Brembo-Gate Update… It’s official! Global Recall on the PR16 Master Cylinder

Hi, Motorraddicts.

So as promised we’ve been keeping a close eye on the Brembo faulty PR16 master cylinder issue.    As stated in our last 2 posts (click here for the first one, click here for the second one) even though some media outlets were speculating that the recall was only in the US, we had a strong feeling that it was a global one.

Our main reasoning was that it made no sense for Brembo to make the PR16 MC with a plastic piston for the US market but then ship it out with a better one for the rest of the world.  Manufacturing efficiencies, and cost saving measures usually mean they all come off one line and then get shipped out to the various manufacturers.

This week, #Brembo has made it official.  The recall is global, (click here to read their official position announcement on their website)  which says:

Brembo SpA, a leader in the production of disc brake systems for vehicles, following the recent publication of some articles by the international press, mentioning wrong information, points out that:

– Thanks to the constant quality monitoring over its production processes, it has uncovered the possibility of defects to the piston of the front radial master cylinder (diameters 15mm and 16mm), sold between 2015 and 2017 and mounted on some motorcycle models.

– The only manufacturers affected are: 
MV Agusta 
TM Racing 
Moto Morini

– The recall does not affect other manufacturers nor other master cylinders, or master cylinders sold as Aftermarket kits through the Brembo distribution network. 

Brembo promptly informed the manufacturers of the problem so that the owners of the aforementioned bikes could be informed and invited to have the part replaced at the nearest dealership. ​

SO! if you own a late model #Triumph, #KTM, #Aprilia, #Ducati or other brand produced from 2015 onwards, that has the M50 Calipers on it, then its likely you also have the suspect PR16 MC mated with it.    So even if your dealer network does not know about the recall, they will soon.   Brembo has also said that only OEM PR16s are at issue and aftermarket MC kits are not affected.

Owners in the US have already known about the recall but now European owners are starting to get their letters, like this one from one bike owner that posted a pic of it on Facebook.

Since the MC failure can cause a very dangerous situation while riding (read our last post with a good explanation here), We highly recommend you contact your dealer and advise them to get updated on the matter.  If you haven’t had the unit replaced under a recall and are going out on a spirited ride, then be wary and take it easy on those brakes!

Until next time, stay upright and keep that throttle hand strong!


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#Brembo #PR16 Master Cylinder #Brake #Recall Update

Brembo PR16

Hello, Fellow Addicts!

As promised, we’ve been keeping an eye on developments related to the #Brembo Master Cylinder #recall

As we mentioned earlier in the week, the reported fault seems to indicate that under heavy braking pressure, such as heavy braking during mountain carving, or track days, the plastic internal piston Brembo decided to use in the PR16 Model, may crack.  The PR16 MC is usually mated with the M50 Caliper.

Brembo has admitted that they used a ‘polyphenylene sulphide’ plastic piston and for now they are agreeing to replace the US recalled units with an aluminium version.  There is no word from Brembo on recalls in other countries.

As mentioned in our last post on the issue, should the piston crack, front brake pressure will be lost and brake fluid can also leak out of the unit and spill onto the bike.  We all know what brake fluid can do to a nice paint scheme!

Here is a crude schematic of a motorcycle master cylinder.  They vary in design slightly from one bike to another, however this should give you an idea of what this piston (circled in red) looks like.

Those of you watching know that so far the recall is only in the US.    However, due to the potential danger, affected owners in the UK, Canada and Australia are understandably worried.

Some other media outlets have speculated that perhaps Brembo only used the plastic piston in the PR16 MC’s destined for the US market and sent aluminium piston equipped PR16 units out to the rest of the world.    That could be possible.   However relaying on this speculation could be quite costly for potentially affected owners.   After all, failure of the PR16 could spell serious injury or worse.

The fact is, these things are mass produced on an assembly line.  Efficiencies and cost usually dictate that the same internal parts are used in the same unit regardless of where it is going.  Brembo likely used the plastic part to save costs, since moulding plastic is far cheaper than using aluminum.

