The last of autumn

The weather has been atrocious over the past few weekends. And I have a near new motorcycle in the garage begging to be ridden! We’ve been experiencing an early winter pattern over the past couple of weeks and it looked like autumn was over. In any event, Marty and I had resolved to ride today even though the forecast was for very strong winds.

Here’s our route for the day.

Well we got lucky, a glorious autumn day emerged and we headed for the hills. The ZX14 still has the original Bridgestone BT014 tyres on it, which with 2,000kms on them feel like Michelin Pilot Road 2s with about 10,000kms on them. I plan to correct this in the next week and have some new PR2s ready to be fitted and some nice Ariete 90 degree valve stems to make life easier when it comes to pumping up the tyres.
 The other changes to the big Ninja are that it now has a Radguard radiator guard fitted and a new Ventura rack system. I’ve just got the short rack option fitted for day trips and have the large rack to fit when touring time comes.

I’m currently researching various ‘slip on’ after market mufflers, but haven’t made any decisions yet. I will most likely go for duel ‘slip ons’ rather than a full system as I don’t want to have the hassle and expense of a Power Commander as needed with a full system. Also my insurer doesn’t seem to mind what slip on mufflers I get and classify them as an accessory, whereas they regard a full system as a ‘modification’. I’m leaning toward stainless steel rather than carbon fiber but haven’t settled on any particular brand.

We stopped for drinks at Gellibrand, then headed for Beech Forest (where the sun was all wrong for the photos I wanted to take!). Turton’s track was covered in wet leaf litter and bark so we had to tippy toe gently through there. When we hit the Apollo Bay – Forrest Rd we turned left and headed for Forrest. Most of the corners were shaded and quite damp in spots so we took it pretty easy.

The microbrewery at Forrest was our next stop then we headed down to Colac to see Steve’s progress on his Norton Dominator resto. I took some pics of the Domi, but somehow I’ve stuffed up and can’t access them from the camera’s memory card!

From Steve’s place it was a quick run back along the Princes Hwy to Geelong. The ZX14’s low fuel light was flashing about 30 kms from home – hell that’s 21 litres for only 270kms. I’m hoping the fuel consumption improves as the motor gets run in (it just ticked over 2,000kms on it today). I know my mate Bill’s ZX14 will easily get into the low 300 kms out of a tank full even with quite spirited riding.