Across OZ... Corner by Corner

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by rider911, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. rider911

    rider911 Shortcut Navigator

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    Well it seems that lots of guys in OZ are out doing some big outback/desert trips this year. :clap

    My group has just returned from an epic trip across the middle of country from the west coast to the east coast and I thought you guys might want to have a look.

    We have a core group of 4 who like to stay well away from the bitumen and take the road less travelled and we like to do one big trip each year. As some of you would know, if you like the more adventurous riding it’s sometimes hard to find riding partners that enjoy the hard slog and are willing to push on. I am lucky to have these guys to ride with and enjoy some tracks and places that others only dream about.

    This year it was decided to ship our bikes from Central Queensland East Coast to Perth in Western Aust. We would then fly over and pick up the bikes and ride home through the centre, stopping off at Alice Springs to watch Australia’s biggest desert race (Finke) and then onto the Simpson Desert and home to the east coast in QLD.

    Because we had a year to organise the trip, the route changed a few times as I found new points of interest that NEEDED to be ticked off. Ultimately it was decided that we needed to start our easterly trek from Steep Point WA (which is a 1000kms north of Perth and is the most westerly point of Aust.) and then take in the Gunbarrel Hwy including the abandoned part thru to Surveyor Generals Cnr. If we were going to do SG corner then we may as well do all the other state corners as well.

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    These survey markers have no visual appeal, they are just a “been there done that” sort of thing.

    The other points of interest were The Olgas, Uluru, Kings Canyon, Finke Desert Race, Dalhousie Springs and the Simpson Desert via the French Line.

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    The problem was after cramming in all these places there was only a two week time frame because a couple of the guys worked for themselves and couldn't get any more time off. That meant 7500kms in 17 days with 2 days at Alice Springs for the Finke race didn’t leave much room for error when traversing some of the most demanding tracks in Australia on fully loaded bikes.
    During the lead up we picked up some more players, we now had 7 starting in Perth and 1 meeting us at Uluru. Some had long distance experience, some did not. Nothing like getting thrown in at the deep end! We made up some rules and expectations so that someone who turned up unprepared didn’t impact anyone else’s holiday given the limited time frame.

    None of us are photographers so some of the pics are less than perfect and my story telling maybe a bit ordinary.

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    Bikes waiting to be picked up by the bike freighters (Bikes Only)

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    Holy fuk, did he bring the kitchen sink on that KLR?

    The trip started with drama as not everyone was on the same plane to Brisbane and a power outage caused flight disruptions which meant Craig and I only made the connecting flight to Perth by seconds after being raced across the tarmac in a car. That might not sound too important except this was the last flight (midnight) and Craig and I were the organisers of the trip, the others had no idea about what was happening in Perth.

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    Us taking delivery of the bikes in Perth

    I was hoping this was not going to be a sign of things to come but we only made it 1km before we had to visit Super Cheap and dismantle a bike.

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    Wallys DR had a flat battery when we picked it up but once it started the carby spewed fuel out the breather and after trying to get the needle to seat with a few hits it had to be pulled apart. :cry
    I think every ride that Wally has come on this bike has given trouble, luckily we werent going far :rofl

    Now one of the things I was adamant about was that all the riders had to be able to navigate themselves with their GPS, people waiting on corners is last century and slows the trip too much. Of course at the first sightseeing detour (which was clearly marked on the GPS)
    The Pinnacles, only 3 of us managed to see them.

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    My big KTM


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    The highway runs very close to the ocean.

    We caught up to the rest and camped at Geraldton in a caravan park that took an hour to find the entrance.

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    The point of camping here was to make sure we hadnt left any camping gear behind before we left civilization. We could buy it here in the morning, the next major town was 4000kms away.
    We sent our bikes semi packed 1 month ago so it was easy to forget what we'd packed and what we hadnt.
    #1
  2. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

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    :lurk
    #2
  3. rider911

    rider911 Shortcut Navigator

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    A bloke's gotta sleep... and work :lol3
    #3
  4. jtb

    jtb Long timer

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    Hawkesbury NSW Australia
    Wow!

