|09-03-2009, 04:43 PM||#1|
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: On the Playground
A Day with Supertram on Kimmy
“Monday has come around again” the seventies super group Supertramp had many great songs and this one started to play its way into my Monday some thirty odd years on.
“I’m in the same old place….think I’ll rob a store escape the law and live in Italy”
Why is it we remember certain things? Like bits of songs, I don’t know any more of the words than I did then but there you have it, ringing in my ears like some musical tinnitus.
I figured the best way to get it out of the mind was to take MrsD’s black Ninja out for some hooting fun in the twisties. It is a great bike to ride though the tight stuff a small light compact bike stripped back to the bare necessities. Being a 750 it has just the right amount of up and go without being too over horsed for our challenging chicanes through the hills. I waited for the usual daily grind of Rudds stimulus package contributing labour to finish the post Clipsal mind drain road battle though the major arteries into, around and out of the city before adding my tank of stimulus GST support to Kevs collection pot.
I warbled the black Ninja though the eastern burbs past united water’s burst main on Greenhill road into the cool freedom of a hill face road that let the Hindle four into one do the talking. That exhaust is awesome almost moto GP like in its note, a guttural tone snarling at cages and other obstructions that litter the roads making its presence felt with menace and poise. Desmo wound out the tacho, redline was the only viable alternative as the Michelins gripped the black top thrusting the street fighter deeper into the twisties. The natural home of boy racers with clipons and fully faired machines steeped in racing history. Therein lies the anomaly with the black Ninja, it has race bred geometry with a race tuned 750 power plant and race tech suspension but it is motarded with naked looks and dirt bike bars. This combination makes it a formidable hills machine where wind tunnel aerodynamics are less of an advantage and the extra weight if the fairing equates to more effort to swing the bike through the centre median.
I took the Lobie road to fuel the need for lean, pushed the front tyre hard into the apexes wound on the throttle making full use of the ignition advance with the Hindle wailing and revs building, the run up Forest Range only had one impediment. Yes it was in the form of an 80’s box Volvo, ugly as an outhouse and with the handling of one too. Fortunately the Hindle made even the clattering death trap of a Volvo’s driver realise that it was time to pull over or suffer the wrath of the four into ones 75 calibre machine gun like eruptions as gears were kicked down leaving her Malleus bones irrevocably damaged. I crested the range in third on the red line and held it into the first chicane, kicked the shifter into fourth and nailed the throttle wide open the 750 wailed and built power willing and evenly. I was shifting into fifth by the time the left hander at the bottom of the rise flattened into the straight and was levelling off on the throttle for the right – left - right combo before maintaining just under the redline on the straight leading into the hook left before the Forest Range straight.
The road to Lenswood laid ahead a great section of tight chicanes that runs along a creek bed. Once past a potential hazard of farm entrances and a tee junction it was back into third again for the kilometre of rev limiter action that had the Michelin dual compound pilots from Maximoto’s gripping like Robert Mugabe to power in Zim. Playing out the throttle after the fist decreasing radius left, into the bowl sweeper was sweet. It is one of those combinations of tight apexes punctuated by a short sweeper that has the second unyielding corner coming on quick. So over the years it has become a choice of feathering the throttle rather than hard braking on a sometimes perfidious corner. It makes for a smoother flowing shifting of weight that feels better to an ageing riding relic of Desmos deportment.
Having negotiated that lot with out a complication it was a short straight to the 60 sign and amble past the sleepy environs of Lenswood.
The last stretch to Lobie is always a howl only three semi tight corners to contend with the rest are a posted speed reverie that even at eighty have one enjoying the road slipping past as the Massimiliano Biaggi in us all surfaces though some delightful chicanes and longer straights that had the 750 up through the gears and down again with a growling exhaust decelerating mere metres into the apex tipping in late making the most of a corner speed that negated abrupt throttle reaction to pull away, that close to the balance point that the chain reactive torque was almost unnoticeable as the fuel flowed into the four synced carbies before exploding into horsepower that fed seamlessly to the playground tearing past below.
As I ran down the slope towards the last two 80 K left handers I noticed some black fairing debris. On rolling into the Amberlight I heard of a non-fatal off that a fellow raider of the lost bitumen had earlier that morning. It transpired out that a black Aprilia had run into the back of a truck. With a coffee dutifully consumed and the two wheeled gods hopefully smiling on the Desmo today it was time to ride. The course was to be one the cities favourite if not most notorious roads. I now call it the Gangsta run after the one of RSA most amiable and full time Ambo dispatcher. It comprises of a ride down Gorge to Campbelltown then back up Montacute. Kimmy revelled in the open road sweepers of Cudlee Creek. Bridge to bridge was a green light run and as things tightened up into the Gorge the rock faces flashed by at ever increasing pace. With the reverberation of the carbon can echoing the 750’s presence to a empty Gorge road from top to bottom it was one of the few times I had run though there with out impediment. The run back into the hills along Montacute was equally as enjoyable.
It was like the black Ninja had a shoo cage bolted to the triple clamps emptying the road of wildlife as it surged effortlessly first along the flowing curves of the creek to Montacute then down a two gears and into the rise comprising of mostly high revving second gear to mid range third as the apexes passed with methodical ease. At the crest there was Marble Hill and the dry autumn road offered plenty to the enthusiast on two wheels. Disjointed glimpses of scenery, verdant leaves, brown grasses, mottled trunks and the autumn effects on the deciduous trees flashed by like electric pictures of old. The black top remained constant, a ribbon of traction holding the bike true on its course between the surrounding environments potentially as deadly as it is beautiful.
Eventually the route had been run and Ashton appeared before me with daylight still lustrous through the lengthening shadows there was time for one more ride down the Lobie road and back. This time taking the Coldstore road turn to Fox Creek and reverse run up to Lobie on the Cudlee Creek road. There was the usual mix of straights, sweepers and decreasing apex hairpins that made for a raucous ride on some usually quite back roads.
Desmo was on the last run of the day when some influence took hold, transforming this mild mannered road rider into a menacing cross country dirt biker. Maybe it was the image of KS’s KTM orange brute or Sen-master from Transalp emitting subliminal messages to go orogenic? The reason more likely being that years ago I stumbled upon the bridge whilst scrub walking and that there was a fire track in its vicinity. This lead to half an hour of riding various orchards and trails until the hidden 1800s bridge was found in a fading light of Mars afternoon.
I spent some time reflecting on our abundant delights and gave a thought to the tragedies that have blighted the biker fraternity in past weeks here in Adelaide not to mention the miscellany of bike damage from another downed pride and joy today fortunately non-fatal but never the less tragic.
As Desmo depressed the starter on the MrsD’s 750 pride and joy [beauty is in the eyes of the beholder] its four cylinders leapt willing to life it was a spin of the back wheel and off to the playground for one last late afternoon’s blatt. The open throttle as dirt turned to tar and aggregate propelled Kimmy at velocity into a series of Adelaide’s finest bike corners. Ripping along, wind the product of acceleration whistling through the vents of the helmet, it was a great day to be alive in a fantastic country with a comparative carefree lifestyle. I felt like I had the best of it and even the last decent into the city on a 60 KPH hills face road when confronted by a STA bus snailing its way down the last of the twisties I took in the positive of a awesome sunset on a perfect autumnal day. “United Water” had fixed the burst pipe in the middle of the road and If life does get better than this it is all yours. I’ll be happy to be still doing this when I’m too old for sex.
“Guess I'll always have to be,
Living in a fantasy,
That's the way it's got to be,
From now on
You think I'm crazy I can see”
Drity-D super tramped day
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