OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE BMW MOTORCYCLE CLUB OF QUEENSLAND INC.
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bMw Model Year 2017 arrivinG JanuarY/februarY 2017 f 800 Gt
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K 1600 Gt
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OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE BMW MOTORCYCLE CLUB OF QUEENSLAND INC.
The Committee President - Paul Hughes
Ph: 0409 814 633 firstname.lastname@example.org R 1200 RT (90th Anniversary) + R 1200 GS (Wethead)
Vice President - Richard Maher Ph: 0415 111 454 email@example.com R 1150 R
Secretary - Andy McLeod Ph: 0447 370 496 firstname.lastname@example.org R 1200 GS
Treasurer - Bill Carson Ph: 0474 979 315 email@example.com K 1600 GTL (US of A model)
Editor - Dave Hepburn Ph: 0422 080 524 firstname.lastname@example.org R 1200 RT
Records Officer - Craig Brennan Ph: 0422 907 934 email@example.com R 100 RT
Regalia - Julia Townsend Ph: 0416 112 620 firstname.lastname@example.org Triumph Sprint GT SE
Tools/Spares - Geoff Hodge
Ph: 0413 180 101 email@example.com F 800 GT + R 51/3
Tools/Spares - Bill Luyten Ph: 0438 123 747 firstname.lastname@example.org R1150 Rockstar - R1200 GS LC
This Issue - DECEMBER 2016 Contents:Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Sub-missions Deadline & Policy. . . . 4 Committee Reports. . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Club Venue & GM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 General Meeting Minutes . . . . . . . . . 11 Monthly Ride Reports . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Articles Merv Bone Choose Day. . . . 14 Merv Bone 6 Cylinders Yeah. . . . . . 15 Duncan & Cindy Canada Part 3 b. . . 16 BMW National Rally Bright VIC. . . . 19 The Wild West Homeward Bound . . 20 Important Announcement. . . . . . . 26
Cafe2U - P10 Good Wool Store - P.32 HydroTac(R) Lenses - P.28 Motorcycle Adventure Products P.28 Morgan and Wacker-Inside Rear Cover
The Wild West conmtinues. . . . . . . 27 BMWMCQ Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Warrego Riders Events Calendar . . . . 31 Gray Ghost’s Australia a POEM . . . . 31 Cupla Adverts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Journal Advertising Rates. . . . . . . . . 32 The Wild West Still going. . . . . . . . 33 Shannon’s Advertising. . . . . . . . . . 34 Gray Ghost’s Australia continued . . . 35
Shannons Insurance - p34 Munich Motorcycles - P.34 Northside Motorcycles - P.11 Motorline Motorrad -Inside Front Cover
On The Cover...
elebrating the Old and the New is a reference to; OLD the Logo on Amy’s T Shirt which is the original BMWMCQ Logo and NEW well, relatively new, BMW K 1600 GTL which is being squired around town by he who cannot be named.....Richard
Events - Cindy Bennett
Ph: 0401 610 671 email@example.com F 700 GS
Sub Committee • Dealer Liaison / Advertising - Don Grimes Ph: 0411 601 372 • Forum Moderator - Garry Hilton
Club Details BMW Motorcycle Club of Queensland Inc.
ABN 30 351 243 651
Address all correspondence to: The Secretary PO Box 3669 South Brisbane QLD 4101 Monthly meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month at the:
Moreton Bay Sports Club, 175 Boundary St., Tingalpa
A Club Ride is usually held on the first Sunday after the monthly meeting. BMWMCQ AIMS The objectives of the BMWMCQ are to increase the enjoyment of motorcycling by: 1. Improving the opinion of the public towards motorcycling in general and associated members particularly, by careful, courteous, considerate riding, especially when riding with the Club, and rendering assistance to all road users in difficulty.
2. Improving the service and availability of spare parts for BMWs in Queensland using the advantage of a united effort. 3. Decreasing maintenance and running costs by mutual assistance on mechanical problems. 4. Organising day trips, tours and outings. 5. Encourage and support Regional Ride Groups 6. Affiliation with other clubs/associations where such affiliation would be of mutual benefit. DISCLAIMER The views and opinions expressed in this Journal are those of each contributor and are not necessarily shared by the Editor, management, and / or membership of the BMWMCQ. The Editor reserves the right to refuse any advertising or delete any material which could be considered or interpreted as questionable, libellous or offensive, without consultation. WEB SITE Visit: www.bmwmcq.org.au
Dave Hepburn Here we are at the end of the year. It has passed extremely quickly for me; attributed to the task of Editor for the monthly BMWMCQ Journal, the myriad of events each month that, as the year rolled on, became more and more. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it: getting out and reacting with other people, enjoying their company and being regaled by their stories, what more could an older person desire. (Apart from youth)it has been great for me to get out and communicate face to face with all those that I have been associated with through the Club and Club activities. Beats stagnating at home or playing lawn bowls….not to mention golfing…. (Don’t mention Golf) Every day that you can get out of bed and get on your motorcycle and ride, in the words of the Viking Warriors, IT IS A GOOD DAY…… I take this opportunity to wish all club members and others who read our monthly Journal a very very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I thank all of you who have contributed to the contents of the monthly Journal. Without your very capable assistance we simply would not have one. In particular I would like to thank Jane Gray for her regular contribution in the fine art of poetry (Poetry is
Editor’s Report not dead but alive and well in the Gray Household) and this issue is no exception; GRAY GHOST’S AUSTRALIA, page 31, truly an epic poem up there with the Iliad by Homer, and the Adventures of Beowulf the Viking King…still it is a good read. Paul, true to his endearing nature sent me and email last night from BMWSAFARI ...with a cryptic Mag?????...yeah right like that was going to happen for the December magazine...However, knowing that there are a significant number of Dirt Lovers out there I have provided a number of links that you can use to go to their web site.
BMWM SAFARI NEWS
emember to stay updated by liking our Facebook page, BMW Safari, or by visiting bmwsafari.com. The 2017 training calendar will be announced very soon. Register your interest to be kept up to date via firstname.lastname@example.org. Dates for the 2017 BMW GS Safari Enduro are 5th - 12th August. We will be riding from Cairns to the Cape return, exploring the magnificent roads and tracks of Far-North Queensland. Registration opens Tuesday April 4.
Dave Hepburn email@example.com
Policy Regarding Submissions
Submissions to the journal should be relevant to BMW motorcycles and or to the BMWMCQ and its activities. Articles or Letters to the Editor may or may not be published if space does not permit or if the content of the submission and or letter is not considered to be of interest to members or not in the interests of the Club, our sponsors or advertisers. Members are encouraged to use this, our journal; to express views, float ideas or make inquiries of other Club members on technical, organisational or other matters which may benefit the Club and its associates. Submissions should be kept to a reasonable length and maybe edited or published in part only, if the Editor considers it necessary. Note – submissions close on the 15th of each month! BMWMCQ Committee
Submissions for the next journal (FEBRUARY‘17 Edition) close on the 20th JANUARY 2016 - just soes y’all know.......
Committee Reports Paul Hughes
love November. It is always a touring time for me. Last year I went to the BMW GS Safari and this year the BMW Motarrad National Rally. Gave me some time to revisit some great roads and places and also discover some new ones I hadn’t been to for 40 years, i.e. Hill End NSW.
Just a relaxed, great fun, exploration of lots of old favourites.
The National Rally was particularly significant because the QLD club has been given the job of hosting the 2018 National Motorrad Rally, in our sixty years celebration. The rally was held in Bright in VIC on the weekend of Nov 11 to 14. Approximately 200 registrations in what turned out to be a challenging weather environment for the organising committee. It also was a disappointment for them that the 2016 BMW GS Safari clashed with the dates. Oh well we will make sure that doesn’t happen again.
We had a fabulous ride down over six days with Tony and Jane Gray. Thanks to Tony’s superb planning skills for the trip down.
Other QLD members travelled in shorter time frames and different routes, but we all had fun getting there. Bright was fairly damp for the weekend but we got some riding in on the Saturday and as a consolation some of us had a slap up lunch at a fabulous winery on the Sunday. The organising committee did a great job. We learnt a lot about what worked and what didn’t. At a dinner on the Friday night, a number of members volunteered their services to serve on an organising sub committee. I am looking forward to kicking those discussions off very shortly. I chose a 5-day solo ride home and thoroughly enjoyed it. Some days short rides (325km) and some long (851km), some new dirt roads to me (some great some… not so.) but I had great riding every day. Temperature variation of between 3deg at Dead Horse Gap and 33 deg in … yep you guessed it South Grafton (I find Grafton to always at the extremes of temp).
