Friday, September 21, 2018

Gone Wombat

An opportunity came up recently to go drinking with the boys....... wait, let me start that again. The guys wanted to get out for a weekend drinking session......damn it. One more time, Doug suggested that we get on our drinks bikes and get out for a spot of drinking riding and camping. Dang.....🤔

So it was, I was returning to the days of my youth and was set to head to Wombat, a small dot on the map in country New South Wales near Young to attend a motorcycle rally called the Wombat rally funny enough. I hadn't been to a rally since my mid twenties so I thought I'd better get myself a small tent as the R1 isn't exactly a touring bike you can load up full of gear.

Off I went to BCF to buy a tent, something small and something cheap. I spotted a Jak & Jill Dome tent for $29. Sounds like me, if its no good I'll just leave it where I pitched it was my train of thought and after 15 minutes of procrastinating(which is good for me) I purchased said tent. I grabbed a few ocky hooks so I could strap the tent on the rack and then load up the bike ready to go. Woo...

The Touring R1

So off I set on my drinking riding adventure where I met up with Doug and Bruce at Maccas McGraths Hill for breakfast before heading out over the Blue Mountains. The route took us across  the Bell's line of road where we switched across to Mt Victoria and on to Oberon for Fuel before making for Taralga for lunch where we were to meet up with Dave coming up from Nowra. It was a beautiful day up in the mid 20's but was starting to get a little windy.

Bruce on the Trumpy

We arrived at the Taralga hotel for lunch and within 5 minutes Dave had arrived. We ordered the Taralga Burger which was fantastic if not a little messy. That hit the spot.

Selfie Goodness

Dave arrives

After a hearty lunch we headed out but not before a guy with a busted bike in the back of his ute came running over telling us to take care, his mate got blown off the road by the wind. I thanked him for the warning and we proceeded onwards.

Brucie dropped off out of sight and Doug pulled us over to wait. He said he will be low on fuel so he slows down. Not sure why he didn't fill up when we did, but anyways.....I notice coolant pissing out of Doug's bike. That's not Good. Especially here in Rugby ie Bum fuck nowhere. Its about 30kms to the nearest anywhere which was Boorowa which is also not much there. We made our way to the nearest petrol station for fuel. Brucie had 400ml left.

Thumbs up until I saw coolant everywhere
So in Boorowa we decided to pull the tank off to look for the leak, we couldn't see it but looked to be coming from around the top of the radiator. The overflow bottle was empty but we filled it up and continued onto the rally as the temp had now dropped to the low teens which would help out.

It's always interesting setting up a brand new tent you've never used before whilst people stand around watching. Lucky this cheap little tent was a breeze to set up, 10 minutes and I was done, time for beers.........

The other were still setting up their tents so I headed to the bar to get us some beers. Once all the tents were up we headed over to the bonfire which they had just lit to see what was on show, we missed the gymkhana but there was some bands playing, the guy on stage was playing classical gas, I was really digging that.

A local Distiller from Young had some of his local moonshine out for trial. Doug said come and try some of this free alcohol. I was there faster than the millenium falcon did the kessel run in under 12 parsecs....

So we had purchased a bottle of Whiskey Liquor, which we were downing one shot every time we had a new shout of beer. This is going to get messy.....

Messy it got till the point I had to go to bed before I couldn't stand up any more and that was the end of the night for me. The boys hadn't had enough drinking and continued onwards and err upwards.....

I do remember they had a fantastic fireworks show before I went back to my tent.

Bonfire, started with Hogs
Next morning was not so good. I didn't feel like riding anywhere, the other guys looked the worst I've seen them, which I had a little chuckle. Bacon and egg roll dispatched and time to pack up and ride outta here, except with the -2°C temps my bike wouldn't start. Out of 500 Harleys and 5 Jap bikes, the non starting bike count went like this; Jap bikes = 2, Haleys = 0. Yep that was a little soul crushing. All the harleys rode out as I was looking for a jump start, damn R1's with there 2 double AA batteries. And a Hayabusa rider was also getting a jump. The tent worked well so I packed it up and took it with me. All in a good weekend away with the boys drinking.....good times.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

New Chain & Sprocket Time

After returning from Tasmania earlier this year my chain and sprockets had well and truly surpassed their used by date and were badly in need of replacement. So what did I do? I did what all great procrastinators do, nothing!!!!

