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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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.
 

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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:
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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.
 

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

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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.
 

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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
Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
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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what hot barmaid ????





The only person I seen working the bar on Saturday night needed a shave.
Unless you blokes went somewhere else after we parted on Sunday.


Excellent ride, a little faster average then my comfort zone and I found myself concentrating solely on the 50 metres on the gravel in front of me and not having a look around as I like to do. I am keen do do some of these roads again soon, but on my own and at my pace. I have been known to piss-off grannies in Winnabagos when I decide to go slow.

After the main team shot through, Dominator rider (Warwick?) and I had lunch at the Drake pub, $4.00 for a BLT :thumbup:. we went home via Paddys Flat and through Beaudesert. There was a fatal accident (bike) outside of Beauy and the highway was closed, so we detoured around Sandy Creek.

A great weekend, feeling very old and tired today. You know you've had a big time when you don't feel like taking the bike to work on Monday and opt for the car.

Thanks to Gold Coast Suzuki for putting on the ride, Mal really goes the extra mile for the local riding community and all he asks in return is that we shop locally. Fair enough. We need to get behind local bike shops like his or in a short time there just won't be one down the road anymore.

Pete.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I meant that reception lady who helped serve dinners .... The one that interrupted Howard's chain of thought every time she went past.

Warning: thread hijack ahead

Lust-Induced Brain Freeze

Bomb-Disposal Expert: (calmly but urgently) Okay, we have fifteen seconds to bypass the timer circuit. On the count of three, I'm going to switch to auxiliary power, and I want you to short out these contacts, got it?
Second Expert: Got it.
First Expert: Okay, one, two... (an attractive woman walks by)
First Expert: Whoa.
Second Expert: Yes.
First Expert: Mmm-MMM.
Second Expert: YES.
First Expert: Whoa momma.
Second Expert: YESSSS.
Bomb: Boom.
— Dave Barry's Guide to Guys
 

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Lordy lordy Hi all, when we last spoke to Steve & Pete before the start I was so sad we werent going :cry:: Reading this lot Im sure the Widow would have spat us off for sure when it saw its Brothers behaving like rodeo bulls!!!!
Gees Chef and all the other wounded, my thoughts are with you, took me ages to get over my shoulder injury after our oopsy.
We wish you a speedy recovery see yas soon.
Gary & Hiew
 

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What a read

I am enjoying the read, thanks for posting and starting it off Steve. I was missing not going when out for dinner on Sat night with my mate Rob (still no Ducati delivery - not happy), but now... I am with Garry and Hiew, maybe it was a blessing - although it still sounded like fun. Sorry to hear you are injured Gareth, when you get well enough we should come down for a brekkie with you.

Well done fellas
Trevor
 

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G'day Gary, how was Byron?

Before we get carried away with this being the ride from hell I think I should explain a couple of things.

We had about twenty riders and from the start there was the choice to join either group A, or group B.
Group A occasionally departed the more formed gravel roads to do the technical 4x4 trail sort of stuff, this group included most of the DR's and Steve and Gareth on their Stroms, and the guys on the Aprillas. It was in these sections that most of the unfortunate things happened. And it must be said, they were all just that, unfortunate incidents. Where Gareth broke his leg, he was negotiating around a tree root on the trail at slow speed, just bad luck. Steve's off was a basic fall-over, again at low speed, due more to road tyres more than anything else. Both were well within their skill level at the time.
Group B were doing the kind of roads we Strommers are all used to, well formed gravel and back-road tar.
I went with this group, as did Howard and Graham, and at no time was I out of my depth, except as I mentioned earlier I generally like to ride a little slower, I like to smell the roses.
Had you been with us Trevor and Gary, you would not have had a problem, but you would have come home dirty, dog-tired and satisfied, like the rest of us. Except for Gareth, who is understandably pissed off right now.

all in all, a good weekend, I'd have no hesitation to do it again,

Peter.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well explained, Pete. Amen to all that.

I had a ton of fun.

In a cotton wool world, I love these weekends out. Good for the soul. Gary & Hiew, and Trev would have had a great time.

I'm thinking of slowing down and maybe smelling a few roses, too ... in a tuff manly way of course.

*makes Tim-the-Toolman ape noises*

Anyone else got some photos to post?

PS Still waiting for those bloody boots to arrive.
 

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Thanks for good post and pics. Heal well Gareth.
AS FOR DL650 OFF ROAD? Don't know to properly direct you but: Go to main Stromtrooper (international) page. Look up:... 650 Specific and scroll down 3rd last post; "DL650 OFF ROAD CAPABLE"
As i have always maintained the 650 is not an endureo but it is underated. I've seen U-TUBE posts showing much more of this. One post cuppla years ago showed 3 or 4 DL650s completing the Canning Stock Route and others. Not bad work I say. Wish I could do it. Don't want to scratch the paint is my excuse..Aaahem!!

WARDY
 

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So does this prove the V-Stroms are an Adventure/Tourer not a Dual Sport bike :confused:
Ugh. More "...DL not really a dual-sport bike" nonsense.

When a very young me crashed my KZ400, does that make it not a street bike?
When I buried that poor old Yammer MX360 into the sand about a hundred times, did that make it not a dirt bike?
I could go on and on about all the times my many motorcycles have ended up otherwise tipsy. And feel free to doubt my riding skill.

THE TRUTH IS, some people are willing to ride their bikes to the limits of either their own skill or the hardwares capability.
Other people prefer to ride within those limits and not risk injury or damage.

I dress my four-year-old son in $500 worth of pro MX gear, prop him up on a tired old JR50 and off he goes. Crash? Of course he does. After an hour or so, he falls off the bike one last time laughing and says "Oh, I'm too tired to go on! Can we do this again tomorrow?" :hurray:

His much older brother is military. Been to war four times. He has so many medals and ribbons, it aint even funny. He drives a Corvette and takes corners at 150 mph.

My best advice I ever gave him was "The life you live now, will be the stories you tell your grandchildren." :yesnod:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ockerstrom might just be stirring.

I agree the VStrom is underrated. Thanks for the pointer, saturn 5. Did you see my thread HERE about what it can do in the right hands (Scott Daly riding it round the APC Rally)?.

Pretty good section in Two Wheels (2011 #7) about Adv Touring / Dual-sports, comparing strong/poor points of various bikes. Encouraging people to just get out there, don't be too hung up on the bike.

Jeez, MoDaddy. Lucky kid starting at 4. Sounds like you have a lot of fun together.

Tx for reading the RR and posting comments. Been a bit quiet in here lately.

Cheers,
 
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