    :eek1 Keep 'er coming!
    #4
  5. jmcg

    jmcg Turpinated..

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    The Dandenong Ranges, Vic
    Awesome trip!

    Looking forward to more.

    Cheers,

    JM.
    #5
  6. rider911

    rider911 Shortcut Navigator

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    Well we headed off on Day 2 and had breakfast at a roadhouse about 20km north of Geraldton. Errol who is riding a DR 650 notices he has lost about 5 knobs off his Dunlop 606. After we all check our own tyres, Errol and Rollickin (KLR) head back to Geraldton to find a new tyre. The plan was that the rest of us will keep cruising and meet up at Denham where we had already booked accommodation.
    We all had new tyres when we left Perth and everyone was running 606s on the back (including me) and most had HP4s on the front. I have been running this combo for more than a few years and have found them very reliable so we put Errols tyre down to bad luck.

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    Turning off Highway 1 into the Shark Bay region

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    Awesome scenery heading west

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    Crawchie makes an appearance :eek1

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    Eagle Bluff

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    Hey, its not all about the bikes :lol3

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    We made Denham and promptly found a pub to wait for the other 2. Rollickin and Errol were already there but had some bad news.... the new 606 had cost $200 bucks!!! :cry no that wasnt the bad news, the new tyre had flung off another 4 knobs :huh 1000km and 2 tyres ???
    We wanted to go out to Monkey Mia for a look, its about 25km so maybe we can study the tyre eating DR on the way there to see if we can see a problem with the bike. All the bikes have got roughly the same weight (apart from mine), same tyre pressures and same speeds (110-115kph) so something must be wrong. Unfortunately we couldnt see anything.

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    Monkey Mia - We didnt see any dolphins, apparently feeding is always before lunch.

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    Back in Denham for a feed at the pub on a beautiful night.

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    Breakfast at the Denham Bakery

    Today we are planning on heading out to Steep Point (western most point of Australia) but Errol felt he needed to get another tyre and not risk the next 3500km with the time bomb he had. The problem was the nearest tyre was 300km north and it was Saturday, so he headed off early for a 600km round trip to buy a $300 Heidenau :clap

    We went straight to Hamelin Pools where we had booked into for the night and dropped off as much weight as we could before heading to Steep Point. Research had suggested that the last 20km was pretty soft sand.

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    Hamelin Pools Caravan Park

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    Steep Point

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    Crawchie gets weird


    I have some helmet cam footage of Steep Point so I'll have to go and edit some and load it to YouTube which at this point I have no idea how to do :lol3
    #6
  7. Not the Messiah

    Not the Messiah Not the Messiah

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    Melb'n, 'Straya
    Nice work guys. looking forward to the rest of it..:clap

    Only one way to find out - jump right in and start swimming (or dog paddling):D:D
    #7
  8. rider911

    rider911 Shortcut Navigator

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    OK that video shit is not a 5 min job is it!!

    This is a snippet of the ride back from Steep Point. Sorry about the wind noise.

    <iframe width="853" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/j3QH2_ACAZk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #8
  9. rider911

    rider911 Shortcut Navigator

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    We made it back to Hamelin Pools and downed a few coldies. The owners looked after us very well with beer, BBQ packs for tea and breakfast and a donger that slept 7, all at a more than reasonable price.

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    Did a quick wash

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    Its a 300km round trip out to Steep Point and back plus the 100km down from Denham in the morning so its pretty much a whole day.
    There is some history at Hamelin Pools so we spent some time looking around.

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    One of the unique things about the place is that it has these things called Stromatolites. They're not pretty to look at but are apparently very interesting to those that are that way inclined :D

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    Headed off next morning on the start of our journey east ward. Errol was ready to go again with tyre number 3

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    The obligatory group photo

    Our plan was to do as least amount of bitumen as possible from here and fill up at Cue then bush camp somewhere SE of Meekatharra.

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    Murchison Oasis Store/Caravan Park. It was a very nice place but it makes you wonder how a place like this in the middle of no where could make money.

