Motorbike Adventure – Australia 2012/2013

You may be aware that I am planning a few Australian rides scheduled for the end of 2012 / early 2013. Details about the ride is here

To make this the best possible event, I have created a short and anonymous survey to get your thoughts on the preferred format, such as number of days, kms, accommodation etc.

If you could help me with this survey, it would be much appreciated…Please click here to participate: Australian Ride Survey

Transylvania: The Bicaz Gorge

We took off early in the morning towards Bicaz Gorge. It was still foggy in the mountains…

but no-one complained despite the previous night’s foolish behaviour in the beer garden…this ride had my adrenalin pumping so I could not sleep past 6am anyway…

Once we left the town of Udvarhely,

we rode through a few villages,

where storks nests such as this were common. It was amazing to see wildlife and civilisation entwined…

The stork is a migratory bird and every year they travel to Africa during winter but they return to their nests year after year.

As we left the villages behind, the surroundings turned green…

As we passed the peasants horses and carts it was like going back in time. That’s unless we saw them use their mobile phones which was a strange sight…This visual’s just not getting old…

As we got closer to the Gorge, and we got higher into the mountains, the landscape became more dramatic…and beautiful

before we got to the Bicaz Gorge we stopped by for a break at the Red Lake (Translated from Romanian, in Hungarian its the Killer Lake, it must be a Transylvanian thing…)

That lake and rowing boats looked too inviting for us not to try them out…

but all fun must come to an end and our gruelling task of riding to the Bicaz Gorge had to continue…it wasn’t too far…

And this is what greeted us:

This is what it looks like from the top:

Nice!

Which bike for me on the Tour of Transylvania?

Wow! The number of enquiries that I have received on the Summer 2012 Transylvanian tour has been overwhelming! I have tried answering each individually but one of the most asked questions is: Which bike is best for me on the tour?

So I will try to put my 2 cents’ worth here and hope to confuse you even more, since this is really a subjective topic…After all it also depends on the type of rider you are, size, weight, are you the cruiser type or sport bike nut, etc etc…

Personally, I found the:

a bit of an overkill…yes, there is such thing…especially when smaller bikes are going quicker in tighter corners… Whilst she hauls arse like no other (220km+ in 3rd gear), I rarely had the opportunity to open the throttle to the stops.

What’s more, in certain places, such as 1st or 2nd gear corners she did not have the agility of the:

Kawasaki Z750

as their wide bars allow for quicker and easier flicking into the tight corners…

And course if you are approaching this…

a super-moto, like this KTM here…

is a motorcycling wet dream come true…

That said, when I rode this bike, at certain revs it vibrated so much I could not read the sign on the back of a truck I caught up to…(true story!)

So, instead I’d recommend small upright bike, such as:

Yamaha MT03

But if you are a cruizy kind of person with the occasional “gimme some more speed now!” kind of person…then select one of these babies…

That said, if you really must have a sports bike…

I say go for it man!!! Since the fun factor is still maaaaasive! and of course you can also pull out some tree stumps along the way with them just for fun…However in my opinion its like cracking a nut with a sledge hammer…not that it’s necessarily  a bad thing…

That said if you are 200cm or taller on a small bike you’d just look wrong…

So there, I hope I confused you a bit more and helped you towards more sleepless nights thinking about this crucial topic…

Bottom line, pick the bike that is most suited for you and when you book let me know which bike you want so I can make sure it is available for you!

Motorcycle Racing: Transformation – Episode 1

During my last year’s trip to
Europe

I decided to decommission my trusty GSXR-1000 Suzie. After over 6 years of service, with almost 80,000 kms on the clock she served me well. She received tough love in abundance in the form of ride days…

all weather riding

above the snow line at the Grossglocker pass (Austria)

and long tours

Raining cats and dogs in Livigno - Italy

Regardless of where and how I rode, she did it eeeeasily and I am proud to say, never let me down. To farewell her road riding career, I want to show some of the highlights over the last 6 years…

Countless rides on the Great Ocean Road, especially with my old mate Balls!

Apollo Bay

Anglesea

The Halls Gap (Grampians) rides where Balls and I did about 1,000kms in a single day. There aren’t many people who were stupid enough to do that ride with me (that is until recently, say hello Daniel).

Sadly, not long after this photo was taken, on 15 Feb 2008 Balls lost his life. Not a ride goes by without me thinking of him….

more ride days…

even more ride days….

The Tassie rides of course…

she was always centre of attention


and of course I cannot stop talking about the Euro Tour…

Provence - France

Nice...that's the town in southern France, which is nice...

Mugello Moto GP - is nice! (check out the two dudes at the back...)

