Saturday, March 23, 2019

Riding the QLD Hinterland Part 3

After the late night beers, we still managed a reasonable start to the day, leaving by 9am. Flyboy had us riding down through some back roads down through Bonalbo on the Clarence way. It was remote backcountry over hills and sweeping bends and forests, with rough, rough roads.

The scenery was pretty spectacular and the road soon entered an old growth rainforest. We decided to stop to take a few pics of these magnificent tall tree's.

We continued on along the road with varying degrees of surface quality, I was slowing down to 80 km h because I couldn't see properly, my vision was bouncing up and down over the bumps making it difficult to see the road ahead. My new R1 does this so if I was copping this on this old R1 with its more compliant suspension I would have really got a hammering on my new R1 along here. I would never ride this road on a 2015+ R1. It's not made for these roads.

We came out of the forest to be in farmland as far as the eye could see. Off to my right was the forest we emerged from with views out over the land ahead. Beautiful spot.

This road dropped us out on the Bruxner Highway just to the east of Tabulam. Dave was waiting for me at the T intersection. I'd dropped back a bit due to the bumpy road. The bmw's lounge like suspension allowed Flyboy to glide over those bumps which I would find out a little later.

The bridge at Tabulam is being replaced with a huge new concrete structure, we had to wait a little for lights to cycle before we could go.

We continued along into Drake and out the other side where the true twisty goodness begins. In typical fashion on this trip just as we got to the 25kms of twisties the road turned out to be wet, by a passing shower not long before we came up the pass. Damn. Oh well it was still fun and better than being at work

Much of the hills through this bit of road had burnt out tree's from a recent bush fire for many kilometres. We got stopped by a council stop/go man at some road works. He told us that 11 people lost their houses due to the bushfires. I didn't get any snaps of it but Flyboy had his Go-whore rolling and got some snaps. It looked pretty devastating. We stopped in Tenterfield for fuel and then some mid morning breakfast.
Plagiarism from Flyboy

We decided on heading back down the Bruxner in the hope that it would be dry by the time we got back there. We both spoke about taking it easy on the way back down. It was indeed dry on the return trip and then for some inexplicable reason 5 minutes in it was like motogp time.....I really did miss the quick shifter from my new R1 riding this old R1.

Turning left in Tabulam we head back towards Urbenville. This was a narrow bumpy bit of road as well with some of it being unfenced with cows wandering across the road between fields. It was along here that I hit the biggest bump(unseen) I have ever hit and had the biggest tank slapper in my life. F$CK ME, NSW roads are f*cking shit.
I stopped a few minutes up the road and told Flyboy we are swapping bikes. After 2.5 days on the R1 and riding this dodgy, bumpy goat track I was a bit over it. Give me some decent roads please.

Hopping on the Beemer was like whoa - a real Bill & Ted moment, it's so high, such a weird feeling, arms up in the air sitting bolt upright. It felt awkward and unnatural. So off we went, with me wobbling along not used to this riding position. I watched Flyboy on the R1 ahead of me, bouncing off bumps like crazy. I didn't feel any bumps at all, only the biggest of bumps would upset this bike which just felt kind of minor. It just seems to glide across them effortlessly not upset at all. I thought how good is this, no matter how awkward this is. At least I wasn't getting pounded by the bikes suspension.

Flyboy said we will swap bikes back when we get to Urbenville, but I selfishly decided he wasn't getting his comfy bike back so soon as I was certain that the road coming up was also going to be another special NSW goat track, and I was right.

The Toolom road was tight narrow, twisty and bumpy in equal proportions. I was starting to get used to this riding position and how the bike was so comfortable after about an hour or so. This road had some great mountain views through the trees, but not so good that you could get a photo of anything.

Soon we came down out of the mountains and cross the NSW-QLD border and on into Killarney.

We stopped at the Killarney Hotel for some mid afternoon lunch and a quick ale. Killarney is a quiet little country town, quite pretty but it was very dry here, it looks like they badly need rain in this area.

Dumb and Dumber

With a light lunch dispatched we headed out of Killarney. It was here we swapped bikes back again. When I got on the R1 I was so surprised at the position I was sitting in compared with the Beemer. It felt like I was sitting crouched on the floor on my hands with my knees tucked under my legs, so unnatural a feeling, but this was what I have been accustomed to over the last 25 years, now felt so wrong. WTF?

