A Pleasant Lap

OK, enough ranting about sh~t customer service for today, it’s time to ride my Super Tenere to see how the new Touring Screen works.  I left home and headed west towards Mt Sugarloaf, skirted that and turned towards Mulbring.  It really only the fourth time I’ve gone on a proper ride on the Super Tenere, there’s still a bit to learn, it’s quite a different experience to the Harley-Davidson Road King and my other bikes.

The screen, firstly I noticed it wasn’t much quieter than the standard screen.  I have the S10’s seat adjusted to the high position and while I noticed that the wind was hitting the helmet higher it seem just as turbulent.  A bit more protection for the shoulders though, because of the wider screen.  All in all an improvement and nothing that caused me any issues because I wear earplugs anyway.

Through Mulbring a quick left and right towards Quorrobolong, wound my way to Millfield and out to Wollombi.  I passed a number of bikes parked at the Wollombi pub but I was on the move and didn’t feel like stopping.  I must say that the Super Tenere’s long travel suspension and handling was fantastic on these roads, if you have ever ridden them you’ll know they are more filling and holes than tar, it was by far the most pleasant ride to Wollombi I’ve been on, not once did the kidneys get a kick!

At Wollombi I turned south towards Kulnurra. A bit of everything on this road, open curves, mountain twisties, Lemming Corner and I sat back and really enjoyed it.  A few times the Super Tenere felt a little strange and top heavy (not scary!) but in general this was due to it having less of a sensation of speed, if you know what I mean.  That noted and an appropriate mental adjustment made it went along swimmingly.

I passed the intersection of Settlers Road, it’s predominantly a dirt road that goes 30 odd k’s to St Albans and you can get to Wiseman’s Ferry just short of 60k’s on.  I didn’t have time for that loop but for the first time ever I was on a bike that should be able to cope nicely with the dirt and had the opportunity to find out.  I couldn’t resist, made a quick turn and into the gravel I went.

5k’s in, a pic and 5k’s back.  I am definitely not an off tar rider in general but I felt really really comfortable sitting and standing on the Super Tenere on its first taste of gravel road.  Perhaps it’ll be something I will explore more later, it definitely wasn’t as scary as I thought it might be, but was more scary than my KLR-650.

Back on the Road to Kulnurra, again not stopping at the servo which was as usual populated with a number of bikes in rest mode, I was pressing on to Cowan via the Old Pacific Hwy to Pie in the Sky determined to squeeze a few more k’s into the day.

A very decent double shot flat white and hot curry pie later it was back to the twisties, punching out to the freeway at Mount White and an opportunity to test out the Touring Screen at $1.20 or so.  Once again, very happy with it and I’ve decided it’s a permanent feature.

I stopped at the Twin Servos on the Central Coast for fuel, which was averaging 4.9 to 5 litres per 100Kms and put 17.5 litres in it for a touch over 300k’s (including the trip to Cessnock and return earlier this morning).  I was pretty happy with that, it looks like 400km from a tank might be achievable which is good news for me for Iron Butt rides.

I was back home well before 4pm, 300k’s for this quick lap, just on 400 for the day.  While still a reasonably short day out it was a good warm up for Friday, when I’m heading to South Australia for the weekend intending to do my first SS1600k ride on this shiny new Yamaha machine.

The only change I’ll be making to the setup for that trip is that I’ll be putting the seat back into the lower position and installing the Airhawk R.  I’ve ordered some bar risers from Touratech but they haven’t arrived yet :-(.

Update: 5 September 2012:  The Bar Risers arrived today and are installed!