How much can a DRZ carry? Part 1

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by 59DEN, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. 59DEN

    59DEN Been here awhile

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    As I am planning on doing the Canning Stock Route ( Western Australia) in July this year and the question came up of how much fuel and water etc can be carried on a DRZ 400. The planned route is heading from Wiluna northwards, this means a jump of a aprox. 1000km to Kunawarritji community, there are other alternatives and you can get a fuel drop at Well 23. But after reading of a fellow inmate John ( J_B ) and the fuel load he carried on his trip along the Anne Beadell Highway, a plan of action started to form .
    After gaining an extra week on top of the Easter break and having already planned to join Neil ( neilaction ), plus the crew from Perth on their ride to Neil Junction (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=18436295#post18436295), I tagged a few more km's onto the end of the NJ ride. Basically carrying onto Rawlinna and from there along the Trans Access track to Forrest Airport, from there Eucla and back along the coast as much as possible homewards ( Albany).

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    This was test ride No 2, with a fuel load of 67L, 25L water, rider, camping gear, clothes, tool's and food for 8 days this pushed the total weight carried when fully fuelled to 425kg. The cause is not helped when the rider weighs the same as the bike when it comes of the showroom floor, but it covered the 3700km without missing a beat, this combined with a test ride at Xmas of 2500 km. After the two test rides with no punctures, nothing breaking and the bike handling all this with no dramas has me feeling more confident with the CSR in July.
    Covered a distance of 1130 km from Laverton to Border Village Service Station with a few litres to spare, has the fuel side of the equation nearly sorted.
    Here are few details on the bike and fuel consumption for the trip :

    2006 DRZ400 - 47,000 km, bike is pretty well standard except for the following :
    Heavier springs front and rear, 28L Safari tank, Voyager speedo, Tubliss tyre system, Tyres Rear - Bridgestone Gritty ED78 and front Bridgestone Gritty ED77
    Fuel Consumption ; 17.3 KmL over 3669 Km travelled

    Most of the pictures following show the track condition's and areas of interest, to give an idea of the track conditions and type of country.


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    The first 350 km where Slab, this is half way in the Wheatbelt.

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    The start of the Holland Track, aiming to get as much variety of tracks and trails to see if the bike and myself will be able to handle the extra load.

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    Regrowth on a section burnt a couple of years ago.


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    As you get closer to the Goldfields end of the HT.

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    Caught up with the crew from Perth in Kalgoorlie and we headed out to Mount Celia to set up camp for the night.

    The next day ( day3 for me ) we headed into Laverton to fuel up and ready to get into the riding proper.
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    Sign at the start of White Cliffs Road

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    Easy riding on White Cliffs road barring a couple of sections very deep sand ( 500m ) towards the turnoff to Anne Beadell Highway.

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    Breakaways


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    Some more of pictures of White Cliffs road


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    Neil heading off from the Yarmarna down the Anne Beadell Highway.

    The next part of the trip from Yarmana to Neales Junction was fantastic and if I had to pick the best of the ride that was it, overall it was sandy but except for a few sections that were a little deeper it was great fun, I think everyone had a smile on there faces.

    http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1100904
    Map of Trip
    #1
  2. GSDisciple

    GSDisciple Adventurer

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    Hello 59 Den

    A few of us are doing the CSR starting from Wiluna and will be back just before you leave. Feel free to PM me if you would like an update on track conditions.

    Regards

    GS Disciple
    #2
  3. ROWDY1

    ROWDY1 disturbin the dirt

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    This has been a good read Dennis, looking forward to next chapter.
    Ross.
    #3
  4. 59DEN

    59DEN Been here awhile

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    Special mention to my fellow ADVriders who waited patiently for me when we regrouped, it was a 2 speed bike ride. Learnt a valuable lesson last year, to reduce my average speed in relation to the amount of extra gear carried = less drama. So I was travelling slower than the rest of the crew, making a point of stopping every 1/2 hour, get off the bike, have a drink of water and have a wander around the bike, check that everything was OK.

    The section of the Anne Beadell that we travelled on was close to perfect for me, I would guess aprox. 70% of the track was sandy, but not deep in most places. Generally where there is sand there are no rocks and this was the case, so it was just a matter of picking your ideal ground speed and cruise.
    What struck me was how much vegetation there was, trees, bushes and I think spinefex, this combine with mid 20's temperature, perfect.


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    Nick and the mobile bar n grill, the first maybe 10km was a rocky track before this.


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    Blue sky and red earth, magic.

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    Yeo Lake Nature Reserve.

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    The old Yeo building and camp for the night.

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    Campsite 3


    http://flic.kr/p/bBhgxq
    If you want to see some video of a section of the Anne Beadell Highway, click on the link above.


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    The following Pictures are of the Anne Beadell as we move towards Neales Junction.

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    A section of rocky track.

