Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Season’s Greetings

Well, it is that time of the year again folks. The years seem to be rolling by faster and faster each lap of the hydrogen ball and it is hard to believe another Xmas is upon us.

I hope all of you get to enjoy some down time with family and friends. Hopefully you score something useful/meaningful that also helps keep our consumer society ticking along.

Wishing everyone a happy Christmas and fun rest of 2019.


Thursday, November 7, 2019

Still Mountain Biking?

With all these motorcycle related posts lately you might be wondering if I am still mountain biking. Well, the answer is yes! I am still doing what I can, though the volume is down a bit in the last month or so.

I did get out today to help move rock onto a new trail that is being built by contractors for us here on the eastern edge of Cornubia Forest.

What 28 tonne of rock looks like.

Three of us moved about 15 tonne (33 000lbs) of rock 500m down the new Gramzow Road trail. Not a bad effort but I will admit I did need an hour snooze after lunch but I am feeling pretty good for an old bloke, all things considered.

The pile was under half the size once we were done!

I organised a gourmet morning tea for the volunteers and the contractors (the grant budget doesn't really stretch to cover the build costs so we are helping in more ways than one) courtesey of  The RATS Cycling Club.

Subs and coffee milk. Yum.

Trailworx, the contractors are going to some trouble to retain this trail as it is on quite a steep hill, in a narrow road easement. This means there are 24 switchback turns in quite a short horizontal distance. Good fun riding down but hard yakka coming back up!

Starting the retaining.

First course complete.

This is going to be like no other trail we have around here!

A huge thanks to Shane and Mitch for coming along, on short notice and on a week day to help out. There is no way I could have moved 15 tonne on my own.


and dusted!!


Wednesday, November 6, 2019

McCoy's Cafe' Coffee Run

I managed to get out for a spin yesterday with a mate from the Netrider forum. I had noticed on social media that Steve Waugh's charity foundation was conducting a bicycle ride called The Captain's Ride and they would be calling in to McCoy's Cafe in Cooyar for morning tea. 

I hatched a plan to make sure we were there in time to clap them in but it would involve an  early start for us. Mike and Steve were up for it so at 0530 (on a day off work) we were stands-up and dodging the "tradie" traffic on the way across town, headed for Mt Glorious.

250km each way

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Adult Education

Now, with such a catchy title you may be wondering what I am banging on about this time around? Well, as this blog is pretty much PG - with a little MA15+ from time to time you can rest assured that it isn't anything racey........

As I get back into some motorcycling, I have been thinking that I really should do some rider (re)training to freshen up my base skills. Heck, the last training I did was back in '93 or '94 when I completed a few training days at Eastern Creek, Oran Park and Amaroo Park raceways with Stay Upright and Roadsense. I got a lot out of those sessions and blind Freddy could see that I would benefit from a freshen up.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Young Pups And New Tricks

My kids are growing up. Yup, it happens.....all too quickly. 
The saying goes something like 'the days are long but the years are short" which seems to be more true each year as I have one (Lucy) who is into her last month of school and another in Year 9, so just three more years to go for Will.

Family outing on the BVRT in 2013

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?

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Blasts From The Past

I am currently visiting my folks in country NSW. They are starting to get on a bit and I think Dad has begun to realise that he needs to let go of “stuff” that isn’t being used (in 40 years!) and won’t be used or needed.
While we weren’t encouraged to ride motorcycles as kids, both Steve and I managed to get some two wheel fix via mates with bikes, plus Mum’s 1963 Honda Cub 50 once we were old enough.

Chillertek holding a viscous 50 metric cubes open.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Slip, Grip And Stop

After the thrashing that Steve gave my R1 I figured it was time for some TLC...or as any normal person would call it, routine maintenance. But I wouldn't be stopping at the R1 though. No, I have done 5360km(3330mi) on the BMW in the 9 months that I have owned it so it was also due for some lovin'.

Chillertek, The Thrasher......

Friday, March 29, 2019

South East Queensland Mash Up - Chillertek Style

Okay sports fans, as you may have seen HERE, Chillertek has been and conquered South East Queensland (SEQ). 
He has pretty much covered it all but here is the trip from my go with his full-blown write up.

Prepping for little Bro's arrival.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

New Rubber

Well, after 6 years and just over 8000km I have finally worn out the Michelin Pilot Power Pure tyres that I had fitted waaay back here.  The funny thing is that my prediction was pretty accurate in that one of my kids IS finishing high school this year!! :-0

Luckily for me, my brother suffered a puncture while out on a ride with the lads back in December 2016. That Michelin Pilot Road 4 was only on the bike a relatively short time he tells me (which may or may not be true as it looks like it might have around 4000km on it between those blog posts), so quite new-ish, miles wise. Or, new to me.....

