Oz: Duke690 goes north...

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by HyperPete, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. HyperPete

    HyperPete Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Oddometer:
    765
    Location:
    Surfers Paradise, Australia
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    Departing Australia's New England region this weekend, going solo thru central Queensland aiming for the Gulf, then east to Cairns and back home just west of the Great Dividing Range...all sealed roads,no doubt some roadwork/sidetracks...a relaxing journey just to see the sun set on the Gulf waters...

    Thats the plan...

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    Hope to post a few pics along the way....

    :)
    #1
  2. HyperPete

    HyperPete Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Oddometer:
    765
    Location:
    Surfers Paradise, Australia
    Took off in cool 3degreesC following the inland roads north west...
    Duke went fine, mainly sitting in $120 thru long stretches of countryside...
    Not a lot of pix, the GoPro wouldnt turn on,bugga...then after 2 phonepix the mobile camera froze...so much for a pictorial start:puke1

    But, as the day progressed the temps rose, just past Inverell I stripped down the layers and enjoyed the dry heat.
    One thing I can report, the Bmw system6 is brilliant...cooling vents work fine, wind noise very minimal, and smooth... Also the rally3 jacketvents great, more heat as i venture inland north...

    Did 590km today, landing in St George, QLD... didnt use the airhawk on the seat, no aches, just stuffed...

    Dead kangaroos every 10-20 feet, cant imagine riding at night out here:eek1

    Here i am enjoying a cuppa in 30degrees:lol3
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    :D
    #2
  3. HyperPete

    HyperPete Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Oddometer:
    765
    Location:
    Surfers Paradise, Australia
    Left Charleville this morning, stopped in Augathella, early opener...
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    Then off to Blackall, was getting a little tired, so wet my head, had a buzz cafe and did the next hundred+ to Barcaldine where I've taken a room, too tired to bother...this is the birthplace of the Labor Party.. we'll see if there's a party here nextweekend hey?
    Cafe, in Blackall
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    Big fat tree...
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    Famous person..., Blackall...
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    I'll check out if any gopro pix came out ok later...

    Duke going great, cruising $120 getting 4.5L/100km, that should give me about 280km range, but I'm topping up every big town anyway whilst resting my old body...
    Comfortable position, just a little tiring doing 100km long straights watching out for animals...emu's popular thru the heat of the day, only dead kangaroos on the road, my jacket actually smelt of death at one point i passed so many dead bodies!!

    Standard seat is a winner, first bike in my memory, oh..apart from the Z1300 Kawa, no sore butt, so far over 1000km, my back aches, but I've got a 'war wound' so thats expected...otherwise, i got real excited when i encountered TWO bends in the road...thats 2 bends in probably 400km LOL
    More fun in due course...
    :)
    #3
  4. MeinMotorrad

    MeinMotorrad Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,709
    Location:
    UK for now.
    So a kangaroo steak bbq by the side of the road is not a problem then.
    #4
  5. HyperPete

    HyperPete Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Oddometer:
    765
    Location:
    Surfers Paradise, Australia
    On the road I did today, about 350km,you could surely fill a 40foot container or more with the bodies I rode past !!!
    No joke, so many...i stopped in one town and my jacket smelt like death, it was probably just up my nose...something I wont forget the smell of...
    And...seeing one ahead I usually hit the horn a few times to scare away the various birds eating at the carcass...sometimes narrowly missing some if them:lol3
    #5
  6. HyperPete

    HyperPete Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Oddometer:
    765
    Location:
    Surfers Paradise, Australia
    Well...
    From Augathella, Tambo I got to Blackall and finally Barcaldine..
    A few pics along the way...

    Overtaking these seems to take a little longer....
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    Arriving in Barcaldine, here's the Barcoo Hotel
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    Tree of Knowledge...i wonder....is it working now?
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    Another Tree one,with towns buildings...
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    At a local Cafe, Tree and Windmill in the view...going to see it tonight, told its quite spectacularly lit up to an arty form of tree,hence the big box structure, inside it has hanging logs of various lengths to look like the tree leaf body...
    We'll see...
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    Added some engine oil, lubed the chain,checked various nuts,bolts and kicked the tires...all Ok...

    Off to dinner...Longreach tomorrow, no hurry,only 100 or so kms away,plan to spend a few days checking out the historical sights...
    :D

    :)
    #6
  7. HyperPete

    HyperPete Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Oddometer:
    765
    Location:
    Surfers Paradise, Australia
    Had a nice steak and veg for evening meal,a nice Southern Comfort,then took the bike to see the Tree monument by night... neat sight..

    Excuse some of the Gopro pics are blurred slightly,hand held it, probably too much southern :)

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    I stayed a while as some blue flashing lights were cruising... then did a full noise back to the motel... dead quiet country town and a no-baffle Akra...nice :lol3

    Goodnight....
    #7
  8. HyperPete

    HyperPete Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Oddometer:
    765
    Location:
    Surfers Paradise, Australia
    3.Sept.
    Just over 100km to where I was planning to be last night, landing in Longreach, a town going back to its first settlement in 1860...

