Monday, August 15, 2016

Two rides in one weekend

Yes it's hard to believe I know but the drought is over and I got out for 2 rides in the one weekend. Hallelujah brother Amen! The lord must have been shining down on me this weekend either that or he'd fallen asleep and I caught him off guard.

Yes siree Bushpig and I got out for a short ride for lunch. We headed up towards the half way house on the Putty road today. It was perfect riding conditions another 23°C winters day with not a cloud in the sky. Gotta love these Sydney winters.

Riding up Windsor road there were Highway patrol cars and motorcycle police bikes everywhere, must be a blitz on today, that's not good just have to keep the speed in check, not as easy as you think when you own a 200hp ballistic missile it actually takes a lot of concentration to stick at the speed limit on one of these babies.

Filling up the tank at Wilberforce we made our way up to Colo and on through the twisties. Bushpig and I got split up a bit here as he was a speeding but I was being a good boy and who did I see in the middle of the twisties, yes that's right another mobile tax collector, looks like he just did a u turn to chase another bike going the other direction.

Passing by the Grey Gums cafe there must have easily been over 100 bikes in there and there was also a HSV club outing, they followed us out from the cafe headed north.

We soon arrived at the old halfway house and there were a few bikes in here today to.

Bushpig doing what he does best

I might ad here that the hastily written and obviously dodgy signage is factually correct. The bacon and egg rolls are salubrious. I love them with a health dose of pepper! Mouth watering.

We met one of Bushpigs friends from the pub here who was on his way back from the Vietnam veterans ride so we had lunch with Sam and his mate. There was a constant stream of bikes going past today and why not it was the best day for it. It was time to head for home though and we turned our bikes around and rode back down towards Windsor again.

Another fantastic day out on the bikes, since I've had the gearbox fixed under the recall the bike has been going great and I think I've now got it nailed down how to power wheelie the thing too but that's a story for another day

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Royal National Park

Friday was my RDO or rostered day off at work for those not in the know of what an RDO is. I had a thousand and one jobs to do at home which I started the first one which was painting the back patio. As it warmed up a bit I was eyeing off the bright blue sky's and thought to myself wtf am I doing here painting and not out riding? I am I stupid? Don't answer that. back in Feb 2015.

Well let's just say that I hurriedly finished the painting and got straight on the bike and pointed it in the direction of the nearest twisty road. Luckily due to the painting I'd missed the Friday morning peak hour traffic and it took no time at all on the M7 & M5 motorways to get down to the southern side of Sydney to ride through the Royal National Park. The last time I'd ridden down here was when I had Scooterbob back in Feb 2015.

I missed riding in from the top end of the Park near Sutherland preferring to ride into the park via Waterfall and down directly into the twisties. There were quite a few bikes out today which surprised me a little bit being a Friday and all. I suppose that there are a lot of other bike riders out there that also have an RDO or don 't work Friday's, that or they just called in sick to work and went for a ride.

It wasn't long before the 14kms of twisty bits were dispatched and I'd popped out at the look out at Stanwell tops or Bald Hill as its called. Spectacular views from up here and I enjoy it every time I come here. There were a lot of bikes up here today and I had a chat with a friendly young guy riding a GSXR750.

Looking south to Wollongong

There were two friendly little parrots walking around the lookout looking for some stray food that any of the tourists might have dropped on the ground but I had nothing today little fellas sorry.

It was not lunch time and I fancied a burger and beer and knew just the spot for it. I would ride down over the Sea Cliff bridge and on to the Scarborough Hotel for lunch. Its an expensive pub but the views really make up for it and I only do this once every couple of years anyway. I'd stopped at all of these places with my old R1 and thought I'd get some pics with my new R1 at the same locations.

Ocean views galore

My new R1 on the Sea Cliff bridge

The Scarborough Hotel is not very far down past the Sea Cliff bridge and is usually very busy on weekends and it was friday lunch time today and they were already busy. There were a few bikes parked in the carpark today but looks like I got pole position out the front!

The burger and beer was absolutely delicious but was a bit big and I couldn't finish it all. After lunch it was a reverse of the trip down with a few less stops. All up a fantastic way to spend my day off on a friday.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

It's on again

After getting permission from the minister of finance and warfare last year things have been set in motion for another EPIC motorcycle tour. Last years trip didn't eventuate and has been delayed but its back on now with bike hire now confirmed. And who knows there could even be an international bloggers meet up involved. The destination has now been confirmed and dates locked in. Look out my kiwi blogging friends we are coming to play in your back yard. Lock up your daughters.

