Author [NL] [FR] [ES] [DE] [SE] [IT] South Australia's Riverland  (Read 2260 times)

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  • Offline bjtourer

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    Offline bjtourer

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    • Sooo, what is around the next corner?
    • Bike: 2013 Trophy SE
    • City / Town: Bendigo
    South Australia's Riverland
    on: Jun 25, 2017, 12.23 am
    Jun 25, 2017, 12.23 am
    The Triumph Trophy SE comes with all the bells and whistles.  My 2013 model also had a few of the option boxes ticked.  But; does the average touring rider really need half that gear, particularly as the more you have, the more can break down; right? 
    May in Australia is a transition from sometimes damn hot to very wet and cool.  My wife and I had 2 weeks’ Leave where we spent the first week in central Queensland with our oldest daughter and her family (read ‘hot’), and flew back to lead a ride for my local Branch of Ulysses Club (riders over 40yo) on the Sunday.  Our favourite kind of riding is to pick a direction and just go.  So, we packed our bikes that night and on Monday morning, headed for Mildura about 420kms NW of our home in Bendigo via Lake Boga. This lake was a catamaran base in WW2 and we have seen it totally dry during drought.  But we pulled up on its watery banks and got out the thermos and soft cooler bag I carry in the top box (as well as a 2ltr carton of wine – for use after riding of course, maps, alternative gloves and buff, camera, helmet lock and cap).  As with other trips, one of the main reasons why I bought the Trophy is it has room for more than I need whether I am going for the weekend or several weeks, in secure storage. 
    After cuppas, refreshments, and chats with locals interested in the bikes, we continued towards Mildura, stopping at Boundary Bend on the Murray River, getting off the road to set up lunch close to the river.  This involved riding through sandy dirt that the Trophy did without a whimper.  I find that although I know it is not an adventure bike, the set-back bars allow me to stand on the pegs comfortably while maintaining control, aided by the balance of the bike.  I know traction control is not a favourite with dedicated dirt riders but for a mainly road bike rider like myself, it aids in the confidence department to head in to slippery surface conditions knowing I have an electronic back-up.  It wasn’t needed this time but it has come to my aid a couple of times since purchase. 
    We then continued to Robinvale where we crossed in to the State of New South Wales and its 110kmh speed limits on country roads.  We headed off towards Mildura with cruise control set on 120kmh and some locals were still passing us.  This is a long, undulating stretch of road so a bit of ipod entertainment was also welcome via the Trophy’s speaker system.  I also flicked through the info data and found it all useful on a trip like this.  By the time we tucked our chariots in to the car-park at Mildura’s Inlander Resort, we had been in the saddle on a couple of legs over 2 hours without complaint from the bum department as the gel seat and its shape was more than adequate.
    We returned from visiting friends who had recently moved to Mildura and looked at where we were going from there.  The initial plan was to ride to Broken Hill about 300kms north from there.  But as we wanted to spend time there, we felt that would be compromised as a mate at the southern end of Victoria wanted me to test a bike he was looking in to buying with him at the end of the week, and some heavy rain was on its way delivered with compliments from the Antarctic.  Part of distance touring we love is to freewheel and so it was no drama to change our direction from north to west; to South Australia’s Riverland region to the north-east of that State.
    Tuesday’s ride was a breeze as our stay for the next 2 nights was a cabin right on the Murray river at Renmark, only about 130kms away that was rapidly digested as South Australia’s main country roads are placarded at 110kmh and in good condition.  Traffic was light to the point it was a pleasure when we came across grey nomads (cars with caravans in tow) to cruise past. 
