It’s been on my mind for a while to get another dual purpose / adventure / dirt bike… whatever you want to call them. I have my XJR, I love it! I can’t see myself ever selling it.
Years ago, I had an XT600E Yamaha, basic and can’t break it. At this time I also was competing in Trials competitions, only at amature level on a bultaco sherco 350, and then a sherpa 290. Absolute fun and I insist, just like we all say “every car driver should learn on a bike first”, every road going biker needs to have a go, you won’t regret it. Trials riding took my road riding to another level.
Moving to Australia, it didn’t take long to realise the roads are crap. And when you are out, the asphalt will just stop and the road will turn to dirt, gravel, sand, mud… whatever is to hand at the time I suppose.
I found myself looking at the maps, trying to work out if roads are rideable, or riding along, and chatting to everyone on the Sena and we would discuss what might be down that track? What beautiful delights are we riding past? Australia is a beautiful country, and another view of paradise is just waiting around the next bend… if you can get to it.
The search for a new bike
I have been itching for a bike that I can get off road for a year now, I road tested the Triumph Tiger XCA 800 for 1000kms, what a fantastic bike, but even with a staff discount $19,000 is just too much. I work in the bike industry, I’m rich in life, and sadly, poor in pocket. The XCA sadly, was not an option.
More time passed, and I figured, I’ll just get another old XT. but… finding one over here that hasn’t been totally abused on a farm is rather difficult.
Then it dawned on me, a Suzuki DR650. Ok, so its not Yamaha, and I am quite biased, but, cheap as chips, so well made they haven’t changed the design in 48 years. Bugger it, I’ll finance one. $40 a week. I can suffer that!
I had to get it before the end of the year to get a free goodie bag of bash plate, bark busters and a rear rack. Not a problem, and I signed away, just in time for the missus to want to take a road trip. In the car … Bugger.
We got back on new years day. And I collected the bike the day after. I’ts been a while since I sat in this position, and it felt great! I only rode home with the plan to go out with a few pals just so i can start running it in.
The day came, forecast to be in the low 30’s so an early start, rather than riding in the heat of the day. Alarm set for 05.30 and out the house at 06.15.
So, there is me, on the DR. itching to get it on a dirt road. Vince on a VFR1200X, more than happy to go on said dirt roads. Felicity on her trusty steed … a XVS650 … a cruiser. Well, that buggered that idea then.
Then 2 more join, Kim on a CBR and John on a SV650. There is no dirt roads for me today, or so I thought (said with a big grin that is still not going away, well in to the evening).
We went out, lots of country road stuff, west of Melbourne, renowned for being mind numbingly boring of straight, long straight roads. Not a problem, I’m running in, I need to clock up the K’s.
But, it turned out that the 3 road bikes had to branch off and do stuff, leaving Vince and myself to head home, back along the straight roads. But with mountains to the left and right of us, we started to look for options. Well, bugger me, if I haven’t just had one of the best rides ever, only for around 40k’s, but what a 40K’s, it made the whole day. And was the perfect start to dirt road discovery.
Yes, I’ll still be out on the XJR, all of the time, but, I can see this being a hard choice to make every time I walk into the garage. I’ve got six years of looking at so many roads that I can finally get to ride down.
I got home thinking, Blog time for RISER and turned on the PC to receive an email saying I had a delivery. Well, whilst on the drive with the missus, I popped in to a tent shop, looking for a light option to throw over the DR for overnight rides. And bought one online.
Bloody hell, that was fast! Afternoon plan, pop to the park to set up new tent and make sure all is good. But getting to the parcel locker, I found a large envelope. From Austria – RISER …
How exciting, with a bag of goodies, a new bike and tent when it arrives, 2019 is off to a jolly good start!
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