Up Googs and Over the Simpson to the OCR

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by "A", Sep 1, 2008.

  1. "A"

    "A" numbum

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    407
    Location:
    Albany Western Australia
    Up Googs and over the Simpson but it was no Adel or Lorella for me. I guess we all know what it is like - we carefully plan out a trip and give it a pre-run in the minds eye (sort of a mental video clip of the perfect journey) but reality can be somewhat different. My "boys own adventure" came to an abrupt end 40 k's short of Bedourie.
    Belly and I left Albany on a cold, wet and windy day after lunch.
    [​IMG]

    We stayed in Esperance for the night after a ride that reinforced my decision to fit handlebar grip heaters to the bike. My muffler blew to pieces so the morning was spent fitting a 12 inch hot dog and then it was "boots and saddles" once again. We made Caiguna and called it stumps for the night.
    Meanwhile, my brother Fred and his riding mate Colin who we planned to join some days down the track were having some fun of their own. They chose to follow the old telegraph track east of Israelite Bay and it had rained and rained......
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    The magnificent Bilbunya Dunes
    [​IMG]
    After the dunes it was up the Wylie Scarp to join the old telegraph track for some more challenges for the lads.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    And back to the old Suzuki Fat Wheeler days. Actually the RV 125 is the bike on which Fred and I really learnt to ride circa 1974!
    [​IMG]

    It took Fred and Colin 7 hours to do 70 kilometres - the above image giving you a bit of an idea as to why.Eventually things dried up and they made their way eastward along various coastal tracks and across the border to Ceduna.
    Belly and I were a couple of days behind but basically stuck to the bitumen thereby avoiding mud and the odd wombat hole (eh Colin!).
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We headed North just before Ceduna and stayed a short distance up the road at a farmers residence. We had previously sent our Michelin Desert tyres there so it was out with the tyre irons and on with the new rubber. In the process Belly perfected the art of pinching ultra heavy duty tubes. It's all in the timing - 15 minutes after fitting the rear wheel, psssssst, down she goes.
    Next morning we wasted some more time as I vainly searched for my keys. They only live in the flight deck right!
    Wrong.
    [​IMG]
    My response to Belly for milking the issue for what it was worth -
    [​IMG]

    Anyway, as you can see the sun is already above the horizon so we arced the Euro machinery up and headed for the bush. At the start of Googs Track the X had a little lay down when I was wheeling it around. The old airhead horizontally opposed BMW twins are easier to pick up because on most occaisions they don't fall over that far. In fact I've been lucky in the past with them having dropped the old GS only to have it bounce back up and then carry on around the corner.
    [​IMG]

    So there you are, I've made a start to this little saga. Call it chapter 1 I suppose. Next chance I'll have a go at describing the Googs Track and Simpson Desert crossing.
    #1
  2. farawayman

    farawayman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    550
    Now keep the reoprt going A. I'm glad your up and posting, you where the talk of the town when we got to Bedourie. Someone else steped off north of Bedourie the same afternoon. It will keep the town talking for the next 12 months. :lol3
    #2
  3. MymoJoe

    MymoJoe Ride Ride Ride

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,392
    Location:
    Fernvale QLD not close enough to the desert
    :lurk ......
    #3
  4. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    61,030
    :thumb

    :lurk
    #4
  5. El Toad Man

    El Toad Man Offroad adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    637
    Location:
    Cairns, Australia
    Great writeup so far, and nice bike & gear setups too (all of them!) :thumb

    :lurk
    #5
  6. jtb

    jtb Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,318
    Location:
    Hawkesbury NSW Australia
    :ricky Sounds like a great trip... waiting for the next chapter of your Adventure!
    #6
  7. jtb

    jtb Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,318
    Location:
    Hawkesbury NSW Australia
    Can you shed any light (pun not intended) on the headlight surround of the black DR? I want one...
    #7
  8. pirate63

    pirate63 SUPA 10 PILOT

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    446
    Location:
    brisvegas,oz
    great report:clap :clap
    #8
  9. auRoscoe

    auRoscoe Cerebral Failure!

