So, who’s keen for trying the Coast to Coast #10 on September 19, 2021? Yup, this September.

It’s still warm but cool on the Peaks and most mountain passes are open. There is a chance of typhoons scuppering things and we’ll have to deal with that. If we start the salutations to the weather and road Gods now, we oughta have a good shot at a green light.

As to the State of Emergency, that’s out of our hands and will be dealt with as the restrictions dictate. In any case, social distancing and respect for local covid concerns along our route needs to be a top priority.

Anyway, if you’re keen, pencil it in and let’s see if we can’t have a ride to see out the warmer weather.

Got out for a leisurely 320km through Izu to see out the year.

Left home late and it’d warmed up to 5° which wasn’t bad. The temp followed altitude and sun between 2° and 15° through the day. Scottoiler(blue screen) showing 5°C
After following the coast and snaking up the Tsubaki Line then wriggling down the 20 and into central Izu, got to the Pizza Bus just before 12 but they said the oven wasn’t ready, come back in an hour. Nishi Izu Skyline is only a few kilometres away so away we went.
Dry, overcast and a little windy but the road was clean views were great. A Porsche club and a train of MX5 were up there stretching their legs. Sounded great!
Fuji was a beacon to the north. The tighter section up there was still in the shade, is all day this time of the year, and slick in spots. All the bikes were tiptoeing through there. This spot never gets old, even after 15 years.
Back for lunch and wasn’t the only biker there.
Lunch! Plenty of social distancing and the howling beagle to welcome you. The sausage, bacon and tomato pan pizza were good too!
Pit stopped at Takachiyama on the Izu Skyline on the way back for a view over Atami to Sagami Bay and where I was headed.
Looking out over Numazu to Suruga Bay and the setting sun, the haze making what lies beyond unclear, I thought ‘Yeah whatever 2020…’ Lit the wick on the MT10 and revved a crossplane tune over Hakone Touge and down across the Kanto plain.

It’s been a lonely year on the road. Looking forward to seeing off this plague and catching up with the Twistybutts in May!

Roll on 2021!

Left home in the cool pre-dawn for what I thought would be a morning excursion but one thing lead to another and before I knew it I’d gone Coast to Coast and still had to get home, which is near the coast so…

Was a fantastic ride! @1150km in 20hrs with @250km of that on the expressway.
Nice and cool at altitude so tried to stay up there as much as possible.
Got to finally do a road on my bucket list, Sugawa Touge on the 403 between Niigata and Nagano. Exceptional views and a fantastic hillclimb. Bit narrow on the south side though. The phone was overheating unfortunately so here are some other snaps from the ride instead.

Who are those four jokers?
Where’d the 406 go?

About the Bones

Now, why did I start the day with a 190km expressway run out to Nikko? Let’s roll the clock back a bit.
Almost two years ago to the day while returning from several great days of touring Tohoku with a Viking, coming around a right hander into a narrow bridge crossing, I was met with a a black van on my side of the road and a tough choice…

Head on Collision…nope!

Dodge the van and likely hit the guardrail over the bridge…guardrails are rather unforgiving from previous experience, so…nope!

Try to pull up and go off the corner…lots of thick grass to plow, a concrete pole and tree to dodge but ok…

It all happened so fast that there really wasn’t a decision process to ponder. As soon as I grabbed that brake lever, a wide line was inevitable and going off road it was.

The braking was strong enough to leave a faint gray streak for the last metre or so before leaving the sticky stuff but by then we’d slowed to running pace. After shimmying across the dirt and then off the brakes into that long welcoming green grass with about as much traction as butter, the grass had a another surprise for us.

Just as I was sizing up the tree’s thick branch that we were going to have to plow through at just above front wheel height, we launched a little on a hump hidden in the grass. Not a space bound launch but I’ve many a time thought what would have been if I’d hit it with pace… In any case, it threw me out of the saddle enough to unsettle me and after that I was a mere passenger. 

It was about then that my eyes widened to dinner plates as there was a gaping trench below the branch which had also been hidding behind that long grass!

