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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My Victorian trip Feb / March 2015 on my 2012 Kawasaki Versys 650L

I'll break this up into sections to make it easier to follow.

Friends of mine moved to Melbourne late 2014.They had asked me to visit for the Super Bikes in February 2015 and seeing as this was the weekend before the biggest airshow in the Southern Hemisphere I figured I'd combine a few things. I'd also previously failed an attempt at the Aussie Hard Arse Challenge so I thought it was as good a time as any to complete it. I also wanted to ride the Great Ocean Road and the Grampians and see some of country Victoria and the Victorian and NSW High country.

The Aussie Hard Arse Challenge is 1600 km in 48 hours and seeing as the direct route to Melbourne is only around 1400 km I had to add a couple hundred km. I decided to go through my old home town of Narrabri and stay the night somewhere around Parkes NSW 948 km according to Google Maps. As February is still summer here I had plenty of daylight hours so I decided as long as everything went well I'd do the bigger day on day 1.

Day 1 18/02/2015

Aussie Hard Arse Challenge.


Left home at 06:30 (You need a receipt and your odo for the purposes of claiming Hard Arse Challenge)

Up to Grafton then head west to the lovely Gibraltar Ranges where it started to get cool and a bit misty so I pulled up and put my wet weather gear on. On to Glen Innes for fuel for the bike and a hot chocie and breakfast for me.

Of course as soon as I left Glen Innes it became sunny and so I took off the wets. Short stop in the shade at Warialda

Then on to Moree with lunch and fuel at Narrabri.

A quick run down to Coonabarbran and Dubbo for the next fuel and cold water stop at 17:20 786 km so far according to my odo (825 according to Google Maps) It had been a good run so far and despite the heat I was feeling ok. I had booked a motel at Parkes and with it only being another 120 km and sunset being around 20:00 I did think about cancelling and going on to Forbes or West Wyalong (257 km). Glad I didn't when I got to Parkes and pulled up across the road from the motel (exactlly 900 km on the trip meter) I suddenly felt very tired (Approx 19:30 thirteen hours after I left home). So I checked in, lubed the chain, had a shower and some dinner and had a good sleep.

Day 2 19/02/2015


On the bike around 07:15 the next morning and off to Melbourne with 700 km to go (with the odo being so far out probably did about 740). Pulled up for fuel at West Wyalong and a break in the shade at Narrandera

Onto Finley for lunch and then to the border crossing at Tocumwal for the obligatory photo

While having a break I decided I wouldn't do enough km on my odo to complete the challenge so I headed west for a while and used the GPS in my phone (bluetoothed to my helmet) to guide me, which makes the map above not quite accurate but that was my planned route and I'm not quite sure where I went so tough lol.

I arrived at Glenroy around 16:30 and rode around to make up the required distance and then fuelled up to make the distance official. 1601 km (odo) real distance closer to 1700 km.

Found Kev and Leanne's house and settled in with a couple of cold ones with 6 bikes squeezed in the single car garage.


2,040 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Day 3 20/02/2015

I didn't feel like riding to the Phillip Island Circuit today to watch practice seeing as we were going the next 2 days so Leanne and I took the train and did the tourist thing in Melbourne.

Day 4 21/02/2015 300 km


4 of us set off for the 150 km / 2 hour trip to the Phillip Island Circuit for the Saturday practice.

Kawasaki H2R


Had a good day but on the way home it was bloody hot (36°C) and we had to stop for cold water.

Day 5 22/02/2015

We drove down to the island for race day.

Main Straight

Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes Kawasaki Pits

Bikes? What bikes?

Some of the action

And a rare selfie

Day 7 24/02/2015

Leanne and I visited the city again a spaceship crashed into a beauty salon so I took a photo


2,040 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Day 8 25/02/2015 Great Ocean Road (GOR) 370 km approx Glenroy to Warnambool


Left Glenroy around 07:00 fuelled up and got on the freeway for the trip to Geelong, very different riding to what I'm used to but had no problems. Saw the signs for the Airshow as I approched Geelong, continued onto Lorne where I stopped for morning tea.

Then on to Apollo Bay for lunch. The Twelve Apostles are just one of the many features of the GOR

Beautiful coastline I had never seen before, at least not in person anyway. I could have gone on a helicopter flight across the coastline but $145 for 20 minutes cramed in with 5 others well I just couldn't justify that. Got to the pub I'd booked the day before and settled in. Went for a walk to the supermarket and bought some things for dinner and breakfast and after dinner off to bed.

Day 9 26/02/2015 460 km Warnambool, Grampians, Horsham back to Warnambool


Beautiful high country, nice windy road I enjoyed the chance to lean the bike over especially without the panniers. Had a lovely lunch at the Horsham RSL, very cheap and delicious. Wandered around Horsham for a while (the birthplace of the Horsham Hurricane) then jumped back on the bike to head back to Warnambool for the night. On the way I pulled up outside the Bunyip Hotel at Cavendish for a photo just because I like country pubs.