North Island New Zealand
Looks like this will be part two of the amazing journey we started back in 2014, with a 9 day tour. One thing for sure it will be EPIC. Bring it on! I can't wait. Now to get started on the planning......

Thursday, July 7, 2016

When a blog dies......

I like to read up on all things motorcycles and I happen to follow quite a few moto blogs out there on the interwebs, whether they be on blogger, wordpress or other platforms. I also happen to follow a few Vloggers on youtube like RJ and Adjrian Nickelodean and a couple of others.

Some of the blogs I follow are quite active and post up new posts everyday and then others like myself only post up every couple of weeks or so. I notice some blogs haven't been updated for 8 months or 12 month or sometimes 1 or 2 years. I recently last year found a young Aussie blogger from Adelaide called Riding with Ash, to which I subscribed to and read all of his posts some of which were quite well written. He rode a Yamaha MT-09 naked bike.

Here's a quick pic of his blog, link is above.

Riding with Ash

There are not a huge amount of Aussie blogs but when I find one I usually subscribe and see whats going on in other Aussie riders worlds. This was a fairly new blog and it started out very quickly with regular posts then it stopped again as quickly as it started. I often wonder why a blog will go along then suddenly stop with no new posts. Why are there no more posts???? Did the blogger get bored with it, did they not get the attention on their posts that other social media platforms provide an instant response and gratification from like facebook, instagram etc, did it become a chore rather than an enjoyable thing, have their live's become so busy with the real world that they no longer have the time to post? The possibilities are endless.

What ever the reasons they can be many and varied but I am always left wondering. Geoff at Confessions of an Aging Motorcyclist put up a post to let his readers know that the blog wouldn't be receiving any more updates because of his hectic social life, how hectic can a 68 year old's social life be anyway? But at least he never left anyone hanging, on what happened.

Now where is this all going I hear you all thinking. Just the other day I came across a Moto Vlogger on you tube called Snarkies Vlogs. He is another young kid from Adelaide in his early twenties who rides a Kawasaki ZX-6R and is a bit of a genius at video editing. From one of his particular vlogs I learnt a startling revelation that came as a complete shock. Snarkie was talking about a lot of riders crashing in the Adelaide Hills and he was explaining about this one guy that run his own blog called Riding with Ash. Click on the link below and start it at about the 7:50 mark to find out what happened.

Video courtesy of Snarkies Vlogs, no copyright infringement intended

Yes that's right Snarkie goes on to explain in the above video that Ash was killed on his bike while out riding with one of his mates. Such a sad thing to have happened no matter what the circumstances actually are. Now I know the reason why there were no more updates to his blogs. I feel incredibly sad for his young family.

I have also wonder recently about giving away blogging as I've been kind of feeling like I don't have anything else left I could possible say. If that does come to pass and I do hang up the blogging hat then at least I am going to put up one final post to let everyone know that I'm ok and that I'm just giving it away. I would hate for people to wonder what had happened and may fear the worst but hoping that it wasn't so.

To all the riders and bloggers amongst us, ride with care, stay vigilant and have fun and come home to your loved ones.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Seriously, WTF?

My brother recently dropped his bike at my place so I could take it to Teknic so he could have the suspension sorted out. The bike was ready to be picked up but a weekend of rain and another being away out of town and it had to wait 2-3 weeks before I could go get it, no problem or so I though.

Bushpig and I both had an RDO after the long weekend so we went and picked it up. Whilst out the front of the shop I did a quick inspection on Flyboys bike only to discover a dent in the petrol tank. What the F#CK? So I did a little more looking and I found a cracked fairing around the front headlight assembly, a scuffed screen and both mirrors with scuff marks all over them.

Dented Tank

Cracked Fairing

I went back and and saw Nick the owner and asked him to come and look at it. I showed him the damage and he said he didn't know how it happened and he didn't think it happen whilst it was in his shop. I was pretty certain it did but couldn't be 100% sure until I checked the photos I took of Flyboys bike the week before I took it in and as you can see below there absolutely no damage on the bike at all. Double WTF. You can enlarge the image and zoom in on the front fairing and tank and clearly see no damage. We will see what happens from here, this isn't over yet......more on this later. I understand that sometimes shit happens but they should have maned up and told us, sure we would be unhappy about, who wouldn't be, but trying to hide it and say you didn't know anything about it and hope we didn't notice then ride off. Thats pretty low in my book.

Leaving the shop I noticed the fuel light was on so a quick stop in for fuel and then we would be off for a quick blast up the Putty Road and test out the newly rebuilt suspension and test the new steering head bearings.

