A day in the life...


Mapping the next ride...
Staff member
a long, long time ago....

HEY, yeah, hey, YOU, Joe !!

Take the disc-lock off, you mug !
Joe is my "owner", that's what he reckons anyway, that's what it said on the pieces of paper he got when he picked me up at the Aprilia Dealer, but that's crap, really, nobody owns me but ME.

He took me to his place and put me in a dark garage, there was already another one of us, of course not as pretty as myself since it's got the wrong colour (I'm the sparkling silver one) but nevertheless, a sister.
A few weeks later the door opened again and we got company: a sad looking Suzie GS1000, really not too bad for it's age, but a daggy old matron compared to myself. Baldish tyres, a bit dirty and with a few health problems, it was placed next to me.
She was looking sadly out of her droopy, big eye, having been neglected for so long......
Joe thought it a good idea, but sister and I didn't really like an old watchdog around, just as we were getting "warm"...

Joe spent a lot of time on the old girl (and we had to watch...bastard) and turned it into something quite presentable, fixing the engine, brakes, put on new rubber and a screen, re-covered the seat,....all that seemed a bit excessive for someone *that* age,
it's still an old matron, but now she got teeth and tries to tell us what to do and how to do it.

Some of her stories are quite funny (like how she shrugged off her previous "owner" in a corner one day and how everybody fussed about her rather more than about the "owner"), I think, Joe wouldn't like to hear that...

That was a little bit about home, back to the present......and Joe getting me ready for a ride.
Off come the locks he's already checked my hoops and now he's packing the raingear into the soft pack, where does he think we're going ?? I'm not getting my tank wet'n messy, if it starts raining.... I'm rolling home.

Ahhhh, getting out of the garage at that time in the morning (and Auntie Suzie can stay on her centre stand), it's just NOT FAIR.

Thumbing the starter Joe's swearing again, just because I'm not quite finished with the last mouthful of go-juice through the butterflies yet.... he's just sooooo impatient.
But I have to give him that : he's gentle with me while I'm warming up.
It's a glorious morning and from what I've gleaned, it's off into the hills again, last time we got there I had a ball, there were so many good-looking guys around, one custom Trumpy Triple with a glorious back-end, pity about the face though... it was all scratched up, crash marks everywhere.... must've had a rough night with the tarty looking Jap-Harley that was parked next to it....

Slowly getting some steam into the radiator, the first few corners giving me "warm socks", my oh my, Joe's in "scratching mood" today, I knew something was up when I saw that grin on his mug looking at me as he opened the roll-a-door.
It's still early, little traffic, the asphalt still a bit damp, as I wind my way into the hills, up on the ridge we hit the
sunshine, the road is dry and it's on for young and old: down 2 gears and yeeehaaa....scream, burble, scratch, roar....baby... that feeeeeels good....and the next one: scream, burble, scratch and roar, yeah, and agaiiii....WHOAAA, gravel on the apex, eaaaasy--ok now, here it goes again : scream, burble, scratch and roar, lousy midcorner bump trying to trip me up, eh?

Not today, hehe, got a lot more bends ahead of me...
Deep into the next one, too fast, tooo blooody fast, the Brembos biting hard and the rear skids, my front legs buckling ... holding, the rear comes off the deck, Joe's tipping it hard and hangs the butt out, jeeez, the revs are shooting up and we're squatting out of the bend, snaking the line into the next one, deep again but this time the speed is right.... hey, this is REAL fun.

The paddocks and scattered buildings are flying by, it's still a bit chilly, and I'm in the mood for mooore.

At the turnoff parks a flock of bikes, and look!!...there's the yellow Duke 916 again, the one I saw last time, bit overdone on the cosmetics but what a bum, oh man, wouldn't mind to spend a night in the dark garage with that one, one-night-side-stand only , of course.

I'm not ready for anything long-term, would hate a bunch of noisy little 50-stepthroughs, but for a bit of you-know-what, yeah, that Duke'd do it....

There's also a swish R1....they reckon, they're better than us just because they're faster, typical bully, all brawn, no style....(the 'Busa will fix YOU, buddy) and the Softtail, baroque, slow and only steady on the smooth straights, just like Joe's old auntie, but at least original with the big behind and skinny legs.

Hey, Joe, seen the Norton Commando amongst that bunch?
Poor old thing, dirty, scratched and bits fixed with wire, all of it held together by rust and dirt soaked in oil. Must've been a looker in its prime, though...and still had the cheek to give me the eye.

Past that bunch and there's a six-pack of long, open sweepers looming....Wake up, SHOWTIME !! Stretching my long legs, burbling on the overrun, I'm carving through the Market Garden patches and towards the real hills, the throttle either fully open or slammed shut, no space between those two, ahhhh..., that's the life.

All of a sudden there's a scream going past me,
an old Desmo with MegaPhones squeezing past on the inside, hitting the straight and disappearing fast, b**ch ! The show-off of the family....

Well, Joe has a lot to learn, but first I need a fresh set of hoops, the original Bridgestones are just too square and I've seen a pair of Metzlers sitting on the rack when we were at the bike shop the other week; they should do the trick, but with Joe being so scroogy, he doesn't know what he's missing. I could hold my own on those...

We're off the main drag now, winding, potholed roads, it's up to Mt. Donna Buang, plenty of gravel everywhere and Joe's backing off, the road turns to dirt only.
Across the slippery, old timber bridge and we're gassing our way through the Tree Ferns, firm clay underfoot and I'm getting the hang of it, letting the rear hang out through the corners, shaking my back as I hit a rut, backwheel all over the place as the pads are chewing the front disc before a corner that kept getting tighter and tighter.
I LOVE it !