Unless there is a law within the country it is being shipped to which dictates that part must be of a certain quality or material design, manufacturing efficiencies dictate keeping the units identical.  So our more conservative guess is that its likely that all the PR16 MCs are made the same way.

So it is a global problem, why only a US recall right now?  Well, when it comes to recalls, how they are done depends on the country.  The US has a centralized National Highway Transportation Safety Authority (NHTSA) and they have a centralized their recall system, and that system works very quickly, and mandates that all manufacturers, distributors, and vendors of the part in question immediately address the issue.  In other words they have a strong legal mechanism to sort the issue out fast.

Other jurisdictions often don’t have that and rely on the manufacturer and distributors to make their own announcement about the product and deal with remedies as they see fit.   So in Australia for example, owners would have to wait until the distributors for #Ducati #KTM #Aprilia and #Triumph to consult with the manufacturers in England, Austria, and Italy, and wait until they are given the word that a recall is in play.  Then they would have to send word to the dealers or issue letters to affected owners to get the bikes in.


When you have different companies with different internal protocols at play, and a recall system is not centralized, then news may come at different times.

Further, until the distributors are officially told about a recall, they will simply say there isn’t one in play.  Why?  Well, they can’t speak for Brembo, or the manufacturer.  They don’t have that authority.  They are limited to passing on information from their upstream and not contradicting it.

Also… In the crazy world of litigation, if a company knows about an issue (for example an employee of a dealer or distributor) and admit to it, but don’t do anything about it and a loss is suffered (money, injury, death) then that company would be held liable, since they ‘knew’ of the issue and the courts may rule they had a duty to resolve it.   So for this reason as well, the official word has to be kept.  Even if there are murmurs behind closed doors in the mechanics bay.

In short, while we cannot be sure that the PR16 on worldwide bikes is at issue, we at Motorraddicts think that potentially affected owners should be wary of the problem and keep themselves updated.

So if your bike lands in this list, or you upgraded your MC, or your bike is equipped with the M50 Caliper, then keep an eye out, inquire with your dealers, and if you are really interested have a licensed mechanic open the MC up at your next service and see if the piston is made of plastic.

The USA recall (NHTSA Campaign Number: 17V812000) says that the following models are affected.  (This recall is yet to be updated with the Triumph or KTM data)

  • 2016 and 2017 Aprilia RSV4s fitted with Brembo brakes;
  • 2017 Aprilia Tuono 1100s fitted with Brembo brakes;
  • 2015-2018 Ducati 1299 STD / 1299 S / 1299 FE / 1299 SL produced from March 16, 2015 to September 22, 2017;
  • 2015-2018 Ducati Monster 1200 S / Monster 1200 R produced from March 04, 2015 to October 23, 2017;
  • 2015 Ducati Monster 1200R
  • 2015-2018 Ducati Multistrada S / Multistrada PP produced from March 16, 2015 to October 31, 2017;
  • 2015-2018 Ducati Panigale R produced from March 16, 2015 to June 20, 2017;
  • 2017-2018 Ducati Scrambler 800 Cafe Racer produced from March 01, 2017 to November 20, 2017;
  • 2015-2018 Ducati XDiavel S produced from January 12, 2016 to September 08, 2017.

For Aprilia Owners it seems that the Noale factory is indeed issuing a recall for their European bikes.   If you want to check if yours is affected, visit this link and enter your VIN number for confirmation.

We will try and keep you updated on the issue as things progress.  Until then stay upright, and keep your throttle hand strong!


Ronno – #Like #Follow #Share

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#Brembo Master Cylinder #Recall #Woes. Starting 2018 with some scary news!

When we think of motorcycle brakes, one of the best names out there is #Brembo,  the Italian manufacturer of automotive brake systems, especially for high-performance cars and motorcycles.  Based in Bergamo, near Milan, Brembo is considered the amongst the pinnacle of braking component manufacturers.  In essence, the Brembo name is synonymous with performance and build quality.