Continued on page 7
Richard Maher Learning to ride a 1600 GTL
• You need all your senses about you! • You need to be able to do more than one thing at a time! • You must be able to use a computer affectively. can do NONE of these tasks effectively, so it is taking longer than expected to get in sync with this motorcycle. It’s packed with electronica and it seems to do the thinking for you. I swear the lights follow you around the corners like a Citroen DS. I was so taken with the light illuminating the gutter as I rounded a corner I forgot to straighten up and, when I did, I found myself fluttering like a moth to see if the lights were pointing in the right direction. It must have looked a sight from behind to see the rider standing up balancing on one foot and looking over the screen at the lights to see if they were moving with the handlebars. I’m still not convinced they actually stay still. And this is just the start! Trying to sort out how to turn my pillion from luggage to an actual pillion was just as awkward. On an analogue motorcycle you just knock the rear shockie up a notch or two tell the bride to “shut up” and “get on”. Not with the 1600. You have to access a menu and then twist the left grip and wiggle it sideways to choose your load settings, then reverse your way out of the menu. Oh it’s easy they said… if you can’t figure it the manual is under the seat. Who the hell looks at the manual? That is just an admission of pure defeat! I have a hate/hate relationship with computers and this ‘bike is basically a computer with wheels…a really fast computer with wheels. Thank goodness its owner didn’t purchase the inbuilt Sat-Nav or I’d have that to yell at as well; while I’m looking at the lights and doing a compulsory “U” Turn. The only useful feature I approve of is the rear surround of the rider seat. This leather clad retaining wall stops the rider sliding backwards taking the pillion and top box off and depositing the lot firmly on the road. If you do manage to maintain your grip on the ‘bars during the 1600’s outrageous acceleration, you look like Burt Munroe doing a hundred mph pass down a NZ beach. Perhaps this is why people frequently fall off 1600’s. Eventually the 1600 pulls you into its bosom and you start to play with the settings on the fly. Oh I’ll just turn the radio up. Oh…poo “achy breaky heart”.
Vice President’s Report I’ll just change the channel, no; I’ll flick over to the IPod. No wait…whack the Cruise on and dab a bit of sunscreen on my nose while checking the fuel consumption. Crap!! I’ve lost 0.2 of a litre sitting in traffic. ..Oooooh look the windscreen goes up and down with this button. Seriously though; I could not find the High Beam switch. I looked everywhere. Feeling mildly defeated I sucked it up and asked Hepburn when no one was looking! Now I know where the switch is, I shan’t be using again. I almost set fire to an old guy in an 80’s Toyota Corona. The poor sod pulled in front of me last evening on my way back from shooting the cover for this month’s Journal. Flicking the High Beam switch on (which is actually in the most obvious location it could be) to let him know I wasn’t happy with his manoeuvre, I saw him violently fanning the top of his head and reaching for his hat. With all that quality 80’s Japanese glass he looked like an ant under a magnifying glass. Well, maybe I could get used to the lights, they are certainly better than the tea candle BMW supplied with the R1100R. It’s going to take a while to get used to the rest of the bike’s vast menu options. Probably best then not to try too hard to get used to the 1600 I reckon. Because if I do fall in love with it, I will have to attend one of those courses the local council provide for seniors on learning to use computers. And I will have to do it quickly, because I usually forget my password. And then I won’t be able to turn the bike on at all!
Richard Maher firstname.lastname@example.org
i everyone. Everything is looking good from a finance point again this month. For October, we received $2,140.74 in income and had $1,385.85 in expenses. Our accounts in October ended with $7,877.43 in checking and $18,461.93 in our BOQ Investment account. My thanks to all that have paid for the Christmas Party. I have 79 people that have paid as of today. Our Checking balance will drop next month as we pay for the Christmas Party. That’s all for this month...
Bill Carson email@example.com
President’s Report Continued
have great memories from a fabulous tour of just over 5000 Kms. As the year rapidly draws to a close, we have several events left in the calendar. The Christmas Party is once again a huge success with just on 80 attendees in Stanthorpe for a fabulous weekend. Coffee mornings, club rides… all yet to happen in December. Remember we only produce 11 journals per year (none in January) and the January General meeting will be a week later than normal to fit in the Christmas cheer. Check the club Calendar. 2017 looks like it will be more of the same with lots more activities. Something, we hope, for everyone. Murray and Bill have organised the first of our 2017 camping weekends in March. Details to follow. The Committee will continue to pack as much fun in as humanly possible and also to cater for all our different tastes. To all of our members, sponsors and friends (and all their families), I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a very very safe and Happy New Year. Ride safe Cheers
Paul Hughes firstname.lastname@example.org
BMWMCQ - General Meeting First Thursday of each month at Moreton Bay Sports Club
he MBSC is located at 175 Boundary St., Tingalpa. Boundary Street has a set of traffic lights at its intersection with Wynnum Road to allow an easy entry and exit.
MBSC is a short distance from the Gateway Motorway, North or South. The MBSC is at the very end of Boundary Street so keep going until you see the sports fields and the parking areas. Web address for the Moreton Bay Sports Club is - www.mbsportsclub.com.au
I look forward to seeing you there for our next General Meeting on Thursday 12th January 2017
Events Officer’s Report
This is my last Journal report as I will be handing over to David Whale next month due to our upcoming trip to Africa. I am sure Dave will be an excellent Events Coordinator and I wish him all the best! I have certainly enjoyed my stint on the Committee as Events Coordinator and encourage all members to put their hand up to be involved in a Committee role at the AGM in February. December happenings of course include the Christmas Party in Stanthorpe on Saturday 3rd December. We have 79 attendees which should ensure a great night for all. There will be the Social Dinner at Hamilton Hotel on Wednesday 14th December and the final event for 2016 is the Saturday Coffee Morning Ride on 17th December to Woody Point, Redcliffe. The first event for 2017 will be a Sunday Breakfast Ride departing from opposite BP Ferny Grove, and being led by our VP Richard Maher. However, please keep an eye on the Club Facebook page and the Events Calendar on the Club website for other upcoming events for 2017.
Cindy Bennett email@example.com
BMWMCQ 2016 EVENTS DECEMBER Thursday 1st
Ride Leader / Contact
7:30pm Monthly club meeting
8:00am Sunny Coast Riders Coffee Morning
6:00pm Christmas Party
6:30pm Social Dinner - Hamilton Hotel
Coffee Club Caloundra
Richard de Groote
Cnr Kingsford Smith Dve & Racecourse Rd Hamilton
9:30am Saturday Morning Coffee Run
Feel Goodz Café Woody Point (Redcliffe)
8:00am Sunny Coast Riders Coffee Morning
Coffee Club Caloundra
Richard de Groote
BMWMCQ 2017 EVENTS
7:30pm Monthly club meeting
7:00am Breakfast Ride
6:30pm Hamilton Hotel dinner meet
6:30pm German Club
Italics font denotes event organised by other clubs
BP Ferny Grove
Cnr Kingsford Smith Dve & Racecourse Rd Hamilton
Bill Luyten & Geoff Hodge
pares Sale at Cost price
The committee has decided to not continue selling spares so when existing spares are gone they won’t be replaced. Tools however, will continue to be available. The Club held the first serevice day for this year in Ocotber and is looking at another early in 2017. Many thanks once again to Howard Wilson for the use of his place for the service day. All that attended had a very enjoyable day and the Club raisewd some money from the Sausage Sizzle for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Howard has kindly offered the Club the use of his place next time. Contact: Tools Officers Bill Luyten 0438123747 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Geoff Hodge 0413180101 (email@example.com)
Club Tool Loan: $25 deposit for GS911. Tools and spares can be picked up or brought along to the next meeting or club ride.
Bill Luyten and Geoff Hodge firstname.lastname@example.org
Tools Hire / Spares / Sales Special Tools
Twinmax electronic carburettor balancer (Twin BMW engines) Vacuumate (electronic synchronisation of throttle valves up to 4 cylinders) Clutch alignment shafts (3 sizes) Compression gauge (cylinder pressure) Steering head bearing puller and seating tool Gearbox output flange puller GS-911 Wi-Fi Diagnostic tool (Wi-Fi and USB Version)
Workshop manual - K75/100 (Haynes) Workshop manual - K100 BMW Workshop manual - R1100 Haynes Workshop manual - R45, R65, R65LS BMW Workshop manual - R45, R65 BMW Workshop manual - R60/7, R75/7, R80/7, R100/7, R100S/RS BMW Workshop manual - R60/6, 75/6, 90/6, 90S Workshop manual - R80GS BMW
Tool’s Report Workshop manual - R50/5, 60/5_6, R75/5_6, R90/6, R90S (Haynes) Workshop manual - R45, R50, R60, R65, R75, R80, R90, R100 (Haynes) Workshop manual - K1200RS/ GT/LT, ‘98-’10 (Clymer) Workshop manual - K1200LT DVD BMW Workshop manual - R Series Oil Head DVD BMW
Spares (Cost Price Sale) Filters - Air
K Series K1200 (LX628) x2 $16.00ea
Filters - Fuel
K & R Series in line (KL145) x4 $20.00ea
520HF - R60, R75, R80, R100 x1 $27.00 ea G391ST - K1/100RS/1100LT, RS/1200RS, LT R80R, C/850/100/1100/1150 x6 $43.00 ea
XR5DC (K/R1100) Bosch Super x2 $10.00ea
Oil filter removing tool - (OCS 1) K/R4V x5 $13.00ea K Series Oil Filter ‘O’ Ring x6 $2.00ea R Series Oilhead Fuel Sender ‘O’ Ring x3 $3.00ea
Service Day Report
Hi all, Season’s Greetings
ell not much has happened at the work bench since the last Service Day. I will endeavour to keep you all posted in the new year as to when and where the next Service day will be held. Until then stay safe.
ello Everyone, I’ve got T-shirts I’ve got bucket hats I’ve got polo shirts I’ve got stickers I will have my display at the monthly club meeting so come and see me or send me an email.
