Friday, September 6, 2019

Motorcycle Training - British Army Style

Welcome to Friday dear reader. I thought I might help ease you into the weekend with a short instructional video from the British Army. 
Yes, you joined the army, now we OWN you and YOU ARE GOING TO learn to ride dirt bikes......

Those familiar with the IAM method of teaching (or any method for that matter) might see some slight floors in the instructional technique but being able to order punishment push-ups when the student bins-it-like-a-rag-doll must be priceless!

Grab a cool drink and enjoy......

Oh, how I laughed!!!


Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Far Riding

I am sure that most motorcycle riders have heard of an organisation called the IBA. The Iron Butt Association is an American invention (I think), consisting of riders who like to cover large distances in limited amounts of time, for no real reason other than to ride.
As well as the IBA, we have a derivative group here in Australia called Far Riders. I remember seeing their details about 15 years ago and promptly forgot all about them.
Now, getting back into motorcycling and having an endurance mountain biking background the logical extension must be doing some long distance motorcycling in as short amount of time as possible, right?

Touring motorbi-cycles.....(190/50-17s were hard to find in 2003!)

Monday, August 26, 2019


Thanks to a “new bike update” from the chap at Confessions of An Ageing Motorcyclist, I decided to try some updated, modern, ergonomically designed control levers for my R1. I had been avoiding changing much on the bike as I want it to be pretty standard but honestly the standard clutch lever is stupidly long in reach as well as length. I mean, for the ridiculously low cost of the levers, even if they were rubbish I could hang them in the shed as “art”.

They came from the land of eBay and the tracking communications from the seller were excellent with messages at every stage of the delivery process. Within hours of the delivery message (I was on the other side of the country at the time) I had another message asking how I liked them and asking for a photo of them if you please!
Steady Mr Wong!!

Well, I had to get home from work then wait until the weekend to find the time to fit them. I really didn’t need much time though. Finding the key for the bike took almost as long as fitting the damn levers!

New and old.

I went for the all black levers. Blue was an option but I have seen colour matched grips before and hate the look, so thought of colour matched levers in the same vein. Thinking about it now, titanium pivots with black levers would have looked good too.

Old and new.

They are reach adjustable, folding plus they have a length adjuster as well.

I honestly don’t know how they stack up against the genuine Pazzo levers for quality as I haven’t seen an actual Pazzo up close (that I can recall) but at $30.84US versus $281AU (about $180US) for the Pazzos, the price alone warrants a look at the eBay levers. 
 A quick test ride and they feel fine. I need to adjust the clutch cable slightly as the knock-off levers must pull the cable a smidge differently and there is currently almost no slack between letting the clutch lever out and the clutch clutching. 

Easily fixed though.


Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Point Lookout

I had the last 4 days of my months annual leave in front of me and looking at the weather forecast, which was for perrrffect clear winter weather, I decided that I needed to get out for an adv bike ride. I had seen a reference to Point Lookout, a viewing point in the Great Dividing Range to the southwest of Coffs Harbour and decided that I should have a look at the view. Making it all the more intriguing for me is the fact that Point Lookout was an enroute VOR station that we had used for decades before it was decommissioned in 2016 to cut costs (lets hope the satellites don't get jammed!) There is also an AERIS located at the same place, which thankfully, is still operating.

So, I had the beginnings of a shell of a rough outline of a plan..... I could make the rest up as I went along. I planned on being self sufficient so stopping ANYWHERE would be an option!

After the kids were sent off to school I had a few jobs to do around the place as I had been away for two weeks. I used this time to actually convince myself that it was ok to load up and piss off for another few days.....I did have ministerial approval of course but I was feeling a little guilty. I soon shook that off and began piling things into the stairwell - hopefully things I would need! Now, what will I have forgotten? Time will tell.....

Sunday, July 28, 2019

More Farkles

Things have been a tad quiet here on the blog but as usual, that doesn't mean there isn't shit going down! I have just returned from a two week 4wding holiday across the Simpson Desert with the kids but more about that in another post. When I returned from that trip I had a couple of cardboard boxes waiting for me.....

The FC Moto box was all the way from Germany. I have been looking for an adventure lid for over 12 months now to complement the BMW and couldn't decide on whether I wanted to go the "all bells and whistles mega expensive" route or the "$200 cheapie and get a new one every other year" route.
Well, I sort of put a foot in either camp in the end and went with an Airoh Commander. It had all of the features I wanted, was still a very light (1510 g/3lb 1oz) helmet AND by buying through FC Moto, I had it landed at my house for $105 less than the cheapest I could find it domestically! I like to support local retailers but when they are 21% cheaper, including freight from the other side of the planet, how can you not shop online?

Anyway, it is a thing of great beauty, to wrap a thing of not great beauty (my head) and protect it from the elements and the hard, hard ground.

It has the much desired flip down sunnies and Airoh include a pinlock in the box! I haven't fitted the pinlock yet but the flip down sunnies and sun visor are gold with the low sun we seem to have this winter!

The colour options are a bit limited but the one colour I didn't want in an adventure helmet was black.... and the most prevalent colour in adv helmets!?  Black helmets are just too hot in the Aussie sun. I like the bit of red as it breaks up the "too much blue" theme I have going on with my RST suit.

The other carton, from Staintune exhausts, was a bit of an impulse buy. Well, an impulse on the day that I saw the R1 pipe was half price! I had priced one of the stainless steel pipes up for my R1 back in 2012 when I first bought the bike but couldn't justify spending $800 on a slip on pipe. Especially when the bike already had a slip on fitted to it. Proving that good things come to those who wait, a mere 7 years later I was able to snag a bargain. 

Not that there was anything wrong with the little Remus pipe that came with the bike though. I did sort of hate it at first because I wasn't used to the modern style "mini" mufflers but it came to grow on me and after I ordered the Staintune pipe I was having some doubts about how the older style pipe might look. I did want an ADR compliant exhaust as interactions with the mobile tax collectors aren't high on my wish list.

I needn't have worried. The pipe looks awesome!!

The sound is much quieter than the Remus, which is to be expected as the Staintune meets the ADR requirements with the removable baffle installed. To be honest, I am happy with it as it has a better note than the stock pipe and will hopefully let me fly under-the-radar.


Friday, May 31, 2019

Breaking In A New Bike

Today dawned crisp and clear - and bloody cold! I know that cold is a relative term but when it gets below 10 Celcius, it is cold here in the sub tropics! 
Anyway, it was a great day for a good mate of mine to start his journey down the Adventure Bike route. He had just purchased a brand new KTM 1090 Adventure and was itching to get it dirty. How could I not help?

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Brisbane 500 Fail

A local bikepacking race popped up on the radar a few months ago. The Brisbane 500 was the brainchild of Brisbane local Hayden Lester and promised to tie a bunch of Brisbane’s best singletrack locations together via a network of backroads. I immediately put it on my radar but must admit, in the last few months life and work, then life and then some more work had got in the way. I didn’t rate my chances of getting the requisite time off work but two days out from the start the planets aligned and I thought “ why not give it a crack”?

After all. How hard can 500 km around home be?