It was a cracking winters day too I might add being in the low 20°Cs(75F) perfect for riding. I noticed the suspension on the bike felt pretty sweet straight off the batt but the bike did feel a bit funny in its handling. I didn't check the tyre pressure when I got the bike and I just knew it was low but how low I didn't know. It was still kinda handling ok but not quite right.

The plan was to go up through the twisties and have lunch at the Cockfighter Tavern then head back. Our first stop was at Batman corner about a handful of bends into the 10 mile of twisties. I stopped for a quick pic and to do what men do when they stop in the bush. That out of the way I pulled out the Gopro and mounted it on my helmet.

Batman Corner

Flyboys slightly dented R1

Tasty Twisties
Some of the sections of road that have had no sun for the last month or so is now covered in moss and you could see where the wheel tracks were cutting through the mossy surface, must take it easy through here, don't wanna crash Flyboys bike on the moss. BRAP, BRAP......

Crouching Tiger

Not so hidden R1
The 2002 R1 is a quick bike(even with low tyre pressure) and this one has a shorty Remus pipe, which when onsong in the twisties sounds beautiful it has this nice crackling and popping noise when backing off into a bend, sounds sweet. You can't tell it doesn't have as much power as my new R1 until you ride them back to back and this bike is still a great amount of fun, very fast, precise but I did notice the rear suspension needed a little firming up for my weight, I'm at least 10kg heavier than Flyboy so it will probably be perfect for his weight. The steering felt precise and wasn't notchy in any way, looks like the new steering head bearings have worked a treat. I did notice the brakes felt terrible in low speed traffic though, I think the lever might need grease on the pivot or there could be something wrong with the master cylinder. So Bushpig and I decided we would give his bike the warm Road to Nowhere welcome it deserves........

We stopped up near the top end of the twisties as there was road works happening and so turned around and head back deciding we would stop in for lunch at the Grey Gums cafe instead of the Cockfighter tavern, they do a good burger there and is very bike friendly.

The trip back was much the same as the trip up except we came across this road side feature that I hadn't seen before. For the non aussie readers we have a species of tree here called a Coolabah tree which has been made famous by some aussie folk musicians. The following photos were taken at a place called Colo. I wonder how they got up so high to plant those boulder holders.

Yep there were Bra's of all shapes and sizes and all colours and even a few thongs tied to the bras. I guess a few young ladies left here with no VPL and a little cooler than when they arrived. I had to talk Bushpig out of trying them on although that could have lead to some interesting pictures i'm sure. All up it was a great day out on the bikes except with experience at Teknic. I'll update you later with whats happens about that. Its one of those things you hear about every now and again. We will wait and see what they are going to do about it.


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Live to ride, ride to lunch

Sometimes when you go for a ride and you really just wanna have lunch instead, yep today's ride felt just a bit like that. Bushpig suggested a ride up the Putty Rd and back. I needed to be home by 3pm to pick up the kids so my heart wasn't in it for a big ride, I wanted to ride but not a big ride.

So plans were hatched for a short ride up through the twisties at Colo and then come back and take the Sackville Ferry across the Hawkesbury River and on into Wisemans Ferry for lunch at the pub. Sounds like a good plan to me.

I took the below pictures with the burst mode on my Samsung Galaxy S6. The camera on this phone is pretty darn good, almost as good as my point and shoot camera if not as good.

All of this riding was making me hungry and thirsty so we decided it was time to head back down and get on the ferry and cross the river and head to the pub for lunch.

We both ordered the beef pot pie and a beer to wash it down with. They do an excellent feed at the Wisemans Ferry pub and sitting out the front watching the world go by and seeing all the bikes coming and going is fantastic.

It was about quarter to two by the time we got going again as we turned the bikes for home. I had to get home to pick up the kids as we were headed out of town tonight and Bushpigs destination was for the Pendo to drink more booze. It was a great Autumn day out with unseasonably warm temps in the mid twenties(75°F).

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Living on the edge

281kmh with throttle to the stop before diving into Sydney Motor Sport Parks fast left hand turn 1 at 200kmh. THIS IS LIVING ON THE EDGE. Life at 110%. This is better than any drug! Dropping the knee on the deck at 190kmh sure has the adrenaline pumping.

This was the scene of our recent ride day last Friday at Sydney Motorsport Park. I was initially going to take my 00 R1 but a flat battery and no rego quickly put that to the sword and with a brand spanking new 2015 R1 with Traction control, slide control, abs, slipper clutch, quick shifter and a race pedigree a mile long behind it the choice was pretty simple.

