A week agoo I set out on a somewhat sudden trip to Matong State Forrest, about 500km from melbourne (60 ks west of wagga wagga). Feeling brave, I thought I'd see how well my little VJF would handle it. My distance experience was somewhat limited (one 650km round trip in a day, few over the 150km mark), so with a pack on my back (and anywhere else I could tie one down) and hope (young, reckless sense of invulnerability) in my heart, I road off wednesday arvo. The Packing: Being only on a little 2fiddy I didn't take much. My gasmate cooking stove (and fuel for 2 weeks at least!) varuious cannned and dry food items (yay 2 min noodles!), a sleepingbag, sleeping mat, tarp (no tent for me! wouldn't fit :S ), spare chain lube + cleaner (lots of dust up north), a puncture repair kit, and oil made the cut. I also managed 3 litres of water (friends were bringing more), and a solar charger for phone and ipod (never worked out how to use it). Tools would have been good for pace of mind, especially after how loose the chain was by the time I was on my way back, but they didn't. Next time they will! All this fit into a small camel pack (sans water bladder), a 18 litre tank bag, and two 30 litre pannier bags, or strapped to the pillion seat). The Trip: The beggining was less than fun. Stupid me set out on a warm windy afternoon from Melbourne, right up the Hume. For those further north who aren't aware, that means gusting inds that forced me to a sedate 60-80 in a 110 zone, amd into the emergancy stopping lane 3 times. For the first 50 ks or so I swore and cursed and nearly cried as I battled my way up th highway, trucks blasting past me ignorant of my pleas for mercy. Note for fellow motorcyclists: Light sportbikes seek alternate route. Thankfully this was not the end of my trip. After the 50 k mark, about an hour out of melboure, the crazy crosswinds dropped and I picked up speed, settling surprisingly easily into the limit despite the weight I was carrying. Feeling much more relaxed now, I decided not to stop until I hit Kelly country, pulling into Euroa at about 4 for a drink and a snack. A few hours later and I was on the road again, and had crossed the border by nightfall. A pause here on saddle soreness. The Daelim's seat is pretty forgiving, however by Albury I was pretty stiff. Part of this is probably my inexperience, however a sheepskin eat cover will be on the list for the next trip! With Albury behind me, I left the Hume and hit onto the Olympic- a much more rural highway with only a single lane each way. By now it was pushing 8, and the road was dark and lonely (except for the occasional truck). Despite the roadkill on the side, and a slight mounting parranoia, I didn't see a single member of the suicidal marsupial community along the way. At 10:30, I finally pulled into the festival camping zone, in convoy with a guy I met at an intersection driving a huge transit van kitted for the camp. The return trip was much of the same, except for a few chance encounters and a change of route. After my Hume experience, I decided to take a more direct route home and head to mansfield after Benalla. My first welcoming party was at a small town called The Rock in NSW, where when I pulled over (covered head to foot in dust), I was immediatly invited to join a few of the locals at a BBQ. They were amazed that the bike could carry all it was (especially when they heard it was a 250!), and couldn't stop feeding me snags and cordial as we chatted about snakes of all things. I was lucky that I'd changed my route (thanks to Sonny, the guy with the van who had a few maps with him), as a truck had crashed and exploded on the Hume just outside of Benella, an was closed in both directs. A lemonade in the local pub and a bit of a chat with the publican got me a quiet route out of town that avoided the diverted highway traffic. Navigating without a real map or plan hit a slight stump when I pulled into Yarra Glen later that night... though I knew I was close to home, I had no idea which route was the best. Luckily I spotted a group of fellow riders wh were headed my way, and the last chapter in my journey was roaring through the night in the company of ninjas and gixxers, and som excellent people who will hopefully be signing up to the forum! Overall, I think everything turned out really well. Next time, I will pack more in the way of the tools because had something gone wrong, it would have been handy to have. Also, adjusting my chain before I left for home would have been good to do, but I doubt any damage was done from it. Also, as mentioned before, some comfort-improvements would be good.... I wonder if you can get large windshields for the Daelim yet...?