    If you ever get the chance to visit this corner of Australia, GRAB IT!  If you like sitting with delicious food and refreshing beverages on a beautiful, broad reach of the Murray, chatting with interesting people, bumping in to local pioneering history all around you, and lovely sweeping roads with little other traffic surrounded by constantly changing scenery, you have just imagined what a couple of days in this Aussie interpretation of a Riverina is like. 
    As we had over 1,200kms to ride to get to my mate’s place on the Mornington Peninsula, and winter was predicted to roll in, we set off early Thursday directly south along the State border with Victoria to Naracoorte, with lunch at Bordertown.  We appropriately dressed for cold and although we both had heated grips, Sue felt the cold a lot more than I did.  We both had great riding gear on so the difference wasn’t that.  I also had a heated seat that helped keep my core temperature comfortable.  But I also felt the fairing and screen of the Trophy did a brilliant job at ‘keeping me out of the wind’ while the fairing and screen on Sue’s bike helped but failed to stop her legs being progressively cooled, ultimately affecting her core temperature.
    I can’t pass on mentioning range.  I plan on 4.3ltrs/100kms.  With the 26ltr tank, I can expect to ride for 500kms before looking for ‘go-juice’, with about 100kms to spare.  I wasn’t getting that kind of range on this trip because of the higher speeds and head-wind.  But I was still refuelling with spare change when I topped up when Sue needed fuel.  As Friday was expected to be much wetter and colder, we wanted to cover a lot of k’s before stopping that night. 
    We turned east at Naracoorte and crossed the border back to Victoria shortly afterwards; and back to heavily policed, heavily fined 100kmh placarded roads.  The surprise for us was how hilly this corner of Victoria was and we enjoyed a lot of great riding. Night was fast approaching and we like to leave the roads for the kangaroos, wallabies and emus to enjoy overnight.  We therefore hunted out a B’n’B called ‘Ironbark’ in Mortlake just as the sun headed off to brighten the other half of the world.  I think the B’nB’ was converted shearer’s quarters but was inexpensive, very comfortable, and warm!  We walked to the local pub where locals who had also turned up for dinner readily chatted with us about bikes and adventure.  We had ridden over half the way that day.
    There was no rain when we packed the bike on Friday morning.  So after breakfast, we headed down the Hamilton Highway towards Geelong in cool but dry conditions.  We were riding through heavy traffic in Geelong a couple of hours later, heading for the ferry across the Heads of Port Phillip Bay from Queenscliff to Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula.  The ship-hands advised us to stay with our bikes so we chatted with a couple of fellow riders from the Barossa Valley Wine Region, also on their way to friends living on the Peninsula.  Rain didn’t catch us until we stopped for lunch at Rye and we were comfortably ensconced at our friends’ home shortly afterwards.
    I took my mate as pillion to the motorcycle end of Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, the next day to pick up the bike he was interested in and later had a ride of the test bike myself.  I enjoyed riding it but when my wife asked me later if I wanted to replace the Trophy, I said I didn’t without hesitation. 
    That brings me back to the opening question.  First up, technology can’t turn a dog of a bike in to a riding masterpiece.  But the handling and clearance of the Trophy, and power and delivery of it’s triple motor, make the Trophy a great bike to ride on any road.  The technology aids this.  Over the week I changed traction modes and suspension loading several times and the differences were discernible.  Fatigue is the number one enemy of distance riding and the technology of heated grips and gel seats with cruise control constantly worked in my favour.  Safety features of ABS and traction control gave extra confidence.  On a previous trip to Robinvale, the tyre pressure monitoring system warned me of a puncture before I lost handling through lower air pressure, meaning I could see to it while at a service station rather than who knows where down the road.  It isn’t a perfect bike but I honestly don’t know what bike I would prefer above it.  It’s designation as a Triumph ‘Trophy’ is very appropriate and when looking at the bikes I have ridden, deem this bike as worthy of the name.

