Looking for some advice on a cross continent ride.

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Joff, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. Joff

    Joff Open to suggestions

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    There are few questions I have here so I’ll just spell em out and you guys can answer any way you please.<o:p></o:p>
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    First some background. This will be a casual ride from Sydney to Perth (or visa versa) via such roads and places as the GCR, Uluru, The Alice, The Plenty, Central Qld etc. The aim of the game is to enjoy, not to challenge (in the extreme anyway) so we are not looking for every bit of dirt road or snotty bit of track etc. <o:p></o:p>
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    The participants are older and/or fatter gents with much outback experience but most of that is in 4wds. All are however competent bike riders with many many miles under their belts <o:p></o:p>
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    So, the questions;<o:p></o:p>
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    1, I’ll be on an 07 1200GS with the expandable plastic (alloy look) BMW panniers and top box. Do these things survive a trip like this loaded? I’ve read that the top box is better screwed down than to leave it up to the BMW mounts?<o:p></o:p>
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    2, Apart from proper servicing and making sure the thing is generally in good shape, what else should a std 07 1200GS have done to it? BTW it has engine bars and I’ll run knobbies.<o:p></o:p>
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    3, one of my companions is choosing a bike specifically to do this ride. He is fit but he is a little fella (we call him a Leprechaun) and he is only a few short years from 70. He is thinking F650GS or F800GS for the comfort factor but what else could a short bloke that wants a cumfy seat to Perth look at? ~$10 – 12k<o:p></o:p>
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    4, Bike freight to or from Perth? I’m guessing Perth to Sydney would be cheaper but I don’t really know. And can you send your bike over completely loaded up with all your gear and expect it to all still be there when you fly in Rock Start style to start your journey? Can you even do that or do the freight companies only take the bike bear?<o:p></o:p>
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    Any other ideas or advice is appreciated<o:p></o:p>
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    Cheers<o:p></o:p>
    Joff<o:p></o:p>
    #1
  2. gateman

    gateman Long timer

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    Joff I use LandTransport out of Tamworth or Moree to get stuff to WA. All sorts of stuff. I see my gear go onto the truck and its not unloaded till its in their WA depot. They have a web site. I've seen their trucks in Gosford they shouldn't be hard to find. Expect to work cost by pallet space so think out how to load two bikes on two pallets joined together. Lots of bike shops have collapsible silage just for bikes. Visit your local guy and see what you can sort out. It'll cost you a return freight which is FA for a proper job.

    As far as loaded to go. I see no reason not too. Freight company's don't last long by mislaying stuff. Its that simple. Stow it, lock it and seal it. Take pics of that stuff in situation on their truck with one of their supervisors. Its cheap insurance.

    Sounds like you guys are in for a bloody good trip.
    Keep us posted and lots of pics.
    #2
  3. Beet

    Beet adventurer

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    id be getting you all the think about getting KLR650(new). There a good value bike with great seat, large tank and a rack. Sell them when you get home and live off the memories. Having the same bikes keeps spares etc. to a minimum.
    #3
  4. bully1

    bully1 Long timer

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    +1
    #4
  5. thecanoeguy

    thecanoeguy just a yobbo from oz

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    get your short ass mate to look at the honda CB500 X , it seems to be getting the big nod , especially for vertically challenged , Big BMW's, old fat blokes , just looking for trouble really, KlLR's are great , i have 3 , but mmm , love em , but even i am looking at those Honda's, KLR's not really great for a less heightened type though
    #5
  6. Beet

    Beet adventurer

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    has the 500 honda got the tanks and racks etc. and the cost?? to lower a KLR is so simple so don't let that put u off.
    #6
  7. thecanoeguy

    thecanoeguy just a yobbo from oz

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    I believe the Honda is quite reasonable , but there are a few guys on here that can add to that , honda can take all the bits of fruit that Adv can throw at it , pannier racks , etc , i saw a fully kitted one in Thailand , even had Ohlin forks and shock

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. Joff

    Joff Open to suggestions

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    I have a KLR. I'm taking the Beemer. I have offered the KLR to my mate (even offered to lower it) but he's keen to get his own bike.

    that honda looks ok
    #8
  9. Dave Nolan

    Dave Nolan left from woopwoop

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    honda does look OK and a lot of people like them, but they have a 17" front wheel, not much suspension travel (120 mm rear), and weigh almost as much as your mate's first choice, the F650/700 GS BMW
    #9
  10. thecanoeguy

    thecanoeguy just a yobbo from oz

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    and less than half the cost of the beemer
    #10
  11. AussieRocket

    AussieRocket Adventurer

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    I think your mates wish to take an F800GS is OK.

    Why - Having done the GCR - there is no way I would relish doing it without a 21 inch front wheel. The bike is a nice balance between touring on bitumen, and touring on out back roads. It has a proper serious rear subframe so that it will be unlikely to fail when loaded particularly on the dirt sections. It is not a hard core dirt bike - it is a touring bike capable of managing pretty much any dirt road. Tools could be shared (BMW Specific) between the two of you.