Regalia Officer’s Report email@example.com 0416 112 620
text or phone me
Julia Townsend firstname.lastname@example.org
LADIES TEE (Relaxed fit - Embroidered with club logo) Sizes 12-24 Fuchsia $25.00
MEN’S TEE (Embroidered with club logo) Grey Marle Sizes S-3XL $25.00
MEN’S TEE (Embroidered with club logo) Navy Sizes S-3XL $25.00
BUCKET HAT (Embroidered with club logo) Sizes S/M & L/XL Navy $20.00
Records Officers Report
nother month has gone by and I haven’t got a great deal to report. There are no great changes to report as all the necessary changes have been done. This is due to the prodigious efforts of Bill Carson and I can’t thank him enough for all he has done to sort out the issues with the website and its reporting system. I don’t even have any issues with the bike to report. (Touch wood). So all I can say is enjoy the sentiment of our final hard copy Journal and see you around the traps.
Craig Brennan email@example.com
Want to serve award winning coffee at your next event ? Book a Cafe2U mobile cafe today by calling Kieran Doyle. #1093
Cafe2U Australia Redlands 0409 815 984
Minutes of the BMWMCQ General Meeting Thursday 03/11/2016 Meeting Opened: 7.30pm Members Present: 39 Apologies: Howard Wilson, Tony Malone, Toddy, Bill Carson, Paul Malcom. Minutes of October General Meeting: Proposed – Les Fitz, Seconded – Tony G Regalia: It’s out on display! Bucket hats, T – shirts. Secretary: Some membership forms received & other BM Club mags. Records: All in order. Seven new members this month. When paying by credit card, please include the CVV number.
BMW Club’s Australia: Have a corporate box available at Albert Park for the F1. Editor: The December mag will be the last hard copy journal. There’s no mag in January. The results of the photo competition will be announced at the Christmas party. Treasurer: Net income to November is $1188 Tools: 15 bikes turned up at Howard’s for the service day. The GS-911 was used on 12 bikes. The proceeds of the BBQ went to the RFDS. Events: Sunday ride to Nanango for go-kart racing with the Toowoomba group. • There is the Social Dinner at the Hamilton, • The BMW Nationals in Bright,
• and, The Christmas Party 3rd Dec in Stanthorpe.
Vice Pres: I recently enjoyed a corporate trip to the Moto GP at Phillip Island (I have also just bought an XS400 as a learner legal bike). General Business: When looking at coming events on facebook, please tick the appropriate box if attending so that we have an idea of numbers please. • More camping weekends have been suggested, so if you have a location please send it in. • David Whale will fill in for Cindy as events co-ordinator whilst she’s away.
• Gary Bennett has started a camping equipment discussion on the website. • There are nearly 250 registered for the National Rally in Bright.
• Saul has opened his BMW workshop on the Gold Coast opposite Team Moto Honda.
• Drew’s back after his encounter with Skippy on the Off Centre Trip. His bike is back also.
• The January breakfast ride at Jolly’s Lookout needs to have the site booked. It’s the 3rd Sunday in Jan.
Raffle: 1st – Maggie, 2nd – Kelly, 3rd – Kevin Powell, 4th – Ray Newing, 5th – Maggie. Closed: 8.15pm
Advertisers - Do
you have any unusual or difficult service stories to tell? Remember the Dirty Wheels column that used to be in Wheels Magazine? You do! Great, send them in. Have any new products to tell people about? If you send me a short editorial style article simply listing the product and benefits, I will (space permitting) publish as close to your ad as possible with a pointer to your ad. Keep it brief and informative is all I ask. Ed.
Go Kart, Young Man
Monthly Ride Report November 2016
kin to Olympians arriving at Sydney Airport on the way to Rio de Janeiro, such was the general feeling of the group arriving at Julie’s at the Rectory in Esk on Sunday 6th November. The years of unrequited training intent, relentless carbohydrate and protein intake, and thoughts about doing some exercise was about to be tested in the furnace of the Nanango Go-Kart challenge against the all-conquering Warrego Riders. A last load of carbo was taken on board by the ten or so near-to-the-road warriors, after which the group departed nearly on time to ride up to Nanango via Crows Nest behind the ride leader sporting a brand new (only 142,000km) 1999 R850R. The best bits of Tony Gray’s April 2016 ride were shamelessly plagiarised, with the ride to the south west toward Ravensbourne before turning vaguely in the right direction north-west to Perseverance Dam. With another successful crossing of the dam wall without any Parks & Wildlife-concerning evidence of anyone running over any brush-tailed rock wallabies, we headed into Crows Nest for the first of a series of unplanned stops so the ride leader could cleanse his visor of a brush-tailed rock wallaby-sized bug. The timing of the ride with the largest white butterfly migration in years and the swarming beetles and large and small flies, all apparently taking custard tarts around to their mum’s place when they were hit crossing the road, made clear vision a lottery. And so it was that we arrived at Nanango via the more scenic back route through Pimpinbudgee and Maidenwell, initially with raw anticipation, and then with annoyance and confusion as we realised that we had missed the turn-off into the track. But as Julia so wisely observed, it would not be a BMWMCQ Brisbane club ride without a turn-around, so good humour was soon restored as we pulled in. The Warrego Riders had just beaten our main group into the track café, and this was to later prove to be the decisive strategic advantage on the day as they got all the seats where the Feng Shui principles of harmony, balance, flow, and a steak sandwich with the lot conjoined. Fifteen minute rides were considered a good trade-off between enough laps to get the hang of it and not enough laps to go over the performance peak, justified when remembering that even Usain Bolt never ran the 400m. The main event was just before noon, and apart from Michael who had to partake in an earlier event and who still remains the Brisbane riders great hope of a sub-Warrego rider lap time, it was the entire field of ten Warrego v Brisbane competition drivers who brushed up on the track rules, selected karts, cleansed visors, and prepared for the off. The start was a bit less congested than the average F1 race, but the experienced drivers soon made their presence felt with passing manoeuvres that
would call for protests and loss of points in a civilised world. The trend of most novice drivers’ experience was steady improvement, with those that stayed out of the packs most likely to get better and able to apply increasing right foot pressure and decreasing left foot pressure. Race tactics also improved, although confusion as to whether the driver trying to pass was friend or foe led to some friends being blocked by drivers who will remain nameless – let’s call them “Greg” and “Julia”, then rammed vengefully by “Greg” once they had squeezed past. After 15 laps, most had learned the idiosyncrasies of the track and the syncrasies of the idiots on the track, so it was with some regret and cramping forearms we were called in to check out the much-anticipated rankings. As most expected, Danny from the Warrego Riders was the rapidest with a 54 second lap, closely followed by Mark from the Warrego Riders in a very professional performance. The fastest lap time by a Brisbane driver was Chris which was a surprise to all who had passed him, however it is not how fast you drive at Nanango but the line you take. Chris had managed to discover a short section of turf which cut off a third of the track, and boldly took it while the rest of us followed the official route like high speed sheep. Nothing on the rule board said anything about taking short-cuts, so well done Chris and it will cause a rethink of tactics for next year.
Nanango Kart Track with Chris Lancaster lawn shortcut highlighted
Recommendations for next year include having the Nanango Kart Track as part of every event such as coffee mornings, monthly rides, B2B’s, Frigid Digit, and the Christmas Party, and attracting some pillions such as Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, and Daniel Ric-
Monthly Ride Report - Photos ciardo into the BMWMCQ Brisbane group with significant discounts on membership fees and promises of being able to ride on the back of the Presidentâ€™s bike. All up it was a great day, and a lot of fun even with the thought of the ride home in the climbing temperature and the swarms of insects carrying buckets of custard.
photos by Jim Campey
Every Day is a Choose Day
ike all good rides it starts with a phone call, “where will we go tomorrow”. Here in the South East we have so many choices and all are good. We decided to go down through Chillingham, lunch at Flutterbies and ride the rangers etc. Friday arrived and it was clear, warm, 30C at 10am as we met at the BP Yatala. Club member Paul Skerman and his wife Viki arrived on their F650 & F700GS’s.
I asked them if we could change the ride slightly so I could go see a mate who has a cane property near Murwillumbah. The attraction for them would be, this property has its own race track. Sure thing we would like to see that. We headed down the MI to Currumbin and up Currumbin Creek Road through the Currumbin Valley which leads onto Tomewin Mountain Road and over the border to NSW. These roads head up and over the McPherson Range. Nice twisty roads with some great views looking towards Murwillumbah. We passed the Red Rattler coffee stop, a few old rail carriages, good coffee and some interesting craft thingies, worth a look if you have never been there.
