Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Sunday ride in the Dandenong Ranges

Well that month went quick yet this morning I was greeted by grey drizzle and fairly bleak outlook - but I donned the gear as I soon as I could and took off for a lap of the mountains.

Turned out to be a good day and a good three hour ride to shed the cobwebs so I stopped and took a couple of pics to share and capture my moment. 
It's as close as I'm gonna get to having a baby so I take photo's of the Hyper everywhere I go, just as a new father would. Funny I feel that strongly about it actually. I've been saying good night to her every day before today, just to make sure she knows I hadn't forgotten she was there, I even apologised when the battery decided it would 'just go flat after' two weeks. Not her fault.

The last two weeks on the trickle charger seems to have fixed that little problem for now but I am mentioning it this week when she goes in for some work - I doubt a new battery should go too flat to start it over the course of sitting for just two weeks. Anyway, by the time I was ready to get up and go there was a problem with the battery on our Donut bus up at Belgrave so that gave me a direction to head off in. Found some friends at the farm where it sits up near Narre Warren East and parked up next to a beat up old KTM 400. They seemed to like each other. It looks oddly like they are flirting with each other.

Easy to see the true nature of the little Ducati when parked up next to an off road bike like the KTM.
Got the bus going after a tragedy with batterys, said tragedy being that 'someone' left the lights on last night and well, resulting in nowhere near enough juice to turn over the ole mole so had to holler for a Marshall to come save us. Got that going and sent it down the hill to work and earn back the cost of the two batteries if we're lucky, then took off up to have a squizz at Cardinia Reservoir and see how our water catchments are looking. Pretty full to the untrained eye and all the fire danger signs were reset to 'Low' so it feels like winter is coming already.

Tried to find some emtpiness down the backroads but they were all full of families having picnics so there was nowhere safe for a squirt but I did find a deserted dead end where I had a play with extreme-slo-mo-first-gear-trials riding and standing at balance on the pegs. One slight over acceleration and a feathered clutch incident in first resulted in a snatchy front wheel lift but it freaked me out so I gave up on that one. 

Save it for wheelie training. Felt like a donut by then so I went back towards Belgrave to make sure everything was right and grab a bottle of water, all this riding makes one dehydrated doesn't it?

Not really ready for a full blow blast with a month off the saddle I was just cruising around today, not looking for trouble, getting back into the groove and finding my lines. Trying to start corners wide and plan to finish in tight, plus the roads up around the Dandenongs had that early morning dewy look to them, and I am still uneasy about my front slick in the wet after a little ridiculous highside recently. New front wheel this week and that slick can go in the shed for Superbike School or a track day if there ever is one.

I did a lap up around the back of Belgrave Hallam road and turned off at the old Mt Morton road forgetting that is seriously shit dirt, rubble and clay slippery crap but managed not to tip over keeping it steady at 40kms. Whinge whinge. No rain yet. Then I thought I would try those nice tight hairpins up Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, but as the name suggests and being Sunday the road was full of tourists staring out the windows so that was frustrating, so I shot off up Churchill Drive road which has a nice gentle climb and sweeping open corners, that was much freer and felt quite dry so I managed to grab five minutes of that 'whee I'm flying' feeling for the day which was gold.

Quick stop for another glamour shot, because the sign told me to.

If I remember correctly the road at the top of the tourist road at Sassafras, the Mountain Highway, is a really nice ride through the forsets and not densely populated but I think it is also mainly a 60 zone now so I just turned back to head down the hill. Quick couple of Wicked Wings (fark I love the wings!) and another happy snap before doing the slow cruise home.

It's funny, I always picture in my mind a really vivid read when I think of KFC, turns out it looks brown against the blood lust of Ducati red. Great to be back on the bike today, and the best part of this nice wee run up into the hills was the new Sargent seat. After receiving one damaged seat, which was replaced at no expense to me, to get the second one from the UK even less slightly damaged was just such a frustrating thing because by the time we had negotiated a solution I had temporarily lost my slip to the Po Po, so I hadn't even tried it.

But now I have sat on board for a couple hundred kms and I am grinning from cheek to cheek. Literally. I don't know how the stock seat or the DP upgrade can get it so wrong in comparison to the Sargent Sport seat. It is amazing. Not one hint of numb-bum over the course of three hours of riding. Not a ducati-arse in sight. Maybe just slightly at the end of the 40km freeway run back home it just started to tingle but compared to the others it is unquestionably the best seat upgrade you can do for your Hypermotard and gets my highest recommendation to anyone looking for a replacement seat.

The guys at solomotoparts.com are excellent to deal with, very reasonable on shipping and OUTSTANDING on follow through customer service. You probably wouldn't enjoy it on the track it is much more a commuter slash tourer style but with enough versatility for me to enjoy every day. Happy as a pig in a seat. Not a pig with lipstick on it, that's still just a pig. Related posts
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