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A Land Down Under

Entries in this blog

Back On The Horse

Short version. Ride to work and back on the Daytona last Friday. OMG IT FELT AWESOME to be back in the bike. LONG VERSION. so I spent the week testing my sitting position on the Daytona. It was so tempting with it there in the garage. Doc hadn't given me the all clear but Wednesday afternoon I started her up and headed out. I got down the drive and then pulled my leg up to the peg. That didn't work and there were a lot of weird aches around the knee. I let my leg hang and wobbled back to the

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Post Crash Update

Its been three frustrating weeks now. I hobble about the house finding it uncomfortable to sit, stand or walk for too long. I count my lucky stars though and know it could have been much much worse. My decision to wear all the gear saved a LOT of heart ache. Here is the bike. Insurance has today told me that it's a total loss. I'm really sad about that, but not surprised when you see the damage. I won't have enough to buy a replacement new VFR, though I coul

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End Of An Era

That's what my sister and my mum separately described it when I told them. Sunday night, marginally later than usual I headed down the highway from Sydney to Canberra on my VFR. After my usual refuel at Marulan and a text to wife I was on my way again. As I travelled along the edge of Lake George I was passing a car and about level with its doors when it appeared. Ten foot tall with red blazing eyes and a t-shirt that read "death to motorcyclists" the kangaroo leapt from in front of the ca

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Nowhere In Particular

Here i am, 95km to Goulburn on the side of the Hume Highway. And here's why. Onwards to another 150,000. Though I did drop by the local Honda dealer and checked out the new VFR800. I quite like the look of it in the flesh. I asked about a test ride and the guy almost begged me to take it for a ride - I think he wanted the opinion of a 6th gen owner so he could use it to sell them. I will take it for a ride, sitting on it - it felt very similar. I'll see how it rides...

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Over The Mountains

A cool but sunny late autumn day dawned on the Friday for my trip back to my family in Sydney. It seemed like a great opportunity to try a alternate route that had been recommended to me. The main reason that I hadn't yet tried this way is that I estimated it would take around 6 hours - that's double my normal time, door to door, and being a new route, I would be taking it easy. I also had been warned that snow and ice were real possibilities on this route so weather was also a big concern. Bu

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Muddy Waters

Another Sunday means another ride to Canberra. The weather was warm with some scattered clouds. A pleasant, if dull ride ahead. I was about forty five minutes from home when I noticed all the cars headed the other way had their lights on. At five in the evening, that wasn't a good sign. About five or so minutes later the road ahead seemed to disappear into a cloud. I quickly pulled over... rain ahead. As I pulled my rain pants from the top box it started to rain a little. Big drops, but not mu

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Somethings Wrong...

The VFR spent most of the last few weeks in the shop waiting for a water pump. It started the afternoon after getting home, I popped back into the garage and noticed a small puddle of coolant on the floor. Not a good sign. I rang the local bike shop, a new one as I'm in Canberra now. The guy on the phone said something about "Don't worry, they'll do that when its hot and the overflow tank fills. No need to bring it in." I sat back after hanging up. I've had this bike for ten years and 140,000k

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I Haven't Ridden This Far In 50 Years.

So I've moved down to Canberra where I live during the week, and head home every weekend. One of the problems with this has been that whichever bike stays in Sydney won't get ridden, and its not fair to my family to be away all week, come home late Friday and then spend all Saturday riding, before leaving for Canberra mid afternoon Sunday. I always planned to move both bikes down here, but how do I do that. I'd really need a lift from a buddy or maybe catch the intercity bus. My mum and dad w

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Goodbye Sydney?

Up early, beat the crowds, beat the heat, beat the cops, and be home for lunch after 5 hours of one of the best roads in Sydney. Sounds like a plan. I was invited to join a couple of mates very early Sunday for a Breakfast at Grey Gums... and maybe a bit further after breakfast. So 6am finds us meeting up a a nearby petrol station about to head up the Putty. It would seem that my last dash up this road wasn't to be the last. This one might be but who cares. So we made Grey Gums in easy time. T

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Another Service And A Couple Of New Bits

Service time again. This time I had some extra work to do on the bike. I have recently been considering suspension upgrades and work to my VFR. Discussions here and lots of helpful advice, including dropping in on a couple of specialists around the city. One of things I was scared of was changing the bike and ending up NOT liking the ride. While my Daytona is a wonderful ride, occasionally the stiffer suspension is a bit uncomfortable on some of the patches I know my VFR with its softer ride is

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Daytona To Canberra.

I'm in the middle of a job relocation from Sydney to Canberra. The moving truck headed down yesterday, so it was time for me to get down there as well. I had planned to fill the top box on the VFR and head down, but I realised two things – I didn’t need to take much as I was only going overnight, and the weather was forecast sunny. So it was time for the Daytona to head interstate for its first away trip. I packed a couple of things (mostly chargers for my iPhone and my Bluetooth comms system)

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Spring Is Here

Oh dear, it's September and I haven't posted for months. Yes I have been riding, I am back to commuting everyday due to some child care changes :) And we've had this crazy warmish, sunny August (and really Winter was pretty tame even for here). The VFR gets ridden most days, but I make sure the Daytona gets out once a week. That new bike has been kind of a pain as it's had several factory recalls - great they're proactive about fixing things, annoying as its been in the shop several times. Wh

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Something New Arrives.

