Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Queen Mary Falls
This is a very scenic ride!
I like to approach this from Lake Moogerah having ridden via Peaks Crossing and enjoed the terrific views into Kalbar stopping there or Aratula for a coffee the past the lake to Mt Alford.
The road is narrow and very steep climb and also there is two shallow water crossings so some people might not wish to ride this route.
Also it is unfenced so you need to keep your pace down as you may encounter wildlife near the road.
At the top you have a dramatic change from the dull green and brown scrubby landscape to luch green high dairy fields. It is really something that makes you sit up and go wow. It is also cool even in summer. Again need to be mindful of your speed as many blind corners.
Stop at the lookout next door is cafe/mountain cabins and continue on and down a section until you reach the Falls. There is a cafe that sells food and coffee as well as bbq facilities in the falls park area and toilets etc.
From there the road to Stanthorpe is now mostly all sealed and new tar but little bit of gravel. Or riding via the Toloom Lookout to Urbenville is scenic.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
I am still searching for the best earplugs and have reached the end of the foam ear plug range and now and looking at these silicon swimmers type plugs.
These silicon plugs are for me fit perfect every time and they don't loosen up or come out so while I only get 20db cut in noise from these they work reliably and comfortably. Bonus is you can still hear things around you so do not have that total isolation feeling of the high NRR foam plugs.
The search continues
My other earplug testing is here here and here
Vista Cruise Control
I find my throttle hand gets sore at the end of the day when touring and thought I would give one of these a try.
I previously tried the Throttle Rocker type devices and they didn't really work for me. Despite trying many things they kept slipping on the handle bar grip and didn't allow me to really relax my muscles in my throttle hand properly.
Update: I tried another brand and it did not slip but was still of limited assistance.
I purchased this from motorcycle-accessories.com.au for $59.95AUS. Installation was very easy, about 10 minutes including reading the instructions. Just move mirror/brake clamp to left to make room for Vista clamp. Slide rubber ring and lock section over grip, attack to arm and thumb lever and done. I then needed to tighten it up the adjuster nut a few turns so it grabs the throttle grip enough to hold it in place when applied.
On the Buell with its V-Twin the Vista worked reasonably well. I could engage it and the road speed would only slowly increase or decrease and sometimes even stay the same for a small period. This then allowed me to rest my hand for awhile and then make mild adjustments to my speed leaving the Vista engaged. I found that I would end up slowly building speed or slowly reducing speed no matter how many adjustments I made so its not something that can be used very effectively.
Now I have it on the MV Agusta it works even less effectively. Being an inline four and having a more sensitive throttle and lighter flywheel it is impossible to get the Vista engaged and not be slowing or accelerating at a rate too great to leave engaged for more than 10 seconds.
If you tour or ride long distance then this is worth considering but it has it's limitations and even the wrist rest devices probably offer more.
Friday, February 16, 2007
This road runs for a great distance however the better riding part is west of Drake to Tenterfield.
From the coast it is heavily policed between Ballina and Lismore. Some scenic country side either side as well as some nice sweepers coming into Tenterfield.
For people riding down from Brisbane you can travel via Beaudesert and then over the excellent Mt Lindsey mountain and on via Bonalbo road. Tenterfield and return is not too difficult for a day trip however I would suggest returning via Warwick to shorten the day somewhat.
Tenterfield has a number of attractions and if you were to continue on the Bruxner you can go to the town of Texas and return back to Stanthorpe as I did. The road west of Tenterfield is more or less straight and boring, Texas back to Stanthorpe however is much better with enough corners to keep you amused.
So as a big day out this is something different to try, if prepared it's not too hard.
Yes thats my plan now for April this year. As far as the Great Ocean road and back.
I have scrapped the Japan tour for a few reasons already spoken about in older posts and decided I will not travel abroad this year instead I will do a tour at home on my own bike. I have been researching going on past Japan to ride in Europe or USA but of course its the wrong season for there. I especially chose to have march/april on holiday as that is spring in Japan and fine weather (well less rain than usual) and cherry blossum viewing time as well.
I last toured here about 1 year ago to the snowy mountains region and back. That was a great trip and I was to have repeated it before now but the weather has not worked out and other factors have stopped it from happening.
So rather than postpone further I will do that ride and a bit more in April. My mate that I rode with last year has holidays at Christmas every year like many people and thats rather unfortunate as its a terrible time to go anywhere being expensive, heavy policed, over booked and stinking hot time of year. I know he would like to tour again but not sure if he can get any additional time off.
Regardless I am going to do it myself. Maybe next year I shall do a overseas tour instead - will see as there is few and they are expensive as hell compared to any regular tour or travel.
Monday, February 05, 2007
I have had my new helmet out a couple of times now and here is a review.
The finish is very high gloss and looks excellent. First thing you notice is how much lighter it is to most helmets, Shark use their own design composite shell which is very light. Liner is as far as I can tell exactly like a Arai, very plush and extra padding. Venting is similar design to the Shoei XR1000 with vent channels in the foam shell making this a great choice for someone living in the tropics like I am. Noise is much less than my previous KBC and HJC helmets. Stability is good with no buffering or helmet lift.
The visor system is unlike any other and doesnt use the universal 'step/notch' system of allowing the visor to open but hold at various preset points. The Shark visor is a overly complicated thing IMO and their friction system doesnt hold it open or partly closed as well. Also the visor is 3mm thick - which delivers great optics but makes the tinted one a little darker than usual and more than I like - however these are really minor things and visor tint level is a really hard item to get right, too little and you will get sunburn and eye strain with the extreme UV we have downunder.
Overall I am happy and impressed with this helmet.
Please visit this blogs home page for Australia's best motorcycle roads, Motorcycle touring in Australia and Japan as well as more motorcycle item reviews to mention just a few topics.