Simpson Desert, Aus

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Trevor S, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. Trevor S

    Trevor S Cap'n Flatulence !

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    Apparently it's expected I write a ride report about a recent (as in last week) adventure ride Bikerooter, aka Steve "where the hell are my pants" Alldridge and myself did through some 5600km's of central Aus.

    For some of you more blood thirsty types, this will be boring, no near death experiences, no tragedy, no massive get offs, just a great ride, on well prepared, *cough* suitable bikes through some of the harshest yet most beautiful country outback Australia has to offer. For those not in the know, "The Simpson" is the largest parallel sand dune desert in the World.

    For those that enjoy supported rides, this is also not for you, as the added challenge of doing these sorts of rides unsupported is what makes them even better, kind of like having sex with someone you love, an unsupported ride adds significantly to the experience.

    For those that long for twisty asphalt roads and clear mountain streams, this ride report is also not for you, however, for those with a thirst for the breathe taking, soul grabbing, captivating vast empty expanse that is inland central Australia, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride vicariously through me as I attempt to scratch the surface of what it was like.

    It's difficult with words attempting to convey a ride like this, even pictures act as a poor record, albeit doing it a little better and unfortunately I am neither a comptent photographer or wordsmith but to kick things off, a random pictorial walk through the ride, best served by those with broadband. All pics by either Steve or myself, no post processing, resizing aside.

    Sunrise over the WAA line, Simpson Desert
    [IMGhttp://trevors.smugmug.com/Motorbike-Rides/2006/08Simpson-Desert-Crossing/R0010231/301526680_j8VUE-L.jpg[/IMG]


    Top of dune panorama on QAA Line, Simpson Desert
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    Boulia to Selwyn, north West QLD
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    Sunset, WAA line camp, Simpson Desert
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    Sunrise, breaking Camp, WAA line, Simpson Desert
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    A poignant reminder, WAA line, Simpson Desert.
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    Cockpit of the KTM 640 Adv, overlooking the wildflowers in the Strezyleki Desert (had rain 4 weeks before us getting there, well timed on our part)
    [​IMG]

    Steve may chime in from time to time with his own take on the ride.
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Beautiful :thumb

    :lurk
    #2
  3. Paves

    Paves Beetrt/liver sausage

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    Dear oh dear :nah, you could've at least had a bike flying through this pic.
    #3
  4. Lobby

    Lobby Viel Spass, Vato!

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    Trevor always has the good reports!

    :lurk
    #4
  5. Uzay

    Uzay Adventure Dreamer

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    great pix, what was the temperature? What tires does your KTM have? Magellan is ok but what Compaq for? ...and the guy who died on motor accident? How did happen do you have any info?

    Regards
    #5
  6. FuddyLogic

    FuddyLogic Blue'n'Orange

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    Excellent Trevor!! More, more, more...

    Any pics of Mac Clark Reserve, just Nth of Old Andado?

    :freaky
    #6
  7. Trevor S

    Trevor S Cap'n Flatulence !

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    At night, the lowest was single digits, through the day 20 - 25 mostly (proper degrees ie celcius)

    Front was a Michelin Baja, rear was a Dunlop 908 RR


    Controversially, (as I have had this vigirous debate numerous times on here so I am not going there again) I think GPS units are considerably lacking in their ability to do mapping :D On the whole they are way to simplistic for my needs. The thing they ARE great at is comining up with an NMEA data stream to feed better mapping hardware ie good at being a GPS unit only. The PocketPC is like a KTM 950SE in comparison to a Suzi DR80 being a GPS in contrast to it's versatility and mapping ability, my opinion only of course but my background is Surveying, so I do feel my opinion carries some degree of credibility. What the combination does is introduce a degree of complexiity that can be confronting to some users, I thrive on that complexity as it adds considerably to the versatility.

    Nothing sorry. It was just a poingant remider to everyone crossing the desert, especially where it is located, 3/4 of the way across the WAA line. The memorial spoke volumes to me of the sort of person he must have been for his friends to bother revisiting that vast empty area to erect something like that. Riders die every day in bike accidents but this seemed special some how ?

    Sorry mate, no, though I did see the turn off if that counts :D I half thought about heading in, as it was about time to pull up to camp for the night but we decided to press on up the road.
    #7
  8. Racketeer

    Racketeer Must escape......

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    How long did you take for the rumble in the DESERT?

    What camera did you take the pics with?

    Also, can you point me in the direction of you post on the GPS Compaq combo?

    Sorry for so many questions, curiosity killed the cat didn't it!!
    #8
  9. oziexplorer

    oziexplorer fugarewe tribe member

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    #9
  10. Trevor S

    Trevor S Cap'n Flatulence !

