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So I've been on the lookout for a BMW 1150 GS Adventure for the past 4 months. This is for mine and Lana's 3-4 month round Oz trip kicking off in August.
Seen a couple, but none that I wanted for the price.
My goal price was $16.5k for a 2002 model with BMW standard panniers (plastic), no top box, with around 25-30k on the clock.
Managed to track down a 2002 model, 20k on the clock, aluminium panniers (3k in value), bunch of other mods located on the Gold Coast. Problem was this bloke was asking 20k for it. I made him an offer of 17.5k, but he wasn't interested.
Then up comes a 2003 model, full aluminium panniers (including topbox), only done 11k, sports exhaust. Located down in Melbourne. I give him a call. Bike's got a ding in the tank (which I don't care about). Have a bit more of a chat, he got it at 10k on the clock, he's added 1.5k in the past 2 years. He also owns a GSX. I've chatted to him on Friday. And he's asking 17k for it. Bingo, for the km's done and with the full luggage system, bargain.
So I decide to head down to Melbourne on saturday, check it out, pay him and ride her back if it's sweet. Go to the bank to get out the cash.
For a joint account it's fairly easy to take out a large sum of cash without the other person's permission.
Want to see what 17k looks like?
On a 6:30 am flight. Meaning we had to get up at 5:15am. Meaning I went to bed early.
Couldn't sleep as Lana was snoring and there was a party on upstairs. I went to sleep at 2am. Okay, now I've got 3 hours sleep with a 11 hour bike ride back to Sydney in front of me.
Get to Melbourne early, cruise over to the guys place. He was celebrating his one year anniversary the night before, so drunk as a skunk and passed out on the couch
Check out the bike, take her for a test ride. She's fine. More powerful than the monster, abs brakes fantastic. I tried to lock her up at 80km slamming on the anchors, stopped faster than I ever could have down without it.
Go back. Tell him his got a deal. We then have to dick around a bit to get the topbox as it's in his gf's boot. End up leaving his place at 11 am.
Somewhere in my trip I snapped the mouth piece off my camelback, so unfortunately haven't got that to use.
Thankfully before I left Sydney, I zipped the gortex liner into my leathers. But stupid me brought my summer gloves, and didn't bring a balaclava. Nor did I pack my thermals.
Got lost getting out of Melbourne, and wasted an hour and a half trying to find the Hume highway.
Once on the highway, it was a fairly good cruise. I have to put risers on the GS to sort out my bad shoulder, but apart from that it's sweet.
The thing is a beast though. Like riding a small car. I am slightly worried about if I can pick her up if I drop her, which will happen at some point. That's my only main concern with her. Two-up with luggage, a 600 is going to struggle. Though I am fairly certain if me and Lana go ahead with the RTW, I will get a 600cc instead. The roads in OZ will be fine for this one, and with an EPIRB and sat phone, I'm not too worried about getting stuck in Australia, if we can't pick her up.
Back to the trip. Making good time, stop for lunch. Oh my god, I don't realise how cold it is till I get inside. Got the shakes bad. My hands aren't too bad, the GS has heated hand grips.
Get back on and away we go. Hume is a boring highway, so no highlights here. I do have a cocktail party to get too, but no chance, my ETA back to Sydney is around 11pm.
6:00 pm. Pull over to refuel. Decide to use the centre stand. Mistake. Firstly I overfill the tank. No biggy, I just wash the spilled fuel off the tank. Then I check the oil. Burn my finger on the engine. Now I take her off the centre stand for the first time. Bang, over she falls to the right away from me. Wedged right up to the fuel pump.
I try to lift her up. It's awkward as I can't get a good grip. No luck. Another bloke comes to help me. No luck. One more guy and up she comes with a struggle.
One of the panniers has come off, and I can't seem to lock it back in. No biggy, it's locked in enough to stay on.
Now I go to start her up. The ABS brake failure light comes on...and stays on. Frig. I check the cables. No damage. I do a few parking lot laps and slam on the anchors, everything seems fine. I'm about 500km's out of Sydney at this time. I decide to go on. It's starting to get dark.
Now my trick with highway riding at night is to slot in behind a truck, and stick with them. The truck's light show the road ahead, and more importantly the truck easily clears the road of wildlife.
Granted you don't go as fast, but with my lights on full beam, plus the floods, my max speed is 80km/h. That is with what I see ahead, I can react in time.
I avoided a possum when I wasn't following another vehicle, so yep, my gap/speed was right.
Pull over around 7, give Lana a call to let her know I'm still alive, and my eta back to Sydney is around midnight. This time when I start her up, the ABS warning light turns off. Water must have got in somewhere when I washed the tank.
Ride on for a few more hours. See the golden arches, so pull over to warm up and get some dinner. Around 9 now.
When I get inside, I can't stop shivering. It is frigging cold. The temptation to pull into a motel room is overwhelming. But I'm determined to finish this trip.
Gear up and ride off.
Now it's starting to get damn cold. I go past an RTA inspection station. It's frigging 4 degrees. I'm freezing. My teeth are chattering, and I've got the shakes. I'm shaking bad enough that the bike is wobbling within the lane.
Bike needs fuel. I also know if I pull over, I'm going to have to really persuade myself to get going. I pull over to refuel. I really persuade myself to get going.
Finally around 11 I can see the lights of Sydney up in the distance. Still got a 100 odd klicks to go.
Have to pay 2 tolls, which I hadn't really prepared for. Took about 10 minutes each time. Stop the bike, remove glove, get off, get wallet, pay, put glove on, get back on, go.
Finally get home. Lana's been waiting up for me, so runs down to see me. I can't stop shaking as it's so frigging cold. She likes the bike.
I've whacked on a little over 1,000 km's on the clock since I got her 12 hours earlier, she's now at just over 12,000 kms.
Go upstairs, warm up with a shower and some whiskey. Go to bed, sleep. Wasn't tired till my body hit the couch. Woke up feeling good, little sore, but no-where near as bad as if I would have done that trip on the Spada/Monster.
Get up around 9:30 the next day. Some guys are coming to look at the Spada. First guy to come over, buys her. I had to call the other guy up and apologise. Took a week to sell her, and I only advertised on the two riding forums I'm active on.
Took Lana for a ride on the GS. She loves it. Told me she was getting travel sick on the back though, and she only gets that on planes/big cars.
I'm going to have to get some of the boys over, drop her on the grass and see if Lana and me can pick her up. That's my main concern with her.
She's got her blue slip on wednesday morning, which should go painlessly.
And now for some pics. Yes, there are 3 bikes in my garage at the moment. If I had taken the pics earlier, there would have been 4
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