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    As you can see it was not just a straight track but had plenty of windy sections to keep a smile on your face, there are a lot of pictures of the track, mainly to give you an idea of the type of country being travelled.
    If you have not had a read of Neil's (neilaction) RR this could be the time, covers this section of the ride and is a great read.
    Part 3 will cover from NJ to Rawlinna.
    #4
  5. 59DEN

    59DEN Been here awhile

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    Have a good trip, what time are you heading off, can we expect a RR, I will be in touch.
    Dennis
    #5
  6. 59DEN

    59DEN Been here awhile

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    The Southern end of the Connie Sue Highway is a pretty straightforward road of aprox. 330 km to Rawlinna on the Trans - Australian Rail Line, the first 20 km past NJ winds around the ends of stabilised dune systems. After this it is a really just a good road with the occasional bulldust holes to keep you on your toes, till you get to within 100 km of Rawlinna where it becomes a rocky twin track.


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    The first 20 km winds around dune sytems and is sandy.

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    Still a bit sandy at 60 km from NJ but it becomes long straight sections.

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    The trees are starting thin the further south you travel.

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    The Connie Sue services the Tjuntjuntjarra community from about 160 km from NJ till 100 km short of Rawlinna where it heads West to Cable Haul Road, then onto the Trans Access Road to Kalgoorlie. The road widens from the 160 km mark.


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    A couple of pictures of the intersection 100 km from Rawlinna, right to Cable Haul Road.


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    Left is the continuation of the Connie Sue


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    The last 100 km of the Connie Sue is a rocky twin track that runs through a cattle station, closer to Rawlinna.


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    You pass through about 4 gates.

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    Track is rocky and took a bit over 3 hours to cover the 100 km.


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    Rawlinna in the distance.

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    Old Rawlinna Post Office.


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    Shady tree, a bit of lawn, time for a siesta.


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    The reason for Rawlinna's existence, the rail line.

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    Old water tank, maybe to service the early steam trains.


    Just a quick warning about travelling the 100 km section before Rawlinna, especially through the cattle station, plot it out on your GPS and follow that as there are a lot station tracks and can be hard to stay on course.

    Part 4 Rawlinna to Forrest
    #6
  7. 59DEN

    59DEN Been here awhile

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    This part of the trip was where I felt the most isolated, apart from the rail line and the occasional Telecom tower. it was flat and featureless. Even though the temperature was a mild 28 degrees, without a tree to sit under for shade, it wasn't hard to see the unprepared perishing quite quickly out here, it would be like being in oven in summer.
    When I started off in the morning from camp 4, I had sort of expected to be in Forrest mid afternoon, a distance of 400 km. I was still confident when at 11.30 am I arrived at Rawlinna, having taking 4 hours to cover 130 km, the Trans Access road was wide, straight and firm for the first 20 km but from there it was long sections of bulldust for another 50 odd km and then 200 km of rocky twin track with plenty of potholes thrown in.

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    50 km off this lay ahead.

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    After the 75 km mark it became a twin track.


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    Passed a couple of trains heading West in the afternoon.

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    There where a few smoother sections that looked like they would be nice and slippery in winter.

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    I got to within 70 odd km of Forrest and decided to set up camp, there where a few of these towers with birds nests, did not see any birds though.

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    Picture back from the way I came, plenty of rabbits and quite a few wild dogs, even though they had a bit of dingo, they where half as big again as a Dingo, and where well filled out. There was a pack of 7 of them crossing the track about 70 km from Forrest when I was heading to Eucla, they did not seem to frightened of me or the bike, maybe not a good place to have an accident.

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    Mundrabilla siding.

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    At last Forrest on the horizon.


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    As I came into Forrest there was a train heading West on the side tracks and the Indian Pacific which was heading East just pulled in, offloaded the weekly shopping and supplies for the family at Forrest and continued on.
    Also waiting to top up on fuel where a few 4WD's, it was rush hour Forrest style.

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    Forrest has been a airport since 1929 when it was the overnight stop off, for flights travelling East - West, they built the runways from the abundant limestone in the area, erected a aircraft hangar and a hotel to accommodate the 14 passengers and crew.
    It also housed the men building and maintaining the rail line and the meteorological staff for the weather station. It is managed by a lovely couple from Adelaide and there is fuel, camping and 2 or 3 houses that can be booked, the old weather station has a museum covering the history of Forrest.
    It is well worth a visit and look around.


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    A few pictures from the top off the old weather station.


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    Forrest housing.

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    Aircraft hanger ( built 1929 )


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    There are two runways, one 1.5 km and the other 1.3 km and are used for smaller planes and helicopters to refuel, or in an emergency 737 size jets.

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    Camping area.


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    Road out to Eucla, aprox. 130 km.


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    Improves as you get closer to the coast, but still allow three and half hours.


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    Eucla at last, I must admit it was good to be near the coast again.


    Last instalment - Eucla to Israelite Bay
    #7
  8. GSDisciple

    GSDisciple Adventurer

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    G'day Den

    Not sure of exact dates but we will certainly be putting up a RR.

    Great photos BTW.

    GSDisciple
    #8
  9. iconman

    iconman Good vibrations

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    Hi Den, love the report mate, well done.

