no politics...just ridin'

Minyon Falls

Left home early on Sunday morning to get out on the good roads before the traffic. Picked up Dodge at 8am and then Johnno a little later and then set course southwards with our destination being Minyon Falls, just north of Lismore in northern New South Wales. John and Dodge had ridden there a week or so back and recommended it as a must do camping spot, so we thought we would go check it out.

Headed along the motorway to Exit 38 and then across to Canungra. The day was typical for Queensland at this time of year - warmish, blue skies - although there was a fairly strong wind blowing, which was very noticable along the motorway. We pulled up for a break not far along the road to Tamborine and contacted Grizz who had tried ringing us along the way, and arranged to meet up with his group at the Advancetown Pub. The ride via Canungra and Caligraba Rd to Advancetown was uneventful and not busy at all, which allowed for a bit of sightseeing on this beautiful Spring morning.

We got to the pub just on 10am and were greeted by one of the barmaids informing us that they had just opened for business. We snuck inside and waited for the others whilst having a drink - about 40 minutes later, they arrived. Was great to see Tracey on her new bike with Jim, Grizz, Panda, Grasshoopper and a few other guys on cruisers and sporties that I did not know. We sat around for a bit longer discussing how we would get down there and then set off planning to re-group at Murwillumbah.

Once out on the road I decided to take off ahead of the group to enjoy the corners, after not being able to ride for a few weeks. Ooowee, was it fun - continued down the Numinbah Valley, over the border and down to the re-group point just outside Murwillumbah. Whilst waiting for the others, I was passed by a lot of other bikes out taking advantage of the fantastic weather - was great to see so many people with smiles on their faces after the crappy conditions we have experienced over the last few weeks.

The group slowly rolled in - once all there we did a quick fuel stop and then pushed on to Brunswick via the Burringbar, another fantastic bit of black stuff. This stretch was taken at a steady pace, quite a bit slower than usual due to the amount of leaf debris over the road from the wind - this made some of the corners a little hairy, but no less enjoyable than usual. We passed through Mooball, over the motorway then alongside it for a stretch and pulled into the marina at Brunswick Heads for a feed of fish & chips. Great tucker!! A couple of the others headed to the pub for a meal, but because it was so busy, were left waiting long after we had finished.

We re-grouped at the pub and once everyone was ready, headed across the motorway and into Mullumbimby, a busy little place due to their weekly markets. We passed through town and then onto Coolamon Scenic Drive - this road takes you up into the hills a few km's inland from Byron - the views out to the beach are spectacular, when you have the time to stop and admire them. We made it to the turn-off towards Minyon Falls and let loose a little - nice tight sweepers with some curly stuff thrown in. Only problem was there were a lot of leaves on the road, making it slippery for the not so attentive. We backed off a little, arrived at another turn and waited for the rest.

After a regroup we continued up to the National Park - once inside the park boundary the roads turned to dirt/gravel so it was a bit of a rough ride for a couple of kms to the carpark. We parked beneath the tall, straight eucalypts and waited for everyone to roll in. Poor old Tracey pulled her front brakes on a bit too hard after spotting us all and the Hyosung kissed the ground, but she was ok. In fact it almost looked as if she just threw it down while remaining on her feet - quite funny to watch in a way! Once all there, we took the 50 metre walk out to the falls. Not too bad, although I had expected something a little more spectacular.

Dodge, Johnno and myself then let everyone know that we were heading deeper into the park to check out the camping area. The rest decided to head back and not join in, so we took off. After a short ride on fairly good dirt, we arrived at the camping ground. What a beautiful little spot - a smallish grassed area surrounded by bunya pines with a small tree lined creek running through the middle. There were concreted areas for open fires along with a central timber supply for all to use as well as coin operated gas bbq's, bush toilets and an undercover common area. All up a great little spot for a weekend away. We stood there for around 20 minutes taking it all in - absolutely fantastic. Also watched as a goanna decided to raid one of the fires for food - must have been something in it coz he took off with a mouthful! We will be planning a trip back there in the near future.

Back on the bikes and headed out of the park - we passed the Minyon Falls car park and all the others had taken off. Returned along the route we had followed in and eventually made it out to the highway near Mullumbimby and then headed north to Brissy and home. Was a good little ride, although a little hard to keep the group together at times.

Dodge, Johno and bikes

The road to Tamborine

Meeting point - Advancetown Pub

Near Murwillumbah....waiting....

