Riding to the end of the world, and beyond!

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Saturday 31st January 2009

Posted by TravellingStrom on January 31, 2009


A bit has happened recently, as you may or may not know, I replaced my bike and traded it in on the new 09 ABS(Antilock Braking System) version.

The old one, totally de-farkled, ready to ride to Brisbane to trade in.

And the new one the next day.

This way I get 2 years warrenty while on the road, not that I expect anything to go wrong with the Vstrom. It is a quality bike, as long as the services are done on time and correctly and by myself!!! Say no more 🙂 The new version also comes with 2 spark plugs per cylinder and I have heard reports of this extending the range by up to 100km per tank. So, it should be possible to get at least 500km but of course this depends on speed, luggage size and load, headwinds etc Anyway I will still carry an extra 1lt for Justin, until I have worked out the fuel economy. I have modified the ABS system by adding a switch, this allows me to turn it off and on at will, a requirement when in the dirt 🙂

Buying the bike between arriving home and prior to xmas (3 weeks) meant I had no time to get to the Dakar Rally 😦 In the end, I realised I had left myself no time and it was just a case of bad planning by me, ooops 😉

Also, before I went away, the Aussie dollar was nearly at parity with the US dollar, 97c to be exact. Not being in contact with TVs papers etc, I had no idea what was going on while I was away. I came back after 4 months and found the Aussie dollar worth only 60c!!! This was no good, this meant if I went to the States, or used USD, I would lose $400 in every $1,000 just by evaporation! I am not sure that the $600US I would have left would actually give me spending power equivelent to $1000AU, I need to do some sums 🙂

I had to take some time to think about things, which is what I am doing now. I would really like to see the US at least. I have since found that the maximum length of time, according to their new Homeland Security system, that I can spend in the US is 90 days, not worth the effort, this is using the new Visa Waiver program. I have applied and been accepted for a Visa Waiver Pass, but I have also applied, or am trying to apply for an extended Visa of at least 6 months, maybe a year, this would then make it worth while to fly over with the bike and see that whole continent including South America.

An update here, I have applied online for the non-immegrant visa. This means some paperwork, of course, and a cost to buy a visa application, non refundable of $200AU, then a trip to Sydney to the US Embassy for an interview. A bit of a rigmarole and it looks a bit costly, but I will go through the process and get the visa as it is valid for a few years, then sort out overseas travel.

Note on the above, if I do get a visa, this does not mean I am allowed in the country, it means if the Homeland Security person that checks me at the airport has a bad hair day, he may say nick off, go back home, very frustrating not knowing.

At this stage I am playing with some new software so the the SPOT bike tracking is more available and can be embeded into this site. It is not working yet, but eventually it should be something like this site by RenoJohn

I have not managed to get it to work yet, but am trying to nut it out.

Stay Tuned 🙂

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2 Responses to “Saturday 31st January 2009”

  1. John said

    ABS is Anti Block System :-))


  2. travellingstrom said

    Hi John

    It seems both of us were wrong 🙂 But thanks for the heads up

    It actually means Anitlock Braking System


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