Issue 12

March 2004

When you need to know the news, read the Nulla-Noos

Issue No: 12 … Shit that means that I've been doing these things for 2 years now. It's no bloody wonder my fingers are getting sore, it's from all this typing.

Okay, let's get into it ……

First things first, I'd like to remind everybody of the BBQ & Tassie meeting being held @ 12 noon Sunday March 14th at Luigi's place [ 6 Moran Court, Wanneroo ]

If you are planning on going to Tassie with us, you NEED to be there, so we can discuss the trip, the sailing dates, etc.

If you can't make it to the BBQ, but still wish to go to Tassie, please contact me prior to the BBQ so I can discuss the travel plan and your individual requests for travel on the boat.

Failing that, send a proxy with your particular travel & sleeping requirements.

Also, please bring $200 per head as I need some of it to make the group boat booking. This money will also confirm your commitment to travel with us to Tassie.

I'll also accept your money and details at the March 8th HOG meeting if you can't make it on the 14th.

Last date for deposits will be March 14th at Luigi's and I will then make the group booking on the Monday morning.

So if there is no deposit received from you by that date, then you will not be part of the group booking and you will need to make your own arrangements.

That means you will have to take your chances in securing travel with the main group across the water, and it will also be at the higher standard charges.

Once your details and deposit has been received, I will make your booking/s for you using the requested sleeping & shipping requirements, and also finalise the exact cost of your individual fares.

Your final payment will be required by the end of July, as I have to pay the balance of the groups fare within 60 days of the booked sailing date.

If you wish, you can make a direct EFT deposit into the Nullaboys account, but please either make a notation with the deposit [ your name - Tassie ] or ring me and let me know that you have deposited money.

Contact me for account details.

There have been around 25 members that have already indicated that they are going, so don't miss out on this one, it's going to be HUGE.

With some of the Nulla's throwing money to the wind and lashing out on trailers, Geo has send in this piece for you to read regarding those boxes on wheels that we can drag behind us on our travels around the country.

What's with these motorbike trailers ? ?

I was working out of Canberra in '97 and was on my way to a rally up at Southport QLD when I first really took an interest in bike trailers. My Road King was loaded to the max, and very ingeniously too, but a couple of my friends has unencumbered tourers, also Harleys with pillions aboard, and these funny square plastic boxes on wheels behind.

The bikes leant on the corners but the boxes stayed upright, amazing ! I followed quite fascinated as we droned our way up the Pacific Hwy, scarcely able to take my eyes off them.

They kept up with the rest of the pack, and when we stopped for lunch, I was just dead set jealous how much stuff they could get inside these things.

Food, cold drinks, clothes, tents and even tables and chairs, and this little camper was hooked ! When they sent up camp on the Gold Coast, the size of their tents just got me … I just had to get one of these things.

Some months later, I found one advertised by a BMW owner, and even the incompatible colour match and the Beemer stickers did not deter me from buying it.

Classic Trailers in QLD have towbars to suit almost every bike, with wiring included, and one of those soon arrived in the mail, for easy home fitting.

A gear buying frenzy followed and soon mot an ounce of space was free … Needless to say the gross weight was soon exceeded by a few kilo's, but with deft re-positioning, the drawbar weight of around 20kilo's was maintained.

This is very critical, as each time you re- pack it, you need to take it a little easy until stability is assured.

Handling is far more tolerant of too much weight on the drawbar than too less, as the trailer will squirrel away at every upset. When you get it right, you won't feel the trailer on the back at all, except for a slight reduction in acceleration and a noticeable increase in braking distance … Physics does apply !

Bikes like the FJR-1300 and the 88 cube Harleys make light work of the extra weight, and bigger than 1000cc tourers will do the towing nicely.

Which leads me the a point worth considering. A heavy braking near miss with a feral human crossing traffic coming out of the Grampians at cruise speed showed me both sides of the trailer in short order, with the back of the bike slapping big time in sympathy.

The bike brakes will hold, but with a loaded trailer, without brakes, wants to go elsewhere in these circumstances … very, very frightening indeed.

I made a vow then that I would, one day, have a trailer with proper brakes, but this was hampered by very few trailers being available with them. The problem was exacerbated by our habit of operating the trailer at maximum weight, filling every nook and cranny with "vital" camping items.

Then earlier this year, at the Ulysses AGM in Mudgee NSW, and whilst wandering around with some Gero mates, we spotted this streamlined black trailer with a spoiler and it interested bikers all around.

My interest heightened drastically when I saw the hydraulic disc brakes, and even more focussed when I saw the adjustable motorcycle suspension and 13" wheels.

Further investigation showed this fibreglass beauty to be the work of Graham Wilson of Victoria. He had made one for his Goldwing, and then around 20 more for other keen tourers in his spare time.

My spirits were then dampened a little when one of the guys said I'd have trouble getting another made, but undeterred, I made contact with Graham and very soon my own was on the assembly line. "Yes please" to the spoiler and most of the other options offered too.

