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Old 01-30-2010, 10:58 PM   #1
hattah79 OP
hattah79's Avatar
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Somerville VIC AUST
Oddometer: 983
A 640 and a 690 KTM In outback Australia

ALL times are based on Melbourne clock settings AND
My pictures are in colour
Terry’s are in a sort of “sepia” (thanks to his son he thinks)
Always check camera settings

It Friday 25 September 2009
I am sitting in my office looking out at the rain and occasional hail pelting in to my KTM 640 as she sits on the trailer
Hopefully when I leave in 5 hours the bad weather will have passed
Don’t fancy the 4 hour drive to Echuca in this weather
As the staff from my department leave for the day they all wish me well and laugh in their hands as they mention the weather
Due to leave work at 5pm but it is raining harder than before
“Bugger this” on goes the rain coat go hook up the trailer
A quick goodbye to the guys up stairs not really only went to get a Jim Beam

I am on the road at 5.45 No need to rush
Just glad I am not riding to Echuca
On the way I give inmate TEZZA (Terry) a call
Terry is meeting me in the morning
He is bringing his KTM 690 over from Porepunka on the trailer
This is Terry’s second attempt at this type of trip with me as last year his KTM 990
Fuel pump failed and he was on the way home only after 30kms
Arriving at Echuca at 10 pm I drop the Ute, trailer and bike at a clients factory and he takes me down to the Bowls club to catch up with his fiancée and a couple of mates for a drink or two
So much for getting to bed early I hit bed at 2 am

Saturday 26th
By 10.45 am we are on our way under grey skies
Light drizzle and a drop in temperature has us stopping at Denilliquine putting on the balaclavas and water proof pants
Strong cross winds have us all over the place as we head toward to Hay
We stop and refuel the bikes and our bodies’ at1.30 pm
I fill both tanks and as I struggle to get the Kato on the centre stand petrol is dribbling out the fuel cap on the main tank
Pour water over the tank and engine I don’t want a BBQ
Off with the cap and soak up fuel in top of tank maybe just expansion
No I had forgotten to turn off tap on front tank so Bum tank draining into front tank
Out of Hay heading north to Ivanhoe and to battle those cross winds and gray skies
We seemed to head for a rain filled gray/black cloud when the road would turn away and we would stay dry but not for long
It felt like the temperature had dropped even further and the HAIL that started to bombarded us was the outcome
Strong cross winds and hail “oh what fun “ Yes it was all part of the adventure
At 4.30pm we arrive at Ivanhoe refuel and decide to keep heading north and camp somewhere along the LONGEST PADDOCK

The road turns to gravel 5 Km out of town
A camp site is found off the road and the wind had finally stopped

As 3 cattle trucks rumbled past on the corrugated gravel road
We had something to eat rang the respective families talked a while before going to bed
Up early and heading north to Willcannia
Well not too early we set off at 9.30
So much for the early starts
Who cares we are on holidays
My 640e loaded ready to go

The gravel road is good with the occasional soft patch and ruts but 90 to 100kph speeds are easy to maintained

Terry has the 690 humming along

After 140kms we hit the tar road I see Terry in my right mirror in the right lane He starts to move up beside me I thought he wanted to “discuss “something as our radio headsets had failed not long before hand
As I bring my eyes back to the road in front I spot something sliding toward me from ahead of me and to the left
It’s an Emu sliding in at a 45deg angle to my bike
I brake as it slides past my front wheel without contact heading for Terry
He sees it coming brakes as the Emu stands up between the both of us and darts off behind me
We both slow, speed up, slow down not really comprehending just what happened
11.30 And we arrives at the BP servo at Willcania (cheap fuel)

We are told that the road from Cobar to Wilcannia was closed yesterday due to another dust storm
Terry and I are glad we missed that storm

Lunch stop at Wilcania and a chat to some other travelers

Out of town heading for Wanaaring and on to another gravel road at last
This road has patches of large rocks and floodways that can cause troubles to the unaware Long straights with the occasional “s” bend to slow you down as you go through dry creek beds

I see Terry has stopped in the distance so I slow as to not cover him in dust
“What’s up” I say
“Thought I was getting tiered and can’t control bike but I have a flat front tyre”
Terry replies
Bugger no centre stand on the 690 so we had to improvise

