The Simpson In April

Discussion in 'Australia' started by panhead_pete, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. flatlineroz

    flatlineroz Adventurer

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    It will be a taxing ride on a fully loaded tiger, when I did it we went east to west (supposedly the harder way).

    To clarify it was my father inlaws bike but he crashed a few times in the first 20km and broke himself so I took over.

    I found the hardest section was west of the SA border. Some bright spark thought it would be a good idea to put turns in the track both up and down and also at the top of the dunes, this was by and far the hardest bit of the whole trip, there were a few times when I got beached just due to not being able to carry enough speed to keep ontop of the sand, I would make sure that you have enough strength to repeatedly pull/dig your bike out of a up hill beaching. I would have a shovel of some to dig yourself out.

    I am guessing you can ride fairly well otherwise you wouldnt even consider something like this.

    I think we budgeted about 44ltrs fuel for birdsville to oodnadatta and we had a bit spare at the end but you will have figure out your own safety calculation. How much spare fuel and water can you carry on your setup?

    We had the standard original tyres which were ok but I think something with more grip would make a better time of it in the deep sand.

    We ended up pushing the radiator back a bit from a few slow offs which then forced the fan to rub on the core which then led to 5 small leaks which we fixed with quick metal.

    When you get to the big salt lake that runs north south try to limit the the amount of fun, I wound it up a bit too much and ran out of track and ended up 50m into a very soft clay pan.

    I would have a hand held uhf and some way to charging it, whilst most of the time you can see a few dunes ahead it did help knowing how many were in the convoy.

    How many days are you planning to take, obviously you will travel alot faster than cars. Once the sun starts to dip it is almost impossible to see your line in the shadows.

    Once you cross into QLD I think it gets easier as the tracks go straight up and down the dunes meaning you can carry more speed.

    We went in June and there was only a few times I took off the mesh jacket but I think in April it will be a bit hotter. Be prepared to be wacked on the arm/leg repeatedly from the the track side trees, the width is a 4wd so your arm just glances each and every tree/bush, between dunes you can carry some high speed if you want to but it is nice to recover a bit.
    #21
  2. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    Hit the gym now , pump those weights:lol3
    #22
  3. SoakedAs

    SoakedAs Adventurer

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    Hi, what will you destination be for this trip? Is there room for 1 more?

    I've been setting up my KLR650 for some adventures and considered doing the trip to the flinders classic via Melbourne (to see family).

    I'm not a very experienced rider but I've managed every challenge that I've found for myself including some soft sand, huge rocky descents and whatever else I can find.

    I'm heading to Frasier at the end of Feb so if I manage that I'll be in a good position to take on this adventure if you would have me along and it works out.

    Would be great to hear from you.
    Cheers
    #23
  4. Warin

    Warin Retired

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    You can get blanks - just the rod without the guides etc.

    There were fiberglass radio antennas that you could get... long ones. they had a spring mount on the base... humm google search .. looks like the 4WD ones are not long enough! (max 2.2m).. but the boat ones are

    http://www.zcg.com.au/marine_antennas_am-fm_radio.htm

    3.4m tallest and down from there.
    #24
  5. pete40

    pete40 Life Behind Bars

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    It was 50 out here yesterday.....
    #25
  6. panhead_pete

    panhead_pete Gone riding

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    HI Darren

    Thanks for the detailed response. More food for thought.

    I have a 30+ litre safari on the bike now and normally pub it when I travel including at the Classic so wont have much gear which would allow me to carry 5L of water in a saddle bag and 5L on my back plus another 15L in fuel in the Saddle bags.

    Two days from the Flinders to Mt Dare I would think based on my trip last year as long as the Oonnadata Track is OK. If its all wet and torn up will go up the Birdsville.

    Planning two days to get across the Simpson with pre dawn starts whilst its cool. If I was to get to Mt Dare with plenty day light would fuel and water up and try and knock out some of the kms that afternoon. Should only have tools/spares, 3 days food, a few clothes and a swag so traveling light. Hire a sat phone at Mt Dare and drop it off at Birdsville.

    Destination is the Sunshine Coast Soakedas and Id over night in Birdsville then probably haul ass home. So it would be a lot of riding in 5 days.

    May still be too much to bite off and wont firm up any plans until MUCH closer to the date and these would be subject to change at the time.

    Thanks so much for everyone's input to date.
    #26
  7. philth

    philth philth

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    maybe give your cooling system a good flush and put some quality coolant innit
    the big cats boil the billy in slow deep sand and if you letem get too hot you lose your clutch!
    maybe look at timing it so you hit the dunes of death between poeppels and knolls at dawn or dusk when the going is cooler...it makes a big difference
    #27
  8. panhead_pete

    panhead_pete Gone riding

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    Thanks Philth, will do re the coolant! How far in are the dunes of death? :cry
    #28
  9. philth

    philth philth

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    dunno but id say 150 from b ville?
    theyre only about 40 ks and start at poeppels and finish at knolls
    #29
  10. panhead_pete

    panhead_pete Gone riding

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    Thanks Philth.
    #30
  11. wairau

    wairau south pacific vagrant

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    panhead pete if you pm burren rider, maybe a couple more teeth on the rear might help save the clutch in sand. might be another option for you
    [​IMG]
    #31
  12. WILL_S

