Update 2016. Looking back 10 years later. Seems longer ago in some ways as I have done a lot of riding since this, my first long tour but in my life overall it seems like only yesterday. I cannot think how I managed to cover the distances we rode each day. I know one day was over 1000km, an Iron Butt rider qualification which we did in daylight hours. I recall we were up at dawn each day as well as pushing on a bit on some of the roads but I would allow three times as many days for a similar route now. I think this is the ride where I truly did some damage to my hearing with the KBC helmet which was the noisiest helmet I have ever owned and I was just starting to wear earplugs full time and had yet to find ones that fitted properly so some days I had one in and one half out. I think neither of us had taken much in the way of wet weather gear either but then at that time Australia was in a long dry spell and you could just ride with the expectation of every day being fine for weeks on end. Sigh I sure miss that living in Japan where even one fine week is a impossible dream. The tank bag scuffed up the plastic Buell tank rather bad and I wonder why I simply did not go with a bag on the rear seat? Also not sure why the post has so few photos, I cannot find any more on my archive to add so must have been all I took. My mate still has the same MT-01 today. What a fabulous motorcycle it has been for him, pushrods so can service at home and low revving big twin will last a long time more I imagine. Well I have learnt a little bit more about motorcycle touring since then but regret nothing about this trip. Always better to look back and say I can’t believe I tried that rather than I wish I had done that. Original post below.
I did a tour to the Snowy Mountains early this year, was a great trip but tiring due to the pace/time limit set of 5 days! I would very much like to do the trip again with say 7 days and some slight alterations to the route, mainly the same roads but in different directions of travel on some parts and an extra day in the snowys area itself and the daily Km's reduced with the other extra day. Here then is a ride report from Aussie Buell Riders forum I posted after getting back, the highlighted text are all great bike roads/rides, some from the 'Top 100 motorcycle rides - Australian motorcycle road atlas'
Day 1. From Brisbane to Ballina early meeting a mate on his MT01 then to Grafton to Armidale via Ebor and Thunderbolts way Walcha to Gloucester then Bucketts way to Raymond Tce first night Maitland.
The Buell brand tank bag has a small rear clipped on pouch - this detached itself on the Ebor road perhaps on some bumbs and bounced off into the bush with my digital camera inside it - at about 150kph - never to be found again.
The Thunderbolts way was a superb ride and was still one of my favourites at the end of the trip. Bucketts was bumpy and so-so.
Day 2. Wollombi Rd, Cesnock Valley Sydney, The Old Road then M7 and Hume hwy until Moss Vale and then Kangaroo Valley then down the Princess Hwy to Bega and up Browns Mtn to Cooma.
Long day , Kangaroo valley was great - but ride it in the other direction of travel to get the accent, The Old Rd was so much shorter than I imagined it would be having read about it so often, about 1/4 of Mt Glorious here in Brisbane... but nice while it lasted, hit heavy low cloud at the top of Brown Mt but it and the run out from Bega indeed are a top ride. The run down the Princess h-way was actually pretty fast flowing and very enjoyable too .
Day 3. Alpine way and the roads the other side of Mt Kosciuszko to Tumut. Jugiong to Young via Harden Olympic hwy to Cowra and boring Western Hwy to Bathurst. Laps of Bathurst raceway.
The Alpine way and rds around Mt K are fabulous - roads on the north side of Mt would be best ridden in opposite direction, ie from north to south to accend to peak then go down Alpine way and turn around to ascend on it as its not as long.
Riding Bathurst was a real buzz - an unexpected extra highlight.
Day 4. Bells line of Roads, Putty Rd, Old road Bulahdelah and on to Wauhope.
Bells line of roads was better than expected, not spoken about as much as a specific bike road it was good riding mid week (but must be slow on weekends) Putty road was a surprise in that so much of it is mostly straight ... some excellent parts either side but like the Old Rd having heard about it so much .... well you get your expectations high.
Day 5. The Oxley hway , then back to Tenterfield were I bid farewell to my ride partner and home to Brisbane via Warwick etc.
The Oxley still shined as a truly great road after all the others but I was bit tired having stayed in the Star Hotel at Wauhope overnight which unfortunately had a noisy function that ran all night. It was so bad that even after a lot of drinks I needed to put my ear plugs in to get to sleep.
Missed the rain that was threatening at times all the way until nearly back in Brisbane when I had to get the wetsuit off the pillion seat for a heavy downpour.
Learnt a few things about touring - surprised how well the Buell tours, quite a versatile machine, looking forward to doing some more in the future, but definitely the one thing needed is a cruise control or throttle lock device and comfy seat - I changed to a City-X seat now so just the other to sort out.