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SuzyVStrom 08-14-2011 07:41 AM

Suzuki Gold Coast Adv Ride, VStroms drop like flies
Suzuki Gold Coast organized an adv ride for VStroms this weekend. A few of the DR and DRZ guys came along for fun, along with a couple Aprilias and a Beemer.

6:30am start from Gold Coast, picked up a couple more in Murwullimbah, 1 at Doon Doon and a few more at Kyogle.

Assembly point in Kyogle

Mal delivers the ride briefing in Kyogle

Headed over toward Toonanbar Dam veering south.
VStrom #1 hits the dust - Steve D runs wide and collects some grass on his Strom 1000.

Not too much later, Steve C (me) goes into a corner a bit hot and departs from his 650. Nice landing, all ok except another blinker snapped off. He blames the new Anakees ("I miss the nobbies," he cries.) Strom #2 down.

Two minutes down the track and Chef Gareth snags a tree root, veers into the ditch and his left leg catches and ... sort of turns backwards.

That's VStrom #3 down, and we've only just started the ride.

Chef bravely tries to stand and take a few steps. "AAArrrrrrGGGGHHHH," he says. "It's broken. I can feel it moving around when I turn." We discuss options and he decides to try and ride home (1.5 hours) so his bike won't be left in Small Town, Nowhere. I'm concerned that might be the adrenalin talking so I volunteer to ride with him for a while. The others carry on.

We stop in Casino and I check his eyes (not crazy or diluted). He's coherant, regular pulse, no nausea, and is happy to ride the rest of the way back by himself. I help him back on the bike joking, "I'll try not to kick your leg." Just then he moves it forward into my boot. "AAARrrrrGGGGHHHH!" Poor bugger. I watch him ride off up the street, gingerly trying to change gear with his heal. Even the wind pressure at 100km/hr had been hurting him.

I head south down Summerland Way to Grafton hoping to catch the others in Jackadgery.

Unbeknown to Gareth and me, the other Gareth had dropped his Aprilia just a couple minutes on from where we'd stopped. He hurt his leg but rode on to Jackadgery. By then he wasn't feeling too good and headed back home. Turns out he had a sprained ankle.

Not a lot of phone reception where I was so I ended up doing Old Grafton Road by myself, about an hour ahead of the others. I didn't know where they were.

Errr, this is a tunnel.

Just before the tunnel, Huggo decides to change lanes in the mud and his dual-sport tires chog up, turn slick and fall over. He sits down getting dirt on his nice BMW jacket. That's 5 falls today (4 Stroms and 1 Aprilia).

We all met up again at the motel in Glen Innes.

Txt message from Chef Gareth. Xray confirms a spiral break just above the ankle and bit of bone floating around. Surgery required. This was his first day out for about 6 months (since the VStrom gathering at Lions Road). Major bummer.

Meanwhile back at the motel is was the usual beers and dinner and yackity yack by the fireplace. A good night. Electric blankets and heaters - ahh, the soft life.

Morning fuel up in Glen Innes.

Headed north toward Tenterfield via gravelly roads.

Howard squeezes one out. "Replacing the ozone."

"I want one of them."

From Tenterfield over to Drake, on to Tabulam, up to Old Bonalbo then over to Richmond Range Road, up to Toonumbar Dam and over to Kyogle. Cup of coffee and everyone sort of split up to make their own way home.

Lee, Howard and I rode back toward Uki together, but Howard and I split off and went through Mebbin State Forest, last bit of dirt before home. Just as we got onto the gravel, a P plater was stuck in the middle of the road. Howard went onto the grass to get around but had a bit of trouble climbing out of the ditch when his Strom bottomed out. He gunned it and shot over the lip finally with a big roost flying out the back. Then to make a good impression (on the pretty, young P plater), he fanged it, Akrapovick roaring, and fish-tailed away in a cloud of gravel dust, Heidenaus spinning furiously. I think she was duly impressed. "Sorry," she smiled.

About 950 kms all up.

Hey Lee, if you're reading this, tx for the coffee, mate, and you should have come through Mebbin with us. It's a great little track.

Tx to Mal for organising everything and to the group leaders, sweep riders and the hot bar maid.

ockerstrom 08-14-2011 08:04 AM

Nice report Steve.

Sorry to hear of all the dramas for people though.

So does this prove the V-Stroms are an Adventure/Tourer not a Dual Sport bike :confused:

windinhair 08-14-2011 08:20 AM

The DL 650 is NOT a dirt bike unless in the hands of very experienced riders,it is heavy,how is the chef by the way,I'm glad the barmaids met all the criteria.

SuzyVStrom 08-14-2011 09:24 AM

Chef is in good spirits. He was scheduled for surgery today but too much swelling so rescheduled for tomorrow.

Meanwhile, he's full of morphine.

You know, he'd even pinched a tire off his daughter's swing for this ride! The ol' TKC looked like it had another ride left in it. And new panniers.