Day 10 27/02/2015 GOR Warnambool back to Glenroy 370 km

Pulled up for a lot more photos on the way back

Princetown for lunch

Got back to Apollo Bay with the fuel warning flashing for around 40 km and proceded to put 18.67 Litres in the 19 Litre tank

Of course I had to take this photo

Back to my friends place at Glenroy and relaxed.

2,040 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Day 11 01/03/2015 Avalon Airshow

Day 12 02/03/2015 Glenroy to Cooma 626 km through the Victorian and NSW high country


Left Kev and Leanne's and headed up the highway before pulling up at Glenrowan for a photo with Ned Kelly

Turning off the highway and heading east before pulling up in the peaceful town of Myrtleford for lunch. When I came out of the shop I saw this Indian

I thought this was interesting Old Tallangatta

Koetong pub

Back to my Home State

Snowy Mountains Hydro Scheme power station, one of the biggest enginerring projects ever undertaken in Australia

A lookout in the Snowy Mountains

Had a bit of fun in the tight stuff I caught up with a modern Mercedes and despite him squealing the massive rear tyres coming out of corners I had no trouble keeping up with him.

Thedbo Village during the winter it is all covered in snow.

Coming into Jindabyne the lake is artificial and actually drowned the old township which had to moved to it's current location.

And on to Cooma for the night.

Day 13 03/03/2015 Cooma to Coolah 617 km


Not many photo's and not much to report I did the 1600 km to Melbourne in 2 days on the way down but wanted to restrict it to around 600 km days on the way home (3 days) to see a bit more of the country side. An uneventful day on the way I went through our nations Capital with a lunch stop in Wellington where it was pretty warm so I found a nice shady spot to relax for about an hour before heading to my overnight stop in Coolah.

Lunch stop

Stopped at the Black Stump Motel in Coolah (I think it's the only motel in Coolah) and I must admit it was nice to lay back with the air con going outside was around 34 or so. Had a small dinner and shower watched a bit of tv then off to bed.

Day 14 04/03/2015 Coolah to Coffs Harbour 474 km


I had a nice breakfast at the Motel and headed off towards home. Again only the one photo today as I just wanted to get home it was going to be hot. Had a small lunch at Tamworth and a rest in the shade only 1 incident between Armidale and Ebor I was approaching a curve to the right doing around the speed limit of 100 kmh a semi trailer was coming towards me. As I saw the approaching truck I just had a feeling something wasn't right. I must have seen something briefly to alert me but with the approaching truck blocking my view I could not see anything but I just knew something was wrong. I backed off the throttle and also started to apply the brakes and as I cleared the semi I could see a car accross the double unbroken lines doing a 3 point turn. As I was already slowing down I just squeezed a bit harder and slowed enough to give him space to complete his totally illeagal and stupid turn, I also hit the air horn for good measue and he just gave me a sheepish wave. Jesus! If I hadn't slowed down as soon as I did I doubt I would have avoided him.

Anyway getting nearer to home and onto familiar and windy roads was nice along with the green hills

When I got to the bottom of the Waterfall Way at Thora the humidity hit like a warm wet blanket thrown over me. For the last 14 days I had been in a much drier climate and it was a bit of a shock. Oh well 40 minutes later I was home and my 5,000 km 2 week trip was at an end. The bike (as always) ran perfectly with only 1 chain adjustment needed and of course lubed every evening. This was my last trip on the Versys as I have sold it with 45,000 km on the clock it has been an excellent bike, reliable, brilliant handling, fuel efficient with good performance just an outstanding motorcycle. It has done everything I have asked of it and more. Nice one Mr Kawasaki.
Hope you enjoyed.

3,419 Posts
Great photos and interesting writeup. I'm envious - again. Makes me want to visit Oz more than ever. One question and one observation come to mind. Was Ned Kelly's rifle a revolving cylinder weapon? Looks like in your photo. My observation is that the bike you found at Myrtlewood is an Indian rather than a Victory - unless I misread your words. No matter, you enjoyed a great trip from the look of it.

2,040 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Great photos and interesting writeup. I'm envious - again. Makes me want to visit Oz more than ever. One question and one observation come to mind. Was Ned Kelly's rifle a revolving cylinder weapon? Looks like in your photo. My observation is that the bike you found at Myrtlewood is an Indian rather than a Victory - unless I misread your words. No matter, you enjoyed a great trip from the look of it.
Thanks, your right about the Indian and I'm sure the "rifle" is meant to be a pistol they just oversized it

Premium Member
16,218 Posts
Very Nice...:thumb::thumb:
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