Blog: November 20. Been riding a V-Strom

It’s Tuesday morning and I arrived back from Victoria last night after a fabulous couple of days on V-Stroms with the Suzuki. We left Suzuki headquarters near the airport with a fair number of Suzuki management people and Shawn Giles and Josh Waters – with six Australian Superbike championships between them – along to keep an eye on us. I’ve known Shawn for many years and he’s about as nice a bloke as anyone could ever meet, and Josh, who I met for the first time, turned out to be the same. It must be something about Suzuki people, because they’re always a great bunch to ride with. The management team was determined to have a good time and the bikes were sensational. Suzuki customers were invited along as well, and a few interesting bikes showed up. Ty Johnston’s twin-tank DR Big was a beauty.

This DR650 caught my attention because the mods were really interesting and well done. It turned out to belong to Murray Tainton, a name that would be familiar to enduro riders with long histories. Murray won the first-ever Australian Four Day Enduro Championship in 1978, and now, recovering from injury, he’s planning to ride the 40th anniversary event next year. He came along on this ride as a gentle test for his mending broken leg.

The route had been planned to suit the V-Stroms, so it was about 80-per-cent bitumen, but until we headed back to Melbourne and had to hit the freeway I don’t think there was any straight section longer than about 50 metres. It was fabulous. We did do the Dargo High Plains Road and some other dirt sections that were ideal for the V-Stroms, so it was brilliant. There might be a V-Strom 1000 available at a good price very shortly. There was a little cut’n’thrust going on coming down from Mt Hotham…

The overnight stop was at Dargo River Inn and work’s Congregation. By the time we rolled in the event was pretty much all over, but the setting was awesome.

The return route was different but every bit as good, and lunch was at a well-known bike destination, Walhalla. It’s a very historic spot and really fascinating to wander around.

So it’s been a good week, even though I’m a little late with the blog. There were so many e-mails and phone calls to return when I hit my desk yesterday I didn’t get a break. Then, when I finally did catch up, I was knackered and made an early night of it.

This week is the Sydney Motorcycle Show. It’s not my favourite event, but if I have to be there I’ll find plenty to enjoy. I’ll bring back a few pics for next week’s blog.


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