Friday, March 30, 2007

Australia's best motorcycle roads. The Gillies.

Gilles highway - Northern Queensland

Just south of cairns the Gilles highway runs from Gordonvale up the Lamb range to the Atherton Tableland. It has a reputed 258 corners in the main 19km section and is the premium ride in northern Queensland.

The nearby Parmerston highway is also an exceptionally good road with more open sweepers and roller coaster rises and dips and you would have a wonderful loop if these were combined. Kuranda range is the third climb up to the Tablelands and also a nice ride but shorter and with more traffic.

Video below is not me, just for reference.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

More one day ride suggestions

The South West.

There is some great riding to be had to the west and south of Brisbane. Some ideas for you are:

Ride towards Boonah from where ever you live, for me this is Western f-way then Ipswich f-way, the Warwick b-pas h-way to Yamanto then the road to Boonah. There is some excelletn views of the ranges to be had if you deviate via Kalbar and then I don't actually go into Boonah, rather try riding the road to Lake Moogerah then taking Charlwood road to Aratula for fuel and coffee and morning tea at the Bakery.

See here.

Ok return over Charlwood road and then continue past the lake and over Mt Alford to the township of the same name. Now you have two options ride to Queen Mary Falls or ride over to Rathdowney. To do the first then take Dwyers Ridges road which connects you to the road to the falls. This is a great ride, very scenic and I mostly just have something to eat at the cafe and return same way however you can ride on to Legume down a super set of curves and then over to Urbenville but you need to ride via Tooloom forest, do not ride via the old My Lindsey h-way road it so bad that it will destroy your bike.

The other option is ride to Rathdowney and perhaps take a spin over to Woodenbong on the good part of Mt Lindsey road. I like this road very much and then keep going over to Urbenville on more good road and there is premium fuel in the general store.

See each of these areas/roads in my separate listings for more info and pics.

Here and Here


Far South.

From Mudgeeraba depending on how much time you want to spend or how briskly you ride head off to Uki via Springbrook Mtn, Pine Crk Rd, Numinbah Valley and Tyalgum (long way) or via Currumbin Valley and Murwillumbah (short way)

Now ride on to Burrinbah Range from Uki via Stokers Siding (shorter option is head there straight from Murwillumbah)
Ride on via the Tweed Valley Way until you reach the end of the new highway and join the Pacific h-way here south bound. Continue a short way and turn off to Mullumbimby near New Brighton.

Now ride this scenic and twisty road to Mullumbimby and the on to Federal and Eureka as listed in my NSW Hidden Roads post.

You may wish to stop at the cafe at Federal or Clunes or head on to Lismore and stop there for lunch and fuel.

From Lismore head out and ride Rock Valley and join the road back to Uki and then to Murwillumbah.


Now if you came down via Numinbah like I would do return via Currumbin Range and the take the M1 back home.

This is a BIG ride - perhaps about as much as most people will try in a day (its not too hard - I have done it many times) well worth the effort and if you have never ridden these roads then your missing out on some great riding.

There are so many good roads covered in this ride and indeed in the southern districts in general - it always amazes me hearing people say they only ride the north side all the time.

Again see my previous individual road posts about each leg of this trip for further info and pictures.

Here and here
and here and here and here and here
and here and here

Monday, March 19, 2007

Australia's best motorcycle roads. Alpine way.

Murray power station 1

Alpine Way

From Jindabyne to Khancoban is a motorcycle road talked about alot on the forums. IMO it is a bit over rated but certainly any alpine road in Australia is something a bit unique and rare.

I will describe riding south however the road is better to ride in a northern direction so that you are climbing for longer then descending. From Berridale the road is open and starts to turn around the mountains a bit as you reach Jindabyne. From there you start the real fun part as the road runs up to Threadbo. Not a steep climb but well surfaced with striking yellow line marking and just a plain fun ride.