Riders with Nissin kit stare longingly at bikes outfitted with Brembo master cylinders and callipers.  Motorcycle owners often opt for upgrading their brakes to install Brembo’s Master Cylinders and mighty M50 Calipers.  Higher end motorcycle manufactures  such as #Ducati, #KTM, #Aprilia, and #BMW, opt for OEM equipped Brembo brakes on their upper echelon supersport bikes.    Racers, including #WSBK and #MotoGP teams, as well as weekend track junkies also swear by Brembo kit to ensure they slow down quickly while mixing it up on the track.

However, this week news broke about mighty #Brembo’s  massive recall that affects a number of sport bikes with Brembo #PR16 radial master cylinder units. The first wave of that recall included #Aprilia’s two steeds, the Aprilia RSV4 superbike and the Aprilia Tuono 1100 street fighter.  #Aprilia focused #Facebook groups and forums globally all had members posting the recall, to warn each other about the potential danger of failing master cylinders.    Rival Italian enthusiast groups were also discussing the issue while poking a bit of fun at Aprilia.

Then on the eve of 2017, the official word from Brembo came down, and the factory expanded the recall to Ducati, and possibly others.

With six affected models, spanning four model years, Ducati is globally recalling roughly 8,000 units because the piston in their master cylinder may crack.  It seems that Brembo chose to use a plastic piston in their higher end master cylinder rather than the aluminum one that was used before.  This plastic one can apparently crack after hard use. If this happens, the master cylinder can stop operating, which can lead to front brake failure.  #WTF?  #WOW!!! :S   I guess plastic parts are cheaper to use.  But using that in your upper end kit?  Really?  Not what I expected out of the well renowned Bergamo factory. Tsk Tsk.

Imagine if you are on the track, rocketing down the straight into a hairpin, and squeeze that life saving lever to shave off speed as you set up for the corner, and there is no pressure!  Imagine having to suddenly slow because traffic has come to a dead stop on the motorway, and you squeeze and nothing!  That would certainly be an ass puckering moment, never mind the potential for serious injury or a loss of life!   Worth swapping in a plastic part to save a few cents per unit?  Hmmm..

To put it simply… This is an obvious safety concern!!

For Ducati, this issue touches the 2015-2018 models from the following lines: 1299 Panigale (including the Superleggera and Final Edition), #Panigale R, Monster 1200, Multistrada 1200/1260, XDiavel S, and Scrambler 800 Café Racer (2017-2018).

To remedy the situation, like Aprilia, Ducati has begun notifying affected owners, and dealers are to replace the front brake master cylinder piston, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin February 15, 2018 for Ducati owners.

Concerned Ducati and Aprilia owners should contact their local dealer or the inquire with the national distributor.

Now this is not the end of it.  This particular Brembo Master Cylinder is the one that is normally mated with the M50 Caliper, so it is likely that more recalls will be issued.  Manufacturers such as #Triumph, and #KTM are also expected to issue recalls.   Furthermore, some customers have fitted these MC’s as aftermarket kit on their bikes, and there may be word coming down about those.

If you have a late model (2016 onwards) bike with the M50 Caliper, or you upgraded your brakes with a late model Brembo MC, you should definitely look into whether or not your bike is also kitted out with the PR16 MC, and if it is, then it would be a very good idea to:

  •  take it easy riding for a while, and
  • Start hounding your dealer for a fix!

We’ll keep you updated, but in the meantime, stay upright and ride safe!




Here is some technical details on the US Recall for Ducati.

Report Receipt Date: December 15, 2017
NHTSA Campaign Number: 17V812000
Component(s): Brake System
Potential Number of Units Affected: 8,000
Manufacturer: Ducati North America

2017 trip to PI (return) – we’re back jack

Back at work. Miss my bike and the road.

Last time I wrote we were somewhere north of the snowy mountains after a long day of carving. The following run is always a bit of a relaxing long cruise. When you spend the previous day going up and down the mountains in tight twisty tarmac, the fast flowing roads that connect the alps to the blue mountains feel like a long boring slog.

We arrived at our motel in Katoomba late in the afternoon and managed to find the perfect greasy Chinese bbq spot on the main street. We obviously proceeded to destroy a duck with a side of pork and tea. We then raced to the toilet. I won.

