Today was my first opportunity to take my shiny new Yamaha Super Tenere on it's maiden voyage. It's the first day of a three day motorcycle ride through the Central West of NSW, with a couple of stops along the way. Today's route, Newcastle – Wellington – Mudgee, only 457kms. Number in the group, just me, but meeting up with family on the way around.
Why the route? I am a member of FarRiders, an active group of long distance riders, sort of the local Iron Butt Association. One of this year's activities is called a FarChallenge that involves riding to 50 pre determined locations throughout Australia and taking a photo. Wellington is one of them, and since I had commitments in Mudgee the extra 160ks on the detour wasn't an inconveneience. Taking part in the FarChallenge and other long distance rides/event was the main reason I bought the Super Tenere so I was keen to test it out.
I had prepared the bike with the Airhawk R, the SPOT Connect and my TomTom Urban Rider, now that that latter had its charging mount installed.
This morning it was cold and blowing a gale Newcastle. It was my opinion that once I got away from the coast the weather would improve, how wrong was I! By the time I got to Greta I had to take the airhawk off the seat so I could grip the tank better with my knees and be more connected with the seat because the wind was blowing me all over the place.
The air temperature indicator on my Super Tenere told me it was 10 – 11 degrees but it felt much colder than that, then it rained. I fuelled up at Merriwa after which it got down to 6 – 8 degrees in some areas and then rode on through the wind and rain to Wellington.
Despite the weather I was enjoying the ride. The smooth linear power of the Tenere in touring mode made it quite manageable in the wet, although there were a number of occasions going around bends (grinning) that the motorcycle twitched under me. I can't say if the traction control kicked in, I have no idea what that would feel like. I can say that aAt no stage though was it heart in the mouth stuff though. I was very impressed with the way the suspension handled the dodgy roads, quitely looking forward to seeing how it will go on similar roads in dry weather.
My touring screen hadn't arrived as yet but the protection offered from the stock screen at its highest setting and the wind deflectors was adequate, my KLIM Latitude Jacket made short shrift of anything wet that got through.
Because my Super Tenere is brand new I wasn't prepared to rev it out and test any limits, easy peasy running in mode but it was still it was plenty fast when required and crusing speed at low enough revs was sufficient.
I stopped for fuel at Wellington and asked attendant where the Wellington Caves sign was (tried to describe it to her and she called it a "monstrosity"). Ideally it was the correct location for the FarChallenge pic but she told me it was 10k's or so the other side of town. I had a "not to be missed" 3pm appointment at Mudgee so I took a photo at Wellington TAFE rather than taking the risk of being late or pushing too hard in the wet.
I left Wellington and back tracked for a while arriving in Mudgee with 10 or 15 minutes to spare, still cold and windy but much less rain. My commitment was outdoors at a running event so I remained in my riding gear and stayed nice and dry, but I guess I looked pretty strange among a crowd of runners. Lucky I'm old enough not to care.
So 450+ k's done for the day, a short one for me, but it was FUN despite the weather. Tomorrow after a morning commitment another shortish day with a few pics to be taken on the way.