Best and worst top speeds for all three classes after Friday free practice (2) for the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, which contains the quickest straight on the calendar.
Fastest: Hector Barbera (Ducati) 346.7km/h (215.4mph)
Slowest: Danilo Petrucci (Ioda CRT) 302.6km/h (188.0mph)
Fastest: Pol Espargaro (Pons Kalex) 289.9km/h (180.1mph)
Slowest: Elena Rosell (Moriwaki) 271.7km/h (168.8mph)
Fastest: Arthur Sissis (KTM) 233.9km/h (145.3mph)
Slowest: Danny Webb (Mahindra) 218.8km/h (136.0mph)
* All Moto2 riders use a control Honda engine.
The Celebration of Retirement Ride
On the 26th of May Mohawk, Nige, Johnny Killswitch and DD gathered at Tuggerah McDonalds for the inaugural Celebration of Retirement Ride. The forecast was highly favourable with unseasonally warm weather. After some trivial banter and venting we headed off with high expectations (he was a late inclusion in the ride). Moe was ride leader and we headed towards Bendemeer.
We headed out through Yarramalong towards Wollombi (I was disappointed that we didn’t stop at Gerry’s for coffee). Then onto Singleton, Dungog and to Gloucester.
Ahh the country feeling as we cruised into Gloucester and stopped for fuel; birds chirping in the trees, cows lowing in the hedgerowed paddocks, locals whistling through pieces of straw and calling “How de doody!” Next minute the spawn of Satan roars into the servo in a Lucifer-black armour-plated personal carrier and screams to a halt in a cloud of dust and sharp rocks demanding to be serviced with high-octane aviation fuel. The retired gents were in the midst of refueling their noble steads and whose weapon happened to be in the way of the cacodemon’s access to the pump? Yes, Johnny who was feeling a strong desire to strain the potato’s and as he returned was accosted by the fiend. John held his cool but because he had been involved in three altercations over the past few days in situations which were quite confrontational had to be restrained by his riding companions from drawing his pistol containing a silver bullet. The ghoul, vomiting verbal filth, stormed into the service station to pay and then roared away to intimidate some other innocent poor soul. I’m sure he was a top bloke, he just had a bad day.
After our close encounter with the fires of hell we headed off pleased to be on the road again. Every small coffee establishment along the way received our patronage until we finally reached Walcha where were we disappointed once again by the Café Amour. Then into the sun we rode on the final leg to Bendemeer.
The pub was very salubrious with what I think were the best rooms in which we have lodged.
After settling we had a few quiet ales and dinner.
Nige got unusually quieter as the night wore on and we had a very pleasant evening until the pub was closed about 7:45 p.m.
The 27th greeted us with yet more glorious weather and DD said “ripper”. We followed the previous day’s route home stopping at Gresford for a cuppa and experiencing some very enjoyable stretches of road. We had a close encounter with a member of the constabulary but he either didn’t see us or was more interested in some other objective.
Many thanks and appreciation to Moe on an excellent ride.
Sell the Storm, trade the Storm, keep the Storm, keep the Storm and buy a KLunkeR, trade the Storm in on a Cruiser but not a Harley (never a Harley), sell the Storm and buy a Blade, buy a Blade then rent a cruiser to chase a KLunkeR blah blah blah. With 50,000 km on the Storm and the obligatory offer of $4000 trade in, Ant bought himself a new XJR1300 muscle bike. It’s a beauty all dressed in black and sounds very nice with a Scorpion slip-on. Good to see he didn’t go down the cruiser path. “How do you feel on the bike” he was asked in a recent interview. “Majestic” he replied and I think that says it all.
Media Release Lane Filtering
The Minister Roads and Ports, the Honourable Duncan Gay today announced that Lane Filtering for Motorcycles in NSW will be legalised. See the Ministers Media Release at the bottom of the page.
Christopher Burns, spokesman for the Motorcycle Council of NSW (MCCofNSW) said;
“The Minister for Roads and Ports Duncan Gay, Transport for NSW and the Centre for Road Safety should be applauded for this common sense move to legalise lane filtering in NSW and the first state in Australia to do so.
Lane filtering is the practice of motorcycles moving between stopped or slow moving cars.
There are multiple benefits from lane filtering including reducing the risk of riders being caught up in a rear end collision by removing them from the danger zone. Rear enders are the most common collision in NSW and can result in a rider being severely injured.
Lane filtering has been common practice for motorcycle riders across the country and overseas for decades. The benefits of Lane Filtering have been internationally recognised as a solution to traffic congestion in built up areas and will assist in relieving congestion issues on NSW’s major and minor routes thereby assisting drivers with their daily commutes.
Ultimately riders are doing drivers a big fat favour by lane filtering and reducing congestion for all.
This also highlights the fact that the community consultation process in NSW is alive and well.”
Lane Filtering also has the benefit of reducing congestion as motorcycles are not taking up the equivalent of a car space and with close to 4,000 motorcycles travelling into the Sydney CBD every weekday one can easily estimate the benefits to car drivers.”
Encouraging the use of motorcycles and scooters in Central Business Districts also relieves parking issues for local councils as five motorcycles will fit in the space of a single car.
Drivers are urged to watch both their mirrors and look for motor bikes filtering through the traffic and riders are advised that if it looks risky, it probably is, so manage your risk and ride accordingly.
Full details of the lane filtering implementation can be found at the Transport for NSW website.
So we left Maccas about 9ish on Tuesday 7th Jan for another look at more Victorian roads. This time it was Moey, Sideways, DD, and Lucky. The weather was a bit dour on departure and drizzly rain accompanied us (nice use of personification giving a sense of friendly comradeship with the elements) all the way to Mount Victoria. We were hoping to run into the big guy again but, sadly, he wasn’t around. Though still, literally, around that poor old green KLunkeR I’ll bet, tee hee.