Lake Como - Italy

Stelvio Pass

Transfagarasan Mountain Pass

I also should (but I won’t) include speed camera photos, however that would take up too much server space…Those photos resulting in $ ‘000 in fines, 2 times loss of license, etc etc you get the picture…She is an awesome machine but boy did she hate riding on the speed limit…(that’s another story).

So, to make sure that she never has to go below  60km/hr (except in pit lane), I have decided to make her a track only bike. The transformation will be an ongoing process as I get faster and push her (and me) to closer to the limit with parts upgraded as needed.

But first, I got rid of her worn street clothes (already on eBay), I stripped her bare awaiting the arrival of a set of race fairings…

naked supermodel...

Stay tuned, next episode, I will detail the suspension upgrade, Daniel secures a sponsor (he is a talent that guy!) and we have the first track day with the race fairings…

Adventure Motorcycle – Jindabyne run

I took this video of my mate Eric on our way to Jindabyne. The trip was 1,600km return from Melbourne so it was an overnight ride…well it was for me anyway as Eric fell in love with the place and stayed an extra night…

I put one of Eric’s fave song, “Army of me” by Bjork since that dude’s a One Man Gang (bang)…according to him.

Stay tuned for more rubbish that makes no sense whatsoever, except to those who were there.

Tasmania – Epic Adventure (Episode 2)

The next morning in New Norfolk we woke up to another fine Tasmanian day. The sun was just up, not a cloud could be seen and the morning chill was prompting us to get out for coffee. The local bakery was already open so we sat down to a hearty breakfast and a strong caffeine hit in a mug. We were not the only ones out for adventure, a hot rod crew turned up so we checked out their machinery… but time waits for nobody and we wanted to make our way into Strathgordon Dam, besides, who cares about cars when we are on bikes and scenery such as this was waiting up the road?

random picture on a bridge crossing...

We stopped a few times on the way to Strathgordon Dam, either to refuel…

...now what?

to admire the scenery…or just to watch Eric bust a move…

...Vanilla Ice eat your heart out..............WTF?

but we still don’t know why…let’s move on.

Before we took off into the distance, we spared a thought on our partners at home struggling with chores and wished we were there to give them a hand instead….

The road to Strathgordon Dam was long, twisty, smooth, picturesque, etc etc… you get the picture, but in case you don’t, here it is…

and what's even better...we did not see a car for hours

and just when we had enough (is there such thing?) of the winding road we pulled over to have a look at this: Lake Pedder. Words cannot express the beauty of this land, so I’ll say nothing and just let you enjoy it…The excitement was just too much of all of us: Daniel’s head swelled up and he could put his helmet back on (true story)… Eric, once again, showed us that He Believes!

...and the Lord said: "You are, once again, Welcome!"

and I, just this time, stopped admiring my bike and took another picture of the scenery

it's not a copy of the one above...you can find 5 things that are different!

However beautiful the landscape was, this wasn’t our destination…that was a few kilometres up the road. Once we managed to tear ourselves away and got back onto our bikes, we were there in no time…this is what awaited: and this…

Strathgordon Dam

It was time to play Japanese tourist again…

no no...You are da Man!

It was late afternoon and time to make our way back. We stopped for a nice feed on the side of the road… 

I did not share...

Over our meal we discussed the best methods we employ to keep it rubber side down. Some of us mentioned good tyres (wasn’t Eric) or just tip top condition of the bike (wasn’t Eric on this one either) …or…wait for it…. wearing his partner’s underwear for good luck…hmmm.

We swore to secrecy never to tell anyone who that person is however I leave you with this picture.

I'm saying nothing!

Cheers,

Till next time!

Tasmania – Epic Adventure (Episode 1)

After our Mad Dash to Tasmania (see earlier posts), Eric and I returned to Melbourne bragging to everyone (whether we knew them or not) about how great our ride was. Still buzzing, we managed to convince our mate Daniel to join us next time…OK, he didn’t need convincing and the date was set again, quickly followed by purchasing of the tickets to cross the Bass Straight on the Spirit of Tasmania…it was another weekend ride, but this time with longer days, more saddle time and bigger distances…hence the Epic Adventure.

The boat ride was fairly uneventful, embark of Friday evening, dinner, vine, talking crap and arriving Saturday morning to Devonport…

Upon arriving to Tassie, the usual intake of coffee and breakfast followed and we were off towards Cradle Mountain… 

Along the way we came across a genuine piece of two wheeled art. Straight away Eric felt the need for a test ride…

I'm a cowboy...with a steel horse I ride...

...poetry in motion...

Eric decided on “Better the devil you know” and we continued on our Epic Adventure.