    Staying here for a few nights, a few local touristy things to see...
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    Started with the QANTAS Museum and original hanger... I'm not into things aircraft, but it was interesting to see how flight in Oz started...
    A few pics along the way..
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    Then a cuppa, snack in the outback photographic museum,
    some neat shots of our amazing country, sorry, didn't pic any pics...
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    Lazy,no hurry trip...got the last few nights in any motel, seems they're all booked out..nice...

    About midway north here I think, only oiled the chain a few times, topped the oil, think a chain adjustment in due course,might change the oil/filters in Cairns when i get there.... Duke has been good, certainly no stress sitting on 120 for 100km stretches...

    Thats it for another day.
    :D
    #8
  9. Tomdog

    Tomdog Mapaholic

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    413
    Location:
    Kiwi on the Gold Coast. Australia
    Keep up the good work. Love the Duke but it needs a few twisties:clap
    #9
  10. Hoot Gibson

    Hoot Gibson Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    296
    Location:
    Bottom of Grand Lake Ohio
    Love the look of some of your towns on the route north...remind me of early 20th Century America.....since you folks are heading from Winter to Spring, how is the weather, temperatures?
    #10
  11. HyperPete

    HyperPete Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Oddometer:
    765
    Location:
    Surfers Paradise, Australia
    Yeah it's still cool at night,about 14c :eek1 but checked the next few days from here to my 'destination', heading for 33-36c (96.8F) , but dry, humidity only around 20-35%, so not really hot feeling..

    Zero%rain till i head east then it's 80-100% during the next 8days ,that'll be hard to take with the heat :lol3

    Most of the towns have farming history or mining,its amazing how they travelled back then,huge distances in weeks and months,here i am doing it in days.

    Some of the trucks are 4 semi's long, buffeting knocks me about when they pass, great sight though, little wonder there's so much roadkill, they don't slow down for much!

    Here's me doing snacks :D
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    :1drink
    #11
  12. HyperPete

    HyperPete Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Oddometer:
    765
    Location:
    Surfers Paradise, Australia
    Here's a nice one of the Duke, loaded at longreach station
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    :D
    #12
  13. HyperPete

    HyperPete Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Oddometer:
    765
    Location:
    Surfers Paradise, Australia
    4Sept.
    Stockmans Hall of Fame.
    Took a walk thru history today, the Hall of Fame dedicated to those that started and are still living the Outback life, its certainly different.
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    Its big
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    Officially British...James Cook at the landing...
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    This was a Man Trap, about 4foot long!! Used to protect stock from thieves,can you imagine the pain!!
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    Home sweet home, circa 1880. Amazing life they had!
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    Outback surgery: a guy had a fall, ruptured his bladder, they got him to a guy who had a morse code machine who recieved surgical
    instructions from someone on the other end ,they removed the bladder using these very tools, a pocket knife and razor...the guy survived but died from something else a time later... faint....
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    This tree cutting was carved by John McDouall Stuart on an epic journey of discovery, leaving Adelaide in October 1861, dipping his feet in the sea at Van Deimans Gulf,what is now Northern Territory.
    Travelled some 2500kms?
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    On a more recent and happier note....

    I had Brolga over for breakfast....
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    :D
    #13
  14. boy60

    boy60 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    718
    Location:
    Toowoomba, Queensland Australia
    Some clown poisoned the tree a few years back. They have tried to save it dont know how it went. Have a great trip.:clap
    #14
  15. HyperPete

    HyperPete Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Oddometer:
    765
    Location:
    Surfers Paradise, Australia
    5 Sept.
    Lazy day.

    Did very little today, enjoyed the peace of being miles from nowhere,with a few roadtrains coming past.

    Visited the Longreach Powerhouse Museum, interesting artifacts from times gone by, certainly makes one appreciate not only the efforts of the early settlers but my own situation, we've got it good nowadays!

    Riding the single cylinder Duke 690 has a few vibrations, then I saw this piston, and imagined the bike that would be built around it....as if...
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    Otherwise, sidewalk cafe cuppas, chatting to locals, met a rider on a Veestrom who just arrived from crossing the Birdsville and inland from Adelaide, sounded a great adventure.

    Just a snap of one typical Roadtrain, sized up next to my baby...
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    Otherwise, checked over various nuts,screws and things on the Duke, not many issues, all secure.

    Head off tomorrow on the most barren section, Winton, Cloncurry then Normanton. I'm told I'll see camels and if i'm lucky, a tree or two...

