Thursday, August 11, 2016

Hokkaido Motorcycle Tour– part two

Continuing my 14 day tour from the northern Hokkaido town of Nayoro. Part one can be read here. After some wet days I was feeling upbeat knowing the rain was mostly finished. I decided to push out the mileage today about as far as I dare to try see some extra places and regain a little that had been lost due to wet weather. A teaser of what is coming up in the picture below but before that I had another wet and overcast start today on day eight.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Hokkaido Motorcycle Tour - part one

Every Summer many riders in Japan head north to cooler and dryer weather in Hokkaido. Ever since first visiting Japan in the 90’s I have been told Hokkaido was the best riding so I decided it was about time I went for a look. Turned out different to what I imagined and if you have some time then I’d like to tell you about it.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Alpinestars Transition DS Gloves review

I purchased the Alpinestars Transition gloves when I was riding in Spain a couple of months ago. I arrived in an unseasonal cool week and after one day of riding with summer mesh gloves I realised I needed better protection from the elements to continue.

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Thursday, July 07, 2016

Polaroid Cube Action Cam review

I have been testing an action cam on my last few motorcycle tours and it is about time I posted a review.

Polaroid is a name I associate with polarized sunglasses and instant cameras. In film days their cameras were very popular and remained so right up to the early digital days being able to produce a ‘print’ of the photo within a short amount of time using self developing film. My friends mother had one, it was ok daytime good light if the person using the camera knew how to compose correctly for the cameras lens and film format. At night it had a weak flash with those old bulb flash units and party photos were poor. I got a autographed Polaroid photo with a celebrity Iron Chef in Tokyo on one of my first trips to Japan (and chose that alias to write this blog as a bit of fun) and that Polaroid was a more modern version that worked quite well. Polaroid like Kodak were in a success bubble when digital came and now are just shells of their former selves but the name lives on with the Polaroid Cube

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

5 small items to help you enjoy your ride

Most riders spend a fair bit of money on a good helmet and jacket and gloves. Some build on this with boots and riding pants and rain gear. However sometimes it is the little things that make a big difference. Here are five things that I cannot ride without now that I never thought of when first riding.

1. Buff or other brand of neck tube/scarf. These are great. In winter they seal the wind out from entering the top of your jacket and chilling your back often something that leads to getting colds. In summer with jackets open at the top to catch the breeze they stop the back of your neck from getting sunburnt as no amount of sunscreen seems to hold this off if on tour.

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I have a couple of Buffs, this is a summer thin one I found on sale one day. In serious winter conditions I reach for my thermal neck gator but rest of the time I find a Buff does the job.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Japan Summer Motorcycle Tour

I wasn’t planning any riding when out of the blue a week of sunny weather was being predicted prior to the arrival of Japans rainy season. I set off one day later with part of a ride worked out on a bike that was not running the best but a week of fine weather is as rare as hens teeth in Japan so the moment had to be seized.

I started by going west along the coast past Enoshima to Hakone. I actually live not that far from one of the more popular riding/day trip areas for people in Tokyo but the traffic density even this far out from the metropolis makes it a slow and laborious journey so I tend not to bother doing day rides since moving to Kanagawa. Today I stopped at Lake Ashi in the mistake thinking to see Mt Fuji. I had read this was a good view point on a travel page but obviously that was complete nonsense. Oh well it was a nice spot on glorious morning kicking off six days of touring so no problems.

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Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Sicily Motorcycle Ride

I have had an interest in Sicily for since childhood thanks in part of to some of my family having grown up in with the Italian community in Innisfail North Queensland which had a strong connection to Etna region Sicily. An opportunity presented itself recently to make a small visit. First order of business was some lunch before leaving the airport. This is a great start Smile 

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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Yamaha FZ8 review

Got to spend four days riding a low km Yamaha FZ8 in Spain so I want to talk a little about this motorbike.

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As usual with my motorcycle reviews I am not going to be talking about the specifications or history and the other press release type stocking filler that is the content you will find on commercial motorcycling web site reviews. What I am going to do is chat about how the bike actually rides and feels and other real world things lacking on the commercial sites.

 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Andalucía Motorcycle Ride

Whilst I more or less decided not to do any more riding in Europe circumstances changed and I unexpectedly found myself flying to Spain for a couple of weeks. I dusted off my plans I once had for riding Andalucía. Spain had been one of the places on my bucket (ride) list so I was happy about the opportunity to ride there.  

I arrived in Madrid and immediately was pleased to find the feel of the capital city more relaxed than I have come to associate with Europe. After a couple of days I took the high speed train to Malaga where I was going to base myself for the next week and found the place quite laid back and the people friendly with good attitude to tourists which was such a nice surprise. I have been to Europe a number of times and always found it interesting but often the people unwelcoming to the point of being obnoxious so I had decided that I wasn’t going to return ever again as so many other nice places on earth but I may have to make an exception for Spain.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Reaching Peak Travel

I do not often write a post to recommend an item but recently I enjoyed reading this book. 

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Motorcycle Messengers was a nice read of short stories or excerpts like a sample pack from the contributing authors. Very easy to access or read a few stories then put away while boarding a plane on my recent travels. The stories are quite varied, one made me chuckle out loud while one almost had me in tears. I will certainly look to obtain more work of at least one of the contributing authors.