Tuesday July 26

We are down at the bikes early, packing up. We check out Georg’s bike which has a slight oil leak coming from what we think is the pinion seal. It will be okay. I check out my bike and see a slight oil spray coming from the rear differential seal on the rear axle. This has been done before so I have been keeping an eye on it. We fuel up – ourselves first then the bikes and head out into the Adelaide hills and drizzling rain.
We don’t stop until Bordertown for a coffee and fuel. My rear diff is starting to leak a bit more.

We cross the border, take the photo of course and then head off. The road seems noticeably bad and there is plenty of roadwork happening. I pass a truck carrying sheep just before some road works when the traffic control signal turns to red. I slow to a stop and look in the rear view mirror to see the semi bearing down on me at a speed that looks like he isn’t stopping. I take no chances and ride off into the dirt as he barrels through the red light. He would have driven over the top of me. Georg pulls up and we talk about how close that was and what a bloody idiot the dopy driver must be. There are some cowboys out there who a nothing more than dick heads here was a big one.

It is a salutary lesson, motorcycling is a great hobby but it has its dangers. You must be aware of everything around you at all times, front, back and sides.

We ride on without further incident, apart from a Kia people mover that wants to tailgate us; he barrels past in a road work speed zone, kids and all on board – another bloody idiot. Georg and I discuss how bad the road and drivers seem since we crossed back into Victoria!

A quick fuel stop at Ararat and then its head for home – for a short while anyway. We hit Melbourne in peak hour traffic.

A home cooked meal, a sleep in our own beds for a change is most welcome.

740 kilometres today.


Wednesday July 27

It’s re-pack the bike, Georg and my son Stephen meet at home for the run into town. We detour to the Electronics shop to see if I can get the GPS working properly. We don’t have a lot of time so no joy at the moment so it’s off to the Police Association car park to meet up with our motorcycle escort, including Front Line
Tourers motorcycle club member and friend Sergeant Scott McLean. An escort to the Victoria Police Centre creates plenty of interest, particularly with the smokers hanging around out the front of office buildings. We meet up with Police Legacy President Roger Schranz, fellow board members Kevin Sheridan and Peter O’Neil and Victorian sponsor, Police Credit’s Jenny Ayres. Acting Deputy Commissioner Lucinda Nolan accepts the Victorian Baton on behalf of Acting Commissioner Ken Lay and ensures it will hold pride of place.

A quick morning tea and Georg, Stephen and I have to head off. We have work to do. It’s down to “Doctor” Phil Marshall at K and R Motorcycle service – our BMW mechanic of choice. Georg fits tyres, his are all squared off after the flat road running we have endured over the last three weeks. Phil cleans up oil spilt from his leaking pinion seal and checks out his diff oil. Phil then changes the rear diff seal on my bike and shows me how to refill the diff oil if I need to do it on the road. That’s not a simple process like on the old 1150GS I had, this one involves, taking off the rear brake calliper, removing the back wheel, unscrewing the Speedo drive out of the back wheel and slowly injecting diff oil in the Speedo drive hole. I’m not happy, this is the fourth time the diff seal has been replaced in under 50K on this bike. We check out the idle settings which are a bit all over the place, probably caused by the ordinary fuel that has been running through the bike.

Stephen’s battery on his Honda VFR 750 gave up the ghost this morning so Phil finds a suitable replacement and we fit that to his bike. Coffee all around, our thanks to our special mate Phil Marshall and it’s off to the Tasmania Ferry terminal. We line up with everyone else who appear to be making their way into the ferry lines and find ourselves on the wharf and unable to get off. That’s a real problem because we skipped lunch and Georg is hungry! We stand in line for about an hour and a half and talk bikes with fellow motorcyclists in the cue. Finally it’s our turn to get on board, the bikes are tied down by the deck hands and we’re assured that they’ll be okay. We find our cabin which has everything you need but is tiny, especially for three big blokes. I take the upper bunk. A quick beer, a nice meal on board as we head out from Melbourne down the Bay. We are in bed at a reasonable hour and sleep well on a very smooth crossing to the apple Isle.