motorcycles, travel, friendship, respect… I may drift off into WTF-land at times so hang in there.

Lessons Learned.


Well, The Pillion and I returned home to Brisbane from our little junket to the Western Suburbs of Sydney (Penrith) at 16:30 on Sunday. In all, we covered 2259km (1403 mi), much of it was done on the weekend of the 8th & 9th then the 15th & 16th for the return trip.

Trip B

This trip was a dry run for a future trip we have planned for the early part of 2016, we learned a lot about our limits, packing, and travelling by bike in general.

Even though I have done some big day rides before, I’ve never started with a full tank and usually filled up somewhere along the way. This trip gave me the opportunity to find out how far I can get on a single 19 lt (5 gal) tank of gas.

Around town I get 240 km (150 mi) before the 6 lts (1.5 gal) remaining light starts flashing, and I usually top out at around 330 km (205 mi) for a 18 lts (4.7 gal).

On a trip like the one we just did, the light started flashing at 300 km (186 mi) and we got to around 390 km (242 mi) before the 1 lt (1/4 gal) light starts urging me to fill up. We only did this twice to try to get an average, the rest of the time We filled up soon after the 6 lt light started getting anxious.

Throttle Rocker

Throttle Rocker

On the Friday before we left I bought a Throttle Rocker, this turned out to be a brilliant investment. I don’t have cruise control and there is no way I could have ridden that far and held a steady speed for so long without it.

Yes, there are throttle locks available, but these don’t allow the throttle to return to the closed position in the event of an emergency, instead you have to push the throttle back to close it. The Throttle Rocker does not lock but rather relies on the position of your palm/ hand to hold a steady speed. This in turn allows you to wiggle you fingers and thumb to get any pain or numbness out, all the while maintaining a steady speed.

We found that we each can easily travel indefinitely with:-

  • 3 shirts.
  • 3 pairs of socks.
  • 3 pairs of jocks (no not Scotsmen).
  • 1 spare pair of jeans.
  • 1 pair of shorts.
  • 1 pair of runners.
  • 1 pair of thongs (get your mind out of the gutter, I mean the things in the pic below! 😉 )
  • Jim-Jams.
  • Toiletries.
  • Plus the clothes we were wearing.
  • Plus all the stuff I listed in this post.

I used a set of soft panniers (or throw over saddle bags if you like) for the trip, and remain roundly unimpressed with  their quality, I’ll write about this some other time. Suffice to say I’m now in the market for a set of hard case panniers.

Thongs (flip-flops, Jandals)

Thongs (flip-flops, Jandals)

Even though I wasn’t stopped for a chat with the local constabulary, I did discover that the NSW Blue Gang are sly when employing covert tactics to catch people doing the wrong thing.

Like the Holden Commodore driving erratically that was displaying a red “P” plate (usually displayed by first year drivers). It had red and blue angry lights up high in the back window, you’d be hard pressed to spot them at a casual glance.

We made a point of pulling up every 1-1/2 to 2 hours for a stretch and a drink. I had only a sheepskin between me and the bike and could have gone longer. Likewise, The Pillion was comfortable enough to go for a little longer sitting on her Air Hawke.

Alas when we hit a bumpy stretch of road it aggravated a tail bone injury The Pillion has, which transferred to her lower back and caused quite a bit of discomfort. In hind-sight we should have invested in some form of tail bone protection (shorts?) and kidney support belt for her.

On this note I’d be appreciative of some guidance from you if you know of a product or products that may help.

We have discovered that our bucket list is grossly inadequate and we’re working on rectifying this situation. I might even start a bucket list page.

Sadly there was one casualty on our trip.

We lost our Ipod Touch somewhere between Gloucester and Walcha on the way back. It didn’t bounce as well as advertised, and ended up in the scrub somewhere never to be seen again. Happily I took an Ipod Shuffle along as well, so there was only a short intermission with the tunes.

There’s so much more I’d like to tell you about our trip, but it’ll have to wait until next time.


Thunderbolts Way South Of Nowendoc

Thunderbolts Way South Of Nowendoc About 07:30 AM


11 responses

  1. Taking short trip helps to get all of the kinks worked out for the big trip. I learned a lot on my short trips. Such as carrying spare parts.


    November 19, 2014 at 1:04 AM

  2. Sounds like you two had a great time. It is good to have shake-down ride.

    I don’t think I am much help in the tailbone department. Riding pillion it gets sore for me too. I’ve tried some bicycle shorts, but just found them uncomfortable. Changing position (weight on left cheek vs right cheek vs sitting straight) I find can help on long rides better than anything other than rest brakes.


    November 19, 2014 at 6:14 AM

    • The Pillion found that leaning more forward into me helped, she couldn’t do this all the time though because then the mid back would get sore. I thought about bicycle shorts, there cheap enough and might be worth a try… I want to study up a bit more on it before we commit to spending money on something that might not work.


      November 19, 2014 at 7:44 AM

  3. Bob

    If the pillion’s tailbone injury is an old one, I think your options are going to be somewhat limited. The kidney belt is a good idea regardless for pillion riders (they take the brunt of those bumps). How old is her airhawk? I know they have come out with newer models recently that may help. I don’t think bicycle shorts will really help with the tailbone problem, even with the chamois liner, although they will definitely help with overall comfort over long distances. Maybe an extra layer of some sort of comfortable, soft material applied to the tailbone before pulling on shorts might help. Finally, and expensively, the motorbikes seat. Some just aren’t really designed for a pillion to go the long distances.


    November 20, 2014 at 3:19 AM

    • Thanks for your input Bob

      The Air Hawke was second hand when we bought it a bout 18 months ago so I’s say it would be at least 5 years old, if not more. So you might be right in that we should look at the newer models.

      Having said that, she did find some relief when she lent forward against me, it took the pressure off. So maybe something that has the centre section removed would work. IE something that supports the cheeks, but a gap where the tail bone would be (?)



      November 20, 2014 at 1:51 PM

  4. I hope Mrs Pillion recovers quickly and isn’t in too much discomfort 🙂


    November 20, 2014 at 10:47 PM

  5. LB

    A pair of thongs / flip flops are an absolute necessity for me when I travel. I always look forward to putting on my flip flops at the end of a long day in the boots.
    Good for you for packing one pair of jeans. I always take two … not sure I could make it on one.
    This post makes me anxious to start planning my next trip!


    November 25, 2014 at 12:52 PM

  6. Throttle Rocker – I’ve got pretty much the same thing on mine though it’s called a cramp buster. Awesome little device costing less than £10 has saved my hand muscles on many a journey.


    November 29, 2014 at 4:23 AM

    • Mine was AU $15, seen them cheaper on FleaBay, but its just s easy to get one from the local MC emporium. Thanks for reminding me, I’ve got to get one for the Melting Man today.


      November 29, 2014 at 6:50 AM

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