Anyway, leaving the mountains and heading southwards we spent an eventful day losing and finding each other all the way to Culcairn. Moey loves to hide behind billboards and such and giggle as we sail blissfully past, “Corner markers are for poofs” he reckons and we all agreed despite our collective inability to stick together for more than about ten minutes. Doesn’t matter because we did eventually regather at the pub with DD arriving about an hour ahead of us having chosen to ignore our plans to meet up in Wagga. Doesn’t matter.
The Culcairn pub has new owners but still looked after us very well. $50 this time but the rooms were good and the showers were just lovely. We didn’t actually get there till 7 so by the time we had a beer and a shower and some dinner it was pretty much goodnight everyone. Sideways was pretty keen to see the staircase again because apparently it came from an old shipwreck and had been lovingly restored at some cost for the pub. I reckon Bunnings could knock something up at half the price but there you go, doesn’t matter.
A hop step and jump into Victoria through Corowa and found ourselves in the West Gippsland region and Buxton (at least that’s what my smartphone pictures tell me) when Moey took us up a dirt road to this triple story railway something or other. Pretty impressive and we really spent some time figuring out how the weight distribution and physics of the whole thing kept it upright. We all pretended to understand but Sideways the builder is probably the only one who got it. Anyway, doesn’t matter because it looked good.
On and on we went climbing up and through some spectacular roads and found our way eventually to Maffra. Prior to this an unexpected last second turn off the highway for fuel left Sideways stranded on that same highway and unable to turn around. “Anyone know if Bobby knows where we are supposed to meet at some point?” one of asked as we stopped in Benalla to top up. “Yeah, no send him a text” Well we did and headed off to Euroa where the text said we’d wait for him. When we got to Euroa and checked for a reply it said, “I’m in Benalla”. Apparently he had managed to circle back to find us gone and then got booked for speeding in his attempts to catch up. The same cop who pulled him over had let us pass with just a flash of his headlights just fifteen minutes earlier. Sideways was, understandably, not happy but kept a brave face for the rest of the trip.
The Macalister pub in Maffra was pretty good and had small glasses of beer to drink from. Just like last time but that doesn’t matter; we just had more. Goodo, now the rooms were ok but it only had one toilet and shower for the six or so rooms it had. We managed though and it was only $40 from memory.
Lucky wouldn’t shut up about his fancy shmancy Pro-Oiler that had come with the Bandit muscle bike. Experimenting with varying flow rates that could be adjusted from the handlebar mounted controller saw him up the “delivery speed” from its normal position of 3 up to 7 to see if it made any real difference. It did. Mind you I still think it spewed out less oil from the rear than DD’s old “Red Ripper” which leaked more than the Exxon Valdez. DD also had a little oopsy along the Alpine Way where Vic Roads had thrown copious amounts of loose stones along 10 k’s of otherwise beautiful bends. He managed to stay upright though. Then there was some horrible dirt section after the turn off to Falls Creek but we also survived that.
Oil spattered rear end or not, we had more fun on the Alpine Way as we headed up through Omeo and Corryong and back into NSW where they don’t hide speed cameras in trees or abandoned tractors and whatnot. It felt like we had masterminded an escape from Alcatraz. Tumut was just delightful and the weather was again kind (More personification that gives a sense of welcome and affability). It’s soft breeze met us with a gentle kiss (getting the idea now?) as we removed our helmets for the last time that day.
The Woolpack Hotel was great. Again, $50 for the night but this also included a TV in your room. Shared facilities were clean and plentiful. Again, the long day riding left us a little weary so we didn’t stray far from the premises. Sometimes we remind me of a pet cat that just pokes its head out the door for a quick look around before scuttling back inside. Never mind, doesn’t matter.
Ok so on day 4 we headed north and stopped somewhere near Yass for breakfast. That DD’s a scallywag. Despite all warnings to turn off mobile phones around petrol bowsers, DD thought it a good idea to not only call Julianne whilst near a bowser but actually lean on it for the whole conversation. “Shouldn’t one of us tell him to move clear” a worried Moey proposed. “Nuh, this could be hilarious.” replied both Sideways and Lucky simultaneously and hooked pinky fingers for their secret wish. Both probably hoping for a spectacular fireball at DD’s expense. Just for a bit of a giggle and the money to be made on youtube for filming it. It didn’t blow up so that was good I suppose. Doesn’t matter.
Up along the Abercrombie road and into Oberon where we stopped for lunch.
Back up through Mount Victoria, Wiseman’s Ferry and home by 3. Lost sight of Moey and Sideways for a while but caught up at the Ourimbah turnoff from the freeway. I don’t think they saw us but we waved a hearty farewell to them anyway. Doesn’t matter, the love is still there. Moey did a great job as ride leader with a GPS that more often than not gives him the middle finger. And Bright? Well once again that sultry mistress beckoned to Dave but wouldn’t surrender him access to her most private parts.
When is enough, enough? Never. I thought it might be nice to have something with a whole heap of carrying capacity for those long four day rides without being stretched over the tank like a medieval rack. The 08 Bandit has it all: Givi hard panniers with a Ventura rack; ABS; radiator guard, Pro-oiler for the chain; Yoshi exhaust; and other bits and pieces. Bought it from a bloke up here at a good price because the GFC screwed him over and he needs the cash. Sad farewells for him. Felt a bit sorry for him but perked up once I felt the grunt of this thing. Still keeping the Busa and the KLunkeR of course.
I’m looking for volunteers to go over the wall and ride headlong into Victoria. Proposed 4 day mission to be executed during the 5 day window of opportunity, 7th Jan – 10th Jan.
Candidates must be true of heart, steeled in spirit and cast iron of gut.
Applications in triplicate to Minister of Rides.