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Old 07-08-2014, 03:18 PM   #1
kano650 OP
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Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Adelaide - nth east side
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Birdsville or Bust

Destination: Simpson Desert Australia

Twelve months of planning and two days out from the trip I was rushing around still trying to get organised. I’d been ticking major things off the list for months and was confident the bike was well prepared it was the minor things that had me running around like a maniac the day before. Over the last few months I’d slowly been setting the Xchallenge up for this trip. I’d installed a safari tank (25.5L total fuel capacity), HotRod racks, bar risers, heated grips, hardwired GPS mount, SM Pro rims (the BMW wheels are rubbish), and fixed the seat on the X. My only concerns with the bike was the Bash Plate and the subframe. Too late to do anything about those things now. The day before the trip I had some problems with the electrics I'd installed months earlier so spent half the day sorting that out. By about 7.30pm I had the bike packed ready for an early start. We were aiming to get to Angorichina Village in the Flinders Ranges on the first night but had adequate supplies to camp on the side of the road if need be.

Day 1.

Tony and Dave arrived at my place at 7am. As we were getting ready to leave I couldn’t find the bloody SPOT! I wasted ˝ an hour pulling ALL my gear out looking just about everywhere, then explained to my wife the SPOT had grown legs and run away so she wouldn’t be getting OK messages each day as promised. As well as this, family and friends who had been given the URL to the SPOT tracker wouldn’t be able to follow our ride. To say I was annoyed with myself is a major understatement but all I could do was put it behind me and move on. If this was the worst thing that happens on the trip then we’re doing pretty well.

As I was bidding my farewells to the family I pulled my gloves from my helmet and guess what I found? Yep, the SPOT.





We headed out Main North Road and against Tony’s better judgement picked up some dirt roads just past Two Wells north of Adelaide.



Fifteen minutes later and Tony put the DR down in some clay and bent his handlebars. At that point I thought his trip was over before it had barely begun. Tony the optimist says in a very matter of fact tone, “You guys just go to the nearest farmhouse and get some pipe so we can bend these bars back into shape”. Righto mate. So, Dave and I rode off on a mission and returned 5 minutes later with the pipe.





We straightened his handlebars out and continued on to Snowtown for lunch.



We couldn’t resist having a squiz at the “Bodies in the Barrels” bank while we were here. It’s been bought by an entrepreneur for an undisclosed sum who’s going to turn it into a tourist attraction. For now it’s just... well this..



Upon Tony’s orders for making him crash earlier Dave tried to put me in a barrel.



But I convinced Dave he’ll need me around to help lift his bike up in the Simpson so he let me go and we headed north towards the Flinders Ranges.
It was getting late in the day so we made camp for the night somewhere outside Hawker.


kano650 screwed with this post 07-08-2014 at 06:08 PM
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:41 PM   #2
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Day 2.

We packed up early and turned off the bitumen not far from Hawker and rode some lovely tracks into the southern Flinders. We were planning to do a loop up to Arkaroola and then across to Leigh Creek but about 20km east of Blinman Dave’s oil filler cap vibrated loose and oil sprayed all over his engine and riding pants. After patching it up with cloth tape and a few washers we decided to head towards Angorichina and Blinman to see if we could find a permanent fix for Dave’s bike. We downed a couple of beers and had lunch at the Blinman hotel then rode to Angorichina Village to see Dave. His wife has a DRZ400 and we thought the oil cap might be a direct fit. As it turned out the DRZ doesn’t have an oil fillerl cap but he rustled up some old irrigation parts that did the job.



The weather had been getting progressively worse all day so we got a cabin for the night.




kano650 screwed with this post 07-08-2014 at 05:47 PM
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:45 PM   #3
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Day 3.

We took the road through Parachilna back to the highway and headed up to Leigh Creek and stopped at the Bakery. Later in the afternoon we reached William Creek, bought some takeaways and made camp a few km’s north.





Lake Eyre





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Old 07-08-2014, 06:05 PM   #4
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Day 4.

We managed to get away by about 8.30 and headed up to Oodnadatta so Tony could get his rack fixed.



Dingo on the Oodnadatta track



The pink shite hole





We got out of Oodnatta as soon as we could and made tracks towards Mt Dare.







I experienced a bit of a fuel problem approx 120km from Mt Dare when the fuel light came on unexpectantly. There was plenty of fuel in the Auxillary tank but the main tank was at reserve level. It had to be a vacuum leak in the plumbing somewhere so I tightened everything up which seemed to fix the problem.



We arrived at Mt Dare and checked into the caravan park. That night we had dinner at the pub, drank a few beers and made some phone calls to loved ones. Mt Dare has a very limited “supermarket” so it was lucky we’d brought most things we needed for the Simpson crossing already.





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Old 07-08-2014, 08:20 PM   #5
CCCC
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Keep it coming!! Looking forward to some Simpson pictures.
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:32 PM   #6
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Excellent RR Kano

Keep it coming

Cheers
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:04 PM   #7
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Day 5.

Last night was cold and we woke up to a bit of ice on the bikes.



Tony had his rack re-welded and fixed up his luggage system while Dave did an oil change.