....nearly everyone....

....and finally the stragglers!

Tracey and her new bike alongside Jimbo

Fish & chips at Brunswick

The lookout at the falls

A long way down

Top of the falls

Tall timber

Camping area

Kept a little bit of space between us and this local goanna

Creek that borders the camping area

Nice place - we will be back


Kawabusa II - wow!

Oh wow - think I am in love!! Check this beast out - one sexy machine, built by Norm Wilding, an expat Aussie who has been living in the US for the last 15 odd years. A Kawasaki ZRX with Hayabusa running gear. He has done a brilliant job bringing the two bikes together into a single, mean- mother streetfighter, and I love the look. The GSXR tail provides the real agro arse look and the paint really finishes it off - it's got the grunt factor in a big way!

Check details and further pics of the Kawabusa II here, and for his first try, Kawabusa I, click here.


GS Carburetor Reconditioning 1

Finally got around to working on the GS over the weekend thanks to the wet & wild weather. Managed to remove the carburetors and begin stripping them down - man, there is no way this bike would have run for long had I not done so. Found a lot of loose hoses, screws and fittings and even the hose clamps around the rubber intake boots were loose. There was also a lot of dirt on and around the carbs - looks as if a wasp colony had at one stage decided to make it their home and left a few of their dead comrades in the casting holes of the carbys!!

After removing the carburetors I commenced on separating the four of them from their gang plate - from this point I plan to progressively strip, clean and reassemble one at a time in an effort to keep things as simple as possible. Nearly every screw (yes, they are screws, not socket heads!!) I have tried to remove has seized or is badly rusted, so it is slow going. Have been utilising my centre punch and hammer quite a bit to free these stuck screws and they will need replacing, but there are a few (especially on the the float bowl covers) that I have had to drill out. I am yet to get the first carb open (hopefully tonight), but looking in from the outside they don't seem like they are going to take too much work - not bad for a 28 year old bike.

Really is a learning process for me as I have never done anything like this before. I have an excellent set of instructions as well as a full set of O rings for the carb reconditioning courtesy of the GS Resources site and am planning to follow them as closely as possible. Reading what other guys have accomplished with these bikes really gives you the confidence and drive to do the same!!

Enjoying it so far.

Well, after stripping carb number one (in pic above) I have to say that I am glad I decided to do so. I found a lot of black sticky residue from old fuel and the float needle was near on impossible to remove from its sleeve - permanently stuck shut, which is not good when you consider that it is supposed to slide up and down dependent on the float assembly and feed fuel into the carb. Starting to make me realise why I couldn't get the bike to kick over!!!

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Blue-V Sunglasses

I find sunglasses to be a very personal thing - a lot of people will recommend specific brands to me, but I usually find that they are not what I am after due to either fit, lens quality or price. Enter Blue-V.

A mate of mine, Koff, recommended these sunnies to me about 2 years back. One of the first things that really appealed to me about these glasses was the fit. The frames are made of a very flexible plastic - this allows them to fit snugly thereby reducing, but not eliminating airflow across your eyes without the need for the foam rings that a lot of biker glasses have - important when wearing an open face helmet. It also means that there are no gaps around the edges for the sunlight to get in, meaning your eyes are fully covered all of the time. The flexible frame also meant that I could accidentally sit on them and they would not break - and I have done that a couple of times.

Another appealing thing is the almost instantaneous relaxation of my eyes when I put them on. The polarised lenses of these glasses apparently filter out the blue light rays (see the full blurb below) which helps reduce the amount of work your eyes need to do. I even find that they are good to wear in semi-shaded areas because unlike other glasses I have tried, they do not seem to make everything appear darker, just clearer. I find this is important when riding and moving from full sun to shaded sections of road.

I lost my last pair of Blue-V's just before heading to Kazakhstan. Because these glasses are mail order, I did not have enough time to purchase a replacement pair before leaving, so for 8 months I was trying other brands of sunglasses. I think I went through about five pairs, and not one of them came close to the Blue-V's. I have purchased another pair since arriving back home and cannot recommend them highly enough for other riders out there.

I had a pair of Blue-V's before I had read the advertising/testimonials. I can say from experience that most of the above is true.

The only down side about these glasses is the method of purchase - you cannot try them on before buying, even though they do offer a money back guarantee, and this may scare a lot of people off. There is also no website for the company which distributes them, so no online orders, only phone or mail. However, I can say that delivery was quick and the product is great!