Putty Day

Mrs has the day off for a change and wasn’t quite sure what to do with herself. So I went for a ride. I headed up the Putty with another rider who had not been up that way before.

The weather was cloudy, but clearing however the cool night and perhaps some early morning rain had made the road damp around Colo. This was a little concerning, but soon after it was clear that it was just localised and with the cloud expected to clear, it would be dry later.

Grey Gums for breakfast, and a warning from someone southbound about cops further north and we’re back on the road. No real surprise that cops would be about, sunny day, Sunday and no double demerits – I actually expected more bikes around than I saw.

I was keen to get right up to 10-mile Putty so my friend could see the best part. If only it wasn’t nearly 2 hours to get there. We did make it, but I really didn’t have time to cut some laps which was a shame. It was also clear that I’d met yet another rider who was faster than me – I think every rider I’ve ever met rides faster than I do. 

We fuelled at Broke and repeated the trip down the Putty. The cop was again spotted, with a fellow rider pulled over this time.

We had Comms between us the whole time, his Sena linking into one of the phone channels of my ScalaRider. Worked fine, but I was unable to listen to music or I think take other calls (no reception on Putty anyway so who cares). 

I am more encouraged about doing a track day as well, perhaps I’ll work something out to tag along the next time he goes.

The Dusodoro

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A giant farm bike is sometimes how I feel riding this bike. I think that might be because I’ve not ridden any motards and very few naked bikes. 

While in NZ I will be taking every chance to ride this Aprillia Dusodoro 1200. Have done about 150km so far and it’s been good – it’s not the bike I would buy but it’s a good ride. 

The first time I chopped the throttle in first gear I almost bumped the handlebars and then opening the throttle I almost flew off the bike. The big v-twin has plenty of go. Manoeuvrability is excellent with the high position, wide bars (not clip ons) and vision is great too. It’s a big dirt bike seat so likely not so comfy long distance. 

But with a fuel tank of something like 14L it hasn’t got the range to spend too long before a break. And this is probably the main limitation of the bike if you’re going to be roaming about on it. 

  
  
Where any bike is better than no bike this is a pretty good bike to be “stuck” with. Not a bike that would suit me or what I ride (I’d almost need to refuel it every other day on the commute) but an interesting ride. 

2015 Last Ride

Mrs Mab let me out for a ride this NYE Eve. I headed up the Putty, leaving home at about 6am. This way I could be home with some time with the family.

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The second time past it was busier than I expected. 

My first time up here since the previous spring (in 2014 that is). There didn’t seem to be much different along the road itself. I expected only a few bikes if any – even though it was shaping up to be a clear 25C day. It is double demerits from before Christmas until after New Years, so a lot of the young or silly crew stay away.

I passed a police car just outside Wilberforce, he had a customer (and it was a car) already so ignored me.

I got to Grey Gums shortly after 0730. By this time, I was pretty hungry, I kept getting distracted by imagining a big bacon, eggs, sausages sorta breakfast. Didn’t quite cause me to crash, but I certainly had to refocus a couple of times. I had never arrived this early and I was worried it would be shut. As I rolled down the road (the entrance a little past the cafe when you are northbound) it was clearly open. Apparently from 0700. Everyday except Christmas Day.

New owners I think, certainly some renovations. More shade, more tables and more concrete exclusively for bikes, gotta love em.

A hearty breakfast (which also included toast, mushrooms and onions) and I was on my way.

I hit Ten Mile and did 5 laps to end up heading towards Broke (for fuel). It is a great stretch, but it takes almost 2 hours to get there from home. There has been some roadworks done. Some corners widened but the most significant was on several of the corners the armco now stretches right to the ground and the posts are behind. Importantly that should mean its harder for a crashing rider to slid under or hit a post when they hit the armco. A lot better than more wires.

Very happy with how I improved across the runs as I loosened up. Still slow compared to most, but smooth and safe. Interesting, even though I generally stick close to the speed limits, even I felt an overwhelming urge to check my throttle early out of many of the corners. That did put a little damper on it.