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    Crawchie doing a line for the owner :lol3

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    Some wide open super smooth dirt roads.

    Didnt get a pic at Que but it was a old ugly/dirty mining town so nothing to see here. We did try to have a beer at the pub but on a Sunday arvo it was shut WTF


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    First bush camp for the trip :clap

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    On the road to Wiluna... someone went to some effort to do that :clap

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    Some of the proper locals pulled up for a chat.

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    Wiluna Roadhouse. I hadnt been into an indigenous community shop for more than a year and Id forgotten about the smell :eek1

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    Start of the Gunbarrel Hwy at Wiluna

    Our Plan was to get to Carnegie Station this arvo. They cater for tourists who are traversing the Gunbarrel. We had also booked into this place months ago and hopefully they will have some beer and steaks for us.

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    The road so far was in good condition

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    Having a rest

    I like to pull over and stretch the legs somewhere between 120-150km even though we can easily ride further. I think it helps keep you less fatigued at the end of the day.
    The other thing it does is allows you to have a quick look over the bikes and twice on this trip we found major things.
    At this stop, Craig noticed he had lost his iPhone which was mounted on the handlebars and supplying his music. He told us of a washout that he had hit maybe 50km back and thought that was probably the culprit as it nearly broke his wrists. He decided to go back and have a look, the rest of us thought a beer at Carnegie seemed like a better idea.

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    Craig going back for his phone... AND he found it :clap

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    Entrance into Carnegie Station

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    Checking in with Graeme the Manager; Top bloke

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    Really good rooms, great hot shower and excellent kitchen.
    #9
  10. AngryAndo

    AngryAndo Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Ferntree Gully Victoria Australia
    Yes it certainly takes time.
    As for the wind noise I often add music to the video to hide the wind noise.

    Keep it coming, this is great!!
    #10
  11. toecutta

    toecutta Been here awhile

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    Sydney, East Au
    fourcorners... im in :thumb:lurk:ear
    #11
  12. rider911

    rider911 Shortcut Navigator

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    Today we are riding the main part of the Gunbarrel Hwy, its one of the iconic 4WD treks in Australia, I have done it before but in a 4WD and it was so long ago the only thing I remember is the corrugations. This part of the GB Hwy ends at Warburton (on the Great Central Rd) and is 470km and I will need about 35 litres to make it, so I dont fill right up. The Safari tanks will take 50 ltrs full to the brim, and I dont need to carry more weight than necessary :wink:

    Graeme from Carnegie asks how many days it will take us to Warburton, we tell him we will be there this arvo, and after filling up, we'll do another 125km to camp. :lol3 He reckons "not a chance" some people take 3 days, he obviously doesnt ride bikes. :ricky

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    Filling up at Carnegie... @ $2.70 a ltr I was glad I wasnt filling a 4WD :nod but hey, we were just glad that they sold the stuff :thumb

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    The mustering rigs

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    The road was quite good up until we changed council shires.

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    Saw a fair few of these guys

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    Although the road still looks ok it was starting to get very difficult to ride. It wasnt sand but the strange gravel was similar to ride and the colour made it impossible to see the wheel ruts. The only answer was speed and hang on.
    Everyone was having a bit of trouble getting their head around it. I read another RR recently and the guys also commented on the strange gravelly shit.

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    So we pulled up for a rest and to tell some tales about how we'd all nearly crashed. Craig thought his DR was doing something strange.

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    That stick in his pannier was the least of his problems but one of the reasons that Im not a fan of soft panniers.

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    This was going to be interesting :eek1 theres no way that the other side is not going to break on this shit (fun) road.

    So after some McGyver talk this is the best we could do.

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    The ratchet strap actually pulled it together quite well.

    When Rollickin turned up he also had a tale to tell :lol3

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    Apparently a tree jumped out in front of him, it was a bit worse than it looks.

    Errol was also starting to really struggle with the relentless soft gravel, he was the elder of the group and his fitness was not what he had hoped. Atleast now we had to slow down because of Craigs predicament :cry

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    Off we went again with all our fingers crossed.