A very early start to the next day was greeted with thick fog and wet roads. The plan was to get to Bilpin for apple pie part two but since they only opened at eight (bastards) we kept going down the bells and into the putty. At the bottom the fog was gone and the sun was forcing its way through the clouds. A race for brekkie at the gum cafe ensued. Ron had a meat fest.

With improved traction (weight) we destroyed the twisty section of this legendary piece of bitumen and headed to Singleton to refuel and find our way through the range towards Dungog and finally Gloucester. Another quick pitstop and east through the Bucketts. Ron asked to make a detour to Nabiac to drool over the bikes at the museum. I had lunch instead as I had been there twice and I like eating. With the threat of a storm looming, we endured the final stretch to Wauchope on the highway and Ron got lost.

A group of friends from the Queensland Italian Bike Addicts group came down from the sunshine state to meet us here and spend the next two days carving the lovely roads that cross the great dividing range between here and home. Not before some enormous meals at the local tavern (that apparently does not own a cork opener).

Everyone (except Andrew obviously) was up early with the excitement of the Oxley run. It didn’t disappoint. It never does. That first climb from Long Flat to the cafe is one of the best roads in this country and that is why we keep coming back for it. We spent a few hours based on the cafe with everyone going for some random runs. On one of these Andrew managed to get a stick shoved on his rear tire and even though it was patched it required a replacement. Our friend Rosenthal happens to be based in Port and kindly offered to open up his shop and give him a used tire.

While they we’re going through this process the rest of us headed towards Walcha for refuelling. Most of us made it. Except Dan’s duke that got thirsty and drank all its fluid 15 kms out of town. Nothing that a rescue mission with a fuel can couldn’t solve. We also required fuel and the top pub at Uralla never disappoints.

The next run is pretty relaxing as we make our way through Armidale and along the first part of Waterfall Way until the turn off for the Grafton – Armidale road. Then there was a race. There is always a race on this road. Apparently old fat BMW baggers are quick. Honda engines are durable. Sticky tires like throwing rocks. I guess we knew all that.

Night was spent at the Grafton pub. It was a warm night, so it clearly required liquids and the boys made sure they would not be dehydrated. Some of them were in no condition for early morning runs, so the rest of us headed up the river valley to the Lawrence ferry crossing and into MacLean for an awesome hipster breakfast at the local coffee roastery. From here another stretch of highway was endured until we could turn into the hills towards Alstonville and then through the back of Byron Bay and to Mooball where we would wait for Ron to catch up, having come up the Summerland Way and over the mountain from Kyogle with two local legends.

The last run was over Tweed Valley raceway where mister redmist met mister redline while the orange puta laughed to tears at the sights. The road had ended for me but the boys would still enjoy a run over Tomewin as a good sendoff before the highway home.

All in, five and a half thousand kays, two weeks on the road, rain and sun, cold and heat. Kangaroos, brumbies, wombats and a bloody guana. Mountains, valleys, plains and forests. Lots of pubs. Lots of cofee. All bikes came home with battle scars as did most riders. But all well worth it. Can’t wait to go again.

PS: Thanks to all that shared the ride. Wouldn’t be the same without you gents.

2017 trip to PI (return) – Day 2 – Rutherglen to Tumut

Disclaimer: I am writing this on my phone and half drunk so give me a break…

Was cold in Rutherglen this morning. Dan was up since 4 am cause his old and weird. I meet him up just after 7 for coffee and off course the entire town just lost power and i can’t have one. At least I had a hot shower before I left the room. How was your shower Ron?

Next stop Wadonga for a hipster brekkie in the sun. And coffee. Did I mention coffee? Ben shows us boobies picks. He’s good like that.

From there back to Murray Valley road in glorious sunshine. Fast flowing sweepers with the river on the left and the hills on right. Bliss returns.

We fuel up (us and the bikes) at Walwa before heading up to the mountains. Can’t wait for twisties galore. Temperature drops drastically as we climb and the scenery is breathtaking. Somewhere mid-climb Ben runs wide and his front rim hits a concrete gutter slashing his tire and bending the rim. Me and Dan don’t see it and keep going for another 20 kms before stopping and finally heading back. We find him and Ron banging on the wheel trying to get it half straight. Not gonna happen.

