Friday, April 25, 2014

What was in the box?

For everyone who was wondering what was in the box, well wonder no more as I reveal here what arrived this week at Chiller HQ. That's if the title picture didn't give it away.

So whats in the box then? Brandy hit the nail on the head and guessed correctly, whilst a couple of others were close. Here is my new set of leathers that I've ordered from Tiger Angel.

It's been 2 years since I penned a post about my motorcycle gear which you can see hereThat post showed how my leathers have been deteriorating as they age. They are now around the 19 years old mark. Since that post I've done many rides and they even saw a 10 day tour of New Zealand. But all good things must come to an end and sadly that time has finally come so it's now time that I hang up my leathers and retire them.

For every down side there is also an upside and this week I received my brand spanking new set of leathers by courier. To say I was excited would be an understatement. I've been eagerly waiting for them to come for a couple of weeks now and they are finally here.

I hate shopping at the best of times so going through endless shops to look at leathers that won't fit me cause I'm a fat bastard wasn't my idea of fun. After 2 years of procrastination I finally forked out some of my hard earned and went with a fully customised suit from Tiger Angel.  Tiger Angel have an easy to use website where you can pick the suit you're interested in and then customise the colours you want. You also send them your measurements so the suit should fit to whatever shape body you have.

Here's my old Quin Leathers. They were a great set of leathers that fit me almost perfectly and they were custom made to fit, I even designed the layout and colours of the suit.

But its time to let them go as they are looking pretty tatty now as you can see below.

I used to ride with a couple of guys that had TA suits and they looked pretty good. From just about everyone I have seen speak about Tiger Angel, they have a great reputation for fantastic customer service and after sales support for repairs and alterations. Jules over at Tarsnakes fame wears TA gear and swears by them. That's a pretty good recommendation for me.

I eventually went with a two piece suit like I have currently, I didn't want a 1 piece suit as I don't think they are practical for riding on the road. At least with the 2 piece I can take the top part off when we stop for lunch or break, which is especially good in hot weather.

I chose the serpentine suite and you can see the design below. I was thinking of going with similar colours to my original leathers but after awhile thinking about it I thought I might tone down the bright colours and go with something a bit more neutral. That way it won't matter what colour my next bike is the leathers will go with it.

Hopefully I'll get as much use out of it as I did my old Quin Leathers. They felt a lot different to my old leathers and I didn't think that they fit to start with. But a 30 minute ride around the back streets and then the motorway  put me at easy as they felt good riding but not so good standing around in them

So finally here are the photo's of my brand new Tiger Angel leather 2 piece serpentine outfit.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Whats this then?

A box arrived via courier today at Chiller HQ. Whatever could it be I wonder? Best guess anyone? Here's a hint, its not an exhaust system as I already have a carbon slip on pipe and the box is too small for a exhaust pipe. Oh and Geoff you're excluded as you have seen it already.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Before Selfies were cool

Selfies seem to be all the rage these last couple of years. Looks like my brother was a trend setter back in the day as this selfie is back in about 98-99 and also whilst we are riding along a twisty road somewhere between Boolarra and Mirboo North in Victoria on our way to the motogp. Good shot bro.

As you can tell I was very colour co-ordinated back in my younger days. Blue helmet, red suit, green bike and white boots. What was I thinking, or more likely what wasn't I thinking.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Upcoming Oxley ride

It looks like there's a ride coming up next month to the famous Oxley Highway. For those of you not from Australia the Oxley is one of those great rides for all bike riders. The highlight being 54kms of winding road across the great dividing range. For the Americans it would be something like the tail of the dragon but longer. The dragon is 11miles(18km) but the Oxley has 54km(33mile) of twisties.

Just waiting for the guys to sort the date and we are off. I've ordered a new bit of kit for myself,  so hopefully that'll turn up before the ride. Now just ticking down the time for the ride. 1 month to go. I haven't been to the Oxley Highway since about 2005 or 2006 when I first went with Geoff and I'm really looking forward to it. It has been so long. I don't know why as its only about 430km away and I've recently done 700km ride in one day. Should be easy, really.

