Running in the Multistrada – Episode 2

With some 3,000 kms on the odometer, the Multistrada was nowhere near run in…The motor was still tight the suspension not as compliant as I’d like…It was time to address the issue…

Great Ocean Road (GOR) is one of the best places on Earth to run a bike in. For one its seriously twisty: no constant throttle…just the ticket

And the scenery? Ah it’s OK…observe:

The day’s excitement started when I hit Lorne…

a place for many triathlon events. Great coffee and great food. It can get a bit touristy especially during Summer weekends, however nowhere near as busy as, say Southern France!.

Most stop up here and do not venture further along the GOR – huge mistake! The real ride starts now…pure motorcycling heaven awaits the ones brave enough to ride this part of the world…On the left rain forrest,

on the right…Bass Stright

there are many scenic lookouts along the way where one can pull over and play tourist…

As my travels continue to Apollo Bay, I caught up with one of the locals. I almost missed it so I did a quick U-turn…

It is not unusual to see Koala bears on the trees alongside the GOR. Occasionally one can get this close, however they mustn’t be touched – you might but they do not like it…Imagine  someone 7-8 times your size fondling you because he found you cute…

Along the way the beaches are almost empty…

no need to look for a place to put your towels…

After a perfect lunch in Port Campbell (just 10 kms from the Twelve Apostles)

12 Apostles, Port Campbell, Victoria

12 Apostles, Port Campbell, Victoria (Photo credit: sachman75)

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Running in the Ducati Multistrada

One of the many pleasures that come from owning a brand new Ducati Multistrada is the process of running her in…

Naturally the 1,200+kms from Sydney, through the NSW and Victoria Alpine country see The New Found Love entry was not enough…

This time my good mate Dan Burmas joined the process on his Aprilia Dorsoduro…

You may remember the Dorso from my previous ride when I took it down to the Great Ocean Road with my hot friend Susan (aka GSXR Girl…)

I must confess, it was the agility and corner speed of the Aprilia Dorsoduro that inspired me to  move away from sports bikes for public road fun and get a multipurpose toy…with more power!

The ride was quick up and down on the Reefton and Black Spurs, just long enough to get me comfortable enough to scrape my toe sliders…nice!

Notice the road sign in the background…the beginning of fun overload!

BTW I will be using the Multistrada as the weapon of choice for the Australia ride scheduled for December 20012 and January 2013. I am in the process of finalising the details, so if you’d like to attend, please help me complete a quick survey under this link.

This would help me tremendously with putting together the best ride possible.

Till next time!

New found love – Ducati Multistrada

Running out of patience whilst waiting for the Gixer to arrive form Europe (it takes over 40 days on the water…), Nady and I test rode a few new models. Just “to see” of course, not going to get a new bike, don’t need one….yeah right!

Thankfully my mate at Fraser Ducati (Sydney) had a new Multistrada 1200 available. He could have it shipped down…or I could fly up and ride her back from Sydney to Melbourne. Just to make sure she runs ok, of course…

When I arrived, the hot Italian was already waiting for me…

she had some of her family members there as well, who were equally attractive…

I love this family! Slightly dysfunctional but full of gorgeousness, which makes up for it…

After one hour of introduction (Yes, I was shown how to start the bike…) I was on my way…

Getting from Sydney to Melbourne there are a number of ways to go…the most obvious is the Hume Hwy/Fwy, which is a 100-110km/hr speed limited, multi-lane road that trucks and most of the public use. Imagine riding an airplane landing strip at 100km/hr…exciting stuff. So the REAL choice was the scenic route via the NSW/Vic Alpine country…

Since the brochure said she can be used off-road, I had to give that a go…

The multi-purpose tyres handled the terrain beautifully! Since I took the long route (over 1,000 kms lay ahead) I had to go fast as I only had a day registration and no rego. plates, officer…I also had to test the range of the 20lt fuel tank…over 300kms with less than a litre left…

along the way passed some amazing scenery…

However, soon it got dark and the fun turned into an endurance event…

After some 1,200kms of Ducati lovin’ I arrived home about 4:00 o’clock in the morning. I can easily say it was the toughest one-day ride ever but it was worth every minute!

Happy Easter Everyone!

This weekend is an excellent time to catch up with loved ones (that’s the two legged kind, not the two wheeled kind). Enjoy it people and cherish every moment! 

Ever so gently though, between stuffing your face with chocolate eggs and when no-one can notice, imagine how awesome would it be riding up this road…

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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!

Churches in Transylvania

There is a village in the depths of Transylvania, called Gelence (pronounced Ghelentze…now say that 10 times…).

It doesn’t look much different from any other Transylvanian villages. Remote from western civilisation, surrounded by mountains and dense forrest, no public transport, only 4-5000 people etc…In fact it it wasn’t for the single petrol station you’d think you have gone back in time.

Since I was in Transylvania on my motorbike, I just had to visit this place…

My aim was to check out this fortified church…

which does not look anything special…except that it is.  And, you don’t have to be religious to appreciate its historic significance:

  • originally built in 13th century…(yes, 1200 something)
  • it is on the top 100 list of the World Monuments Fund (check it out in Wikipedia), along with well known places like the Taj Mahal (that’s the one in India not the Trump Taj in Atlantic City…)
  • UNESCO world heritage site

There are no buildings this old in Australia, so I had to look inside. It’s hard to imagine that anything that is built today would last over 800 years…

The frescos, with meticulous attention to detail, tell a story of a king that ruled the area in around 1080 A.D. If you want to know more abut this place, click here.

Once I had enough appreciation of the local history and religion, it was time to appreciate local geography…did I mention this place is surrounded by hills right? LET’S RIDE!

as the sun started to go down I turned up to one of my favourite restaurants for a bite…

I knew the food was great here from previous trips so I grabbed a menu…It is so thoughtful that they translate each meal in numerous languages for the tourists…including english of course…It’s pity though (and extremely funny!) that some things get lost in translation…case in point:

…since I speak Hungarian (after all I used to live here some 25 years ago) I knew exactly what that dish was. I can assure you no person got hurt during the making…Nevertheless it was all too easy to imagine some poor shepherd in the hills with a voice a few octaves higher…and the sheep around him with a sigh of relief…

Speaking of sheep…the lamb cutlets are awesome at this place! Till next time!

Breakfast in Transylvania

My breakfasts in Transylvania were always preceded by a quick fang on the Gixer…nothing works up an appetite better in the morning than fresh air and 20 kms twisted pavement…(actually, there are a few things but you can’t stay in bed forever… back to the story)

On this video below…

I ride the hills of Hargita county as I know of this great cafe/restaurant surrounded by pine trees and mineral water fountains…

where they serve the best scrambled eggs, home baked bread and garden grown tomato salad on this planet…

This, with freshly brewed coffee…and my day’s just begun…

Does life get any better than this? No?

Actually it does… You should see the ride we went onto later that day….more of that next time…