Monday, September 9, 2019


So a while back I got a call that my package was ready to be picked up.  Yay.

I managed to pick it up one day during the week when I was out of the office. You would have already seen some photo's on the blog of this, well not directly but in-directly. So what was the package you ask......

I decided that I would buy my first piece of fast glass, a F2.8 Lens for my camera. After watching many online reviews and forums reviews I decided on a new Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 VC G2.

Why did I choose a Tamron lense over a Nikon lense? This choice was based on several factors.

  1. Price - The Tamron was Half the price of the Nikon equivalent.
  2. Use - The 70-200mm can be used for a variety of reasons, portraits, landscape and sport.
To be honest, number 1 was the priority as I'm not a pro photographer making money from it, I'm still a beginner hack.. I would have never paid $3500 for a Nikon F2.8 lense. 

The bokeh that this lense can produce is fantastic compared to my standard kit lense. Bokeh is the softening of the background in images when focused on your main subject or as it's more commonly known as depth of field. The 70-200mm zoom on my D7500 which is a crop sensor camera(APSC) makes this lense an equivalent Full frame(FF) camera zoom of 105mm - 300mm. Nikon crop factor is 1.5 where as canon has 1.6. Crop sensor cameras are cheaper to buy and lenses for those are also cheaper, however most manufacturers cater to the Full frame market for lenses. Best to buy a half decent camera and then spend the rest on glass(lenses). 

In saying that I find that this lense is a bit short for taking photos at the track so I need to crop the images as it doesn't quite have the reach required. I'm also finding the opposite in normal situations and that the lense can be too long at the short end in normal shoot situations such as the bike on the side of the road for example. I'll probably need a 24-70mm for those a bit later on.

Here is an image I took with this lense at Sydney Motorsport park in June. Turn 3 about 20m from the track.

The image above is very sharp. Here is that very same image below cropped at more than 50%. Still very sharp but for track pics I'll still need to use the 70-300mm as it has that extra bit of reach.

Maybe a bit later I can try a 400mm or a 600mm lense but the 300mm on the crop body gives me an effective 450mm FF equivalent and I'm pretty happy with it so far.

Here are some other random images I've taken recently with the 70-200mm in and around Sydney. All of these are unedited except the photo of the walls of the Blue mountains.
The Rocks - Sydney

International Passenger Terminal - Circular Quay Sydney

Harbour Bridge Pylon - Sydney

Georgy Netball Gala day

Wentworth Falls - Blue Mountains




R1 at Sackville Ferry

I'm super happy with the Tamnron 70-200mm F2.8 G2. Its super fast focusing and the images have been sharp. I don't really have any negatives to say about it except to say it seems to attract dust on the lense easier than my Nikon lenses for some reason. Otherwise its a fantastic bit of kit.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

The long awaited return of the Bushpig

Friday was my RDO, and I had organized a special ride out. Of course what happens when you plan something like this when your married? The missus decided that I would be doing other things, like attending my eldest daughters state rep shot put tryouts. Pfft, I thought, but I'd better turn up least divorce starts knocking at my door.

So with the shot put out of the way and a quick call to Bushpig I met him at McGrath Hills for our first ride of the year and on his new to him bike as well. We took a short ride across the Sackville Ferry which I did on last months ride and then on into Wisemans Ferry for a spot of lunch.

I must say the XDiavel certainly looks good and it gets along pretty good too especially seeing as it has a 240 section rear tyre.

Here's a few pics from the ride of Geoff's new bike. He was pretty excited to be out riding that's for sure.

Geoff briefly thought about driving off in this Ferrari Spyder

Looking chuffed

You may be wondering why it was Geoff's first ride out with me this year and why he sold the MT-10 for the XDiavel. And they'd be some very good questions.

The story started back on new years eve last year, when Stu, Rick, Dave and Geoff went out on a 3 day dirt bike ride through the forests near Nowra, 2 hours south of Sydney. All was proceeding well until the last day where Stu(Husaberg570) decided to swap bikes with Geoff(WR250). Well needless to say this didn't end very well. Geoff apparently tried to lift the front over a log across the track, according to Geoff is was like a Californian Redwood. Seems like the wheelie went a bit too high a bit too quickly and then next thing the bike and Geoff wrapped around the nearest tree.

Things turned to shit pretty quickly and an ambulance was called. Four hours later the Toll rescue chopper was winching Geoff out of the forest bound for St George Hospital. I found out later that night as I was on a family holiday in the NSW Snowy mountains on a Mt Kosciuszko summit walk..