We met a group of 4x4 blokes yesterday from Melbourne who were heading into the Simpson but they weren’t sure if they were going to take the French Line or Rig Road. We were taking the French Line but planned to stop and smell the roses first at Dalhousie Springs.







There’s thousands of tiny fish in the hot Springs and if you remain still in the water they swarm all over your body eating your dead skin. It’s quite therapeuatic.



They indulged in a frenzied meal on Dave.



After Dalhousie Springs we headed off to Purnie Bore and bumped into our new 4x4 mates from Mt Dare. They mentioned sharing a beverage with us tonight but we wanted to get a few more kilometres under our belts so we thanked them and said we may run into them a bit later.





We made camp at 3.30pm about 40km east of Purnie Bore. At about 4pm the 4x4 guys appeared over the red sand dunes and called us on the UHF asking if we’d mind if they set up camp across the track from us. We said no worries we’ll come over and say g’day after we get organised.







We went over and visted Sprinter and Co after tea and they kindly shared a few bottles of their good red. Great night with lots of laughs around their fire.


kano650 screwed with this post 07-09-2014 at 09:53 PM
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:33 PM   #8
TonyRDR
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Great start to the RR mate I can't believe you got it started so soon.
It was great to ride with you guys' great memories and loads of funny moments.
Have already been talking with Prasad re the possibility of a Cape trip in a couple of years, he seems very interested. Would be great if you and Dave can make it would be great if we get the whole gang together.

Keep up the good work Cheers Tony.
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:59 PM   #9
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Excellent Tony it was great to have you with us.

Definitely interested in a Cape York ride in the future.
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:08 PM   #10
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Day 6.

We packed up camp and left around 8.30am after a quick farewell to the boys across the track. We knew today was going to be a big day’s ride and just wanted to get stuck into it. We were aiming to get close to Poepples Corner today.





After hitting the Simpson proper Dave appeared to be riding the dunes very well. Unbeknown to me and Tony though he was struggling with his fitness and wasn't sure if he could mentally get through another 350km of this stuff.



We agreed to let Dave ride in front for a while and give him more opportunity to decide whether to keep going or turn back. So we pressed on and thankfully Dave found riding in front suited him and he decided to continue through to Birdsville. After that point he never looked back.







We made camp later that day on the side of the track. Lo and behold who comes over the dune half an hour later but our 4x4 buddies again. It was getting late so they pulled in and camped next to us. Sprinter was kind enough to give us a beer each which after a day riding a fully loaded adventure bike through the dunes tasted bloody great!
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Old 07-10-2014, 03:12 AM   #11
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Day 7.

Tony’s top rack broke again yesterday for the third time on the trip so he opted to give some of his gear to the guys in the 4x4’s and travel with them until Birsville. Dave and I would ride ahead having reached an agreement we’d regroup in Birdsville if not sooner.

























We stopped at Poepples Corner for lunch and a sticky beak.





So we downed our rations and headed off in the direction of the QAA line. The bikes hardly got out of first and second gears on the French Line with an average speed of about 25-30kph. We’d heard the dunes get bigger on the QAA line with a faster and straighter angle of attack. We were looking forward to that.



There’s more vegetation along the QAA line with many Acacia and Eucalyptus trees that weren’t present on the French Line (or perhaps I was too busy trying to stay upright to notice them).







We made camp at around 4pm fairly certain we wouldn’t be seeing Tony and the guys until Birdsville.



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Old 07-10-2014, 04:02 AM   #12
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Day 8.

We’d decided last night to aim for an early start this morning and got away by about 8am. The shadows over the tracks made a few sand dunes more interesting but soon the sun was high enough in the sky not to cause any problems. We were aiming to get to Birdsville by lunch time. Blasting up many of the sand dunes in third and fourth gear meant we made pretty good time.








Eyre Creek.







We arrived at Big Red (the biggest dune in the Simpson Desert) by about 10am which gave us plenty of time to play and still be at the pub by lunch.
Dave blasted up first getting to the top first go.







I had two cracks at the far left track to get to the top.



































Getting off Big Red proved more difficult than getting up but after getting bogged a couple of times and some serious rooster tailing we made it off the hill and began the cruise into Birdsville on the gravel.



We’d been there no more than an hour when Tony enters the pub. He’d done a bullet run from the corner of the QAA turn off near Poepples Corner and had an excellent ride in. We all celebrated with a few drinks and a burger and set off to book into the caravan park.





We checked into a cabin, did some washing and and headed back to the pub for tea. We met up with the 4x4 crew there and shouted them tea and a few beers for their generosity (apparently Tony had been dining on steak and fine wine ).





Glad none of us needed this.

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Old 07-10-2014, 04:57 AM   #13
Dee Cee
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Excellent fellas, we did this a couple of years ago, makes me want to do it again.
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Old 07-10-2014, 05:07 AM   #14
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Excellent RR and photos. Looks like you guys had a great trip.
Looking at th XC quite wistfully. Great bike, particularly the motor. Agree with your comment on the rims - made of putty. Did you ditch the airbag?
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Old 07-10-2014, 03:22 PM   #15
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