A stone walled creek/river of unknown depth and bottom. Yep, the crash that keeps on giving! Branch crack, crunch of fairing-plastic and then the odd pop-click-crack, like lobsters on the reef if you’ve ever heard that when diving but a hundred reefs of them pop-click-cracking out from your marrow to your sensors. Bones n joints doing what they aren’t intended to. Head first into the wall! Just above the helmet visor. Then again to the crown of my head on a lower stone step protruding from the wall. 

I came to, draped over the FZ1 with my left fingers in mesh summer gloves filtering clean clear mountain waters gurgling below me. The old beast had saved me once more. 

I did the sensory check and then the digit-limb-everything check and I was in one piece, operational but quite badly winded. Clambered to my feet noticing a sore wrist and bit of dizziness. Looking around, I was ankle deep in a 2-3 metre high 2-3 metre wide concrete bottomed, riverstone lined creek/river teeming with life, both plant and insect. The FZ1 had lost the front below the fork stanchions but looked ok. It wasn’t. Discovered a fatal frame crack much later. Still pains me. 

Back in the trench, I was bewildered and having a little trouble staying upright when the Viking appeared above. He’d been some way back but close enough to see something amiss. I just remember asking, “Did I fk up?” Oviously! 

On extracting myself from the trench with the help of a good samaritan passerby, I painfully realized something was not at all right with my wrists. As the shock and fight or flight chemical dump wore off waiting for the ambulance, it became painfully apparent there were a few things not quite doing what they should’ve been doing.

The ambulance and fire crew were great while the local inspector Cluoseau wannabe bordered on comical with his various hypothesis and line of resulting interrogations. 
Later, at the hospital after some xrays and CT scans, the injuries were clear. 

Two broken wrists, concussion, lung contusions and three compressed vertebrae.

Rehab lasted a while. The back is still not right, the left wrist isn’t either but I’m no spring chicken and that wasn’t my first rodeo. I can still ride!

And ride I will. One day shy of the second anniversary of that decisive day, I went to look over that place and make peace with my demons.
It is a beautiful little area and was all the more so in the early summer light.

Think I’ll make this a regular place to visit around this time each year. A pilgrimage to pain and life and what could easily have been my last ride!

Battery worries?

As the MT10 has been up on stands since March due to the plague, I was initially worried about the battery as I rarely leave the bike unridden for long and if I do, the battery is disconnected.
The MT10 has a great little gadget I installed when picking up the bike from Apexmoto. It has made checking the battery crazy easy. A bluetooth battery monitor.
I walk past the bike almost every day but rarely carry the keys for it and only enjoy unwrapping the mummy-like cover if it’s gonna be ridden or wrenched on. So, walking by and accessing battery condition via an app on the phone is a mere 10 second chore.
It’s got plenty of data and functions on hand too. Big favourite is the alarm for preset battery levels. Thankfully, I’ve not had them go off yet. But in the three times I’ve gone to wrench on the bike, the app readings have matched the bike’s voltmeter. 👍
This had for an interesting and simple stress reliever I hope will keep on doing so for many years. And as it is simple, seems durable and waterproof, it ought to do so. I’ll report back on it again at a later as to this.

Only needed a screw driver and the keys to fit that one. 👍

Will keep adding here as the boots break-in.

March 2020 @320km

I’ve only done a few hundred kms in my Travel Stars so far.

The toe box is vast. I’m usually a 42/43 and as many said they ran large, I went 42. Should’ve gone 41 or even 40.
However, the ankle is tight. And extremely inflexible. Had to adjust the shifter a lot to accommodate the change. I’m expecting that to free up as boots do.
Quality is superb.
The arced zippier performed better with a bit of wax but that curve is not to my liking when zipping up or down. Supposed to make it comfier long term though.
Speaking of comfy, they are indeed that.

@2000km now.

Very happy with them so far. Rode home in torrential rain and spray laden traffic for about 90km/90minutes and still had bone dry hooves. Couldn’t say the same for the rest of me.
The water that poured in the top from fjording a submerged road earlier in the day also dissipated within a few hours.