    That's it for today, who knows what excitment awaits around the next long straight :)
    #15
  16. vagueout

    vagueout Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,811
    Location:
    sydney, east
    Enjoying the pics very much. I did much the same ride in late june in reverse order, karumba back to sydney (via walcha) in four days, sadly spent precious little time taking any pics. Happy to recommend the "Matilda's end" motel in Karumba, apart from having a chilled water filter in the room, they were very receptive to payment in cash, best bargain stay on the trip. Keep posting, i'm seeing more of this trip in your report than i did when i did the ride!!!:lol3
    #16
  17. HyperPete

    HyperPete Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Oddometer:
    765
    Location:
    Surfers Paradise, Australia
    Leaving Longreach to Winton about 8, windy but the usual clear dry sunshine...

    I was told there'd be lots of nothing along the way...they were right..

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    Overtaking a few of these made it interesting...
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    Then about 20km before Winton I turn off toward the Age of Dinasaur exibition...and realised I'm not much into dirt anymore:lol3

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    Doing only around 40-50kmh, think the small wheels didnt help much, felt insecure the whole way...

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    So I checked out a few old Aussie dinasaurs...

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    The model's (abive) bones were found in the area
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    Real nice views from the Mesa where the exibition is..
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    The on the way out wobbling around I encounter a bloody big BULL, so I slowed, revved up a bit thinking,like cows, it would scoot off..no no, it turns around and starts to go me...:eek1
    I just had to become a better dirt rider right then and throttled hard and got past... :rofl

    So I'm in Winton, dusty, dry and very outback looking, nice folk too!
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    Checked out the town, did the Waltzing Matilda centre, as you do...nice tune.
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    And some of the usual interesting outback museum artifacts...
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    Ktm touring model circa 1890...:D
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    Nice township...
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    My view for some of the arvo...
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    Pub dinner tonight then off to Cloncurry tomorrow...covered about 1650kms so far, bike's fine...still comfy, although a Goldwing FB6 would certainly excell on this ride .

    More to come as the kms continue...
    :D
    #17
  18. Teabar

    Teabar Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    142
    Location:
    Sutton, England
    Great report. Love the pics, they show some great light. Particularly like the old towns and the road trains. You'd better be sure when you go past one of those, eh!

    I'm also a proud owner of a 2012 690 Duke. It has 2 tours to its name, last year in the Pyrenees and this year in the Alps. It's a mega performing bike on the twisties. The punchy motor and engine braking are made for roads as such. I hope you've had a chance to put it through its paces.

    I did do some long miles on the last day - about 1,200 Kms and 15 hours. Ouch!! It wasn't planned, just worked out that way.

    Thanks for the great report.
    #18
  19. HyperPete

    HyperPete Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Oddometer:
    765
    Location:
    Surfers Paradise, Australia

    Thanks, I enjoy taking and sharing the trip.
    Unfortunately apart from just near home I think I've encountered 2 or 3 bends ONLY :lol3

    This is a big country,most of the roads I'm covering are long and straight...hundreds of km each...
    But, thats the trip, experiencing the wide open spaces ending with a visit to the Gulf. (Probably wont get any twisties for another 1000 or more km !!)

    Constantly encountering local history and that of some of the many early explorers who did similar journeys back then on foot with packed camels,horses, taking months or years and sometimes not making it back. Makes one grateful for the life we have!

    Here's the Duke at my Winton Motel, very comfortable
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    ... dinner last night was funny/weird...seems all the tourists,about 10,14 of them all sitting on the sidewalk tables...were snobs... I havnt shaved a few days, wearing a karhki raggy shirt,pulls up on the bike and gets the stare...found it funny, not a word out of them during the meal, but I ventured into the pub with my drink after and had a few good laughs with the locals ending the night quite differently...

    Any other place I've been its all friendly chat, think I got a bunch of strange ones by chance :rofl

    Readying the load now for todays ride, about 500km? To Cloncurry the home of our Flying Doctor Service and a very needed service in these parts!!(hopefully not required on this trip)

    Thanks for enjoying the ride with me :D
    #19
  20. HyperPete

    HyperPete Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Oddometer:
    765
    Location:
    Surfers Paradise, Australia
    Took off from Winton in the cool morning breeze...which soon turned into a headwind...
    But...it was nice
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    Lots of nothing...distant trees, few roadkill, saw a pussycat munching away at a fresh kangaroo pattie, unlike the birds,pussy just looked up with an evil stare...didnt stop to pat it :eek1

    Stopped at Kynuna, middle of nowhere...topped up and had a drink...took a while to overtakema roadtrain carrying wool, the last carraige kept swaying covering most of the road!
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    Nice long straights...thought I'd blot out the speedo:wink:

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    Arrived early enough to take in some of the historical venues...
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    Visited the Flying Doctor Exhibition

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    Brilliant service, credit to those pioneers!!
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    Here's the pedal radio they used back then...
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    Ofcourse there were a few traditional pubs to visit...
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    Ending up in a nice motel, thought it was quiet, they're playing loud lawn bowls outside my window, so i sat outside with a ciggy, only have 6 lovely kids running around me playing hide and seek... gotta luv the country folk!!
    :D
    #20