Touring on a ZX10R is kind of like fishing with dynamite; It’s uncomfortable and loud, but it gets the job done. That and it’s probably a bit of an overkill. That didn’t stop me from making the 400 or so km trip from Canberra to Tuross Heads on the weekend on what has been described as the most uncomfortable of the Japanese sports-bikes.
So what did I discover (if anything)? Well first things first, the seat of a ZX10R is somewhere in between a fence paling and a paver for comfort levels and keeping a 170+hp sports-bike at somewhere near the speed-limit (100km/h…) requires the self-control of a vegan at a chocolate factory. Especially when Australia’s finest highway patrol cars are waiting around
most every corner. Luggage carrying ability is not a bike (especially not a ZX10’s) strong point. This is nothing numerous occy-straps, a backpack and a mexican blanket to stop the straps rubbing on the paint can’t fix. Sure, you looks like a slightly confused gypsy and you squash the soft cheese you bought in transit, but riding with a back-pack on is a hateful experience.
So why bother I hear you ask? Why not sit in the heated leather seats of your car? Well despite some lengthy stretches of straight, highly policed country highway roads, there’s a little mountain you must go down (and up) called the Clyde. For those of you that don’t know it, it’s about 30kms of twisting mountain road that makes the neck and wrist cramps endured from riding a clip-on equipped bike worthwhile. Sure, the 70-90km/h speed-limts aren’t ideal and neither is the fact that most of the time it’s raining/foggy/windy etc but when the weather’s good and the traffic’s sparse, it’s one of my favourite roads to blast up on a bike. The mixture of 3rd gear, sweeping corners and 1st gear hairpins keeps you on your toes almost as much as the suicidal, caravan towing, soft roaders.
When/if you make it down the Clyde you’re greeted with some classic examples of Australia’s amazing beaches, country towns with great pubs and some excellent examples of the previously mentioned (ruined) soft cheese. All of these things are made better when you know that on the way home, you have a ZX10 for company and a road that makes living with a sports-bike worthwhile.