To the Gong and back

Time in lieu and public holidays are great things, especially when a weekend falls in between them.

The Australian Alps.
I've not heard a bad word about the roads up into the Alps. Up until this point in time, the furthest I'd been is up to Omeo via Bairnsdale.

I'd rate it as one of the best rides I've been on based on the road surface, grip, vision and corners.

If the rest of the Alpine Road was of the same quality I knew I was going to be in for some fantastic riding.

The Route.
Starting from Melbourne I'd slab it to Ensay, then head up to Omeo, Mitta Mitta, Towong, through Mt Kosciusko, Jindabyne then to Cooma.

From there I'd either go north to Canberra and go coastal to Wollongong or inland and head into Wollongong through Macquarie Pass.

Road trip on the cheap.
As I was planning on doing this trip on a budget I decided I'd camp along the way at free camp spots I found using the WikiCamps app.

I don't eat a lot on long trips for some reason, I usually…

Quick Spin - Aprilia Shiver 900

The crew at Aprilia have released their new Shiver 900. This fantastic do-it-all middleweight is a more souped up and modernised ride than the now, outmoded, Shiver 750.
New and Improved
To begin with, you will notice the updated TFT screen, with an easy to navigate interface. 
It's received a hand-me-down electronics package from it's more advanced V4 siblings (Marelli 7SM ECU), that includes three levels of traction control and riding modes - sport, touring and rain as well as ABS. All of which can be switched off while on the go.
The new euro 4 engine has been drawn-out to 896cc with a  welcome boost in torque (90Nm) through the midrange coupled with an upsurge in power (95hp), making the new 90-degree V-twin a frisky little donk.
Handling and Performance
I put about a thousand kilometres on the Shiver 900, mingling between tin tops on route to my daily chore and weekends exploring crooked back roads.
This do-it-all middleweight is a feisty little Italian on the road; it will splice through traffic, the clutch is smooth and easy on the hands, it pulls from low in the rev range and the steering is quicker than what you would have anticipated.
The mechanical grip from the chassis is sublime and contributes to its tenacity in attacking corners, its stable under braking and unnerved in dispatching apexes.
Keep the revs in the midrange and hitch a ride on the torque to get the most enjoyment out of the V-twin. 
If you like a V-twin and you're looking for an easy to ride, confidence-inspiring road bike the Aprilia Shiver 900 is well worth taking out for a test ride.


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