Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How and why did you get into motorcycles?

Gary at Flies in your Teeth has put it out there to all of us bloggers as to how and why we got into bikes. Here's my reasons....

When my older brother and myself were young kids around 10 years or so(its to long for me to remember properly now) my dad got us a mini bike that we would ride around the back yard for ages. Mum also had a Honda 50 auto that we would also punt around on. After a while this riding went by the wayside as we grew up to be teenagers and went on to do other things.

My brother then around 18 came home one day with a CBX750. I was only about 16. I still remember him taking me for a ride around town on it and it was so cool. He then upgraded to a ZZR600 which i remember him taking me for a ride to Parkes, NSW about a 33km trip. On the way back there was a small down hill section that i told him to go really fast on, which he didn't take much encouraging. I think we saw 160kmh and from that point on i was instantly hooked. I have never been that fast before the speed and acceleration was blinding. Well for a kid that didn't even have a license it was. Any chance that i got from then on i would go for a ride with him if he was willing.

A couple of years down the track after i got my first job i got my first bike. You can read about that here. When I got my first road bike my brother took me for a short ride out to the airport. I was just on my L Plates and still very much a novice. At the airport he said here swap bikes, I'll ride your 250 back into town take my Fireblade. What the heck. I had read lots about  the new Fireblade which was the R1 of its day, light and fast. After turning onto the main road from the airport back into town i slowly accelerated in first short shifted into 2nd then absolutely nailed the throttle to the stop. Holy moley by Jesus this thing nearly ripped my arms out of my sockets it accelerated so damn fast. I saw 210kmh in no time. The sports bike rush had kicked in and i could not stop riding bikes ever since.

I've since gotten married in the last 6 years with one beautiful daughter so the riding had since slowed down.
"Like many others, marriage and children put an end to my early motorcycling days and it wasn't until many years later that I bought my next bike." Gary at Flies in your Teeth
I am absolutely determined to not have this happen to me so i kept the bike through about a 3 year period around the time of the birth of our daughter where I'm sure it only got ridden about 5 or 6 times. I am so glad i didn't sell it as just this year I have started to ride quite a lot again considering that I now have a large mortgage, wife and kids.

Riding bikes still brings a smile to my face after all the years I've been riding. There's always somewhere new to go and something new to see. And a winding road that i need to lay some black lines on......

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Wallacia Hotel Ride

Geoff texted me to go for a ride late Saturday arvo so who was I to argue with such great wisdom. We headed out with the destination of going up Kurrajong in the Blue Mountains. It was about 37°C(98°F) and after about half an hour Geoff changed the destination to Warragamba Dam. By the time we got there he said lets get out of this heat and hit the Wallacia Hotel to cool down. This was something I wasn't going to disagree with. Damn it was hot!

The air conditioning and a cool beer went down fantastic whilst we waited for it to cool down outside. The Wallacia hotel is a nice pub with a great little beer garden out the back. It was a very short ride and it was that hot that I didn't even get my camera out. To hot to be riding in this weather.
Wallacia Hotel

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sofala - Bylong Valley Way

Who would have thought that on one of Sydney's best bits of winding road at the top end of the Putty Rd that my R1 would have felt so sluggish and docile to ride in the twisties, a place where I'd normally throw caution to the wind and let rip i found myself slowly rolling into the bends taking care to not upset the suspension to much because if i hit any bumps on entry the bike would be wallowing and squirming around beneath me. Why was my bike feeling so terrible to ride on such a fantastic road.....

Day 1
It's Saturday morning and five of us meet at the BP servo at North Richmond for the ride out across the Bells Line. Riding up Bell Bird Hill at Kurrajong we get stuck behind a Ute and every corner it rounds water pours out of its bumper onto the road. This is a good reminder to not go to fast here, this piece of road has a high level of traffic which spills oil and water and crap all over this bit of road.

Its a pretty uneventful ride across the bells line and i didn't stop to take any photos but you can see some pics from my last ride out a couple of weeks ago here. We had a short stop in Lithgow and continued on down towards Jenolan Caves.

We head out down the Great Western Hwy and turn off on the Jenolan Caves road. The start of this road also has some brilliant bends as it winds it way down the to sudden 8km drop down to the caves.
Dueling R1's

After a quick coffee break at the visitors centre it was time to head off again up through Oberon for lunch. No pub for lunch today just a quick bite at one of the local cafes and then onto bathurst for fuel and a couple of laps of Mt Panorama.

After living out this way for years i had ridden around the Mount several times before on all the bikes i have owned. The race track during the day is a 60kmh zone so there was to be no heroics of speed and daring.....well maybe just a little, after 3 laps at the legal limit i couldn't help myself coming down the esses and just had to give it a little. But still safely and on my side of the road. Just enough to get the adrenaline kicking in.

Mt Panorama

It all ended under the bridge after a few laps otherwise we may have been tempted to do something stupid. The road surface on the track is very good and i attempted a little knee down action on several corners. Although i failed miserably cause i wasn't (a) hanging off enough and (b) going fast enough and (c) out of shape.