The end result was a broken femur, shattered knee, busted ribs and a punctured lung. No wonder they had to airlift him out. His x ray looks a lot like a motogp riders with more screws and plates in him than a terminator. He's almost more machine now than man.....

The end result was that Geoff can't bend his leg enough to get back on the MT-10 so it had to go, in favour of the forward foot controls on the XDiavel. Needless to say Geoff was positively glowing about being back on the bike and riding. All things considered it's a miracle he's even riding at all.

It was fantastic being able to get out riding again with my wing man. Looking forward to more rides in the future.

Monday, August 12, 2019

What time is it?

An interesting question for an R1 rider. I'm sure one Andrew Bandit rider from across the ditch knows exactly what time it is.

Well before I get to that I did recently purchase a rear reflector to go on my number plate. I ordered it online and the parcel arrived and I duly installed said item. That was before the last ride to Mudgee.

Sadly the reflector fell off somewhere between Hillend and Mudgee. It didn't even last 300kms. Now I did throw that one away at the time as I thought I'd only wasted $18 and I've wasted much more than that in the past. But one night I decided to email the seller Mustard bikes and complain about the quality of the item mentioning that it didn't last one trip. Well a couple of emails later and they sent me a new one, except this one is now made of metal instead of plastic(photo above).

I have another ride coming up soon so let's see if it makes it through this trip. It's been installed and ready to go. Why did I put this on? Only for the fact the the NSW Hwy Patrol are now ping bikes for no rear reflector now that tail tidies have become legal, just one more tax on the unsuspecting public.

So then, what time is it exactly?

  • Time to grow up and stop riding bikes and accept parental responsibilities.....
  • Time to lose some weight...
  • Time to buy a comfortable bike.....
  • Time for some new tyre's.....
  • Time to stop whining and get out for a ride....
  • Time to sell one of the kids and buy another bike......

You guessed it, time for another new set of tyre's. And I haven't even ridden on the last one's honest....

A nice shiny new set of Bridgestone Battlax S22 to replace the S21 that I had before. With an Oxley Highway ride coming up these should do the the job just nicely. The S21's were giving me around 7000km before replacement so I expect the same from these.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Sydney 5 Hour

Last weekend was St George Motorcycle club's running of the Sydney 5 Hour endurance race at SMSP.  This is the second running of the event and has now started attracting some profile rider such as Troy Bayliss(ASBK, WSBK, MotoGP), Jamie Stauffer(ASBK) and Ted Collins(ASBK).

Sundays event has the running of the 90 minute race and then around midday the main race event starts - the Sydney 5 hour. Teams can be 2 or 3 riders and each rider usually rides their own bike, they have an arm band that recognised they are the on track bike only. Both races start with the traditional Lemans type start where they run across the track in full leathers(something to be seen) and then jump aboard the bikes and ride as fast as possible. There are compulsey pitstop for rider changes.

It is a top day out for racing fans and it costs nothing to get in, bonus. I might see if I can get a media pass for next years event to get to better locations. Here is a gallery of images I took throughout the event.

Here's a short picture collage of the start of the 5 hour. There was almost a huge crash on the straight.

Olly Bayliss - yes he's fast too

The spoils for the winners of the 90 minute race.

A world record attempt of the most people in one location with helmets on. It failed miserably. The goal was 6004. They don't get those number at an ASBK event let alone a club race.

The winners of the 90 minute race took the podium. Most of them couldn't taste the champagne because they were racing in the next event or they simply weren't of legal age to drink alcohol.

Oh I love this guys tank sticker too!!!!!

An immaculate condition 2002 R1

Love the sticker on this guys tank

Merri Melena - this girl was seriously impressive. She finished dead last, but that was because her team mate crashed and was injured and Merri had to race 4 of the 5 hours. A legendary effort in anyone's books. Well done girl.

Not everyone finished this years event

How low can you go?

The eventual race winners were only separated by 1 second over the 5 hour race.
Congratulations boys to another excellent day of racing.

1st - Bridgestone Endurance Team - Ted Collins/L Epis/G Epis
2nd - Baylisstic Boys - Troy Bayliss/Olly Bayliss
3rd - Team Varbarley - M Tooley/M Varartjes/S Barbacetto

Hope you enjoyed the collection of motorcycle porn.