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Good question Eddie, the bags were a bit full & hard to close, and as they only clamp at the top/hinge at the bottom, I figured that a bit of extra help was a good idea, especially on some of the rough roads.
When you have a chance - would you please take a pic of one to give me an idea of what all you did?

(y)(y)

:unsure:
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
When you have a chance - would you please take a pic of one to give me an idea of what all you did?

(y)(y)

:unsure:
Here's a couple - sorry about the delay in getting back

Nothing special, just a strap with a silicone pad on the back of the cam buckle. The awkward for packing shape of the box helps locate the strap securely.


 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
The ride continued in the warm sunshine, under the deep blue winter sky, over the rolling hills, through the rich farmland along the mighty New England Highway. Through the blink and you miss it town of Willow Tree, down the range to Murrurundi and through the valley formed by the ancient & weathered mountains to Blandford, Wingen, Parkville, Scone, Aberdeen, Muswellbrook...

Farmland started to give way to mining - there's a lot of coal in the valley, and eventually a couple of power stations & a port.


Just over Bowmans Creek was a nice place to stop and check out what's happening.


big busy road


a bit of mining (Ashton Coal Mine)


coal mines & power stations

And then onto Singleton where the forecast wild weather could be seen in the distance & felt in the hands.


riding out of Singleton

Yes, the keen-eyed amongst you will have noticed that the New England Highway is no longer the A3, but rather the A15. It's been the A15 since the middle of the first afternoon, but I didn't want to scare you off.

And now a mad rush to the end of the New England Highway in Newcastle - the busy highway becomes a very busy freeway and then into the built-up area with slower, thicker traffic and a flashing fuel light. First stop, not fuel, but the sunset from the lookout. Priorities! And I'm slowly learning to realize that the fuel gauge is very keen to flash & show empty.


sunset @ 4:50pm


the ocean, also @ 4:50pm

Now back into the Saturday evening traffic & narrow, hilly city streets and off to see my sister & family for the night.
 

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You can pop in on my daughter in Newcastle? Haha. Mayfield
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
And on the fourth day, I set the GPS for Gloucester - Gloucester NSW.

But first, fuel. The gauge had been flashing for a while and I tried not to be anxious but trust the odometer instead. Eventually, I stumbled upon a servo on my side of the road. Bugga, E10. Or very expensive 98 (RON). I bought the E10 and spent the savings on a chocolate milk. Today needed chocolate milk. You know how some days just need something to settle the stomach, today was one of them.


wow, that much


wow, that little, and wow, that late

And now some more Sunday morning Newcastle traffic - narrow roads zigzagging in only the vaguest sense of northish. Newcastle has nightmare roads, but it has great beaches! And it was great to visit my sister & family. Eventually, the TomTom leads me out of the maze and towards lunch with an elderly Aunt & Uncle (my fathers older brother - a funny bloke, he decided that he needed to get healthy, so he gave up alcohol, rich foods etc & started exercising. When he was 80. He's now 86 and will probably live for another 86 years). Anyway, lunch & a long chat awaits. Plus the Bucketts Way. An awesome road up into the mountains.

But first, some highway.

Pro Tip: have a good idea of the route, don't just blindly follow the navigation system. There are 2 ways to Gloucester - go north-west or go north up the highway & then west. After 10 minutes of highway, I started to wonder... and then the wonder grew to angry confusion... Was north on the highway faster? Is that what TomTom chose? Better stop. And fumble with gloves, glasses, helmet, phone...


ok

All good, there was a turn off coming soon. Nothing to actually worry about. But I still managed to! Off I go again. But why is everything a bit fuzzy. Definitely fuzzy & out of focus. Definitely forgot to put my (prescription) sunglasses back on. Oh, expletive! I sat them at the back of the seat against the top case. Ok, find a safe place to stop. Wow, my luck is all used up - my glasses didn't fall off and get crushed under a huge truck. Must learn to relax!

I wanted to stop for some photos. But stopping is tricky - the hilly road into the mountains was very narrow, & rough, the edges were covered in gravel, the few side roads & driveways were also steep & covered in gravel. I did stop a few times, but as I can barely get my toes to the ground I wasn't able to comfortably (or, I thought safely) get the side stand down. So, I just road on. Farmland, bush, forests. Hills, curves. Potholes, more potholes, and many of them had even been filled, overfilled or underfilled. Plus, something you don't see often - huge channels dug into the bitumen on corners, where the big trucks would push a mound of bitumen, 100mm high, to the outside. And too much compression damping. Seriously enjoyable ride, and rewarding in a "wow, I made it without drama" way.


views are another distraction

Then, a very enjoyable time at lunch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
It's about 145km to Walcha on Thunderbolt's Way; TomTom & google think it will take about 1:45. I'll be there around sunset at best, but probably after. Not something I would normally do on roads like this, in weather like this, but you do what you do - I had a room booked.

The clouds are heavy, the rain is threatening, the sun is sinking slowly to the northwest, the road is great (smooth, flowing, great visibility, wide), the road is not great (narrow, collections of mostly filled potholes, blind turns), a Dodge Ram (rare over here) taking liberties with the centreline (not rare), across creeks, through farmland, past thick forest...

There was almost nowhere to stop and admire the view, but only almost...

