Saturday, July 12, 2014

Bad Drivers

There are some seriously fucken hopeless fuckers out there that should not have a license. Seriously what the fuck.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

A Winters Day Ride

Up until last week we had had a relatively mild winter so far with 20°C days but then the real winter weather struck with some temps down near 0°C over night. Still the days have been ok in the high teens and still good weather for riding.

Bushpig suggested a ride which was on the cards for the last couple of weeks except something kept getting in the way. I'd text-ed Brad as I hadn't seen him for awhile(better remedy that with a BBQ soon mate). He said he'd come but I had no idea what bike he now has. Last time we rode he had a VTR1000 but had sold it. So it was a big surprise when he pulled up at my place with a brand spanking new beautiful Z1000. Mate I love your bike. I'm so jealous right now. I'd love to ride it. It's been on my new bike shopping list for a couple of years now and you've done nothing to quell that thought.

It was a cool morning but it had warmed up just nicely for the trip up the Putty road. Along the way we were passed by Batvomit on his 998 Ducati going the other way. I don't think he noticed us. Stewie stopped in at the Grey Gums Cafe even though Bushpig said we'll stop at the old half way house for bacon & egg rolls. On the way out of GGC Brad caught up to us. Hey looking sharp there on that spiffy new Z thou mate.

We eventually stopped in at the old half way house and all ordered bacon & egg rolls washed down with a drink. It was so relaxing standing out in the warm winter sun. We stood around for about 30 minutes just admiring the bikes, chatting and eating our lunch, before Bushpig had the call for an after ride beer. Good call mate. It was a fantastic winters day for a ride, not to cold at all. Good riding with my mate Brad on his new Z1000. Terrific bike, he looked chuffed to bits. Now to just wrestle that key off him.....

On another note it was also the first ride out since the new lane splitting laws have been introduced here in NSW. I must say it is now so much more fun to legally lane split and it feels like you have to do it now that it is law. It certainly does get you places a lot faster, especially travelling along Windsor road with its big wide lanes. Brad was splitting like a mad bastard on the way back, we only caught him at the Seven Hills lights.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Doohan vs Criville

Found this classic behind the scenes video from the 1995 Eastern Creek 500cc Gp.
Love how Doohan absolutely gives it to Criville at the end and says to Criville "Do you know what racing is?"

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Does the music you listen to influence your riding

When we were kids growing up in the country flyboy and I were exposed to the music of our parents, some may call it music. I call it suffering. You see our parents didn't have a musical bone in their bodies. They wouldn't know the difference between Beethoven and Bon Jovi, Metallica and Madonna. You see we were forced to listen to their love of country music and in particular Slim Dusty who was an Australian Country Music legend if there is such a thing. On long trips in the car they would play the same tape over and over until they decided to put in the next one and play that over and over. Unlike now, Back in those days you were actually allowed to 'hit' your kids and torture them with insane country music. You see till this day I now can't stand country music, with it's 3 chords and twanging guitar. Urgh give me death please.........

Luckily my older brother exposed me to rock music early on from Kiss in the 70's to Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and Motley Crue in the 80's, to Pearl Jam, Extreme and Metallica in the 90's. I was instantly hooked on rock music and have been ever since. I'll never go back to any other sort of music, there are so many great rock bands new and old.

Late in high school I took up guitar and all I wanted to do was play heavy rock and speed guitar. With the guitar influences that I had at the time and still do to this day I some times wonder if the music I listen to influenced me in the bikes that I like and the way that I ride them. The faster the guitar player the better, which transitioned across to motorcycles. The faster bike the better.

If you like rock music then this post is for you. If you hate rock music then maybe you should close now and go listen to some Beiber. Each clip is only around the minute mark. My very first guitar hero in the late 80's was Edward Van Halen. Here is eddies most memorable solo that influenced generations of guitar players everywhere with ERUPTION. Around this time one of my favourite motorcycles was the ZZR-1100, at that time one of the fastest bikes around. Thanks to various websites for the bike pics - cheers.

In the early 90's my favourite guitar god was a Swedish guitar slinger named Yngwie Malmsteen. Around this era I was in love with the 1993 CBR900RR. The kick ass sportsbike of its time just as fast as this neo classical guitar god.

You don't remember I'll never forget solo
92 Blade

By the mid nineties I was in full swing doing tracks days with the goal of going as fast as possible and getting the knee down. Well isn't that every sportsbike riders goals. With several rider training days at Eastern Creek and Wakefield park raceways then it was into track days, to unleash. Theres no holds barred at the track, which is like the next bikes I was drooling over. 2 living legends the GSXR750 and ZX-7. Now they were pure sportsbikes. These bikes are every bit as fast as my next guitar hero, Steve Vai the master of the modern electric guitar. Some people say steve has seven fingers to play like this...

