We did this trip about a month ago but I've been too busy to write it up. Not too many pics this time. For me it was just an opportunity to get my newish outfit on some dirt. My old mate John (GS1200) laid out a trip that took in about 800 kms of bitumen and 400 kms of dirt. Along for the ride were another old mate, Mark on his GS1200 and Pat on his KLR 650. I couldn't get away from work until midday on Friday so Mark offered to ride out with me while Pat and John left earlier that morning. They planned on a cruisy ride, stopping for lunch in a country pub and then finding a good campsite for us all. I had UHF comms in my helmet, with a PTT on the handlebars and John was carrying a handheld as well. Mark and I finally got away about 1100 hrs and after nearly an hour getting through the suburbs we kept a steady pace, riding out a slightly longer route through Brookton and Beverley to Southern Cross. Mark and I ended up riding in the dark for about 30 minutes, where I was grateful for the decent standard lights on my GSX 1400 as we'd seen a couple of small roos just on dusk. I called John about 6 kms out and got good reception. It was bloody cold so it was good to hear that he and Pat had a campsite picked out a couple of Kms from our meet point. Eventually we arrived at the prearranged dirt junction where the Koolyanobbing Rd crossed the Vermin proof fence. A good fire It was a cold night. The eggs and bacon I had on board went down well for breakfast. Saturday morning and we'd had some rain in Perth a couple of days before the trip and it was obvious this area had a bit more. Wandering down to the edge of Lake Seabrook I managed to get bogged briefly. Nothing too dramatic but a reminder how much weight I had on board. Back on the road As stated, I was using this trip to try out gear for the Border Run and Off Centre Rally in August. I carried a spare rear tyre and one for the front and chair wheels. A bit over the top but I wanted to see how it all went. More water John's trip plan called for us to head north on what was marked as a 4WD road for a ~100 kms that becomes a track for another ~40kms before swinging west in a big loop to meet the Evanston - Bullfinch dirt road with another 100+ kms of dirt back down to Bullfinch and the bitumen. If I'd been on a solo I've had pushed on but I became worried that the outfit would become a liability so I opted to head south back to SC and then across to Bullfinch and up the other side of the loop to meet the group as they came off the rough track. Mark generously offered to ride down with me so after topping up the two remaining solos with fuel . . . and having a very civilised brew . . . courtesy of the outfits' gas cooker . . . We turned around and pushed off. The next few shots are from John's camera as he and Pat headed north. Mark and I had our soft cock ride back to town where we sat inside a warm roadhouse to thaw out before riding back up the other side of the dirt loop to meet the guys. This had a couple of nice long sections of corrugations followed by some sand . Nothing my old KLR wouldn't have handled but a different proposition on a big 1200. By this time I was really enjoying the sidecar, powering out of corners, changing line mid sand sections, just because I could, generally having a ball. The best bike decision I ever made ! We finally met up with John and Pat, just before the track entered the Evanston Road. John's first question was "Have you any spare oil in the outfit ?" He'd had a drop on a loose, uphill section. That had resulted in this. A good sized holle in the rocker cover. Luckily he had some "Knead It" metal putty, but it was still leaking and he couldn't see any oil in the sight glass. It was getting late so we camped just down the track and John decided to remove his repair and apply another dose of putty from the tube I always carry. Luckily the "supply truck" still held essentials, a couple of cans of pre mixed Scotch and Drys, still cold in my small esky. Sunday morning and it was time to head back to Perth. The GS was still weeping some oil and we still could not see any in the sight glass. Down the dirt Pat giving me a wave as he goes by. Wheat belt towns on a Sunday in Western Australia, not much open. A lot of the fuel stations are automated, swipe your credit card to operate the pump. I think Mark found a general store open in Cadoux that yielded a litre bottle and then later another litre in Wongan hills before we could see oil in the glass. 3 days, 2 nights, campfires with old friends, minor incidents, successful repairs, it doesn't get much better. A good break, roll on the OCR. My thanks to John, Mark and Pat. Andrew Linton.