  • Offline Travelling2bob   au

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    Offline Travelling2bob

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    Re: South Australia's Riverland
    Reply #1 on: Jun 25, 2017, 12.59 am
    Jun 25, 2017, 12.59 am
    An excellent article describing both bike and the tour. Can't agree more with your experience and observations.

    This type of testimonial I believe is missing from Triumph marketing.

    Are you intending to submit this article to Australia Road Rider?
    Wherever you go, there you are.
    Triumph Trophy SE
    Triumph Thunderbird 1600
    Triumph Sprint ST
    Ducati ST3

  • Offline HACKLE   au

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    Offline HACKLE

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    Re: South Australia's Riverland
    Reply #2 on: Jun 25, 2017, 03.42 am
    Jun 25, 2017, 03.42 am
    bjTourer, I can't help but agree with Bob. Excellent write up of a most enjoyable time on the Trophy. Maybe I have another starter for the get together I'm planning for maybe October/November this year. On my way back from Hervey Bay in July, after a FarRide to Yandina, my wife and I will be staying in Uralla for a night. This spot, the Top Pub [$80 rooms with ensuite] has an excellent restaurant. It may prove to be the venue I'm looking for, being about halfway between Qld. and Vic. I'll keep you posted.
    HACKLE     I'm too young to be this old.

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  • Offline Travelling2bob   au

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    Offline Travelling2bob

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    Re: South Australia's Riverland
    Reply #3 on: Jun 25, 2017, 04.28 am
    Jun 25, 2017, 04.28 am
    *Originally Posted by HACKLE [+]
    bjTourer, I can't help but agree with Bob. Excellent write up of a most enjoyable time on the Trophy. Maybe I have another starter for the get together I'm planning for maybe October/November this year. On my way back from Hervey Bay in July, after a FarRide to Yandina, my wife and I will be staying in Uralla for a night. This spot, the Top Pub [$80 rooms with ensuite] has an excellent restaurant. It may prove to be the venue I'm looking for, being about halfway between Qld. and Vic. I'll keep you posted.

    G'day Hackle,

    Are you travelling through Toowoomba on you your way up/back from Hervey Bay? If so it would be good to catch up.

    The latter half of this year is pretty congested for a weekend getaway with a number of business and family events occurring. Armidale/Uralla/Walcha may be a doable in November.

    Wherever you go, there you are.
    Triumph Trophy SE
    Triumph Thunderbird 1600
    Triumph Sprint ST
    Ducati ST3

  • Offline bjtourer

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    Offline bjtourer

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    • Sooo, what is around the next corner?
    • Bike: 2013 Trophy SE
    • City / Town: Bendigo
    Re: South Australia's Riverland
    Reply #4 on: Jun 25, 2017, 10.13 am
    Jun 25, 2017, 10.13 am
    Glad you like it.  I was thinking of putting in for Triumph's web but they haven't picked it up; not surprising considering the Trophy has been written out of their marketing.
    I hadn't thought of 'Australian RoadRider' despite having previous articles posted there.  I might forward the article with pics to them.
    Hey Hackle; you should have a ball on the ride you're looking at and I look forward to hearing about it.  We have had family in Hervey Bay and have done quite a few rides there and back but not on a Trophy.  My mate bought the bike he tested, a Victory CrossCountry, and my wife and I are riding with them to Cairns in August inland and then returning via the coast, including Hervey Bay.  We'll take 3 weeks to do it.
    Re: Uralla, we're planning on coming in on the Oxley through Walcha but aren't stopping until Rylstone pub.  We aren't doing a ride like your's that day though as I think we'll be doing under 600k's that day.
    Last Edit: Jun 25, 2017, 10.16 am by bjtourer

  • Offline HACKLE   au

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    Offline HACKLE

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    Re: South Australia's Riverland
    Reply #5 on: Jun 26, 2017, 12.57 am
    Jun 26, 2017, 12.57 am
    Bob, so November it's got to be. I don't have a problem with that. I think then would suit Duncan better as well. The planning has started. :169: :169:
    HACKLE     I'm too young to be this old.

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  • Offline Alex (NZ)

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    Offline Alex (NZ)

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    Re: South Australia's Riverland
    Reply #6 on: Jun 26, 2017, 03.34 am
    Jun 26, 2017, 03.34 am
    Enjoyed your article too bjtourer - excellent testimonial  :047: