Three-day Ducati club ride around Gippsland
In March I joined the annual Mini Turismo overnight ride organised by the Ducati Owners Club Victoria. I particularly enjoy the overnight rides because it’s a great way to get to know people better, the rides are always very well organised, and I’m finding that riding several days in a row with more experienced riders really improves my riding skills.
We based ourselves in Orbost for two nights. On the first day I joined a couple of others who also live on the Bellarine Peninsula and we took the ferry from Queenscliff early in the morning. We then joined the rest of the group – who had left from east of Melbourne – shortly before the first fuel stop in Moe later that morning.
The second day we did a long loop starting with the Bonang Highway and returning to Orbost for the night. That evening, I noticed excessive oil consumption on my Hyperstrada, and others who rode behind me reported noticing a smell of burnt oil. The oil level had dropped below minimum. Fortunately there was a car mechanic not far from our accomodation, and I was able to obtain some bike oil through my RACV roadside assistance membership.
Unfortunately, on the third day the bike lost power after only a few kilometres – it was like riding in limp mode with only limited engine power available. With oil burning and engine power loss, it all looked like a mechanical issue, so I limped the bike back to Orbost and left it with the RACV mechanic who organised a tow truck to bring it to Melbourne.
I then had to find a way to get from Orbost back home, with all my bike gear and luggage. I took the bus from Orbost to Bairnsdale where there is a train station. To add to my terrible day, no trains were actually operating, due to some technical issues or track works. Therefore I had to board a replacement coach along with a large unhappy crowd of other confused passengers.
After a total of about ten hours or so on public transport I got home eventually – it was a day to forget.
The only positive was that RACV was super helpful and brought the bike to Ducati in Melbourne the following day. It was all hassle-free and didn’t cost me anything. I would never go on any trip, no matter if by car or bike, without having roadside assistance.
More photos in the album DOCV Mini Turismo.