Bucking and sliding, we work our way up the mountain, everything is damp and the high Eucalyptus keeps the sun away.

Wriggling my way out of a hairpin we zip towards the little waterfall on the left and look who's here: Big Shot Desmo !!

Crawling along at walking speed my "auntie" (at least we all come from Italy) pulls down the corners of her tank and sees me go past, without even looking across and I know what she thinks : b**ch.

Up the top of the mountain it's back to asphalt and a short break. Then down towards the small, sleepy town of Warburton and time for a drink. Pulling into the service station, a well preserved Suzie Waterbottle leaking oil out of the mufflers and another Jap-Harley, a Vulcan, stand side-by-side at the bowsers, deeply entrenched in swapping last weekends gossip and
talking about what oldies and/or overweights are usually talking about: Operations, arthritic wheel bearings, sore shocker mounts, leaking seals, creaky suspension, the good old days and the current crop of celebrities and wanna-bees at the last
Munich Motorcycle-Show. Ahhhh, what a bore......

Joe's getting me my favourite again (I told him early in the game what I like),the first gush goes straight down the floatbowls...sheer bliss.
The 2 DownTrodden next to me giving me a cursory glance, then go back to their insubstantial waffling, while a Kwaka9 pulls in and, gasping for breath, plonks itself next to me, the "owner" walking across the apron towards the cashier.

Still shuddering, Kwaka starts bubbling the news : they went out early with the rest of the bunch, already had 150km down

when disaster struck, 3 mates in front went off the road in a corner, one after the other, within seconds. They'd been out thrashing all morning, but that bend was one too many....3 sisters and brothers fatally wounded.

Kwaka 9 was still shaking and shivering, having had to watch the "exit" just before her nosecone.
Our quite talk had caused Waterbottle and Vulcan to prick their handgrips and listen in.
Vulcan, being the furthest one out, had kept leaning closer and closer on his sidestand...a patched piece of driveway... until the stand sunk in too deep and Vulcan fell over.

What a commotion....the screaming, the swearing....and Waterbottle was laughing it's tail-light off: "Look at Vulcan, he's on his arse, hehe, serves ya right, your ears are NEVER long enough, aye?
Can't get up anymore, do ya ?" Need a tow-truck
now, eh?

All of us are shoved towards the back of the service station and Vulcan takes main-stage in the recovery process; after some time he's back on his wheels, moaning and groaning about bruises and scratches, ready to drop again in sheer self-pity.

Time for us to leave and with a cheeky and self-important backfire we leave the place and pull back onto the road, just in time to get an appreciative lookover by a VFR750 coming the other way.
Keep your grubby handlebars to yourself.... VFRs don't
turn me on.....and YES, I do know, what you were thinking.... same as the red Beemer R1100s that follows.
Now here's one I could get weak battery clamps about, just like that TL1000 in front of me, what a hunk, whoohoowww....
I have a quick look in the mirrors as I pass the TL (a real beaut, that one) in the road-works section, and back into the tight and twisty for some more fun.

A yellow Trumpy Triple and a Bandit 12 are hot on my heels and I have to let them go after the hairpin, the gaudy looking YZF coming the other way hardly twitching under full brake.
Good to see so many of the folks on the road...it IS a great day for it.

Past the Glenfern Picnic Area, back up and over the hill into Healesville, which is the meeting place of the bunch and while

Joe goes off to the Icecreamery I have a good ogle about.
Just about every brand and model, any colour and modification, from Vespas to Cruisers to Sports and Tourers, nakeds and those loaded to the max, I'm in heaven...

With all of us around, we should stake a native title claim to those roads around here and ban those lousy moving chicanes, bloody tin-tops.
I can feel the brain bucket lifted off my seat again, we're on for the ride home.
Starting to sing as the thumb hits the starter, we're turning down the main drag and Joe's showing off pulling wheelies in front of everyone. I love to stick my nose into the clouds, but boy, coming down again... Joe's not a flyweight either.

Just as my stearing head starts to ache we get out onto the open road and go for some nice, fast sweepers, yodeling in 3rd and 4th before the corner, going at the top of my airbox on the way out.
Finally we nudge suburbia and it's time to take a breath, a Mito 125 and an RGV250 coming the other way and quickly nodding their indicators as we pass.

One last squirt up a few tight bends and we're in front of the garage door.

The radio is blares "I want to break free"....I could go on and on...
The sinking sun is changing the sky first red and purple, then pink and black, still clear and wiiide open...
As I'm getting a luxurious hot bath and Joe scrapes the slab of bugs off my screen, sister and auntie Suzie listen to my stories and get flat tyres of envy.

Joe gets me sparkling again (he's good at that), the oil is checked, the chain lubed and I got the general once-over, I'm still bubbling over, trying to tell my tales as quickly as they flash through my black-box.
Auntie shakes her headlight, sister hangs on every blip I give off.....I feel good, I feel faaantastic, all I need is a full tank of juice and a deft twist on the grip and I'll be gone again.
As the closing roll-a-door brings the dark over our trio, the last, thumping song coming out of that old radio still lingers:

B-B-Bad-to-the-bone..., it makes my paint blister.
Joe, I love you, take me out for the next ride, come on boy, I told you, I love you...
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