May 1, 2021

Meet – 4:30am

START – @4:50am (sunrise)

Pacific Ocean to Japan Sea
Start: Sagami bay in Kanagawa
Finish: Joetsu in Niigata

To ride from the Pacific to the Sea of Japan in a single day via as many great roads as can be strung together without touching a highway or toll road!
Then, settle in for beers, a feast and soak…

What’s New

Three days. That’s right! For those looking for a longer ride, we’ll do the traditional coast to coast on May 2 then a free day to recover/explore on May 3 and then a return coast to coast on a rare east route on May 4.

No major changes from the last 3 years’ route, just a little trimming and tweaking of the same great route taking us on the back of an almost endless snake of twisting, climbing, carving and winding tarmac!
2 courses:
Long – roughed out in 2011 – 600km+
Short – The route above but smoother and shorter- 500km –


15-20 touges (mountain passes) to traverse on the route, 2 of them being the 2 highest national roads in Japan! And where there are touges, you know there have to be hillclimbs, hairpins and oodles of twisties, right! Yep, that’s the twisty part covered.
How about the butt part? Well, at 600km+ with NO expressway, it isn’t exactly a Sunday squirt or a scoot out to your favorite lunch spot. It’s far enough to feel it and due to being packed with great roads banking you left and right, it is gonna take a while. So, you’re gonna spend your day with eyes tracing tarmac and butt parked, sliding this way and that polishing your seat, tank sides and foot pegs.

This isn’t the 1st time we’ve done it and we’ve tried to improve the route each year and encourage spirited riders to come along and give it a go. Don’t go getting the idea that encouraging means you’ll be joining a ‘follow the leader’ train of riders though. This is a tough ride and one to do at your own pace on your own schedule. You’ll probably find a rider or two around your pace to roll with but don’t count on it. Everyone has different styles, fuel ranges, bladder sizes and concentration spans so you may find yourself rolling with different people or even alone at times. But generally, small groups of similar paced and style riders have coalesced early on past rides.
If you’ve got a pack of like minded riders already then great, get your train together, study the route, load your navis if you have them and get on with it.
Just don’t take this ride lightly. It is a tough one! A hell of a lot of great riding but tough and dangerous if not respected. Heed the warning.

1. You are responsible for yourself, your ride and leaving your whinging and whining at home.
2. Have your bike in long distance ready condition. Plenty(50%+) of tire and a full tank of gas!
3. Have yourself ready to roll. Well slept, fed and healthy.
4. This is not an easy ride! You will be on the road for the best part of daylight and maybe more than 12hours with little time to just cruise and zone out. It is a true feast of twisties that even gluttons have trouble swallowing. Know that!
# START TIME # Sunrise – 4:50am – If you miss the start, don’t give up. Ride your own ride and you’re bound to catch up with others on your way to Joetsu.

Ride considerately, safely and within your limits.
This IS NOT competitive touring or a race.
In no way is any other rider or anyone associated with this ride responsible for any other rider on the ride.
We will likely have a variety of different riders/bikes/attitudes out there. Respect that and keep it real.
For the safety of your fellow riders and yourself, keep a safe distance between all riders and ride in a staggered formation when in a group. Staggered provides better vision, keeps the pack together and the tires in the car tracks reducing the chance of a puncture.
Have a charged phone on hand at all times with your emergency contact and the other riders’ contact. Details will be shared closer to the start.
Notify someone on this ride asap if you have any difficulties or leave the ride.
Our route parallels a lot of expressway so if anyone wants to swing off on a separate adventure for a bit, take a nap or get lost then there is flexibility for that. Hell, if you just get a crook neck or the bike develops a reluctance to rock’n’roll then make a beeline for the goal and wait for the rest of the crew to roll in. There is always another day and the support of your fellow road warriors waiting for you at the goal.

***MUST***, Even if you have a navi, KNOW the ROUTE, have your back-up maps / Mapple or stick with someone who does. All routes will be distributed sometime in April.

What do we do when we get there?
Everybody meets up at the same place for a feast and to share tales from the road.

