The Ninja H2 is a dream to ride anywhere in the world. And when it is the same region as my 20,000 km ride around Australia in 2017, then it also becomes very nostalgic. I headed out from Sydney on the Ninja H2 in the Australian winter in search of snow. With temperatures close to 10 degrees Celsius already in Sydney, I was pretty sure that I would be able to have a rendezvous with ‘white sand’, as I like to call fresh fluffy snow.
In that pursuit, I rode onto the Remembrance Highway or the Hume Highway or the Federal Highway (M31). It gets excruciatingly cold there as you ride at the 130 km/h speed limit. It is a beautiful highway, sometimes you don’t even feel like it is a motorway because of the beautiful treelines. Then, Lake George is a beautiful lake that falls on your side while going to Canberra, the capital city of Australia.
The ride to Canberra from Sydney is around 3 hours, depending on where you start from in Sydney. My objective was to reach the beautiful town of Jindabyne in New South Wales. This is also the gateway to Charlotte Pass which is a ski resort in the Snow Mountains.
The first was excruciating because of the cold and also because I rode such a bike for the first time after my ACL surgery.
The total distance from Sydney to Jindabyne was 460 km with a suggested google maps time of just under 5 hours. I reached their post dusk. As noted earlier, dusk is not a time you would want to ride a motorcycle on most countryside roads because of the fear of small and big animals that might cross your way.
I arrived at my destination, and there was a police check just before I entered for alcohol. There were drivers and I was the only motorcyclist in the queue. The police were friendly and I just remarked that a drunk guy cannot handle a motorcycle like this anyway. Somehow from his expression, I realized that he concurred with me. We laughed it off and I checked into the warmth of my hotel.
The next morning’s weather was thankfully sunny and decided to head straight to Charlotte Pass which lies in the Perisher Valley in the vicinity of Australia’s highest mountain, Mt. Kosciuszko. I was aware of Australia’s strict laws about not allowing motorcyclists anywhere near snow because of the danger it poses. They also only allow 4×4 or cars with snow chains. I came all this way to try my luck, hoping that the snow would not be that bad. However, I had to turn around at the toll gate. And did that put me off? In 2017, I managed to get the H2 to the same place on the penultimate day of the 20,000 km ride and there was snow!
The ride from Jindabyne to the toll gate to Perisher Valley, though just 30 km, is fit to be a road race track. The tarmac quality is excellent and the scenery just beckons to look around.
However, I took some solace in exploring the smaller roads around Lake Jindabyne which look fantastic on a sunny day. It is quiet and you can take the bike right up to the lake and brood a bit.
Surprisingly I didn’t see even one motorcycle on the entire ride. It was very cold, but not that cold as well!
Snowy mountains can be a delight in the summer months and like always ride out if the weather forecast is good. From Sydney, there are a few directions you can take, depending on where the weather is better.
As far as finding snow on this ride is concerned, I failed that mission! But everything else was just great.
This article was published in the Dec’22-Jan’23 Issue of the xBhp Print Magazine.