Blog: July 27. The changeover.

Hey everyone!

It’s Sunday night and I’ve had a very busy week with no time for riding.

I have to return the Triumph XCx to Triumph, so I had to strip all the accessories off it. The only day I could find to do that was Friday, and it was raining. The shed is full of bikes, so I started just coping with working in the drizzle, but then I remembered I had a Quickshade – an Oztrail one – so I threw that up to at least keep the rain off the job.


It makes me sad to return the bike. I get attached to bikes that prove themselves and do tough rides without quitting. This one coped well with some abuse in the time I had it, so I was quite prepared to buy it from Triumph. Unfortunately, circumstances didn’t work out for that to happen, so it’s with no small sadness I return it.

Removing the accessories turned out to be a fairly time-consuming task. I had to replace the parts I removed, of course – after I found the original parts – and I’d bought a few things myself. Because the bike had been around a few different suppliers during its build I had to puzzle through a few different bits and pieces. The guys at Safari Tanks fitted the tank, for instance, and they shipped the original tank and plastics back to Triumph. Although I had to remove the tank to remove my GPS mount and wiring, I had to replace the tank again after. The guys at Motorrad Garage in Perth fitted the SW Motech crash bars, and they sent the Triumph crash bars and the original engine mounts back to Triumph as well. I had to mess about poaching parts from the other Tiger to make sure this bike was still ridable (I’m riding it to Sydney to Teknik this week, and Triumph is picking it up from there…I think).

Replacing the front guard took ages because one mount for the Touratech guard rider had stripped a captive nut. I’d paid for the new guard myself, so I especially wanted to be sure it was fitted correctly and looking good when Triumph saw it.


The BarkBusters, footpegs, frame guards and a few other bits and pieces had to come off and be replaced. Finally I removed the Rad Guard radiator guard, only to find the original Triumph radiator guard didn’t fit because we’d retrofitted 2014 model plastics to fit the 2014-model Safari tank. I had to put it and the plastics back on.


So there was a fair bit of messing around, not to mention trying to keep up with my desk while I was dashing back and forth. The job ran over into Saturday, which was where Marty found me when he bought in the cover and some art for the next disc. It looks horn. Really nice. I reckon it’ll be the best-looking cover so far.

Meanwhile, there’s been a bit going on for a few people.

Meg sent an e-mail to say she’d done three weeks riding in Thailand and Laos and had a ball. It’s great to read about people doing great things like that.

Craig Murcott was scheduled to leave this morning with Dan Vaughan’s posse for a double Simpson crossing. He was a little unsure if he’d definitely get to go or not, but I’m betting he made to the start. I haven’t heard anything, so I have my fingers crossed for him.

Finally, Dave Ramsay’s ‘Horse’s Birthday Ride’ is going well…I think. He sounds very caught up in his theme. Here’s what Dave wrote:

G’day Tom,

Barriers are full. 18 jockeys of mixed persuasion on as equally diverse steeds ranging from 250cc ponies to fat, sleek 800s with a few bush nags thrown into the field to keep the bastards honest.  Looks like being a slow track unless we get a remarkably fine warm week. Big snowfalls over much of the course last weekend followed by some heavy rain on Friday night has brought the creeks up and made the mud slipperier. Not sure what we’ll get next week?   

Giddy up!

Upper Mole River Road had its moments on Saturday. Forestland has some very interesting spots.

Cheers Dave

Barriers? Jockeys? Giddy up?

Crikey. It sounds as though it might be a challenge in places, but I bet it’s a great ride.

Speaking of great rides, Darren Newberry is also sorted for his run up to Inverell and Vince Strang’s ride on September 19 and 20. Here’s what Darren had to say:

This is what I’ve got planned at the moment. I’m leaving Taylor’s Arm Pub at 8:00am on Friday, September 18, and heading up through the bush to Kosekai Road. Up Jacob’s Ladder, onto the Horseshoe and down to Waterfall Way via a stop at Killiekrankie lookout.
From Waterfall Way I’m going to follow Marty’s route from Disc 1 to Deepwater – lunch and fuel there.
From Deepwater I’m following Wellington Vale Road to Emmaville, then Strathbogie Road to Inverell/Deepwater Road. Through Hurricane Hill, Kings Plain Creek. Frazer Creek. Nullamanna to Inverell (enter north side) ride down Byron Street past Vince’s shop and into the CBD.
I have booked accommodation at the Inverell Motel- which has off-street parking in a very safe courtyard (bikes are tucked up in a corner, right outside the room). Room is booked from Friday night to Monday morning, two single beds and one double.
Monday morning I’m heading down to Barraba with Marty’s Disc 2 loaded into my route sheet holder and spending a few days making my way back to the welcoming embrace of Taylors Arm.
If you’d like to ride part, some, or all the way, give me a ring on 0402 748 070 or email

That’s clear enough. Generous, too. I hope his CPR sorted out for when he hikes up to Killikrankie. It’s a great walk and well worth it when you get up there, but it’s a thrombo weighting to happen for fat journalist types.

So there’s a couple of great opportunities for anyone who can line things up.

Until next week.



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