I bought my Kawasaki H2 SXSE new in 2018 and until now it’s been a short day or Sunday ride machine. As such until today it had less than 15,000kms on the clock. While I’m no stranger to doing long rides on small and uncomfortable bikes the thought of sitting on the H2 SXSE for 17 plus hours has always been a little bit, let’s say, discomforting. With a longer term goal in mind it was time to harden up and have a crack. Not being particularly ride fit at the moment and the fact that the Kawa has no auxiliary lights I decided a slab run would be the safest and most sensible choice. Not to mention our rural roads are not necessarily suited to the H2’s suspension over a 1600km day. Scene set.
The weather gods chose today and I was up at 1.05am hoping to leave Wallsend NSW shortly after 2am. A docket and photo were acquired at the Coles Express Wallsend at 2.25am although at the time I realised I still hadn’t adjusted the bike’s clock for daylight saving. Which probably won’t happen anyway.
It was a pleasant ride south towards Sydney with the temps in the high teens and low 20s here and there with Marulan my first planned fuel stop. The temps got to 15 degrees over the Southern Highlands and while rolling along I noticed that fuel economy was surprisingly good so I passed Marulan and fuelled up in Goulburn (340kms).
The next planned stop was Holbrook but once again fuel economy was a big surprise and I made it to Albury (694kms) on fumes at 9.04am. I later calculated 20.4 km/l (less than 4.9l/100km) for that leg at a moving average that would see my 1250GS in the high 5’s.
It was time to turn north and I decided to take a couple of mandatory snaps on the way north. The first one at the Ettamoggah Pub at Table Top
The next the HMAS Ottway in Holbrook.
The next fuel and an early lunch stop was at North Gundagai (879km) and a short ride up the road to the Dog on the Tuckerbox. At over half way I was very surprised, given the style of the bike, that I had no pain in my knees, wrists, shoulders or neck. I found I was able to rest my forearms on my thighs and have my fingertips on the bars and ride fully relaxed and supported with the cruise control on. I wasn’t surprised that the seat was particularly uncomfortable and I already knew that as the day warmed up there would be some recovery time required in that area.
It was warming up, high 20’s and while a little milder back over the Southern Highlands it hit 30 degrees by the time I filled up, had a drink and snack at Pheasants Nest (1163km). The M7/M2 traffic was a bit of a mess but I did miss the worst of the peak hour continuing north. I had planned to stop at Heatherbrae for the final fuel stop before the end of the ride but once again fuel economy dictated having a crack at making it all the way to Coolongolook. I know it’s weird but there’s something perfect about rolling into a fuel stop on fumes when you are doing an Ironbutt Ride. On this occasion I saved two stops by amending the plan along the way and while time is not so precious on a Saddlesore 1600K that 20 minutes saved might be a make or break opportunity in a harder ride.
I make it to Colongoolook (1506km) well ahead of schedule and decided to take some extra time to enjoy a plain burger and a coke in the aircon at the Mobil servo. I make a point to always eat healthily when travelling!
Completely refreshed it was time for the short leg to the finish at Lambton NSW (1627 kms) at 19:37 where I topped up the fuel for completeness and bought my traditional celebratory Cherry Ripe twin pack. I was home before dark.
My overall average speed, including stops, was 94kph – not overly efficient but this ride isn’t time critical. Fuel economy average 5.2l/100km
The H2 SXSE, aside from the seat, was very comfortable and turned out to be an impressive touring bike. There’s definitely better options for me at 195cm but with a custom seat and perhaps another 1cm lower in the footpegs just for additional comfort I would have no hesitation using this bike on a big tour where daytime riding predominated. There’s no great options for auxiliary lighting on it and while the low beam is great the high beam wouldn’t be much use out west in the dark.
All in all it was a great, relaxing, cruisey day on a bike that way exceeded my expectations for an Ironbutt weapon.