After leaving Bathurst it was onto Sofala and to the pub for beers and stay for the night. A good night was had by all, I'll tell you the locals around here can really drink and then some.

It was a slow start to the day after a fairly decent effort by me and Geoff to try and drink the bar dry but to no avail, maybe on the next attempt we'll do it.
Sofala Royal Hotel
We left Sofala and headed for our breakfast stop at Rylstone. After a coffee and bacon and egg sandwich it was time to head of again. There were quite a few bikes in town this morning. My speedo was reading 49,994. So when we left i told the guys i would stop for a photo and that i would catch up.

So here i am 6kms out of Rylstone with the magic numbers on the dial. 50,000kms on my R1 woo hoo. Who says you can't tour on a sports bike?

Bylong Valley Way - 6Kms from Rylestone

After this short stop for 2 photo's the others were long gone. Time to catch back up again. This was the first time i had ridden on this road and what an absolute beauty it is to ride. I must say that this road flows better from North to South due to the the very twisty mountain sections that were all down hill for me. Its hard work riding fast down hill, much easier to ride fast up hill i think.
The photo above is very deceptive as it looks completely flat, but it is actually looking down a step hill with the mountain looming up very high in front at the end of a very winding section. After this stop i was getting even further behind. Time to step up the pace.

I caught up to the rest of the group just as we came into Bylong itself, which is basically just a general store and that's about it. The road along here is very good, nice surface with long views ahead.
It was getting very hot today as well in the low 30°Cs. I am so glad that i brought my camel back so that i could stay hydrated. It was a godsend to have it today and it got filled twice. After leaving Bylong the road wound its way through the hills, there is another tight twisting bit of road here that last for a few kms. We came along a sharp down hill left hander with 2 guys sitting on the guard rail and one very second hand looking Aprilla RSV wedged under the armco barrier. They were OK so we kept on riding as a tow truck was on the way.

We then had a quick stop in Denman for a drink and then the plan was to head to Bulga for fuel then back down the Putty Rd and home.

At this point things started to go a little pear shaped due to a number of reasons. We had a kraut out front who didn't know where he was going and everyone following. The turning point was on the crest of a hill with only a small sign.

One thing lead to another with lead rider braking heavily to stop to make the turn. I was sitting back in fourth spot and all of a sudden saw brake lights and bikes looming large in front. Shit! I hit the brakes and try to avoid running up the back of geoffs R1. Whilst doing this i look in the mirror to see a very close and very sideways ducati with rider starting to leave the bike. SHIT!

Needless to say this brought an abrupt halt to the days proceedings. The duke was unridable due to a broken clip on and footpeg and brake lever. A tow truck was called and removed the offending ducati.

Mr Ducati(name changed to protect the innocent, but we all know who you are lol) had a quick trip to singleton Hospital and luckily everything checked out ok. No broken bones just some nasty bruising. 

Its also good to see that his draggin jeans came through without a scrape or mark on them. I think i will go buy a pair of those. Excellent product.

Now back to the very start of this tale. Why was my R1 handling so poorly on the Putty.
Well Mr Ducati was on the back with all my luggage and all his luggage in my bag and with the both of us on the bike, the old R1 had just about had enough. It was overloaded with weight and was protesting at me. But it managed to get us home.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Seven Days seven bikes

If you had unlimited funds and could have one bike for every day of the week, what bikes would you choose?
This was the blog challenge that Trobairitz has thrown out to all bloggers. See here for details.

My Monday bike would be a Kawasaki Z1000. Just a pure and simple fun bike. I have liked the look of this bike since i first saw them on the road a few years ago.

My Tuesday bike would have to be the MV Augusta F4. This bike just oozes sex appeal. And its not a ducati. Seems everyone wants a ducati these days.

My Wednesday bike would have to be a BMW R1100. Why? Just so i can load the shit out of it and ride off into any roads i wanted like a trip through Russia and the Ukraine ala Ewen McGregor in Long way round. And because R1's are just no good for riding on the dirt.
Well this one is an obvious choice for my Thursday bike. Its Yamaha's mighty flagship sports weapon. The R1, now with traction control. Why? Why not i say. I already own a 11 year old one and I'd love to update to some newer technology, slipper clutch, cross plane crank etc.
I guess Friday would be time to have some smoking hot fun on a super motard. These things fly on the twisties. i want one.
For those lazy Saturdays it would be for some cruising or high speed fun aboard a ZX-14.

Then there is Sundays ultimate track day weapon. Casey Stoners RCV211. Need i say any more.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thieving Kiwi's

After spending thousands of our hard earned cash in New Zealand on our recent holiday it looks like the NZ government wants us to pay a little more. After the horrible feeling of getting a speeding ticket had subsided which in this case was only a few seconds i had to laugh at the amount. I put $80NZ into a currency converter and it turns out to be $61 Aus dollars. Still laughing at the $60 speeding fine.......

And the best part is that the wife was the hirer of the car ..... lol. I guess they have to collect as much cash as they can to rebuild Christchurch. Ah well least its going to a good cause.