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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by cejnys, Sep 26, 2014.
Did Ed post excellent reccomendation here? I think I saw it for a bit and then it disappeared.
After fixing AJ’s car in Halls Creek, we said good bye to each other and started going different directions. I have already seen Gibb River Road and AJ wanted to explore that part of Australia a bit.
Just before leaving we had few drinks
And then was time to go
Riding the west coast was pretty cool. It’s inctedible how empty the whole area is. I think there are few ways how to look at this.
I grow up in Europe and visited nearly every country out there. You would have to go quite far into Russia to experience emptiness of west/north Australia. First I was a bit annoyed of riding there but then I looked at it from a different angle and started to enjoy it. There are not many places on this planet where you measure distance on days instead of kilometers or miles.
Anyway ther are few interesting places I visited. 80 mike beach was really cool. Totally white sand with turquoise water was something I did not expect here.....and mainly there were no people. I started to call this place “anti-India”.
Camping at this part of the world is soooooooooooo easy and good. Places like this are nearly everywhere
Another huge thing in Western Australia is mining. There are hundreds maybe thousands of mines. I don’t remember all the different metals that are found there but I remember there were quite few gold mines.
I am not an expert but I think that this was not the right truck for this dumper
Through many other interesting places on the west/north coast I made it to Perth where I met Greg. Apparently he has been following my blog for some time and found it interestin so he invited me to his home.
Greg has a very nice house and offered me a comfy bed, shower, something to bite and few snorts (I hope I spelled that correctly).
It turned out that Greg had couple of very nice toys in his garage and he let me park right next to them.
After seeing Greg’s bikes I was not surprised that he knew all tracks of Australia from his own experience. We talked for hours while looking at various maps. He understood the challenge of traveling through some of the tracks on a big bike and gave me very good advice how to travel through Australia while using as little tarmac roads as possible.
He also have exceptional knowledge of his KTM bikes so he gave me few maintenance tips. While staying with him I changed my chain and rear sprocket (it was the original sprocket since the bike was new), and the counter balance shaft seal (oil leak into air box )
After few days of a good rest I was ready to go back on the road and start heading east. There were many nice tracks waiting to be ridden and I was excited again to go back off-road.
Awesome Rad!! I was in Australia in 2009 and didn't want to leave, such a beautiful country
While staying in Perth I met with few friends from my previous job. It was very nice to catch up because I have not seen them for years; it also reminded me that each coin has two sides. As much as I don’t like the corporate world there are still some good things; I made many friends that are spread around the world, and our friendship is still very strong.
I was nicely surprised how “good looking” Perth was. Few people told me that Perth is only oil&gas city with not much to offer. To be honest I saw it total opposite. I did not stay for long but I really liked Perth. From outdoorsy perspective there is loads of things to do and the whole city was nicely maintained and clean.
Even though I liked Perth I had to go; my friend Matthias was waiting for me in a little town called Hyden. Our plan was to start riding east together using as little tarmac roads as possible.
We met outside of Hyden where Matthias was camping.
Australia is a camping heaven. There is so much space so you can camp nearly everywhere. The next morning before we headed into the outback I had to change my rear tire.
Mitas e-09 did pretty good job providing excellent grip while riding off-road. Unfortunately I had to ride quite a bit on tarmac roads where the tire disappeared pretty fast. After about 7000 km I had to change it for my favorite adventure tire e-09.
For the tracks I was planning to ride the e-07 should be enough. You wil shortly see how wrong I was.
After putting new rear rubber on we got some supplies and headed east from Hyden. About 60 km later we made it to the start of Holland track. This was more that 100 years old track that was created by a guy called Holland to bring supplies to an area where gold digging was happening. It was used for about 3 years, after that railway was build and nobody needed this track anymore. These days it is used mainly for 4x4 enthusiasts.
Very shortly after we started we could see why this track is visited mainly by off-road cars. Fortunately for us there was not much water so we could get through all the obstacles without any problem. From the beginning the whole track looked like a huge playground for cars.
It was really easy to find a camping spot and wood for a campfire. It felt really good to be back in wildness of the Australian outback.
The camping does look wonderful. Any problems with the wildlife? It seems as though 99% of it is poisonous, will eat you and will enjoy doing it.
Cool, Rad. Why does the sign say something about poison risk?
1080 Poison for feral cats, foxes and maybe wild dogs.
Thanks ol' matey; how about that! Is that the same or similar to Diphacinone, the active ingredient in d-CON?
I dont know what it is, just seen a lot of those signs in the bush before.
Yeah camping in Australia is amazing; so many great spots to choose from, especially with a bike.
I have seen few spiders around, million types of ants and few snake skins but that’s about it. Most of the time I’m sleeping in an open hammock and I don’t have any trouble at all. I believe there are some poisonous spicies out there but they don’t want to get close to you because they would be in a bigger danger. When I have to go into bush I just make some noise to let them go away and always look where I step.
Except of the salt crocks I don’t believe there is another predator in Australia that would hunt humans.
Yeah it’s for killing unwanted wild animals. I’m not sure what’s the active ingredient, maybe google knows it.
The traps are in remote places where people wouldn't normally go but many times the wild animals bring it close to the roads. For that reason they have to put these signs out there and there are many all around Western Australia.
Second part of the Holland track was also loads of fun. The next day I felt like Matthias was comfortable riding by himself on this track so I went ahead to have some fun.
The first day I was riding behind Matt just to make sure he was ok. He doesn’t feel comfortable mainly on sand. I tried to explain him that all is about his mindset, and that he has to be more on an offensive side of his attitude than on his defensive side when approaching sand.
