September 26, 2010 GMT
The Great Ocean Road


Friday 24 September 2010 Ė Iím finally on the road. Left Melbourne this morning and managed to successfully navigate my way down to Geelong and then the Great Ocean Road. And what a great way to start my trip - one of world's classic bike rides. And it didn't disappoint - lots of long sweeping bends, steep cliffs dropping off just feet from the road, fantastic views and load of interesting places to stop and explore. Made it to Apollo Bay by 4pm and as I was starting to lose my concentration and, to some degree, control of the bike, I decided to stop and book into the YHA. Will stay for a couple of days so I can explore some of the local area by foot Ė maybe see a Koala or two if Iím lucky. Only a couple of scary moments Ė the first when the tailwind of a passing truck nearly blew me off the road, the second when another biker came hurtling round a bend on the wrong side of the road and nearly went straight into me. Other than that and a moment of getting a bit mesmerised by all the bends, a fantastic run.


Posted by Jill Maden at 08:53 AM GMT
On the Road and On the Run

Wednesday 22 September 2010 Ė Iíve got the bike! And its perfect. Took it for an inaugural ride after I picked it up and it runs like a dream. Feels light, holds the road well, and, now that theyíve replaced the exhaust with a quieter one, speeds along like a big yellow stealth bomber! Although I like the name Yellow Peril, I think Iíll just call it Yellow as Peril may prove to be a bit predictive!


My friend showed me how to get out of Melbourne but then left me to my own devices so coming back into Melbourne was a bit of a hair-raising experience. Its funny how roads look completely different when youíre in the passenger seat and not really paying attention. Nevertheless, I managed to navigate my way to the correct exit and back to my friend house again.

Thursday 23 September 2010 Ė for the last few days Iíve been suffering from an attack of the runs. They seem to be of the nocturnal variety and last night was a particularly bad dose. As a result Iíve not really been eating very much over the last few days and by the morning I was a bit of a quivering wreck. This meant I couldnít go back to the bike shop to get the top box fitted in the morning as planned. However, after several cups of tea and some light hearted conversation with my friends, I felt well enough to go back to the bike shop again. By the time I got back I was feeling considerably better and it felt as if the previous nightís attack had been a final purge to cleanse my system for the journey ahead.

Posted by Jill Maden at 08:50 AM GMT
September 21, 2010 GMT
Red Tape Gets Green Light

Just got a call this morning saying that all my paperwork has been cleared and that I can go and pick up the bike tomorrow. Whey hey, I'll be able to get on the road soon!

Posted by Jill Maden at 03:47 AM GMT
Bush, Mobs, Bucks and Animal Welfare

Sunday 19th September 2010 Ė My friend that I'm staying with and I managed to have a day out together today. We went to a place called The Homestead and walked around the grounds. In the bush we could see a "mob" of kangaroos so set off in pursuit. We managed to get quite close and there was one giant buck who kept a watchful eye on us while his companions bounced away. As they all bounced off, we changed our direction and started walking away. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a giant buck had come after us and was standing up on his hind legs watching us just about 10 feet away. For a moment I thought he was going to charge us but as we hastened our speed he bounced off in the opposite direction. Bit of a scary moment though!

After lunch we went to meet one of my friend's friends, who, apart from playing on of Paul Robinson's wives on Neighbours, is now heavily involved with animal welfare. They have a houseful of cats, dogs, ducks and chooks and she has a friend who runs an animal shelter. She offered to take me there so hopefully Iíll be able to take her up on her offer next week sometime.

Posted by Jill Maden at 03:45 AM GMT
Yellow Peril and Red Tape

Wednesday 15th September 2010 Ė after 3 days of fruitless searching for a bike, I finally found one today. On Monday my friends took me into Elizabeth Street in Melbourne to look at what the bike shops had to offer. Somewhat tired and jetlagged I found it difficult to put UK prices out of my mind and was shocked at how much Ozzie second hand bikes cost. One guy offered us a 22 year old Honda for $8,000. I just laughed out loud. Getting increasingly depressed and alarmed we eventually came across the Triumph showroom. It settled me greatly to see some Bonnies again even if they were completely out of my budget at $15,000.

The next day, we started trolling through internet ads and bike magazines all to no avail. Then, my mate found a Moto Guzzi California for sale on e-bay. We arranged to go and see it the next day. Unfortunately, it turned out to be in fairly poor condition and also had the twin problems that (a) my legs wouldnít reach the footstand and (b) it had a heel operated gear lever. It was surprisingly stable though. Nevertheless I decided against it. On the way back, my pal remembered there was a Suzuki dealer nearby so we swung by to see what they had. Immediately Lou picked out a bright yellow SV650 with upright handlebars. One of the girls on the Moto Guzzi run had one of these and let me try it but, because it had dropped bars, I didnít find it very comfortable and discarded it as a choice. However, the upright bars made all the difference. I took it for a test ride and as it was nice and light, felt good and was within budget at $4,700 I decided just to buy it.

It turns out that you need to have a local address to register a vehicle in Victoria though so I then had to spend the next day running around getting bank statements and telephone bills to prove my address so this delayed the delivery. Hopefully Iíll get the paperwork sorted tomorrow and will be able to pick up the bike on Wednesday.

Posted by Jill Maden at 03:41 AM GMT
September 20, 2010 GMT
Dicing with Death

Sunday 12th September 2010 Ė my first full day in Australia and my mate took me on a Moto Guzzi Owners Club ride out. At the first stop I found my knees had completely seized up from being on the back of his Rosa Corsa which has pillion pegs about 6 inches below the seat! Noticing that I was having difficulty dismounting, one of the other owners organised for me to go pillion on the back of 2 other riderís bikes that had more leg room. The first one was a California model and the driver had us sweeping through bends so smoothly I actually forgot my usual fear of cornering. The second driver had an even more comfortable bike but was a much faster driver, so much so, that we overshot a left turn and had to do a U-turn to rejoin the pack. For some reason the driver crossed over onto the right side of the road and then turned straight into the path of an oncoming car in the left lane. Just as I was imagining the pain of taking a full broadside hit and ending up in a wheelchair, the driver had the presence of mind to accelerate onto the grass verge at the side of the road. Luckily we just missed the car, but ended up in a bog instead. Another rider came to our assistance and together we managed to push the bike free of the marsh. After that he slowed down a bit and at the next stop I was handed back to my friend's capable charge. Not bad for a first day adventure!


Posted by Jill Maden at 10:02 AM GMT

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!