Back On Two Wheels Again In 2011
It had been quite some time since I had owned a motorcycle. Eleven years in fact since I had sold my last one to help fund the purchase of our first home. I then got caught up with raising a family etc....
So when we were thinking of selling that home, I had visions of using some of the funds to buy myself another motorbike. It only seemed fair to do such a thing after all!
In June 2011 when we finally sold our house, I bought myself another motorbike. A Suzuki V-Strom DL650 which is a dual sports adventure touring bike. This is the story of my first year back in the rider's saddle.
My Previous Rides - Back in the 90's
My previous motorbikes were both small 250cc machines that were very much sports bikes. My first bike was a Honda CBR250RR which was painted in the Repsol Honda colours just like Mick Doohan's bike, who was the 500cc world champion at that stage. It was a pretty fast bike for a learner to have and I had a ball riding it around for a few years. I bought the bike as a write off after the previous owner had ridden it into the back of a car! I repaired and painted it myself and I must say, it looked pretty good and sounded great too with it's aftermarket exhaust system.
The second bike that I owned was a Suzuki Across. It was not quite as sporty as the CBR but it was still very sports bike in it's appearance. It had the unique "fake fuel tank" on top which was a great storage area for helmets, jackets or for a bit of shopping. I had that bike at the same time as the CBR as it was never meant to be my main ride. I only bought it as a project to do up and sell for a profit.
This time around I wanted something a little more comfortable to take on long rides and I also did not want to be limited by the occasional bad road that I might come across which is why in 2011, I chose the Vstrom for my current bike.
Books That Inspired My Riding Adventures
As a fan of travel TV shows and books as well as a motorcycle fan, it was only natural that I should become instantly attracted to Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman's epic journey around the world on BMW motorbikes when I first saw it advertised. I watched the Long Way Round TV series, bought the book and then bought the TV series on DVD as well. When that journey was followed up by the Long Way Down I was also instantly into that as well. These two series have inspired me to start exploring my world on two wheels. I will probably never do epic journeys such as those, but getting out and exploring my part of Australia is a start.
Is That Thing Diesel tells the story of Australian man Paul Carter who wants to do something different so he decided to circumnavigate Australia on a motorbike running on used cooking oil. His bike used a diesel motor out of farm machinery.
Going Postal (The Long Ride Home) is also a great read if you are a motorbike enthusiast. Nathan Milward tells the story in Going Postal of how he rode a second hand ex postal bike from Sydney, Australia all the way to London, England! It is also a great read even if you are not interested in motorbikes.
The original round the world trip. A Hollywood legend and his best mate going around the world on bikes. How much better can it get?
Ewen and Charley's second bike adventure and just as good as the first!
A trip around Australia on a vegetable oil powered motorbike. Eco friendly motorcycle adventure at it's best! This was a great read.
This was a really great read. One man with not much common sense, but a real sense for adventure leaves Sydney Australia on an old postie bike in an attempt to ride home to London, England.
I live in a motorcyclist's paradise! - Biking Heaven!
The Gold Coast Hinterland in South East Queensland, Australia is a dream place to live tor the motorbike enthusiast. There are endless winding roads which stretch out westward for hours upon hours and just over the border in Northern New South Wales are more fantastic curving roads to explore. It is possible to ride for the whole day from where I live without having to travel on a straight piece of road or come across a set of traffic lights.
But we Gold Coasters do not have to even travel that far as three are many awesome roads to ride right here on our doorstep. I do not even get a chance to warm my bike and tyres or myself up before I hit the technical sections of the Springbrook Road. These videos show just a small selection of my favourite local roads that I frequent often. It drove me mad for years seeing all these great roads and not having a motorbike to enjoy them on. But now that has changed.
Nerang-Murwillumbah Road - The Spine Of The Great Riding Roads Network
This road covers many kilometres from Nerang on the central Gold Coast down into Murwillumbah in Northern New South Wales. It is like the spine of the great Gold Coast Hinterland motorcycle roads network. There are so many roads that branch off this particular road that it is almost impossible to travel it without seeing at least one motorbike. Plus the road itself is an amazing ride with lots of fast flowing corners in the northern parts of the road with tight and twisty sections towards the southern end in NSW.
