Hi Everbody If you Remember from my August 08 trip through the centre of OZ on my 06 Triumph Tiger 955i, I have since been looking at a lighter motorcycle. I have future plans of exploring more areas in OZ like the Simpsons, Canning stock route, Gunbarrel HWY, etc. Well in December 08 after test riding different bikes starting from the WR250R, WR450R, KLR, BMW XC 450 and finally the G 650 XC, I have finally found exactly what I was looking for! So, since dec 2008, this is what happened to my R1 and here is my new Baby! I have since added the 16L TT Tank, Bark busters, 12V power outlet, GPS mount, Stayintune pipes, engine guard, rear rack, etc. During the Christmas break, I left Sydney on 24th afternoon and went to Barrington Tops to meet up with my friends from the club. Since I did not have any panniers on yet, I ended up stacking all the gear in the rear. I took the F3 till just before Ramond Terrace, then Bucketts way to Glouster. There I added some more "essential" Xmas "spirits" to my luggage and set off after 7.00 pm on the Scones road to Manning River Reserve. It was a cold and wet ride and due to the fog, visibility was very poor. On the dirt, the XC was brilliant and I could see the difference between the XC and my Tiger! Somewhere along the winding dirt road, the bag carrying all my Xmas goodies fell off the bike and I did not realise it. Moreover, as it went down, It pulled my Self inflating mattress and the 10L fuel cell/bladder (with 8L of fuel in it!!) on to the exhaust! Well... you can see where this story is going. Enough said that when I reached the camp site at 9.00 pm, the mattress was a "bit" burnt and the fuel cell was pretty light compared to the 8L it once had... The photos were taken next day morning but we did drive back around 10 km that night and found my bag on the track with everything intact (almost... just lost two bottles of Blonde out of 12 and the wine bottle was intact!! thanks to Lowpro!!) So, original plan was to spend xmas and a couple of days there at Manning and then ride on for the next one week. But I just liked the place so much, I decided to stay there till 01.01.09. Christmas Morning The prezzies are out xmas day! The camping area Manning River People say that camping is "roughing" it out.... well.... not true. We had fridges, fresh fruits and veggies, etc... and to top it off... this!! So... everyone partied on... during the day.... and at night! I did make a couple of trips into Glouster for supplies and got myself a new air mattress. But, I went for short rides around Manning just to explore the trails around. During one such trips, I cam across a sign saying:" <-- The Rock" So, curious to see what it was, it turned out to be this... One day, weather just closed in and it hailed and opened up for the entire day! You can see the storm clouds coming!! We did take a walk that evening and Al points out to the swamp area and I took aim and got a very clear shot Overall, it was a very relaxing week of doing nothing but eat, drink, read, ride, fish and avoid snakes!! Man there were a few around!! hehe. Some night shots around the camp. On 1st, we all left Manning area and I rode to Scone, Singleton, Wllombi, St.Albans, wisemans ferry and back to Sydney Enjoy the pictures and wishing you all a safe and Happy New Year 2009. Cheers Bala PS: The new XC has already done 2000KM and is in for the first service! I will pick her up tomorrow! See you all at Capital rally on Saturday!!