It's Time To Move On - A BugsOnMyFace Global Sidecar Adventure

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by mightymatt43, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. Atticus1983

    Atticus1983 Adventurer

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    Nearly spit out my coffee when I saw this :photog

    Kris broke in her new Biltwell at the airport:
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    That's just awesome. Safe travels on your next adventure!
  2. FLYING EYEBALL

    FLYING EYEBALL out of step

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    Ossum!!!!!11
  3. ricmachado

    ricmachado Been here awhile

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  4. mightymatt43

    mightymatt43 URALiNEED

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    hey bruce - unfortunately, i don't think we'll be making it 20k kms! i wish we had more time but we're only going to be around for a bit over a month. we'll have to hit you up when we get back to Oz the next time - this time around we're only going to be cruising the East coast...

    thanks all! glad to be back at it!

    hahah - i really want to see how many shots like this we can get over the course of this trip...

    i unfortunately didn't get any official pricing done on shipping to Oz. i just knew how much it was to Chile and i figured it was similar or more probably more expensive. also, after seeing how expensive it would be to rent a solo bike, i feel really good about buying. it was definitely an expensive purchase but it's what we've been saving our money for… plus we'll get the majority of it back at the end!
  5. mightymatt43

    mightymatt43 URALiNEED

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    Day 1 in Oz - Sydney

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    After riding back to our hotel, we decided to do the tourist thing, mainly so that we would stay awake for the rest of the day. Sydney is quite beautiful actually and we had an easy time walking and riding the bus to a ton of great places.

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    Like any self-respecting tourist, we of course made it down to Sydney Harbour.

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    Convinced to stay by numerous endorsements of nearby shop-owners, we
    further defied our sleep deprivation (we were completely out of our minds at this point) and stayed downtown for a special light show called Vivid. One shop owner trying to sell us a possum-fur, Russian-styled Ushanka
    hat actually told us, “Vivid has changed my life.” How could we say no?

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    I’m not sure if either of our lives were changed because of the lights, but when we finally stumbled off the bus and fell straight into our bed, the feeling was other-worldly.

    *

    We woke the next morning feeling completely refreshed. While at breakfast, we ran into several players from the Bulls, a South African Super Rugby team. I am not a small man. I’m about 6’5” and 210 lbs. I’m used to being bigger than most people that I meet, but these guys absolutely dwarfed me.

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    The blonde dude pictured above (disclaimer: not our pic, obviously) was eating what looked like 2 dozen eggs, a rack of lamb, an entire pinneapple and gallon of Guinness for breakfast. He winked at me when I walked by with a piece of toast and a coffee…

    Side note: we’ve now watched a ton of rugby because it’s on nearly every Australian TV channel. I think I may be hooked.

    *

    Anyway, after being emasculated by the giants of South Africa, we took the ocean walk from Coogee Beach to Bondi Beach. Highly recommended.

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    Not a bad place to swim a few laps:
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    The world famous Bondi Beach. During the summer months, the sand is
    completely covered with people. Apparently, on weekends there can be as many as 35,000 a day!
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    Due to the staggeringly high number of people enjoying the beach, Sydney has a healthy culture of life guards along with exclusive life guard clubhouses along the coast. The statue pictured below commemorates “Black Sunday” when 100 people were rescued in one afternoon.
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    Not a terrible place to have some fish and chips:
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    We grabbed a cab at Bondi and were reminded that taxi drivers are a great source of information about driving in a foreign place. We asked a ton of questions, most importantly about the numerous roundabouts that are scattered across all of Australia. Not so prevalent in the States. (No matter where you approach the roundabout, always yield to the vehicle to your right - genius!)

    *

    Next up - finally back on the road and it feels so good.


  6. Gas Hog

    Gas Hog Two Wheel Fanatic

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    And so it begins :clap So nice to see real photographers doing a ride report.
    Gary
  7. RokLobster

    RokLobster Far from sanity Supporter

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    Woo Hoo! Glad to see you are back on the road and I am looking forward to your incredible photography!! Safe travels!! :clap:clap:clap
  8. DiscRider

    DiscRider DiscRider

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    Yeah! Looking forward to tagging along on more adventures.:clap
  9. Teeds

    Teeds Don Quixote

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    Glad to see you back on the road ...