4:06pm


from that way


going that way

40 minutes later


from that way


rolling through the rolling hills

And into Walcha.



Glad for a motel room tonight.

And a nice walk to the pub for a feed, not that I need much after that huge late lunch.


uptown Walcha on a Sunday night


the Commercial Hotel


yumm!

The Commercial is a great place - very friendly owners & chef, plus great food and atmosphere. And it was warm with a couple of fires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
And the map for day 4



I'll get fuel in the morning - I'm curious to see the fuel economy with the E10.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
These old towns are full of hopes and dreams, but many have faded over the years. Walcha is still a successful farming region, but it was somewhere back in the days when labour was cheap & transport was expensive. Now... there's just a few of the old local businesses and a new round of hope in us tourists.

It's time for a morning walk and a bit of a look around.


The old Royal Hotel is now a cafe catering to the many, many riders who come this way


back when I...


Autumn comes to us all



And now for brunch and a leisurely look at the world of Walcha passing me by




fuel


distance
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Having visited my sister and uncle & aunt, it's now an easy, but spectacular ride to see my father in Coffs Harbour - on the coast, so I have to, I really do have to, ride back down the range.

From Walcha back to Uralla is through more rolling hills and autumn colours on Thunderbolts Way - Captain Thunderbolt was a bushranger in the mid/late 1800's and has somehow become immortalised (you can read a bit more about him here DigiTales | Entertaining yarns | Harbour Trust Volunteers - then a short ride north on the New England Highway (not the A3, but the A15 - sorry) to Armidale, then north-east and down the range on the Waterfall Way.


leaving Armidale

The cool dry New England Tablelands changes to green sub-tropical high-lands as I get closer to the coast.


from that way through the rolling green hills


more rolling green hills towards the edge of the range


the coast is down there

And then the green rolling hills and the tablelands end with a big drop to the coast. And I have to ride it. Behind caravans and cattle trucks, fortunately, there is a spot to stop.

This is why the road is known as the Waterfall Way.


one of many, many waterfalls

More rolling hills, corners, smooth bitumen, green forests & farms and finally to the beach for a quick photo then a beer with Dad.


gentle waves in the harbour
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Day 7 - time to go home (there was no day 6 - it was a rest day hanging out with Dad).
Priorities - the lookout first and then fuel.


the hill, the harbour, the rock-wall, the ocean & in the distance, South Solitary Island


the harbour and jetty


looking South over the surf beach

Gotta love a peaceful lookout and a view to the horizon. I could sit for hours, but it's time to get home as tomorrow is an airport run to pick up the beloved.


fuel


distance

And now I'm really off. Off into the hills. Rolling green hills through forests and farms, over hills and creeks, past little villages and through a few small towns... I've ridden this road many times so only a couple of photos.


forestry was big business around here back in the day


one of the few straights


foreground : kids playground - background : motorcyclists playground

And on the day rolled...

The road over the range changes from wide & smooth on the way up, to a steep narrow goat track on the way down. I've ridden this many times on the KLR, but this is the first time on the V. I prefer the KLR. The suspension is so much more predictable & progressive, the throttle response is so smooth, and the brake dive is so minimal. But the V certainly has it for power & smoothness.

I stopped for fuel as I wasn't sure that the 400km to home was doable at speed & with a load.


fuel


distance

Hmmm.... 4 litres for 80+ km. I was due a break anyway.

And too soon I was home.


total distance for the trip


average fuel consumption, but the standard deviation will be quite large

And here's the map

 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Because I went to the trouble of working it out, I'd better share it with you. And yes, it's metric.

Fuel: cost & consumption

$19.15 13.7 litres 282.3 km = 4.85 litres/100km 20.6 km/l
$22.85 16.1 l 343.9 km = 4.68 l/100km 21.4 km/l
$23.91 16.2 l 292.9 km = 5.52 l/100km 18.1 km/l
$16.92 11.60 l 253.6 km = 4.57 l/100km 21.8 km/l
$16.20 11.08 l 250.3 km = 4.38 l/100km 22.5 km/l
$22.01 15.73 l 319.7 km = 4.92 l/100km 20.3 km/l

$121.04 84.4 litres 1742.7 km = 4.8 l/100km 20.65 km/l (mean) with a standard deviation of 1.3.
 

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Because I went to the trouble of working it out, I'd better share it with you. And yes, it's metric.

Fuel: cost & consumption

$19.15 13.7 litres 282.3 km = 4.85 litres/100km 20.6 km/l
$22.85 16.1 l 343.9 km = 4.68 l/100km 21.4 km/l
$23.91 16.2 l 292.9 km = 5.52 l/100km 18.1 km/l
$16.92 11.60 l 253.6 km = 4.57 l/100km 21.8 km/l
$16.20 11.08 l 250.3 km = 4.38 l/100km 22.5 km/l
$22.01 15.73 l 319.7 km = 4.92 l/100km 20.3 km/l

$121.04 84.4 litres 1742.7 km = 4.8 l/100km 20.65 km/l (mean) with a standard deviation of 1.3.
Great write up, thanks for sharing. Assuming $ is really US$ and converting 16.2L to gallons (4.28 gallons) that works out to $23.91/4.28gal = $5.59/gallon of (I assume) regular grade fuel. I thought fuel was expensive here!
 
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