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    The ride started innocusly enough, we headed out about 7am. The ride was a big one by our standards, the longest adventure ride we had both done, (by Adventure ride I meant off road, with only a few km's of bitumen, unsupported, multi day, I had done much longer easy BMW style rides on sealed and unsealed roads before but this is different) with the goal being to cross the Simpson Desert, circumnavigate central Australia by the least used roads and trails and get home safely, we had a lot of riding in front of us just to get to the Desert.

    We started off down the back roads heading towards Blackall, a fairly straight route saw us crossing the bottom of the mighty Burdekin Dam,

    [​IMG]

    a massive oasis of fresh water in a parched land, before heading towards Mt Coolon for a refuel and lunch. Getting miles under our belt was important these first few days, so we quickly headed down the Suttor Development Road before turning inland towards Clermont via the back property access roads,

    [​IMG]

    obviously some talented craftsmen had sculpted these letter boxes out of what looked like off cuts of old drums in the grain harvesting area behind Clermont. We spotted several, the compulsory photo opportunity beside one, the detail was quite amazing.

    [​IMG]

    Ever onwards and another quick refuel saw us heading towards Alpha before turning off towards Jericho part way around, unfortunately one of the roads we had been going to take had been closed, forcing a quick re routing and seeing us egress at Beta.

    Never ceasing to amaze both Steve and I, some guy in a 4x4 pulled up beside us wanting to know which way to Alpha, he had no map and no idea where he was and complaining about a lack of road signs in the middle of no where :huh .. having a KTM strapped in the back confirmed his IQ :rofl

    A quick blast up the outback highway, past one of the worlds most ancient mammals,

    [​IMG]

    an Echidna, basking in it’s status as one of only two monotremes in the World.

    Steve had set Jericho as a goal but we were making good time, so we decided to keep going and head towards Blackall,

    [​IMG]

    note to self, the Prince of Wales Pub in Blackall is a bit of a shit hole, avoid it next time.

    Day 1 was safely over, with curious stares at the servo (Aussie slang for gas station for you non locals) for riding around near Blackall at night on bikes, the 'roos were as ubiquitous as PETA supporters at an anti lamb crutching rally.

    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. El Toad Man

    El Toad Man Offroad adventurer

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    Awesome.
    Any pics of your bikes and equipment?
    Suggestions on what you would improve next time, pack different equipment etc. It's the little things you hear from people who have done these trips that make me think "I would not have thought to pack that..."
    #11
  12. scottr

    scottr Banned

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    :clap:clap:clap:clap

    :lurk
    #12
  13. Eaglebeak

    Eaglebeak All roads rider, West Oz.

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    Great stuff Trev. Your trip reports are always a good read.

    How do you like the Arai peak helmet ? I'm beginning to get a little annoyed with my flip open hinged style helmets. My latest has been dropped a few times and they are a bit fragile when left open. Plastic hinges and associated fittings keep breaking.

    I'm thinking of going for a "normal" non flip style next time and like the idea of a peak AND a visor, not goggles.

    Do you get much wind noise, any other issues ?

    Andrew Linton.
    #13
  14. Trevor S

    Trevor S Cap'n Flatulence !

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    1. It's an expensive helmet in Aus (IMO)
    2. The peak is small and soft in comparison to a dirt bike helmet, this means it does not catch as much wind at speed putting strain on your neck like a dirtbike helmet but it does not give you the sun coverage as you ride into a low sun like a dirt bike helmet (swings 'n roundabouts)
    3. It's the best helmet I have worn for Adventure riding use but it IS a compromise.
    4. The tight turn of the visor leaves vision a little distorted if trying to ride with the visor 1/2 up.
    5. Noise is much better then a dirt helmet but worse then a good road helmet (better then a flip up helmet) I always wear ear plugs.
    6. I do no wear it on the BMW, only the KTM (Fox V3 on the Husky 450). I find my Shoie with an irridium visor a much better option. I also have the Schubert with the little internal flip down visor which is good but has the problems of most flip helments

    Other options are Simpson and importing a Shoei (I imported my Arai before it was available here) but prefer Shoei Helmets on the whole
    #14
  15. Eaglebeak

    Eaglebeak All roads rider, West Oz.

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    Thanks for the comprehensive reply Trev. I'll have to think hard about it.
    It is expensive and it is a compromise.

    Andrew.
    #15
  16. bikerooter

    bikerooter the hard way

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    Nice start Big Fella---- 9 Days to go
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  17. davorallyfan

    davorallyfan Commonist

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    Nice pix Trev.

    Looking forward to the next installments.
    #17
  18. dirt rider X

    dirt rider X tropical traveller

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    what was the longest stage fuel wise?
    Did bikerooter ever find his pants :eek1
    #18
  19. Andrew2

    Andrew2 Team 250

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    C'mon Trevor,where's the rest of it.This is good:thumb
    A2
    #19
  20. Eaglebeak

    Eaglebeak All roads rider, West Oz.

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    Bumpity bump.

    C'mon Trev, we're hanging out for the rest. :lurk
    #20