Back in Kyogle we'd been comparing bikes and he said, "I really must get some of those crash bars." Would have saved the tank getting scratched.

Must add here that the track was not a difficult one. Very unusual that 3 of us dropped within 5 minutes of each other. Just a series of tiny things.

And Huggo, well he tries to have a sit-down in mud each time we go out, so that's just par for the course.

Jstrom 08-14-2011 04:07 PM

Good on ya...
You Aussies have all the fun!

Reyno 08-14-2011 05:17 PM

Nice report, good to see everyone will be all right int he end. All the best Chef. You'll be back in no time.

Justdrew 08-14-2011 07:20 PM

Back up!
Sorry to hear about the need for surgery Chef, bummer. Having to or choosing to, ride home with a broken leg is a worry. This situation was the sort of thing I was referring to in my post recently about road side assistance. Having the cover of RACQ or NRMA doesn't always suit the sort of situations we find ourselves in.:thumbdown:
I used to chuckle to myself when a group of Harley riders would ride past followed by the break down ute. But maybe when organising a ride of this type a ute as a sweep might be a good idea if you have somebody willing to drive it. All the riders could put in a couple of bucks for fuel and the ute could also carry a few spares, fuel etc.
Anyway glad that the ride went well and everybody and everything is on the mend. I've enjoyed exploring that area many times on my Wee, greta roads and tracks.
I did appreciate the feedback I got recently following my buster and I'm looking forward to catching up at Bingara.
If you are in the Townsville area on tour email me and I can give you my mobile number just in case you need help.

stretch49 08-14-2011 08:05 PM

[QUOTE=windinhair;720688]The DL 650 is NOT a dirt bike unless in the hands of very experienced riders,it is heavy.

Might be the riders ability more than the bikes ability!!!!!:confused::confused::confused:

v-chops 08-14-2011 08:20 PM

Thanks for sharing the ride Suzy. Hope the Chef recovers quickly and no permanent damage done. Good to give the bikes a work-out
I thought that Howard looked like a "ladies man" at our meet and greet the other week

SuzyVStrom 08-14-2011 09:12 PM


Originally Posted by windinhair (Post 720688)
The DL 650 is NOT a dirt bike unless in the hands of very experienced riders,it is heavy.

Might be the riders ability more than the bikes ability!!!!!:confused::confused::confused:

My opinion (and I could be wrong 'coz I know bugger all about off-road in the grand picture).

If you're happy to plod along who gives a shit? The Strom will get you along many a reasonable trail at a mellow pace. But if you want to push a bit harder, the Strom is limited off-road by:

1) Rider ability - an ace rider can do miracles on even a std Strom. Even a street bike can beat a Strom depending on the rider. My son joined us on a recent outing, on his Honda Spada 250 (road bike), through some gravel and dirt. He was up with the front riders all the way. When ribbed about "need to get a bigger bike" he said, "When I find myself at the back of the pack I'll think about upgrading." Not being a smart-arse but makes the point that rider ability is probably THE single most limiting factor.

2) Tires - I found that with only dual-sport tires I have to focus intensly on road/track surface ahead. Need a lot more balance awareness, and need more skills than I currently have for when it all goes wrong crossed up into a corner sliding all over the place. And you can forget about mud and wet clay. And a 19" front wheel is not as good as 21" (size does matter).

Nobbies make a huge difference for me. Freed up all that concentration on the next 50m and delicate braking into the corners, to just having a ball, spinning it up. I still got left in the dust when out with better riders, because they were ... better riders.

Now that I could ride harder I began to notice the limits of ...

3) Suspension. Welcome to the world of rebound and damper, springs, emulator valves and all that stuff. Personally, I'm not interested in going down that path. ('coz I'm a tight-arse and don't want to spend the $$.) So, I decided to just back off and enjoy what I had, and practice my skills.

4) Weight. Get all the above right and you still have ... a heavy bike. Tuff as nails, because Suzuki didn't have to trade off strength for weight, but still heavy. Jeez, at this point, if I really want to hammer the single trail stuff that much I'll consider a DR.

In conclusion, I agree - the Strom (DL) is not a dirt bike. With nobbies (and suspension mods if you must) you can have a ball in state forest and national parks 4wd tracks. But for single track stuff you need a dirt bike.

Whatever gets you smiling, dude. Whatever gets you smiling.

You have been listening to "My 2c worth" by Steve C. We now resume normal progamming.

PS I've recently switched back to dual-sport tires for the ride down to Phillip Is MotoGP (and that's why I have a Strom and not a DR - for those long road trips). I miss the nobbies sooooo much. On this last ride I came off on one corner and had several more 'moments'. I had to back off the speed and really think about technique because those dual-sport tires are unforgiving for my low-level skills. (BTW, 'speed' is a relative term. 'Fast' for me was 'snail-pace' for the blokes on dirt bikes.)

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