After finishing off my Pilot Power Pures during his recent visit, Steve mailed the rear tyre up to me. That meant a quick trip to Tyres For Bikes out at Eagle Farm to have it fitted, plus a brand new Michelin Pilot Road 5 for the front.

New/second hand Michelin Pilot Road 4 rear

New/new!! Michelin Pilot Road 5 front.

It will be interesting to see how many miles/years I get out of these tyres as they are supposed to be pretty hard wearing and get in the vicinity of 11 000km (6840mi). That would be about 10 years of usage at my current rate and see me at almost 60 years of age!! They are also pretty good in the wet with rave reviews from such hard men as Geoff J. If they are good enough for him in the land of the Long White (Rain) Cloud then they are good enough for me!

On another note, while I was at Tyres For Bikes, I spoke to the owner of this little toy.

He was getting a puncture repaired and looking around it I was actually reasonably impressed with how the Zero looked. It was weird to hear it ride off as it made almost no noise and the owner mentioned that was hard to get used to, plus the lack of vibration - with no reciprocating combustion engine throbbing away. Interesting but I am not sure a 200km range would cut it in the real world. Maybe for a commuter bike where you can plug it in at work - but I can see that being an issue with cheap arse Aussie employers if more and more employees start using electric vehicles in time and plugging into the work outlet......

Anywho, cheers and thanks for checkin' in!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Chillertek's Visit To South East Queensland - The Planning

Steve and I hatched a plan at the MotoGP for him to come up and spend a few days riding the roads in South East Queensland (SEQ). He had previously done only one trip up this way. That was when Kwoky moved to Brisbane and got an escort out of NSW....probably just to make sure he left.... ;)

We decided to wait until the weather cooled down a bit up here as it is just too muggy to enjoy riding around SEQ all day in summer. To maximise time on the roads he will fly up and ride one of my bikes, thereby saving at least two days travelling time. It is looking like we might have a window of opportunity in March or April so I have been getting everything sorted. 

This is what I have come up with as a rough plan so far.

Wind it on like Mick!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Wearing Out Some Rubber

WTF ????? I hear you ask.......

No, not wearing rubber out. Wearing out some rubber. A very different proposition!

Steve finally came up to Queensland for a ride and we wore out the rubber on both my bikes. 1600km in a few days will do that.

As a result, the F800GSA got a new  Heidenau K60 Scout on the rear today to match the front it got a few thousand klicks ago. Not surprisingly, it tips into corners very nicely now!

Stand by for further transmissions.......


Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Not Farkles, But Close

I had a bit of a mini Xmas today with several parcels all arriving at once.

They are for the bike but they aren't really farkles, well not according to this description. They will make the act of touring on the Beemer much more pleasurable and safer.

The first item(s) is a Rocky Creek Designs MotoPressor pump and tyre pressure guage. I hope I won't be needing this ever, but it will allow me to get off the beaten path with some confidence should the worst happen.

 Deciding weather to go lockable hard panniers or soft panniers for the F800GSA was a choice I couldn't make for what seemed a looong time (8 months in fact!). While I want the security of being able to lock my stuff onto the bike, hard panniers had two major drawbacks. Number one was the price. They are around the $1500 mark!! Number two is that they can injure you or bend/break in a spill, which is more likely to happen when tackling dirt roads.

Soft panniers aren't as secure for your belongings but they fit both the crashworthiness and the wallet test! There is an absolute plethora of soft luggage out there but in the end I decided to support a local manufacturer, Andy Strapz. Andy has been making bike luggage related gear since at least the late Nineties and I have used his strapz before, which are top notch.

Enter my new Avduro II Panniers. I also bought the extension straps to allow the panniers to fit my Beemer's fat arse end.

Time to get the panniers fitted up and test ride them I reckon! But first, a little three day jaunt for work beckons......


Farkle it!! Who am I kidding? 

There is still just enough light to get out to the shed and fit the panniers up!!

After quickly reading Andy's "fitting hints" it took me all of about 2 minutes to fit them, then 20 seconds to take them off again!! How awesome it that?! 
Take them off again? 

Well, you see the bags are canvas and need seasoning before I use them. Seasoning just means wetting them and letting them dry out a couple of times. Easily done using a step ladder as the horse.