After Broke I contemplated going home via Wiseman’s Ferry, but decided I would already be away a long time and I don’t know if they have repaired the river side leg, it was pretty rough on the VFR. On the taunt Daytona I would be scrambled.

My last trip down the Ten Mile was spoiled by some old tourists from Queensland who drove slow and couldn’t stay in their lane. Eventually they were passed.

I stopped again at Grey Gums for a snack then straight home. An enjoyable ride, but its been a while since I’ve done such a long one (about 6 hours in the saddle) and I felt a bit weary the last hour.

Also, my weight loss over the past month has meant my pants went on a bit easier :)

 

Black Friday Sales

I don’t usually pay any attention to these US based sales. Don’t really know what it is – something like an online version of Aussie Boxing Day sales.

But in the as the last few hours of Europe/US Friday fade away – I was made aware that MotoGP’s official website was joining in.

For 1Euro, you get the off season pass, that’s full multiscreen, multi view, HD (720) access to all races since 1992. Valid until March 13 when the 2016 season starts, its a great way to keep watching some fantastic racing over the off season. It also gives you a really cheap way to check out how it all works.

And then I may be more interested in buying the normal season pass which is more like 150Euros. That’s probably their motivation but for $1.50ish, who cares. Its years of racing for nothing.

MotoGP website

Kind of like a year ago.

So on Friday as I headed back to Sydney I noticed a lot of dead roos between about Canberra and Goulburn. Summer is coming, and the warm weather has them moving about more.

Kind of like a year ago.

Mrs Mab had to stay on call on Sunday.

Kind of like a year ago.

So I would have to travel back in the evening, leaving late, like after 9.

Kind of like a year ago.

A year ago.

So this year, I decided to come down in the morning. I left around 4, so that by the time I reached Goulburn and Lake George it would be light.

I’m really tired, but nothing happened.

Daytona work, Day Two

Got stuck yesterday. I needed a Torx T45 (it turns out) and I had to get to a couple of shops today to find one.

So I spent another hour or so fitting the guts of the kit. This involved unbolting some of the frame bolts. Proved a squeeze getting the spanner onto the nut at the rear of a couple of bolts up behind the radiator. But I got it done. I found a small spanner in the tool kit that came with the VFR. It had been in the top box and was rescued from the crash. Thanks Honda.

I haven’t fit the fairings back on yet. I washed everything while it was all apart and I wanted it properly dry before I put it back together. I should finish it tomorrow.

And hope that everything fits in again, hope all the electrical stuff that I disconnected (the indicators are mounted on the fairings) works.

Sliders

Frame Sliders. The parts that I ordered for the Daytona was the Triumph Frame Protection Kit. After watching a stack of videos over the years its obvious that sliders are a great addition. They won’t help every time (they may have helped in the  VFR crash) but maybe they are the difference between being stranded and riding a damaged bike home.

Usually they look like this.

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See the large doorstop thing poking out the side. Ugly, but effective.

Now look at the Daytona ones from Triumph….
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Look like part of the bike don’t they. (The black piece just beside the word DAYTONA)ar-13675-gp2r-3

This picture from the other month shows my bike without them (right hand bike) and the other one with them. No ugly doorstops here.

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The guys at the shop warned me it would be fine to do myself, but it was an annoying job. So I decided to give it a go. I’ve been a bit braver about taking this bike apart than i ever did with the VFR. Not sure why.

So I unboxed the kit this afternoon and got started. Plus, I figured if I do it myself I will be more confident with the bike and I can give the internals a proper clean

So at the moment after some tribulations (vague instructions in the user manual mostly) I have the bike in pieces in my garage. Turns out I need a Torx (the star shaped screwdriver) of about T40?? perhaps to get one of the bolts out which I don’t have. I’ll head around to Bunnings tomorrow and pick one up. I’ll take the bolt so I can be sure.