    To set up the bike - Because your mate is short - go for the "comfort seat". The bike is still a bit high, but if you are touring this is not such an issue. If you were using it as a daily commuter - different story. The hieght of the bike enables better suspension travel on rougher sections of your tour. I have put Altrider crash bars on mine, Camel 7.1 litre fuel tank (If it is not an Adventure version) giving the bike a 500 - 600 km dirt range, and a steering damper. I went with the Touratech Panniers and rear rack, which were a touch expensive, but good quality. On rougher trips I run Wolfman bags over my Touratech frames (via an adapter kit) but with saddle bags you do end up with a little less room.

    In my own mind, I feel I have the balance point between road and off road perfect with this set up. Different people though will sacrifice on either side differently though. If you don't minf the vibration of a single cylinder on the tar, then you might go for a 30kg lighter single cylinder bike for instance.

    If money is an issue, you may find a good one with about 25,000km for a lot cheaper, especially as a lot of guys may well be upgrading to the recently released Adventure version of the F800GS, and with the Camel tank, you more or less replicate the range of these bikes.

    All the best with the choice - its part of the joy of the trip,

    Cheers
    Rod
    #11
  12. slowbike smallpenis

    slowbike smallpenis Tester of Tooheys Old

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    Beemer - GCR and the Plenty? - mate as much as I love mine I would Never attempt either road on it again - sheer terror in spots -

    If you are determined to take it - get rid of the top box instead use a good dry bag, like the old kit bag shape and soft panniers - dont take any OEM stuff you dont need to - it will break almost as easily as your arms and legs -

    You cant just dawdle along those roads doing 5klms / hour - you will be up onthe pegs in 3rd gear revving the fukc out of it feathering the throttle in btween heart beats for streches of about 10klms and then you have a break of 2klms and back into it again - Small diameter front wheels and sand do not mix - add that to a weight all up approaching 400kgs and it aint pleasant - go with the KLR and let your mate buy a bike
    #12
  13. AussieRocket

    AussieRocket Adventurer

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    Agree about the weight - 400kg way too much. For me - My own weight 95kg, 45kg of stuff plus around 210kg for the bike and farks - that back to 350kg for the F800. The GS1200 will push 400kg though - which for me would be too much.

    I found the best riding style on the F800 was that in the sandier sections, particularly around Docker River, I would ride around 70-80km/hr (4th to 5th gear), choosing the hardest lines, but when soft sandy shit came up, and there was no hard areas to line onto, very gently DECELERATE, dropping through the gears using the compression to pull the heavy fat rear of the bike straight. Generally speed would drop to 30 - 40 km/hr until a firm line was re established, and then move back up to 70 - 80km /hr again. If the sand persists, the bike has the grunt to chug through the sand at about 3000 (2nd or 3rd gear) revs. Obviously on harder sections, you can do the 80 - 100km/hr. A lot of dirt bike guys would say accelerate on the sandy sections, but on heavier loaded up bikes you will end up tank slapping the bike if you do this. A steering damper is definately an assistance if you are a twichy rider like me.
    If you are a speed demon, and want to complete the GCR in 24 hours, take a 350cc bike and no gear!

    Cheers
    Rod
    #13
  14. thecanoeguy

    thecanoeguy just a yobbo from oz

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    i will still stick with my theory , Old blokes GS12's and outback roads = Ambulances making an appearance at some stage ,
    #14
  15. johnno950

    johnno950 Long timer

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    Sounds like a great trip,i see part of ride is central qld,if you get time etc have a look at some of the national parks,salvator rosa/ka ka mundi on west side of the canarvon ranges,and the expedition ranges national park further to the east,fantastic scenery and riding in these areas!,ride and enjoy.
    #15
  16. luckychucky

    luckychucky Long timer

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    Anyone mention cruise control? Man what a difference it makes!
    #16
  17. Joff

    Joff Open to suggestions

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    Thanks for the info lads. Up to him now what he gets I guess. We are going to ride down the Darling in September so guess we will see how it goes then.


    The old bloke will not be on a GS12. I'll be on a GS12 and at 46 I reckon I'm still young enough to give it a shove.:freaky
    #17
  18. Joff

    Joff Open to suggestions

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    I just picked up a $7 cruise control in the form of one of those palm thingos but I would like real cruise. I hate cars without it these days and having on the bike would be great.
    #18
  19. guzzimike

    guzzimike Long timer

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    Hate to spit out the Kool Aid, but I'm with you on this one. The 1200GS is too much bike for loose sand and that 19" front wheel sucks
    Unless the rider is better than average of course.
    I've done the GCR twice and the Sandover once on an F800.
    The GCR is mostly a doddle.
    The Sandover is aptly named, lots of sand over it.:eek1 Having said that, the F8 just loved it. (More than I did)
    Don't know about the Plenty, but as long as the cattle trucks haven't rooted it, it should be better than the Sandover.
    A steering damper is an absolute must (see above caveat)
    Get rid of the topbox and those shitty BMW panniers that fly to bits at the drop of a hat, and break your leg if you drop it. You gotta keep the weight low.
    And pray for some rain just before you go.
    #19
  20. thecanoeguy

    thecanoeguy just a yobbo from oz

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    46 aint old , i am a realist, some blokes have there expectations and there abilities sort of all fucked up , ditz me if you like, but i have seen it time and time again
    enjoy the ride , less is more,,,,, sometimes
    #20