no rules...no politics...just ridin'

Teaser

Well I'm not too far off getting hold of my GSX1400 (hopefully next weekend). One of the guys on GSX1400.org posted this short vid of his - now he has done a lot of work to it so mine isn't as loud as his, but it still has that growl. Man I just cant wait!!

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New Domain Name

Well I finally got off my ass and registered a domain name for my blog. You will notice that you are now directed to www.cruisindownunder.com - someone else had already registered www.cruisingdownunder.com so I decided on dropping the 'g' from both the domain name and the blog name, hence the new headers.

Make sure you update your links to this site!!

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MBI Riders Choice Awards


Voting for the 2007 MBI Riders Choice Awards is now open - go here to register your vote.

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Sports Illustrated Bikini Babes



I know it ain't bike related but I thought I would include something a little more pleasing to the eye - just click the play button to start the streaming video.

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Kin Kin & Boreen Pt

I had just gotten on the Buell and was heading out to Dodges place on Friday night when I got a call from Steve & Danita asking if I wanted to come up to their unit at Noosa and stay overnight. Panda was also going to be there and we could all leave from there for the ride the next morning. I immediately jumped at the chance and after ringing Dodge to say that I would no longer be coming over, I hit the road for the 140km ride.

Now I had organised a VTX ride for Saturday to Tin Can Bay and by staying at Noosa it would cut a fair length of busy highway riding off the journey - also give me a chance to check Noosa out for the first time in a couple of years. I left as the sun was setting and rode most of the way under a clear night sky in warm conditions. I really enjoyed the ride up - traffic thinned the further I rode from Brisbane, and I felt like the Buell and myself were finally coming together. I had worked out how it needed to be ridden and how it responded and I was really getting to like it. The pain in my hands from leaning so far forward was now manageable - I could now shift my weight from them by way of gripping the tank with my legs for short periods. I was like a kid with a new toy.

I reached the turn-off and rode the 15kms of dark single lane road out to Noosa. I parked in Hastings St and then rang Steve - he rode down and I followed him back to their unit which is located right on the banks of the river. Once there, we had a few drinks and caught up.

On Saturday morning, Panda decided to head back home instead of doing the Tin Can Bay run - she had to deal with some family issue and so we rode with her back inland to Eumundi and the highway. She continued on home and we stopped in at the Eumundi Markets and had a look around whilst waiting for Angry to show up. About half an hour later he arrived on his CB1300 - a very nice bike. We headed back to the unit at Noosa to pick up a few things and decided to still ride to Tin Can Bay via Pomona.

We hit the road for Pomona and then continued on to Kin Kin. There is a section of road on this stretch that was fantastic to ride on the Buell - lots of tight left-right-left combinations. The road itself isn't the greatest but the corners make up for it. I really enjoyed being able to throw the bike into some of these corners - something you just cannot do with a cruiser - and then power out. It really is a completely different experience and very, very addictive! There was quite a bit of gravel on a few of the corners but it was easy to spot - even so, I didn't need another near-road experience so took it easy. We rolled into Kin Kin and headed into the pub. The Country Life Hotel is a fantastic place - the pub itself is a classic Queensland hotel with a fantastic beer garden out the back. We sat ourselves under the marquis but there was an undercover area with a pool table and a 44 gallon bbq, all set in very well manicured gardens. After sharing a couple of drinks with the gardeners dog, we decided to move on.

Back on the bikes and on to Tin Can Bay, or so we thought. We followed the road out of Kin Kin for a few kms - some nice long straights that just had to be tried out. Angry took off on the CB and I tried to follow - hah, no way! I think he said he reached about 240 before backing off - I was still winding the Buell up, reaching about 170 but he was out of sight! At the end of the straight we hit gravel!! After following this for a couple of kms we spotted some guys loading their trail bikes onto a ute and pulled up to ask how far before the hard stuff again. They said it was a fair way so we decided to turn around and head back towards Boreen Pt instead of diverting to Gympie for the ride to Tin Can Bay.

We got back on the bitumen and then turned off onto the road to Boreen Pt - after a couple of kms we were on gravel again! The gravel roads were in pretty good nick with no corrugations, so we were able to ride them at a fairly decent speed. We persisted and rode for about 10kms, finally arriving at the main sealed road into Boreen Pt. We followed this road for a few kms and then pulled into the Apollonian Hotel at Boreen Pt for lunch.

This pub apparently does the best lunches on a Sunday - pig on a spit - a lot of bike clubs make a day of it and ride up here for lunch, so it does get busy. But it was Saturday and so we, along with the few other people who were there, had to settle for what was on the menu . We ate in the beer garden in the shade of the trees - the meals were very nice, as were the beers. Some pretty smart kookaburras hung around, not scared of us at all, just sitting there waiting for leftovers, so we obliged. After about an hour or so we decided to head back to Noosa - back on the bikes and headed off for the ride back along the main sealed road. The road was in good condition with a lot of long sweeping corners and very little traffic, enabling us to open the bikes up a little.

