Day two of the rideabout started out badly, the Yamaha I was riding wouldn't start. However having led the life of a hooligan in my younger years and acquiring skills needed to circumvent such things popping a side cover and using a screw driver to short the solenoid terminals soon had the Tenere running, this would be the method for starting the bike until we got solenoid replaced sometime later in the trip.
The ride to Armidale, were we would pick up the Ural took us over another mountain range along the way we passed through Guyra, and the highest elevation of this range. The weather was clear but the air cold about 45 degrees F, I never could get the hang of the Celsius temperature scale.
Along the way we passed the boarding school that Jock attended whilst young.
Before long we arrived at the shop where we would pick up the Ural in Armidale, I am sorry I have forgotten the mans name standing on the far left, he owns or works at the shop where we got the Ural and is a racer of local renown, to this man right is Jon who is the importer of the Ural motorcycles to the whole of Australia, I am seated on the rig, Jock is in the sidecar.
When I picked up the rig it had 3,and almost 200 klicks on the odometer, I should have rode the bike another 50 feet before taking the photo then it would have read 3,200K
NOW the story gets shall we say interesting. So far riding on the left hand side of the road had presented few if any problems, I mean riding a motorcycle on the right or the left hand side of the road is really no big deal they handle, start from a stop and come to a stop the same way. HOWEVER riding for the FIRST time a sidecar rig that has the sidecar mounted on the left side of the bike is a whole DIFFERENT game.
When accelerating or stopping a sidecar rig the machine will tend to wander due to the weight of the sidecar. On a rig with the sidecar mounted on the right as I am used to, when you accelerate the bike wants to go to the right when you brake it wants to go to the left, having ridden a sidecar equipped bike now for many years this is so normal that I have adapted a riding style that makes these movements all but disappear except under extreme uses of the throttle or brake. Now put the weight of the sidecar on the opposite side of the bike and this completely changes the dynamics of riding and control of the machine.
I am used to the sidecar coming off the ground when going fast into a right hand turn so when I entered a left hand corner at speed and the sidecar came up it was exhilarating to put it mildly especially when I was drifting head on into incoming traffic.
After a few miles I was becoming somewhat accustomed to this upside down and backwards way of life and within a few days it was feeling like it was the normal way of doing things. Yes an old dog can sometimes given proper motivation learn new tricks.
Soon after we left from the shop we spotted a sign that would make a good photo, it was the name of a school or some other important building ( Inmate "GTinAus" has informed me that the sign the Ural is parked in front of is the name of the town, thank you GTinAus, I appreciate the correction to my post. )
that if a person stood in front of the last two letters you could only see the first four letters which spelled Ural. I have been known for years to drive up onto the grass, across sidewalks and other such uncivilized behavior to get a good photo so doing this whilst in Oz was for me normal.
We stop to gas up the bikes, have a snack and take a meandering ride to Jon's home where we will spend the night. Jock left the KLR at the shop as "Zac" another Yank would in a few days be joining us on the rideabout, Jock would from this point on be riding the Yamaha Tenere.
Here are some shots of the ride to Jon's home.
We spent the evening with Jon and his wife, swapped lies, ate good food, drank some beer and went to sleep. The next day would bring us into the big city, driving the Ural on the motorway in heavy traffic and more then a few butt puckering moments, stay tuned.