Well the big reveal has finally taken place at work (on a week when it seems most of the other riders are away, lol) so I'll reveal it here too. I have a new bike, after suggestions from the Mrs that my VFR was too old. As silly a statement as that is, I wasn't one to argue. One condition is that I put the VFR up for sale, which I dutifully have, but have had no interest, no surprise there. I had been considering the GSXR750 for several years and it was top of the list, having ridden it and th

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O Canada

Down under is currently hosting Pat, otherwise known on this forum as dunn2007. He's been here a week and already clocked up 2000km on the 2000 VFR that he procured for his time here. Go Pat! I spent the week trying to pick a day to take off and go for a ride with him, but work commitments made it impossible. I suggested we catch up on Saturday for a short ride up the Putty to the Grey Gums. While the weather initially was forecast as showers, I was convinced it would be clear by Saturday. I i

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Riding To Rylstone

My wife has made a couple of new friends over the last couple of months through her gym. Turns out that one of the girls husbands also rides (he has an 03 CBR1100XX). Last week he invited me on a ride this Saturday. The plan was to ride up the Putty to Singleton, then the rough idea was to head west, before coming back over the Blue Mountains to Sydney. Wife had no objections but I did have a couple of concerns. First up is that the proposed route looked pretty long, like more than 8-10 hours

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Don't Pay The Ferryman

Christmas and New Years are gone and my holidays are almost finished. The wife starts back tomorrow, so today, my last chance, I got away for a ride. I decided to head north up Wiseman's Ferry. I wasn't sure if I would come back on the Old Pacific Highway or the Putty Rd, or even just back on Wiseman's, but I headed out about 0730 with the day free before me. I could have called up a few guys to join me, but decided that I really wanted the flexibility of a solo ride and some time to myself. It

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And Back On The Road Again

The bike was in the shop yesterday getting its new pieces, water pump and they refreshed the fork oil and replaced the seals. Honestly I can't really feel the difference, but I've only ridden up the freeway a couple of times. Not much opportunity to test it out there. Back on the bike ... and that's the best bit.

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Off The Road

Took the bike in for a service today and rolled out with bad news. The water pump and the fork seals need replacing and they didn't have the part to complete that today. So I've ridden home, with one eye on the temperature, to put the VFR in the garage and walked away for a while. So for a couple of weeks I'm going to be driving to work. The part is in stock locally, but the shop is having some staff issues as well as I have a busy calendar making it hard to drop off. I'm thinking about what I

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Hey You're Going The Wrong Way!

It seems the only time I get to do a proper ride these days is when work sends me to Canberra. That project is closing up soon, so that will go away as well. I'll have to sort something else out that makes me go to Canberra for work. I rode down the freeway, leaving home at about 0230 (0800 Meeting). It was a bit warmer than last time (when I was stupid!) and leaving home was about 7C, Canberra was 0C by the time I got there, but mostly it was around 4C, quite manageable. I only made a single f

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Winter is over

The weather has been really mild this winter, but the Mrs has been putting in a lot of shifts over the weekends, so no opportunity to ride. However today was different and she took the kids to the gym, whilst I went off for a ride. I wasn't actually sure where I wanted to go. I didn't feel like an all day one, so the Putty/Wiseman's was out. I was torn between riding somewhere new, or picking somewhere close and staking out a photo spot to catch whoever might come past. I decided to head to som

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Not the best idea I've had.

Hey, another meeting in Canberra. And hey once again, riding there seems the most convenient option (and again, the most fun!). And the weather is looking perfect, no rain predicted, well for ages. Awesome. Looking at the weather though, my lesson from last time (you know, where I didn't read the temperatures) I almost didn't learn. Hmm Canberra is going to be -3 at about the time I'm arriving. That's going to be cold. At 120kmh that's going to be downright frigid! The plan was a straight run d

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Service time, with a surprise.

I put the VFR in for its service today to the usual shop. I had also booked the loaner, a old, but smooth running CB250, that is a bit of fun. 124,000km - a minor service as I got out of sync a bit by doing my last major about 3000 early. The loaner was still out with one of the other mechanics and not due back. They were apologetic but the service manager set off to find another bike. He came back with... "How are you with larger bikes" - the VFR is pretty much the biggest bike I've ridden, w

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woohoo a Ride! (yes, that's with a capital R)

Once again, work had sent me to Canberra and once again it works out a lot more convenient for me to get myself there... and that means a ride. And once again, the weather was doing its crazy thing. Summer here was complete washout, but Autumn had been pretty nice. Warm, not hot, not much rain... perfect. But of course the weather changed as the ride drew closer. I left on Tuesday. On Monday they were warning us about flash flooding and downpours for the next few days. If it rained, whilst I co

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Progress? Well maybe

My previous post talked about how confused I was when I stepped off the Ducati. I am now thinking that it wasn't the kind of bike I was looking for. This afternoon I stepped off another test ride, this time something a little less exotic - a Suzuki GSXR-600. This was a 2012 version, I have also ridden a 2006 version a few years ago (that wasn't a test ride, it was a loaner bike), and the feeling I had on that was sort of the feeling I expected on the Ducati, but didn't. The 2012 bike gave me

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Confounded and Confused

Recently Mrs suggested that maybe it’s time to look into a new bike. My 2004 VFR800, I’ve had since, well 2004, and I’m not silly enough to seek confirmation of her suggestion (in case she changes her mind). I’ve had my eye on this recently. Though not the yellow one. Ducati Streetfighter 848 Yesterday morning I got to have a ride of the Demo bike at the dealership. First impressions (compared to my VFR) very narrow at the seat, but taller felt like the front was m

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