Near Cradle Mountain we pulled over to check out the scenery…Daniel could not believe the beauty of the land…

I took took a picture of the bikes 

and the last corner…

I could ride this all day...

and Eric left to check out the scenery from a higher vantage point

...the Man on his throne...

This view greeted him from the cliff:

you don't want to get lost in there...

Our next stop was Strahan, but we had to stop a few times along the way, just to take in the scenery which was awe inspiring…

...are we there yet?

or needed a group hug

...ah that's nice! Now can we farkin' ride???!!!

or there was A Bug On Daniel’s Bike and he HAD to pull over to clean it…

you missed a spot...

The day was perfect! It was warm, light wind and we barely saw any cars for hours…We took breaks frequently just to soak in the vibe of the place…

other than our helmet hair, this picture is perfect

or for the boys to admire my bike…

Admire but do not touch!

but when we got to this sign…

happy times ahead...

we knew we were in motorbike heaven…We took off into the distance having a blast through the twisties like there was no tomorrow…Arriving to Strahan, I took a picture of myself… I do not know why, my hair was a total mess… After a massive feed of fresh seafood, pasta and cold beer we lazed on the lawn near the bay for a while. I do believe I heard Eric snore, but that could also have been me…

Finally, once we got ourselves moving again… it was time for us to look for somewhere to sleep. New Norfolk was some 260kms away and we only had 5hrs before sunset…It was time go and the perfect excuse to ride fast!

Stay tuned for the next episode of the Epic Adventure, where we ride fast for no reason whatsoever, check out Strathgordon Dam and make fools of ourselves in the bike heaven of the Tasmanian wilderness.

Motorbike Adventure: Mad Dash – Tasmania Ride (Episode 3)

The following morning we woke up to another gorgeous Tasmanian day. During breakfast in New Norfolk we were amazed how accepting the locals were of us on bikes. We had a number of them stopping by, starting conversations and advising us the best roads to take….what a way to start the day!

Immediately after coffee, we were on our bikes and rode into the sunrise…

"on days like this, I feel this big....!"

We rode around the hills all morning and felt our day could not get any better…until we came across this little sign….

hello!

Eric, being the more religious of the two of us, proceeded to a quick prayer to the God of Motorcycling….

"Lord, I have no idea what I have done to deserve this...but thank you!"

Perhaps because of the excitement or because he was not sure exactly what religion he actually belonged to, he proceeded to cover off other possibilities of thanking The Bearded Fella above…

I have also joined in the appreciation but with a slightly different approach…

...insert insulting comment here............

Once we got over the excitement of a road sign, and thanked our lucky stars for not getting caught acting like two idiots, we continued on and enjoyed the twisties up ahead to their fullest extent…We also went passed some pretty amassing scenery…

Not content with the fantastic weather, awesome ride and great company I kept teasing my mate for getting on his knees so easily earlier on. Finally, he had enough and once we pulled over…

pulling the gloves off...big mistake

he came over to swiftly box me in the head…The next minute, I would have been on the ground bleeding if…

I am the Stig....

I didn’t keep the helmet on…he got back onto his bike in disgust…and with a sore right hand. He rode much slower after that…and true to form, he blamed his bike…

Eventually we ended back in Devonport where the Spirit of Tassie was waiting to take us home…our awesome weekend was over…fuck!

the sight of the weekend being over...

onboard, we caught up with other fools on bikes…

who chose to leave the comforts of the concrete jungle behind (it rained all weekend in Melbourne…) to explore the Tasmanian wilderness…We exchanged war stories at the bar over a beer or four…

So this was the Mad Dash to Tassie, we planned about 600 kms but ended up doing about 1,000, just because it was so much fun!

I want to thank Eric for his mate ship, awesome company, putting up with my shit, not letting truth get in the way of a good story…and more importantly…

no no...thank YOU

choosing to keep that fart all for himself in the cabin…

Coming up next: we convince another mate Daniel to join us for another Tassie run, Eric upgrades his bike on the side of the road, Daniel throws caution to the wind and takes off his training wheels and I ride my awesome bike again…

Will the upgrade be faster for Eric? will Daniel make it back to Devonport? will they decide not to put up with my shit anymore, beat me up and leave me for dead?…Stay tuned!

Motorcycling Europe – Summer 2011 (Introduction)

I am over the moon today as I figured out how to work iMovie!

This will help me a lot with sharing my helmet cam videos I have taken whilst riding in Europe…2 months, 14,000kms UNFKNBLVBL!!!

Here is a trailer for the upcomming blogs, let me know what you think good or bad [youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eU3haA_BHQ%5D

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