Articles: Merv Bone - Choose Day We were almost into Murwillumbah when we turned left and found my friends property. Up the gravel drive to the house and shed which is on a ridge overlooking the race track (farm access road for council purposes) where we parked. I introduced our group to Derek who is the owner of Aluma-lite Racing and his son John who rides the S1000RR super bike. Over coffee/tea I asked how this year’s racing was going thinking they were still in the FX Super bike series and Derek told us that they were only doing local events, Willowbank, Lakeside and Morgan Park at Warwick of which they had won every event. Well done young John. Derek explained that the local council had made him change the track so now it was a bit longer and almost ready to have the black top put on it. Next year we will have to go back for a ride around the farm access road. :) :) We left and now it was 1pm NSW time and headed for the Tumbulgum Tavern not far away. As we walked in we met 3 of the group I had been to Tazzie with in September who were out on their Goldwings. This is a great spot overlooking the Tweed River. Lunch was a very large steak burger each and cold drinks, Yum. Time to head home via Numinbah Road; through Chillingham and Natural Bridge. Again these roads over the ranges never disappoint, twisty, cool as you climb higher and higher with great views and as it is a week day little traffic. At Advancetown we stopped for a chat, “which way home”. A left turn at Mt Nathan Road and headed for Clagiraba and up Henri Robert Drive to the top of Mt Tamborine, again another twisty road sometime forgotten about. Over the mountain to Tamborine village and onto Beaudesert-Beenleigh Rd headed back to Yatala on Stanmore road. Paul wanted to stop in at Australian Motorcycle Accessories which we discovered had moved nearby to Dixon St, Yatala. Paul tried on a few jackets but none to his liking while I had a look at new helmets. Back on the bikes and up the MI in the afternoon traffic. All in all; just on 300K for the day with great company of fellow club members.
Merv Bone 3663
Merv Bone - 6 Cylinders....Yeah!!!
The Joy of Six Before BMW
s I read the first few lines of the article in the September journal I thought Damien was writing about my bike and got his numbers mixed up. Silky, seamless power, yes, distinctive and purposeful rasp from the exhaust, yes but no he was talking about the K1600 BMW. I got to thinking let’s compare my 1982 Kawasaki Z1300 with the new BMW. Cost of K1600 was about $36,000 give or take a bit; Z1300 in 1982, $6,200, but I got a Beaumont Special $4,700. Only the naked Z1300 came to Australia. I had a one off specially designed fairing; $600 and a set of Craven bags and top box that I got second-hand from a mate who was selling his R100RS, $100. Both are 6 cylinders with DOHC. The Z has 3 carbies and in 85 went to injected like the K 1600. The Z has 120bhp while the K has 160bhp and both have top speeds over 200km/h on a track of course. Both have about 27L fuel tanks but the K gets 50 plus mpg while the Z gets 40 mpg and sometimes a lot less, Speed versus Fuel consumption. Weight is about the same 318 kg (GT) and 349 kg (GTL) and 340 kg (Z). Suspension on the Z is fully adjustable with air and the use of a bicycle pump (stationary) while on the K up, down, sideways at the push of a button on the move. Windscreen on the Z of which there are 2, a low sports and a tall touring, changeable with a screwdriver, the K you guessed it another button. Music, the Z has an IPod with ear plugs and can also receive instruction from the on-board Aldi GPS while the K has the Multi-Controller and screen. The Z does not have Heated grips or seat, bugger. The K has ESA and a mode button with Traction control and E Gas for Rain, Road and Dynamic plus linked brakes. The Z has a powerful computer system called M.I.N.D which stands for Mind. In. Neutral = Disaster with only 2 modes TIC and TOC (Totally In Control and Totally Outta Control). MIND also controls the linked brakes. Headlights; yes the Z has one that goes up, down (high ‘n low) but not around corners. The Z does have self-cancelling indicators. Both bikes handle well for big steads once they are under way and are comfortable for distance touring and both have cruise control (Z throttle lock). Now for some facts that you may not be aware of about my Z. It has just turned 30 years old on the 3/8/12 and we celebrated by singing Happy Birthday and putting a new front tyre on. My wife refused to bake a cake this time. It has 170,000ks on the clock with only small repairs needed. It has been to the Alpine Rally in June and covered in snow
(All Digits were cold that weekend) and most places on the east coast of our fair land. Only about 400 were sold here but the Z1300 has set some records, 1979 Unlimited Production race at Bathurst came second and set the fastest speed thru the speed trap (241.6 km/h). In December 82 Ross Atkin set a new round Australia record, riding 15,000km from Melbourne to Melbourne; in 6 days, 22 hours and 51 minutes. Try doing that today on a K1600 and keep your license. My 1st BMW Club ride (Ronnie Biggs) was on the Z1300 as my R1200GS was having some modification done and not finished in time. The panniers are removable and not on the bike in these photos. Merv Bone (3663)
BMWMCQ MEDICAL ASSISTANCE INITIAITIVE With the recent decision not to continue with selling spares and given the recent medical incidents involving club members, the committee has decided to start a new initiative to support members suffering medical inconveniences: namely a Medical Aids Loan Scheme. The scheme has been kicked off with the donation of a number of moon boots (one with very low kilometres, crutches and a mobility scooter. If you would like to make a donation or loan the equipment please contact the Club Editor
Duncan & Cindy - Canada Part 3b
In the October Journal we left Duncan and Cindy at Koots Motocycle Shop in Creston just south of Kootenay Lake and only 10km from the USA border, Welcome to the final CANADA PART 3B
p the next morning for a pleasant breakfast, we got away at about 8am after leaving Cindy’s Sena communicator charging for as long as possible as it was struggling to cope with a full day playing her so-called music, and rode north along the picturesque eastern side of Kootenay Lake. I had downloaded the Kootenay Bay ferry timetable and determined that it left every 50 minutes, so was disappointed to find that it only did so after 10:40am, while before that it was every 100 minutes. As we arrived just as the 9am ferry pulled away, we gave ourselves 99 minutes to get a coffee (5 minutes) and stroll aimlessly around the nearly facilities-free Kootenay Bay (94 minutes) while waiting about in the rapidly deteriorating weather. The Kootenay Bay – Balfour ferry which crosses 10km of Kootenay Lake is the longest free ferry ride in the world, which makes up for the huge expense incurred on all our other ferry rides around Vancouver Island and Seattle. As a result the ferry staffing is minimal, and everyone just lines up in columns and boards in order of arrival which gets motorcyclist’s noses out of joint as we are normally treated like royalty with a first-on first-off right of passage. On our crossing it was the longest and windiest free ferry ride in the world, with the open front subjected to gale force westerly winds coming across the lake.
very malignant looking cloud following the gale, and we raced north along the western side of Kootenay Lake to reach Kaslo and try to avoid a drenching. Kaslo forms the eastern end of the Highway 31A which was recommended by just about every Canadian including the legendary 1200GS triple black rider, so it had dictated our route planning in this part of the world. The 31A road is not very long at only 46km, but is quite similar to Highway 12 through Lolo Pass in Idaho as it winds its way beside a beautiful river up and over the range and into New Denver on the eastern shore of Slocan Lake. By this stage the weather had created the doI-stop-and-put-my-waterproofs-on-or-do-I-ride-it-out conundrum. The conundrum is a pointless distraction because we always ride it out, and then regret it as the entire riding costume slowly becomes saturated, whereas if we stop in the rain and open our all panniers and top boxes trying to find waterproofs both we and all our gear quickly become saturated. Another conundrum. Luckily New Denver turned up to save us, with a relatively dry parking space under some trees and a nice little restaurant for warming bowls of hot soup and chowder discovered. The sweating of yesterday now a fond memory in the cooling climate, we kitted up after lunch for drizzle that was becoming relentless and headed off toward Nakusp, via the hamlet of Rosebery where the similarities with the Tasmanian Rosebery which is one of the wettest places in Australia was easy to draw.
The only difference between Rosebery TAS and Rosebery BC are the trees
The Kootenay Ferry ride gale finishing the job on Cindy’s hair started by the helmet The 700GS and 800GS engines were revving as we docked in Balfour due to a fast approaching and
Nakusp sits on the eastern shore of Upper Arrow Lake which forms a formidable 200km barrier for east-west travellers between Revelstoke at the northern end and Castlegar in the south, between these towns there is no bridge. The choice from Nakusp is 60km north to a ferry at Galena Bay, or 60km south to a ferry at Fauquier. As Cindy seemed to be saying
Duncan & Cindy - Canada Part 3b Fauquier with some intensity a lot by this stage in the miserable conditions, we gave up our north-west bearing and headed south to the second ferry ride of the day. The Fauquier ferry has a travelling distance of about 800m which probably doesn’t qualify it as the shortest free ferry ride in the world as there is a lot of competition for that title. The time between crossings is so short that there are no facilities, so no-one even bothered getting out their vehicle. The sodden motorcyclists just hunkered down in the rain and willed the fifth and final ferry of the trip to hurry back from the other shore which seemed to be greener and sunnier. Again the names on maps problem came to the fore, with the anticipated large town of Needles on the other side of the lake with its world-renowned boutique IPA brewing and wine industries actually not even having a burned out barn. There was nothing for it but to toughen up and ride on into the increasingly wet distance. The road headed north-west again toward Vernon along some likely looking but unoccupied moose swamp habitat, but with the altitude climbing up to 1,400m the cold became unpleasant and without the GS heated hand grips even more swearing might have occurred. It was with some relief we began descending, and even though the rain had started to ease we were drawn like moths to the Gold Bar Park café flame outside Cherryville. The warm and dry insides of the café put things back into perspective, and with the loins figuratively girded by hot coffee and some dinner pre-empting apple pie dessert for Cindy, we continued on our quest to find lodgings. The Lumby Twin Creeks motel about 30km further on signalled the close of riding play for the day, and a pleasant walk about the small rural town in the rain-less atmosphere before an IPA-enhanced hot meal at the Blue Ox pub made the miserable weather of the day seem irrelevant. With every thoroughly moisturised item of riding equipment spread out to dry on the hotel outdoor and indoor furniture, it was not long before Facebook had been papered with a thick layer of posts and the transition through to Saturday commenced. The next day was officially the shortest riding day of the trip at 140km due to the disgraceful failure of Needles to be a town. We had a much-anticipated
appointment to catch up with friends for dinner in Kamloops, so could proceed no further. Advice indicated that the BC Wildlife Park on the outskirts of Kamloops may fill in some missing fauna pieces of the Canadian experience, so after a leisurely breakfast and some regret by Cindy that she should have dried her boots out, we headed off to the wildlife experience. The BC Wildlife Park was reached at exactly coffee time, so everything seemed perfect until the machine generated cappuccino was tasted and immediately given the lowest possible score in all categories except “tastes like hairy dog wash effluent”. Not to be discouraged, we bought tickets and went out on the self-guided tour around the park. Like most modern parks the animals can be impossible to see in their well vegetated enclosures, however we were able to tick off the remaining three items of black bear, moose, and grizzly bear from the big five as we’d already seen wild elk and had nearly seen nearly wild bison. The black bear we saw was actually a white sub-species known as the Kermode bear that experts (i.e. Cindy and I) claim evolved to avoid being pulled over by police for no reason while driving in the USA.