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    460
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Waiting for the next chapters... :lurk
    #9
  10. "A"

    "A" numbum

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    407
    Location:
    Albany Western Australia
    The big change for the DR - they have gone black! Looks good too I reckon. Now to answer the question. The surround is a kevlar/glass/carbon fibre laminate on each side of a rigid foam core. I made it as a one off for my brother Fred and he put it on a DRZ400 for the 2007 Australian Safari. The shape was kept fairly simple to enable easy fabrication of the foam core. He repainted it and mounted it to the 650. I guess if there is a bit of demand for it we could make a mold and knock a few out.
    A.
    #10
  11. atgreg

    atgreg Africatwinarama

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Oddometer:
    10,042
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    G'day Andreas,

    looks great so far. it was a shame not to meet you at lorella.

    greg
    #11
  12. "A"

    "A" numbum

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    407
    Location:
    Albany Western Australia
    UP GOOGS and OVER the SIMPSON to the OCR<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    With our new “Deserts” on Belly and I were revved up and ready to tackle the Googs Track. It is about 160 kilometers or so in length with plenty of dunes, a lake and Mt. Finke to visit. If you are a bit of a dusty demon of the sand and want to do a Canning Stock Route or Simpson Desert ride but are unsure of bike setup or your ability then this little fun run should give you most of the answers.<o:p></o:p>
    Here I am heading off.
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The track started of winding through the bush and soon the dunes began. On the track into the lake Belly had a close encounter or the turd kind with a 4wd heading in our direction. Brake testing on the KTM proved successful. 4wd’s on nice dirt tracks are a bit like cars with caravans on your favourite mountain pass.<o:p></o:p>
    View of Googs Lake.
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The going was good with moisture still on the sand and zooming over the dunes was a blast. The tracks ahead showed that Fred and Colin had only recently been through here, in fact they had camped the night up the other end. Some of the wheel marks were pretty interesting indicating a bit of arm wrestling going on with the bars on one of the bikes.<o:p></o:p>
    Fred and Colin’s Camp<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    Was it a cool night? – I think the mercury got to zero!<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    The day was warming up for us we rode further into the dunes, enjoying the dynamic abilities of our fine European machinery. Of course Murphy’s law intervened, must have been having too much fun. Belly scored a flat rear tyre after hitting a root laying exposed across a dune. There is no photographic evidence of this however as I was somewhat reticent in bringing out the camera in the vicinity of a large, angry man with two tyre irons in his paws. In due course we proceeded once again enjoying some good riding through the vegetated dunes.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    The more northerly section became a bit gnarly and was giving us somewhat of a workout so we stopped and had a rest for half an hour. This was just what the doctor ordered because when we got back into it the worries had disappeared and all of a sudden the bikes started handling like magic again(well, as magic as you can get when they’re loaded like a nomads camel). The dunes eventually faded away and the track became an adventure rider’s delight. It was a petrol heads two pipe orchestra with the big singles barking their way through the landscape, the sound reverberating through the bush as the engines rose and fell through the rev range. There are times when you can’t help but just love the good old infernal consumption engine.<o:p></o:p>
    After crossing the trans-continental railway line we turned east and rode into Tarcoola, a small town with a population of about two and a pub with no beer! It seemed that this establishment had been closed for quite a while anyway; somewhat of a forlorn hope. Things looked up however when the 4wd we had come across earlier rolled up and gave us a bottle of metho. No, I know what you’re thinking, but we weren’t really that desperate. The bottle had fallen off Fred’s bike and it contained his Trangia stove fuel.<o:p></o:p>
    Although the sun had well and truly reached its zenith we decided to head onto Coober Pedy along some station roads. Finding our way wasn’t too much of an issue as Colin and Fred’s tracks were clearly visible. Belly added to his recent tally of animal hits by riding over a sheep and I tickled the tail of a roo on our way. Apparently the secret to riding over sheep is to pick the smallest one out of the mob, be certain that it has plenty of shock absorbing wool and keep the momentum up! Night had set in by the time we rolled into town but we were pleasantly surprised to find that we had caught up with the DR650’s. We booked into a motel room next to Fred and Colin and unloaded our gear.<o:p></o:p>
    It wasn’t long before Fred started on about how disappointed he was in losing his special Trangia bottle of Metho. In fact he mentioned it several times. Knowing that he had some spare fuel we asked him if he could cook us up a feed while we settled in. Not a problem, so when he left the room to collect his stove we carefully placed his precious bottle on the floor in the middle of the room. On his return he walked straight past it, carefully stepping around it and several times repeated this action. Then without recognizing it, he bent down, picked it up and carefully placed it on a bench! That was too much, I just had to go outside and crack up. On return he eventually discovered the bottle thus causing a riot of mirth and amusement – especially for Belly and me.<o:p></o:p>
    Next morning we were itching to get away and head to Oodnadatta before beginning the Simpson crossing.<o:p></o:p>
    Here we are loading up outside the motel.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    The gibber plain to Oodnadatta was an uneventful ride. Here we fueled up at the Pink Roadhouse in preparation for the 615 kilometer crossing of the Simpson Desert to Birdsville on the eastern side.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    Fred and Colin headed off on their Jap bikes some minutes before we roared out of town on our Euro machines. When we caught them, they had set up under a tree with ground sheet lain out and jaffle iron on the stove sizzling away. There was no doubt about it, now that we had joined the DR650 crew, the ride was going to revolve around FOOD.<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    After giving the worms a fair nibble it was once again time for “boots and saddles”. Riding towards the desert we passed the Dalhousie Ruins and some kilometers further on stopped for a swim in the popular Dalhousie thermal springs. The single bikini clad babe who dared to enter the water was pretty popular too.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    After a cleansing of the evil bodies we rode on to the vicinity of Purnie Bore on the western end of the desert proper – where the dunes of the Simpson begin in earnest. It was here that we decided to camp for the night.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    To be continued……<o:p></o:p>
    #12
  13. jtb