I head out with Dan to Cabramurra so we can get phone reception and ask for a tow truck. We have a coffee while we wait gor the phone. We’re good like that. After organising the rescue we head back the 30 odd kms of twisties to the stranded boys. We give the goid news. Tow truck shall be arriving in another half an hour. And it does.

With Ben headed backnto Corryong on the truck, we have to get a move on as the sun is coming down and nobody likes the alpine way in the dark with kangaroos ans brumbies playing chicken. A few kays up the road Ron stops and thinks he lost his headset again. I go back once more to try and find it. Dan arrives a few minutes later and says Ron found his headset. I have a tantrum.

So (for the 7th time) we smash the twisties to Cabramurra, fill up and finallly go down hill to the turn off to the highway to Tumut. The rest is a blur of beautiful scenery, stopping for wild horses on the road and Ron missing the turn to the motel. We have dinner and drink a lot. We deserved it tonight.

A Random little town on #thelongwayhome! #day10 of our #motogp #misadventures

Its 9:13PM in a little town called Rutherglen in Victoria. Yesterday was the GP Race, and it was a damn good one! We had spent the weekend with access to the #Aprilia Garage courtesy of Aprilia Italy because of a few strings I pulled. We watched as the front 7 riders play musical chairs with the positioning nearly every lap. Miller, Zarco, Rossi, Marquez and others took turns leading the race for a lap here and there, but the final results were (1) Marquez, (2) Rossi and (3) Finales.   Being a big Aprilia fan, I was rooting for Aleix but he crashed out of the race, and walked off understandably pissed off.  There is so much more to say about Saturday and Sunday, but there are lots of posts on our Facebook page about what we got up to 🙂 Check that stuff out, while we take the time to do write up about that amazing experience!

As for right now, Hugo has departed the world of the conscious with yet another smart ass comment about something or another, and is once again snoring like some guttural thing that Dr. Seuss may have dreamed up, and mumbling in Portuguese about god knows what. It’s a nice change. At least he isn’t randomly saying ‘fuck you, Ron!’ while he sleeps. I think he may actually have a mild case of Tourettes.

We’ve checked into a little motel called Poachers Paradise. It’s beautiful wine country but it’s Monday so the town is quiet. Some cold schooners of beer and Chinese food from the Pub across the street has satisfied us for the night.

We got here after almost 7 hours of seat time. Mine was spent on the #TuonoV4 riding through fast flowing sections and tight twisty roads spanning the Yarra Valley and Yarra Mountain Ranges, The King Valley, Wangaratta, past Mt Buffalo National Park, and more. We traversed landscape that must have been conjured by the Motorcycle Gods. AND!!, we were blessed with amazing blue skies, and pristine winding roads most of the way after we got out of the moody Melbourne weather.  It was definitely soul food for me!  LOL and I did it on 3.5 hours of sleep. :S  Fuckin Hardcore.. Or at least thats what I tell myself…. we all have our delusions 😉

Anyway, the Motorcycle Gods must have offered us this day in apology for the insane day that was Thursday when we went over Mt. Hotham which is 1800 meters above sea level, in sub 10deg weather with fog and rain. This day was truly glorious! During our travels we came across a lot of riders on bikes heading back home. Some of them riding at a brisk pace, some meandering along. We hunted down and passed the slow ones, and kept pace with the quicker ones. We had a good play with one particular pack of bikes including 2 Tuono Factories, a BMW S1000RR, a Ducati Diavel and a Kawasaki Ninja.  At one point I went flying past an police cruiser sitting in the bushes as i passed a slower bike!  I know!  Things were puckering and I was watching my mirrors to see the red and blues chasing me down but all I got was a finger wag by the occupier of the car!  Hahah Awesome!   We also ran into an Aprilia Rider Forum member Nick Cardillo on his Tuono V4  along our way.