This won’t take long 4WDs slow and we give them a wave as all is ok
Except Terry’s compressor pump gives up so out with mine and before we know the 690 is back on the ground
We should be able to get from Peery Lake to Wanaaring before night fall as it’s only about 145Kms if we don’t have any problems
Terry heads off into the distance and I follow keeping out of the dust
Two 4WDs in the distance off to the side of the road are given a wave as we pass
Road has the occasional cattle grid and as I vibrate my way across one on a slight bend I am confronted with a big cloud of dust and a kangaroo in the middle of it
“What the” as the dust clears Terry has stopped his bike and walking around
“I hit a roo “he yells “It hoped away “I tell him
He is ok but a bit of damage to his bike Headlight globe broken and the mounts but lens OK

Plenty of “roo”fur on the Safari tank

While we were getting things fixed the two 4WDs pulled up and they tell us of a lot of wildlife out at the moment and to be very careful when we go through Nocoleche nature reserve further up the road
With Terry’s bike fixed we head off

Traveling down the middle of this road with an my eyes scanning the sides for kamikaze roos I spot one coming in from my right
Roll off throttle gentle dab on the brakes and he hops across in front of me
All OK until he slips over and in his panic bounces back up and crashes into my left shin
“That Hurt Crap “
Stop the bike and see something flapping in my shadow
Dam he has torn open my panniers but no just snapped one of the Gotcha straps I look back down the road and can see I got of better then the roo

Terry arrives on the scene shortly with the two 4WDs close behind
All are surprised I am not on the ground hurt
Good boots and Knee braces took the force as the roo hit
KTM 1 Roo 0
The guys in the 4wds are going to Wanaaring after a detour and if we have any dramas they will be behind us to help
Plenty more wild life seen as we head into wanaaring but we agree If there is a chance of animals coming onto the road Just stop ASAP and let the beast get away from us
Arriving at Wannaring we decide a pub meal is in order
We pull up outside the shop and go for a walk and come across the owner behind the shop watering his grass and trees
He tells us “set up anywhere but be careful not to close to the fence as my dogs will piss on your tents “
A spot is found close to amenities block

As for the pub no good the publican was off at the golf club for a function So plan 2 swings into action Tell the guy who owns the shop and he whips us up a bowl of fish and chips with a couple of bottles of coke to go with the JB

This little oasis is great and the owners are good people to very accomidating
The nest morning we refuel get Terry a new tube and head off to Hungerford

As I pass through the gate I mention to Terry about the freeplay in the 640s clutch lever “It will be allright “
We ride past the pub Terry radios to me “Wheres the fuel”and before I could answer a female voice comes back “its behind the pub”
A thankyou and a u turn see us filling up from the above ground tanks behind the pub

At the next intesection it was a left to Thargomindah
Terry had his SPOT tracker operational so the good folks at home could see where we were But I had to keep reminding him to press the tracking button when we turned
So at the next corner we stop I give a Terry a slap on helmet he returns the gesture and the race (kind of) is on 165 kms
WTF I get a nuetral as I shift into second Clutch it before I slam it into first
Bugger that clutch lever comes to the grip with no resistance
Bike still has drive so it’s a broken clutch cable
Th two way radios fault has returned so no getting Terry to come back So I decide to ride the 165Kms with a broken clutch cable
Good idea as long as I don’t stop, fall off ,or need a piss

This road is a challenge deep soft sandy patches are treated with respect
Terry has stopped up ahead as I slow and circle him like a white pointer after a injured seal I shout to him about clutch and wobble the clutch lever
We decided to head for town and replace the cable as it was bloody hot out here
I arrived first looking for fuel and a place to do repairs as it would not be easy to start the bike without clutch Stopping at the Toyota dealer Had a chat with a father (Vstrom) and son(KLR) that were on there way to Noccundra We may catch up latter
I was fueling up as Terry arrived I told the lady behind the counter about what we had to do and she suggest we head to the truck stop on the edge of town Great we thought how are we going to do this
We pushed the bike up onto the centre of the divided road as this was the only“hill”we could find
I sat on the bike Terry pushed I hit the go button slammed it in to first and headed off
It was a good spot shower toilet table and chairs and cover to get out of the sun

A quick repair Pull out old cable connect up new one that was already run along other cable
As we worked away a family arrived in a 4WD the kids needed a shower as it seemed one of them had a problem with holding in lunch
Terry got out his phone and gave his wife a call but it was going to message bank
Just as Terry started to leave a message The Mother/wife of the spew covered family shouts out “OH BABY GET OFF THE PHONE AND COME BACK TO BED”
This line of chat was ongoing as she was only about 2 meters from Terry
This was recorded on to the message we could not believe what she had done but I also could not stop laughing
She was probably fed up with Hubby He was trying to repair one of those stable tables with supa glue and trying to give the kids a lesson on how it worked
Within minutes Terry’s phone rang
No hello No how are you just “who was that woman”
Terry was trying to explain but the woman started again but this time her friend had also joined in with the comments
Explanations given and all was well But it was bloody funny
I made my call to wife out of site of these devilish women
With repairs done we were off to Noccundra