The nemesis grizzly bear (Ursus Arctos) and the Kermode black bear (Ursus Michaelus Jacksonii)
Now somewhat relieved that we hadn’t actually met a grizzly bear out in the forests having seen what they could do to small pieces of fruit, we headed into Kamloops town for lunch and a wander about the Saturday market, before riding to our hotel. The issue mentioned in Part 1 IPA in the USA with the North American penchant for identical street numbers on the same road prefaced by east or west from a central point now confounded us; Google Maps insisted that the Holiday Inn we’d booked was a derelict two bedroom squat in an area dominated by derelict two
bedroom squats. After 5 sweeps past the derelict two bedroom squat which stubbornly refused to become a 4-star hotel, the lights came on and west was put into Google Maps and bingo. Unfortunately bingo was 2.5 km away well outside city limits. Dinner with friends Helen and Bryce was a Canadian dining sensation, with a boutique IPA (how did they know?) and BBQ’d moose and mule deer kindly shot by Bryce and dragged for miles through bear infested forest to his car. A question was finally answered on the availability of so much great fruit and vegetables, with 18 hours of daylight things just grow relentlessly in summer. Zucchini apparently change from delicate courgettes to things the size of the Fat Man atomic bomb overnight. After a great evening and some good advice on the best highway avoiding routes to Vancouver, it was back to the hotel and the well-practiced preparation for the last riding day. With no major pressure to get up early, we arrived at Sunday breakfast at exactly the same time as all the other hotel guests, so after abandonment of hope of a place to dine we grabbed the essentials and took them back the room to accidentally bless the marital bed by sprinkling sacramental milk and fruit juice all over it. I’d been avoiding eye contact with the GPS over the last week of the trip, but on the last day it decided to offer an olive branch by insisting we take a great route on Lac Le Jeune Road which followed the same general alignment as Highway 5, but included some beautiful lake scenery and lots of wild elk. The fun couldn’t last though and we ended up on Highway 5 and then a small section of our old friend Highway 3 for the 120km/h madness down to Hope and lunch. Advice on the best roads had been to cross the Fraser River and head into Vancouver on the Lougheed Highway, which turned out to be good advice as the road meandered along the wide scenic river which ends up just to the south of Vancouver.
But I want another go!
Duncan & Cindy - Canada Part 3b As it was a Sunday, hundreds of motorcyclists were out riding to take advantage of the weather and the numerous cafes and restaurants on the scenic roads. With the temperature climbing during mid-afternoon, the slow and traffic interrupted journey through the Vancouver suburbs with a cramped hand from waving at other riders made the arrival back to Cycle BC a comfort relief, even though it marked the sudden end of the grand adventure. The Cycle BC inspections and paperwork were quick and efficient, if only Cindy’s unpacking had been as efficient and she had remembered to check her jacket back pocket for several emotionally essential items it would have been perfect. In general the Cycle BC experience was a great one and we can highly recommend them, there had been absolutely no issues with either BMW bike, but if there had been there were breakdown protocols in place. I purchased a can of chain lube which other long term hire agents have normally provided us with, probably two weeks and 3,820km without it might have turned the sprockets into ninja stars. With a two week trip booked, it would also probably have helped to have a dedicated staff member during the madness of a Monday morning pick-up to provide undivided attention to ensure that everything was collected, as Cindy mistakenly grabbed a rain jacket rather than wet weather pants, and I didn’t get jacket innards so we were very lucky to have had only one wet day. The Cycle BC bikes are well set up for on and off-road, the only missing protection was barkbusters on Cindy’s GS which I think should not even be an option before leaving the BMW (or Triumph or KTM) dealer showrooms on any serious adventure touring bikes. We are definitely going to drop these things, and it shouldn’t break something when we do. After a quick inspection of a Cycle BC staff member’s 1200GS with QLD plates, which the leaves the Canadian police confused as they try to figure out where OLD is, it was a taxi ride to the Vancouver airport and a final boutique IPA to complete a clean sweep of the series and get rid of any remaining CAD before the check-in for the direct flight to Brisbane. A 14 hour flight isn’t the best way to end a trip, in hindsight it would have been better to ride back.
The end, with huge thanks to Craig Wessner our Canadian riding friend and route planner.
Duncan and Cindy Bennett
BMW National Rally Bright Victoria BMW NATIONAL RALLY 2016 – BRIGHT VICTORIA
he BMWMC of Victoria put their hand up to host the 2016 BMW Clubs Australia Rally following the success of the 2014 Rally hosted by the BMWMCACT at Lake Cargelligo NSW. Jane and I had attended the enjoyable 2014 event and were keen to participate again. The usual suspects were rounded up (a favourite line from Casablanca) and arrangements put into place. We were part way through our epic lap of OZ while all this was happening so relied on el Presidente Paul to ensure all was well. We weren’t back home very long before it was time to repack to Gray Ghost and set sail once again. The Queensland attendees had organised into small groups or flew solo depending on availability of time. Jane and I left with Paul on the Sunday prior to the event with Mark & Donna already on the way to Melbourne to visit family and Les & Kelly not leaving until the Wednesday. Mark G, Mal, Peter T, Richard & Wendy, Steve & Meredith, Darrell & Trish, Rodney, Paul & Caroline all left somewhere in between (apologies if I missed anyone). Unfortunately Richard and Wendy had to return home from Glen Innes for personal reasons. Our plans were to take in some back roads on our way to Jindabyne for a two night stay to enjoy some riding in the mountains. The weather was kind to us as we moved through our overnight stays at Uralla Top Pub) and Bathurst (The Hallows Accommodation – highly recommended). We tried a new road (for us) diversion from Goulburn onto Braidwood then dirt through Numeralla and the high country to Cooma. This is a top ride if the weather is fine. We made it through under cloudy skies but the rain Gods were kind to us on this occasion. As Brisbane basked in summerlike temps in the mid 30’s we trekked through the snow up at Perisher in the Snowy Mountains. We certainly live in a land of contrasts. From Jindabyne we continued south through Dalgety to Bombala for coffee then the great ride through Delegate to Orbost. Paul and I did this ride back in February on our way to Tasmania and enjoyed it immensely. Even 2 up on the Gray Ghost the dirt sections are fun and the twisty bitumen sublime. Unfortunately the dirt is quickly getting sealed and I fear that a full bitumen road will attract the pimple faced lads on their crotch rockets and the law officers doing their best to balance the NSW & Victorian State budgets. We only passed 3 cars in over 100km but that won’t last so get in quick. You’ve been warned. Pretty Lakes Entrance was our stop on Thursday then a short ride down to Metung so Paul could check out the Yacht Club before we attacked the high country up through Omeo, Dinner Plain, Hotham and onto Bright to register. This is one of the great rides in Australia and on
that fine Friday morning we had very little traffic in competition. We had caught up with Mark & Donna in Omeo and quickly picked up the other Qld members at the Bright Brewery before a noisy meal at an Italian restaurant – no idea who was making all of the noise. There were various led rides available on the Saturday and Sunday with a Saturday night dinner as the Rally highlight. There were several awards presented but one deserves special mention. A club member from Darwin riding a K1600GL covered the distance to Bright of some 4,400km in 57 hours elapsed time. That is an average speed of 77kph. I assume he slept somewhere? Unfortunately no one can plan for the weather and Saturday presented wet but had cleared for a good ride over the mountains in the afternoon. Sunday was a disaster with (sometimes) heavy rain persisting all day. The weather on Mt Hotham was blowing at 57 kph with -1c and wind chill of -8c. Not good biking weather. Various alternate activities were tried including a wine tour, leisurely long lunch and afternoon matinee at the Bright Cinema. Despite the weather we all had a good time. Most of us left Monday heading home in different directions or in Mal’s case off to the next rally for Horizons Unlimited in the Australian Alps. The weather had mostly cleared by Monday so Jane and I had a fun day in the beautiful Murray Valley where the Hume Weir is at capacity and the country in top condition. Our route home took us to Cowra at end of day 1 then back to Uralla and home at the end of day 3. This was a very enjoyable trip and thanks must go to the hardworking committee of the BMWMCV for their organisation. Queensland will be hosting the event in 2018 so if you would like to get involved then contact a committee member.
