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General Climbing Discussion

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Off-topic: Climbers who ride MOTORbikes.

1:02:56 PM
On 13/12/2007 alrob wrote:

>if i had the money and the luxury to buy an R6 Phil, i'd be paying someone
>to drive the pad to the crag and carry it in. preferably in something quickish,
>like a Bugatti Veyron perhaps?

Alrob, if you had the money to buy a Veyron, you would have the money to buy and learn how to fly a helicopter. I know which one I'd rather have for trips to the Grampians.

5:19:40 PM
Phil S wrote;
>Does anyone have any experience riding (even short distances to local crags) with a bouldering mat?

Have not ridden with a bouldering mat, but have taken sizeable loads on a bike, so can offer the following comments.

Dalai's suggestion of occy strapping it lengthwise behind you is good, though many modern bikes don't seem to have much in the way of attachment points for tieing things down these days.

latheboy wrote;
>If it's it inside the mirrors or bars it's fine ..
... this is my understanding also.

I would expect at reasonable speeds (ie within legal limits), that wearing a bouldering mat rucksack style would work OK, but would soon become uncomfortable if travelling any significant distance.
I travelled a few hundred kms with a large rucksack in this fashion and found it a mixed blessing. Initially it was hard to get it to sit sqarely behind me for any length of time as it tended to sag to one side which was a nuisance to put it mildly. Once I had it sorted to stay in place I found I could lean against it (to an extent), as a backrest; though depending on the style of your riding position (cafe racer anyone?), this may not be practical anyway.

Another alternative ...
In times past I have ridden a motorcycle with a surfboard under my arm supported by a shoulder sling. It was a long enough item that the nose was tucked under the handlebar and I had the rocker placed such that greater wind pressure kept it snug against my knee rather than trying to snatch it away from me. This would not be a good thing to do with significant cross winds about though, & I'd sooner carry a bouldering mat in similar style in that situation.

2:57:25 PM
I am considering riding to the 6th anniversary Celebrate Chockstone Gathering, coming up / commencing on 6/06/2008, which is the Friday of Queens Birthday long-weekend (except WA).

Any other climber-riders out there wishing to partake in a ride/climb long-weekend / celebration of all things Chockstone?

8:38:36 PM
Be great to hook up for some more climbing Rod, Is the gathering set for the Piles ?, if so look me up,
We're in the the house you stayed in last time you were up this way, Jen say's G,day as well....BP

10:12:54 AM
Cheers BP!

On 30/04/2008 bomber pro wrote:
>Is the gathering set for the Piles ?

At this stage I have simply tossed the idea out there. Destination is not known yet as it depends upon enthusiasm / feedback by others, to make it a social event at an agreed location.

We certainly have an excellent asset in Chockstone, and life is too short not to find good reasons to celebrate.
I am keen and prepared to travel !, ... in this respect the climbing is a bonus!!; ... but maybe others are feeling a bit maxed out on gatherings, given the recent HB 20th anniversary of Serpentine event, Henry Barber re-enactment day etc, and the fact that some regularly commute to Arapiles anyway?

At that time of year Buffalo isn't exactly inviting for climbing, and Araps being the icon it is, certainly dovetails well with the icon stage that Chockstone is approaching.

If enthusiasm for this event goes all pear shaped, then I will still get out and attend the 39th Alpine Motorcycle Rally at Brindabella, ACT, instead ...

11:23:19 AM
Well I for one vote that it happens at the Piles, it would be great, has it ever been there before?
If crew are headed this way anyway to climb in the great conditions we have at the moment (friction)
Then it makes sense to have a get together to meet all the chockstone crew, we could have a banner,
Booby rigged of course, to prevent relocation, and a BBQ & drinks, sounds good, can hardly wait.
But if not, then by all means rod head up after the bike rally, and we can have a crack at some climbs.
Cheers BP

1:08:20 PM
On 11/12/2007 jkane wrote:
>Ok, while we're on the subject of motorbikes what's the deal with you know
>who and his Honda XR250? I really do ride a honda XR250 - here it is in
>my garage...
>Hopefully when my license restriction finishes, I'll be upgrading to something
>like a BMW 650GS or similar adventure tourer style bike that can take a
>fair bit of gear and a comfortable ride.

