Tuesday 28 April 2015. One more hole, one more leak

As the dedicated reader may be aware, the Suzuki DR800 has been a bit leaky on the oil front. This is simply an issue of it being a 25 year old bike. As a result I have been very slowly but just as much very surely, chasing down oil leaks. It is very satisfying to look down on the engine or transmission case and see only dust collecting where once there would have been oil. Mind you, now I need to lubricate the chain more often.

The latest oil leak resolution was to send the oil cooler lines to ENZED at Brendale. The guys there did a great job of pulling off the 25 year-old braided cable and replacing it all as per the picture below. The few short check I have done reveal no additional oil being bled out. Cost was AUD $132.00. The cost to replace just one line was $154.00, involved a four week wait as it was imported from Japan and  the second line was simply not available. Great job fron ENZED and another problem are ticked off the list. The next part is wiring up the heated grips ... BTW, it is a BIG list.

ANZAC Weekend Ride 2015, Day 3, Sunday 26 April 2015

Today is the last day of the ride and it sure turned up some surprises. We agreed during breakfast to head back down to Tenterfield and turn off to Woodenbong, the first signed turnoff seem to be the one we needed to go on.

Finding that first signed turnoff was easy but it was not the one we had imagined. No matter, its not a holiday, its an adventure. We cam across "Thunderbolt's Cave", where Captain Thunderbolt had hid out may years ago and had a look. Futher on was the tirn off to Boonoo Boonoo Falls and Bald Rock. I recalled on seeing these signs that Karen and I and our two boys had been here before about 12 years ago but we only went as far as the turnoff to Bald Rock. As it turned out, further on, the road was not quite what Peter, Kerri and I had prepared for. We pushed on regardless and had a good time. Greta views and at one of our stops we had a chance for Kerri and Peter to give me some advice on the oil cooler lines that were sweating out a bit of oil. I must admit to feeling a bit of relief everytime we saw another road sign confirming that we were indeed on our way to Woodenbong. We did pass a couple of familiar looking bikes which over the following few days, turned out to be friends from Horizons Unlimited. Next time, we will have to stop.

Eventually made it to Woodenbong and spotted the Border Ranges Yowie. This is important as we used to always joke with the boys about the yowie and yowie crossing when taking them to a couple of different holidays in that region.

After leaving Woodenbong, there was still a distance of tight corners and scary oncoming traffic. Eventually though the road opened up nicely with flowing, on-camber roads, beautiful scenery and plenty of space for the last 20 minutes to Rathdowney. More of that please. We pulled over and revelled in the moment, noting to plan the road parts a bit more carefully for next time. I headed back through Beaudesert and Peter and Kerri mounted up and went back theough Boonah and home. A very long day for them both.

A very enjoyable weekend and I need to thank a few people for making this one happen:

Peter and Kerri's wives for putting up with this fairly new interest of theirs.
Karen, for putting up with this whole motorcycle thing for years and also for the time and expense that this bike has consumed. However, both the bike and my skills have come a long way and now the bike costs far less to run and is far more reliable and capable than ever before.
Nick and Mary-Jane who own the chalet outside Stanthorpe. Thanks guys for your continued generousity.
Penny, my boss at work for letting me have the preceeding Wednesday off. Thanks to the extra time I was able to complete one solo assignment, one group assignment without pressure and with a clear head.
And of course, Peter and Kerri for taking the time out of their farming schedules. Next time will be as good, or even better. Hopefully Mark will be able to join us as well.

ANZAC Weekend Ride 2015, Day 2, Saturday 25 April 2015

The 100th anniversary of ANZAC Day. There are many ways of looking at that day but none of those can diminish the courage displayed by the soldiers on the ground.

On this day Peter, Kerri and I planned to ride from Stanthorpe to Inverell, visit the National Transport Museum and return. So we did just that. Breakfats at MacDonalds and then off down the New England Highway, stopping at Deepwater for refreshments, turning off at Glenn Innes and another short hop to Inverell. Between Glen Innes and Inverell is this great lookout. I can never remember the name but we will call it Pajero Place, from a previous trip Karen and I did in our old Pajero. At the top of the short but rutted track were three other Pajeros and their very enthusiastic owners. A great time with the boys and a great memory to recall as well.

Into Inverell and then to the musem. At least that's what we planned. It has moved since I last visited and so we had to use the S&A method. Stop & Ask. Hard for men to do but once you have been riding motorcycles long enough you learn that there is no loss of pride or shame in asking. In fact, no matter where you are, almost always people are only to happy to help. Armed with new directions, we then made our way across town and the photos of the museum spek for themselves:

After a very late lunch at KFC, back to Stanthorpe. It was getting late and so we stopped for dinner ath the Balledean Motel Tavern. As we passed by and saw that it was a family friendly place it looked good. When we saw the smoke coming out of the chimney, the place had us at hello. Another great country dinner and then back the final hop to our chalet.

ANZAC Weekend Ride 2015, Day 1, Friday 24 April 2015

Everyone has their own way of celebrating ANZAC day. Whilst I used to attend the local dawn services, I have started to celebrate more my embracing what the ANZACs may have been fighting for. In 2015 Kerri, Peter and I went on our second annual ANZAC Day ride. Unfortunately Mark could not join us due to commitments but I do note that in 2016, ANZAC Day falls on a Monday so fingers crossed for next year.

The trip started on Friday 24 April with myself heading out solo to Flavours Cafe at Boonah. Just before Beaudesert I thought a nice stretch and quick snap of the bike as it is currently setup would be good. Please note that all my clothes and a standard sleeping bag can now fit into the one roll-top bag at the back of the bike. The saddle bags were just for tools, first aid kit, jacket liner and the seat bag was just for study books. So a smaller sleeping bag, books on PDF and a bit more work on tools etc and the whole package should be even neater.

Peter and Kerri would join me there later. What a great place for coffee and lemon cheesecake to die for.

You can not miss the place as it is on the main road into Boonah, the large Queenlander style building on your left. Plenty of parking and revhead friendly. The owner, Graham embraces all types of gearheads and himself has raced sports sedans at the highest level in Australia. The walls have lots of really interesting memorabilia. Graham came out to chat and is vey keen to help us out with Horizons Unlimited as well. Then a chat with two local off-road riders, mounted on a Yamaha XT660 and Suzuki DR650 who know the area very well. Left with a map of the area with a heap of hand written notes on local tracks that I can't wait to try out.

Peter and Kerri arrived, had a drink and refreshments and then we were off. Following my Google maps at times we were not 100% sure we were on the right track but it turns out we were the whole time. Here are some photos of the scenes on the way to our final destination just outside Stanthorpe:

It was about 6:30 PM, I think, when we rolled into Stanthorpe for tea and although the last hour was a little bit of a worry, it was well worth the ride. Very pleasing to see roadsigns that confirmed were were on the right track at times though.