By me going first he could see the speed and aggressiveness he has to use while going through sand parts. I believe it helped him quite a bit to be able to see how it’s done.
The whole day was loads of fun, many times I totally forgot that I was riding heavy bike. Well all the canisters were empty so the bike was relatively light. She was just great out there.
Another great thing about the Holland track was that the scenery and riding surfaces change very often
This is how you park your bike when is time for a break. The e-07 is a great all around tire but when you start pushing a bit harder the e-09 would be much better.
Yeah we were traveling the direction that Matt is facing
After finishing the Holland track we headed towards Cave Hill where we had a lunch. From there it was pretty close to the main highway which took us to Norseman where we restocked to get ready for more off-road fun.
That afternoon we traveled about 20 km south of Norseman and then joined old Telegraph/Coach track going east. The track was pretty good so it was not a problem to reach the first salt lake before sunset; we were planning to camp there. First I thought that I would put my tent on a lake and enjoy huge space of the dry salt lake. As soon as I started riding on it I realized that it would not be as easy as it looked. The surface was dry but straight below the white crust there was still wet mud. It was pretty hard to ride the big bike on it but still somehow manageable
Matthias was not lucky as I was and got stuck, he still enjoyed beautiful sunset; After the sunset I had to help him to get out
Then we rode of the lake where we found cool camp spot. We started fire and enjoyed cloudless night. When I got into my hammock, suddenly the sky lighted up. It was little bit like lightening but much stronger. I was like wtf is this, when I looked up all was gone only thing I could see was massive white line across the sky which was slowly disappearing. Im not sure what exactly this was but probably some king of meteorite.
The next morning we packed our stuff and headed east on the telegraph/couch track. It was really nice road and mostly we could do around 50-80km/h. Close to the end there were few smaller salt lakes
one of them still had the old telegraph poles on it
shortly after the lake the road just ended; Matthias tried and the lake was very salty, it just did not dry out yet
It was not a big lake so it was easy to go around it and find the track on the other side
Couple of hours later we made it to the end of this track and found a Balladonia road house where we were planning to take some fuel and mainly water. The fuel was easy but water was a bit challenge. They did not have any drinking water available on tap and they were selling 1.25 liter water for 5 dollars. We needed about 7 liters that we used on the telegraph track to have full containers plus we were quite thirsty and needed to drink quite a bit. Then I noticed that a bag of ice costs 5 dollars, when they told me that it was 3.5kg and that it was made from drinkable water I immediately knew what water I would be buying. I know it doesn’t make any sense but the ice was the cheapest water we could buy.
Then we discovered that they had running water at their toilets which was not recommended for drinking. We checked it out and it looked ok; I carry few water purifying tablets so we got some of their toilet water, put few tablets in and all was ok.
Late afternoon we were ready to head into Australian wildness again. This time we traveled about 40km east from Balladonia and found good camping spot next to the main road. Before reaching the spot we joined the longest straight road in Australia. We were planning to ride it for about 20km before turning south and joining one of the tracks heading towards the coast
Probably a Geminid. Should be loads more tonight.
In the Aussie news - http://www.news.com.au/technology/s...y/news-story/c3d87cbd855f023820051c1e28e0ab5d
The next morning we started another track; this time it was from the highway 1 towards the coast. It was not long, only about 70 km. First part was fairly easy, mostly hard with few sand parts. At the end it turned into very rocky track with many limestones sticking out so I had to be extremely careful not to destroy my tires. I deflated them little bit to give me better grip on soft surface; low pressure was not the best for the rocky parts of the track. It took us about 3 hours to reach the coastal telegraph track. Shortly after we turned left towards Toolina Cove I noticed that my right leg was covered by some sort of fluid. I was Iike wtf, that didnt look good. Immediately I stopped and started investigating what was going on.
Very shortly I realized that one of my coolant hoses connecting the thermostat and the radiator just bursted wide open.
From the first moment it did not look good; I pulled out all my tools and stripped the bike down to remove the hose. After closer look it become obvious that the repair is going to be extremely difficult, the hose was cut from one side to the other
It was the problem
My first reaction was to see whether I could use some of the hoses from the bike. What I had in mind was the secondary air system which I could blank and use some of its parts. Unfortunately the hoses there are much smaller than the one used on cooing so it would not work.
Then I started to search around to see what could be used. The only thing I found suitable was a petrol canister noozle, it was partially flexible and it looked like the diameter should be ok. While Matthias was trying to glue the original hose together using all the glues we had available I made replacement from the canister noozle.
About one hour later we were ready to move; to be honest I was not giving the noozle replacement much chances and was expecting to fail any minute. Then we set off and it kind of worked, I checked every 5 km whether it was holding water and of course it was not. Every time I stopped water was dripping from the engine. On the other hand, it kept enough water in the engine to somehow cool it down. At that point I was riding very very gently doing up to 3000 revs and keeping momentum of the bike as much as I could.
After about 45 km we finally made it to the cliffs. It was already night but we could see how beautiful the whole place was.
We set up out camp; Matt put up his tent and I decided to sleep under the stars and enjoy an amazing view.
I did not have a good night; I was thinking how to get the bike back into civilization without serious damage. My only hope was the original hose which Matt glued together.
Bummer to have that happen Rad, yet kudos once again for your ingenuity.
Thinking you should be able to find a hose in Oz!
Brilliant Mcgiver with the fuel nozzle. Good luck. Hope it works out enough to get you back to civilization.