Our lunch stop reminded me of my travels in Europe.  We hit a grocery store, bought some cold cuts, bread, chips, some mustard and this really nice butter which happened to be in a sealed can that I had to open with my hunting knife.  Hugo of course found this amusing and in true smart ass fashion produced a quip or 2 about it.    We sat at a picnic table, ate, chatted, laughed and then packed up and left to carve some more roads.

We also had some funny moments, like Ben’s piss breaks on the side of roads 5kms out of various towns with perfectly good working toilets.   I need to remind myself to speak to Ben about being an opportunity pisser.  Pee when everyone stops even if you don’t think you have to.   It avoids having to speed to the front of the pack, wave everyone down to stop and then running off behind a tree while everyone shakes their heads.

Life on the road affects everyone in different ways, both physically and mentally. I’ve done a minimum of 4 hours of riding on 9 out of the 10 days we’ve been on the road. The only day I didn’t get on the bike and smash out some serious mileage was yesterday when we were at the MotoGP in Phillip Island (we took a 645AM bus that took us to the track in 2 hours). Needless to say my body is a bit tired, and my joints are reminding me of old rugby and skiing injuries I collected in my 20’s. Dangerous Dan is also feeling some aches and pains. We’ve also been a bit more quiet, but coffee and some good pain meds sorted us for most of the day.  I have found riding in the morning a bit painful but by midday things are flowing nicely and carving the roads becomes fast and joyful.  Guess its part of getting old. 🙂

This trip has been amazing and full of some awesome experiences but after an extended time on the road, some can start to show some curious ticks. The old saying goes, if you want to get to know someone, travel with them for some time. I’m starting to worry about the Orange Puta’s mental health and his various obsessions, like his penchant for trying to wind everyone up around him. Perhaps he forgot his lithium tablets, or maybe its a KTM rider thing.  LOL who the hell knows.

I’m also starting to think he’s got a school boy crush on me, since he seems to be keenly watching me and cataloguing everything I say and do and then trying to make a joke out of it, all while insisting on wearing his pants below his ass like some gangster rapper and bending over regularly to show me (as well as Ben and Dan) his woolly ass crack. I don’t quite know what to make of it. Dangerous Dan and Ben are starting to raise eyebrows as well. Now, I should put it out there that I don’t take offence at body hair, but if you wanna keep a hairy ass, please keep it under wraps for the sake of all others! LOL We’ve also named Hugo Little Chorizo (Poquito Chorizito in Spanish) as an homage to his Portuguese background and rapper style pants past his unshorn ass.

Based on this crush worry, I’ve surveyed the room to ensure he hasn’t hidden any bottles of chloroform around and am reticent to accept drinks he offers to buy.  Last thing I want to do is wake up feeling sore in strange places!

Fuck! I’ve got to spend another few days in motel rooms with this guy!? Well at least he can ride well and his humour, though strange and somewhat obsessive, is entertaining. But seriously dude! PULL UP YOUR FUCKING PANTS!!

LOL anyhow, my day started as a cold overcast morning in St. Kilda, Melbourne at 0600, after I got 3.5 hours of sleep. Why you ask? Since it was time to leave the apartment we rented for 3 nights, I had to get myself reorganized. We had gotten back into to the hotel at about 930PM. Hugo and Amara (his wife.. yes he’s married) went straight into their room, and weren’t seen again till morning.

I on the other hand decided to sort a few things before the morning departure. I always find it better to get all my kit sorted, accounted for and waiting by the door, the night before, because I can admittedly be a bit dull and groggy in first thing in the morning and then shit gets forgotten, or misplaced.

I was running out of clean clothes, so laundry had to be done. Ben did Dan and I a solid and had gotten us change and soap from the local late night grocer and we took over the laundry room of the hotel complex to refresh our threads for the ride back home. 2 washers and 2 dryers meant we had to take turns. That took a couple of hours, and then I rearranged my clothes and other kit in the #Kriega Bags. I also built a few #spotify playlists and stored the music on the phone so that I could hear tunes in areas with no cell signal. I hadn’t spoken to my wife for a couple of days so a call to Canada was made while the laundry was being done (yep she’s there right now, and it’s a 14 hour time difference), and speak to her for a bit.