Both Bushpig and I had booked well in advance and after much discussion went in the Green group, which is the second fastest group. I'm not sure if it was this decision or not but this was the first ride day that I had ever done where I got a good night sleep the night before. Previous Phillip Island and Eastern Creek ride days and I was awake most of the night before hand not being able to sleep. but not this time. As it turns out going in the green group was a god send for today's event as it turned out the RED(Fast) group was full of Australian Superbikes as today was also a practise session for them as the Australian Superbike round was also on this weekend, and I can attest these guys are F#*cking fast. I wouldn't like to be out on track with all of those guys.

Hugo's RS250

Bush pigs friend Hugo turned up with both of his RS250 race bikes, fabulous looking bike and he could really ride too as he races them in the national series. Hugo had set up a bbq breakfast and lunch, he was setup superbly well and had obviously spent many a days at the track. We shared our pit garage with some of the Kawasaki racing team who were here for the ASBK round although we all pretty much kept to ourselves as they were busy as well as us. Stay upright Motorcycle training has now taken over the SMSP ride days and now Gopro's etc are now allowed to be used as long as they are tethered to the bike in case of a mount breaking. I got some excellent footage today.

April like you've never seen her before

A surprise for me was York turning up with April with a full race fairing, racing slicks and a brand spanking new set of Akrapovic exhausts. Ohh that things sounds so good....

Me on Turn 2
 The quick shifter on this new R1 is stupidly fun and hammering down the main straight on this thing is so easy, I was catching just about every bike down the front chute. Here is a quick one lap video from my gopro, just listen to the cross plane engine, it's the sound that angels would desire, angry angry angels.......

ASBK Riders waiting for their session
Watching the Australian Super bike riders from pit roof really put into perspective your own riding, like how slow I really am. These guys were absolutely flying and it was magic to watch them on their magnificent machines.

Riding the new R1 on the track was a meeting of two great entities. The smooth asphalt of the twisty SMSP track versus the race spec Yamaha road bike. This is the new R1's home and it felt like the purest of magic, it could do no wrong, only I could do the wrongness. It was time to exercise the demons of last years off on the Bonang Hwy and see if I could ride this thing. I met my limits well before the bike hit any that's for sure and I can easily see that now when I watch back the video. This bike is fast, very fast, superbly fast and I did my highest top speed and fastest lap time ever on this bike all that and I hadn't ridden around here in over 12 months.

Repsol Hondas

Ducati Race team
We saw ex-world super bike champion Troy Bayliss wandering around the pits as he was here with the Ducati factory team for the weekend, and I'm sure he got out for a few laps in disguise(I'm sure he overtook me in one of the sessions).

Session times
For those not in the know the ride day is set up as follows. There are four groups with a 20 minute allocation of on track time with 6 sessions each group. The groups are 
  1. Red - Fast   Race bikes and fast road riders.
  2. Green - Medium Fast  Fast Road Riders
  3. Yellow - Medium  Moderate Road Rider
  4. White - Slow   First Timers to the track and slow riders.

Bushpig on Turn 2

ASBK Riders at full speed

Stay Upright Scrutineering

I had already decided at the start of the day that I was only going to do 4 sessions, I missed the first due to time constraints and the last as by then I was very tired. Actually by the 4th session I saw that the fuel light had come on and by the time I pulled in it had been on fuel light for 9kms. Back in the pit I checked and I had used 16 litres(17 Ltr tank) for 100kms, Yikes but it was oh so much fun. So I ended up getting 3 & half sessions. Next time will have to take more fuel I think another lap and I would probably have run out.

York & April in action
My go pro went flat at the start of the 3rd session but lucky I took my charger and had it up and running for the fourth session. Here's a short video of the fun that we all had during the day. Hope you enjoy.

After 4 sessions I'm getting knackered.

Bushpig and I on turn 9

Bushpig at the end of the final session

After a fun filled day at the track I had accomplished everything that I wanted to do today. First come home in one piece with the bike undamaged. Check. Threats from the minister of finance and warfare also ensured this as I didn't want to be living at Bushpigs house. Lol

Ride as fast as I can and have lots of fun, check.

We also had Tim Munro Photograph out there taking photos of everyone as we went around so thanks to him for our greats action shots, he takes great photos as you can see from this post.

Anyone that has ever wondered about doing a ride day, my advice is just go and do it. It's some of the most fun you can have on your bike in a relatively safe ish environment. No speeding fines, go as fast as you want and have as much fun as you can.

Yep this is living life at 110%, living on the edge. Now new R1 maybe you should meet Mr Phillip Island!!!!!