I went on a few more rides just to stretch the heck out of it some more, before finally biting the bullet and booking it in for replacement. Why all the procrastination you ask? Well it's probably an inherent trait in my DNA or quite possibly I'm just a complete lazy bastard, who really knows. 

One of the reasons for taking so long was that I wanted to change the standard gearing. Anyone who has ridden a 2015 R1 knows how tall first gear is. I wanted to change the gearing a little bit by going down 1 tooth on the front and going up by either 2 or 3 teeth on the rear. I spent a bit of time looking at what people had done on forums. Another great resource for this is a website called Gearing Commander. You can put in your bike and it will show your stock gearing and you can then make informed decisions on what effects changing the sprockets will make.

The standard R1 gearing is 16F/41R. Looking at the standard gearing chart you can see the R1 will do 156kmh in first gear and is geared for a whooping 325kmh in top(I've seen 295kmh and it still had more to go).

I finally settled on a 15F/44R which is -1/+3 over the standard gearing. What effect does this have you might ask? Top speed has been reduced down to a miserly 284kmh(who cares I rarely do that anyway on our highly policed roads) but what it has done it put a huge amount of usable power lower down where its more usefull. 

It will now roll off the line letting out the clutch where before it would stall unless you gave it some useful rev's. There is plenty of usable power in every gear including top, just roll on the power and it takes off, 6th gear now feels like 5th gear was on standard gearing. The throttle doesn't feel quite as snatchy in lower gears either. Oh an it wheelies like a bastard now, lucky I can put the lift control on if I need to.

First ride impressions were pretty good. The front will come up with ease in first gear without even trying, so I'll need to be a bit careful with that but it's pretty punchy now everywhere. One downside will be now it runs at about 500 rpm more in top gear so it will probably use slightly more fuel, I'm hoping the offset of that is when it comes to the twisties I was always in first gear, now perhaps I will be able to be in 2nd or 3rd and use less fuel in those sections which uses more fuel than straight highway miles. Time will tell as I've only been out for one overnight ride so far.

44 Teeth

Monday, August 27, 2018

Tuono wandering and other things

Copping criticism from my older bro about not riding my bike whilst being a moto blogger is not a good look, seeing as he is doing more moto blogging than me at the moment. Not bad for a pushy bugger blogger. So it was time to get out for a ride, and why not as it was a 20°C winters day here last saturday in Old Sydney town.

Ringing around to see who was interested in a short ride I found out Geoff was reportedly going to our nations capital to test his liver functions at a Wallabies game with some mates. Doug and Dave were heading up the Oxley highway for some fun. Stu however wasn't doing much so I dropped in to pick him up. We can't let Dougie have all the fun to himself.

I didn't have much of a plan but Stu suggested some back roads up to Glenorie and then on up to the Putty Road and back again. Only a few hours riding, perfect as it was meant to get cold and windy later this afternoon.

R1 goodness waiting for Stu to get his shit together
 On the way to Glenorie I got stuck at two sets of lights as Stu disappeared into the distance. I wondered if he would stop where he was planning on turning as I wasn't sure exactly where he was going. Turns out he turned off and I didn't. I quick phone call later and we both headed to Glenorie via different routes. Oh well, it was still a great day to be out for a ride.

We stopped in Glenorie for pies because.......pies.

Pie goodness

After demolishing our delicious bags of meat we pointed the bikes towards Wiseman's Ferry and made our way along the old Northern Road. A lot of this section of road has a few very rather large and rather expensive looking houses along here and the roads that used to be rubbish is now a sweet piece of hotmix smooth tar. We turned down Wisemans Ferry road towards McGraths Hill and blasted along then taking the turn for the Sackville Ferry. I hadn't been along here in a long time so it was a bit of fun. The ferry had just crossed for the other side so we waited for it to come back in the nice warm sunshine. Did I mention it was a beautiful day for riding?

