (April should be OK). It also has a fairly low speed limit - strictly enforced - and doesn't link up to much else.

    Another alternative would be the Alpine Road (Bright - Mount Hotham - Omeo - Bairnsdale). This is much longer and would also be weather-dependent.

    Whichever you decide, post up a ride date on this forum and I'd be surprised if you don't get people willing to show you around.

    Rent them.

    International license is as simple as filling out a form, putting a passport photo on it and showing your license to the issuing authority. In this country it's the motoring associations.
  6.  Top
  7. Lots of people online that have days off or casual hours that Im sure will be able to chaperone you on a few rides, just let the post play out and Im sure you will have a inbox full of P.M.'s in no time.

    I would recommend getting an international licence. Makes hire and insurance easier. Email hire place first and get all legalities sorted first. International licence are cheaps as chips here, like 20$ from local automobile association. Dont know about same in States. Canada HAD to have insurance and locals authorities wanted me to resit learners then full licence :jerk: bollox to that I said, and eventually got insured. Here is different and hirer will have an insurance agreement I would suggest.

    If carrying you helmet with carry-on luggage, isnt an issue, I would bring your own. Hire joints will slug you another fee to hire there's.
    Try Gardiner's bike hire.
    http://www.garnersmotorcycles.com.au/ Their not far from heart of Melbourne city-which is where Im presumming you will be staying?(10 mins-may even drop it off at your hotel or at least come pick you up and pillion you back to their premises.
    Clipstone Yamaha while not that hard to find, is a 45 minute train ride from city and then a 15 minute walk. They may have a larger selection of bikes to choose from. I hired a Yamaha XJ750 from them many many years ago and was expensive but no issues.
    Personally if you used to an ER6 then I would stick with similar powered bike. Great ocean road can be a bit blowy this time of year and heavier more powerfull bike will work to your advantage :)

    If you can ride with someone here be much better-navigation and just follow leader-for obvious wrong side of roads issues. I rode across Canada few years back and 3-4 times I automatically pulled out onto wrong side of the road, luckily always no traffic, :-k otherwise wouldnt have done it in 1st place :wink: just habit.

    Like I said, Im sure someone will play tourist guide, we friendly here :grin:
  8. When you hire in Melbourne the bike should already be registered in Victoria. Make sure it is because you will be covered by the Transport Accident Commission. This means your medical, ambulance, hospital expenses (after the first $564) are covered in the event you have an accident. It even covers some repatriation costs if the accident causes you to miss your plane through injury.

    Something worth considering is getting a copy of "The Australian Motorcycle Atlas" by Pete Thoeming. This might also give you some ideas of where you'd like to ride between Melbourne and Sydney.

    As others have said, you'll have shortage of friendly guides and advice.
  9. If you do decide to go down the Great Ocean Road (GOR), hit me up with a PM. I live in Anglesea, which is just at the start, and i'd be more than happy to show you what it has to offer, including all the good stops for photos.

    I'm a uni student, so pretty much free all the time lol.
  10. Thanks!

    Wow! Thanks all!

    I'm going to do some surfin' on the web and check out all the info you've mentioned. It sounds like Garner's is well thought of, so I may check in to them. I'm going to stop by our local auto club and check on the license issue tomorrow - I'll probably do the intl' as suggested.

    Heh, I was thinking about how strange it will feel to ride on the other side of the road as I was out riding tonight! I actually had the chance to do it a few times as I rode my bike over to one of our local islands, and motorcycles ride in the "out" lane to get to the front of the line for the ferry.

    I have a friend in Melbourne that I'll be staying with over the weekend, and he rides, but he's just started a new job, and will be pretty busy during the week. He's also only been there for a couple years, so I don't know what he knows about the area. I'll definately let you all know when I've figured out my plans.

    Well, need to get some reading done - thanks again all, and plz feel free to keep the suggestions coming! Look forward to maybe even riding w/ some of you!

  11. G'day Em

    I can recommend Garners. Have rented form them in the past and their bikes are in good nick.

    I wouldn't worry about bringing your helmet as most hire shops will either throw one in or charge a very minimal fee. I'd be more concerned with bringing my own jacket, glove and boots. Bare in mind that the temperature is dropping here too, especially in Melbourne. I would opt for winter gear.

    As for the hire bike. I would agree with some suggestions of getting a bike similar to what you own already. It would be one less thing to worry about.

    Melbourne has some awesome riding roads. The Great Ocean Road, Spurs, Great Alpine Road to name but a few. For your day in Sydney I would reccomend heading south to Wollongong via Bundeena National Park. (very popular with the local bikes) There is a lot of places to see along the way including Wattamolla and the view from Stanwell tops is pretty special. A nice drive by car as well.

    I would reccomend you post up some expressions of interest here https://netrider.net.au/forums/viewforum.php?f=48
    You will get a lot of responses and even riding with one person who knows the route would be benificial. You'll generally find that Australian motorcyclists are a freindly bunch willing to help each other out when they can. Being a female tourist will only help your cause.

    Good luck with your trip and let us know how you get on.