Accommodation Location

Joetsu Sun Plaza – Click the following pic to be linked to the Sun Plaza online booking page.

*It’s in Japanese but easy enough to do with Google translate.

If you can’t get a room with the rest of the riders at the Sun Plaza, try one of these two hotels:

Monzen no Yu –

Route Inn Joetsu –

How do I get in on this?
Spirited riders are always welcome. So, just reply here and/or PM me if you’re a definite and I’ll keep you in the loop.


Hope to see a ready pack of Twistybutters on May 1st and a festive bunch on the opposite coast!

Iida to Home @425km

Had a great night’s rest and woke up ready to ride. But the inn was silent. Climbed out of my cubbyhole trying not to wake anybody but old wooden buildings like to chat with even the most cautious of feet. So with creaks and squeaks but never a thud, I dressed, loaded up and crept downstairs. Snoring continued from at least one cubbyhole…

The peace and quiet and soft morning light splashing over the mountains and flooding the vast western windows of the inn before seeping its way through the open wooden labyrinth was a magic way to start the day.

Morning mate!

MotoGP pit the night before, twisty hunter staging area the following morning. ☺

And out the door we went.

The Michael way to minimise downtime!

Making our way south east, the conditions were just right and we were having a ball on the wide open bypasses and squeezing through the tighter canyon passes.

Came upon a deserted XR and after a short trek into the thick mossy forest..

… spied Michael soaking up minus eons down by the waterfalls below. Nice!

Then we climbed…

Crossing over into Misakubo, the wildlife are quite different…

Seems the wildlife like to jump onto the back of speeding bikes too. So best to go slowly, apparently. Defies my logic but I’m not a cute girl on a dualsport so…

Michael and John enjoyed the climb. 👍

Who’s that way over there?

Mountains to the horizon..

How do you like that John?

Just like the way up, endless twisties from there on down.

Views aplenty too!

Soon we were back tracing a river and a closer look was warranted.

Out on the mossy bridge taking pics, soon discovered that my new can’t-miss-that-yellow helmet was a flying-bug magnet. And there were plenty of big stingy ones above this river.

So, back on the road I went! 🏃

And where there are steep mountains and deep canyons with roads cut into them, there are almost always sharp stones falling from the walls. The MT10SP picked one up unfortunately.

Fortunately, mechanic Michael was there to save the day. I pulled in under the dragons…

… and he flew into action.

Nice plug mate. 👍

Plugged and pumped up, we got back into it and soon found ourselves in the great green lined hills of tea.

This is the kanji character for cha = tea

Flowing east and then north we twisted our way up toward Ikawa and its mighty dam.

Round the north side of the dam, we pulled into an old favourite for lunch.

The food’s always fresh from the local fields and the kitchen is staffed by local ladies who know what they’re doing with such great ingredients.

From there, with furnaces fueled, we twisted our way back down out of the mountains and headed east for home.

Back in the big smoke, Michael’s work spoke for itself by getting the MT10sp and I back without event. And the rest of the tyres show it was a well rounded test. 😂

The only thing left to do was celebrate @3000km and a week-plus well ridden.

Abalone anyone? Couldn’t wait…sorry. ☺

Now that’s some choice Hayama Premium beef!

Great suggestion Michael. That was an epic post-tour feed. Thank you!

Brilliant Goldenweek of riding with a great crew. Full of sideways skewing events but nay a scar or regret. The weather gods tested us a few times but blessed us with predominantly fine weather and clean clear roads. The tour started and finished with three and hats off to Michael and John for their endless enthusiasm, tireless tyre rounding and being a ZERO-PITA. 😁

Already looking forward to next year!

Cheers Gents!

Joetsu to Iida @385km

Had a leisurely wake up then took a short braap over to the local Starbucks for what has become an institution, the post-coast2coast morning meet up. The crew from the day/night before were rolling in and out in dribs and drabs, chatting, grouping up for further touring or the run home.

Good times 👍

On the road again 🎶

Tony had made an enticing pitch for a visit to a local ninja village come theme park come playground and I’d wanted to see it too for some time so that was our first stop. An old friend, Ferdinand, tagged along for ninjaland.

