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Rode a Piaggio X7 from Newcastle to Adelaide and back

Last post 01-03-2020 04:42 PM by tonyr. 2 replies.
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  • 12-31-2019 10:48 AM

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    Rode a Piaggio X7 from Newcastle to Adelaide and back

    Hello old forum..

    I'd planned for a long time that my next "inbetween accomodation" adventure would be a cycling trip, but the timing with the seasons this time wasn't great. I did give it a shot.. and bailed after three days -- deciding that doing a ride to Adelaide on a scooter was more what I wanted..

    See the attached map for the route taken. In total, it was:

     * 3747 kms
     * 5 days from Newcastle to Adelaide, 4 days back
     * 160L/$265 of fuel (exclusively RON95/98)

    The overall fuel consumption was 4.25L/100kms -- quite high for highway riding for this bike, it normally doing 3.6. But I'm thinking the large saddlebags hanging from the sides and higher average moving speed certainly affected things.

    Route:

    From Newcastle, it was up the New England Highway to do the Bylong Valley Way, which I had my eye on for a while. Then down via Kandos to Bathurst, over to Condoblin, Mildura, and then the Stott Highway into the Adelaide suburbs.

    Leaving Adelaide, it was along the Coorong coast to Mt Gambier, through the Dartmoor plantation forest areas towards Hamilton to Bedigo, and then hooning it up the Hume Highway back to Sydney and Newcastle.

    Mostly I tried for the free campsites, using only motels when necessary: Broke (McNamara Park), Sofala East (free riverside campsite to the east of the town--had intended to stay at Hill End again but NPWS has fscked-up camping there), Condoblin (Gum Bend Lake free campsite), Hay (rip-off motel; seriously the whole town was dodgy--$2.50 fish cocktails!), Swan Reach (free camping on the other side of the ferry crossing--scooter's first ocean voyage :), and finally parking it at a friend's place in Glynde for 10 days. On the return, overnight stops at Port MacDonnell (free camping at Danger Bay/Eight Mile Creek), Bendigo (another overpriced motel), Jugiong (free camping).

    I had intended to overnight at several other camps on the way back, but the day before leaving I got the news that the NSW State Forests were being closed.

    Bike-related Dramas:

    The first 2 and a bit days were riding through bushfire smoke, and by Condoblin the bike was starting to choke at lower speeds, the maximum speed also reduced by ~20%. I found a mechanic in town and got to clean the air filter in his workshop.

    It was a 40C+ day when travelling from Condoblin to Hay, and the engine water cooling couldn't cope with that at 110 km/h. However doing 95-100 km/h made the bike happy again. Surprisingly there was no change to oil levels.

    The graphite gasket between the exhaust manifold and the muffler disintegrated before Mt Gambier, letting the exhaust partially escape. It was PuttPuttPuttPutt all the way home! Being a 4-stroke however, it wasn't a show-stopper, but it became an idea to avoid police handing out canaries. Still, there was still a bit of coupling, and I basically got a free 'performance' exhaust - the top-end acceleration improved significantly! Previously the bike only climbed slowly from 95 km/h to its maximum speed, now I was able to floor it and overtake with ease at 105 km/h -- very useful on the Hume Highway.

    Other Dramas:

    Every place I rode through got a bushfire happening: Goulburn River National Park, Sofala/Upper Turon, Hay, Mildura, Adelaide Hills, Dartmoor, Gunning (a housefire happened there). Now suspecting that I was carrying a Binboogami, I decided to ride back via Mt Gambier to see if I could get the dormant Volcano to start up. :P

    When I thought I had out-ran the smoke, I would wake up the next morning to discover it had found me again...

    A derilict undersocalized guy at the Condoblin Gum Bend campsite latched onto me. Fortunately he used to be a rider, and had to keep him talking about his bike riding history.

    Riding:

    I've previously done two around-Australia rides on a Postie Bike (in 2010 and 2013), and with the X7 being highway-capable it was such a change to not be constantly overtaken!

    There was quite pleasant riding on the Bylong Valley Way (smoke nonwithstanding), the via-Loxton route to Swan Reach and Sedan (although the Adelaide Hills proper was bothersome--overly twisty and trafficked), and the foresty roads from Port MacDonnell, through Winnap, to Hamilton.

    Believe It Or Not: I navigated through Sydney from the Hume to the M1 without GPS guidance. That was the hardest part of the trip!

    Actually riding for hours at highway speeds wasn't as fatiguing/dangerous/tedious as I was expecting from having done 10 years of the M1/F3 freeway between Newcastle and Sydney. The wind got to be a bother at times, though.

    NSW roads are crap, and what's with bloody manhole covers in the middle of the road in SA?

     

    Edit: forgot a link to a few photos... https://imgur.com/a/0OoHHtk ... https://imgur.com/a/JaHJpWV


  • 01-02-2020 10:14 PM In reply to

    Re: Rode a Piaggio X7 from Newcastle to Adelaide and back

    Impressive -- thanks for sharing. And with such detail

  • 01-03-2020 04:42 PM In reply to

    Re: Rode a Piaggio X7 from Newcastle to Adelaide and back

    Congratulations on your trip on the X7. Your observation of Manhole covers in the middle of SA roads requires an attempt at an explanation.

    They(the manhole covers) are all part of an initiative of public servants of government and local councils. In gvt jargon of re-designation this particular initiative is designated ASDSLTITNRA - (Attention stimulation devices in strrategic locations to improve two wheel rider alertness).

    *Most are placed toward the centre of the road.

    *Some are in clusters of four or more ( each sloping at a different angle to it's companion).*

    *Some are cunningly place at the apex of sweeping left and right hand bends (tilted opposite to the road camber).

    *A few are situated on top of tarmac mounds (several cm's high - to encouraage 'Evel Knievel' style jumps).

    *Most are situated below street level for catching rainwater and solid items.

    *All are experimental in that they change according to circumstances e.g. burst water mains etc.

    *A nice one to watch for are covers not replaced properly (usually with a front-facing lip several cm's high).

     All this is to hone the skills of locals and to attract tourists such as yourself seeking a challenge.

    Happy New Year . . .

    Cheers

     

     

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