Made a purchase yesterday. Suzuki DL650 V-Strom. I get it in a week. I have to get some luggage sorted and then I can start using it for climbing trips. Anyone have any experience loading one of these up? The bike shop are recommending Ventura stuff.

2:04:31 PM
... Ended up being a fair $ step down from the beamer, but I am sure you will be happy with your choice, ... and for the $ difference you will be able to trick it up pretty well, should you choose to do so.

I checked out ventura stuff, and wasn't that impressed. The actual bags are OK, but their racking system is pretty cheap'n'nasty in my opinion if you intend to use it for heavy loads on dirt backroads, etc. Probably better for city use, particularly their pack-type topbox equivalents ...

I checked out hard panniers. Very pricey, and I did not like the fact that most require the racking system to be left on even when the panniers are taken off. The square-ish rack systems look pretty ordinary on bikes with smooth flowing design lines imo.

I ended up getting Andystrapz canvas throwover style saddlebags, and have found them to be excellent. I had a 'rack' custom made for the bike which complements it's design features, rather than looking like a tack on. At trips end just lift the saddlebags off and the bike still looks sweet, and the rack is easily (if I care to) removed. The rack is just to prevent the bags chaffing the moulded fairing at rear of motorcycle, by holding them off it.

>loading up

For the 6th Chockstone Gathering I managed to fit into the saddlebags just over 10 litres of water (in plastic juice containers), a fairly comprehensive rack of gear, shoes, harness, rope, & tinned food for 4 days. It travelled well and was easy to distribute the weighty items low and keep them balanced evenly. I also had a hard type topbox, tankbag, tent and a dry bag (lashed to seat), to carry camping equipment and clothes.

Oh yeah, the saddlebags are waterproof, and I am told* (*heh, heh, heh), don't break like hard panniers do if the bike is dropped. They also match the aesthetic of an off-road style of bike for Australian conditions imo.

If you intend to load up like that and take a pillion as well, you might end up looking at getting suspension mods to stiffen the V-Strom up a bit?
The only problem I had with that amount of gear/weight was that my low beam was tending to blind oncoming traffic once the sun set ...
~> though they'd stop flashing me once I hit the high beam switch!

4:51:13 PM
Yeah, couldn't justify the GS. If I get into rough touring seriously, I can look at the 1200 in a few years.

Usefull info. I like the sound of the saddlebags. Just added the Andy Strapz Website to my favourites so will have another maker to check out . Also good to hear that I'm not crazy thinking I can go to Araps on a motorbike with camping and climbing gear + water etc...


11:09:38 PM
On 20/06/2008 jkane wrote:
>Also good to hear that I'm not crazy thinking I can go to Araps on a
>motorbike with camping and climbing gear + water etc...

One still needs to be dedicated, as it isn't cage camping!

I socialised with the VCC crew that w/end also, but if you were there and I met you* then it is a pity the connection did not 'click' otherwise you could have checked out the rig first hand.

(*Met too many people that w/end to remember all the names ...)

1:06:25 PM
I will just have to leave the BBQ at home then...,23599,23147671-2,00.html

I wasn't there on the Queen's Birthday weekend, but I'm sure we'll bump into to each other sooner or later. Maybe cup weekend, I'll go up on the bike?

1:44:36 PM
Interesting link.

Many asian/indonesian riders would consider it lightweight? I'd be worried about scratching the bike tank!
Makes carrying a boulder mat seem like a trifle!!

Yeah, maybe cup w/end could work out OK, but it isn't a long w/end for me. In the meantime VCC might have a trip to Tennerife? Middle ground and close enough for you to dial your system in once the luggage is sorted?
... Other m-bike/climbers seem quiet at the mo, but come spring they might be more easily enthused for a get together?
8:47:31 PM
I have a 08 ninja 250 and would be keen to try and keep up if anyone is going for rides anywhere in Vic.. i can't get enough even though i ride everyday.

9:27:18 PM
I notice you are from Ballarat, but I am up Albury-Wodonga way.
As such you are more likely to link up with climber-riders closer to you, ie Melbourne?, and statistically you would be more likely meet a climbing-riding partner out of a larger population base.
It seems to me that by the time we met somewhere in the middle, we would get almost no climbing done then have to turn around to return home?
Heh, heh, heh.

