Adventure Ride – Australia for Dec 2012 – Jan 2013 is READY, yeay!!!

Thank you to those who helped me with the survey to prepare the Australian Adventure Ride in Dec 2012 – Jan 2013. Here is a summary of the findings:

1)  In terms of timing for December or January – almost 70% did not care about the timing as long as there was sufficient time to prepare. Well over 6 months of prepping should be enough for a 10 day ride…

2)  About 63% wanted 10 days to 2 weeks. I will make this a 10 day ride, but you will be able to hire the bikes for additional time. Its also worth noting that almost 25% wanted more than 2 weeks. I will look into this for the future…perhaps a ride up to the tropics, Cairns, Port Douglas, Great Barrier Reef…hmmm sounds tempting! Let me know your thoughts…

3)  For the length of daily rides, about 70% wanted either more than 350 kms or a mixture of short and long riding days. We will tackle this by staying in some places more than one night. The Great Ocean Road and The Victorian Alpine country are the perfect candidates for this. This way you can just chill, explore on foot, go the the beach, cafes, etc. Or come for a ride with us or go on your own / with your partner.

4) Whilst we are on the topic of riding with partners…only about 16% of you will bring a partner. Over 80% are either coming alone or just maybe bring a partner…maybe? I guess those partners need to accumulate some more points with you then hey! 🙂 Naturally, partners are welcome!

5) In terms of which bike you’d like to ride, about 70% chose either the Monster or the Multistrada…Hmmm ok, but I thought the Hypermotard would be more popular. The Multistrada has proven to be the most popular (42%) and over 25% of you will be riding your own bikes…Cool!

6)  Doing a bit of cost benefit analysis, over 75% of you told me that you do not want to pay for luxury accommodation. We will stay in 3-4 star places and I have to agree with you, its just a place to sleep at. That said, if some of you want to stay in luxury, contact me and I will make sure you will be accommodated, but that will cost extra of course.

7)  I am relieved that almost 80% of you do not want to pay for carrying your luggage. Hiring of a car, driver, fuel etc would have been way to expensive…Luckily though this is not as much of an issue for the Transylvanian Tour. We will make sure that our bikes have ample luggage carrying capacity.

Again, thank you to those who helped with the survey.  If you have registered your email address, and most of you have, you will get a further 5% off the tour price. This could result in up to 15% or almost $600 off the full price.  If you have any questions, issues, contact me.

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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!

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.

Small Bike Syndrome – Ride to the Twelve Apostles via The Great Ocean Road

While I was waiting for my bike to arrive back from Europe – 50 days on the sea from UK to Australia – I developed MASSIVE withdrawal symptoms, especially on warm and sunny weekends. As spring approached, it was getting worse, to the point where I was  frothing at the mouth like I had rabies at every bike that went by…

Eventually my friend Daniel took pity on me: one long weekend, I had the chance to ride one of his two bikes (either the Honda CBR 1000 or the Aprilia Dorsoduro, which is “just” a….750). As I’d already had a taste of his CBR before, it was time to try something different, so I grabbed the key for the Dorso…

Daniel's Dorso...is it a road bike? Is it a dirt bike? Is it a Supermoto hooligan mobile!

It was a warm and sunny Sunday and I was in the mood for a Great Ocean Road ride. I asked my good friend Susan, who also owns a Gixer, to come along since she has the right mixture of hotness (yes, she is a guuurl) and coolness (she can carve up most men on a race track); the perfect riding companion.

Hot chick, preparing for take off...Damit, where is my Gixer?!

Susan’s Gixer stats: 160hp std at the rear wheel,  top speed: 155km/hr… in 1st gear (it has 5 more), 0-100 in less than 3 seconds…or in short: the Chuck Norris of motorbikes…it doesn’t move forward on the road, no, it makes the road move under it. Any bike next to it develops a “small bike syndrome…” (you know what I mean).

Ok, ’nuff about the Gixer, back to the ride…

On the way to the coast we planned to ride through the Ottway ranges to the Great Ocean Road, beautifully forested hills with enough twisties to have you leaning more often than not. That plan was thwarted when the roads were closed due to a pushbike race. Yeah, I know…WTF? Options: 1.) go all the way back and try another road or 2.) about 30 minutes of riding on:

not the best road for sports bikes...

There was a good chance we would not come out unscratched on the other side since this road is possibly the worst thing you can take a sports bike on. So we took some “before shots” to remember our bikes and our faces before they were all busted up…

Despite all odds against us, we managed to get through:

Finaly we made it to the beach…hundreds of kilometres of coastal twisted fun also known as The Great Ocean Road beckoned…We did not need a second invite.

Around lunchtime we arrived into Lorne and sat down for quick bite and a coffee. I could not stop raving about how great the Dorso is: phenomenal suspension, great tyre, insane lean angle with endless traction, “did you see me take that corner?’ bs, bs, bs…

Susan, observing my obvious small bike syndrome, shared her words of wisdom…

its not how endowed your bike is, its how you ride it what matters...(really?)

Soon after the general banter and all around piss take (pun intended Susan…), our mate, Bomba arrived. Bomba is a local lad so he knows all the turns like the palm of his hand…Riding his Yamaha R1, against the 750 Dorso, my small bike syndrome grew exponentially. Nevertheless, when he invited us to show us around, I picked up my camera and ran after him like an ADHD school kid high on sugar.

after momentarily catching our breath, the foolish behaviour continued:

Eventually we made it into Apollo Bay…There is only one thing to do in Apollo Bay: refuel and continue…Ok that’s actually two things but you get the idea.

Actually, the town is really nice and if you ever get there during summer take your bathers, the beach is AWESOME!

Once we refuelled, Bomba offered to run backwards in front of me with the camera. I hate being the centre of attention but I thought Yeah why not?

We briefly stopped for a break…

when some of us put their personal safety at risk…

Susan is engaged to a big Canadian dude called Kev - and that's not him....Mate, I didn't do it!...

and to play Japanese tourist – but without the Victory sign (you know, with the fingers…that’s just wrong, what’s with that anyway?)…

Shortly after the ADHD kicked in again and Bomba continued running in front of me backwards with the camera making sweet Yamaha broom broom noises…

Eventually we endured the overload of twisted fun and we arrived to Port Campbell…this place is famous for the Twelve Apostles that has to be on everyone’s bucket list! We did not stop to wonder around this time but here is a photo from another time so you get the idea:

The Twelve Apostles - been to worse places

On the return trip, I led the troops back to Lavers Hill

and then to Apollo Bay

by then the evening started to close in so we had to tear ourselves away and said ciao to Bomba and Apollo Bay

Ottway National Park at dusk

Apollo Bay at dusk

and took the short cut back to Melbourne…

I have to say this was one of my best riding days ever on the Great Ocean Road – I wonder why not every rider is down there, especially on days like today!

Thank you for Susan and her hotness and general piss take, Bomba for showing us his playground and of course Daniel for letting me ride the Dorso like it was stolen…awesome bike mate!

And of course, to address my small bike syndrome, I had to get a bike that has the agility of the Dorso with the power of a sportsbike…say hello to my little friend:

on the seventh day he just chilled, then on the eighth day he created the Ducati Multistrada

its capacity: big ass thumping 1200!

Cach you next time!