Michael was off solo exploring and found himself this castle at Takada Gardens on the way out of Joetsu.

Back at ninjaland after a spritely run south and up into the hills, we were feeling the heat off the bikes as we took the long walk down into Ninja land 🏃

We started out with some blow dart fun. Disappointed with the relatively close and unadventurous big red X on a piece of paper on a stick they had us shooting at, I got us started on trying to hit the logo near the ceiling at the back of the room. Much funner and the lads sent theirs aloft also.

Bet they had a helluva time getting those darts down but by the number of holes up there, it wasn’t the first time.

Us big kids went after the small kids. See that little blue ninja on the wall at back? Uh-huh!

Leaving the little blue ninja looking like a pin cushion, John and Tony went to the museum where John found himself some accessories…

And his clansmen ☺ Look at him, fits right in!

He settled on something a little more traditional.

Perfect outfit for the long, fast and deceptively short ended toboggan. I went first and soon after exiting the run came a hurtling fearless mighty John!

Seemingly chasing a speed demon and casting aside the coward lever, he flew through the braking zone and buried himself in the rather inadequate mats at the end of the run.

I thought he was done for but he stretched out like an inhaling accordion, rolled over and laughed. 😂 Well done mate! 👍

Back on the road, Tony and Fernand headed for the express route back to the big smoke while John and I continued twisting south.

Being Children’s Day, we saw plenty of koi no bori floating / hanging across rivers and from flagpoles. A tradition and common site on this day.

It was getting hot, even in the hills, and I was glad to see some shade in the tight twisties. But when the same twisties went past a second and third time, it was time for a powwow with the navi. Just then, who came zinging around the corner? Michael! We chatted and he was enjoying his solitude so we went our separate ways again.

We took our time until the climb up the Green Line and along the Venus Line. The eMpT-10 was getting thirsty again after the gallop but the gas stand on the Venus Line was closed…

So, taking a route I’d never been desperate enough to, we headed down the hillside through a glider take-off/landing zone. Being a decently steep downhill meant I could shut the eMpT-10 down and roll. With what I guesstimated to be 10km of fuel left in the tank, we rolled almost the entire 20odd kilometres down. Worked a treat!

After some hunting, we filled up and headed through Chino to the 152.

Being cautious through the area we’d seen the law a few days earlier, we meandered our way down to the remoter section of the gangling 152. But before leaving civilisation entirely, we jumped up onto a mystery dam-side road for the view and solitude and found the local monkey clan were hanging out perched atop the roadside guardrail and in the overhanging trees. They seemed to like the humming s1000xr more than the lumpy MT-10, no? Or was it you they were communing with John?

Continuing down the 152, the skies got heavier and we were climbing. Eventually, on a narrowing section deep in the valley just after a rather dissuasive road warning obstacle, those two vectors met. It began to rain. And then rained heavier and got colder. It was enough for us to pull over and don the wet weather gear. Me for the bag on the back. John for the body. Not that kind of body bag!

Several tight climbing hairpins later, a good portion of the road had slipped away down the mountainside and we realized why we’d not seen anyone else for a while. Gingerly throttling around that and several kilometres later, we came upon more signage and dissuasive obstructions to find a bit of upper mountainside resting on the road on its way into the valley below. Again, there was enough road for two wheels to inch on by. So far so good. Not really.

The final part of the climb had a heavy fog come low cloud roll in. And at around 1500m, it was thunder, lightning and pinlock overcoming fine mist. Not to mention under 10°c! Soldering on over the summit the rain was on again, off again for a few kilometres then things began looking better…until rounding a corner to find the fortknox of roadblocks!

We tried many things… Eventually, John channelled the power of his monkey mates from earlier in the arvo and the impossible became possible! Well done mate 👏 I really didn’t feel like going back through that crap.

Less than an hour later with daylight fading, we tonked into Iida, making our way to the guesthouse for that night.

Michael was already there and sent us welcoming messages to say all was right with the world ahead and where to park. Cheers Michael 👍

Yamairo Guesthouse: A restored and repurposed old trader’s home/warehouse. Full of character and atmosphere.

