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Old 10-27-2014, 04:41 PM   #1
Steppy OP
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Harley/Ural Trip toTassie (with Pics)

Tried to edit the last attempt and messed it up. Tried to nuke it with no success so here goes.

Day 1 – Friday 21 Mar 14

Eaton to Hyden – 378km in 10 hours!

Departed Eaton at 0600hrs.

Within 20 minutes the Sporty was parked at the side of the road refusing to run.

This is like Déjà vu……all over again!

Thanks Gerrad….you got your wish!!! (for something interesting like last year)

3 weeks ago I took it on a shakedown ride of 660km to Mt Barker and back with no problems. Today it just stopped. Tried everything I could think of to no avail.


Didn’t have time to mess about as I have to be in Melbourne on Wednesday to catch the ferry.

Whilst waiting for the tow truck I contacted the Spirit of Tasmania to see if they had room for the Ural. Luckily they did so I changed my booking. Once I got the Sporty home I transferred my gear to the Ural. 5 hours after I set off I was on my way again.

The Ural ran sweet even in the inevitable rain (rain when I’m riding long distance….who’d have thought?). I made it to Hyden at 1600hrs. 10 hours after I originally started. This is where I met the bloke that knows KLR650GUY from ADVrider.

They gave me a room with a verandah so I could service the bike out of the rain.


Thank goodness for the Russians as the Yanks have let me down once too often (I had a heap of issues with the Sporty last year when I rode it around Oz). I’m thinking the Sporty will be going to a new home.

Total: 378km


Day 2 – Saturday 22 Mar 14
Hyden to Caiguna

Set out at 0600 with overcast skies and 50km before I hit the dirt.

Stopped and reduced the tyre pressures to 20psi all round for the 250km of dirt.



The good thing about the rain is it keeps the dust down. The payback is the mud.
At least with 3 wheels it’s more fun and safer than on 2.



It took me 5.5hrs to ride the 300km from Hyden to Norseman as I kept catching up to a road train and couldn’t get passed. It was a choice of sit behind him and get covered in mud or make regular stops to allow him to pull ahead, then play catch up.

It absolutely poured down from Norseman to Caiguna. In Norseman I set the GPS to show the way to Port Augusta.


1,665km to go. In 1,197km turn left. Gotta love Aus.

638km today. Total – 1,016km
Day 3 – Sunday 23 Mar 14
Caiguna to Ceduna

I got an extra early start today as the smoke detector in my room started chirping at 0440hrs to indicate that the back-up battery was flat.

It worked in my favour as I had a big day planned. To get back on schedule I needed to get to Ceduna, 829km away. The previous longest run on the Ural was 610km in 2010. Made it to Ceduna just on sunset having lost 2.5hrs when I crossed the border into South Australia.

No photos today as it was all about covering kilometres and getting back on schedule.

829km today. Total – 1,845km




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Old 10-27-2014, 04:48 PM   #2
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So what was it that stopped the sporty ?
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Old 10-27-2014, 06:05 PM   #3
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Sporty failure

Coil died this time. Last years trip round Oz was fuel issues.
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Old 10-27-2014, 06:53 PM   #4
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After seeing that muddy road, the Harley has more sense then you do.
Good karma.
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Old 10-27-2014, 07:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steppy View Post
Coil died this time. Last years trip round Oz was fuel issues.


Cheers.

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Old 10-28-2014, 04:39 AM   #6
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Ceduna to

Day 4 – Monday 24 Mar 14
Ceduna to Murray Bridge

Rode all day for a total of 847km. Another record for the Ural.
Am looking forward to a more leisurely time in Tassie and on the way home.
Have the bike booked in for a service at Euro Brit in Melbourne, 0900 on Wednesday.
Only 669km to cover tomorrow.

Today 847km. Total – 2,692km
Day 5 – Tuesday 25 Mar 14
Murray Bridge to Melbourne

Got off to a good start and would have been in Greensborough early but there was an accident on the freeway and I got stuck in traffic. Eventually found an exit and had to wing it on my own for a while as the GPS kept directing me back to the freeway. Eventually rejoined it past the accident. Got to the motel at 1730 and decided to swap a couple of the wheels around to share the wear.

I can sleep in tomorrow as the shop that’s doing the service on the bike opens at 0900. I then have the rest of the day to myself as the ferry doesn’t depart until 1930.
Today 669km. Total – 3,361km

Day 6 – Wednesday 26 Mar
Greensborough – Port Melbourne
Had the bike serviced at EuroBrit this morning then it was a short run to Port Melbourne and a 3 hour wait for the ferry to load up.

