Australia - Melbourne. Skippy gets scrubbed up, some surgery & a service.


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Oct 3, 2005
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Kent & Berkshire
Australia - Melbourne. Skippy gets scrubbed up, some surgery & a service.

6-14th April.

Dave, my host and owner of was (ironically) flying to the UK today to unload a shipment of bikes from Australia. We went to the airport around lunch-time after finishing the remnants of Dave’s stew (from last night) and I returned via a local Supermarket to get some more provisions. I was still dead-tired (after my journey from New Zealand the previous day) so I drifted between surfing on the Internet & watching TV until I gave up at around 22:30. :sleep

The following day I woke a bit more refreshed & set about getting all the messy stuff done. That in part being re-registering the bike (as it‘s UK equivalent of road Tax had expired, which also meant renewing a secondary and compulsory vehicle insurance which is really daft and expensive at around $AU300.….on top of my alreday paid-up fully comprehensive policy !! :confused). I also had to get back on top of the Darwin Insurance claim to see what the ‘ducking & diving’ driver was up to as without him being involved I stood to pay my $AU900 excess. On speaking to my insurers I learnt that they had very graciously decided to let me off the $AU900 excess as they believed my claim was genuine. :eek: I couldn’t believe my ears, :eek: ….. but there it was, no longer my problem. I was really very grateful. :thumb2 I thanked my man in the office and a wave of relief came over me which was a break as there was so much to do (and spend) at that moment.

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Wonderful stuff !! :thumb2 It even managed to get my brain going...most mornings anyway. :rolleyes:

Over the next few days I bought some cleaning products for the bike and set about giving it a deep-clean. I also prepared a nice Pasta dish for the now returned Maggie (Dave’s wife) & I. The bike came up great and I was genuinely pleased and surprised at how immaculate it looked again with the exception of the damaged (to be replaced) items. It came up so well it inspired Maggie to give her own bike a good clean too. :D

A few days later I had to get up early to drop the bike off for its repairs & servicing. The ride into Melbourne should have taken about 20 mins but I took a wrong turning (somewhere ! :blast) and it took me nearly 2 hours before I found the dealer. The service manager asked if I really needed the bike back the following day (on a Friday afternoon ) as it was now nearly 10am as opposed to the 8AM I’d been encouraged to try and get it there for :rolleyes: :blast. In response I said that the Monday would be ok if necessary. I grabbed a cup of their free coffee to settle myself for the return ride on a loaned G650 X....which I managed to loose myself on….again :blast :blast….and spent another 2 hours getting ‘home’. :blast (Yes, I did say I’d ridden round the World !! :eek: :rolleyes: )

The following morning I tried to find some new seals for the panniers & top box as one of the panniers had a very bad leak and I wanted to sell the bike on in good conscience. I also had to find myself some new reading glasses as one of the arms fell off my normal ones just after I got up. I got a surprise call from BMW to say that they’d finished the bike early and I could collect it today, Friday. :thumb2

I collected the bike and made a much faster return back to Dave & Maggies than my drive yesterday. :augie

It was really nice to see the bike returned to its former glory :D , and now with an added Remus exhaust. I’d had an intemitant warning light problem which was worrying me but that turned out to be a loose rear driving light bulb, hence the on/off behaviour of the warning light. This came out in the BMW diagnostics check, so that lifted my faith a little in the value of this aspect of the BMW process ( I am still hugely sceptical though of the quality of the professionalism of many of their work-shops world-wide.).

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Skippy restored to 'her' former with added Remus ! :nod

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In the evening Maggie & I went to AFL (Australian Rules Football) match. Great fun even if ‘our’ team, the ‘Bombers’ lost. Despite a huge crowd on the train returning home, there was no trouble that I could see and we managed to get a seat and enjoy a pleasant trip back.

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AFL at the Telstra Dome in Melbourne.

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As I hadn’t been successful finding new seals for the panniers the other day, I popped out in the morning to try and get some at another main-line rubber product dealer. Happily, I managed to find exactly the right seals . They seemed a bit expensive at $AU67 (£33 !) :yikes: but I was pleased to have the correct product.

I’d been toying with the idea of buying a second compact camera to use on the bike & for diving with (within a suitable underwater housing). I’d even been tempted to buy a second Olympus shock & waterproof model BUT after the first one I just can’t bring myself to but another plus the picture quality was never that consistent anyway. In the end I’d pretty well set my heart on a Canon Ixus 75 as it had a largish screen, excellent reviews, was fairly cheap and Canon had a proper case for diving with. I popped into Harvey Norman ( a very good department store chain) to see what they had and they were offering the Ixus 70 at around 100 pounds. At the offer of the salesman I had a quick look at it and was really surprised to see the quality of it, however the screen on the back was just too small for my long-sightedness :eek: so I’ll decided to stick with my plan for the Ixus 75.

A quick scoff at McD’s and I was back cleaning up the panniers & fitting the new seals. They went on a treat and looked like the originals had done when I first bought the bike at the beginning of my time in Australia.

