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Moto Tales From The Ice Box

Moto Tales From The Ice Box

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Seriously, winter is in full swing and it’s freezing and miserable and makes me write really crap sentences about how wet and freezing it is. Worst of all, it puts me off riding.


Which totally blows.


The other day I thought, f&ck this, I’m going out despite the 11 degree forecast and raing warnings. I put all of my liners on (thermal long johns under kelvar jeans and a Schampa Warmskinny as well as the winter lining in the Dri Rider) and rode off in the distance to cleanse my soul.


Admittedly I had been hankering after a Sausage, Bacon, Egg and Cheese roll from this Cafe I know that’s about an hour and half from Melbourne, so it became the goal.


I felt better immediately, and way less prone to whining like a little bitch.


I rode into the wind on the way down which wasn’t too strong, and caught a slight tailwind home which propelled me forward with much aplomb.


I cut through the main street of Geelong and pondered the buildings and architecture before stopping at the bike strip and checking out the shops for a bit. Lots of shops with bikes in Geelong. I went to three different within 100 metres of one another.


Then satisfied, I sauntered homewards on board the S1000R with more of a smile on my dial than before I left. Happy days.



Get out and just ride more, even if it is wet and cold you sissy.

The S1000R speedo is around 7 kilometres out. So I can set Cruise Control at 107kmhr and know that I am not going to trip any Police cameras in my travels. Thanks freeway speed check signs.

Don’t underestimate Aldi’s motorcycle socks. I have all the winter liner bizzo from them as well as a more wicking under suit from Dri Rider, most of all I LOVE their socks.

I know, a silly pair of socks. But you know what? That silly pair of long socks that cost next to nothing really made a big difference riding in the cold. My legs didn’t really even get that cold given that I am riding a naked bike, this is great news.

I hate the cold, it makes me that whiny little bitch all over again and no one likes her.

Don’t be a whiny little bitch

Dryesdale Convenience Store make awesome Brekky Rolls for $5.70.

Until next time – stay warm, and upright. Spring is just around the next corner…

daily biker author
Jim D. Smith
Biker and content writer at Daily Bikers Blog. Addicted to Bikes, aviation, fragrances, sushi and tacos.
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ADR: DAY 3 – PORT ELLIOT TO MILDURAToday started out hot and got progressively hotter until it felt like riding on molten lava while trapped inside a firefighter’s gear. At 110 km the wind was creating the impression of wearing a scarf that had been cooked in the microwave on High for 2 mins. It was hot. We started at my old stomping ground, the Adelaide Hills – the final destination Mildura, back in Victoria in the centre of the Riverlands. How we got there… was up to me. I was excited by the prospect and had decided on winding back through Strathalbyn, where I went to high school and then further into the hills before heading up to Mt Lofty. I remember from my early childhood going up and down the steepest of all dippers in the world called Tregarthen Road with my mum in a V8 Ford, and I couldn’t wait to take everyone along that road. Sadly as is the way, I grew up and those massive dippers seemed more like a couple of bumps in the road. Maybe the sensation was more sensational in a cage? The ride up to Mt Lofty is beautiful though, it’s a real highlight of the Adelaide Hills so we cut around the back of Ashton and past all the apple orchards before heading up to the summit. Sadly some of us didn’t catch the ‘master plan’ though and missed the turn off to Mt Lofty, then once up there the group broke up looking for one another, and before you knew it the majority were down in the city scratching heads as to what had happened to the ‘lost few’. Somewhere amongst that kerfuffle time got away from us and it was decided that we better get going and slab it out on the highway for Mildura so we could jump in the pool. There was nothing else to do, the group had been split up and it was the night’s destination. It was now 40 degrees Celsius and just the ride through the city forewarned of overheating problems, dehydration and imminent heat exhaustion. We made a plan, every 100kms we’d all stop and take in water, cool down and get going again. It was probably the longest five hours in the existence of all motorcyclist adventures (yes I’m a drama-queen). I remember passing through Renmark at the halfway mark and reading a billboard that said 44 degrees. Delirious I cackled wildly into my helmet, totally demented. Then something happened though. I adjusted to the heat, I adopted new techniques (thanks Steve for the wet t-shirt tip) and I buckled down and got on with the job. Sitting on the speed limit (thankfully out in SA it’s 110km p/hr) and cruising in and out of the pack to break monotony, I was able to barrel down the Sturt Highway, kilometre after kilometre. The Ducati never skipped a beat. I found new love for my massive machine. 4th gear is perfect for roll ons from 60km towns back up to the 110km limit and the sensation is fantastic. Torque pulls you back in your chair as you roar up to that limit then kick it up two gears to sit nicely on 4k rpm and cruise. It also lifts the front wheel in first under gradual acceleration in Sport Mode quite easily. It’s an awesome confidence inspiring machine and how it managed to keep its cool and deliver me safely at the end of every day I have no idea. Technology, such wow. It also has just the right amount of electronic wizard to keep a bored highway rider entertained. I pulled an average of 109 km phr for 5 hrs and got 4.2L to the 100kms travelled. I can easily do 300km on one tank and if things get tight I pop it down to Urban mode cutting power to 100 ponies and saving fuel I can do 350kms on a tank at this pace. I adjusted each trip-meter to catch current mileage on A and overall mileage on B, faffed about with the seat height by adjusting the Pillion and Luggage selections and found some perfect settings that I’m really happy with. Not a fan of luggage I managed with a single Kriega US-20 tailpack strapped to the rear luggage rack no sweat for 4 days. My only complaint about that is nowhere to store several bottles of water, which is where a single pannier (top box maybe) for longer tours would be better. It sounds beautiful humming at this speed, 4k rpm, pinned to the tank slipstreamed the heat up and over my head. Just a gentle hum of valves and pistons working harmoniously to carry me through this sanctimonious heat to my destination, that sweet sound kept me company the whole way, making my heart sing in unison (or delirium potentially). There was no other bike I would have rather been on at that point and I think others may have even sneered at amorously at me occasionally. At one point, a lady pointed at my bike in a car park somewhere and said ‘I like that one, it looks like the Bat Bike’ un-prompted, in front of everyone, and my life was complete. Bat Bike MFW! Thank the mighty lord baby cheeses for Sargent Seats too. I could never have done it without you. Whatever magic pixie dust you put into that foam on your seats, it’s a flaming miracle. I never once had CAF (Chronic Arse Fatigue) that plagued every single one of my fellow riders. And another shout out has to be given to Shoei for the Best Touring Helmet available award for the mighty GT-Air. This is easily the best helmet on the market for long distance touring. The air flow is just incredible. Even in this heat, I managed to keep a relatively cool head when most were on fire, like that guy in that movie, I also put this down to my decision (finally) to try a white helmet. The GT Air has the most brilliant design white helmet IMHO, a honeycomb pearl finish with a black racing stripe straight down the guts. The quietest lid I have ever owned too. By miles. I have more to say about this helmet soon in my full long-term review, stay tuned for that (or just go buy one now, you won’t regret it). So it was after about 5 hours of this type of torture that we pulled into the Mildura Plaza Motor Inn on Calder Highway and within minutes I was in the pool. It was so nice but also had the adverse effect something akin to an ice headache. I guess when you have been roasted like a potato chip for 5 hours then jump into cool water it’s lucky we don’t explode like cheap crockery. One day to go, a survivor and a new level of respect for the road as well as my ability to endure heat for that long, I was pretty relieved to retire for the evening in front of a re-run of Iron Man 2 on the box. Job done. Home stretch tomorrow, should be straightforward and we have planned an early start to beat yet another 40 degree day.
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