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Still looks pretty good doesn’t she!

IMG_0059Decided to make a video of the process, as I couldn’t find anything related in YouTube. So that will be up in a week or two I hope. Lots of little edits to do. There’s several bloggers with Daytona’s, some walk-arounds and plenty of reviews, but nothing that shows how to take the bike apart. I hope to finish tomorrow night so that I can ride again on Thursday. let’s hope I remember how it all goes back.

Gravel, no sweat.

Its the last day of a couple of weeks off work for me. Most of it was spent with the family overseas. And that part was great. Just look at it :)

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But today was the last day. I am already back in Canberra as I had a bit of stuff to pick up from some shops around Canberra. The mountain bike had a service and needed to be collected. This iMac has had its graphics card replaced and that needing picking up as well. And some parts for the Daytona arrived too. More about them in another post later.

With them collected it was time for the main goal for today. A couple of hours ride on the Daytona in the sunshine. Remember, Monday is Daytona day and it’s Daylight Savings now and almost summer…..

IMG_0035Initially I wasn’t sure where I would head. I wanted to explore more of the rides around Canberra and not just along the Cotter road again. I thought I might head to Tarago and then link back somewhere, but I wasn’t able to really plan a loop that way.

Then it hit me, go up Sutton Rd, over the interstate to Gunning. Along to Yass. And back via a road a bloke at work was talking about the other week, Mountain Creek Rd. He did mention there was a small stretch of gravel coming that way, but that he had no trouble on his VFR1200. I planned to get to the gravel and decide what to do, once I saw what kind of state the road was in. If it was big drifts of large gravel, for example, then no, I would find another way.

Sutton Rd, up to the Canberra – Goulburn interstate was uneventful, and the stretch from there to Gunning was quite disappointing, as it was fairly straight and flat. At Gunning I got on the Goulburn – Yass interstate (Imagine a triangle, with Canberra, Yass and Goulburn as the corners – there is an interstate, mostly, between these points)

Yass I stopped and looked for a nice bakery. Couldn’t find one, or perhaps the cafes were bakeries in disguise . I did stop and get a water and a sausage roll, but I wasn’t impressed with it.

IMG_0031From Yass I headed along the Wee Jasper Rd. This is typical back country sealed road in NSW. If you’re lucky enough to get sealed road, its usually rough, lumpy and narrow. The best stretch was the descent into the Murrumbidgee River Valley and across the bridge.

IMG_0038Shortly after that I took a left down Mountain Creek rd. This was nice and quite pretty too. Eventually I knew it would turn into gravel and my alternate plan was to turn around and ride back up these roads (hmm, maybe I should have done that anyway) and head back down the Yass – Canberra Rd. The whole way today there was  patches of small repairs of the seal with loose gravel around to add to the concerns.

Mountain Creek was nice and when I got to the turn at Firelight Rd, where both ways are dirt I didn’t hesitate. The gravel was well graded and firm, with only small berms forming. Taking it slowly it would be fine.

IMG_0041This comes out on Uriarra Rd and I turned for Cotter.

So I got to do that as well.

Might actually just head up and do a lap or two of Mountain Creek Rd next time I have a few hours.

Oh Snap!

After work I rode around to Costco to check a couple of prices and get a couple of things for dinner. As I rode up I saw something that looked kinda familiar.

IMG_2929Can you see the resemblance??IMG_2933So I was busy taking photos and noting the modifications the owner had made when the guy came out and said hello.

So his is a 2015, purchased in April. His mods include

  • LED indicators (same as me)
  • Black tinted screen
  • tail tidy
  • bar end mirrors (and he highly recommends them over the stock ones)
  • Triumph fairing sliders (they look really nice and blend in with the bike well)
  • Arrow exhaust

And you know I forgot to ask if he had his keys to start it up and hear that exhaust. He’s really happy with the bike and it looks pretty good. The mirrors and the sliders are both on a very soon shopping list for my own bike and its nice to see and talk about them in the flesh.