Blog: August 3. Forgot to go riding. D’oh.

It’s a glorious Sunday arvo and I hope everyone’s out enjoying it. Only a fool would miss a day like this in the middle of Winter.

Which doesn’t say a lot for me. I started working on a bike and now the day’s pretty much gone. I got a little caught up and forgot to keep an eye on the time.

Bugger.

Still, it’s not as though I haven’t been on a bike this week.

I kicked off with a run down the Pacific Highway on Wednesday. I had to deliver work’s Triumph XCx to Nick Dole so he could get some data together for future Triumph customers. I dropped the bike to Nick – and was totally shunned by Ernie, the shop dog, who I thought was a mate – then spent Thursday and Friday looking in on some industry people, some of whom have been friends for a long time.

I started off at Yamaha Motor Australia on Thursday morning, and it’s always a pleasure to rock in there. There are always people running around who it’s great to see. On this occasion I went to see marketing man Sean Goldhawk, but on the way to the meeting room I bumped into Peter Payne and then Lance Turnely (who had a very long association with TrailZone magazine, but has just started with Yamaha).

From Yamaha I scooted over to Adventure Moto’s new store and showroom. It’s pretty impressive. Just as I walked in Steve Smith, Adventure Moto owner, was having a very stern word to someone I couldn’t see. I was pointing the finger and really laying it on some poor sod, saying, “…and don’t talk to me in that condescending tone of voice, either.” Before I could think, ‘Crikey. I picked the wrong time.’ The offending employee replied with a fairly colourful description of what he thought of Steve trying to use words like ‘condescending’, and who should appear as the man in question but Scrapheap driver Perry Gilsenan!

After everyone finished laughing at each other and carrying on like pork chops, you can imagine what a pleasant morning I had.

From Adventure Moto it was a quick sprint over to see Gina and Milo at Kawasaki – it’s always a pleasant visit there, too. I bumped into ex-Aussie Superbike Champion Murray Sayle on the way in, and as usual, I’m pretty sure he had no idea who I was. I’ve been saying hello and shaking hands with Murray for over 20 years, and he still has the unsure look of trying to think who I am. He’s probably thinking, “There’s that weird guy AGAIN. Who is he?”

Gina Costello did say there’s big news coming for KLR650 fans, but she, quite correctly, would say nothing more.

Dammit!

I’ll be told more in November, she assured me, at the same time everyone is told more.

Hmm…I’ll be interested to see what’s coming. I’m a big fan of the KLR.

Friday morning I headed down to Barkbusters at Unanderra, near Woolongong, where Matt Philpott was the same quietly enthusiastic and pleasant bloke he’s always been. That’s the first time I’ve visited Barkbusters, and it’s a hell of a setup. I knew he exported Barkbusters, but I had no idea the bulk of his business is export, and he has sizable contracts supplying OEM equipment to the big manufacturers. His production setup is streamlined and impressive, to say the least, and he’s designed a lot of the machinery and robotics himself, so that’s pretty wild.

The final stop on the trip was to Aprilia, where I picked up an Aprilia Caponord for work.

It’s a stylish head-turner of a bike.

ApriliaCaponordRally_003It has all the electronics to compete in its $24,000 price bracket, and the 1200cc V-twin certainly brings a twinkle to this rider’s eye. I can’t wait to have someone explain the ECU menu to me (again), so I can set the mapping to ‘Sport’ instead of ‘Touring’. I’m itching to see how the thing performs when it’s cut loose…in a responsible way, of course.

ApriliaCaponordRally_074I haven’t ridden it off-road yet, so I’m looking forward to a lap somewhere this week sometime.

In other news, Marty HC has been in with some pages and sections from Disc Three, and he’s really set the standard high with this one. It looks great! The only average pics on there are mine. His photography looks pin sharp and the exposures are spot on. And the only rider in the pics who looks like a squid is me. Everyone else looks the business.

It’s really going top be a great installment in the series, and Marty’s done a brilliant job. i guess I’ll have to lift my game if I want to be involved in future.

Elsewhere, Dave Ramsay’s crew should be heading for home as I write this. Dave and Karen are brilliant with a ride report, so there’s a good chance we’ll get the inside story during the week.

If I do, I’ll post it as fast as I can. Dave’s rides are always a scream.

Finally, Meg, who rode the Poker Run with us last year, has been riding in Thailand. I think I mentioned that last week, but in the meantime Meg has posted a ball-tearer ride report with great images on work’s website. She’s done a brilliant job and it looks like it was the ride of a lifetime. Check it here: http://www.advridermag.com.au/forum/showthread.php?926-Northern-Thailand&p=9305#post9305.

TF

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