    You left Texas just in time. It will not be long before the heat sets in and the rattlesnakes come out (warning for all the northerners planning to head this way :rofl)

    Can't wait to see more!
  10. X Banana Boy

    X Banana Boy Long timer

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  11. 2 Dogs

    2 Dogs 2 Dogs Supporter

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    Awesome! So glad you guys are back at it! Your SA RR was def one of all time favorites. :clap Have a great time down under. I remember my first moto trip there a few years ago. I'll never forget the drive back to my hotel from the rental facility. You summed it up pretty well! Do the Sydney bridge walk if possible. I know it's kinda touristy, but it was really cool. I loved the Blue Mtns and Putty Rd. Almost killed myself there by taking a run down the road and back around the curves for video purposes. Lost my mind and rode about 2 miles around blind curves on the wrong side of the road :eek1. Luckily, no big trucks with roo bars happened to be coming the other way....pure luck. Anyhoo, I am psyched to read your report and relive some of the great areas from my trip. God speed my friends!!
  12. juno

    juno Long timer

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    Great news! Glad you guys just jumped into the report. Good to see you back and have an awesome safe journey!
  13. TouringDave

    TouringDave Tri Moto Veritas

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    Awesome! :clap
  14. mightymatt43

    mightymatt43 URALiNEED

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    Day 3 in Oz: Sydney to Hawk's Nest

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    As many of you know, riding as a passenger on a motorbike requires a healthy dose of trust. One of the greatest things that traveling by motorcycle has shown me is how much my wife trusts my abilities. We have been in several situations together that were legitimately frightening, and although there have been a few tears (I’m sure there have been some secret sobs in her helmet), Kristen believes in me. It is not something that I take lightly or overlook as I know that this is not the case in a lot of marriages.

    *

    I was reminded of this confidence as we pulled into Sydney traffic for the second time considering my poor first attempt.

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    There are no pictures from our weaving through traffic as Kristen was tending to her navigating duties, but we hit a Zen moment as a driving team whilst downtown. Our first day of driving was testament to an over-confidence in myself. I couldn’t believe how differently the rig handled with the sidecar on the left side. But as we headed north on day two, the three of us were a finely tuned, four-headed, three-wheeled machine.

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    Kristen’s new helmet presented a new challenge as I now can’t see her face, but she was quickly using scuba diving signs crossed with sign language crossed with charades. It’s a good system, plus her Biltwell helmet is a boss.

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    After a few tunnels and tight squeezes next to buses in narrow lanes, we were out into the open. Two initial thoughts: this 2015 Ural is wicked and it is frickin cold! We knew it was going to be winter here but it was in the low 40s when we left Sydney. Time to put every layer on...

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    After a late lunch, we pulled off of the A1, the main artery that runs up and down the East coast of Australia, and headed over to a small town called Hawk’s Nest.

    *

    The late afternoon light was too good to miss a few glamour shots of the new bike:

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    We found a nice little motel that seemed close to the ocean and unloaded before going to have a look. Bennett Beach was nearly empty and completely lovely at dusk.

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    After some tapas, including some fairly epic oyesters, we considered the day a complete victory.

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  15. Lacedaemon

    Lacedaemon Been here awhile

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    Sweet! Glad you're back on the road!
  16. mightymatt43

    mightymatt43 URALiNEED

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    Day 4 in Oz: Hawk's Nest to Harrington

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    One of the facets of travel that feeds our drive to see the world is the simple act of observing people. Being a fly on the wall and just seeing how others live is fascinating. It's so easy to take people for granted when we're in our daily routine. But flying halfway across the world breaks that cycle of apathy. It has become a common occurrence for one of us to turn to the other and say, "Isn't it crazy how many people there are in the world and how we'll never get to know them?"

