Sunday, 20 March 2011

Autumn to the max

Today the Tarsnakes and the O's took a run in exceptional autumnal (that's Fall for those of you in the US) conditions. We repeated the route that I took yesterday, but had a couple more stops, including the Forrest Brewing Co for a morning tea stop and Otway Estate for lunch. Despite stopping at two breweries we didn't touch a drop - as is our 'policy' when motorcycling.

We were pulled over by a very nice fella from the Highway Patrol, who checked our licenses -AND - the Australian Standards compliance stickers on our helmets, which is a first in my lifetime of riding.

I will let the pics do the talking.

Pauline & Dorothy

Marty at our morning stop at Forrest

The Tarsnakes

Pauline gearing up at Beech Forest

Entertainment during lunch

Pauline and Marty at Otway Estate vineyard
It was sunny and around 25 C the whole day - just perfect!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Tire break in

I took a shortish run today for the purpose of breaking in my new front tire. It was quite cool and very overcast when I left but slowly and surely the weather improved over the course of the day.

My route was from Geelong to Forrest, then along Turton's Track to Beech Forest, down to Gellibrand  and continue on to Colac to visit to Steve, then back home via the Highway 1.

Treaded tire seems to be the newest thing!

An expensive way to protect grape vines from birds
I came across the interesting plaque below

Steve's been working on the resto of this Norton 500cc twin cylinder 'Dominator'
The motor is fully reconditioned. It started easily and sat idling beautifully once Steve re-installed the carby.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

My head says Ninja 1000, my heart says ZX14!

Checked out the new Ninja 1000 on Saturday. Got Mrs Tarsnakes aboard as well just to size it up for two-up riding. Got the thumbs up in terms of 'fit' for a pillion, though she felt perched a little high. The dealership we dropped in at doesn't have a demo bike so I really cannot seriously consider it until I get to ride one.

Sitting aboard the Ninja 1000 it felt very short and maneuverable, seat height was OK-maybe just a fraction high, however, I felt that I was sitting 'on' the bike rather than 'in' it. The 3 position screen is very minimalist.

It's $15,500 ride away at this dealership, though I saw them on sale at $15K ride away in Elizabeth St, Melbourne. 

Loved the black colour and the finish quality looked fine.
ABS is obviously a good thing.

Do you see that ZX14 in the top of the pic above? Well I had a little sit on that as well! Low seat height, great ergonomics, superior finish quality.......but maybe just a little too heavy for me at low speed when we're two-up? I've recently ridden Bill's ZX14 and know what a superb machine it is. They wanted $18K, ride away, for this superseded 2010 model.

I love black Kawasaki s. My head 'says' Ninja 1000, but my heart 'says' ZX14 !! Ah well, my history as a member of the 'West Coast Procrastinators' will no doubt serve me well.

Post script 23 March - my heart won, new ZX14 coming my way soon!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Southern NSW coast & Snowys Summer Road Trip 2011

This year the crew for the road trip consisted of Marty, Bill, Phil & myself. The motorcycles were respectively, ZX14 Kawasaki, ZX9 Kawasaki,Suzuki V Strom with road tires and my ever reliable VFR800 (which ticked over 70,000kms on this trip).

Sunday evening 20 Feb saw Marty & I catching the ferry over Port Philip Bay to stay at Bill & Margy's overnight to miss the peak traffic bottleneck over the Westgate Bridge in Melbourne on Monday morning. Monday morning we hooked up with Phil at Tooradin, then headed down the South Gippsland Hwy to Orbost, in light rain most of the way.

Many thanks to Marty for planning yet another great route and to Bill & Phil for being such great fun and reliable riding mates.

I will post some maps and more text when I have time. I'm flat out at work now so will just do some bits and pieces to the write up and label the pics when I can. Also I have some thoughts about a motorcycle dealership  that offered no help when it was needed and a small engineering works who stepped up and were brilliant. Any of the shots with me in them are Marty's pics.
All the high resolution pics at THIS LINK.

From Orbost the weather picked up and was pretty much perfect thereafter. We ran up the Bonang Road with it's 1080 bends in 90 kms (and 'Roos & deer so we were told later) for 3 nights in the tiny, but motorcycle friendly, town of Bombala (NSW).


Bombala's heritage guesthouse was our base for daily raids out through Southern NSW. We actually rented the near new house next door for 3 nights rather than taking room in the B&B. The owner, Les Atkins & his partner Priscilla were excellent hosts and made us feel very welcome.


I'd highly recommend this place for traveling motorcyclists.   Heritage Guest House

Mt Darragah Rd near the scene of a gravel strewn corner, hidden in the shadows!
Bill & Phil at Eden. the wharf area has lots of great cafes.

Boys at the Imlay Creek.
"They took our parks"- the ZX10 was ridden by a female, former A Grade racer.

Touring Oz in a 50 year old Kombi. Left drive as originally bought in CA, USA. (Then shipped to England for 2 year rebuild, then to Aust).

Bermagui NSW
Old man of the sea ...... Jules taking a break

Commercial apple crops under nets at Batlow (NSW).
Side of the road photo op near Batlow
Elliot way, one of my most favorite roads!

Marty, Bill and Phil ready to hit Elliot Way. Not far from here we saw a large mob of wild brumbies to the side of the road. Much to my regret I didn't stop and photograph them!!
We then headed through the Snowys for 2 nights, staying in Corryong (Vic), and again, a couple of day trips from there before heading home.
Corryong butcher.
There seemed to be roadworks just about every road we took. Guess they have to do it before snow season. Cooling our heals for "...just 5 minutes mate....!"

Alpine Road. Bill aboard the Kawasaki ZX14
Hard to believe that you're looking at Mt Kosciusko- the hill on the left!

Adaminaby NSW, yep it's the big trout!

Phil & Marty discussing the size of sunglasses!

Road to the Snowys from Corryong

Marty kicking back at our motel in Corryong.

New memorial to the Man from Snowy River

Near Hume Dam