Saturday, September 29, 2007

Australian Moto-GP tour

No rides at the moment however I preparing to leave in one week for my tour south to Phillip Island, Melbourne, to attend the 2007 Australian round of the Moto-GP.

I am in no rush, so I am taking 2 weeks to ride down and back. The journey is the destination for me so I plan to ride no more than 600km per day (easy on a motorcycle) which means I can stop as I please to enjoy the sights along the way.

Of course I am taking in all the best motorcycle roads on the east coast of Australia there and back and swinging over to the Great Ocean Rd as well as 2 days in the NSW and VIC alpine regions. So expect a huge boost to my 'Good Motorcycle Roads' listings outside of my local area and 100's of new photos.

I'll try and post up my pre trip bike photo - touring on a MV Agusta perhaps might not the first thing that people think of with that brand of bike however its upright and (now) has the suspension compliant, add the air-hawk cushion and its as comfy as most others. And it sure will be fun along the way in the twisty roads.

Here is a video of a Brutale from an excellent e-zine that I recommend you visit.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

First summer ride

One of the best views from Beechmont - that few people know about...

Phew - what a scorcher today turned out to be - and as usual I struck out with my winter jacket.

Actually is wasnt that bad, in the mountains the leather jacket was fine and a mesh jacket may have been too cool. It was really just the afternoon run home where I was hot.

I wasn't going to ride, I should be conserving my tyres for the GP tour, then I emailed a mate if he was riding today and decided to join. As it turns out he canceled out this morning but I was already geared up on the bike before I checked messages so decided may as well go for a small ride.

I elected to ride south even though north is the lower K option. Been north a couple of times recently which is enough for me for some time. It just hasn't got the variety so you end up riding the same roads every outing, which as readers know I don't understand the attraction in doing when there is so many options elsewhere.

Bush fire damage to the plastic road markers

I wanted to try new front pre load settings on familiar corners so took a spin up Springbrook and happy that the bike is tipping in little faster with the front pre load backed off and touch extra rebound dampening as well. Then going down Pine Crk rd you can see the forest has been thinned out by bushfires and now for a short period of time this decent offers normally blocked views across to Beechmont.

Above: Hinze raceway.
Below: A clue to locating that wonderful almost European style view.

New surface on the western side of Beechmont.

Then I went over Hinze raceway (which I rarely ride now days) and up Beechmont and on to Binna Burra (see last post). Then down the other side to Canungra, some fresh nice road surface where the roads has been widened in places, then up the reopened Goat Track to Tamborine to find a decent lunch.

Above: Looking down over Canungra

Below: Start of goat track (yes indeed the name is no longer true)

More of the goat track, these switchbacks continue above also.

I enjoyed a nice light lunch at the Tatra Polish cafe and winery. I recommend you try a Polish beer which is a very refreshing drop on a summers day, but pay attention the black label is 7.5% which might not be a good idea riding (or driving) I'll be going back to sample a greater variety of the traditional food in the future.

Ah - life is good.

Then the slow crawl down from Tamborine. Like Maleny and Montville there is alot of cafes and wineries which means alot of tourists. Still great place to go for a coffee or lunch as spoiled for choice.

Good Motorcycle rides #39 Binna Burra

Green high country
Binna Burra

I have written briefly about this previously. The Binna Burra road from Beechmont isnt a long one so I have held off on posting it as a stand alone ride having already written about Beechmont which you need to ride to get to here. I didnt want you to think I post up just any old bit of tar.

I have changed my mind today after seeing a good number of motorcycles at the cafe and realising this may be a add on ride but its somewhere too good to not pass on to readers who may not be aware of it.

I have to admit I have mostly been riding up Beechmont and straight past the road to Binna Burra and then down the other side to Canungra. I used to think not many bikes went up there yet today I got to taking to one rider by the name of Ron who told me how people like himself have been riding up to Binna Burra for many years for breakfast and that in fact its been a favourite Sunday morning destination of a many riders.

(note: breakfast is again beng served in the new cafe)

It certainly makes a nice spot to have a (excellent) coffee. The new cafe is very stylish if perhaps not designed all that well with the deck at the back and a glassed in viewing room at the front. Ron told me the old cafe burnt down and was sadly missed as it had a deck out the front where you could relax and soak up the view. Pity I missed that as it sounds like it would have been a really great spot.

Road itself has some good curves and flows well. It used to be rough in places but now it in good order.

Looking down to Numinbah valley


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Australia’s Best Motorcycle Roads – Batlow road

The road from Tumut down to Batlow is a scenic open sweeping road with some grand high plains views in the apple growing region of Australia. Need to keep an eye on the speedometer I imagine along here but no denying this is a enjoyable ride. Sorry no much in the way of photos, having too much fun Smile


Monday, September 10, 2007

Something different

Here is something you won't see everyday.

A German bike with an Italian number plate - in Australia.

I ventured out yesterday into the northern hinterland again. I was invited by a friend to meet a couple from Italy who were here on their honeymoon and had brought their BMW along!

