Saturday, 27 February 2010

White Knuckle Day!!

It is White Knuckle Day!!

Very very windy day... a real treat when you are riding a motorcycle!

Well.. maybe not a treat, but I had to take it that way, otherwise I wouldn't have enjoyed myself.  The wind was knocking me around on the road, it is really strong.. The horizon was completely brown from Outback dust being blown around, and total white caps on the water.  Watching the sand swiftly shift on the beach was exactly like watching snow drifts form in a blizzard in Indiana!!

It's hard to tell by the photos, but I'm surprised the bike stood up on it's own without being blown over.  It actually did come up while I was taking a photo and thank goodness it didn't go bad.  When I heard the kickstand land back on the ground, it was a massive relief!!

Stopped for a little break here at Maslin's Beach.  South Australia's first Nude Beach!  The beach itself was a bit nude today - too windy for nakedness I suppose!  Because it wasn't that cold...

Such a beautiful place.  My little bike is getting a great tour of South Australia before we hit the road for the big one!!

Ticks me off!! Those pictures look so calm and beautiful, not a hint of the wild weather!!  It was hard to even stand up alone in that wind!!

I need a name for my bike.. any suggestions??

It will look a lot different next week.  We go in Wednesday to have a mass of accessories put on - not all, but a few.

One of the biggest cosmetic changes will be seen later after we install the Safari petrol tank.  This add-on tank which will be supplied by R & V Aqualine of Australia will give me an extra 14 litres of fuel.  With the existing 12 litres, a total of 26 will allow me to travel much longer distances between drinks!!  Show you that one later.

This week.. Peter Stevens KTM is putting together too many accessories to mention, but all very necessary!!  More on those later as well, because it will make much more sense once you see the photos..
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Monday, 22 February 2010

Speaking of....

Speaking of Marie's painting, she painted the above photo for me.  While volunteering for the Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Indiana, I had the huge pleasure of helping to raise 3 babies, Herman, Sumara and Joey.  I wanted the painting to give to my Dad for Christmas.  Sumara is sucking  on my finger. Herman, being the only boy, just wanted attention and to be close, and Joey you don't see, but she's on my leg. they are now (as of November 2009), with my nephew Joey.  Herman still up front wanting the most attention!!  

Hats off to Joe Taft and Jean Herrberg for creating and running the EFRC!!!!!  They completely dedicate their lives to taking care of this large family of big cats
which permanently house and care for over 205 big cats these days and growing!  Most of these cats come out of dire situations of abuse and cruelty throughout the United States.  Here is a photo of a tiger recently rescued and in such poor condition, could hardly raise his head. 

The good news is at the Exotic Feline Rescue Center, these cats are fed well, excellent care and given lots and lots of love by everyone!  Never to be bought or sold, they will live out their lives here.
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Saturday, 20 February 2010


Just wanted to quickly add to my last post... as I passed through the little town of Yankalilla, I stopped at the Church, which holds a painting that was done by my friend Marie Klement of Mother Mary.

I must have looked a bit strange pulling my motorcycle into the lot.  A woman stopped on the path and looked at me, and I said "I am asking Mother Mary to protect me and my bike".  She quickly replied, "That's not a bad idea, Dear..."

Magic Boots!

It's been more than 10 years since I have ridden a motorcycle.  I had a Harley Davidson Sportster 883 in America.   Completely different style of riding, low riding and lots of chrome..

This new KTM sits up really high.  My first few little rides were nervewracking... went very slowwww. I don't have all the proper gear yet, which may have contributed to my nerves...  But then!  I remembered I had my old Harley boots in my closet.  I dug them out and put them on yesterday.  Took the bike out and completely forgot what I was worried about!  I went through round-abouts much more smoothly, up and down steep hills and made it to Peter Stevens KTM.  I couldn't tell you the difference between riding last week and then this week - SO IT MUST BE THE BOOTS!  Confidence returned!! They must be magic...

Ordered a lowering link from America to bring the height down a bit.  I am 5'9" and I can only hold this bike on my tippiest of tippy toes!  With the Koubalink lowering link, which Jamie installed for me yesterday at KTM, I can balance the bike with the balls of my feet now.  A big, much needed, welcome difference.

So with MAGIC BOOTS and LOWERED BIKE,  it was full steam ahead today (Sunday).  Honestly I thought I would just run out the door for an hour or so as I have a bizillion projects to get done today.  BUT, it is such a gorgeuos day in South Australia, and I felt so good on the bike, I just went for it.

Straight down the fleurieu peninsula,  first stop Sellick's Beach.. Then through
Yankalilla and on to Carrickalinga for a
a little break.  Thought I would turn back here, but I just 
wanted to keep going!  Ended up at
Cape Jervis, with a little stop to watch the ferry pull in from
 Kangaroo Island.  The ocean is so deep 
and blue there..  I love South Australia as much today as I 
did on my first trip here.  Actually Kangaroo
Island was the first place I was ever taken in this country, 
and I nearly boarded the ferry right then!

6 hours later.... I made it home.  Only complaint?  Butt got a bit sore...
even with the amount of padding I have been graced with all my life.  

Monday, 15 February 2010

Now.. time to get Panniers!

I never heard the word "pannier" until I started researching this trip.  I kept hearing pannier this and pannier that and what the heck are they talking about!?  Oh.... saddle bags or luggage.  I used to ride a Harley Davidson many years ago, and we had leather "saddle bags".   I think pannier sounds much better..

After watching fantastic DVD's from Horizon's Unlimited, there was some good advice on whether to go with soft or hard panniers.  My conclusion from comments was to go for the soft.  It's a better landing for the bike when it goes down.  Plus the danger of the hard panniers hurting my legs on a fall or tearing apart the frame.

Then.. in the madness of getting the bike and ordering accessories, I started liking the aluminium boxes - and nearly ordered them! Until, thank goodness, I was guided back onto the coarse for soft ones.  I know I will feel better with the soft panniers.  They won't allow me to carry as much on the side, but that will be a good thing.  To keep the weight and size balanced - I truly want to travel as light as possible.  This will be an extreme test of my organizational skills!  I'm up for it...


Saturday, 13 February 2010

I got my bike!

Hello!  It's been a crazy few weeks... lots of research, forms, planning, more research, then some extra research... but we are getting there!  I am happy to report that I got my new home (bike) for the next year or so.. It's a KTM 690 Enduro R..  Very light weight, at 138.5 kg with 690 cc's.  Compared to 199 kg and above for comparable size bikes.

This was a big deal to me for a couple reasons.  One, I didn't want a monster bike that I couldn't pick up by myself as I know it will go down a few times along the way.. (hopefully while nobody is watching..)

And two, it gives me more versatility to explore!!  I don't have to stick to the highways or bitumen paths.  I can go anywhere.. to that isolated village down the dirt track or cruise down the highway with 690 cc's, much easier than the smaller off road bikes.

So!!!  That's how I decided, and now I am still in the process of choosing the right gear for the bike.  Loads of accessories from KTM as you might image.  Plus spare parts and tools, etc.  But there is much more to consider and organize....

More on that later.  

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