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Old 04-13-2014, 01:18 AM   #1
black_labb OP
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Joined: Feb 2013
Location: Sydney, australia
Oddometer: 39
Question New rider - buying a bike and riding 700km home advice

I'm a new motorbike rider but not a stranger to 2 wheeled adventure. I've done quite a bit of bicycle touring (including the Bam road last year - www.crazyguyonabike.com/bam2013 ). I'd appreciate some guidance on my plan as described in way too many words below. There are more specific questions below in bold

I'm planning on getting a dualsport to do some motorbike touring as a method of trying to slow myself from pissing off overseas for months at a time and putting my mech engineering degree off any longer with more part time semesters and semesters off. I haven't done much bike touring in Australia as it is so sparse and I saw a lot of it as a kid. Revisiting isolated parts at 20km/hr doesn't have the same magic as overseas trips, but visiting it on a motorcycle is a different story.

Right now I'm looking at getting a DRZ 400 or a WR250R. I've got my eye on a DRZ400 that is available with plenty of extras including larger fuel tank, rack, second set of tyres and plenty more. The bike has had plenty of performance mods on it installed by a previous owner (current owner has done 10,000 of the 14,000km on the bike).

I can give myself 1 days to get to the bike via public transport and ride it back over the 3 following days which would really enjoyable and not too quick a pace at about 250km a day. The bike is located the outback and there are plenty of quiet roads to ride on the way back to Sydney from paved highways to red dirt and gravel tracks. I would need to organise a courier to collect the spare wheels, tyre, original exhaust plastics etc and ship them to me - to seller said he was happy to help me out with organising this/dropping the box off somewhere.

What I need advice on is

What tools/spares should I take along? - I'm thinking enough tools to change a flat (including front and rear tubes) and maybe get to the carb to try and fix flooding if the carb gets flooded. The bike has an after market kickstart mounted so that could be help in some types of trouble. I have a spot tracker somewhere that I can take along in case of being stranded with no other options, though with enough water and decent hiking boots from the bag I should be able to walk to a travelled road with some traffic where I can hitch a ride somewhere if I a really stuck.

Should I put the dirt tyres on and ride as much dirt roads as possible on the way back. Using google maps and street view I can route most of the first half of the ride off of the blacktop on quite straight flat semi-desert roads. From google street view they don't look to be sandy at all and fairly well maintained (at some point anyway). The Dirt tyres are dunlop D606's, The rear is reportedly at 30% wear and the front is 90%; a new d606 is also provided but I'd probably prefer to wear out the worn one and change to the new one when the bike gets home. Alternatively I can put the road tyres and stick to the black top (much can be ridden off the main hightways until I get closer to Sydney. Keep in mind that as a learner license holder I legally have to stay under 90km/hr, and that would suit the bike better anyway. The Dirt roads would be more enjoyable to me IMO and I would be safe from other drivers (it is a long weekend and the roads will be busier than normal)

Regarding fatigue management I plan on riding about an hour at a time and stop to make some tea/eat/take photos/nap/whatever to give myself a break from riding so I don't get tired and make silly mistakes. The region is nice and open and finding spots to stop, take some photos etc will be no trouble.

Riding Gear hasn't been bought yet, I'll probably go and put some stuff on tomorrow or the next day. I'll be taking protection fairly seriously with mx boots, armoured jacket along the lines of the fox titan sports jacket (http://www.mcas.com.au/motocross-arm...Path=149_4689& ) and of course a DS helmet and decent gloves. What is reccomended for pants? I'm thinking of some road style pants with a built in knee protector. Is this a good plan? What do most riders do with upper body armour do for a jacket? It doesn't need to be as protective due to the armour underneath providing the impact resistance and some abrasion resistance, but a jacket is still necessary for warmth at speed and is convenient for pockets for a camera and similar. Maybe a hydration system if it doesn't add too much to the price.

What are the views on the neck guards? I'm considering one of the evs race collars. What are the views on these? Would it be reccomended to get one right away or wait and get one if I start to get into rougher or faster riding? Also what are people's thoughts on the lower level EVS collars? I don't see myself as being at risk enough to warrant the cost of a leatt, but the EVS models aren't prohibitively expensive. Is it likely to be a concern worth addressing and if so are they going to provide enough protection to warrant the purchase and extra (hopefully small) discomfort in wearing one?
ie r3 : http://www.mcas.com.au/motocross-arm...Path=149_4688&
r4: http://www.mcas.com.au/motocross-arm...Path=149_4688&
rc evo: http://www.mcas.com.au/motocross-arm...Path=149_4688&



I'm not a fast or risk taking rider, riding is about freedom and exporation for me. Of course learning means that I will make mistakes. With my cautious nature, a lot of experience with unpowered bike control from touring and years of bmx and some luck I think I am on the low end of injury risk. I am happy to ride a bicycle in traffic and already have most of the skills to be aware of the silly actions of drivers. On the other hand my experience with a motorbike is pretty much negligible - riding a couple km on a 2stroke 250 around a dirt block a few years ago, though it did feel perfectly natural until I put my foot down and remembered that it was a tall 100kg bike and not a pushbike like it was riding like - I nearly dropped it, though that was simply from the fact that it felt like a bicycle to handle and I had forgotten of the weight. I have two evenings of 3.5 hours each of rider training this week before I get my license so I will have some more experience soon and use that to gauge whether I would be ready for the ride home with the bike.