T&J Gray - T.W.W. Homeward Bound
e have been right royally entertained with two episodes from Tony and Jane keeping us up to date with their round Australia exploits....sooo sit back and enjoy this last episode: THE WILD WILD WEST HOMEWARD BOUND.......Ed.
Along the way we had unearthed some real gems that should be on every Australians’ bucket list. For us the Red Centre lay ahead but not before digging up a few more gems. Common belief (certainly ours) is that the Nullarbor Plain stretches almost 1200km from Norseman in WA to Ceduna in SA. This is the accepted norm. We were more than a little surprised when we came across a sign just before our night stop at the Nullarbor roadhouse that we had arrived at the western edge of the Nullarbor Plain.
Three Border Crossings to Home
e crossed from WA into SA just after Eucla on the Nullarbor Plain. This little exercise exposed another gap in our knowledge of this great country; time zones. Now it is ‘common knowledge’ that Australia operates on three time zones (forgetting about that daylight saving aberration) being Eastern, Central and Western. Well there is a little known fourth zone that is halfway between western and central. It only applies to the small communities from Caiguna to Eucla on the WA/SA Border. Another tick added to the knowledge box. For us crossing into SA meant just two more border crossings, back into the Northern Territory and then into Queensland on the homeward leg. We had ticked off our bucket list items of the Qld Gulf, Kimberly Region of WA and were halfway through the crossing of the Nullarbor.
A few questions and a little research confirmed that the Eyre Highway in fact crosses only about 50km of the actual Nullarbor Plain – a limestone shelf stretching much further inland that has little topsoil and therefore will not support any trees with root systems. Our poor knowledge of the local topography extended to the Head of the Bight, a bay where Southern Right Whales come up from the Antarctic to calve. We were told not to miss this gem and that was the best advice we have ever received. The Head of the Bight is a bay at the eastern edge of the Great Australian Bight where the massive limestone cliffs extending from the west give way to sand dunes. Fortunately for us these Southern Right Whales have chosen this location to breed and strengthen their young calves before returning south.
T&J Gray - T.W.W. Homeward Bound The season extends from May to October. There is an entry fee to the viewing cliffs as these are tribal lands but what we saw surpassed anything you could expect to see from a boat and at a much cheaper price. The viewing platforms are hung off the cliff giving an elevated ringside spectacle over the playroom of about a dozen giant female whales and their young offspring including one white example. They are not migrating so just hang around playing. Awesome. We could have stayed all day. Everyone there had a smile as big as a …….whale. Earlier in the season as many as 80 family units had been counted in the bay. We moved onto Ceduna having crossed the Nullarbor and ticked another box on our bucket list.
Our original plan was to continue along the Eyre Hwy to Port Augusta before tackling Central Australia. All of our plans are flexible and so it was again as we diverted south on the Flinders Hwy to explore the Eyre Peninsula. The change was cemented following a chance meeting with a couple in WA who hailed from Port Lincoln and regaled us with stories of the beauty of the peninsula. The west coast route comprises rugged sea cliffs, fishing villages and beautiful bays.
Smoky Bay, Streaky Bay, Point Labatt, Port Kenny, Venus Bay, Elliston and Coffin Bay provided a few days of beauty wrapped around an abundance of
fresh fish and oysters. Yum.
Port Lincoln is best known to us as the home of LA Olympic weightlifting gold medalist Dean Lukin and arguably the greatest Australia trained distance thoroughbred, Makaybe Diva, who won the Melbourne Cup 3 times. The Diva has an impressive bronze statue on the esplanade but no such honour for The Dean.
No doubt the townsfolk of Port Lincoln won a lot more money from the Diva’s achievements. The Grand Tasman Hotel was a good spot to stay, overlooking the Bay and offering a secure lockup for the Gray Ghost in the drive-thru bottle shop. The east coast of the Eyre Peninsula is in complete contrast to the west.
T&J Gray - T.W.W. Homeward Bound
Here we found pretty sandy beaches and rich historic communities at Tumby Bay, Port Neill, Arno Bay and Cowell. Cementing the peninsula together is an abundant agricultural region producing canola and grain crops. The only downside from our perspective was the plagues of bugs growing fat from the crops and then splattering us and the Gray Ghost in yellow goop.
At the head of Spencer Gulf on the east coast of the Eyre Peninsula is the industrial town of Whyalla, in the news for all the wrong reasons with industry closures and unemployment. Whyalla could never be called an attractive town but it does boast a surprisingly attractive bay and town beach that is one of the largest breeding grounds in the world for the Australian Giant Cuttlefish. Bet you didn’t know that little piece of trivia? We didn’t.
Our next ‘port of call’ was Port Augusta where the Gray Ghost had an appointment for a new rear tyre. Her rear Michelin Anakee 3 had covered close to 18,000km and was still showing legal tread but I wanted the confidence of a new tyre before we embarked up the Stuart Hwy to the Red Centre. The team at Northern Motorcycles were terrific and displayed real hospitality so sadly missing in (some) big city dealerships. With the new tyre fitted we set sail north but
not before visiting the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Gardens which provided a great insight into the flora that we had been observing as well as a panoramic vista of the nearby Flinders Ranges. Very tempting but that will have to wait for another tour.
We expected to cover the 550 odd km of the Stuart Hwy to Coober Pedy via Woomera very comfortably on the open highway (23) with fuel at Glendambo and nothing much else in between. Our regular companion however (the wind) ensured the ride was anything but comfortable. Blowing fiercely in from the west it made the ride into a day-long wrestling match. At Glendambo we met Luke, an adventurous young man out of Perth on his R1150GSA who was 20,000+ kms into a trip that had taken him to many parts of the country.
We would see much more of Luke over the next few days. Just outside the Woomera turn-off we saw our first Police car of the day sitting on the side of the highway. After we had refueled he pulled into the servo for a chat amazed at the angle of our bike as we passed. He was a young officer who had just been transferred to Woomera and was in the process of getting his MT09 Yamaha sent up from Adelaide. He was more than a little concerned at what winds like this would do to his much lighter steed. As we chatted
T&J Gray - T.W.W. Homeward Bound a towed caravan arrived with its shredded annexe trailing behind, the driver and passenger oblivious to the carnage the wind had wrought. We passed another in similar state further along the road.
Cliffs back in 2011 and it is a truly unique Aussie experience to stay in one of these well appointed underground bunkers.
We stayed an extra night in Coober Pedy to fully explore this quirky, interesting town while Luke set sail for Uluru on his way to a wedding in Darwin (no, not his). On our way north from Coober Pedy we ventured down a very corrugated dirt road to ‘The Breakaways’ which had been a setting for Mad Max 3 ‘Beyond Thunderdome’. Seeing the terrain it was easy to understand why the site had been chosen. Almost back to the tar I
Woomera has been steeped in mystery for me since I was a little tacker and my father who worked for the Commonwealth made several work visits there. He regaled us kids with stories of rocket ships and jet aircraft that in the early 1960’s was as alien to us as the Jetsons on our B&W TV. It is well worth a visit if you are at all interested in the evolution of jet aircraft and rocket powered flight in Australia.
We hooked up with Luke again at our overnight stop at an underground motel in Coober Pedy. Jane and I had stayed in an underground B&B at White
spotted a perfectly good pair of pliers on the road. Jane didn’t quite see the value in the retrieval exercise that involved her dismounting and walking back down the track to retrieve our prize. Another one of those left brain, right brain differences. Someone else’s loss was our gain. Hopefully the former owner didn’t get stuck somewhere on the Oodnadatta Track for want of a pair of pliers. We pushed north again with the severe wind as our unwanted travelling companion. Next stop was for fuel at Cadney Park which is at the junction for those wanting to explore the Painted Desert to the east of the Stuart Hwy. It also proved to be an entertaining stop. We arrived to an apparently deserted roadhouse with nary another soul in sight. The pumps were not
T&J Gray - T.W.W. Homeward Bound
padlocked which was an encouraging sign. Then the ‘attendant’ surfaced, a middle aged woman drawing on a freshly lit dart with that ‘just sucked a lemon’ look. The real entertainment started when we ventured inside to pay for the fuel and bravely imbibe of an instant coffee from a chipped mug.
Another couple had arrived in their stereotypical Grey Nomad outfit of Toyota 4x4 with 8 metre van in tow. The male part of the Cadney Park staff had come inside wearing his sweat stained Akubra and greeted all with a broad welcome. Yes we have sites available in answer to the Nomads and ‘wherever you like’ in answer to the next question on where to park their ‘colossus on wheels’ as he gazed out over several acres of bare earth. The next question was the clincher! WiFi enquired the female nomad? No WiFi, no mobile, no TV came the answer from under the Akubra. Dish blew up a few weeks back and haven’t bothered getting it fixed. Don’t miss TV. But what about tonight’s game shot back the Nomad? (apparently a reference to an AFL final at the MCG). Can I get it on my TV? If you’ve got a satellite dish? YES YES I’ve got a dish came the Nomads excited response. Then I suppose you’ll have TV. Time for us to leave before we burst out laughing. Ah the dry humour of the Australian outback!
We passed the Marla roadhouse at the northern entry to the Oodnadatta Track and the last fuel before the NT border. We stopped for the mandatory photo shot at the border where we met an attractive young English lass who was cycling alone the full length of the Explorer’s Way from Adelaide to Darwin. We took a photo for her and wished her luck as she pushed on to her stop for the night at Kulgera Roadhouse. The roadhouse and pub at Kulgera is another of those colorful oases for the weary traveler with quite a display in the pub. We thought we were on a great adventure but I had to doff my lid to this very brave and adventurous young lass. Long live the free spirited.