Here's a pic from my first ever ride up the Oxley back in 1994. I also note that its one of the only pics I have on this road and I've been up there 4 or 5 times.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Dodging Rain at Nattai

Just a short ride today out to Warragamba dam. Checking the weather radar and forecast said it was going to rain today, but we headed out in sunshine. I picked Geoff up at his place and we went out through the back of Luddenham and up to Warragamba. I turned off to take a picture at the dam wall viewing platform, point to Geoff to go down there. Looks like he ignored that and kept riding , so we go split up here.

There was nobody about when I got there and 1 car pulled up to have a look  just as I was leaving.
Dam Wall

Warragamba Visitors Centre
I jumped back on and thought I'd better find Geoff, not knowing if he went in to the visitors centre or kept going I rode in to have a look. Nope he wasn't in there either so I continued back out and towards Silverdale. This is where I made a error in navigation and took a left turn instead of a right. I was going back towards Wallacia. Err oops so I did a U turn and came back again, probably a 5-10km detour, ah well shit happens.

So most of the ride down through to the Oaks and out to Nattai was by myself, about 1 km from the lookout Geoff came along riding the other way. I decided that I was going to the lookout regardless so continued on, Geoff turned around and came back just in time to laugh at me for getting lost.

Lookout at Nattai Ridge

The rain was coming up the other end of the valley. Time to get going before it gets here. Neither of us had any wet weather gear with us today. If it was light showers it would be ok but not heavy rain.

As we came down the curves from Nattai it started to shower on and off lightly. It wasn't really a problem as it stopped not long after it started. We headed back to Wallacia Hotel for some lunch. They have done up the beer garden at the pub and they now have about 15 motorcycle parking spots right by the back door. The steak sandwiches was fantastic.

We then dropped in through to Eastern Creek as the Post classic racing was on today and Geoffs mate Stewie was going to be there. It didn't cost anything to get in and about 2 minutes after arriving it bucketed down with rain so we hid inside the pit garage with Stewie who was handing out the trophies today. He didn't want to race in the rain today.

It stopped raining and Geoff and I made a dash for home which wasn't far from the creek. Another day of riding done and dusted, we spent the afternoon dodging the rain.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Lane Splitting now Legal in NSW

Woo hoo, common sense has won the day which is unusual when talking about any government body or department. It appears that the lane splitting(filtering) trial that went ahead in the northern half of the city last year has been approved across the board and now all motorcyclists in NSW will be able to lane filter legally from the 1 July 2014.

There are a few rules that riders have to follow otherwise they can be booked with a new range of offences introduced with the new laws.

  • Filtering only permitted when it is ‘safe to do so’. Situations where it is not ‘safe to do so’ may include: 

    • When the manoeuvre is at high speed between moving traffic; and 
    • Riders will be required to comply with all other road rules when performing the lane filtering manoeuvre, including rules that do not allow them to overtake to the left of vehicles in the kerbside lane (adjacent to a pedestrian path), travel in the breakdown lane, or when filtering around trucks and buses. 
    Imposing a speed limit of 30km/h.
    • Clearly defines the maximum speed riders are allowed to filter at. This makes it clear that filtering over the speed limit of 30km/h is illegal. 
    • Setting at 30km/h will limit filtering to slow moving traffic where vehicles are moving at or below this speed 
    • This speed is 10km/h lower than the 40km/h limit currently implemented in high pedestrian activity zones
    Limit filtering to fully licenced riders only (excluding Learner or Provisional riders)
    • Manoeuvre only allowed by experienced riders who may have more highly developed hazard perception and motorcycle handling skills. 
    • May reduce risk of inexperienced riders having crashes associated with inadequate gap selection or awareness of pedestrians/other road users while filtering. 
    No filtering in school zones during hours of operation
    • Ensures that filtering does not occur around schools on multi-lane roads where there may be an increase in pedestrian activity by children. 

    Here's me successfully filtering below the 30 kph limit in the city as part of the trial. Lucky I didn't blow it for all other bike riders. Happy filtering New South Welshmen and happy days....