Never Ride Without A Jacket
This was a ride that I did with a friend of mine in September 2011. From my house on the Gold Coast, we went over Springbrook Plateau and down through the Numimbah Valley and into Northern New South Wales and through Tyalgum before heading to breakfast at Murwillumbah. We ate with some other motorcyclists who we had bumped into just 30 minutes earlier while stopped at the border crossing lookout. They then went off in one direction and we decided to go out through the town of Uki at the base of Mount Warning and on to Nimbin.
Nimbin is a strange but fascinating town. It is famous throughout Australia and the world for that matter as a town that is very much for the smoking of marijuana and the use of hemp as a versatile and environmentally product. Writer Austin Pick described his initial impressions of the village this way: "It is as if a smoky avenue of Amsterdam has been placed in the middle of the mountains behind frontier-style building facades. ... Nimbin is a strange place indeed." The town went from a peaceful farming town to a counter culture haven overnight after an alternative "Hippie" festival was held in the town in 1973. The hippies never left and the town is a major tourist attraction these days, particularly with young backpackers.
From Nimbin, we headed back towards the coast through a series of tight and twisty roads that were a lot of fun. These are very visible on the map below. We joined the Pacific Highway near Mullumbimby and rode the freeway home to the Gold Coast from there. We had planned on heading back through Murwillumbah again and over Mount Tomewin, but time was against us as family duties called.
Find Your Way To Nimbin - You may never want to leave!
Nimbin Is A Unique Place Indeed - A Video From The Mardi Grass Festival
Never Ride Without A Helmet
This is a similar helmet to the one that I currently own. I absolutely love having the ability to flip up my helmet, creating an open faced helmet if need be.
Breakfast At Canungra - And home by 8am
A friend of mine goes out here with this friends for breakfast every Friday morning regardless of the weather. It is a great ride that I have joined them on a few times. Leaving Nerang on the Gold Coast at 6am, we travel out over the top of Beechmont and then down the other side into Canungra for breakfast at this motorbike friendly cafe. This spot is hugely popular with motorcyclists from all over South East Queensland visiting here on weekends. It is not unusual to see close to 100 motorbikes lining the side of the road in this small country town on a weekend.
Find your way to Canungra
Even Squids Need To Get Out And Ride
Never Ride Without Proper Gloves
Are You A Motorcyclist?
Do you ride a motorbike? I would love to know who out there rides too.
Yes, I am a biker from way back. I love the freedom of being on two wheels on the open road.
Queen Mary Falls Via Mt Lindesay Highway
This was a ride that I went on with four friends in October 2011. Leaving from the Gold Coast we went west out through Canungra to Beaudesert where we then followed the Mt Lindesay Highway south through Rathdowney and into New South Wales. We split up at a spot just north of the town of Woodenbong (yes that is the real name of the town) with two friends taking a left through Kyogle and Nimbin before heading north back to the Gold Coast again.
That left my friend and I to turn around and do the nice winding section of the Mt Lindesay Highway once more in the opposite direction this time. What an awesome piece of road that is! We then turned west heading out on a long loop up and over the mountains where we stopped at Queen Mary Falls for lunch. This road was interesting as it had some creek crossings before getting very steep and tight leading us up into the clouds where visibility was limited. To make this particular section even more challenging, there were cows on the road that we had to look out for!
The road then took us out of the mist following the Queensland-New South Wales State Border through a beautiful plateau of land which afforded glimpses of amazing valley views as we road through. We did stop at one lookout called Carr's Lookout which is where this photo was taken of the Condamine Valley looking towards Wilsons Peak.
After a bite to eat we continued south along the road before turning left towards the town of Legume and then on to Woodenbong along the Mt Lindesay Highway once more. This section of road between Legume and Woodenbong was pretty rough but with my type of bike, it was not a problem. I would not recommend that you take a cruiser or a sports bike on this road though until they spend some money on resurfacing it.