    Craig went first and left 5 min before the rest because apparently he was going to take it easy, well after 30 mins of going flat out I still hadnt caught him :lol3 you know yourself, its always a race :clap

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    I had to climb a gnarly little hill to see Len Beadell's theodolite (he was the builder of all these roads in this region in the 50's)
    No one else was keen to do it.

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    Awesome view

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    I have no idea what was at camp Beadell

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    Although the pics I have of the track dont look too bad there was plenty of wash outs and gullies in places. Sometimes you would end up in a dead end and have to climb out a steep bank to find another way. Its a shame one of us didnt take any pics of these places.

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    Finally made Warburton... Fuel, Food and a welder!!

    To be continued....
    #12
  13. BergDonk

    BergDonk Long timer

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    Good stuff, thanks.

    And another broken DR subframe!
    #13
  14. rider911

    rider911 Shortcut Navigator

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    OK back to broken DRs :lol3

    So when your in the middle of bumfuck nowhere and the back end of your bike is about to break off, it would obviously be wise to ride very steadily until you get somewhere to repair it. NO... No its a race and one should only think logically after the race is finished.
    Luckily for Craig that ratchet strap worked like a charm an he powered on for the last 200km.
    After the turn off to the Heather Hwy (which you are supposed to take) there was some great fast twin tracks where I saw 135kph while racing Troy.

    At the Warburton Roadhouse we tracked down a caddy welder and a bit of scrap steel and set about fixing the Dune Rooster as those Suzuki wankers liked to call them. :lol3

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    It took awhile to strip some shit off it.

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    KTM rider pulls DR rider out of the shit!!

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    That should do it, old mate even had a bit of paint :clap

    So while that was going on, poor old Errol had realised the riding was a bit too tough for him and unfortunately our time frame for the trip didnt allow for a slower pace or unscheduled rest stops. He decided he would pull out and camp up here at the compounded Warburton Roadhouse/Caravan Park. Apparently they'd had some big riots in the community the night before and I was keen to get out of there.
    Our original plan was to do another 125km but that was not going to happen as it was getting late but we needed to make some miles to keep on track, 3 of us headed off out of town and onto the abandoned part of the Gunbarrel Hwy and found and set up camp just on dark. Craig and Rollickin would ride into the dark to catch up after putting the DR back together.

    So after Graeme at Carnegie said we'd need 2 days to make Warburton, we'd wasted stacks of time with the broken bike and done another 50km past Warb. only 75km short of our goal. :thumb

    Not many people do the Abandoned GBH because its a little harder to get a permit, potentially worse condition than the main GBH and sort of a useless loop, as the Great Central Rd shortcuts it. But for us it was a non negotiable because if you are gonna ride the GB then you are gunna ride THE Gunbarrel.




    A new day starts and the plan is to ride the GB all the way to our first CORNER, that being Surveyor Generals Cnr. The intersection of Western Australia, South Australia and Northern Territory.


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    First break

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    Ready to race

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    The Abandoned GB was an awesome ride with some beautiful scenery (better than my pics show) and great tracks.

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    Warrakurna Roadhouse (Giles)
    Filled up and bought some supplies for tonight. 500km before the next fuel.

    The Giles Meteorology Station is just down the road from the roadhouse and has a couple of attractions.

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    Len Beadell's old grader

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    One of the GB road markers erected by Len Beadell

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    Cruisin...

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    First corner ticked off :clap

    One interesting piece of trivia is that fewer people have visited this site than have been to the South Pole.




    It is almost impossible to get a permit to go any further east than SG cnr and you have to retrack back to the GCR. We were very lucky to have a contact in the right place to pull some strings and get us through legally on a track that few have ever travelled. In fact it was so disused in the beginning that without a GPS you'd never find it.

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    Very remote camp

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    People think when you ride unsupported that you have to eat out of a can :freaky
    Plenty of steak, sausages, onion, rum, bourbon and coke :clap

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    Brecky, sausages, bacon, coffee and toast.

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    The country was in awesome condition, I thought we were in drought.

