Thursday, April 20, 2017

Let There Be Light

When Graham from Australian Moto Gear & Clothing rings me up and says he has sent me some new lights to try out, he knows they have to be a very decent piece of equipment - in fact - somewhere between excellent and awesome! Why? Because I have spent many years refining my gear and equipment for long distance riding doing certified runs as a Member of both FarRiders Australia and the Ironbutt Association, which includes plenty of night time miles.

I don't have time or patience for anything below par these days.

The equipment I use now is basically the result of over 160,000 kms of field testing current technologies and updating to smaller and better items. It must also be most reliable, and good value for money. We've all been out in the boonies and had an equipment failure like an electrical gremlin on your bike, a bluetooth item not connecting/pairing up, or even riding gear breaking or malfunctioning etc etc - you KNOW what I mean.

Anyway - from the moment I started unpacking the box, I could tell that these lights were a quality item.

They are the 40W Gold Runway LEDs (GR-40X). I noticed how small they were too, and wondered what kind of "punch" they were going to pack.

They come with all the connections and mountings.

All you have to do is run a switch, fuse, and the wiring from your bike.

Once again, I was impressed with the quality of the components, including the stainless mounting cradle and nuts n bolts.


















The cast aluminium bezel and heat sinks are very well manufactured as well and clearly do their intended job for dissipating heat.




















The lenses are toughened glass.











Here is why I was a little dubious in changing out my existing lights...

You can see the obvious differences... Anyways, I persevered.

I was already thinking I can probably mount the old JayCar spotties UNDER the mirrors and get a bonus!

So time for a test ride...

Here is low beam and high beam with the new Gold Runway LEDs!


Totally remarkable! in fact, so remarkable that it will be pointless adding the JayCar LEDs anyways as I'm sure they will make no difference!

The guys who make the GR-40Xs have certainly done their homework because the distance Vs spread ratio of these lights are the best I've seen. It is not uncommon for long distance riders (read NIGHT RIDERS) to have an auxilliary set of spotties pointing out to the road's tabledrains to spot potential marsupial missiles. I can assure you these lights have that covered! there is a genuine 250-300 metres of direct visibility, and I mean GENUINE. Reflectiions from signs and posts are easily visible from twice that distance. You can not out ride these lights and your stopping distances are not at risk.











They also shake a lot less down my 2km dirt road driveway compared to the JayCar LEDs. I believe this has everything to do with the much more substantial gauge of steel used for the mounting cradle.




















FINAL WORD:
If you are looking for some great lights in the mid range dollar budget, and want a robust, well made and reliable no-nonsense unit, I can assure you that the Gold Runway 40W LEDs will not disappoint.

I reckon Graham will have them to your door in under a week for $275 plus delivery. I KNOW he will give you loads of support and after sales advice and help too.

Just ask him anything you want about them or about me and he will be more than willing to help out.

Hope this helps folks.

Cheers, Diesel Dave

Friday, December 4, 2015

Off to Sydney to see an old mate...

My old mate hasn't been doing too well lately, and I wanted to tear down to Sydney and say G'day.
An OzSTOC Club Member was also putting on a RTE for a combined 21st Birthday celebration, and the NSW OzSTOC Xmas party, so I timed my visit to be able to drop in and say G'day here as well.
I am loving the new little trailer "Old Red" and always look forward to getting out touring with it, and stopping at new and wonderful places.
Packing and loading is always another fun part of hitting the road.





The ride plan was to get to Denman, overnight camp there, and then ride down the famous and awesome Old Putty Road to get me to the party destination.



I took my new travel camera with me, and after I took 3 or 4 shots, the battery died, and as I cannot use my phone camera whilst riding, I didn't get as many mobile pics as I usually like.

Anyways - a few hundred kays into the trip and the first stop was the nice Queensland country town of Warwick to top up the tank, reduce the volume in another, and get a great coffee from one of the little coffee shops I always stop at there.

More easy motoring in temps around 30*C until I stop in to see some great friends at Guyra whom also co-run the Aussie Honda ST Owners Club (OzSTOC) now for a chat and coffee. It is here that Chris asks if I'd like to try his Russell Day Long seat until I pass back through these ways in a couple of days... "Hell YEAH!" was the emphatic answer... have a gander at this thing...



It is like slippers for your posterior!

I was soon on my way again and feeling the constant heat. I was keeping well hydrated, but the temps had been well over 30*C for hours now, so I decided to take a little break. I had been through towns like Armidale, Bendemeer and Tamworth and found a great spot to park the rig and have a lay down for 15 odd mins. Got this shot at the time (Murrundi)...