I will be carrying minimal camping gear and be pitching a tent where I can to sleep. I'll have about 5kg of tent, sleeping bag, mat, cooking gear and hiking boots. I'll also bring about 4L of water. I'm planning on bringing that with basic tools and spare tubes in a backpack strapped to the top of the rear rack. I may try and see if I can mount some things more central. The bike is coming with DRIRider panniers but he doesn't have a mounting rack to stop the panniers from swinging into the hot exhaust/moving parts so I'll have them sent to me with the rest of the new plastics, spare wheels etc and figure it out for the next ride. Does this weight seem reasonable for mounting on the rear rack or should I try to spread it out a bit with a tank mounted bag for some bits and pieces and try and minimise the water that is kept on the rear rack?

Thanks in advance for helpful replies
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:16 PM   #2
Capri142
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<<<<>>>

You need to spend a lot of time on the bike getting used to it, learning how to ride it, Maybe it is not even the bike you want to take on a long tour...Spend some time in the saddle getting a feel for the bike before you decide to head for the horizon. Then when you are ready take longer and longer rides. Ease into it lad. Motorcycles are not something you want to rush about.
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:39 PM   #3
black_labb OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capri142 View Post
<<<<>>>

You need to spend a lot of time on the bike getting used to it, learning how to ride it, Maybe it is not even the bike you want to take on a long tour...Spend some time in the saddle getting a feel for the bike before you decide to head for the horizon. Then when you are ready take longer and longer rides. Ease into it lad. Motorcycles are not something you want to rush about.

I was expecting that response.
I've spoke to the current owner and may end up meeting him part way cutting out the big section of potential dirt riding and making it a shorter ride. It's probably a good idea to get familiar with the bike before riding remote unsurfaced roads.
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Old 04-13-2014, 10:17 PM   #4
dnrobertson
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OK,

Here's the other extreme.

JUST DO IT.

250km a day. You could almost ride your push bike that distance.

If it's in the Outback, you maybe wouldn't see another car the first day

Of course, it depends on the bike being as good as you say.

And really, if it's only 750 kms away, surely somebody could be convinced to come and get you if the bike breaks and you cannot fix it.

Or buy your Road Association (RACV, NRMA, RACQ) top cover. It usually covers retrieval of a bike and transporting it home.

Have fun. Great way to learn your bike.

You might find some inmates out that way (your profile doesn't say where you live) that might ride with you for a while.
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:27 AM   #5
black_labb OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnrobertson View Post
OK,

Here's the other extreme.

JUST DO IT.

250km a day. You could almost ride your push bike that distance.

If it's in the Outback, you maybe wouldn't see another car the first day

Of course, it depends on the bike being as good as you say.

And really, if it's only 750 kms away, surely somebody could be convinced to come and get you if the bike breaks and you cannot fix it.

Or buy your Road Association (RACV, NRMA, RACQ) top cover. It usually covers retrieval of a bike and transporting it home.

Have fun. Great way to learn your bike.

You might find some inmates out that way (your profile doesn't say where you live) that might ride with you for a while.

I think I'll do the shorter ride simply because of logistics. This weekend could give me a few days to ride back but it doesn't really suit either of us really. I can go next week end and meet him half way and still ride back over 2.5 days (400km minimim, I'm planning a route that is 500km). That's with him meeting me part way; I get an afternoon for final inspection a, getting the gear mounted and getting on the road. I just wish I could ride those outback tracks, but I can do that another time.
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:03 PM   #6
Capri142
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First rides

Here's a blog note taken from my journal back in 1973 about my first MC ride. Thought you might find it interesting.

http://philsjourneys.com/first-ride/
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Capri142 screwed with this post 04-14-2014 at 08:12 PM
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Old 04-27-2014, 04:05 AM   #7
black_labb OP
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I got home today. The bike was good and ran well. Had a great time and zoomed through some beautiful roads at speeds much faster than I am used to on 2 wheels while still being slower than most anything when the road got twisty. I need to practice leaning into the corners more but I was surprised how comfortable riding I was.
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:54 AM   #8
Maggot12
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Congrats.. and have fun.
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