Sunday, 30 August 2009

Roaming the Blue Mountians...Part 2

Today I fired up the GPS and plotted a course that would take me to Leura without having to use too much of the Great Western Highway. This Highway becomes a car park on weekends as Sydneysiders head west for a day out in the mountains. So looking at Google maps I saw some minor roads that take you along side the Highway. Plotted these into my GPS, camera around my neck off I go on the BMW.

The road surface is broken up in places. Potholes with lots of gravel strewn across the road. It is very narrow at times. Care must be exercised with on coming cars on your side of the road. Sometimes you feel like you are on a roller coaster. The views are amazing. Old homes of all sorts abound. Derelict buildings of long ago stand in places declaring how grand they must have been. You miss the current road works between Lawson and Wentworth Falls. Speaking of Wentworth Falls the route takes you past Wentworth Falls Lake. Looks to be a great spot for a picnic. The wind was roaring across the lake today and the ducks and geese own the place.

This route will add around 10 minutes extra to a ride west but I think it is worth it just to break up the boring Great Western Highway.

Badgery Cres just off the Great Western Highway.

Old School Building Lawson.

Lawson. A part of the town not often seen.

Railway Parade. Between Bullurra and Wentworth Falls.

Sinclair Cres. Wentworth Falls.

Wentworth Falls Lake.

Back onto the Great Western Highway at Leura.

View Larger Map

A howling six. A banging boxer. 2 Pillions ride....

A ride was arranged for last Sunday by Shelley. With her friends Paul and Kay. To Wisemans Ferry pub for lunch. How could I say no to that? This pub has been in many photos on this blog.
Sunday morning is bright and clear. Off up the road a howl is heard growing in volume. The closer it gets the louder this exhaust howl is. Then Paul and Kay come around the corner. “Is it a Honda 750?.... No it’s a CBX1000...” No wonder it is making such a wonderful noise. Paul’s customer painted, to match his Shoei helmet, CBX1000 runs a six into six exhaust system. I want to ride behind him just to listen to concert that is these pipes. Paul has more than one CBX1000. Way more than one.

I am introduced and then off we go. Up onto Hawkesbury Road. The CBX is behind me. It is just as loud behind as it is in front I would find out. I am sure that riding this bike past a cemetery would have an affected on the dearly departed buried there. It is so wonderfully loud. So 1970s loud. When no one whined about loud exhausts on vehicles.

There is back burning going on up here in the Blue Mountains as we head into the warmer months and the risk of bushfires is increasing with each day. This back burning would catch Shelley and me out later in the day.

Down through to Windsor via the hairpins on Hawkesbury Road.

Then along Pitt Town, and onto Catti Road. Through to the Old Northern Road. I love Pitt Town/Catti road. Nice smooth tar. Some corners that are posted at 45km/h are in fact way faster than that. The old BM and the two of us are having a ball. I love being cranked over into a corner and taking one hand off the bars to wave at on coming bikes. That’s how stable the BM is in a corner.

The smoke in the hills is where we came through the back burning.

Soon we catch up with traffic heading down into Wisemans. I am sure the people at the pub have heard us coming down the hill. What with my Staintunes banging away on over run and Paul’s Six screaming. Not many bikes at the pub. Strange as it is a Sunday and the weather is great. Lunch is good. The conversation great between the four of us. Of course Paul and I wonder off to leave the girls to chat and we go to have a perve on the Bike Porn parked out the front.

Kay and Paul.

Paul's CBX1000

Some of the Bike Porn at Wisemans Ferry Pub on the day.

It is time to mount up and head back home. With a stop at Windsor for coffee. Riding through to Anges Banks we part company. Shelley and I to go back up Hawkesbury Road while Paul and Kay head to Penrith. As we climb up the hill the traffic comes to a stand still in one of the hair pins. Further up is where they had been burning off at the sides of the road when we came through in the morning. We are sitting in the line up of traffic when a white BMW R1150RT comes down the hill. “The road is blocked up ahead by a tree” Thank you fellow BM rider. So U turn and off back the way we came. Through to Penrith and then up the Great Western Highway. Just under 200kms were ridden.

Photo credits: Shelley, Kay and me.

Footnote: Shelley and I are no longer together.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Art Deco BMW........

Not my write up. I nicked it from
What an amazing looking BMW Prototype. In fact BMW have restored this bike and I have seen photos of it being ridden. Looks like it came right out of a Batman movie.

The sheer beauty of the BMW R7 prototype takes my breath away. A single copy was crafted in 1934 by design engineer Alfred Böning. His vision was a departure from the “bicycle with motor” design still prevalent in the 1930s. The R7 incorporated sweeping enclosed bodywork, a pressed steel frame, valanced mudguards and then-innovative telescopic front forks.

The R7’s beauty was more than skin deep, however. The transmission featured an ‘H’ pattern hand shifter and the 800c Boxer engine crafted by Leonhard Ischinger was decades ahead of its time. The revolutionary engine includes a forged, single piece crankshaft. The cylinder housing is a monoblock with a hemispherical combustion chamber, eliminating the need for a troublesome head gasket and the camshaft is positioned below the crank (allowing more convenient plug placement).

Alas, the R7 was deemed too extravagant and expensive to produce in the harsh economic and political climate of the mid-1930s. The roadworthy prototype was stripped of useful parts, crated and largely forgotten until 2005. When the box was finally opened, the R7 was found to be 70% complete but in disastrous condition. Many components were severely rusted and a long-forgotten battery had ruptured and corroded the machine even further.

Luckily, the original design drawings were located in the BMW Archives and BMW Classic undertook a comprehensive restoration. A team of specialists rebuilt the frame, bodywork, transmission and one-of-a-kind motor. By the end of 2008, the machine looked like it must have when Alfred Böning first rolled it out of his Munich workshop. It performed flawlessly on its first road test in over 70 years and, hopefully, will be displayed around the world in years to come. [thanks, Karen!]

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