Next thing I knew it was 0300 and I was to be up at 0630 and today happened. So yeah! I’m really fucking tired and need some sleep so I can hit that REM cycle, repair myself and do it all again tomorrow!! The Tuono Awaits! Yeeehaaaaa!

Another amazing day on the road! But man I’m bloody tired, and tomorrow is another early rise for 6 more hours of wondrous roads over the Great Alpine Way, as we make our way into New South Wales.  So with that said, I must now sleep!

Nighty Night Addicts!



2017 trip to PI (return) – Day 1 – Melbourne to Rutherglen

Time to kiss wife goodbye. See ya in a week honey. It’s cold in Melbourne. It’s always cold in Melbourne. Except when it’s hot. Then it’s really hot in Melbourne.

Ron is up early this morning. I’m worried. Ben’s still sleeping. Less worried. We finally head out of the city towards the eastern suburbs. Ron needs to replace his jacket because its torn.  The distributor is a cool guy and arranges to have it swapped at a shop on the way out of town.

After an hour of shopping we finally get on our way towards the Yarra ranges. C511 is our initial playground for the day. The delay has the beneficial effect of allowing the clouds to start clearing. The climb still has some wet patches but we have a blast. There are a lot of bikes on the road. PI travellers like us avoiding the cold, wet roads around the alps this morning. There were news of ice on the roads around the area.

We loop around Lake Eildon, through Alexandra to Mansfield were we stop for lunch. We decide to get something from the supermarket and Ron buys butter in a can. He then proceeds to pry it open with his hunting knife. Life in the woods with our teddy bear.

From here we take the pass to King Valley. Last time I’ve done this it was pissing down and it was great. In the dry it’s fabulous. We ride around a lot of moving chicanes and get a wiggly finger from the local constabulary. They were kind enough to be parked in the bush facing us and just being scary. Not all of them are pricks. We stop at the bottom and all have smiles across our face. Except Ben. Ben is probably peeing. He likes peeing in the bush.

From here it’s straights galore. Boys drag race. Ben decides to pee again 2 kms out of Wangaratta. He doesn’t understand the concept of toilets apparently. Arrow straight to Rutherglen. Sun is shinning. twenty degrees celsius. Cold beer at the pub. Mystery chinese food. Life is good.

2017 PI trip – Day 7 – to Melbournistan

All riding gear is still wet. Not surprised. Coffee will make it better. Town is deserted. The closure of the coal power plant that was the heart and soul of this place is taking its toll.

Plan today is to get Dan’s duc to a mech somewhere on the southern suburbs early. An hour stint on the highway. Should be easy.

Ben decides to put his backpack on top of his touring bag held by a cargo net. I tell him I won’t go behind him since i don’t want to eat it. I shouldn’t have been worried. His rear tire did. Laptop and ithing are kaput. Beers ate intact. Tuff things bottles apparently.

We turn off the highway into the suburban traffic. The orange beast cuts out ignition. Wtf? I start it again and ride another k or so before it does it again in the middle of a roundabout. Great timing. I limp it up the sidewalk and into a petrol station to investigate. Possible culprits are the gear or sidestand sensors. I decide it’s the later and try to bypass it by grouding some wires. Wrong wires. Effing google. My gear sensor is now dead. The boys go ahead to the workshop and our teddy bear comes to the rescue on a merc van borrowed from Lee the northern Irish mech. He was done for dd two years ago so Ron has to blow up to an alcohol level measuring unit connected to the van’s ignition to keep it going. We stop for diesel and keeps the engine running. He’s afraid it won’t start again. Ron also attempts engage reverse while moving forward. I inform him it doesn’t work like that.
We confirm the diagnosis of a dead sensor and attempt to bypass it. I called Peter Steven’s in Dandenong earlier today and told them our story asking if they could sort it. They are too busy today apparently. So is the other PS in town as they tell me they will call me back at 11 am and finally do so at 5.15 pm. I remember that there is a bypass dongle on the ktm poweports catalogue and Ben and Dan manage to trace the only one available in aus in one of the PS shops. The bear goes for the rescue again. We install the part and the katoom works again. Time for seeing the mrs again as she landed in melb and is waiting at the hotel.