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    We woke extremely early seeing as we're still getting used to the time change and hustled down to the beach for a quick shot of the new sun. What had been completely isolated the night before was now bustling with people and boats.

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    After a bit of investigating, we discovered we were witnessing the beginning of a 48 hour, 250 km race involving both boats and bicycles.

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    This was not a casual race. These people had trained for weeks and it was a bit heartbreaking to see a couple groups wreck on the first round of waves off the beach.

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    After a tremendous breakfast, we headed up the coast along some lonely roads.

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    Weaving our way along the coast and The Lakes Way was just fantastic. We took a few ferry rides...
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    ...and had some more time to take a few glamour shots.
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    The sun was out, the roads were empty, and the bubble shield selfies were in full gear:
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    We wound our way to the secluded Seal Rocks to find every campsite, BnB, hotel, motel, spare room had been booked already. Thank you unknown Aussie holiday!

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    The views were worth the ride though:
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    Harrington eventually showed us favor and we rolled into a campsite as the sun went down. Great day of riding in Oz!
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  17. AceRph

    AceRph Affluenza Free!

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  18. mightymatt43

    mightymatt43 URALiNEED

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    Comparison of a 2007 Gear Up to a 2015 Ranger

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    In so many ways, the 2015 Ural Ranger is identical to our Gear Up from 2007. It has the all familiar soft whir and tick of the engine. Shifting through the gears must be deliberate and mindful of RPMs and results in a satisfying "thunk". The sidecar itself feels the same and the entire rig is well-balanced and sturdy. But to me, there have been major changes in 8 years of development. And seeing as we have now put nearly 3000 km under the bike's belt, I am greatly appreciating the updates.

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    A new instrument panel with several new indicators including a low fuel light. I still go by the odometer but it's nice to have a secondary reminder.
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    The new hydraulic steering dampener is greatly improved over the old friction type and is easily adjusted.
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    Newly styled exhausts.
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    Newly improved wheels, rims and spokes (allegedly).
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    A hand-operated parking brake which is much more effective than the old bolt type and actually stops the bike from rolling down hills.
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    Perhaps most noticeable and important to me are the new Brembo disc brakes on the rear and sidecar. I personally think the braking is incredibly poor on my 2007 GU. There have been times when I have found it miraculous that the bike has stopped at all. I have a lot more confidence in the stopping power of the Brembos.
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    The new, screw-in oil filter is a revelation. Pulling the filter from my 2007 was a bit of a pain and even more of a pain to insert a new one. The new location is just well thought out.
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    The fuel canister seems a bit more robust with a nice update to the mount.
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    The new bench seat has a bit more cushion than mine, although I don't like the set seating areas. Mine is completely flat and allows me to stretch out a bit.
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    The most controversial and potentially exciting change is the inclusion of fuel injection. I can honestly say that I'm pretty torn. It is nice to not have to mess with anything when making a climb in elevation (although I'm not doing that here) but the FI will definitely make adjustments or repairs in the field more complicated or maybe not even possible. The idea of having this fail in the middle of nowhere is a bit concerning. This Ranger seems to have a good map and is running and idling very smoothly.
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    As of right now, the 2015 Ranger has been running strong and has taken a few muddy, dirt tracks to highways in stride. Although our 2007 GU is running great back home, this new bike is really impressing me. So much so that I will be really sad to leave it in Australia. ​
  19. WDG

    WDG Not entirely domesticated

    Joined:
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    Not liking the mirrored bubble shield, so well. She's much too pretty and expressive to hide her face behind there.
    Enjoying the ride report, and the photos. Thanks for sharing your journey! (Thinking about a new Ural.)
  20. Lacedaemon

    Lacedaemon Been here awhile

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    Maryland
    At least it has redundant FI computers. Considering that it would have been almost impossible to keep a carbureted motorcycle in production in the long run, I think they were pretty thoughtful about the implementation. That said, I don't own one, so I won't come on too strong on this point.

    Really enjoying your report, as always.