    Cheers, Richard.
    #9
  10. luckychucky

    luckychucky Long timer

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    Thanks for sharing. Looks like a good bike and a nice trip. That shade tree by the old post office seemed inviting.
    #10
  11. b0mb3r

    b0mb3r Old Git

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    im in :D
    #11
  12. 59DEN

    59DEN Been here awhile

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    Having made it to Eucla I carried onto Border Village, fuelled up and then rode to the coastal cliffs at Wilsons Bluff, planning on picking a track I had mapped out on Google Earth back to Eucla. This was the first of a few backtracks due to not being able to follow the tracks that had been covered by moving sand.


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    Wilsons Bluff


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    End of the line, being on my own and getting to the end of the day was enough to discourage from wandering around the sand dunes to try and pick the track up again.


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    Followed the top of the escarpment as much as possible still looking to find a track down to the coast


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    In the end headed back to the Eyre Highway and back into Eucla down to the jetty.


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    Looking up the beach to Wilsons Bluff.


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    Camped the night in the sandhills near the old telegraph station.

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    Headed along the coast, on the beach or on tracks that I had mapped on the GPS, the beach is hard overall with quite a bit of seaweed.

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    There are sections of the beach that you would only be able to get around at a very low tide and swell, when this was the case I would pick up the track again.

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    Some of the track was hard to follow having been covered by moving sand, the GPS proved it,s worth more than once.


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    After about 40 odd km it became a well defined track in most places.


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    The further west I got the higher the vegetation started to become.


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    A fantastic track to ride.


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    Getting close to Red Rock Point, had to cross 3 or 4 km of soft sand track.


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    You can just make out Red Rock Point in the distance.


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    This was the end of the line again, continued to the end of the dunes found the track swallowed again by the moving sand, as the crow flies I was 150 km from Eucla. Bactracked 20 km to the track that comes in from the Eyre Highway to Red Rocks Point and followed that and then onto Madura for an iced coffee and shower.

    Next day followed a great track along the base of the escarpment to Eyre bird observatory,

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    Another great track aprox. 80 km long.


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    Pass the ruins of an old station property.

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    Some of the remaining steel telegraph poles.

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    8 or so km of sandy track to Eyre bird observatory.

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    Eyre bird observatory.

    From here I went back to the Eyre Highway and slabbed it to Caiguna roadhouse and from there back towards the cliffs and Toolina Cove.

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    You pass some open areas but overall the track is rocky and winding with close in vegetation keeping the average speed down to 35 km p/h.

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    You can follow the telegraph track from Eyre bird observatory if you want to, the track conditions are very similar to the following pictures.

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    Plenty of nice camp sites just off the track.

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    Toolina Cove.

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    The track crosses ridges of limestone.

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    Within 8 km of the beach to Israelite Bay.

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    Bilbunya dunes.


    Well done if you have followed this RR to this point, there are 3 or 4 RR on the Israelite Bay area and all are worth checking out, that's if you would like to know a bit more about this area. I was not able to travel along the beach the whole way as there had been some big swells the week before and that coupled with a high tide had the sea lapping at the dunes in places. I did give it a go for the first 30 km, but with very soft sand and high tide, I beat a retreat to the old telegraph track and followed that to Israelite Bay.

    You can download a GPX file of this trip from the Link to the ridewithgps map at the end of part 1, if you look to right hand side of the map you will see a tab with export, click on that.

    The run through Israelite Bay, along the coast to Esperance I have done a few times in the past, it is one of those magic places, the one's that you know you will return for more. Here is a link to a previous RR on the Israelite Bay area, the trip from Esperance back to Albany was a 500 km trip via highway 1 ( http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=724817 )

    It was a hare and tortoise type of ride, the only difference it was not a race and the prize was another fantastic ride without any dramas and with some great memories. Thanks to the crew from Perth again, a great bunch of guy's, plenty of laughs, anyway thank's and Ride Safe.
    #12
  13. 59DEN

    59DEN Been here awhile

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    Thank's Richard, it was great catching up with you and the crew from Perth, plus Eugene.

    Cheers Dennis
    #13
  14. 59DEN

    59DEN Been here awhile

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    You are right the shady tree and some green grass was too much temptation for me and enjoyed after lunch nap.
    #14
  15. woodly1069

    woodly1069 Long timer

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    Fantastic! :clap Sure hope to get down there some day!
    #15
  16. =[BAD]=TEX

    =[BAD]=TEX Adventurer

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    :lurk
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  17. fatgut

    fatgut Been here awhile

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    Great reading and pictures Dennis, Hope the CSR goes well.
    Kev,
    #17
  18. Muddler

    Muddler Been here awhile

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    Great RR Dennis, and an impressive feat on your own.
    Did you have a sat phone?
    #18
  19. neilaction

    neilaction Slightly Less Adventurous

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    :clap:clap:clap Great stuff Dennis :clap:clap:clap
    #19
  20. farcall

    farcall Bike-a-holic

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    Always great to read local RR's. The boo-kay list just got another ride added. :wink:

    Thanks Dennis. :thumb
    #20