It was a real pleasure to meet and talk with Antonio and Laura. (I hope I have spelling correct) They have just completed a 13,000km tour and I would dearly love to do something like that in Europe.

Alot of bikes in the street at Kenilworth. Skip the coffee at the Top Cafe its not very good which explains why the cafe over the road is full and this one was empty.

I actually drove about Europe and Scandinavia for a few months when I was much younger in an old camper van and that was interesting however in hindsight at that age I should have done the Contiki type bus trip as now is the time that a drive or riding holiday would suit.

I wont ship my bike over after hearing all the dramas Antonio had with our officials here who delayed the tour by almost a week and charged around $2500.00 in fees. Trouble is bike hire is very expensive so if you want to go for say a month it really is as much as the cost to buy a small bike.

Same for car hire over longer time period. I purchased and resold a camper van in London as the hire rate for 3-4 months was an impossibly high amount of money.

Well I had another good ride yesterday, however it was perhaps a bit too long with the last section over Mt Glorious tiring. Turned out it was an organised ride with the Brisbane Bikers forum which I didnt know about until the morning. Actually I was doing another ride yesterday until the night before when mate who posted this ride asked me to come along and that he wasnt sure of a couple of the roads.

Lunch was again good at the Graze cafe Mooloolah.

Quite different to ride with a group again after many years riding solo. I much rather prefer to ride alone or with my regular ride partner however I enjoy the social side of a group ride when everyone stops somewhere.

Talking to Antonio has me fired up for my first big solo tour in a month to Phillip Island for the Moto GP. And if all goes well with that then I expect I shall move on to much more touring here and overseas in the future.

Someset dam seems to have a bit more water after the recent rains.
Fine here yet rain at top of Mt Glorious 30 minutes later.
Sat it out over a coffee at Miala cafe - good spot but lousy coffee.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Good Motorcycle rides # 38 Teranora

I have another new excellent riding road to tell you about. A big thanks to the Motorcycle Paradise reader who suggested I look at Hogans Road Terranora. I have no name to credit this to which is unfortunate as this tip very much appreciated.

You could ride this either way but if having come from either Brisbane or Gold Coast then you might best do a loop like this:

Riding down from Numinbah to Murwillumbah turn off to Dulguigan road - the road to Tumbulgum - and then you can do a loop in either direction. A. turn off left into Hogans rd before you reach Tumbulgum (actually about 1/2 way along where the very sharp 40k right is) or B. Ride up the hill to Terranora (on Terranora rd) from Tumbulgum then left into Bilambil rd to Bilambil which becomes Hogans rd back down to Dulguigan rd again.

Rides well either way.

The Southern side is tight rainforest, the northern side is more open. If you turn off into the estate at top on the hill then you can see a couple of millionaire homes and a nice view to the ocean and across to the neighboring ridge which is Trees rd I wrote about a few posts back.

Its a fun ride and makes a nice loop. A few more bits like this and you could easy fill in a ride day without going into the longer distant areas further south. eg add in a loop around via Tyalgum and then over to Uki and back to Stokers Siding and return to Murwillumbah for lunch at the pub then return ride via Currumbin range - thats a top ride that will see you home early.

More about this area in this post


Sunday, September 02, 2007

Quick Saturday Ride

Numinbah Valley

Weather forecast was rain rain rain for Sunday so I went for a quick ride yesterday and yep today not a cloud in the sky.

Anyway was a good run again on a Saturday, few cars and no speed traps - bet there are at least 2 cameras and a mobile on the M1 today.

I started as always doing the mildly boring ride down the M1. Its not as bad as people make out. I ride from the CBD to Mudgeeraba in one go and its just on an hour. Thats about the max you want to ride on a Motorway before a break however it is not some sort of iron butt rally as people who only ride west or north would have you believe.

So then it was Springbrook with not a car in sight and Numinbah the same! Then I rode over towards Tumbulgum to explore a new road a Motorcycle Paradise reader suggested - more on that to follow.

Next I rode down from Terranora past Tumbulgum and into Murwillumbah. Stopped for a quick peek out from the towns lookout which seems to be getting over grown from lack of use. Perhaps because the access road has been under repair for years and still is.

Tweed River, Tumbulgum

Looking South from Murwillumbah town lookout

I then went for and early lunch at the Tweed Valley Gallery Cafe. Excellent food, coffee, service and some of the best views around.

(Edit: when I first wrote this post I spoke about my encounter with a staff member who took a real dislike to me. Perhaps it was a case of mistaken identity as it was a one off so I have withdrawn my earlier comments and strongly recommend you visit)

Tweed Valley Gallery Cafe

Heading back north again I rode over Currumbin range and valley took some more photos there and elsewhere during the ride to add to the older good road posts and finally stopped at Tullebugera connection road for this last shot.

Its all good riding around here

Just off Tullebudgera Connection Rd.
The MV Agusta has its issues but is slowly winning my heart by being so damn pretty.