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    Craig got a flat

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    This looked like it was going to be the longest tyre change in history so I decided to catch JB and Rollickin and see if they wanted to climb THE ROCK. We wernt going to climb it due to the time factor and lack of interest but I knew JB and Rollickin were disappointed in that. So off I went and left the others to cheer Craig on.

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    The Olgas

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    That was such a good ride it would probably be worth the $1000 :lol3

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    When we got to Uluru it was very windy and they wouldnt let us climb it, we were obviously disappointed but I have climbed it before.

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    Thats alot of pics of THE ROCK but even though I'd been there before its still very impressive.
    #14
  15. Muddler

    Muddler Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    861
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    Dardanup, Western Australia
    Great RR, great photos, keep it coming :clap
    Did the Gunbarrel/Heather Hwy in June so was interested to hear your comments. That deep red gravel is tricky stuff eh. Looks like you guys were going a fair bit faster than us.
    #15
  16. fmrmxer

    fmrmxer Adventurer

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    Makes me want to go to Australia. The Pinnacles Desert pics are especially cool.
    #16
  17. rider911

    rider911 Shortcut Navigator

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    Whilst checking out Uluru I got a txt from our new team member Beetle to say he was waiting at the Yulara servo.
    Our destination for the night was Kings Canyon which was still more than 300km away but all bitumen. Total of 600km for the day
    After our rendezvous with Beatle and filling up the others had not turned up yet, time was getting on and it was decided that we should push on if we were going to get to Kings Canyon before dark, and besides they were big boys and if they'd struck more trouble there was not much we could do that the 3 of them couldnt sort out.
    Beetle mentioned that his rear tyre was getting baldy but I didnt take the comment too seriously and off we went.



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    Made it to Kings Canyon Resort just in time for the sunset viewing

    As we pulled up at our rooms we noticed Errol over in the camping area, we thought he had gone to Alice Springs but he decided to come to KC to wait for us :clap

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    We gathered on the viewing deck to check the sunset, down a few coldies, and toast Beetles arrival and Errols return :1drink

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    As far as sunsets go they dont get much better than this :deal

    The others turned up just after dark, they hadnt had anymore problems after the flat tyre but spent some time checking the sites at the Olgas and Uluru.

    We had a great night at the Pub, we were starting to see a few bike riders around who were all making their way to Alice to watch the Finke Desert race.

    We got up early to do the last 370km of the first leg of the trip. We were planning to do maintenance and tyres tomorrow but Rollickin was keen to get there by lunch and knock it over today, and that seemed like a good idea to me.

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    I got to this intersection and waited and waited and waited.

    Eventually some turned up with the news that Beetle's tyre had blown out and he'd run off the road, with 300km to Alice he had to turn around and limp back to Kings. Somehow we would have to work out how to get a tyre to him.

    The intersection was the turn off to a more scenic route into Alice via the West McDonald Ranges. JB and myself were the only ones who wanted to do the extra 50km and it was well worth it. Some nice bitumen twisties as well :D

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    We must of been all too busy to get any pics of the maintenance mayhem. We had organised to get the tyres and do air filters and oil etc. at the Alice Yamaha dealer, they were great blokes and let us use what we needed and disposed of our oil.

    About 3 days prior I had noticed that my rear sprocket had started to wear way too fast and I new that I would need a new one before hitting the Simpson Desert crossing, I had rang the Alice KTM dealer and they assured me they had one in stock. When I went to pick it up I spoke to a different person and of course they dont actually have one :baldy and were not too interested in my predicament. Back at the Yamaha shop the guys couldnt do enough to find a solution. We found that a KTM EXC sprocket was actually very similar albeit a 520 rather than a 525 section. We had to drill the bolt holes out to 10mm. It wasnt ideal with countersunk bolt holes but would certainly get me out of trouble if the one on the bike didnt make it. (which it did... just)

    Having raced the Finke a few years back Troy and I knew that the place to be on the Friday night was the scrutineering pavilion, although the bikes are nothing special to look at the Buggies and Trophy Trucks are fukn awesome. Every engineering variable is displayed on the myriad of vehicles and we spent hours checking them all out.

