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Old 12-18-2011, 10:50 PM   #1
Ian Robinson OP
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Location: Castaways Beach. QLD.
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KLR650...A great touring bike.

(Brisbane / Wollongong/ Brisbane)

2181KM in two days.......more than happy with that.

Instead of starting at the beginning I would like to paint a picture of an experience I had on the Putty Road when returning from a recent Interstate visit. ( For those unfamilar with the Putty Rd. it is about 160km of motorcycle friendly ! ! bitumen between Windsor and Singleton. NSW.) It will be etched on my memory for life.

The scene: 6.30am North bound Putty Rd. 17/12/2011 ( early damp patches)

I was enjoying the great free flowing corners mixed with ever tightening 35 /45 kph L & RH bends. Just me, my KLR and the road.

Then a flash caught my mirror, I focused on Valentino closing at a rapid rate. ( or was it Jorge, I couldn't quite make out the helmet colours.) He rocketed past on a naked Japanese in line 4, accelerating up to maybe 120 /130kph. A familiar smell filled my nostrils. Methanol and Castrol R30, or possibly some specially formulated, top secret $30 ltre. synthetic oil made especially for this factory rider.

A 35kph LH was approaching rapidly, I was already on the brakes ( the KLR fronts could be better) Val was going deep. the soft compound rear squirmed a little under brakes then settled. He arse slid off the seat, a huge leg came out, grounding out the sliders. ( with all this leg action I thought I saw a # 34 on the side ....but it doesn't matter)

He hit the apex perfectly, picked the bike up early and was gone in seconds.
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:00 PM   #2
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I was sure I would be able to have a chat with him later about the 2012 season. I was certain I would come across him "leaning" on the armco 2 or 3 k up the road. But no, I was mistaken. This was his pre season practice session and by my estimations would have reduced his previous best by at least 1m 38s over this 20km section of the Putty.

I never saw him again.

This is truely a fine piece of road, could I strongly suggest placing it high on your Bucket list if you have not already ridden it.
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:22 PM   #3
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The Plan.........it was a simple one. Hop on the KLR & ride to Wollongong via the coast rd. from Brisbane on day 1. spend two days visiting my brother. and return on the 4th day via New England H'way.

Preparation was minimum, I had recently returned from a 5000km Outback trip. Oil /filter and a chain adjust was about it. As usual I did not sleep too well and was on the road by 2.45am.

DAY 1

What a great time of day to be on good highway, alone. Reaching the Tweed I saw a flash of lightning ,or was it a speed camera on the north bound lane. Yes lightning, but I thought I'd be 90k south within the hour. no probs.

In the cool of morning the KLR was just purring along. I reach the Byron Bay range just on dawn.
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:27 PM   #4
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Good progress was made over the next few hours. Coffs Harbour was my first stop at 374km. topped up with gas ( 16.67ltres) and had a coffee.
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:38 PM   #5
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Many speed cameras where passed. Road conditions good. Nabiac was my next stop. I had visited this museum on two previous occasions and still not seen everything. Unfortunately, a photo was the best I could do.( I highly recommend a visit)

Rain was threatening, but I resisted putting on the wet weather gear. 10 km down the road I had to stop as a short heavy shower passed through. It was cooler now and I felt good with the extra warmth. This shower was the last for the remainer of the trip.
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Old 12-19-2011, 12:35 AM   #6
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The bike was running sweet. How good is this I thought.....I sat on about 4000 /4200rpm and just relaxed. I found this twist grip aid very good on open H'way. ( I had used it on my Birdsville ride when my hand was a bit sore after a accident in the workshop.) but I remove it when in traffic for better feel.
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Old 12-19-2011, 12:44 AM   #7
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I arrived at Hexham at 1pm. after another 382km. refueled ( 16.54ltre) and had a bite to eat. On the down hill run now I thought. I was trying to beat the Sydney peak hour traffic. On previous visits in a car I had used a GPS. But on this trip I was confident that my "dot point" reference would see me through. I had forgot I'd lost a hour with the day light saving difference.
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Old 12-19-2011, 12:55 AM   #8
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BIG MISTAKE.......About 5km past Hornsby I got a "little lost" doubled back , traffic stationary everywhere. sun was shining & I still had my wet gear on so was generating a fair bit of heat. Ever tried to ask directions when wearing a full face?

I decided to pull over , take all the gear off and have a muesli bar. Problem solved. I rode around in circles for an hour till I picked up the Bankstown road. All good after this and headed south .

Good progress for the next hour. I took a couple of pics. from the top of the range before decending into the Gong.
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Old 12-19-2011, 12:56 AM   #9
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What a view
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Old 12-19-2011, 01:09 AM   #10
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I rolled into my brother's home at 6.45pm. (Bris time)

Total for the day 1010km. My first 1000 plus day on a motorcycle for over 40 years. I felt good, the bike had performed better than expected. I was even still on talking terms with the seat.

I slept like a baby.

The following day we drove up to Mt. Keira lookout. This is the last 6km downhill run coming into Wollongong. Beautiful road.
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Ian Robinson screwed with this post 12-19-2011 at 01:46 AM Reason: spelling
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Old 12-19-2011, 01:14 AM   #11
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Plenty of Christmas lights around.
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Old 12-19-2011, 01:27 AM   #12
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My brother took me to this fantastic Antique Shop at Fairy Meadow with a large range of m/c books & mags...I was lucky to buy a new copy of " Japanese Grand Prix Racing m/cycles" by Mick Walker. for $35 and several copies of "Motor Cycle Illustrated" 1970. for a $1 each. How good does it get.
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Old 12-19-2011, 01:39 AM   #13
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Fantastic ride Ian, wow 1000km in a day on a stock seat on a KLR You are a legend. I've had 3 KLR's and loved all of them but never did a 1000 in a day!!

I love the pictures.

BTW, You can post more than one photo per post by just loading the photo's under each other just like when you write sentences like these.

Cheers mate, keep it coming, I loved reading your last ride.

Cheers

Geoff.
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:24 AM   #14
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Nice report and pics mate.

And FYI,

"Instead of starting at the beginning I would like to paint a picture of an experience I had on the Putty Road when returning from a recent Interstate visit. ( For those unfamilar with the Putty Rd. it is about 160km of motorcycle friendly ! ! bitumen between Windsor and Singleton. NSW.) It will be etched on my memory for life."

It is also 160km of not so friendly policemen.

Unfortunately they have good reason to be not so friendly, on weekends the Putty can resemble laps one and two at the Phillip Island GP- or in some cases the Isle of Mann TT [where riders throw themselves off the road in spectacular and sometimes lethal fashion].

I tend to avoid the Putty on weekends when the sport bike set play hero at barely subsonic speeds and have spoken to several cops who are tired of having to attend to the battered, bleeding survivors and sometimes non survivors as well.

During the week the Putty is a fantastic ride and Grey Gums Cafe is a very bike friendly place to stop for a break.
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:26 AM   #15
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Great ride. That Putty Road looks brilliant!
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