It was very scenic though and before we knew it we had returned to the same place just north of Woodenbong where we had split up from our friends hours earlier. Then it was back through that awesome twisting piece of road again and back home the same way that we had come. 450 kilometres, great friends, awesome scenery and lovely winding roads made this the best ride that I have been on to date.
Queen Mary Falls
Mount Lindesay Highway is the bold yellow road to the right.
Mount Lindesay Highway - Winding Section In Both Directions
The first video shows a fellow bike rider riding south along the highway, which we did, then we turned around and went back the same way that we had come. We found it more enjoyable riding the road in the north direction. The second video shows the same rider doing it in that direction.
Do You Have A Favourite Motorcycle Brand?
Which company's bikes do like the best?
Mount Lyndesay Via Kyogle - 300 Kilometres in the morning. December 3rd, 2011
You know, some days you just feel like riding by yourself. This was one of those days for me, so on this particular Saturday morning I went out without telling any of my riding friends. I left home at 6am which was a little later than I had planned on leaving as I wanted to beat both the traffic and the heat of the day. As it turned out, the morning was overcast, with no rain and the roads were almost completely clear of traffic.
I came upon a few cars in front of me along the four hour ride, but luckily they either kept up a good pace, pulled over to let my pass or I came upon them in parts of the roads where it was easy to pass. In the best tight and twisty fun sections of road, there was no traffic at all. Gotta love days like these!
More Photos From The Mount Lyndesay Via Kyogle TripClick thumbnail to view full-size
Sena SMH10 Motorcycle Bluetooth Intercom
A friend and myself recently purchased a Sena SMH10 Motorcycle Bluetooth Intercom dual pack so that we could communicate with each other while riding. I also have other friends with this same system so I can also pair up with their devices while riding too. The system allows up to four riders to connect with each other over a distance of up to 900 metres. This makes for a more fun riding experience as well as providing a more safe riding environment due to the fact that the leading bike can warn following riders about any issues on the road.
Not only can this device be used for an intercom system between riders, it is also very easy to pair up with your phone or music playing device, allowing you to take calls while riding and also listen to your favourite tunes. Click here to see videos about the Sena headset.
Other Random Motorbike PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
I Now Have A Helmet Cam - A Drift Innovation HD170 Stealth
These video cameras produce an amazing video and come with a large array of mounting options. From helmet attachments, goggle strap clips, velcro straps and handlebar brackets which can mount to anything tubular, this camera can go anywhere that you can, no matter what your sport is. Click here to see videos produced with this camera.
I plan to film some of my motorcycle journeys so you will see some of the footage from my camera here. Other uses I have for the camera are filming my mountain biking, kayaking and hiking adventures as well as my archery. As I have various pages dedicated to these pursuits here on Squidoo, these videos will show up over time on them as well.
A great ride that ended badly! - It was a ride that I will never forget.
January 1st 2012. NOT SO HAPPY NEW YEAR!
A friend and I had set out early on a ride that was going to be well over 600 kilometres in length had our journey not ended prematurely. By mid morning we had covered a lot of distance and had ridden some great roads and were just getting to the awesome part of the trip that we had looked forward to the whole morning.
Then, just when the riding was at it's best, I went down. I was filming when I crashed, but the file was not recoverable unfortunately as the camera was destroyed in the accident. This video below was filmed about 30 minutes prior to the accident. So the end result was only minor damage to the bike, mainly scratches, but I now have a broken collar bone, so I will be off the bike until around April unfortunately.
The return journey was by the same route but by car with someone else riding my damaged bike.
Back On Two Wheels
After recovering from my broken collar bone, I tentatively got back on the bike for a short ride on April 22nd 2012.
Some More Motorbiking Websites
- Team Moto. I bought my bike from their Gold Coast Honda dealership.
Teammoto provides quality new and used Motorcycles in Brisbane and the Gold Coast including all the used major bike brands Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Triumph, KTM and Hyosung.
Purple Star Award
This Lens was awarded the Purple Star on September 18th, 2013.
Thank you to all those who have contributed to this page and made it stand out enough to be noticed.
Thanks also to those who directly nominated it for the award. I feel very blessed to be considered.