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.


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.


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

Now look at the Daytona ones from Triumph….

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.


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.


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 :)


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.

Self Medicating

IMG_2880Had a bit of a head cold for about 5 days now. Couple of short days at work last week. Yesterday seemed fine and I even managed at MTB ride.

But today I was feeling worse again, so instead of continuing to infect everyone at work I left and went home.

And decided to self medicate with a ride up to the Cotter. Had some lunch and then headed up. It had warmed up from the -4 this morning to a pleasant 10-12C. Sunny and almost all of the roads had dried out.

I only went up Brindabella rd as far as the seal and then turned around and came home. Enjoyable lunch time :)

Not sure it improved my cold much, but I feel better!


Winter is…. well its here

The last couple of weeks have been COLD in Canberra. The week before last we had three days where it started around -7C.

Winter gloves are a real design problem for riders. Too much padding and you end up not being able to feel anything. Often the wind still gets through, sucking what little heat gets generated by your fingers. Less padding and they don’t keep you warm.

Heated handlebars are one solution, but on the VFR I was always concerned to add more load to the electrical system. You can now get heated gloves (and socks, and vests). I just wasn’t sure about that either, the problem of wind chill would still be there I thought. Instead there is this option, known as handlebar mitts.

Baxter Box-R

Bagster Box-R

They worked very well, cutting the wind which is a large part of really cold hands on a motorcycle. In these I comfortably rode all winter in summer gloves. Adding some heating (gloves or bars) would see you able to cope in quite extreme temperatures I think.

But now there is no VFR. These mitts don’t fit as well on the Daytona (sure they look silly, but that’s not what I’m talking about). The ergonomics of the bar position, fairing shape, sitting position all mean that they are problematic. I have done it once on a Sydney to Canberra commute along the Hume. I’m just glad I didn’t have to turn much.

So -7, time for my winter gloves then.

Er, where are they?

I hunted around in my Canberra place to no avail. I rode into work one day in the -7. The right hand especially must have been very close to frostbite (at 100kmh, -7 is something like -20 or -25C in light weight leather….). Was well into the morning before my hands felt right again (I have a niggling concern about my pinky on one hand still).

That weekend I hunted about the Sydney house to no avail.

Did I throw them out last winter after I got the Bagster? Strong chance of that as I was never happy with either pair I had.

So this weekend I picked up a new set.

Dainese Scout Gore-Tex

Dainese Scout Gore-Tex

Not cheap, but I do have a strong trust in the performance of Dainese gear now. Both on bike (keeping me warm and dry) and off the bike (along the road).

Of course this week it’s 8C and raining so I’m leaving the bike in the garage.

Why are they all Ninjas??

Been browsing the motorcycle For Sale as I ponder a possible second bike again. I’d like to pose this question to Kawasaki.

“Why are so many of your model’s called Ninja?”

Off the top of my head we have

  • H2 / H2R
  • ZX-14R
  • ZX-12R
  • ZX-10R
  • ZX-7R
  • ZX-6R
  • ZX-2R
  • Z1000
  • Z800 / Z750
  • Ninja 300 / 250

Seriously, this a sport orientated list, but some of these are very different bikes. Let’s compare with Honda

  • Fireblade = CBR1000RR (I’ve never heard the 600RR called this?)
  • Firestorm = VTR1000R, SP-1, SP-2 (also known as Superhawk I think)
  • Interceptor = VFR800
  • Cross Tourer = VFR1200X
  • etc, etc.

With a Honda, there’s no confusion, but I asked someone which bike they rode and they said a “Ninja”, it could mean anything. Normally I would expect them to mean the ZX-10R, possibly the -6R, but it could be the supercharged H2R or the learners 300!

Now they don’t call all their bikes Ninjas, we have Vulcans and Versys and others. But their whole street/sport (not cruiser or dual sport or dirt bike range) are called Ninja.

Imagine Nissan called all their 4WDs the Patrol, not the Patrol, the Murano, the Pathfinder, the X-Trail, the Qashqui, and the Dualis! You can see how confusing that is.

She’s back…….

Triumph_DaytonaR_10Ok, that’s not me, but it how I feel :) Picked up the Daytona after about 3 weeks in the shop waiting for a part. Worth the wait, as the part fixed the warm (not) starting problem I had been having for about a year. So went for an hour up the Cotter :) You know, just a shakedown after the service ;) tumblr_m8mbsj2rbx1qgolyao1_1280