Our overnight stop was at the (IMHO) overrated Erldunda roadhouse. The service was poor, accommodation average, prices high and flies in plague proportions. President Paul had warned me. Its location at the junction of Stuart and Lasseter Highways gives it a great marketing advantage as well as a (slightly misguided) claim to be in the geographic centre of Australia. Lamberts Centre of Australia marker is actually about 100km S-E of Erldunda just outside the small ‘town’ of Finke.
Next morning with a full tank we headed west on the Lasseter Hwy for our much anticipated meeting
T&J Gray - T.W.W. Homeward Bound with Uluru and another tick off our bucket list. We had been warned not to be deceived by a ‘false dawn’ as the very impressive Mt Conner loomed into view as we approached Curtin Springs. Its shape could easily be taken for Uluru.
We arrived at the Yulara Resort (formerly managed by el Presidente Paul) and caught up with Luke as we were checking in. Luke was just about to leave when he heard the Gray Ghost approaching and waited to say g’day. The piece of good advice Luke offered was to head straight out to Uluru if I wanted to climb the rock. The weather forecast wasn’t looking great and access to the rock is restricted for many reasons including heat, wind and rain. Now I had been struggling with the dilemma of whether to climb Uluru. When we left home my leaning was to abide by the indigenous peoples preference for visitors to respect the sanctity of the land and not climb Uluru. Physically I wanted to take the challenge and young whippersnapper Luke’s assertion that it was the hardest thing he had ever done was like beer to an alcoholic for me. I had to give it a go. I reconciled this personally (rightly or wrongly) by comparing the many abuses of the land we had seen occasioned by the indigenous people with a ‘hands off’ approach to Uluru.
Our first sighting of Uluru could be compared to other natural and man made icons we have had the pleasure of experiencing. You have seen so many images that the real thing is very familiar. No less beautiful but it just seems like you have seen it all before. Jane enjoyed a walk around the base while I tackled the climb. Yes it was tough as Luke had suggested but the views and exhilaration made the effort worthwhile. And Luke had been right – the weather set in for the remainder of our stay and the rock climb was closed. Next up was a visit to Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) which are some 50km from the Yulara Resort. In some ways they are more interesting than Uluru with several varied walks available. Unfortunately we had to cut our visit short as thunder & lightning preceded a doozy of a desert storm.
We made it back to Yulara just as the rain started. We were later shown photographs of water cascading off Uluru which is a rare event. We had to be satisfied with the photographs as it would have been too dangerous to take the Gray Ghost back out. We chose discretion over valor – must be maturing! There were a lot of BMW bikes staying at Yulara which turned out to be a Compass Expeditions/Touratech guided tour group complete with full support. They had started in very steamy weather in Darwin, were then getting rained on in the Red Centre and were heading into cold, wet weather in Victoria. No one can guarantee good weather but these poor beggars had drawn the short straw. The international visitors we spoke to still seemed to be enjoying their Australian experience on the back of a Beemer regardless of the weather. The weather had cleared for our departure to Kings Canyon, a trip of 300km on good sealed roads. We saw our first herd of wild camels on this journey as well as an insight as to what happens when you add lots of water to red dirt. There is a shortcut of 100k over a corrugated dirt road named after the inland explorer Ernest Giles. Continued on page 27
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T&J Gray - T.W.W. Homeward Bound It joins the Kings Canyon Road to the Stuart Highway and cuts approx 150k off the journey to Alice Springs. At the Kings Canyon Road junction we encountered three 4x4 vehicles of unknown origin. There was a clear wiper-sweep section of windscreen on each vehicle otherwise everything else was covered in red mud and wash. There was no discussion required in deciding that we would happily do the additional 150k of bitumen on our return journey.
Kings Canyon was a revelation to us. We had been concentrating our thoughts so much on Uluru that Kings Canyon was a sideshow but to our eyes when we got there it assumed main event status. The walk around the canyon rim is not for the feint hearted and the 500 stone steps ascent would deter many but the rewards are spectacular. It is truly magnificent with much varied terrain, spectacular views and waterways. We encountered a film crew who were shooting footage for a NT Tourism promotional campaign.
Any trip to the Red Centre should include Kings Canyon.
We set up camp in Alice Springs for a few days with a day trip exploring the West MacDonnell Ranges a highlight. Another day trip to the Hermannsburg Mission was aborted when we encountered a tropical storm which soon had the roads flooded. The rains caused water to run down the normally dry Todd River – another rare event that we were lucky to witness. Alice Springs has endured some bad press and some fellow travelers had warned us to be careful but we enjoyed the place. It certainly has a very rich and colorful history.
Heading north from The Alice we crossed the Tropic of Capricorn for the third time on this trip. Another photo opportunity. There weren’t too many other highlights on the 500k stretch to our overnight stop at Tennant Creek so the unlimited speed sections on this road were a worthwhile distraction. The heavens opened just as we pulled into Ti Tree Roadhouse but had cleared by the time we got to the infamous Barrow Creek and the interesting geographic feature of The Devils Marbles.Tennant Creek was another site we had been warned against but once again we did not have any trouble or see anything that caused us alarm. Interestingly our caravan park didn’t have WiFi
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T&J Gray - T.W.W. Homeward Bound but the owner offered that most people just used the unsecured Motel WiFi from across the road. Later that night we noticed a small gathering of the local youth on the footpath using the same ‘community’ internet. Some things we take for granted in the city just aren’t available in most of this vast land. Just up the road from Tennant Creek is Threeways Roadhouse at the junction of the Stuart and Barkly Highways and for us the turn east back towards home. We could feel our long and incredible journey was drawing to an end. The weather Gods were not on our side as we got hammered on the 200k run into Barkly Homestead roadhouse for fuel.
We crossed back into Queensland under clearing skies and pushed on through Camooweal to Mt Isa for the night.
Next day we continued east to Cloncurry where our track turned south to McKinlay and the home of the Walkabout Creek Hotel which was the setting for the first and most popular Crocodile Dundee film.
Along these straight stretches of 130k posted road we encountered two ‘long wide load’ vehicles traveling at 80kph. A combination of the heavy rain and their spray denied us any visibility of the road ahead.(63) Unfortunately the same conditions probably denied the drivers any view of what was following so they didn’t give any indication to us of clear road ahead. In such circumstances patience is a virtue and we waited until the slightest curve in the road gave us a picture of the road ahead and a safe overtaking opportunity. Not the most enjoyable experience on a bike I must say. At the roadhouse the rain found a new level of fury and it was a real exercise to fuel the bike under the skimpy awning without water joining the fuel.
There are plenty of the film props and memorabilia at the pub that makes it a popular tourist spot. There’s certainly not anything else in McKinlay. Winton is a much more attractive tourist stop with its history and connection to the ballad of Waltzing Matilda.
T&J Gray - T.W.W. Homeward Bound
We stayed in the North Gregory Hotel where the song was first publically performed way back in 1895. Unfortunately the Waltzing Matilda Centre had been destroyed by fire in 2015 and is yet to be rebuilt. Also the wet weather had caused the temporary closure of the road into the very popular Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum causing disappointment for many visitors. Next stop on our outback Qld journey was Longreach and our fourth and final crossing of the Tropic of Capricorn.
Longreach boasts the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and the QANTAS Founders Museum both of which attract a great many tourists to the town.
There are also cruises to be had on the Thompson River amongst myriad tourist attractions. It is a place where you need to spend a couple of days. Queensland was living up to its Sunshine State mantle as we enjoyed the ride through country that was experiencing its best season in many years. Wildflowers were in abundance, the fields rich & green and the cattle fat & contented. Just south of Longreach lies Ilfracombe which boasts a varied display of trucks and farm machinery along its main street. Then it was on to Barcaldine with the very impressive Tree of Knowledge Memorial and the Australian Workers Heritage Centre to attract visitors. There is a lot of competition for the tourist dollar in these outback towns and our next stop at Blackall was no exception. Blackall is home to the Black Stump an astro survey point established in 1887.
Anything west of this point was ‘Beyond the Black Stump’ which subsequently gave rise to the popular phrase in the Australian vernacular. Blackall is also the site where in 1892 gun Australian shearer Jack Howe set a world blade shearing record of 321 sheep in 7 hours and 40 minutes. The record stood for 58 years and was only broken by someone using machine shears. Our stop for the night was the small town of Augathella, home of the meat ants (the local rugby league team). Augathella punches above its weight when it comes to history. The Ellangowan Pub bears the former name of the town, there is a large coolibah tree around the corner associated with notorious bushrangers of the late 19th century and the iconic Australian book and movie of the same name, Smiley, was based on the life of a local lad. (77) Famous Australian character actor of the 1950s, Chips Rafferty, had been a shearer in the district and went on to play a lead role in the movie. Scratch the surface on some of these towns and be surprised with what you might find. We spent the night in the pub with locals
Continued on page 33
Warrego Riders Calendar 2016 Date
10.00 am to 2.00 pm
Description Keen for ideas here. One consideration is the Queensland Auto Museum at Hampton. The owner would be keen to host us and can put on a great BBQ with all sorts of salads and extras. Can cater for BYO drinks and the museum is really well worth a look. Cars and plenty of bikes! It would be outside, but under cover. May be a bit warm, but think it could be a good option. Any other suggestions happily received and we can put it to the Coffee Night committee for a decision. Regardless, keep the date free. We’ll go for a ride for a couple of hours in the surrounding area – details to be provided. Also, don’t forget the Brisbane Ride Group’s Xmas party in Stanthorpe – will be a beauty.
