Melbourne to Mungo on two DR650's

I love motorcycle touring, over the years I’ve loaded up my trusty road bearing steeds and followed the twisties and backcountry roads to many a small country town where at the local watering hole if you buy a beer and stay for a meal they’ll let you camp for free.
But Australia is a big country and unfortunately, you can only go so far on the tar.

As the years went by I slowly started to explore the road less travelled and took my ZX9R to places it just wasn’t quite built for. Until finally on my last camping trip over Christmas, I blew my fork seals while venturing off-road.

Sadly, It was time to assign my jack-of-all-trades ZX9R to commuting duties and track days and look for something a bit more off-road orientated.
After a bit of research, I bit the bullet and got myself a brand new bush pig, the fabled DR650. I fitted it with knobbies, a 30L safari tank and started planning my first proper off-road trip.
Melbourne to Mungo and back.

Day 1. Melbourne to Balranald It was 7am …

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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