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?

We got away a little later than intended as my BMW seat needed picking up from the upholsterer at 7am and traffic slowed me somewhat. That allowed the sun to climb a little higher in the sky and warm things a smidge more though.

30mm lower should make the ground closer to me. ;)

While Jon was testing out his new bike, I was having the first wear of my new Power Ranger suit. I was pretty confident it would be fine though as my other RST suit is just perfect in fit and function. It being black though made for some very sweaty rides when moving slowly in the Queensland sun. This less absorbent colour scheme should keep me cooler, plus it is an adventure specific suit with zippered vents everywhere. I like blue in case regular readers hadn't noticed. ;)

Power Ranger One. It needs to wear in somewhat.

We buzzed straight out to Rathdowny for a coffee and rest break, planning which roads to check out.

Morning coffee break

Not being constrained to the blacktop, we decided to head down The Lions Road, then go up Simes Road into the Border Ranges National Park. This leads to the Tweed Range Road - one that I had been wanting to bikepack along for about 5 years now. Well, today we would check it out!

We stopped into Sheepstation Creek campground for a look around. It was a great little spot with Parks people onsite, cleaning and weeding and leaf blowing it into a totally buffed camping area.

We will be back to check in for the night and put a billy on the fire!

From the campground we continued along Tweed Range Rd, which was very good gravel until we found this lookout. That is Mt Warning in the centre, looking east toward Byron Bay and the Pacific Ocean in the distance. We are basically standing on the western edge of the crater of a massive extinct volcano. You can make out the slightly broken rim around to the right. The same is mirrored on our left, only more complete.

We remounted and continued along to the Blackbutt Lookout. We could ride into this one so took the obligatory "bike in photo" photo.

Mt Warning in the background.

The Tweed Range Road got a bit sketchy shortly after this lookout. The road had been freshly graded and the K60 Scouts were suddenly nowhere near as sure footed as they had been on the hard packed road. If this was going to last a while I would have aired the tyres down to about 25 psi. Not sure how much it would have helped as we were only at 30psi anyway.

We popped out onto the Kyogle - Murwillumbah road and turned left toward Murwillumbah. As we passed through the dot on the map of Mt Burrill our stomachs told us to stop for a bite to eat. The Spinx Rock Cafe served great food and decent coffee which certainly filled a hole.

From Mt Burrill it was on to Uki then a left turn just before Murwillumbah to take in the excellent run out to Tyalgum. No time to stop though so we pressed straight on to the Border Crossing on Numinbah Road. 
About 200m before the border crossing I saw this waiting for me as I rounded the corner. Luckily, the Beemer just gave a wiggle and kept on tracking straight. With the number of bikes that ride this section of road it is almost criminal to patch potholes that way.

Gravel trap...mid corner.

Border lookout. Thats NSW over yonda.

As we were about to ride off, a sick looking Kawasaki passed us, heading in the same direction. I thought we would not see him again but just a few minutes up the road he was stopped for road works. The stop and go man told us we would be another three and a half minutes so we got off and had a chat.
The Kwaka was a sweet, sweet H2 supercharged weapon. This is the first one I have seen in the flesh and it looked horn!!



Once the road was opened, we were off, towards home and reality. A quick splash of fuel so that Jon could be sure he had enough to get home (which he easily did - but new bike and all) and it was all over for the day.

Google says it was 338km for the day and who am I to argue?

Jon (as was I) was super impressed with his KTM. It handled the ride with aplomb and it has the overtaking power that I can only dream of on my little 800. I think he has chosen the right bike for his across Oz adventure later this year. ;)

I now have a bike to clean and a bike camping trip to Sheepstation Creek campground to plan.
So many places to explore.....



  1. Damn, everyone's buying those orange bikes! is he a mechanic?

    Ahhh, but they do go well. Looked like a fun ride!

    1. Yeah, he is a pretty handy bush mechanic actually. Hopefully he won’t get any practice.

  2. Oh he'll get practise alright. Orange is renowned to be unreliable.
    By the way how did the new seat go? Thats the problem with those bikes, they are so high it makes a normal mans ride like a women riding it and by that I mean the height problem.

    1. He'll be ok on it. Bloody nice bike but they are expensive.

  3. Great ride. That viewpoint to Mt Warning is a ripper, I must visit that when I am back next.

    A dual purpose bike makes so much sense in Australia, opens up many more places to ride. I should have gone that way a few years before I left, I was already riding unsealed roads a bit but the 'penny never dropped' that I could expand my riding considerably by moving that direction.

    Well if I can I am thinking to maybe get something again in Aus in future so I can return and ride more. Would be very cheap though, nothing orange haha.


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