Made it to Denman later, found the caravan park where I was camping and settled in for the afternoon/evening...





I'd picked up a steak and other supplies at Muswellbrook (the major town before Denman) and got ready to cook dinner.... some more candid shots...

 


You can see why I like camping!

Had a great night's sleep and was woken by the Aussie bush alarm clock - Galahs! At least it was a reasonable hour! On with the billy and start the packing up process.

I motored out of the camp site and made my way down the Golden Highway through Jerry's Plains and on to the Putty Rd. Very nice place to be ... I couldn't help grinning at how good this is compared to being at work!





Although the weather was slightly inclement, this didn't diminish the quality of the ride, and the road wasn't really wet, only damp. I stopped in at the Grey Gum Cafe for bacon & eggs and a nice coffee - which resides roughly half way along the Putty Rd. While I was ordering, and lady caught my attention. She was pointing at me saying "I've got your flag!" I replied "You have, haven't you?" She retrieved it....



The lady is Kim - the owner. She saw my Club badge on my jacket and instantly recognised it as a nice Club who has been there before - pretty special and personal quality service if you ask me. The Grey Gum Cafe is a biker friendly cafe which caters extremely well for the significant amount of motorcycle traffic which frequents the Putty Rd. The cafe has many flag poles out front, and rotates the different Clubs' colours to share the love. OzSTOC Members have met here a few times and the Club has had the foresight to be included with our branding.

Anyways - time for the last leg of the trip down.

A great, but uneventful run down to the venue. I arrived amongst all the usual fanfare and pomp and ceremony... well... the kids and a rabbit rushed out to see me anyway!



... and I began to set up my camp - with plenty of enthusiastic help.

Here is Club Member Growly arriving on his Boulevarde and towing his awesome Tourlite camper...


There was a fierce competition among attendees for "Best Camp" and the sledging, baggings and trash talking was in full swing. I didn't partake though - unsportsmanlike!  *cough cough*

Here are some pics of the assortment of animals and campsites which graced this wonderful venue....

   
 

This bottom pic shows the eating/cooking area to the left - it doesn't show the goats, chickens and dog - quite a menagerie!

Onesie (whose 21st birthday party it was) welded up a fantastic BBQ, and you can see his father, Joe here making good use of it. The grub was fantastic all weekend! (Kebabs were to die for!)

 

There was OzSTOC cake...

 

Flags.... and even a mobile boom box..

 

Oh... and don't forget the DONUT MACHINE! They were delish!

 

A great party rang on into the night - we even had fireworks as part of our "best camp" display - but above is pictured Rodney - the eventual winner. Well played sir, well played!

Brekky consisted of fabulous pancakes, and some bacon. Tim decided he needed to increase productivity and had both together... ewwww!

 After such a fantastic night at such a fantastic venue with such fantastic people, I'd really like to thank Jordy (Onesie) and his family for putting on such a memorable spread. Nothing was too much trouble, and the lengths they went to to ensure their guests had a bonza time were enormous. On behalf of OzSTOC - thanks team!
It was also great to meet regular and new Club members where enduring friendships are instantly formed.

Well people packed up and started leaving at their own leisure - good byes were said, and fair travels were bade.

I now had the other bit of business to attend to in this region - to see a great mate who is battling through a nasty brain cancer episode.

Growly and I made our way to his place and had the most awesome morning tea with our old pal. He was chuffed we stopped by, and we were extremely glad we did too. We were raving about how fun it was for hundreds of kms afterwards! Well done Pat.

We made our way out of Sydney up to the Blue Mountains and enjoyed the scenery immensely. Would love to see the speed limit raised a little though to take full advantage of the wonderful roads we were riding. We arrived at the famous Mt Panorama Racing Circuit at Bathurst and fancied a lap or two - even if we were towing trailers! But we got there and the circuit was closed for some media event, although we did get to see several legendary racing cars from the hey days, and we were allowed on the main straight....



We had a bite to eat, a coffee, and said our farewells and parted company in Bathurst as Growly heads south to home, and I head north.

I get a fantastic ride from here too - through the Wollemi National Park along the Bylong Valley Way...



 

I was enjoying exceptional fuel economy when considering I was towing a trailer and fully packed for touring... these pics show a return of around 51mpg or 18km/litre... (the trip meter shows kms travelled) ....

 

I stopped for the night at Bendemeer and had a nice kip...



I made a last stop to see Chris and Jean in Guyra again to return the loaner seat, then continued on my way home with only a last fuel splash.

2,309kms for the weekend that was full of great riding and even better friends.

Cheers, Diesel