Thursday, December 6, 2012

Part 3 - Diesel's Spring Clean and Rewiring Project - ST1300 Pan European

What confronts a night rider in Australia?

I had to upgrade the lighting on my Pan European ST1300 because of the amount of night and early morning riding I do/plan to do. In Australia, when the sun goes down, the kangaroos come out to feed. Some years we have plentiful rain, and this is a little better for motorcyclists as opposed to the drought or dry years. Why??? Because by the shoulders of the roads are what we call tabledrains. All roads, highways, streets, etc have a crown, a camber, a shoulder, a gutter (if they are a suburban or city street, and/or a tabledrain if they are a country road, street or highway.

As kangaroos frequent the country roads and highways, the tabledrain is where they gather. The tabledrain is the lower part of ground next to country roads that all water is designed to end up in as it runs off the road. This is where the last remnants of water is found, and the grass is a little greener than the paddocks - hence drawing the marsupials near the road.

In abundantly wet years, there is enough vegetation all through the bush, and the tabledrain is not so inviting.

Wildlife does not recognise a road as a 'line of death' or a line of demarcation between boundaries - hence they appear 'dumb' but they never had primary school lessons teaching them about looking left and right - human toddlers are the same before they are 'educated'.

Soooooo (sorry to be long-winded about the explanation) - it is a good idea to have plenty of light, lighting up these tabledrains looking for wildlife. This can also include emus, goats, pigs, goannas, eagles, wombats, rabbits, foxes, lizards, crows, cattle, horses, sheep and camels - depending on whereabouts in Australia you are riding.

Finally - there even the concern of the big road trains and B-Double trucks/lorries that travel through the night and play 'roo bowling'. One has to be alert to the carcass' that may litter the roads early morning as they are quite a lump and quite a surprise when in the middle of the road through a curve or over a rise.

For a while, I had thought of a HID upgrade to my headlight array to keep the road filled in when you have to dip your lights for oncoming traffic. I am always conscious that there could be a marsupial carcass or severe pot hole in the road in that 'no man's' land, and it used to cause me concern. The HID installation as follows allayed a lot of this concern.....

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