    WILL_S OUTLAW POSTIE 001

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    Pete if its hot it might be a good idea to take more than 10L of water.I went thru 10L in a day and was a bit dehydrated by night.Pushing,picking up bikes sucks it out lf ya.The water at purni tasted great the next day.
    #32
  13. Reefdog

    Reefdog Been here awhile

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    Rinse radiator, no coolant. just incase you need to drink rad water
    that's what I would do
    may save ya live life
    speaking from experience..
    #33
  14. Dirt Doctor

    Dirt Doctor Geographicallyembarrassed

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    We hit the dunes of death on our first trip on the bikes around 2pm. Was very hard riding

    Next trip hit them at 5am and it was like a motocross track for 40 km

    Take more water than you need - rather be looking at than for it !!!
    #34
  15. flatlineroz

    flatlineroz Adventurer

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    Going west to east you can ride later into the afternoon as the light is still on the up face of the dune and you shouldn't have too much trouble with eyes adjusting to the dark side on the way down the other side.

    To be honest I would plan on 3 days to cross because if you get beached you can easily lose 30 min and not even realise.

    I found the hardest part the western end and this was all because of the turns up and down the faces of the dunes, it could also be the fatigue factor as well, the eastern side was a bit "hit it at speed roll off near the top roll over and then carry speed down" as there was no need to modulate your speed to get around bends.

    I am hoping to do a solo crossing mid year if I can get work family leave.
    #35
  16. Desert Hack

    Desert Hack git 'r done

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    Hi Panhead,

    I took a ride across there West to East last April / May. In fact I crossed the path of Philth and Co heading West to Dalhousie. Stopped for a bit of a chat at Knolls /French Line corner. I was riding alone on a Tenere 660 and had vehicular company to do the extra fuel & water carrying for me but I can tell you it was still a bit of a slog. Full fuel + 3 litre Camelbak + handheld UHF etc was almost 220 kg. We had high 30's during the day and lots of loose, silky sand. The 'dunes of death' are not easy, especially if you are not pretty fit. I flew through a section I know as 'The Mincer"and was feeling pretty proud of my self but from there almost to Poeppels Corner it just got tougher. I had my last OFF about 3 or 4 km short of Poeppels and that's where I decided to call it a day, before I broke me. As it was, ribcage to below knee was black and blue from the first and last big OFF, not counting all the small ones in between.
    Having said all that negative stuff...... I loved it all. If I was fitter and had a lighter bike I would give it another shot for sure.
    A word to the wise, even though it has been repeated often in these forums; take as much water as you can carry. Then add in a little bit more. As others have said, if you find yourself having to pick up a fully loaded Tiger on a number of occasions, it will suck it out of you for sure. I just cant see 10 litres being anywhere enough, unless the temps were in the teens and you were going to do it over a very short period.

    I wore armoured mesh pants and jacket for maximum cooling on the ride but it still got pretty hot and I slurped through the water and Gatorade like it was going out of style. Because there was no practical limit to my drinking, ( the car carried all the extra) I slurped it up as fast as it leaked out of me with every third fill-up laced with powdered Gatorade.

    I work frequently in desert and arid regions and cannot stress strongly enough to KEEP HYDRATED.

    I hope you have a ball. The scenery is great and the riding at times is quite hard but it WILL be worth it.

    If you end up doing it solo and pass any friendly 4x4's, stop for a much needed rest and a quick chat and ask the question - "Would you mind if I just top up my water if you have any to spare?"

    Cheers
    Desert Hack
    #36
  17. chillybean

    chillybean Adventurer

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    Been reading this with interest as planning to cross in July. Will be on a DRZ 250, will have full support so no luggage/fuel/water issues. May seem like a silly question but if you are going to have support for the trip why do people choose to ride bikes only slightly smaller than an elephant?
    #37
  18. pete40

    pete40 Life Behind Bars

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    When you've ridden that 250 for 4000km of tar, then you'll know.
    #38
  19. farqhuar

    farqhuar Lone Wolf

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    Here's a tip re fluids.

    DON'T carry water, drinking water will just make you more thirsty.

    Carry carbonated MINERAL water, the mineral water will replace the electrolytes you use when you sweat, and the bubbles will refresh your dry mouth much better.

    In 2009 I lost a heap of fluids when riding my Burgman to Cam Cnr in November - streams of sweat running out of my jacket sleeves when I took my hands off the bars and held them downwards. At Cam Cnr a helpful FWDer gave me a 10 litre cask of spring water to supplement my rations, I went through that spring water in 1/2 a day, incredibly thirsty and every mouthful just made me thirstier.

    Last year I crossed the Simpson on my KLR and ended up with the same streams of sweat running out of my jacket but my fluid consumption was less than a single 1.5 litre bottle of mineral water a day - I just wasn't thirsty.

    The body thirsts for electrolytes - not H2O.
    #39
  20. chillybean

    chillybean Adventurer

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    Fair call, that would suck. Fortunately we are trailering the bikes to Maree.

    I suspect quite a few people have done it on twofiddy's, who has done it and would you do it again on a small bike?
    #40