The common areas are vast yet intimate.

The bad weather meant that we had the place almost to ourselves.

Perfect as we had the Jerez Moto GP to watch.

The owner/operators were happy to let us watch, cheer and enjoy. So we crowded around Michael’s phone screen while they plied us with liquor and food ☺ Well done on the live feed Michael. 👍

Did I mention it was a unique place?

Our room had four… compartments. Each private compartment had light, power supply for charging and a vast comfy clean bed.

I hit the sack and was out in minutes. 😴

Eventful days riding John. Good to ride it with you 👍
More to come. Final day actually. Stay tuned…

MT-10 SP Update

Through the heat, bad weather, slippery conditions and test of economy-rolling, it didn’t miss a beat or disappoint.

Discovered that the brakes work regardless of ignition on or off. A worry I’d had with ABS units. Never tested if the ABS still worked though.

Found the winglets above the tailight to be just garnish and terribly placed for carrying a touring bag. Given enough time, I can see them succumbing to attrition. Unfortunate form over function design.

On an unplanned yet often forgotten test of durability, discovered that the headers are very hardy and more than up to the task of holding the weight of the bike should the front tyre cease to be doing that. 😉

Pacific Ocean to the Sea of Japan – @550km

Early morning in a very comfortable bed...

Meanwhile, down by the Pacific Ocean, all fired up and ready after waiting all year to ride coast to coast, 80 odd riders and their steeds were all kinds of excited, sleepy and confused, I’m sure.

Another epic collection of bikes and riders!

Sun’s up!

5:20am…ishRising up out of a great sleep to a beeping alarm, had the feeling that someone was watching me and none too impressed…

You too?

Then it hit me. COAST to COAST Twistybutt day! The one day of the year not to sleep in! So, like Fred Flinstone but onto a bike, I was outa there!

7:15ishRolled in to the start point and of course no one was there. Beautiful morning though 👍

So, with hares to hunt, it was time to get to know the SP side of the MT-10SP.

The Viking caught me here and plied me with rider fuel as I topped up the somewhat thirstier than usual eMpT-10 ☺ Then we were off again!

Toilet stop and refocus here.

Blasting through a subterranean valley to valley wormhole, loving the thrum of the MT10 crossplane rattling the tiles on the tunnel wall, I realized I’d completely missed the turnoff for the snaking touge overhead and as a result had lopped off around 20km of the C2C500 route! Doh! It was time for a pitstop and refocus. The riverside here did the trick. 👍Head back on straight, no time for photos and deciding to try and catch one pack or another doing the same route, the tyres stayed medium-well done all the way till Asama yama was in the mirrors and my furnace needed fuelling. Still hadn’t seen anyone I recognised but it was lunch time.On the road again headed for the Tsumagoi Panorama Line with the bike and belly full, the Touge Express was ready to rock again! But, within 300m, the grey sky turned black and a chill took the air.Ouch! Took a hard hit to the knee… Bug? Maybe. Ping-tock-ouch! Something bounced off the tank, hit the bottom of my helmet and jammed in between my neck and collar. And it burned till I dug it out! Then the heavens opened and grape-sized hail was bouncing around everywhere. Luckily, across the way there was a post-office with a decent verandah out front. In the MT and I darted. And as fast as it started, it finished.The remnants of the hail was melting away and there was road to ride so away we went. Over the 292, through Nakano and Iiyama and along the last farmer/panorama line before dropping down into Joetsu we went. And with plenty of daylight left, the MT10sp and I pulled up on the sand by the Sea of Japan.

Got to the hotel just behind one of the groups I had had in my sights but that was it!The rest of the riders, groups and coast to legends rolled in over the following hours. Yearly acquaintances were renewed, new faces were put to names and we gassed on about our rides and the freedom of carving one’s way from coast to coast, again. Brilliant!It had been a few years since I’d done a solid C2C Twistybutt and although it was only @490km, it was truly one for the nostalgia files.

2019 Coast to Coast Twistybutt Legends