In the evening Dave & I went out to a local Greek restaurant for dinner. I had a lovely steak but Dave’s fish was very oily so no so good for him. We finished off the evening with another beer back ‘home’ whilst viewing “Terra Circa“, a great motorcycle adventure film. After that Maggie returned from work and we chatted until about 00:35 whilst I struggled to keep my eyes open…again. :sleep

Next day I got up later as a result of the later night yesterday. As 'we' were very low on milk I popped out on the bike to get some. I wasn’t wearing gloves and it was pretty cold. What happened to the Melbourne I heard about when in New Zealand ?, 40 degrees !!! ……this was fast becoming 4 !!…or so it felt like.

I spent the day preparing the bike for setting off again tomorrow, which mainly consisted of re-packing & cleaning/oiling the last few bits & pieces I saw as I re-assembled everything. I was quite pleased as I’d managed to avoid the need for the two blue bags on the panniers & the big blue & Yellow bags on the top box. I expected to just have the big blue bag on the pillion seat….but tomorrow would be the final proof.

Dave, Maggie & I visited their local Italian and had a nice meal for my last evening with them. We were all shattered from too many late nights and /or jet-lag and retired to bed quite early. I however found that someone had tried to ring me about my advert for the bike & so I attempted to return their call but they’d switched their phone off and didn’t have Voicemail. I tried a few times but retired planning to ring them in the morning. :blast :blast

My first call the following morning was to a guy called Wayne who’d rung up about the bike last night whilst we were out. Wayne seemed primarily concerned if the bike had panniers etc and then how low I would reduce the price. I offered $AU220 which is half the price of the extended warranty renewal to which he sounded like he scoffed a bit. ‘Is that all/it ?’ came next to which I replied yes but with that I offered him the opportunity to make me an offer which he declined. (Later he offered me around $AU1500 less than advertised…mmm, me thought not ! ……for the moment anyway.)

My hopes of the bag positioning on the bike were realised the following morning and I was pleased to have all the weight in the best places as I could hope for.

And so I finally left Dave & Maggies.

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Dave & Maggie.

It was a little odd to ride off down their drive-way alone again. :eek One way or another, I’d had company for the past few weeks, with Jonas in New Zealand, along with my Kiwi friends, Donald, Annette, Phil & Sharlyene before I left, and Maggie & Dave last week. I was however pleased to be back on the road again ultimately and headed off towards Wilson Promotory, a National Park about 200-300km from Melbourne with an excellent reputation for wild life.

Dave had given me some instructions as to how to get there but either his instructions or my understanding of his directions eventually started taking me too far East of where I wanted to go. :confused: My fuel level was getting very low and I was now out in the sticks !! :yikes After a few badly chosen ‘recovery’ routes I found my way to a service station (Servo’s to Australians.) and filled up. I asked for directions to a local town, Koo-wee-rup (would you believe ? :D) and was duly sent in the correct direction. From there (on the map) it looked like the directions towards Wilson’s would be obvious but they weren’t :confused: and so I spent a good 20 or so minutes driving back and forth through the town until I found a sign for a placename on my Map !! After taking the turning it still wasn’t obvious that I was on the right road :confused: as the next road signs didn’t confirm what the first had said, however I continued on the assumption that it seemed to be right. Fortunately it was, and I was able to relax a bit.

The weather was overcast and every now’n again I'd see a few rain drops on my visor & windscreen. All I could think of was all the polishing & preparations I’d put into the bike & that I now no longer had any waterproofs ! I had no waterproofs as I’d invested all my wet-riding faith the Dri (read:wet) rider over-suit I’d bought in Christchurch (and hence had given my old one away). The Dri-rider I returned as it leaked badly on me twice….the only two times I used it in serious rain. :spitfire Happily the weather stayed dry enough for the afternoon and I rode on until I came across a McD’s where I stopped for some lunch. :D

Whilst I was sitting there having my Big Mac I saw a couple pf middle-aged men looking at the bike, then bend down, pick something up and put it on my seat. As I’m not always the most careful of people I’d assumed I’d dropped something. :rolleyes: As I returned to the bike, I saw my front indicator lens sitting on my seat. They hadn’t broken it & neither had I as it would have been impossible because the housing was unmarked….and this was the brand new indicator BMW had fitted just a few days ago. :mad: The female plastic protrusion that the securing screw grips in the lens had snapped off the rest of the lens-I suspect through vibration(it turned out to be as a result of the riding light equipment the original owner had fitted not being so expertly re-fitted with the new indicator housing and stressing the lens tongue.) I couldn’t believe my eyes !! :eek: There was no way to re-attach it so I popped it under my tank bag cover & continued riding.

I was very undecided as to what to do this evening. My natural budget concerns & desire to sleep amongst the wild-life had me camping, however I was very tired and wanted to be warm, something that I would only fantasise about at 3am in my tent and summer sleeping bags. Seeing the option of a Hotel room at $AU25 or a Motel room at $AU45 was more than I could bear as I rode into Fish Creek and so that was that ! I emptied the bike into a reasonable Motel room and set about gluing the indicator together.

Later I popped out and rang Sylvia ( who was about to go on a short trip to Tenerife for her Mum‘s 75th Birthday), bought some supplies & rented a DVD. I was happy in this little town and enjoyed the comfort of my own space, not to mention the very big, comfortable & warm bed !…and my own tea & coffee making facilities !!! :augie


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