I took an upgrade from a recliner to a cabin.

We docked in Devonport at 0600 and I was on the road by 0630. In the rain.
100km for the 2 days. Total – 3,461km

Days 7 to 10 – Thursday 27 – Sunday 30 Mar 14
Launceston

Spent Thursday and Friday in Launceston doing laundry and taking people for rides in the sidecar.
I’m staying with my mate Marc, his wife Belinda and her son Daniel. Marc was a Volunteer Ambulance Officer at Australind when I joined up in 2001. He moved to Tassie in 2005 with his son Jesse.
On Saturday Marc and I sailed his 45ft Wharram Catamaran from Beauty Point to Port Sobel.


SWY is slang for “Two Up” as in the game played on ANZAC Day.

We showed up at the dock with a 20L jerry can of diesel. A power cat owner was filling his 4 fuel tanks at a total cost of $3,000.00!

Marc at the helm.


Me flat out keeping an eye on the sails. Honest!!!

Tomorrow Marc and I are taking the Ural for a spin.
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Old 10-28-2014, 03:38 PM   #7
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Launceston to Hamilton

Day 11 – Monday 31 Mar
Launceston to Orford

We left Launceston at 1000hrs with our first stop at the Art Gallery Café in Scottsdale.
Tried some Rhu Bru a soft drink made from rhubarb – wish I’d bought a carton.
http://rhubru.com.au/

From there it was on to St Helens then Bicheno. 23km from Bicheno the bike started pulling to the left and Marc started sinking from view. We had a flat tyre on the sidecar.


We simply jacked her up and replaced the flat with the spare wheel from atop the boot. We were back on the road in 10 minutes.
The big attraction in Bicheno was the motorcycle museum.
They had not one…..but TWO HRD Vincent Super Rapides!!!!!!!
Some people are just plain greedy!!

From Bicheno we went to Swansea where Belinda and her mum picked up Marc while I sallied forth.
Just south of Swansea is the Spiky Bridge.



It was built by convicts in the early 1800s as part of the coach road to Hobart.
Today – 342km. Total – 3,803km

Day 12 – Tuesday 01 Apr
Orford to Hamilton

First job today was a trip into Hobart to find a bike shop that would fit the new tyres.
The Honda dealer was too busy and sent me to the Suzuki dealer. He was also too busy but was good enough to call an independent bike shop to see if they could help. They were also too busy until they heard it was an Ural. They hadn’t seen one close up before so they took on the job.
I had both new tyres fitted with extra heavy duty tubes. The valve stem had torn off the tube that went flat.

2 hours later I was back on the road to Port Arthur. Convicts sent to Melbourne and Hobart who were uncontrollable were sent to Port Arthur which was a secondary punishment. Other secondary punishment sites were set up North of Newcastle and on Norfolk and Rottnest Islands.
http://www.discovertasmania.com.au/attraction/portarthurhistoricsite

Convicts who still wouldn’t behave were put into isolation. They weren’t allowed to talk and the guards who patrolled above the cells communicated with hand signals.



The convicts were made to wear masks to hide their identity from other inmates when moving to and from the exercise yards. There were 2 rings set into the front and rear walls where a hammock was hung.

For the really bad bastards or slow learners there was a punishment cell within the isolation block. You pass through 2 doors, each 30mm thick, before you get to the cell itself. With the cell door closed it is completely dark. With the 2 outer doors closed it is soundproof.
Port Arthur is also infamous for the Port Arthur Massacre on 28 April 1996 when Martin Bryant killed 35 people and injured 23 others mainly at the prison site and the Broad Arrow Café.

Today – 357km. Total – 3,974km
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Old 10-28-2014, 04:43 PM   #8
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Good stuff Steppy!


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Old 11-12-2014, 02:52 PM   #9
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Hamilton to Strahan

Day 13 – Wednesday 02 Apr
Hamilton to Strahan

Today started out like so many others when I’ve been touring by bike….absolutely PISSING down. And it kept it up until approx. 1300hrs.
Today’s run was 230km and according to the Travelmate web site should have taken 3hrs. 6 was closer to the mark due to the rain and torturous roads.
Came round a bend in the mountains and found a power station and its feed pipes. When I stopped a guy came running out to see if I was OK. They’d had bike accident at the same spot 2 weeks ago.