Steve Vai - Eugene's trick bag
96 Gixxer
97 ZX-7

By the late 90's the greatest sportsbike in history came along and blew everyone and everything away. Just like the next guys guitar playing. Smokin Joe Satriani.

Joe Satriani - Back to Shalla Bal

98 R1
The modern era of sportsbikes are upon us with all their electronic wizardry, slipper clutches, traction control, ABS brakes, fuel injection, active suspension system and other bits and pieces. One of my modern day guitar favourites Mr Mark Tremonti....

Alter Bridge - Open your eyes

And yet another modern day classic bike destined to have a great history just like it's forebearer the 916, but faster and even sexier......and Randy Rhoads taken from us way too soon.

Ducati Panigale 1198

Randy Rhoads Crazy Train outro solo

So what does any of this have to do with riding? Well maybe nothing, maybe everything. It seems that the bikes that I like are sharp aggressive and fast and when they come out are ground breaking technology in some ways. When I listen to these guitar players I realised that many of these guys are the same in their field, fast, innovative, aggressive players just like their bike counterparts.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Nabiac National Motorcycle Museum

On the weekend we had to go to Forster-Tuncurry as the missus was doing a training seminar which meant that on saturday I had to look after the girls. Now what would two little girls, 6 and under love to do in a beach side town I hear you ask? That's right they'd love to visit the National Motorcycle Museum which is nowhere near the beach. Righty'o girls lets go, while the enthusiasm is still at sky high levels or until they realise that we aren't at the beach.

It's only about a short 15-20 minute drive to Nabiac from Forster, we were the first people to visit the museum which was about 9:30am, the lights were still out when we walked in. The owner Brian and Margaret Kelleher were fantastic people to talk with, very friendly with some great local advice as well. The cost of admission was pretty good too at only $12 to see over 800 bikes. Well worth it in my books. This is the largest motorcycle museum in Australia.

Wow look at all these bikes Dad.

The owners dog wouldn't leave little miss 6 alone until he ate all of her chips.

They had Tex's Hayabusa here, from Tex & Bundy fame. Click the link to check out their website. Bundy is the blue Heeler that has travelled over 600,000 km's on Tex's bikes all for charity and a great amount of fun thrown in. The girls loved the bike with the puppy on it.

Lambretta scooters

The shear number of bikes here is overwhelming. I would have never expected to see so many in a small town like Nabiac. They have motorcycle toys and memorabilia scattered throughout the museum. They even have a pair of leathers from famous Aussie 500cc GP racer Garry McCoy.

It was also somewhere around here that little miss 6 realised we weren't going to the beach and every 30 seconds began to ask can we go now, repeat ad nauseum....for the next hour.

Best to come here without any kids in tow if you want a peaceful visit.

So many bikes there stacked to the roof

 There was no information label attached to this BSA. From the photo it looks like a salt lake racer to which a little searching on the interweb has unearthed the bike does indeed belong to Mark Burrows a member of the dry lake racers Australia.

The Ducati section

RZ500 classic

 They had this old moto guzzi that I noticed the speed and taco were actually mounted on the petrol tank. It seems pretty weird to me even in this day and age.

Even more bikes

Classic RC30 and Fireblade

After about an hour of ear bleeding kids whining I had seen about all of the bikes. What a fantastic display of motorcycles from historic racers and street bikes, speed way bikes. I highly recommend stopping in to have a look around if your in the area and can spare an extra hour or so. Oh, and if anyone was wondering I took the girls to the beach after we left the museum, I'm not that much of a bastard.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Vivid Festival

On Saturday I took the family down to the harbour to have a look at the Vivid festival. Vivid is a festival of light, sound and ideas. The idea behind it is that at night they have light and laser shows and they imprint images onto the sides of the city buildings including the opera house amongst others. The festival is mainly concentrated around the rocks area where a light show may be as big as a whole building as above or it could be as small as the lights above an alleyway as seen to the left.

Laser shows run up and down the buildings up until about midnight for a two week period at the end of may start of June.

The main feature of the show is the Sydney Opera House. It is certainly an impressive building at any time yet it really comes to life when they turn on the lights and music. Below is one of the only good photos I got of the opera house, I haven't really taken night photos before and most of them ended up being blurry. Need to take a stand next time to hold the camera steady.

