no politics...just ridin'

Biker Swag's First Bike

I first saw this on Gymi's site....check what this guy has done to this bike!! And for less than $500!! Way cool looking ride and don't those whitewalls just finish it off beautifully - I reckon I might end up having a go at something similar to use on the odd poker run!! Dunno how legal it is though, but looks like he had fun doin it.

Started with this....
1984 Kawasaki 550LTD

Ended up with this....
Bobbed and cool looking after less than $500!!
Love the look of the rear end

Check out all the pics and how he did it here.

Blog Apperance

You must be thinking that every time you land here the layout or appearance changes - I know.... can't keep my hands off it! I keep seeing cool ideas on other blogs and try them on mine - if it looks ok I keep it, so bear with me while I muck around and change things.

Odins Warriors Poker Run - Brisbane

Earlier this year I did a poker run with these guys down the coast at Tweed Heads and it was a great days riding - on Saturday it was the Brisbane chapter's run and I wasn't going to miss it.

The muster point was the Oxley Hotel just off the Ipswich motorway so I headed off from home about 11am. On the way I was supposed to pick Grizz up and take him from his truck to his bike and then ride to the Ox. When I got there he had arranged a lift with another bloke, so I headed off to the Ox to meet up with the others. When I got there I pulled into the car park - at this stage there were only about 20 bikes and a few cars in the near empty lot. Parked the bike next to the pair of Mean Streaks (Koffs green & Wolfs silver) and headed inside.Some of the bikes at the muster point
Caught up with the crew inside - Koff & Tiki, Wolf & Heather, Eddie & Lynne and Grasshopper. Now Eddie had decided not to ride coz there had been rain predicted ( a decision he would dearly regret later in the day) and Grasshoppers bikes (FXR and V-Rod) were not rideable, so the three of them came in Grasshoppers car. We got our first card and then headed out to the car park which was filling up in a hurry. Grizz finally showed up and not long after, we were away.Grizz, Koff, Tiki & the bikes
The first leg took us from the Ox and out along the Warrego Hwy - I was riding up near the front and man it was fun. Pushing 130 klicks and perched in amongst a group of about 200 rumbling v-twins snaking along the road - what a buzz!! I knew the other guys would be right down the back of the pack - they like to take it easy on the first leg of any poker run we do and sus the situation out - me, well I just have to get amongst it and like to get as close to the front as possible. We took a turn off the highway and headed out through Rosewood along a network of secondary roads - some of them were really lumpy but with little traffic we took up all of the road. We finally ended up at this tiny little pub on the side of the road and in the middle of nowhere which I thought was the first stop. Turns out we took a wrong turn and had become lost!! Ha! The poor publican, who was not expecting such a large crowd, was flat out trying to keep up serving every one of the 200 riders. We drew our second card and after being told we were now part of the first Odins Warriors Mystery Poker Run, headed back to the original first stop.The first 'unscheduled' stop - what's with the boat??
Now when you turn up to do a poker run, or any ride for that matter, you always make sure that your tank is full - that is the golden rule. Not so for old Wolfy boy.....he let us know at the first stop that he was low - no problem - we will pass servos as we head back through Rosewood we told him. But as we headed past fuel stations in Rosewood and a few riders peeled off, Wolf kept riding!! Huh?? What is he doing?? Anyway, I scooted past him and Koff and caught up with Grizz, who was now in amongst it. We ended up at the what was supposed to be the first pub and finally got to eat something.

We waited for the others to show. Tried to ring Koff but no answer. We managed to get a message through to Grasshopper in his car as to where the next stop was going to be - the Old Wooden Pub at Goodna. The call to ride was put out and we re-mounted and headed off. Back onto the Warrego Hwy then onto the Ipswich Mwy to Goodna. I stuck along side Grizz for most of this part of the ride. Got to the pub and again tried to ring Koff but still no answer. Grasshopper, Eddie and Lynne finally showed up and told us what had happened.Hey...that's me....somewhere out on the roadObviously Wolf had run out of fuel - luckily he was able to coast to near a house and managed to get a bit of fuel to get him to the next servo. As he took off the guy that gave him the fuel came running out asking why he took off in the other direction - there was a servo around the corner. The others took off after him and they eventually found him on the side of the road, again out of fuel. Doh! This time Koff took Wolf into Rosewood, leaving the girls with the bike, and managed to get a can of fuel. After returning they rode back into Rosewood and then decided to head home. Nice one Wolfy!!

Anyway, the call went out to return to the clubhouse for a feed and a few drinks so Grasshopper took off with Eddie and Lynne to meet up with us there. It was only a fast 10 minute ride back to the club where we picked up our last card, had a drink or two and got some tucker into us. Sat around chatting about the days events and watching the crowd. There weren't anywhere near as many people at the club house as there was on the Tweed run and there wasn't nearly as much happening either. We decided to head off down to Billy Ladins 40th party.