On arrival we headed for the river and met up with the two guys from Thargomindah They told us that if we needed fuel to get it now as no fuel tomorrow
Well Mr. Personality filled the bikes and after his all too welcoming comments NOT

We decided it was cooking by the river

Today we would head to Innamincka Another early start I don’t think so

I stopped when I saw this thing coming

So did Terry but down wind

A picture says a thousand words

A welcome stop for fuel and some lunch at 12.40

We depart at 2.15 and head towards n the Bore Track
Unfortunately one of the arms breaks on my glasses I will fix that later

On the Bore track heading south
Corrugations a plenty

The view from one of the many dunes

I decided to stop and wait for Terry and as he came into sight I went to go and stalled the bike in the deep soft sand
Push the button but nothing
No lights no horn bugger
Strip the bike down to check fuses and wiring

Nothing wrong except the battery was totally flat I suspect a victim off all the corrugations
Disconnect the head light for less drag on system
Try to kick start Not easy with knee braces on and a left side kick starter
She fired up so I turned it off assembled and repacked only to find we could not get her restarted
We tried to bump start
No go
Lets jump start it
The old clutch cable came into its own all we needed was a another piece of wire
So where is that fencing wire you always hear about when you are out in the outback
Can’t find a piece anywhere
I was sure all I would need is a jump start
We try again to kick start
Terry kicks it from the front She won’t fire
Expletive, expletive ,expletive
After much discussion on what it may or may not be
We decide I will camp the night and Terry would go down to the Bollards Lagoon He will be there before dark and send back a vehicle in the morning
After picking a place for the tent I decided to give the kick starter another prod
The old girl comes to life
Quickly putting the gear back on I am out of here with only 44 Kms to Bollards lagoon I won’t have to ride to far in the dark
As I rode on the sun dropped and darkness fell I had to stop and reconnect the headlight
Without stopping the motor , dropping the bolts or spanner
The headlight would go from bright to dull as the thermo fan would kick in so I would ease up
Crossing sections of the dried lagoons where wheel tracks seem to stretch for hundreds of meters from side to side but all going in one direction
A look at the speedo tells me I should be at the homestead by now
But a later look at the map tells me why I am not
I had not reset speedo at the start of Bore track
A 163Km track was now 182 Km long and I had broken down at 119kms
Fuel was not going to be an issue With all these tracks it must be a well used area
As I crested the next dune I am confronted by a gate and on inspection of the ground I can see Terry’s tyre imprint in the sand

I could see small puffs of dust in the beam of the headlight As these grew bigger I was sure I was catching up to Terry

But not unless he was riding one of the dozen or so cattle running down the track in front of me
Alone in the dark the old mind does play tricks
Visions of Mouse McCoy just before his crash in Dust To Glory
I finally reached the homestead to find Terry had organized a lift for me and he had headed to Cameron Corner and would return in the morning
I thanked them for the offer to come and get me and headed to the corner
Arriving at the Corner at 9.15 pm Terry was very glad to see me
My 2 ½ hour night ride was finished
After dinner and drinks time for bed

The next morning I put in the contact lenses and had a look around for some wire to make some jumper leads that I would leave attached permanatley to the dead battery
After chatting to a guy in a caravan and telling him what I wanted to do he gave me a length of wire with a clamp on each end Cut in half I have two jumper leads
This is the result

Travelling along this road you get an idea on how much wheel spin you have as you go from soft sand to the hard packed clay and get instant traction

Not long after leaving the corner we stopped at the memorial for Brad Holmes an ADV inmate who passed away earlier this year on a ride similar to ours
Having a moment of thought on what had happened and what can happen when riding out here
With this in mind and a look down at the picture of the family safely tucked in my tank bag The ride into Tibooburra was a somber one

Arriving at Tibooburra We refueled the bikes had lunch and repaired my glasses With the aid of a “Leatherman” we borrowed from a young guy from Wodonga who was up there with his family He was very interested as he also owned a KTM
Just as we getting our gear on a Ute pulls up with a BMW 1200 on board
He had transmission or drive line problem just south of Innamincka and his
Wife and her friend had driven up from Beechworth in Victoria to pick him up
Small world Terry knew of a guy that knew this guy
I did ask for his battery but it was too big

We headed to Whitecliffs and it was blowing a gale
From Tibooburra to the turn off to Whitecliffs the dirt road has sections of bitumen or is that the other way round
The Tool Tree