    jtb Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,318
    Location:
    Hawkesbury NSW Australia
    Excellent!!:clap

    As for the headlight surround I'll express an interest! If you have any close up shots I'd like to have a look!. PM me for my email if you don't want to post here or (better still) place it on the DR650 aussie thread I'm sure there will be more interest over there:wink:
    #13
  14. What's his Face

    What's his Face lost as

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,728
    Location:
    bundaberg australia
    i'll have a blue one
    #14
  15. rhino_343

    rhino_343 Southern Explorer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,136
    Location:
    Yallingup Western Australia
    Great stuff Andreas, I like your writing style.:super Looks like a very nice route you took, those tracks look great. I will have to get down to Albany for a ride with you guys sometime. Me, Pejie and maybe some others are riding to Esperance in October, maybe you can point me in the direction of some good tracks from Albany to Esp??:evil


    BTW keep the report coming!

    Justin
    #15
  16. "A"

    "A" numbum

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    407
    Location:
    Albany Western Australia

    I remember camping at Purnie Bore back in 1984 when Fred and I completed a Steep Point to Byron Bay trip. I rode an R80 GS and Fred an R80/7 with front forks taken off his KTM 500. All night it blew a raging sandstorm and we only had a ground sheet for protection – no tent. It was an uncomfortable night and sand got into every orifice possible. Next day we’d go charging over the dunes only to totally lose the track on the downhill side as it was covered in meter deep tumble weed. Pretty memorable stuff!<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    Twenty four (did I get the maths right?) years later we had no such problems. The two nights we spent in the desert were quite warm and the daylight temperatures were moderated by a cool breeze. This meant riding conditions were ideal with no surprises over the dunes and relatively low water consumption.<o:p></o:p>
    The night before our collective brains generated the following resolution – wake up at sparrows and get away early. So at three in the morning Belly throws some sticks on the fire and lights the night sky up like Luna Park. Actually, I wouldn’t have a clue what Luna Park looks like at night but somebody used that term about thirty years ago and it sounded impressive then. Anyway, we told the bloody cow cocky to go and get …...<o:p></o:p>
    When we arose for real the light was being produced by the SUN at a much more civilized hour. In retrospect it turns out that maybe we should have crawled out of bed at a cow cocky’s morning piss time because it took us hours to get out of the place! I don’t think any of us could believe how inefficient we were at getting on the frog and toad. To make matters worse Belly found that his rear tyre had a suspicious looking flat spot on the part that touches the ground. Oh well, out with the levers again.<o:p></o:p>
    With the sun already too high in the sky we eventually departed and got into some serious dune riding. Most of the time things went well with only a few unintended excursions and low speed topples. I found the steering a bit tricky at times and was soon lamenting not having completed my tank in time. This would have moved some weight further forward and lower. I probably should have just bought a Touratech tank but knowing better thought I’d make one so I could access the air filter without taking the tank off. As they say “proper preparation prevents piss poor performance”.<o:p></o:p>
    Below are some images of our Simpson ride.<o:p></o:p>
    Simpson dunes.
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    Colin bogged.
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    The Simpson desert.
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    More sand.
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    Flower power.
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    Go Belly.
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    Almost.
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    Cresting.
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    The bikes performed admirably considering the demands placed upon them. Belly was happy with his 640 and the DR’s were bouncing along nicely on their under damped rear suspensions. We re-named them the Piglets and Colin’s even had a dodgy horn that made a convincing squealing sound! Belly and I reckoned we could differentiate between the two by further naming one Adel and the other Lorella.<o:p></o:p>