Was still a good days riding and the weather was perfect - just a little disappointing that we couldn't all stay on the run. Anyway, I don't think Wolf will be let to forget this one in a hurry. I just hope Tiki, who still has my camera, got photos of him on the side of the road. I will definitely be posting them!!

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Suzuki's M109R - Yummy...

As Homer says "MMMMMMMMM...chocolate!!". I think I know what he means - I have found what I reckon I will eventually replace the VTX1300 with and it's not a Honda - it's Suzuki's M109R. Looks similar to the VTX1800F, which we unfortunately (maybe now fortunately) cannot get hold of in Australia, however a few things make this bike better in my opinion. The first is the softail look - no ugly shocks to spoil the lines of the bike as they do on the big VTX. The second is the finish and in particular the bodywork around the radiator down low at the front - this finishes the bike off and gives it a more refined look. Im not a big fan of shrouds but Suzuki have done an alright job on the M109 - maybe a steel version of the VTX headlight would have loooked better. Another nice feature is the rear seat bodywork that can be fitted when the pillion seat is removed - gives it a real 'busa' appearance. And it just looks so meaty with 240mm of rear rubber - and that's from the dealer. I want to ride one! Now!! Right now!!

I have read quite a few reviews as well as what the new owners are saying about them and the feedback is all good so far. Now I just have to wait for Suzuki Australia to import a few of them - their website says that they will be here early 2006 - so....where the bloody hell are they??

Read reviews of it here, here and here!!

Rang Team Moto to find out when it is due and the guy told me end of April - so I booked myself a test ride! Prices start at $19k - not cheap but if it's as good as some say then I may, just may end up with one in my garage.

I sent off a couple of emails to guys in the US that had purchased one asking them to give me their impression of it (got their email addresses from a forum that they both posted to) - this is one of the responses that I received...
I absolutely love the M109R. I had a 02 retro 1800. I loved that bike as well. The 109r has it all over the VTX. The seat height is about the same but I did lower my VTX about 1 3/4 inches. But I am 5'10" and my feet sit flat on the ground when I straddle the bike. The pillon is quite roomy. I have not yet put it on the bike. From what I can see it does look like a bit of a pain to put on, you have to remove two bolts once you take the cowl off.The driver seat is wide and comfortable, it does spread your legs out a bit but keep in mind that everything is designed with the 240 tire in mind so the components on this bike are bigger and in my opinion better. The bike has great power across the board. The gears are not that tall so you have to shift up quick.I have not hit the corners hard because I am still breaking it in so I have not been getting on it.I do feel that it handles quite well. I was worried with the 240 tire that she would fight you on the turns wanting to stand back up because of the lack of sidewall but that is not the case at all.The only thing I might change is the positioning of the pegs in relation to the shifter and brake they are close together and if you are wearing boots it is a little tight. I have only had the opportunity to take her out a few times as it is still quite cold here in New York.I would say that I feel Suzuki did an amazing job with this bike the detail in looks and performance seem to be right on the money.I actually can't believe that they can put so much bike together for the price. I paid 11,200.00 US here in NY.As for the back rest there is currently nothing available for the bike. The back fender is quite wide to accommodate that 240 tire so it should be interesting to see what they come up with. I spoke with a Suzuki rep. who assures me that there will be plenty of Suzuki as well as after market parts available for this bike. The rep did tell me that the big name after market companies already have the bike and have been working on designing some accessories for the bike.Here in the states they are predicting this bike to be the cruiser of the year for 06.I do not regret my purchase of this bike at all and as much as I loved my X which I bought new and had for 4 years I don't miss it at all. I hope this info helps you out.The only thing I want now is warm weather so I can do some serious riding. In closing if you buy the 109R you won't regret it. Take care Ray
You all might think I'm becoming a little obsessed??? Maybe, but I can't wait to ride this bike!!

Finks & Angels

This happened on Saturday night - looks like there was a score to settle....
Investigations are continuing into the shooting and stabbing of a number of men at the Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast last night. Five men are in hospital after the incident at a kickboxing tournament. Police say four of the victims are members of motorcycle gangs. The toll included a Hell's Angels member who was shot in the throat and stomach. A Finks member was shot in the shoulder and two Hell's Angels were stabbed, while a spectator was wounded in the foot
Read more on this here or check the video out here (Courtesy of Demos World).

Breakfast at Byron...then to Koff's

I stayed down at Kingscliff on Friday night and so early yesterday morning Kat and myself decided to head down to Byron for breakfast. We took the coast road down as far as Cabarita Beach and then headed inland to the motorway. The cruise down to the end of the motorway was great but once we hit the roadworks the traffic really built up. When this section of motorway is completed the road from the border all the way down to Byron Bay will be excellent. A lot of work happening as we rode the 5km bottleneck - the earthworks alone are amazing. Anyway, once through it all we took the turn off to Brunswick Heads for a look.