GRAY GHOST’S AUSTRALIA We rode the Gray Ghost round this country of ours Through the heat, the cold, the sun & the showers A few days north of Brisbane we did a day cruise To Whitehaven Beach with its spectacular views Then up to Cairns for a relaxing break Some dirty gremlins locked up the back brake! A morning’s repair saw us back on our way Port Douglas & Kuranda for the rest of the day Across the Tableland we headed west A chance meeting with friends was just the best Strong winds to Karumba & rain all night Mt Isa & the border were a welcome sight
Barkly Homestead, Northern Territory, we set up camp A very cold night but nothing got damp Daly Waters Hotel with its famous good food Not having a beer would be just rude Nitmiluk Gorge with its sheer high walls From Katherine to Litchfield to swim at the falls A few days with friends just near Kakadu A billabong cruise was the thing to do So many crocs & bird life galore Some right beside us & some on the shore In Darwin a sunset over Cullen Bay What a glorious way to end the day A long day’s ride & we’re in Kununurra In Western Australia it’s like no other Great views at Lake Argyle & Wyndham Lookout To Emma Gorge for a swim & then we hiked out Through Fitzroy Crossing for two long days At Derby & Broome we enjoyed sunny days We had our first camel ride on Cable Beach Whale watching & hoping to see humpbacks breach Riding our way south down the Western coast At 80 Mile Beach a beautiful sunset toast Except for some roadhouses there was only red dirt Heading to Karratha always on “roo” alert
Red Dog’s Memorial in Dampier was a must So many road trains stirring up the red dust We headed to Exmouth to see Ningaloo Reef The fish & the coral were beyond belief Carnarvon to Denham the wildflowers were stunning Right about here we sent 2 emus running In the water with dolphins at Monkey Mia Some very cheeky & some a bit shyer Murchison River & the sea cliffs of Kalbarri Pelicans that wanted more than their beaks could carry Geraldton’s Memorial to HMAS Sydney on high So beautiful & moving, it was hard not to cry East to Mullewa & near Pindar somewhere We found the wreath flower so incredibly rare The weather turned foul but we still had to go North of Cervantes a double rainbow The Pinnacles Desert was hard to believe Through hundreds of rock pillars we wandered & weaved Four days with friends in Perth’s Cottesloe Taking us places where the locals go Sailing off Fremantle we won our race Then walked for miles all over the place Our friend’s friend’s offer was too hard to refuse Stay at their beach house for as long as we choose
My birthday spent quietly in Margaret River Then 2 days of squalls really made us shiver Lighthouses, vineyards & trees so tall To Albany where Anzacs sailed for the ultimate call The beaches of Esperance so breathtakingly clear The bright turquoise sea seen from far and near North to Kalgoorlie with its history of gold How much of the metal can the Super Pit hold Then it was time to finally head East To tackle & conquer the Nullarbor Beast
Continued on page 35
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T&J Gray - T.W.W. Homeward Bound watching the NRL and AFL preliminary finals on adjacent televisions. We continued south to Charleville where we enjoyed the delights to be had at Heinemanns Country Bakery before changing course east on the Warrego Hwy. There was one more twist to the tale before we reached our son’s home in Roma and onto Brisbane over familiar territory. Just outside Morven stood a sign proclaiming that we were entering Ooline Country. Further along was a sign to an Ooline Park. What is an ooline you might be thinking? We stopped for fuel at nearby Mitchell and our first chance to find out. The service station attendant was Indian and had no idea so I wandered over to a bushie fueling up his flat bed farm truck. I guess you’d be a local I enquired after the mandatory Gday greeting. Naar he drawled. I’ve only been here 22 years. That’ll probably do I suggested before putting my question to him. Gee he said, yep seen those signs meself. Not sure. You know up in Augathella they have them meat ants. Yes I said we stayed there last night. Well I reckon them oolines are a type of ant. Not a convincing answer but as good as I was going to get until I could consult Dr Google. For the record ooline (Cadellia pentastylis) is a dry rainforest tree dating back to the ice ages which is considered vulnerable to extinction. We often visit our son’s family in Roma and consider it a small town as we come in from the big
smoke. This time as we entered from the west after several months in remote localities it appeared to have grown. Our perspective of what is big had totally changed along with what material goods we require to be happy. Living out of a saddle bag will do that to you. The trip was an absolute cracker and we enjoyed every bit of this beautiful land we proudly call home. We had been away 85 days, covered 23,573km, met many wonderful people and renewed some old friendships along the way. The Gray Ghost performed admirably as she has done for us in the past. The problem with the contaminated brake fluid in Cairns in week one was the only real problem. She blew 2 headlight bulbs (a common problem), one tail/brakelight bulb (the mounting had fractured and had to be replaced), replaced the rear tyre at 18,000k (the front got home with some life left), two oil & filter changes and a change of air filter. She is going on 10 years young and wearing her 132,000 very well. Who said the twin spark BMs aren’t reliable?
Tony and Jane Gray
Thank you both for a very enjoyable Epic Tale of journeys undertaken. I really enjoyed living the dream through your writings and photos. Editor
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Cocklebiddy camping wasn’t so bad And the wide treeless plain didn’t drive us mad
The sea cliffs & whales at The Head of the Bight Were so unexpected & such a delight In South Australia down to Streaky Bay The Eyre Peninsula needs more than a day Seals & sea cliffs along the western coast Dirt roads ridden masterfully by the Gray Ghost Strange granite outcrops called Murphy’s Haystacks Lunch at Coffin Bay with an oyster snack Bright yellow canola so vivid to see We were covered in bugs like a million or three We got to Port Lincoln & the Ghost got a scrub Then we found a room in a very nice pub Through windy Whyalla to Port Augusta Got a new tyre before we had a buster Northern Motorcycles - great service by Josh He gave us the tip for a place oh so posh We started North on the Stuart Highway Luckily the rain didn’t last all day The Woomera rockets were a slight detour A break from the wind and the sky was bluer At Glendambo we met Luke on his GSA Riding with him for the rest of the day A night in Coober Pedy’s Underground Motel A unique style of living but it works very well
Another long day but the wind had abated Not much to see left us a little deflated Turned left at Erldunda to get to Uluru Getting excited we had so much to do Afternoon sunshine when Tony climbed The Rock A beautiful sunset - he had to beat the clock Kata Tjuta or The Olgas as they were Oh how Mother Nature can make your heart stir Sadly, storms cancelled the Sounds of Silence dinner We really thought we were on to a winner Another day of storms stopped us seeing the sights Luckily we saw the brilliant Field of Lights We rode to Kings Canyon to do a rim walk 500 rock steps & I could barely talk Sheer canyon walls, go close if you dare Strange beehive rock domes rising everywhere The Garden of Eden deep down in the valley So many cycads we couldn’t keep tally This ancient place full of magic & wonder Casting its spell & pulling us under They said there were dingoes but we didn’t see one Next day in a rest area there was one on the run A wild herd of camels as we left these places Increased the size of the smiles on our faces
We rode the Lasseter & Stuart Highways To stay in Alice Springs for a couple of days Now Kim at G’day Mate was a bit of a dag Any opportunity to have a chinwag A heavy downpour changed our plans for the day Museums instead of out Hermannsburg way The road to Glen Helen was so undulating The gorges were beautiful there’s no debating The colourful ochre & the Ormiston lookout Very rough dirt into Ellery Creek & out We loved the Red Centre with its ancient terrain We even saw water in the Todd after rain
Continuing north we pulled into Ti Tree Where the rain pelted down & we could hardly see Barrow Creek is notorious but we looked into its pub Then stopped at Devils Marbles for a bit of grub In Tennant Creek it rained most of the night Huge puddles of water to the left and right We turned east at Threeways for Barkly Homestead Where the rain was so heavy we couldn’t see ahead A quick bite in Camooweal while we tried to dry out Then on to Mt Isa for an Ethiopian night out We swept our way through rocky hills to Cloncurry Then stopped at McKinlay we weren’t in a hurry The only thing there as far as we could tell Was Crocodile Dundee’s Walkabout Creek Hotel All the way to Winton the grass thick & green We stayed where “Banjo” Patterson & LBJ have been The Musical Fence was as strange as Arno’s Wall But Ben’s racing chickens were the pick of them all In Longreach there was water all over the floodplain Luckily the new causeway stopped it flooding again Our cruise on the Thompson was a bit of a winner Listening to songs & stories at our campfire dinner The Qantas Museum & Stockman’s Hall of Fame So full of history they deserve their acclaim
Through Ilfracombe with its machinery display To Barcaldine where we spent a good part of the day We learnt a lot from the Tree of Knowledge Such a shame it was poisoned & now has no foliage We went “beyond the black stump” in Blackall Stayed in Augathella where I won the raffle Through Charleville & Mitchell to Roma for the night But Mick & the family were nowhere in sight Miles, Dalby, Toowoomba & finally home 12 wonderful weeks on the road we did roam
Thank you Jane....Ed.
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