Interstate transport on completion was another story, but it arrived in good shape and has fulfilled every hope I had for it. A planned NW trip was canned due to my medical problems, but our next expedition to Esperance proved just how useful and competent this "Graywill" trailer is, especially in heavy rain at speed. It's a ripper !

That said, there are many other types of bike trailers out there and it's really a matter of choice and affordability. Stefan even made a single wheeler out of a 44 gallon drum. And it did Sydney and back without a problem.

Just remember that you need a bit more room to park, don't cut corners and stay off the centre line. You will find that low speed stability improves, especially on tight turns with the trailer on.

We have used one of our trailers to take an esky and the full gas barbie on a club ride, for a farm BBQ, great !! And Lester actually does the washing on the road in a sealed [sloshing] plastic drum. The drying cycle should be a breeze too.

So even if you don't generally camp out, but stay in motels, the convenience of a trailer is compelling. Take what you want, the pillion will love you, and you can still lean into the corners and feel the wind in your face !! Think about it …

Geo ………

I was contacted by e-mail by a couple in the USA, asking for some advice and information from the Nullaboys, on a riding holiday they are planning to do in March this year.

They want to experience the outback of Australia by doing a riding holiday from Brisbane, up to Rockhampton, then across to Mt Isa, Threeways, down to Alice Springs, to Adelaide, and then back to Brisbane via the great Ocean Road and back up the coast to Brisbane.

Obviously tourists, they want to check out this magnificent country of ours, I thought.

Sure, I'll help them if I can. So out with the trusty maps, I work out the distance and discover that it's about an 8500km round trip going the way they plan to go.

No problems with that, pretty easy to do in 3 weeks, but 4 would be better for look around.

I also read in the e-mail that they're travelling two-up on a Fly-Ride rental bike and they're heading through the outback areas on their own.

Hmmm, I think I'll suggest 4 weeks, as it's bit too far to go in 3 weeks especially two-up in the heat of March.

Then I sat down at the keyboard and starting typing a reply. I told them of places to go to see stuff and places of interest.

Places like Bundaberg, the home of Bundy Rum, and Longreach, the birthplace of QANTAS, and the great mining town of Mt Isa.

Further into their travels, they'll come to places like Daly Waters with all the bra's and undies on the walls, Wauchope and the Devils Marbles, Coober Pedy and the opal mines that turn into underground housing.

The wine districts of Adelaide, the beauty of the Adelaide Hills, the Great Ocean Road, the 12 Apostles, Apollo Bay and all the other beautiful places they can go to and go through.

I sent them lots and lots of details on the roads, the accommodation, places to see, things to do, history spots, etc, etc, etc.

2 days later, I received a reply from them, the holiday is only for two weeks, and they need to do trip in that time.

Actually it's only 12 days on the road because they land Saturday and don't get the bike until Monday morning, and it's got to be back Saturday 2 weeks later as they fly home on the Sunday.

" We've looked at the map, and there's plenty of towns along the way. It doesn't look that hard, and we don't mind riding on the highways at night to get to the next town "

Bless their little hearts, you've gotta smile don't you …. Less than 12 days, 8500kms, two-up, on a rental bike, in the heat and in a country they've got no idea about.

So, I sit and begin to type another story to them. This is the one that includes the animals that come out at night, and that only a mad man, or woman, would ride a motorcycle out there at night time, at any bloody speed.

I also explain that a black dot, with a name, on a map doesn't always mean a "town " and that with some of them, the best you can expect will be fuel, food, and if you're lucky, a bed for the night.

They're not towns, but simply places in the middle of nowhere that will help you get to the next place in the middle of nowhere, and that the next place after that one may not be a "town" either.

The price of fuel is not like the USA either, they will pay over a $1.30 a litre out there, the bike takes about 18-20 litres and it'll go about 250kms on that.

Most fuel stops will be between 150-200kms apart, and they will need to fuel up every time they see one, because they will not make the next one if they don't, and that it's a bloody long way to walk to get more.

Did I scare them, put them off the trip, or did I enlighten them…… I don't know

After I sent this second e-mail, I did wonder whether they would be upset, or pissed off, with me for telling them these things.

I even wondered for a couple of days if I'd even get a reply to the second e-mail that I sent.

But then I thought that it was better to tell them they were idiots before they found out the hard way.

A week after I sent the second e-mail, I received a reply from them, thanking me for my advice and information. They're still doing the trip, but they have extended their holiday to 4 weeks now.

They're going to leave Brisbane as planned, but now they'll take their time doing the round trip.

And now, if they end up back in Brisbane a bit early, and if time permits, they'll head up towards Cairns for a look around there before they head home.

Another happy ending and I hope that they enjoy their holiday down under.

And I'm glad that they took the advice too, otherwise we might have ended up bumping into them out there, one day.

Safe riding, see you at Luigi's on the 14th...


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