Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Snowy Ride Part 1

 It's that time of year again when we venture into the NSW Snowy Mountains for our annual bike trip away with the boys (and girls). As luck would have it Victoria opened up the week before so we could venture further this year. So I packed all my stuff onto the big twin and headed to Stu's. Weather predictions were dire this year with up to 30mm of rain for saturday and sunday.

I don't think Geoff knew which bike was his.......

I decided to take my textile suit this year instead of leathers with rain suit. Less to pack but its untested in the rain so this could be disaster if it gets cold and wet. Dry rider gear is renowned for not being dry.

Next stop was Marulan for breakfast and wait to pick up the crew from Nowra. Yep you guessed it another bakery stop but I opted for a sausage roll instead of a pie, because that's how I roll.

Then it was back to the bikes and head out through Bungonia and down to Tarago. There was lots of roads works and 60 zones through this bit.

The ride down through the King's Highway was a bit of a car park. The road surface was better than its ever been. I would have been angry if I got here on the R1 only to find it filled with slow moving cars but on the AT I didn't really care and just admired the scenery.  The temperature rose sharply as we came down the mountain to about 30°C, I was starting to swelter in my gear. I had to take off my thermal top, far to hot for that. Lunch stop was in Nelligen and we picked up another 3 riders here.

With my gourmet chiko roll dispatched it was time to mount up again, it was here I noticed Doug tapping his foot. Yep the cat herding has commenced. Next stop for fuel in Batemans Bay before heading down the south coast.

After fueling the big twin I was surprised at how little it was using compared to my R1. I'm starting to like this bike. I more on this later. We stopped at the usual pub in Narooma for a beverage before continuing on down the coast to Tathra.

The scenery on the south coast is spectacular and not that much traffic, although it is busier now than it was years ago.

Our destination for tonight was the Tathra Hotel. It was quite windy with lots of white caps out on the ocean and the temp also quickly plummeted with the sea breeze and we were back into jumpers.

It was good to catch up with everyone over a few well deserved beers and just chat about things in general after the year we've just had. Tathra pub makes it own beers and a few taster plates were sampled.

Day 1 Map

Day 2

Lucky for us the pub closes early on Thursday at 9pm so we didn't have too sore heads in the morning. To my absolute horror we had breakfast at the bakery again this morning. Loading up the bike is a breeze with the SW Motech drybag. 4 Clips and it clicks on and pulls down tight in no time. Super easy and I'm sure it has more space than 30 litres. Scottys bag was 50 Litres and they looked the same size. Nice and easy to oil the chain by myself with the centre stand now away on trips.

Breakfast bakery stop

The more thirsty sports bikes stopped for fuel here but I thought I'd wait until Bombala and see how it went. I swapped bikes with Brett as he was interested to see how the AT went. As I was putting my gloves on and getting ready to mount his MT10 I saw the AT on the back wheel going up over the hill. I think he liked it.

As we went down through the twisty hills near Myrtle Mountain I was following both Dave and Brett on the MT10 and Tuono. As it was my first ride in the twisties I was riding quite conservatively, however they didn't get that far in front I could still see them. The big AT is heavy to throw around in the twisties but as this is my first real ride on the thing I want to know how it handles before pushing it too hard.

Fueling up in Bombala I'd used just under 12 litres for 260kms. So I had a third of a tank left and could have ridden another 120kms and in comfort. I'm really starting to like this bike now. From here the group split as the nancy boys er sportsbike riders took the Cahn Valley way and the rest of us took the Bonang Highway. The dirt section in the middle is down to 9kms now. This was the first time I could keep up in the dirt doing a modest 85kmh. The rain that came through before us had kept the dust down to a minimum. 

The Givi tank bag is another great purchase for this bike. Fits in heaps of stuff and its out of the way, I've got somewhere now with easy access for my camera and a drink.

I am really starting to love the engine on the AT as I could just put it in 3rd and ride the torque curve up and down, it would still punch out of the bends and the brakes are so good to pull this heavy bike up, you don't actually notice how good they are because they just work. Between 35kmh bends it requires a fair effort to get it turned but it's quite rewarding actually. It soaks up just about every bump with its long suspension travel. I notice when hard on the brakes the front suspension dives quite heavily with all that travel. 

Next stop was in Orbost for lunch and to meet up with the soft cocks er non dirt riding fellows. The bikers special toasted ham/cheese/tomato sammich was excellent together with a flat white. Not to heavy. I decided I didn't need fuel here either, gee I'm filling up a hell of a lot less times on this trip.

I was going to stop somewhere on the Buchan road to take some photos but was having so much fun leading the group into town I just couldn't stop. You can't see it but there's a huge grin on my face.

Next stop was for fuel in Bruthen, probably could have made it to Omeo that night without filling up, but it would be easier to do it here then we can get to Tallangatta on one tank. 

As we turned at Swift's Creek Geoff lead the others up the garden path so to speak so I used this opportunity to get out the front and find somewhere on the road I can stop for a couple of pics. There were several good spots of which I choose none. Still got to do 2 of my hobbies in the one day and get some pics of the boys and girls at play.

The 24-70mm F2.8 lense I find limited at the track so it gets used for pitlane duties and not much else, but it is actually very useful on this bike trip. Still an extra 50mm reach would have been nice but it got the job done and I'm reasonably happy how the images turned out seeing as I was only ever going to get one chance at getting them on one pass. No practising out here.

It was time to put away the camera's as it was now beer o'clock and time to get into Omeo for a ice cold refreshing ale or two. 

Omeo Main Street

Looks like we beat the weather again today, with only a bit of wet road so no testing of the dry bag or my wet rider gear. I'm content with that.

Emperor Palpatine - These aren't the beers you're looking for


Day 2 Map


  1. ahhh yes hoss you cant beat boingy suspenders on our unmaintained roads....4.5 litres per 100 kays compared to 6.5 on the MT 10

    1. Our roads are munted, and your right the suspenders take care of about 98% of the bumps on our roads. Its only the real big ones that I notice now.

  2. Nice, I'm in desperate need of a ride - there's far too much work involved in moving house for my liking.

    Who would of thought that you could get a do-it-all bike that's comfortable, goes well and doesn't use gallons of fuel...

    1. Moving house sucks the big one. I once moved twice in 6 weeks, that was hell.

      "Who would of thought that you could get a do-it-all bike that's comfortable, goes well and doesn't use gallons of fuel..."
      Not me but I'm starting to believe, Amen brother....

  3. Nice bikes, aren’t they old man….. 😉
    Also, the dive isn’t because of the long travel, it’s because the AT forks are too soft. Run them in, then get the resprung to suit your weight and riding style.