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    These Polaris buggys were popular for the guys on a budget, It seemed that the quad numbers were down so maybe some of those guys have moved to the Polaris'

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    Medium budget

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    My Dad is loaded :lol3

    To be continued...
    #17
  18. rider911

    rider911 Shortcut Navigator

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    Saturday in Alice was meant to be about getting some supplies together to go down and camp on the Finke race track however for what ever reason the rest of the crew lost interest in that idea and wanted to stay in the motel for another night and powder their vaginas. :lol3 Each to their own.
    I was still keen to go because there's nothing to see in Alice apart from Abos and the real spectator points are halfway down where all the relentless whoops are, so I stocked up on food, coke and rum and headed off by myself.
    The race track is 240km long and obviously so too is the access road that I would be taking.

    As our route was going south from the Finke community the others would have to meet me there early Monday morning at the latest.
    If you werent down on the race track by Saturday night, the authorities close access to the road until Monday arvo whilst the race is on, which meant the others would have to do an extra 200km and nearly 300kms of bitumen.

    On another note, all our efforts to get tyres to Beetle had failed because its a long weekend and most Alice residents stop everything for the big race. To make things worse, where Beetle was staying had no mobile service, so contact was difficult. The end result was that he found a Kings Canyon employee who was slipping into Alice (700km round trip) for something and they picked the tyres up.

    Everyone heads out to the prologue track on Saturday to watch the qualifying for start positions.

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    The ride down via the access road was both good and bad, it was as corrugated as any road I'd ever been on and there was constantly people pulled off on the side of the road tieing stuff back on and checking their vehicles and trailers. The road was littered with lost camping stuff :eek1
    The good part was seeing the thousands of people camped and enjoying themselves for the entire length of the track.


    I found a perfect camp spot about 120kms down, it was getting a bit windy and cold so I couldnt pass this spot up.

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    After setting up camp I went for a wander and met a few locals who camp in this spot every year, they promptly invited me to join them for tea and wouldnt take no for an answer. They had more T bones and gourmet sausages than any of us could eat :clap It was a awesome night with good company, luckily I had jammed 12 cans of coke into every spare spot on my bike. :freaky

    Of course before I staggered back to my camp they made sure that I knew to be back for breakfast :lol3 I luv travelling by myself, you always meet top people.

    I cant believe I didnt take any pics of these guys but I'm often slack like that and then regret it.

    Well after as much bacon and eggs and sausages and toast and coffee that I could possibly eat and drink, Glen said he had to go for a drive somewhere and that Sebastian and I should start getting lunch ready as he threw me another huge cryovaced bag of meat. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!

    We all got ready for the arrival of the buggies and trucks. :clap

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    These top guys do the 240km in under 1hr 50min and watching them across this terrain is nothing short of spectacular. You may notice I didnt have many photos of the Trophy Trucks, they are just animals and I was too scared to hold the camera steady :yikes



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    The remnants of an old Ghan railway bridge near where we were camped.



    Meanwhile back at the gay bar the guys were packing up and getting ready to head off down to Finke via the bitumen.

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    Errol was going home via the Plenty Hwy.

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    RBT

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    At the first stop Craig noticed that his new tyre was starting to chunk, they reckon they werent speeding but I dont believe them :lol3


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    Wally's bike was playing up again (well Perth to Alice that was a record for his bike) :hide

    Meanwhile I was drinking rum and eating crumbed marinated lamb chops and getting into position to watch this :D

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    He's doing over 120




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    Apparently they had the carby out and apart a few times but couldnt find the reason that it would hardly run. In the end they had to give up and leave Wally fend for himself. Because it was another 2 days before the shops opened again we didnt have time to wait for him. We had quite a few friends from CQ racing, so it wasnt hard to find someone to pick him up after the race. As luck would have it one of our locals was the guy who raced the Trophy Truck and the bike and he had a semi there with plenty of room for Wally's bike. Wally had a semi licence so it also worked for them as now they had 2 log books and could legally drive all the way home without stopping.