A sapling

The road from the “tool tree “to White cliffs is made for Adventure bikes
Wide road long corners dotted with the odd hill and the occasional cattle grid of floodway too keep you interested
After setting up camp and a shower at the “caravan park “at White Cliffs it was to the pub for some dinner and drinks

More disaster as we had not “phoned in” and reserved a spot the cook was not cooking any more
WTF It was 7.00 pm
So across the road to the shop for some chips and bread rolls
The road from here to Wicania was covered in road kill, bits of road kill or blood stains from road kill
There was something at least every 50 meters
The run back to Hay was uneventful but was made bearable when we fitted the sound cancelling ear buds to the mp3 player and rocked our way along the road

At Hay we decided to spend up and get a cabin and not pitch the tents as rain was forecast
The caravan park was a very short walk from the pub

Great meals and drink a recap on the trip and back to the cabin

A quick pit stop at Deny

It was a 2 1/2 hour run back to Echucha where we loaded up the bikes and said our good byes
Except for me I had to wait for another 1 ½ hours for the RACV to come and start the ute
A great trip even with the little dramas But that’s Adventure riding and
great company
Thanks Terry
Distance 2800 kms
The rear tyre a Dunlop D606 is pretty well stuffed
Hope you enjoyed
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:56 PM   #2
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Joined: Jul 2008
Location: N.E.Vic,Australia
Oddometer: 303
Wicked ADV ride

Hi Don , thanks for doing the report of our ride it is a ride to remember and was worth every miniute of the ride .
This is one to tell the Grandchildren ( When and if we ever have any????)
KTM 520 EXE.
Now the Perfect pair!!!!
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Old 01-31-2010, 12:22 AM   #3
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Joined: Jun 2006
Location: Land of droughts, and flooding rains
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Thanks for a great report and a preview of what we'll be doing in August
And at night the wondrous glory of the everlasting stars.
Quorn Schnitzel club
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Old 01-31-2010, 12:58 AM   #4
Sherpa-ing around
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Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Lone Pine, ON, Canada
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Thanks for the RR................
I'd rather die living than live dying.

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Old 01-31-2010, 01:33 AM   #5
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Joined: Dec 2006
Location: was Kununurra, now Carnarvon, Australia
Oddometer: 2,297
Great stuff mate

Can we have bigger pics next time?
Some men like the fish'n,
Some men like the foul'n,
Some men like to hear........
to hear the cannonball a roar'n!
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Old 01-31-2010, 02:39 AM   #6
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: May 2007
Location: Stirling North South Australia
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Good ride report , Thank you for posting.
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:02 AM   #7
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Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Alberta
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Originally Posted by LC8TY
Great stuff mate

Can we have bigger pics next time?
Ditto. I would love to see the pictures. I also like the pictures from Terry. They have a washed out 70's look.
Save $5 on Smugmug by using this code. LW9ZIPzdRGzaI
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:36 AM   #8
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: Mar 2008
Location: VA
Oddometer: 567
Put another Roo on the barbie. Great ride, the dust has to suck and what's with those dam roo's there dumber then our deer, more like a retarded rat.
Knuckle Dragging Silver Back

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Old 01-31-2010, 01:52 PM   #9
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Joined: Aug 2007
Location: Brisvegas, Northside
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Great report and pics guys.
Well done

You think hiring a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an Amateur!
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:41 PM   #10
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Dec 2003
Location: Hawkesbury NSW Australia
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Great report thanks for sharing! Love that part of the world!
"Motorcyclist are always going to be frowned a pond..." an inmate in the AUS group

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Old 02-01-2010, 05:13 AM   #11
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Joined: Dec 2007
Location: North Perth
Oddometer: 1,278
Nice RR! Pics need to be bigger though try 800x600 next eyes are hurting (or perhaps I just need glasses, I'm about that age...)
Rudall River Ride 2011 Kimberley Ride 2012
Australasian Safari 2012 Gascoyne Dash Racer 2012

Take risks and live an extraordinary life!
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Old 02-03-2010, 02:56 AM   #13
need constant supervision
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Location: Canberra ACT
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good one boys
Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out? Will Rogers
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:04 AM   #14
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Location: N.E.Vic,Australia
Oddometer: 303

Thanks for the memorys Don .
KTM 520 EXE.
Now the Perfect pair!!!!
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Old 02-07-2010, 06:15 PM   #15
Holding the Awesome
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Location: Tokyo at the moment
Oddometer: 550

Nice report emus are the worst i think you cant tell where they are going to go
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