Sackville Ferry

Sandstone cliff's line the water front along here

We continued along the western side of the Hawkesbury river and up to lower portland through some of the twisties along here. We passed a few slow moving push bikes up the hill and then came to the bridge over the Colo river where I decided to stop to have a look. There was a few kayaks on the river engaging in a spot of fishing. We turned around and then headed back the way we came turning up Packer road that linked to the Putty road.

Two sexy beotches

Colo River

We continued on up the bottom end of the Putty road through the 7km's of twisties where we briefly stopped at the Colo Bra tree. Stu mentioned that he'd never ridden the R1 before and I'd never ridden the Tuono. Now there's an interesting thought. So we swapped bikes for about 20 minutes.

I asked Stu if he wanted to ride back down the smooth twisty bit or ride the other way where the road was a fair bit rougher. He Said "No I want the full experience". "Ok" I said "make sure to count all your teeth".

Riding off following Stu on the R1 I noticed that straight away how comfortable the seat was on the Tuono. Heh heh I bet he was finding the opposite! Hey I like it and this upright seating position is ace although the mirrors were in a bit of an awkward spot. After we turned around and came back down the hill we both indulged in some spirited riding. The Tuono's front end get's extremely light and twitchy under hard acceleration but boy was it a lot of fun. The sound the V4 makes is fantastic. Top gear was punchy as with plenty of torque it just rolls away with ease. I have to put the R1 in 5th for the same result.

A few hills later and we were hard on the anchors as the fun police were out to spoil our ride. He was looking long and hard at us but continued on his way, as did we and we finally came back down the Colo hills and stopped at the riverside cafe. By the time we got to the cafe my butt was still a little sore from the bumps but was feeling lucky I wasn't on the R1, lol.

We swapped thoughts on both the bikes. Stu said of the R1 " No matter how fast your going on that thing it just wants to go faster". He had enough of the hard seat after just 20 minutes and asked how I managed to ride this thing to Tasmania and back. We both just laughed. A Tuono or MT-10 will definitely one day be in my future once the R1 goes I think.

We stopped at the riverview cafe for coffee

About 5 minutes after I took the photo above the cold, windy weather hit blowing both our helmets off the bikes and onto the road. It was starting to look dark with menacing clouds and it started to spit a little rain so I said let's get the hell outta here and we both headed for home. Another fantastic if not short day out on the bikes. Bring on the summer.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

A Winters Day ride

I've been so busy lately there's not been much time for anything much. I've worked 25 of the last 28 days so nothing much bike related except  the Sydney 5 Hour and a track day photo shoot, until I had the chance today which I took with both hands. Only a short ride for a couple of hours but boy was it soul quenching just to be out there with the bike, no pressure just riding how I feel.

mmmm PIE
Just a quick ride up through some of Sydney's back roads to Glenorie for a pie and coffee then off up the Northern Road and back down Wisemans Ferry road and home. I stopped for a photo over the Sydney basin towards the Blue Mountains. What a fantastic winters day for a quick blat.

Over looking the Blue Mountains in the background
On one of those rare days off I did happen out to SMSP for a photo shoot recently at the recent Top Rider advanced riding school. I got out there pretty late in the afternoon around 3pm and shot for about an hour. It was blowing a chill in from the mountains and the track was getting cold late in the afternoon. I did manage to capture the end result of a cold tyre spill at turn 2. The unlucky chap lost his knee slider amongst other things.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Sydney 5 Hour - Gallery

Here is a gallery of images I took at the Sydney 5 hour endurance race last weekend. It was an interesting day out. It was good to see the Le Mans start for the 90 minute race and the 5 hour race. Something a little strange and dangerous about it I can't put my finger on but entertaining none the less. One piece motorcycle leathers are definitely not made for running in.Hope you enjoy the gallery.