My first thought was “where is the water coming from?”

The answer is Lake Binney. My next question was “Where does the lake get filled from as it is high in the mountains?”

Queenstown is a mining town. Originally a gold mine it was quickly discovered that there was more copper than gold. The original mine was called the Iron Blow.

The original copper pit. Remember this photo as it has a sinister follow on later.
My friend Marc had told me about the boat cruises up the Gordon River from Strahan. When I got there at 1500hrs a boat was just pulling in. To my dismay they leave at 0900hrs and return at 1500hrs. As I left the booking office wondering if I could afford to take a six hour cruise I spotted this.

Directly opposite the cruise booking office was the booking office for the float plane. Luckily a couple had just been enquiring as you need a minimum of 3 passengers or it’s too expensive for the likes of you and me. What the hell I thought!

When I queried the pilot on the amount of fuel I was informed “E” means Enough and “F” means Far too much!
Glad we got that sorted.

What looks like a tent is actually a net for the fish farms.

The nets are attached to these frames and towed into position.

The large island is Sarah Island and was another Penal Colony. It is said to have been the most brutal in the British Empire. The smaller island was where the female convicts were kept and was called Grommet Island. The name was slang for a ladies private parts. Sarah Island was Australia’s largest shipbuilding yard.

Below is a Horse Shoe Bend on the Gordon River.

This is as far as the commercial cruise vessels can go. The speed limit is 6 knots erosion was being caused to the river banks. For a commercial vessel to gain access its wake must no more than 3 inches at 6 knots.

In 1982 the Tasmanian govt wanted to build a dam on the Gordon River that would have flooded the Franklin River valley. In December 1982 conservationists protested with success which led to the birth of the Greenies.
They also set up protests at the landing where the stores etc were to be unloaded. Some chained themselves to equipment whilst others chained themselves in the tree tops. Over 1200 were arrested.
When the pilot said we were going to land at the Sir John Falls I envisioned a lake/lagoon somewhere. Boy was I wrong!





Getting out again was just as much fun!



This is what it looks like!





Remember the copper mine at Queenstown?

This what dumping 9 tons of copper tailings a day will do ta river. Nothing lives in the river. They say it will 1,000 years for the toxins to be completely washed out of the silt.

Ben – our pilot. He’s still in shorts! When the season ends at Strahan he’s heading to Broome to fly float planes to the Horizontal Falls and hopes to eventually fly in Canada.

Awesome trip so far and ticking heaps off my bucket list.
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Old 11-12-2014, 03:03 PM   #10
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Gotta love Tassie, bikers heaven!
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Old 11-13-2014, 02:30 PM   #11
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Strahan to Devonport

Day 14 – Thursday 03 Apr
Strahan to Deloraine

Long day today with a mix of weather, cold and misty in the morning, light rain around noon and clear in the afternoon.
Rode up to Marrawah in the far North West of Tassie then back to Deloraine. Stayed there for the night and plan to drive around the Highland Lakes tomorrow.
Today – 537km. Total – 4,741km


Day 15 – Friday 04 Apr
Deloraine to Launceston
What should have been a straight forward ride from Deloraine to Launceston via the Great Lake turned into an adventure ride when the GPS had a spaz attack.
Instead of taking me South West it took me South East. By Bracknell I realized something was wrong and cross referenced with my map. Entered in a new destination and all went well until I got into the hills. Stopped at a house for directions and the lady met me in the drive with “GPS playing up?” says she. “Yes.” Says I. “Happens all the time up here.” Says she. With verbal directions I set off again.
What should have been a 30km ride had turned into a 79km ride with the last 35km being on windy dirt roads with steep climbs and descents. Spent most of the morning in 1st and 2nd gears.




This flat section doesn’t do it justice but it was the safest place to stop.


I was where it says..”You are here” funnily enough.


Looking south from “You are here”
I rode two thirds of the way round and it was 83km.



Looks like a river. You don't get many roads like this in WA.



They take their toll on the tyres.

Today – 239km. Total – 4,980km


Day 16 – Saturday 05 Apr
Launceston to Devonport

Last day in Tassie today. First job of the day was to change the back wheel on the bike.


As worn as it was it’s actually exactly what’s needed.
Because the bike doesn’t lean around corners a squared off tyre gives a bigger contact patch with the road than a new rounded tyre. I’ve been scouring the internet for ages looking for 19x4 squared tyres with an aggressive pattern. If anyone knows of some then please post the link.
After lunch with Marc and Jesse, Belinda was in Hobart shopping with friends from Wollongong, it was off to Devonport to board the ferry.
Daylight saving ends tonight. I lost 3hrs on the way over but will only get 2hrs back on my return.
What a rip off!

