Licola ���������������� ��������� Sunday 9th January 2011


Damir Djikic

Honda CBR1000

Marty Thompson

Kawasaki ZRX1200

John Rousseaux

Honda CBR1000

Mark Copeland

Kawasaki ZX10

Chris Tran

Honda CBR1000

Cliff Peters

Kawasaki ZX10

Misho Zrakic

Honda CBR1000

Brett Chambers

KTM LC8 1195

Ben Warden

Honda CBR954

Dave Mann (1st ride)

Yamaha FZ1

Pina Garasi

Honda CBR600

Henry Wright

Triumph 675

Kurn Bridgeman

Honda CBR600

Marc Marais

Triumph 675

Rob Zivanovic

Honda CBR600

Cindy Lee

Suzuki GSXR750

Steve Mudford

Aprilia Supermotard 550

Paul Archbald

Suzuki GSX650


Marty wrote this article for the Kawasaki Owners Club he also rides with � Ed.


My best mate Dangerous Dave managed to gain a leave pass for Sunday, so had organised to come with me on a ride to Licola with the Melbourne Sportsbike Riders, the club I ride with regularly as the VIC KSRC'ns tend not to be to active of late� including me. Oops!Dangerous Dave had just fitted new hoops to the 170+ HP R1 engined FZ1 which he had built and was looking to maximise rear tyre wear while at the same time minimising front tyre wear. To our enjoyment, he gave all of us several displays of controlled front wheel lofting throughout the day. More on that later.


Also joining us for a half day, was my next door neighbour Paul, on his GSX650F. Paul, however, was only to ride to Moe with us, before turning for home, work calling in the afternoon.


We departed my place at 9.45am and jumped straight on to the Monash Freeway for the 15 minute jaunt down to Berwick where the meet point was. Upon arrival we were greeted by an additional 16 bikes. The weather forecast was predicting the odd shower, but mostly clouds, so with that in mind, I asked Dangerous Dave to make sure he packed his rain suit. (Past rides have determined that if Dave brings the rain suit, no rain will fall, but if he doesn't, then we usually get wet!)Unfortunately, Dangerous Dave made the decision not to bring it. Thankfully, I noticed that Cliff on his ZX10 had brought his, so I crossed my fingers in the hope that the same Karma would apply.


We all rode away from the meet point a few minutes after 10.00am and slabbed it down to the Tynong turn off and back-roaded it over to Longwarry North where we picked up the Jindivick Road up to Neerim South. Already the throttle jockeys appeared, with several attempting to achieve WOT in top gear!For Paul my neighbour on his GSX650, it was a baptism of fire, with him never having ridden with a group who ...err �pressed on �so well!


We rode through Crossover from Neerim South and then down onto the Old Sale Road and into Moe for morning tea. Here Henry and Paul took off back for Melbourne via Noojee with the rest of us continuing on to Tyres for a fill up. With it being 200+ kms return from Tyres to Licola, it was important that everyone refuelled here.


It was at this point which Muddy on the 550 Aprilia had to utilise his 5 litre fuel container stored in his backpack to make it into Tyres for fuel. I think he may have also topped it up at Licola again to make it back. The thing is a weapon in the turns, but it does have a mighty small tank range.


From Tyers we rode out through Toongabbie and Glenmaggie and turned right on to the Licola Road.Three kms further on we came across a stricken CBR1000, which had decided to have a little lay down. Christian had been caught out with a fast change of direction, had run a little wide onto the negative camber of the road, right in the middle of a slippery shiny patch and down went the Blade. Damaged rear sets, front wheel and various other bits meant the bike needed a tow truck. After making sure Chris was OK, I threw him onto the back of the Rex and we continued on to Licola. The big Rex handled the pillioning duties like it handles just about every other situation I put it in �perfectly! You guys all look at the old Rex with its steel frame, twin rear shocks, and conventional forks and brakes, as an antiquated dinosaur. But the truth is, I and all the other ZRX riders out there know a secret which you guys and girls don't! ZRX's rock! I might stick some race compound tyres on it one day and see what sort of impression of a real sports bike it can do!


At Licola, Chris had to spend half an hour on the phone to the insurance company arranging for the bike to be recovered. Dangerous Dave and I hung around while he did that which allowed the rest of the group to continue on back to Tyers. Although 30 minutess behind, we had the benefit of not needing to corner mark, so we played a little catch up and arrived not too long after the main group. I dare say poor Chris had a baptism of fire being on the pillion perch of the Rex with the Licola Road dishing up some of its infamous stutter bumps mid-turn, which, with the additional 80kgs on standard suspension, taxed it to it's limit. Several times we had a few movements across the road. I am not sure whose winky muscle did more work, Chris' or mine! But I suspect more so Chris! :lol:


After another refuel and some refreshments and lie swapping, we continued on. Back up to Tanjil Bren, across to Icy Creek and Noojee for the breakup. It was here that I swapped Chris onto the back of Ben's `blade for the trip back across town to Richmond where Ben would drop him home. I felt for Chris and was excited for him, all in the same breath. Fear, as I knew he would be inducted into the Ben Warden School of extreme pillion lean angles and excited too, as I knew he would learn a lot about tyre confidence, lines and being smooth.


It was now 5 pm and Dangerous Dave and I were running a lot behind schedule, with both of us about an hour later than we had told the brides. So, with that in mind, we departed the main group at Noojee and took the fast way back to town, via Neerim South, Jindivick and Longwarry onto the freeway. I walked in the door just after 6pm, with a dual cab Hilux 4X4 being the radar fodder and sitting on about 140 gazelles all the way down the freeway!


Marty Thompson