Ben wants tepanyaki. We endulge him. He needs some clothes. T-shirt in cold Melbourne is… cold. We go shopping. Dan’s “hangry”. Ron’s a dick. Wife is about to commit murder. We finnaly get food thrown at us. We made it! And this is only half way…

PS: note to motorcycle manufacturers. The sidestand sensor is a safety feature. I get it and appreciate it. In case of sensor failure it should default to allow the bike to run. Between not being able to ride it and crashing due to leaving the thing down #2 is better. Don’t agree? If this had happened the day before at the top of the mountain I would be dead now. No hyperbole here. I would have been stuck in blizzard conditions with zero visibility and no phone reception on a road with a rock wall on one side and a drop to the clouds on the other. That is not safety. Is stupidity.

2017 PI trip – Day 6 – Corryong to Morwell

Not sure where the warm weather went. Or the sun. Menacing clouds are rolling in from the west. Weatherzone has some bad words on the prognostic. Maybe they’re wrong. Hope they’re wrong.

Dan is up early as usual and we go for coffee. The other two are still sleeping as usual. We leave late. As usual.

We head north through some back roads towards the Murray. This should allow us to avoid the police on the main road and follow our beemer friend’s tip on a little hidden gem. Rain arrives just before we hit it but it was still fun. Maybe we’ll come back on the way up for further exploration. We stop in some little town for some breakfast and ron asks for a bowl of chips with a fried egg on top. The lady looks at him strangely.

From there we head towards Mt. Beauty. The road runs through a valley surrounded by mountains playing hide and seek though clouds and mist. By the time we get to the town is time for lunch and the rain has intensified. We are soaked by now and drip dry on the information centre’s floor while the nice lady informs us of the local road’s conditions. Only one road remain open from here to Omeo. We have to through Bright and the climb to Mt. Hotham. Sounds lovely.

As we get higher we hit the cloud base and visibility diminishes drastically. At some point the only way to tell where the road goes is to follow the orange lines that flank the road. Pace has dropped to a crawl and I have to ride with the visor open as there is not enough air flow to prevent fogging even with the pinlock internal visor. 

Temperature has dropped to single digits but I am still surprised at the first sight of ice. We finally reach the plateau at the top of the mountain and are greeted with a strong blizzard sweeping across the road. This was not on the menu. Can’t believe that 24h ago we were at Thredbo with temperature in the mid 20s and blue sky all around us. We reach the ski village and start the descent. The conditions improve quickly on the south side of the mountain. Still raining but compared to what we just passed this feels easy.

Omeo finally comes into view and we stop for petrol and to gather ourselves. That we will all remember forever. The day is nowhere near the end though. Next leg is the remaining descent to Bairnsdale through the valley along the river. Somewhere along this stretch the road is under repairs and the torrential rain has transformed the dirt into mud. Ron gives Ben a sprayed beauty treatment. Ben’s visor was open…

The rain relents as get to Bairnsdale and the highway patrol vehicles are all parked in front of the police station. It seems that our luck has finally turned today. A few kms out of town something very dark greets us in the horizon. A massive storm cloud is rolling towards us and we have nowhere to go. We quickly stop for a photo and as soon as we get on the bikes again we are hit head on. For ten minutes we are pelted with rain and shown around the road by strong winds. Luckily the road here is straight as an arrow so all we have to do is hang on and break through on the other side of the storm.
Final stop for petrol in Sale and we ask Ron to enter direction on his g maps. We’re stupid like that. Doesn’t take long for him to take a wrong turn that may or may not be preceded by a u-turn in the middle of a four lane divided highway. We ignore him and keep going. Ben decides do stop and wait for him. He’s good like that. Ron catches up and thunders down the road. As we get to Morwell he takes the wrong turn again. Me and Dan ignore him again. We’re learning. He then finds the wrong motel. What can I say…

We arrive 11 hours after we left. The hot shower is one of the best I’ve ever had. Beers taste great too. We made it! I can envision some snoring tonight…