Today – 101km. Total – 5,081km
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Old 11-13-2014, 02:40 PM   #12
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I'm enjoying your report and pic's
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Old 11-14-2014, 12:34 AM   #13
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What a good place for a trip. Have only seen Tassie while ashore from NZ ship visits to Hobart and Devonport. My wife borrowed a camper van one winter and spent 30 winter days there on her own. I liked the ride across the Nullabor also. To bad about the rain but hopefully it is still enjoyable.
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Old 11-15-2014, 03:48 AM   #14
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Melbourne to Home

Day 17 – Sunday 06 Apr
Port Melbourne to Mildura

Ferry docked at 0600hrs. We had access to vehicles by 0630hrs and were on our way by 0645hrs.
First stop was Ballarat to meet up with Bob. Bob is one of the Maintenance Team Leaders on the platform. I stayed with Bob and his family in Geelong last year when I rode the Sportster around Oz.
Bob has a Harley Davidson Softail that his wife gave him for his birthday several years ago. He recently finished a major rebuild of the bike during which time he installed a new back wheel.



Bob’s bike with new exhaust and paint job.
It has gold flecks which sparkle in the sun.



Beauty and the beast…..I’ll let you decide which is which.
Note that the Urals front tyre is wider than the Harleys.



Not so the rear.
That tyre is huge and required a major rebuild of the backend.



Bob the Builder.


Oxymoron!

Today – 545km. Total – 5,626km

Day 18 – Monday 7 Apr
Mildura to Burra

Brekky was included at the motel so we were on the road by 0830hrs.
Lunched in Broken Hill where Bob was born and raised.
We’ve had 2 days of perfect riding weather. Hard to believe.
Then on to Burra in South Australia to visit with Rowan and Sharon Selby. Rowan is an electrician on the platform.
The Selby’s live in a 100+ year old cottage made of stone with walls over 400mm thick. They’ve just bought a new property – 5 bedroom stone house on 111acres complete with a lake and 1km long driveway. Can’t wait to see what they make of it.

Today – 653km. Total – 6,279km
Day 19 – Tuesday 08 Apr
Burra to Kimba
Bob and I went our separate ways today. Bob back to Melbourne via Adelaide and myself taking a circuitous route to Kimba.
Back tracked slightly to get to Peterborough where I visited the local motorbike museum.
When I was in the Army and drove home the 4,000km from east to west coasts I would pass through Horrocks Pass between Wilmington and Port Augusta. I always wanted to ride it on a bike. I think I should have done it on the way to Tassie instead of on the way home. After the roads in Tassie it was relatively tame.
Just to put things in perspective it rained all day today so everything is back to normal.

Today – 328km. Total – 6,607km


Day 20 – Wednesday 09 Apr
Kimba to Madura Pass
Left Kimba at 0630hrs in darkness and pissing rain. No surprises there!
Some of you may remember this photo –



Saturday 18 Sep 2010. Svetlana was 2 weeks old and still looked presentable.
What a difference 3.5 years and >25,000km makes –



Wednesday 09 Mar 2014
Huge day for Svetlana today with 985km on the clock and a gain of 1.5hrs on crossing back into WA.
The weather was so bad the "Grey Nomads" (retirees) had booked out all the motels and Roadhouses instead of sleeping in their caravans and motorhomes.
Just had to keep riding until i found a room.

Today – 985km. Total – 7,592km
Day 21 – Thursday 10 Apr
Madura Pass to Norseman
Nice sedate ride today after yesterday’s long ride. Nothing to report.
Today – 528km. Total – 8,120km

Day 22 – Friday 11 Apr
Norseman to Home
250km of dirt which took 5 hours 3 weeks ago in the rain took 4 hours today.
Uneventful trip back home.

Today – 678km. Total – 8,798km

Whilst the Harley would have been perfect for the long haul from Bunbury to Melbourne and back it would have been a handful in Tassie with the narrow, winding roads similar to Atherton last year. The Ural was perfect for Tassie.


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Old Yesterday, 04:03 PM   #15
Steppy OP
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One last photo

I had to get back home in time to be Best Man at my mates wedding.

Took him to the church on the Ural. Got lots of waves and smiles, even from the local coppers!

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