Jerilderie SS1600K

I felt like doing a post festive season day ride so after checking the weather a few days ago I settled on today as a good prospect to head south. I’ve been wanting to try out my new Tenere 700 World Raid excited about the added fuel range to the 2019 Tenere 700 I traded for it. I mentioned the ride to a friend of mine, TigerBill, I received a text from him that he and another IBA Rider, OX-34, might turn up.

I’d planned a roughly 2.30am start, it was raining when I went to bed and it drizzled throughout the night. I was up at 1.30am and took my time getting ready, if it pissed down I was going back to bed. Lucky it didn’t because when I arrived at the start point Bill and Ox were waiting for me, fuelled up and ready to do the ride two up on an old Kawasaki Vulcan Voyager! I was surprised to see them but happy to have them along, particularly because unlike my T7WR the Voyager had cruise control so I could take my turn behind them and not be stressed about speed variation.

Start docket at Wallsend

My start docket was at 2.38am and I quickly noted that the T7WR had 1317kms on the odo. I was going to ride it further today than I’ve ridden it since I bought it three months ago. That’s partly because I busted my foot riding it off road the second day I had it.

My fuel plan/range was different to Ox’s but I was keen to see what range my T7 had so we agreed that we’d stick to our own plans but both stop when either of us needed it. Our first stop was Sallys Corner then I fuelled up at Yass (425kms). The next stop was Gundagai South where Ox filled up. In this early part of the ride we’d ridden though some light misty rain from time to time, enough to make the night and morning cool but not uncomfortable.

Fuel for the Vulcan at Gundagai Sth

We rode through Wagga Wagga and turned left towards Lockhart, Urana and followed the signs to Jerilderie. I really like riding out there agricultural activity abounds and roadside art installations are ever increasing. There were still a few hay bail Christmas decorations here and there too.

We had a longer stop at Jerilderie (773kms), I had a coffee and a toasted sanga while enjoying the aircon. It had started to warm up a bit. OX spent some time trying to sort out his Garmin which had black screened.

Bill and Ox at Jerilderie

This area is one of my favourites to ride during Ironbutt Rides, I led us through the familiar towns of Berrigan, Savernake, Howlong and we shadowed the Murray River into Albury. Ox put a splash of fuel in there and I let him know I’d be taking some detours in the next leg to take some pics along the way, they were going to keep to the freeway and I’d meet them in Gundagai if I didn’t catch them. I’d decided just to match his fuel plans from then. I had planned to stop once more at Yass and ride to the end but I wasn’t hanging on tightly to efficiency by then.

My first pic stop was the Ettamogah Pub, I just can’t ride past it especially when I’m on a bike that hasn’t been there!

Tenere 700 World Raid at Ettamogah Pub

Then I diverted through Holbrook to grab a shot at the HMAS Ottway, I never get sick of seeing that sub in the park.

Tenere 700 World Raid at HMAS Ottway Holbrook NSW

I caught up to Ox and Bill about 2kms south of the service centre just north of Gundagai and we pulled in together (1121kms). It was about 30 degrees so we spent a little while enjoying the aircon and I had a coke. Ox had a 5 litre jerry of fuel in one of his panniers and he decided to stop along the route to empty it into his tank before our next fuel stop at Pheasants Nest.

They left and I stopped briefly at the Dog on the Tuckerbox for a snap. It was crowded today.

Dog on the Tuckerbox Gundagai

From Gundagai up through Goulburn and the southern highlands it was cloudy and cooled down nicely. The weather forecast was spot on about that. I must have passed Ox and Bill during their jerry stop arriving first at Pheasants Nest (6.24pm 1406kms). I’d picked up the pace a bit in that leg (worst fuel economy at 19.6 km/l) and had time to order some dinner and a coffee to see me through the last leg home. I saw them pull in to the servo and we chatted for a while and transitioned our gear for the night riding that was coming.

We had a smooth run on the M7, M2 and M1 towards Newcastle and had a brief pit stop near the Hawkesbury where we said our goodbyes. I was finishing at the servo closest to my home, Ox and Bill were going a few extra K’s. Kudos to them for riding this two up. I could see that Bill was feeling uncomfortable and with my own experience of riding IBA rides two up on a cruiser I knew Ox was putting in significant effort.

I waved them goodbye just before I finished the ride at Lambton. The end docket was 9.35pm with 1637kms by the odo, 1630 by the GPS. I filled the tanks and acquired my Cherry Ripe reward for completing another Ironbutt Ride.

Ride finished and Cherry Ripe

The Tenere 700 World Raid was a much more comfortable and capable long distance machine than the standard T7 I had, in my opinion. It has a bit more wind protection, better weight distribution and a nicer feel on the road with the heavier longer travel suspension. I remember fuel anxiety and frustration at the lack of range of the 16 litre tank on the standard bike. None of that today. The dash said I’d averaged 4.9l/100km the fuel dockets revealed a sub 4.5 average with the worst being 5.05 between Gundagai and Pheasant’s Nest while I was pushing along a bit. So 450-500km range, sweet! It’s a shame it doesn’t have cruise control!

Nineteen hours to do the run wasn’t bad considering the number of stops we made and our attitude regarding efficiency. It was two hours longer than a similar length ride on my H2 SXSE last month. I already have a plan for my next ride.

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