On any Sunday – Winter ride

I’ve been desperate for a day out on the VFR but it’s been mostly wet and cold on weekends for weeks now. We finally had a reasonable looking day so Marty and I decided to head inland, maybe to Castlemaine. We had a pretty nice ride for the first 80Ks or so, but then towards Daylesford the sky clouded over and the temp dropped drastically. By the time we rolled into Dalesford the drizzle had turned to rain so we turned around and headed back towards Geelong. Just out of town we pulled into the (very upmarket) Sault restaurant for a hot drink and to warm up. I would loved to have had an afternoon drinking red wines there actually! However, we drank hot chocolates and then rode back towards home in rain and drizzle, Marty without wet weather gear. It finally cleared up by the time we got back into Geelong. Here’s a pic taken when it wasn’t drizzling!

Crossed paths

Up in the Otways near Apollo Bay back in May I was exiting a tight curve and a clubman sports car following a motorcycle flashed past in the opposite direction. Finally I’ve managed to join the dots and worked out that it was a friend of ours Peter – hot on the heels of his mate Steve on an Aprilia 1000.

Having been in this cute little machine I can tell you that it is a ton of fun and that it goes around corners like its on rails, certainly consistently faster than a motorcycle can corner.

Anyway here’s some pics that Pete sent me.

Great Ocean Road Winter 08

I’ve got the ‘flu and not feeling great so didn’t ride yesterday with Marty. I was feeling a bit better today so went for a short spin down to Lorne and back along the Great Ocean Road. It was overcast and threatening to rain when I left. Ambient temp 13C.

Just out of Lorne I caught up with an awesome sounding classic car (on club reg). It was Italian in origin and had a lovely V8 rumble from the twin exhausts. Had to pull up for a bit when I came across a smash between a car and a motorcycle on some tight curves. Fortunately the ambulance and police were there already. It didn’t look good and I’m thinking one of them was on the wrong side of the road. The sight of a bike down and the thought of the rider injured left me feeling a bit hollow, so I was happy to call it a (short) day and just head home.

VFR parked in Lorne, Vic.

Great Ocean Road = Great curves

New tank bag purchased from the US. Took only 6 days to arrive. Great service!

Road & River

I went to see Peter the owner of Road & River on Saturday morning for a new front tyre for the VFR. I wound up getting another Michelin Pilot Power. It turned out that I needed some new front disc pads as well, which Peter was able to do there and then for me.

I can highly recommend R&R for personalised service, perfect for those of us who want a specialist motorcycle business and don’t like the bland, impersonal “K Mart” type of experience that the big bike shops all seem to offer now. Road & River is also an authorized MV Agusta and Husqvarna dealer, so I just love to drool over those bikes while I’m there.

Have a good look at these things – they are “art” on 2 wheels. If only I could win the lottery!

Twelve Apostles Autumn Run

Marty & I took a run down to the 12 Apostles on a magnificient still Autumn day. It was all blue sky after a cool start and then warmed up to about 22C – just perfect. I will let the pictures do the talking!

Hot chocolates at Gellibrand. The Gellibrand store has become a favorite stop of ours.

Various shots around the Apostles.

Back to Geelong via Colac – stopped for a drink in the main street. Here’s Marty

Short ride Sunday

I met up with Marty at 9.15am Sunday and we headed for the hills in overcast conditions. After a stop and a magnificent hot chocolate at the Gellibrand store we headed for Lavers Hill, but pretty soon it got misty and damp. By Ferguson it was raining, so uncharacteristically, we turned around rather than “tip toe” through these winding roads in such slippery conditions. Back at Gelli there were some classic bikes – the best of which were a R90S BMW and a Vincent HRD.

I decided on a pit stop at the Otway Estate winery, where we ended up having bacon & eggs for lunch. As much as we both would have loved a Prickly Moses beer or a glass of Cab Sav we make it a rule never to drink and ride. The staff here are fantastic and really made us feel welcome. We spent the rest of the afternoon at Steve & Helen’s in Colac, then made a quick run via the Cape Otway Road back to Geelong.

All up approx 250 ks and the new suspension on the VFR felt great.

Last week I collected the VFR from Promecha in Springvale having had the suspension tweaked. At 43,000 k’s it was time for some freshening up. The front forks were re-sprung with K-Tech springs specifically for my weight, an anti-dive circuit added, and the fork seals replaced. The rear shock was dismantled, converted into a re-buildable shock, re-valved, and the standard spring replaced with an Eibach spring matched to my weight. Although Ohlins are generally regarded as the holy grail of motorcycle shockers, it is worth noting that they DO NOT manufacture springs themselves. From the research I’ve done it seems that Eibach & Ohlins springs come from the same factory and are just badge engineered.

I’m hoping to go for a run tomorrow to see how it feels and maybe make any necessary adjustments. I was also after a new Michelin Pilot Road 2CT for the front, but Peter from Road & River tells me that he has none in stock & can’t get any at present.