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    JB heading into Finke

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    They went and visited the geocentre of Australia as it was not far from Finke.


    I bid my hosts farewell and headed to Finke myself, the last part the race track IS the access road so I had to decide if I was going to become a competitor or follow this very soft windy, sandy goat track that I assumed was where one had to go if you wanted to get to Finke while the race is on. I chose the goat track and it was very hard work on a loaded 990 but I enjoy that shit :evil


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    One of our local riders who did himself proud and came 50 something outright.

    Our photos dont show what a massive event this is, there are 500 competitors so people are camped everywhere.


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    A couple of pics of the cars taking off back to Alice.

    More to come
    #18
  19. rider911

    rider911 Shortcut Navigator

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    700
    Location:
    Australia
    Well we've been on the road for 11 days so far, we've had a bit of a rest and now we are ready to tackle the Simpson Desert.

    We plan to fill up at Mt Dare, have a good feed and get as far into the French Line as possible so we can make it to Birdsville tomorrow arvo. I think we should be able to get close to the Colson Track depending on how long we spend at Mt Dare and Dalhousie Springs.


    Our first mistake was not to leave Finke early enough, I think someone needed fuel and some bought supplies from the shop as Mt Dare doesnt really have groceries. Once we got on the road we landed behind stacks of 4WDs and it became senseless trying to pass them all.




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    Waiting in Finke before our departure, some Alice Springs locals filled us up with water, Cheers boys :clap

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    Craig was having some trouble with the flies.

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    Filling up at Mt Dare. If I park my bike down hill I can get the tanks totally full, I didnt bother squeezing the last 2 litres in because I had a small bladder just in case. So I left with 48 ltrs in the tanks and 4 L in the bladder.
    The DR guys took 36 ltrs in their tanks and 10 L in bladders or containers.


    The facts for this desert crossing are: Its 500 km to the next fuel, there are 1100 sand dunes to cross, we will see very few people, 4WDs struggle to average 25 kph and its going to cost a shit load to get your bike out if things go pear shaped. :deal

    Ive been across the French Line before on an unloaded BMW 1200 but this is the first total crossing on my KTM, although Ive done the QAA Line (last part) twice on a 990 fully loaded.

    I see people post up how much water they take and for me, most seem abit overboard. Obviously everyone drinks a different amount but to take too much as an emergency is just added weight when if there is a real emergency then as a group there will be plenty until a vehicle comes along. During June, July, August you could count on at least 1 car a day but probably a few more than that. I only took 6 L all up and had probably 2 L left when I got there.




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    Getting a good feed before we go.

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    Pulled up at Dalhousie Springs for a swim.

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    These 36*C hot springs are just unbelievable and I hope that one day I'll get to camp here for a night. :D

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    As usual Crawchie shows up when there's a bit of talent about :lol3

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    Easy way (more suited to DR riders)

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    Short cut via the Dunes of Death :evil

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    Hey is that a DR going the wrong way??

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    One of my favorite shots... looking east

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    Its is generally thought to be easier crossing the Simpson Desert from west to east but this time the wind blown sand drifts were leaving some very soft obstacles on the western side.
    I got bogged quite a few times where as my previous trips out here resulted in no bogs.


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    The other problem we were encountering was that we were evidently following a huge group of motorcycles that looked like they were struggling big time by the look of their tracks. Negotiating their wayward wheel ruts was alot more difficult than you can imagine. Usually I'd be praying for no 4WD traffic but this time the lack of vehicles to smooth the track out was to our detriment.



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    Rollickin showed up with claret spewing from his face, apparently he had hit another tree :wink: I dont remember seeing any trees big enough to hit but he had the proof :lol3


    We passed a 4WD travelling in the same direction as us with two MXers in the back and they had taken one bike off and they were alternating between riding and driving and having a fat time. We were jealous of their light weight bikes. :D


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    We pulled up only a few ks short of where I wanted to get to so we'd had a great day and should easily make Birdsville tomorrow.

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    More to come...
    #19
  20. Bendernz

    Bendernz Torrential

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    567
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Bewdy report.

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    #20