Monday, March 20, 2023

Barrington Tops Ride

So last weekend our Fearless tour captain organised a overnight ride up over Barrington Tops staying in Gloucester for the night. After all the problems I've had with Dad in Hospital the last 4 weeks I desperately needed a ride. I also was very keen to ride the Barrington Tops road as we always steered clear whilst owning road only bikes. Now with these adventure bikes there are so many more roads and pubs now open to us to explore.

Unfortunately for me my daughters softball grand final match's lined up on the same day. Damn why does this always happen? So plan devised to watch her first game and then get going, the wife could watch the next ones. Sorry little darling but motorbikes......

So I was running late by about 45min, I'd told the others not to wait and we would catch up. We got snapped by John Keogh from Keoghsvision on the colo hairpin along the way. I finally met up with Flyboy at Colo River where he had been waiting for me. 

From here we quickly continued on to see if we could catch up with the other boys. I lead Flyboy through the 10 mile twisties on the Putty Rd so he could use me as a reference and we could both motor along a bit quicker. Except there were 3 road works sections with traffic lights that we had to stop at, D'oh. But otherwise a fun run through the twisties. A guy caught up to us at the lights on a little 400 sports bike, we kept dropping him off and he would catch up again at the next set of lights.

A quick stop at the end of the 10 mile and a message came through from our tour captain, saying that the route plan had changed from the previous day back to the original route plan and we'd meet for lunch in Scone. I was good with that so we kept going to Jerrys Plains for fuel via the back roads.

I got to ride the Desert X along for about 50kms. It was a nice ride, plenty of overtaking power in top gear, narrow and easy to grip onto the tank and it carried its weight down lower than the AT. A horrible first gear feels like your going to stall and needs some clutch slipping/revs to keep it going, the AT is all torque straight off the bottom end. I wasn't a fan of the first gear faffing but the rest of the bike seemed quite good. The screen is also too tall and creates wind buffeting around your helmet visor area, especially annoying when your visor is cracked open it just vibrates madly.

Fuel in Jerrys Plains, then we headed for Denman following on to Muswellbrook and then Scone. It was pretty hot out today (38°C) so we made a bee line for woolies and 2 bottles of icey cold powerade before grabbing some lunch with the guys.

Next up was the plan of going via Gundy pub. We didn't end up stopping at the pub as it was crazily crowded with people and it was so hot so we kept going to Moonan Flat Pub where we had a refreshing ale before heading up over the mountains. Nice spot Moonan Flat.

It was 3pm now and time to head off, the temp was still up around 37°C but we were reassured with the knowledge that Barrington Tops is 5500ft and would be much cooler up there.

We climbed up the fairly steep incline for about 15kms or so with magic views over the valleys below. Pity I didn't stop to take more photos but was enjoying the ride. The road was in pretty good condition with a few corrugated corners but otherwise good easy riding. First stop was at the Dingo gate and the photo of Flyboy and his Desert X with stunning views behind.

After the Dingo Gate, which I didn't get any photos of but Flyboy did we stopped in at the Firs, which is literally 50m off the main track in a pine forest that spans both sides of the road in an unusual square pattern. Looks weird from google maps.

Here's a few pictures from within the forest.

From here the road flattened out somewhat with smaller elevation climbs or declines with some big long straight sections. You could get some big speed up on these straight bits of dirt road but had to watch out for errant 4wd's coming the other way.

I decided to stop and get a picture of the National Park sign just for something to do. After this was just undulating long straights and bends that worked its way to the Cobark Lookout where we stopped briefly. The temperature had dropped down to 23°C up here now and it felt like someone had flicked on the Air Conditioning. It was so good after the heat.

The road turned back to tar just down the hill a little bit and it was quite a fun decent down through the valleys. A few loose gravel spots on a few corners. We were soon enough staring down the bar of the Roundabout Inn in Gloucester. Man that first beer tasted soo good. 

The roundabout Inn is biker friendly with lock up parking for bikes which we didn't bother using, rooms are a little small but otherwise comfortable with A/C and fridge $100 for twin share, excellent value. Nice pub will stay here again. 

We awoke to fog the next morning, but that soon burnt off to another 38°C day, Flyboy and I decided we would head home down the freeway and get out of the heat. Another top ride away and some new roads and pubs explored. 


  1. Geez, those dirt roads look better than our sealed ones. Nice to see ya out and about again.

  2. Mate if I'm honest most of the dirt roads here are in much better condition than their tar counter parts. Some interesting countryside I'd never normally get to see either. Whats not to like.

  3. Yes, a good ride despite the heat.
    As for the "horrible first gear" - there is nothing wrong with 1st gear. It is a stupid Ducati setting that dips the revs when you open the throttle so that the power comes on smooth. The problem is that is EXACTLY what you DO NOT want when you are starting off in 1st gear. It is apparently able to be changed to a linear "normal " throttle in the settings but I haven't figured out how to do it yet. The revs actually drop 400rpm as you open the throttle - fcuking stupid setting - but I will get to it. I've noted how to sort it from the Desrt X FB page, I've just got to get around to it. In the mean time I just rev the crap out of it to start off. 🤫

    1. That was the only bad point I saw, otherwise wasn't a bad bike really

  4. Replies
    1. Sure was, really needed that one on so many levels.

  5. Barrington Tops has been on my dirt road list for awhile, hope to get down that way in couple of months.

    Best wishes regarding your dad.

    1. You'll enjoy that ride Warren, not hard to do and you could really do it on a road bike. I think it would be better ride west to east, if you go west its a steep down hill gravel descent, better going up hill I think.