This town is a little like Byron Bay with the hippie types but no where near as big or commercial. Still a fairly sleepy little place not too different to how it was last time I visited. A lot of people sitting enjoying breakfast at the two curbside eateries opposite the camping ground. The Hotel Brunswick is a fantastic old retro type pub - it wasn't open when we rode past but I remember going there a few years back and enjoying a couple of quite ones in the beer garden. Heaps of character - will have to visit that one again soon. Back onto the motorway for the short squirt to the Byron Bay turn off.

The road from the motorway out to Byron was the quietest I have ever seen it - has been very busy the last few times I travelled down but it was still early Saturday morning. I'm not a big fan of Byron Bay - too commercial for me and of course very expensive. Also a lot of hippy types wearing the technicolor shirts / pants with the tea cosy hats and bare feet - they seem to flock to Byron. The only thing I really enjoy is the Beach Hotel owned by Strop and the once extremely sexy Delvene - this has got to be one of the best pubs (although it does get really busy) on the north coast. We pulled up right out the front and planted ourselves on one of the tables looking out over the beach - what a perfect place. There were a few people at the pub but it wasn't too hard to get a good table. Ordered breakfast and sat there watching the locals and tourists wandering past for about an hour and a half.
We decided to ride out to the lighthouse and check some of the scenery out so re-mounted and rode the couple of k's to the point. This is the most easterly point of the Australian mainland and so is a fairly significant tourist attraction but when we got up to the top there was a woman standing at the gate into the lighthouse precinct asking for $3 to park the bike - what a rip off - turns out that it is aimed at reducing the traffic up to this area to try to preserve it. Fair enough!
Looking south from up near the lighthouse We turned around and pulled over to the side of the road and took in the spectacular view looking south. We also watched a guy hang gliding - it looked as if he was literally hanging in the air - fantastic. Headed back down and then rode around the roads beneath the lighthouse on the north side admiring some of the houses - need stacks of cash to own one of these places.

The weather was really starting to warm up so we thought we would head off. Took a road across to Bangalow where we re-fueled and then headed back to Kingscliff along the motorway. Hit a bit of rain on the way back but it was patchy and looked to be moving inland fairly quickly.

Koff's Place
Got back to Kat's place almost dry. Had a coffee and then headed up to Nerang to meet up with Koff, Grizz & Panda. Got there about lunch time and had a beer and a chat with the fella while Trish slept upstairs. Waited for a while then rang Panda - both her & Grizz decided not to come so it was just the three of us on the two bikes.

Koff led us on a ride around some of the back roads at Oxenford - there is so much development going on along side the M1. Housing estates popping up everywhere - the better ones were further away from the motorway and up a little higher. Anyway, from here we headed up to Tamborine. Decided to stop in at the St Bernards pub for a drink - they have this massive bloody St Bernard dog that just wanders around the pub - I reckon he must be close to 60kg! The beer garden has a great view looking down a valley out to Southport and mid Saturday afternoon with the sun shining was just fantastic.

Headed from the pub down the goat track towards Canungra. At the bottom we turned towards the coast and took a slow cruise back to Koff's place. Not one drop of rain for the whole afternoon, although it did get pretty overcast for a while. Left Koff's place about 5pm and headed back down to Kingy. Another great day's riding.

Changing Seasons

How lucky I am!

Got up this morning and slid onto the bike for the 20km ride into work. Nothing better than being on the bike as the sun is rising with the cool morning air brushing your face. You can tell that summer is over - the air is just that bit cooler and the misty haze is starting to appear on the grassy vacant blocks - only light but it's the first indication that the cooler mornings are coming.

We had a wicked weekend of heavy rain and strong winds - I did ride a short distance locally but would not have liked to do any longer distance riding in that kind of weather. (...some of the guys were planning to do the Hells Angels Poker Run over the weekend - wonder how they faired??). Anyway, I think that was natures way of saying "OK - summer is over guys - time for some cooler stuff".

The mid year months are the best riding weather in Queensland - while the southerners are stuck inside sheltering from the cold, wet wintery weather we are blessed with clear warm dry days with some very cold but usually dry nights. Sure beats the very hot and humid conditions of summer.

I just love riding - and I get to do it nearly every day!!

Pix & Stuff

I was sitting around yesterday watching the rain fall and thought to myself that I need to post some pix of the other people and bikes I ride with. After seeing Biker Diaries I noticed that he uses a second blog to post information and pix on himself. What a great idea!!

So...I created another blog to post some pix of the bikes and people that I ride with.
I will progressively add to it as I manage to get some pix of the others - so check in at Pix & Stuff on a regular basis!!!