We arrived back at Steve & Denita's unit in Noosa mid-afternoon - was good fun exploring new roads. Angry headed home and we jumped into the pool to cool off. I had a bit of a sleep later on and then around 9pm, decided to head down to Kingscliff. The 3 hour ride from the top of the Sunshine Coast to the bottom of the Gold Coast was awesome - the weather was still warm but storms were rolling in from the west. I did strike a bit of light rain and a bit of traffic, but nothing too bad. The lightening show out to the west was happening and I began to think that I would really cop it - luckily it stayed away until later on in the evening.

I really enjoyed the ride, arriving down to Kingy just after midnight. I had covered some good roads and a fair distance over the last 24 hours and the Buell performed beautifully.















The dirt road






The spit shed



Our lunch




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....still waiting.....

I think the insurance company is teasing me! I got a call on Friday from their assessor telling me that the VTX will be a total loss - a little sad but I am now really wanting to move on.

Anyway, I gave them a call this morning (just like I have everyday for the past week) and questioned what needs to happen now - seems that I now have to wait on the assessor to send the report to the insurance company and then they will determine the final outcome. A lot of my accessories were not listed on the policy and so they will not cover any of those that were damaged - lucky for me I don't think anything besides the bars were but the insurance company need to make sure.

I was hoping to get it finalised by the end of this week, but it doesn't look like it will be worked out until sometime next week - bugger! Oh well, at least I have the Buell to ride (thanks to Gam) and I am really starting to enjoy it too.

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And now the wait begins....

I managed to get a ride on the GSX1400 last night that I had seen advertised down at Springwood Suzuki and wow, I was impressed.

The bike itself is a second hand 2004 model with just over 30k on the clock and a few little extras such as pipes, guards, wheels and indicators. As soon as I was in the saddle I knew that this was going to be fun - my feet fell into place and the upright position was just right. Unlike the Buell that I am currently riding, the seat is quite soft and perfect for all day touring.

I took off along Kingston Road and opened her up a little and holy shit - plenty of power with no vibration and it was so, so quiet. I fell in love with it pretty well straight away. I turned down Paradise Road heading towards the motorway and whilst there were no cars around I tried some straight line hard braking from about 70kmh - again it exceeded my expectations by pulling up in a very short distance without any noticable diving. I took a turn off into one of the side streets and put the bike through a few corners, accelerating hard and then braking hard and it performed really well, hugging the tighter curves, pulling up admirably and then accelerating very quickly.

I turned back onto Paradise Road and merged onto the motorway - I opened her up and this was the one thing that really stuck with me - the speed at which I got up to 120 whilst only in third and with the GSX still wanting a whole lot more. There are another 3 gears to go - almost scary!!! I quickly backed off and re-joined the flow in awe at the gee-gees in this thing. I made my way back to the shop but did pick up one thing on the way. I could feel the heat from the motor on my left leg and wondered how much hotter it would be in the middle of a summers day with only air/oil cooling.

Once back at the dealer I took some time to have a good look over the bike - it is in very good nick with no motor noise (unlike the rattling Buell) and no obvious leaks or problems. The chain is new, tyres near new and she is ready to roll. I do need to bring Kat up and take her for a ride before confirming but I ended up putting a holding deposit on it, subject to the insurance company writing off the VTX and a second ride with Kat on the back. Provided the insurance pay out, I will more than likely walk away with the GSX and a couple of G's in my fist - much better value.

It definitely is a different ride to a vee-twin, feet forward cruiser but after noticing a couple of things to do with the handling on the VTX last weekend, I feel it is time to step up. All that is left for me to do is to harass the insurance company for a decision.....

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New Bike On The Horizon??

It's looking more and more like the VTX will be written off after last weekends mishap. I got a quote from Team Moto at Springwood and they reckon $14,200 for repairs. Considering it's only insured for $13,500, I am pretty sure I will end up with the cash.

I have been lucky enough for a work collegue of mine to lend me her Buell XB9R to get around on. They are a very nice bike but I reckon you lean too far forward with a lot of weight on your wrists. It has sparked my interest in a more upright sports bike and I am going down to Springwood Suzuki tonight to have a ride on a GSX1400 - I want to compare what it rides like to the VTX and if it is good, I will probably go that way.

For what they are, I reckon the VTX is overpriced - the bike I am going to look at is an 04 GSX1400 with only about 20,000kms on it and some goodies included - the price is $10,999. Compare that to the 03 VTX I have been eyeing which is listed at $12,500 with 55,000kms - less bang for more bucks in my opinion.

The only issue that I do see with the GSX is the gear storage factor - I don't know what is available in the way of panniers/bags and I dont like those Givi top boxes.

Oh well - we will see.....

The GSX1400 I will be riding

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