    After visiting Poepples Corner we called it stumps and set up camp for the night.<o:p></o:p>
    The image shows the corner of South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    Packing up our second campsite.<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    It had been an enjoyable evening .Once again Fred and Colin were forced to be impressed by the speed and efficiency of our Jetboil cookers as Belly and I heated up our meals and made a couple of cuppers before the old school “piglet”cookers could muster up a lukewarm response! A few ports and chocolate along with a bit of “slightly irresponsible” banter and we were set for a good night’s sleep.<o:p></o:p>
    As the precedent had already been set, regardless of an early rise, it was still after eight before we hit the track. The previous day of riding had covered the bulk of the demanding stuff and amazingly we had not encountered any 4wd convoys. This day we passed several but without any incident. <o:p></o:p>
    One of the fears of riding motorcycles over the dunes is the worry of having a head on when cresting the ridge. You need to maintain good momentum on a bike to keep control but this has its element of risk. We were pleased with ourselves for having fitted radios and therefore being able to warn others of our imminent approach.<o:p></o:p>
    We made good progress as the DRs pig rooted and squealed their way across the desert accompanied by the Bee Em Wobbleyou and Kaboom. With rain having fallen a month or so earlier many desert flowers were in bloom, a pleasant vista to behold. Before long we were sitting on top of Big Red, big noting ourselves about what clever bastards we are and how easy it all was!<o:p></o:p>
    These photos show the section between camp number two and Birdsville.<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Little bit of air.
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    The crew.
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    Fred on big red.
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    Big Red.
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    Andreas on top.
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    Go.
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    Up Big Red.
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    The water crossing on the way to Birdsville.
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    It was surprising to have to ford a substantial but risk free body of foot deep water after so many kilometers of desert sand. A few more clicks and we arrived in Birdsville for the mandatory “bikes outside of pub“ photographic cliché.<o:p></o:p>
    I must say we were all very happy. Modern bikes are in general reliable and can be trusted for this sort of journey especially if they are only a year old or less. We carried the amount of gear that our riding experience indicated we could handle and therefore basically kept out of trouble. The BMW used 30 liters of fuel for the 615 km from Oodnadatta to Birdsville and the KTM and Suzuki machines consumed around 43 -45 liters respectively . So the equation is roughly desert consumption equals touring consumption providing you are being responsible with the throttle.<o:p></o:p>
    Stay connected for more motorcycle moments very soon.<o:p></o:p>
    A. <o:p></o:p>
    #16
  17. choccoloco

    choccoloco Cabin Fever....

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    798
    Location:
    CBR, AUS
    What an awesome report, love the pics.

    :lurk
    #17
  18. maccajim

    maccajim Holding the Awesome

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    554
    Location:
    Tokyo at the moment
    That sunset photo from a hill of the bikes and tents is excellent makes me want to get out there stunning scenery and great report.
    #18
  19. BELLANEGRA

    BELLANEGRA F650gs

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    Cooma N.S.W Australia " Yes Gods Country"
    Wow Wow and Wow , have to put this trip on my to do list.

    Good to see the baby Beemer did so well on fuel and the trip against the jap bikes with proven history.
    #19
  20. pirate63

    pirate63 SUPA 10 PILOT

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    446
    Location:
    brisvegas,oz
    :clap :clap
    #20