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Old 27-03-2018, 07:01 AM   #11
Oldbeer
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Default Re: Oldbeers Little Aussie Holiday

River Road from Wisemans Ferry to Lower Portland (I think). I was told this was all gravel but not so, all sealed - unless I had the wrong road! Nice intro to riding in Oz though none the less.


Wainui Road, off Eucumbene Road


Corryong vapour trails. Very artistic but assume they are just trying to avoid each other on the way to and from Melbourne


The marvellous Murray River from Farrans Lookout.


And a bit further down by the Jingellic pub - what a camping spot that is...almost regretted my no camping rule there.


The lovely Cudgewa Bluff road, all graded and rolled the day before, just for me. I loved the trees with the sunlight coming through them and the wonderful smell of the eucalyptus in the morning.


Following a couple of stock trucks up the Benambra Corryong road, this was the view most of the time, when I could see at all. Decided it would be better to sit and wait a while but then started wondering if there were any more behind me so 10 mins was as long as I ever lasted. It would take about 5 mins to get back to this. I do admire the guys driving those trucks over those tight roads, that cannot be easy.


The bike, just before its last trip with me over Wisemans Ferry on the way back to Sydney. I tried to love it.
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Old 27-03-2018, 07:08 AM   #12
Oldbeer
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Default Re: Oldbeers Little Aussie Holiday

Quote:
Originally Posted by glitch View Post
Thanks for the long and elaborate "first post" (makes for a great intro, too :-)
Good to see you enjoyed Australia's South-East corner, even though it was a fairly short visit overall, there's soooo much more to see and places to go.

Hope the Little Tenere didn't create too much of a sore butt and not making the Yaouk Rd. loop can't be forgiven
Hopefully you can sort out the pics-issue, maybe have to upload to another site (google ?) for directly linking into forums/ blogs etc.

Dropbox is one of the crappiest link-sites on the web.
Still, it's possible to link directly, but very laborious and time-consuming.
Check https://cantonbecker.com/etcetera/20...ropbox-images/
Since you mention it (and I've already written it up somewhere else...) here are my thoughts on the XT660Z Tenere 2010. Apologies to all lovers of this particular bike...

I did 3900 kms total. I estimate total gravel/unsealed road would have been less than 300 kms, probably more like 200kms. Loaned bike so it was not set up by or for me, mostly stock. Weather perfect for almost all of the trip.

Good points.....

Pretty comfortable bike
Good riding position. Stock seat (I was told it was stock) was very comfortable and no issues although my days tended to be shorter than typical "Aussie" distances. Average 300 kms a day. Little vibration through bars. Leg position comfortable. Could have done with bar risers for me for standing but stood so little was not a big deal. Could get my leg over seat for mount dismount but much higher would have been a problem. Screen kept wind off chest but not head.

Very good range
23 litre tank very good for Australia. I suspect I would have come unstuck a few times with a smaller tank. Handling didn't feel noticeably different with tank full or empty. Got to 350 kms before reserve trip meter came on, put 17 litres in. Uses 95 or better but ran ok on 91 when I had to use that (only once).

High speed cruise
The bike seemed to feel happiest at or above 4000 revs. In top gear, this was about 110 indicated and about 100 actual according to GPS. Would comfortably do 130 indicated.

Sturdy and easy to fit luggage
Rack and grab handles made luggage fitting easy. Exhaust config symmetrical and mostly out of the way. Heat shields on exhausts worked well. So good bike to load up with gear.

On the gravel
Off the tarseal felt real good, didn't really notice it's weight once you are moving. Suspension handled everything I came across with ease. Clearly where the bike has advantages.

Brakes
Front brakes twin discs and brembos were very good. Back a little too good and was fairly quick to lock up until I got used to it.


Not so good points....

Heat
For a water cooled bike it gives off a lot of heat and the pipe comes up right underneath the seat so when things start warming up down there you know all about it. This issue and the gearbox issues below would make this a terrible commuter bike, I feel. (I accept its not meant to be a commuter bike but all bikes are compromises...) The forward tank panniers didn't help as they restricted airflow around the knees.

Gearbox
You can't be in first gear for long but the bike doesn't want to move off in second so very short shift interval between 1 and 2. 2 to 3 is ok, but 3 to 4 is a big gap or feels like it. So going round moderate twisting corners it's either revving like crazy up at 5000 plus in 3rd or labouring below 3000 in 4th. I often felt I either needed to go faster than I wanted to, to keep the revs above 4K or slower than I wanted to to avoid unnecessarily over revving the engine. Similar issues between 5 and 6. If you are on a fast stretch and could build appropriate road speed then up to 6 would see the motor in its sweet spot and bike would cruise nicely. However any kind of hill and the revs drop quickly. When changing up on a hill if not perfectly timed revs drop to 3k and engine labours. So for a big torquey thumper I found all this surprising and left me hankering for my relatively butter smooth and very forgiving of bad gear choice Vstrom. I guess I'm not used to big thumpers but the engine feels like it's knocking itself to pieces a lot of the time...clearly it isn't but that's what it feels like.

The description I had most in my mind as I rode was "6 gears and uncomfortable in all of them"

I tried hard to love this bike but I could not have any kind of lasting relationship with that gearbox. I kept wondering whether the 5 speed earlier version was better.

Oil filler
After googling to find out where to check the oil I was struck by how hard that would be to top up. Would need some kind of long tube on a funnel. Can only tell if filled correctly by trial and error. PITA.

Headlights
Very rarely rode at night but headlights a bit pathetic I thought. Needs better bulbs.

Conclusion
I would have been much happier on my Vstrom on this trip, given the very small amount of gravel road I actually did. I suspect a few more things would have rattled loose on the Suzuki but for the rest of the ride I would have been much more comfortable as the ride is a lot smoother. A 1000 V Strom would have been even better? If there had been a lot more Aussie gravel or even some actual off road stuff then the Tenere would have come into its own.
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Old 27-03-2018, 08:47 AM   #13
glitch
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Default Re: Oldbeers Little Aussie Holiday

Got that working quick-smart

If you reduce the size of your pics before uploading to DropBox, your upload times will be cut to 20% or less and pics will display near instantly in all + any forums.
At the moment your full-size pics above are downloaded in full, then knocked down in size by the forum software to display them within the forum format and minimal scrolling.
You'll notice the initial "big-size" display as they're downloaded when the page is opened.... before they all shrink down to display-size with the "clickable bar" added for the full-size version.

There are free batch-processing tools in photo apps like Irfanview or tiny, stand-alone single-function apps like http://www.fotosizer.com/

Use a common 1200 or 1600 pixel width setting to comply with most modern monitors and shrink file-size to about 250-400kb, about a 10th of the original file size.
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Old 27-03-2018, 09:15 AM   #14
glitch
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Default Re: Oldbeers Little Aussie Holiday

Tks for the bike eval there....
Being a dry-sump engine with the oil-tank in the headstock, checking and filling oil is a bit awkward, similar to the Rotax-based 650s of BMW/ Aprilia etc.
Always thought the 660 was a 5-cog setup as it's the same engine in the 660R/ 660X/ late Aprilia Pegaso/ MZs/ Yammie Quads etc.
Did they change that in later years?
Maybe yours ran some non-stock gearing?

But they certainly are a tractor compared with the smoothness of a Strom, the 650 in particular.
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