>keen to try and keep up
... is also statistically a good way to come off your bike! Better to ride within your limits as Ninjas don't come supplied with belayers!!
A considerate riding group rides to cater for it's weakest member.

If we can get a weekend thing happening at a centralised location then it could be a goer ... ?

Post edit.
While filling the cage up with fuel the other day two sparkling new Honda Fireblades pulled in to the servo & both riders had all the good bling. I noticed both were on L plates which gave me pause not to consider any longer why such potent machines have such high insurance costs. Obviously they are affordable and fit within the learner power/weight specifications? I am told that my insurance costs are only a third of theirs and for a larger capacity / more expensive bike, that probably handles like a dog on lino compared to theirs for fast sport use, ~ (until we get to dirt ... !).

1:36:43 PM
On 20/06/2008 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote: Re Suzuki DL650 V-Strom.
>I am sure you will be happy with your choice

Further feedback ...
About a month ago I was talking with a Tassie rider of one of them. He was on his way back to Tassie after having just done a loop up through Flinders Range & Birdsville, but going back via tar roads in NSW. It was fitted with knobbies front and rear, and also had semi-hard panniers fitted. He was loaded to the gills with topbox, tankbag, extra dry bags lashed to seat etc, ... as one would expect for a trip of that nature.
The feedback he gave was that it all handled and performed very well, though he had some minor damage due dropping it through his own complacency by going too fast in a rutted track ... His panniers saved his leg from more extensive injury, but he managed to trap his ankle and gave it a workover.
I think he may have been yanking my chain re the kms he gets out of knobbies, but apart from that, the unit had quite a few kms on it due to other similar excursions, and he came across as a die hard supporter of V-stroms. Looking at the kms on the machine I can verify that his unit had stood the test of time.

12:57:55 PM
Thanks again for the feedback. Here is a photo of mine

It's so smooth to ride compared to my old XR but that may be partly the tires! Still getting used to it and still limited to 5000 revs due to breaking in the engine but I am loving it. Have not purchased any luggage yet. Took it round the Great Circle Drive at the You Yangs on Sunday and nearly dropped it when I hit an unexpected patch of soft sand! Luckily I instinctively knew to power on and balance (probably from years of mountain biking as I have virtually no trail biking experience).

I was thinking of leading a VCC trip to Tennerife soon. Who have you been talking to???
Post Edit: I have unfinished business with a 17 called something like "Who Knows" or "Who Nose"


2:46:33 PM
>Who have you been talking to???

New user-ID anthro could prolly confirm that the world of a climber is rather small; ... not unlike focussing on balance in unexpected soft sand ...

Heh, heh, heh.
8:36:54 PM
Nice looking ride Jkane, is it the ABS version? Heard good reports about them. Just bought an 06 Bandit 1200 last week and loving being back on the road after a 12 year spell.

12:55:26 PM
I didn't go for the ABS as it was another $500. Also based on my intended dirt road use and a review I read, that put me off.

I've done over 1000 km now and my only complaint is that all this recent rain got my bike really dirty! I suppose the farmers are happy though.

bandit eh? Take it steady on that monster.

1:22:10 PM
So you have been out on the dirt with it then, or has the bike become dirty from wet weather city road grime? ~> gotta watch tyre traction (especially on new tyres) in those conditions*.
(*This is made worse in 'country cities' like Alb/Wodonga due stock trucks spilling the wet floor contents of trucks enroute to markets ...)

audtracol wrote;
>is it the ABS version? >Heard good reports about them

Was given use of a demo new model version of my bike, to ride while mine was in for a routine service the other day. It has ABS, and mine doesn't.

Gave it a fair workout (heh, heh, heh), and came away not feeling like I was missing out, by not having it ...
Definitely can't lock up a wheel under heavy braking with it, and you know from the way it kicks back under your foot that the rear end is certainly working! The front just seemed a little softer at first but it was easy to get used to.

As an aside my overall impression of the latest model is that they have tamed it's dirt character a little, into being more a road bike; and even though it has a 40cc greater engine capacity, it was not noticable enough for me to justify the significant cost of trading up, should I ever come into some lazy money.

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