Below is a short video I took on the night, mind my dodgey camera work as I got distracted at the start.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Oxley Highway Overnighter

When is a group ride not a group ride? Well when you ride with us of course. A good friend Steve in Brisbane organised a ride to Walcha on the Oxley hwy last weekend. He was to meet us at Walcha on Friday arvo and the rest of us Sydney siders were to meet up at Wilberforce at 9:30 to start the trip. That's where the wheels fell off the group ride right there. Wayne's bike broke down on the way and Ant was running an hour late. A text told us to keep going and we'll meet somewhere along the way. 

So we pushed on up the Putty road to singleton on our group ride. Yep there was me and Geoff. I suppose that could be considered a group. We got stopped just north of Bulga as the coal mine nearby the road was conducting some explosive demolition.  After about a 25minute wait we rode through the area after the blast and you could smell the acrid after effects of the explosives. It was very strong on the nassal passages.

After a quick morning tea in singleton we continued on through to Dungog via Gresford. The road along here was very badly chopped up. It would be a fantastic road if it had some money spent on it to fix it up. The scenery on this section is quite beautiful.

We had just stopped to take in the view when 2 highway patrol cars drove past whilst we were stopped. I count that one as a win. We continued on into Gloucester for fuel and a break. We found out here that the guys were on the way but were a fair way behind. Then I noticed Geoff's new shirt still had the size label stuck to the front of it, he'd been wearing that most of the day like that. We both pissed ourselves laughing before removing the offending tag. It was time to continue on up onto the thunderbolts way to Walcha.

It's been a while since I've been up here and the road is pretty much how I remember it except it's gotten a lot rougher. There were 2 vehicles crashed off the side of the road here and I can't help but think has the road condition had anything to do with the crashes. Some sections were quite good and had been resurfaced but its generally a pretty bumpy trip especially the section that climbs up to Barrington Tops and the look out.

We finally got into Walcha around 4pm and refueled ready for the next day. It was time to hit the pub up for beers and diner. Steveo was already there waiting for us. He'd made good time from Brisbane. Then about an hour later the rest of the group actually arrived.

Day 2 started out with a bit of fog and a chill in the air. It was time for some breaky at the local cafe. The bacon and egg roll was expensive but it hit the spot just right. We didn't get underway until about 10am as one of the ducatis battery's packed it in due to the cold. Rick and Stewie got underway as they were doing the full loop around waterfall way and the oxley. I wasn't feeling like doing that ride and opted for just doing the Oxley to Wauchope and back.

Fog & Chilly

Thunderbolts Sign

Ricks Tuono
We  got underway late but that was ok because we knew that being almost winter that there would be wet patches on the road in the shade where the sun doesn't get on the road at this time of year. Jason and i briefly stopped and got some pics of the guys riding. It wasn't long before we arrived in gingers creek where we stopped for refreshments.

Safety first Jason

Me on the Oxley

Bikes at Gingers Creek

Gingers Creek Store

After Gingers I'd put on the gopro to get some footage of this fantastic road. You might say it's one of the best motorcycle roads in the galaxy. Its best viewed in 720p.

Coming out of the last few km's of twisties on the Oxley I saw a couple of wallaby's sitting on the side of the road. This brought the speeds back down as I didn't want to hit one of those. From here on back to Walcha the road really opens up into big straights and sweeping bends over the hills here. This reminds me a bit of the snowy mountains highway. It can be tempting to open a bike up along here, which may or may not have happened.

Big sweeping bends and long straights
 On the way back I wanted to stop in at Aspley falls and have a look. It was late in the afternoon and I was taking photos into the sun so they didn't work out so good. Oh well there's always next time. The falls themselves were pretty spectacular.

Aspley Falls Entrance

Aspley Falls

That was the end of day 2, with another enjoyable night spent at the bar with some good company listening to Geoff(the life coach) give out advice to all who would listen. After a quick brekkie and coffee we hit the road around 9am. It was rather cool out this high up but still a good ride, at least we weren't riding into the sun like on day 1.

We stopped for a quick refuel in Gloucester then again in Singleton. It was here that I'd noticed Geoff's tyre was really shagged and we still had about 220kms to go to get home. Everyone gathered around to laugh at Geoff. At least the putty road has lots of bends on the way home so he won't use the centre of that tyre all the way.

Bikes on the putty, nearly home
The new leathers were great out on this ride and were very comfortable when riding. I had a fantastic weekend and must thank Stevo for organising it and the rest of the guys for making it a memorable trip. Looking forward to the next ride now.

Heres the map link for our ride.