Savannah Way or Melbourne to the gulf and back.

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by AngryAndo, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. AngryAndo

    AngryAndo Been here awhile

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    Hi everyone,
    This will be my first Ride report and our first real adventure ride. We are less than 3 weeks from departure so I thought I would start with the preparation for our first trip.
    I know when we started preparing, the more information I could get the better.

    THE BIKES: 4 bikes: Graeme (that's me), my son Tim and his mate David all on DR 650's and David's father Simon on the KTM 990.

    We have been planning this ride for nearly a year and of course now that we are less than 3 weeks from the start everything is being rushed at the last moment.

    When we first began planning Simon was the only one in the group to have a suitable bike. After plenty of investigation the three of us all chose DR's as the best all round bike and best value for money.

    [​IMG]
    This is how the DR's started out

    All three DR's have had similar modifications with Acerbis 20 litre tanks, Vince Strang suspension mods and after market exhausts.

    In addition we have added panier racks and Andy Strapz bags, MCS Steering dampeners alloy fat bars, Bark Busters and more.


    [​IMG]
    My Bike with the first mods: Acerbis Tank

    Tim is still working on a modified headlight and screen set up but it is not yet ready. I will post photos once it is completed.

    PREPARATION:
    In the lead up to this ride we did a weekend test ride from Melbourne to Swan Hill and return a total of just over 1000 km nearly 800 dirt.
    This ride was mainly to test the set ups and ensure we were all capable of riding 500 km per day.

    Tim and I then joined the ride to Birdsville to celebrate the life of Tug Boat Bill. We rode from Port Augusta and covered over 2000 km in the week we were away.
    In addition to respecting Bill we saw this as another test ride in Preparation for the Savanah Way trip.

    [​IMG]
    Our bikes outside the Birdsville Pub

    [​IMG]
    With a few of our new found friends

    The one thing I have learned from that trip and also from RR's of others is that most new adventure riders tend to carry too much and we were no exception. I even posted a box of unwanted stuff home from Birdsville.

    That's all I've got for now but I will add some photos before we head off and some more detail on the bike set ups.
    #1
  2. Clancy

    Clancy Long timer

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    Looking forward to this:D
    #2
  3. seatec

    seatec Dutch Transplant

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    Sounds promising
    #3
  4. AngryAndo

    AngryAndo Been here awhile

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    With only 12 days to go we still have a bit to do.

    [​IMG]
    David's DR and Simon's 990 KTM being prepared
    [​IMG]
    The 990 is probably closer to ready than the others.

    Tim has his modified headlight and screen fitted too. Ill get a photo of that tomorrow.

    I have spent a lot of time on the itinerary and have worked out we should be able to get to Chillagoe in 6 days not the 7 originally planned.
    That will give us an extra day for bike servicing if it is needed.

    Having said that at the moment most of the roads we plan to use on day 2 are still closed.

    Hmmmm I always knew my itinerary was only a guide and things would most likely cause us to change plans.
    #4
  5. AngryAndo

    AngryAndo Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]
    Just testing photo uploads on my IPad
    #5
  6. scottdug

    scottdug Adventurer

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    Have a good one fella's!! Don't forget the eski ! :wink:


    Scott
    #6
  7. Fulldeck

    Fulldeck noob

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    Keen to hear more about this guys - have a great time.:clap
    #7
  8. AngryAndo

    AngryAndo Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]

    Tims homemade headlight and screen setup
    #8
  9. AngryAndo

    AngryAndo Been here awhile

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    OK, only 3 days until we head off and I promised more details about the bike set up:

    The changes to my DR from standard are:
    20 litre Acerbis tank
    Vince Strang suspension mods, new springs front & rear
    MSC steering damper
    Changed gearing to 15/43 for the trip, was running 15/44 for a while but chose the slightly taller gearing for the longer runs involved.
    TAG alloy handlebars
    Hot grips from Vince Strang
    Garmin Montana GPS with RAM mount
    Fandango tank bag by Giant Loop
    New tyres for the trip are Dunlop 606 front and rear. We tried out a rear on the Birdsville trip and it proved to be quite good.
    Staintune exhaust system (modified jetting as recommended by Staintune)
    Windscreen by Screens for Bikes
    Lowered foot pegs using lowering plates from Vince Strang
    B&B bash plate
    Replace choke cable with choke button from Vince Strang
    Replaced standard front sprocket cover with VSM DR 650 case saver
    Installed rim lock to rear wheel
    Bark busters
    Wolfman Panier racks
    Andy Strapz panier bags
    40 litre wet bag across the top
    #9
  10. AngryAndo

    AngryAndo Been here awhile

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    Now to the trip planning:
    One of the most important issues for me was the need to start the ride from home in Ferntree Gully which is in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne.
    The next issue was "this is an adventure ride so we need as much dirt as possible"
    With that in mind I set about planning a route that avoided as much bitumen as possible.
    With the help of Google maps on my iPad (the old version of maps before Apple stuffed it up)
    I set about planning a route that achieved the above two goals.

    If you google a route from Ferntree Gully to Swan Hill up on the Murray is comes up as 370 km all bitumen.
    After 12 months I now have a route that is 500 km with over 400 km of dirt. Not bad Eh!

    As recently as two weeks ago I was still making changes to the planned route.
    I have also been monitoring the weather and road conditions, particularly in NSW as there was a fair bit of rain there a couple of weeks ago. At one point half of day 2 and all of day 3 were closed but all is open at the moment and the weather forecast is looking good.

    In addition to the electronic devices I also have many paper maps that are going with us as a back up.
    I discovered that you shouldn't rely solely on the GPS when mine stopped working on our first weekend ride.
    I also have 23 pages of track notes that will sit in the top of my tank bag

    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

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    #11
  12. AngryAndo

    AngryAndo Been here awhile

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    You know the advantage of being self employed is the freedom to take time off for some Adventure Riding.
    The down side of owning your own company is the sacrifices you have to make.

    Simon has some work that must be finalised before we leave so we are now leaving tomorrow (Sunday)

    The up side of that was I didn't have to stay up late last night getting things ready. Roll On Sunday!!
    #12
  13. AngryAndo

    AngryAndo Been here awhile

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    On our way at last[​IMG]
    #13
  14. AngryAndo

    AngryAndo Been here awhile

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    12 months in the planning and I lasted 6 hours. An altercation with a Roo and I am in Bendigo hospital with a broken wrist. [​IMG]
    #14
  15. BergDonk

    BergDonk Long timer

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    Bugger!

    I hit a roo a couple of weeks ago on my DR and rode away, but it could very easily have been otherwise.

    Commiserations :cry
    #15
  16. painkilla

    painkilla MeTaL HeD

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    in front of you
    that sux ! sorry to hear ... im planning the same trip ,leaving in a weeks time , so what happens now ?
    #16
  17. Koos

    Koos Wheeled Wanderer

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    wow.....sorry to hear that.

    Hope it heals well for other adventures.
    #17
  18. TonyRDR

    TonyRDR Been here awhile

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    Sorry to hear about your troubles mate:cry was looking forward to your take on the trip. I love unsupported rides.
    There is always next year you are quite welcome to come with me.
    Get well soon Tony
    #18
  19. AngryAndo

    AngryAndo Been here awhile

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    Going into surgery later today. I hope to jump in Simons 4wd later in the week and catch up with the boys so I can keep up a ride report. [​IMG]
    #19
  20. Not the Messiah

    Not the Messiah Not the Messiah

    Joined:
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    GA,

    Under normal circumstances your misfortune would result in mirth and jocularity (and comparisons of your riding skills on a DR to those on a Redline:D) but this is not normal circumstances.
    Large sympathies, mate.
    I hope you can get in the truck and catch up to he boys.
    Brian L
    #20