Then between Dead horse gap and Khancoban lies a very steep and narrow descent. The road is in reasonable condition but a bit bumpy and some debris can be encountered on corners. There is alot of leaf overhang in parts and the road may be damp even without rain. Lower down the countryside changes and the road widens a little but is just barely two lanes and there are many steep enbankments and blind corners that encourage other vehicles to run wide or cut into your lane. The road has very poor surveying, perhaps starting life as s service road or forest trail. So the corners are not predictable.

The other service road over the Snowy Mtns is via Cabramurra to Corryong and this has a bit better surveying and is a better ride.

Australia's best motorcycle roads. Brown Mtn.

Brown Mountain.

This is the start of the snowy mountains highway but is separate from the mountain section of that road.

Leaving Bega you will enjoy a series of sweeping bends which are very enjoyable, you can hold a nice pace and roll on and off the throttle and get into a real groove. I might actually like that part more than the mountain - its just so nice and flowing.

Brown Mtn is quite steep and has alot of overhead trees which drop leaves etc so watch out if it is wet. I encountered both wet road and fog on it to make riding quite challenging.

Up top you have alot of open countryside and high alpine plains. Now you join the Monaro Highway if going towards Cooma.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Air Hawk motorcycle cushion

I have purchased a Air Hawk seat cushion in hope of doing some touring or longer distance riding on the MV than the standard seat will allow - which like many factory seats is good for maybe couple hundred kilometres max.

Full review soon if I get to do my '07 Alpine roads tour.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Australias best motorcycle roads - Waterfall way

Waterfall Way

The Waterfall way runs from the coast on to Ebor and really the waterfalls themselves that the area is famous for continue on to Uralla and Walcha.

There is two parts to the this road in my mind, from the east there is a superb hotmix twisty climb to Dorrigo. After the town you have a open sweeping roller coaster road up to the junction which is one of my favourite rides in the entire country.

The lower section rides better uphill however the upper section coming down into Dorrigo has wonderful views and remains a great. Ride in both directions - its worth it.

The town of Dorrigo has a number of cafes as does Bellingen. See the waterfall way web site for more tourist information.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Earplug review update

I have found the silicon putty type of ear plugs - designed actually for swimmers - to be the only ones that for me personally seal off the noise successfully every use.

These are a bit more expensive to buy locally than foam ear plugs so I may buy some in bulk from the USA rather than buying from Chemist's here. So far I have not found any other places that sell them at reasonable amount.

Other suggestions I have received simply have not worked for me. Many people said get the custom moulded ear plugs so I tried these and they were hopeless never sealing out the noise nor being as comfortable as silicon ear plugs. I threw them away in anger as were a total waste of money.

If you are looking at foam roll up plugs then try the Max or Durafit or Ear gripper as these 3 are about the best imo (see my older posts) but simply will not stay in my ear while riding for very long.

I think I have exhausted my options now so that's all on ear plugs from me.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Good motorcycle roads # 30 Urbenville

Far south west. Toolum forest, Urbenville and Old Bonalbo.
This is about as far south west as many people will wander to in a day and there is a couple of good rides nearby.
South of Queen Mary Falls is a nice run up or down the mountain and then you are at Legume and the terrible road from there to Woodenbong is barely passable being so rough it will bottom out suspension and probably smash fairings on sports bikes.

If you take it easy for a bit then you can turn off and ride to Urbenville via Toolum Forest. This road is still mighty bumpy in parts but no where near as bad as the other and you climb a nice hill with great views and ride via a cooling rainforest section before dropping back down to close up views of the huge rock formation that is the backdrop of Urbenville and the final run into this sleepy village - that has premium fuel! (behind general store) Map

Returning towards Brisbane you need to ride first from Urbenville to Woodenbong and this is a nice flowing little ride. Road is in good order with plenty of corners. From here you ride the fabulous Mt Lindsey range NSW section and then (for me at least) the equally enjoyable QLD side, see my post on these roads elsewhere.

Urbenville to Old Bonalbo seems also popular with bikes. Very bumpy in parts and new road elsewhere this is not a bad ride through another forest and its a good way to head if continuing further south. But possibly heading this way will be too far for most so do the maths on the return ride time from here beforehand (you can actually ride to Tenterfield and back in a day no probs) Map