Sleep doesn’t always come easy, and there’s no point staying in bed when you are awake, so up at 2.50am yesterday morning. I ferretted around the house and threw my “ready to ride” pack on the bike, put on 5 layers and the Klim Latitude suit. Google Maps showed me a destination that I could get to without a GPS and too much thought about where to get fuel.
The plan was an out and back to Emmdale Roadhouse for an iced coffee. A sweet little SS1600k. My wife and daughter were kind enough to indulge my need for witnesses. Apparently my daughter went back to bed, my wife decided to do some ironing before her early morning run.
The start fuel docket at Lambton at 4.01am by the tank and the 10 litre jerry perched on the rear rack. I was hoping it would get me to Nyngan, if it did I’d save some time on fuel stops. After all, I was out to ride this as fast as I can! Today was all about speed, efficiency, OA and riding hard.
Merriwa to Duneedoo was freezing again but the sunrise was typically beautiful seen in the moments I wasn’t riding through fog. Shortly after sunrise, no-one about I reached the top speed for the trip. The sensation of taking a machine to it’s limits can’t be described with words!
I stopped on the side of the road just after Mendooran to fill from the jerry after pushing out 60k’s on the flashing reserve, 360 or so k’s travelled. Nyngan was assured. The stop with the quick release jerry rack, less than 6 minutes. The fuel economy pretty good, a good stint on 13 litres.
A roo overtook me along that stretch, I felt much more exposed on the sportsbike than I do on the Harley or STEN, I wondered how much all that plastic costs. Another roo near Warren, a near miss but thankfully the last seen for the day. First stop at Nyngan was a disaster 20 minutes my target OA smashed, time to hook in and make up some time.
It was blowing out there. I rode through Cobar and into a headwind all the way to Emmdale. I forgot about 6th gear on that stretch, 5th was faster. The bike seemed to struggle up hills, roadtrains passing in the opposite direction slowed it 3-4kph that was stupidly difficult to get back. Even downhill against the wind was a problem. Tucking in behind grey nomads and heir myriad of big white boxes on wheels gave some relief but I was on a mission. I also felt that performance suffered with 95 octane over the 98 so the plan to refuel at Nyngan changed. Then it rained for a while.
I arrived at Emmdale, got a turn around docket, drank half the iced coffee and refueled from the jerry. The OA wasn’t what I’d hoped but I thought I might be able to pick some up with the wind a my back while returning to Cobar where I’d grab some delicious 98 Vortex. That section was nice in that it gave me the opportunity to sit up without effecting warp speed. At Cobar I also two thirds filled the jerry, it’s all I might in the new plan and I didn’t want to carry any extra weight. 8 minute stop.
Back into the wind, it had turned. 5th gear was getting another workout. After Nyngan, I was overtaken by a prime mover and hitched a ride for a while until the Nervertire turnoff. The road crap it threw at me was worth the tow.
The sun was down and it was starting to get cold again. When I arrived at Gilgandra the OA was 1.5kph or so higher than my target. However I needed a break to reset for the night and have a hot chocolate. That break cost about 4.5kph in the OA that I was never going to get back in the dark and on roads that had been recently drenched. Goal gone.
Duneedoo was a ghost town, Merriwa close to it and on through the dark to the servo at Jerry’s Plains where I used the light to empty the jerry into the tank, no more fuel needed and another sub 6 minute stop. I made some time during that stretch but the run down the New England with traffic, roadworks and low speed limits did little to help with the time.
I ended the ride at Lambton, grabbed my traditional post ride cherry ripe twin pack and rode home to wake up half the family for signatures. I slept really well last night and was extremely happy to have finished the ride but it left me thinking long and hard about whether sports bikes are good for IBA runs.
So what were the goals, I was hoping for an OA of 85kph. I got close once. My minimum OA goal was 83.3 (I had my reasons). I got 82.4 at the finish at Lambton. The photo below sums it up as was when I reached home. I know that the Top Speed was probably over the limit, I just refused to let the throttle go.
Yesterday’s ride was hard, I’ll remember it fondly by Friday I think.
Oh, the pics. Fully Farkled Repsol Honda CBR125R
Here’s the Honda at Emmdale
A quick pic at Cobar on the way back 3 mins
Here’s the Etrex summary
And the farkles. The Denali D2’s were wired wrongly so I only saw half of what they had, lucky the Honda headlight’s pretty good. The 12V outlet didn’t work so the iPod went flat and then there was no point having the Starcom. The heated grips were great. The highlight was a new pair of Daytona Road Star GTX boots, very very comfy.