We went around via the Condamine gorge and then turned back and headed up the Head Rd which wound its way through the mountains.  We stopped in at Carr's Lookout which overlooked the valley below. It was so green here it was hurting my eyes, so it must rain a lot.

The ride down from the lookout was a hoot, through the forest, with tree's overhanging the road providing a canopy overhead. Some spots were quite dark. I wonder does the road get moss on it in winter up here. Eventually the road came out to the bottom and there were open fields with cows wandering across the road.

From here we had to make our way back out to Rathdowney, it felt like deja vu, we were only here yesterday afternoon about a similar time. We stopped again for fuel before making our way back down the Mt Lindsey Hwy. Our destination for tonight was Kyogle on the Summerland Way.

We stopped on the Mt Lindsey Hwy as a slow moving car was blocking our fun, so we turned around and went back so we could have a clear run riding through. It turned out to be a blast. After the photo below we didn't stop again until we got to the Commercial Hotel in Kyogle.

I must say the Commercial hotel was an excellent choice. A double room was $120(60 each) and we had brand new rooms and brand new bathroom. Excellent value for money. Best pub room I've stayed in yet and better than most motels I've stayed in.

Again we had takeaways up stairs for our last night on the tour before we had to head home tomorrow.


  1. Nice. The Commercial hotel was awesome, two outa three ain’t bad I guess?
    As for the bikes, yes, the ride positions are sooo different. It felt like I had my hands on my knees when I got on the R1 and that Tooloom road was probably the worst sealed surface I have EVER ridden. Thanks for letting me ride the sports bike for that bit.....!

    1. Yep the last two pubs were good.
      I knew that Toolom road was going to be shite so I selfishly kept your bike. I figured that you'd only ridden it for an hour so another hour of punishment you could take. After 2 days of pounding I didn't want to ride that shitty little goat track on that bike, which means don't even attempt it on a 2015+ R1 after 2 days riding.
      At our age these sports bikes and these dodgy roads it really does start wearing you down. TMight be time I considered a more comfortable bike.

  2. Oh yeah, thanks for using that photo too....

  3. Looks like fun to me. Only really got one piece of advice for ya: Tenere, Tenere, Tenere!

    1. It was a hoot to try out some new roads. Tenere eh are they comfy?

  4. Been waiting for this report from my old stomping ground.

    Besides Glorious and Mt Mee you have been on quite a few less traffic less smooth roads so far.
    I used to prefer them myself but I was riding upright bike with compliant suspension.

    Sports bike riders used to like certain roads in area. From the cafe if you went west you come to the Northbrook Parkway which used to be the Sunday morning race suit hang out, also past that the Wivenhoe Somerset road both very fast. The litre class guys on Gold coast like the Nerang Murwillumbah road AKA Hinze raceway, Beechmont and Springbrook mountain.

    But police got very heavy handed in the past and with so many interesting back roads I think a lot of guys moved on from sport bike scene to ADV scene.

    Nice to see the old spots, looking forward to final installment.

    1. Thanks Warren, this is your old backyard. I was thinking you'd know all of these roads and more. I can see why you call it the Hinze raceway. You could get up some big speeds along there although we didn't mostly sticking to the limit.

  5. This post gave me flashback of riding the Gladius while following Troubadour on his Tiger. Hence I don't have the Gladius anymore. Riding along getting pounded on those crappy back roads is tiring and no fun, but yes, still better than work. I agree.

    So when are you buying an adventure bike?

    1. So Troubadour lead you up the garden path a time or two is see. I'm not a fan of adventure bikes, too tall, too heavy.

  6. Riding in your neck of the woods reminds me of NYC and Philly potholes created by the salt the city use to de-ice the roads. It is a nightmare to ride in the city after winter season. At least we don't have to worry about cows crossing the roads. lol

    1. I don't think I'd like to ride in NYC. I hate riding in city traffic.

  7. Nice write-up Steve! Particularly liked your description of getting back on the R1. You can have relative comfort AND performance y'know :-) . Were there major comfort differences between your R1 and your bro's?

    1. Dave's R1 was more comfortable than my 2015 R1. It's suspension is stiffer and a harder seat even after the extra padding.
      It may be time to look at other avenues to keep the enjoyment in it. I'm not getting any younger I'll be 46 next month.

  8. ahhhh you dont need a big clumsy dualsport.....i owned 2 of them and if you push em hard you will end in the bushes.....the naked race replicas give fantastic road handling and are just as good on dirt roads as well as comfortable.

    1. Your onto something there hoppy mclegerson...