Across Aus and back, Nov 2005

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by 2volts, May 4, 2006.

  1. 2volts

    2volts Rocket Surgeon

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia.
    It's taken a while to get around to it but here goes, a report on a trip from Perth, Western Australia to New South Wales for the 2005 BMW GS Safari and then back home.

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    There was a long distance award at stake, so departure date and odo were noted.

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    Ready to go.

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    Ready to roll.The three amigos, Nigel (left, red 1200GS), Robin (centre, 1150GSA) and myself, Pete. We did about 600km the first day and camped in the bush off the Evanston - Menzies Rd.

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    Day 2, trip 1,000km. Great Central Road, NE of Laverton WA.

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    Tjukayirla Roadhouse, Great Central Road, WA. late afternoon. Good food here. Campground and some dongas for the upmarket traveller. We met some kids here, the family had recently started a round Australia trip in a 4WD, mum, dad and 4 young kids. We asked the eldest (boy about 8) what he thought of the trip so far, "there's a lot of dead things on the road" he said. We suggested that they count all the burnt out cars as they went along (there would be one every 5km on average), they seemed to think this would be fun.

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    About 70km east of Tjukayirla. It appears the aliens crash landed right next to the road. All useful parts for space travel had been scavenged by the time we got there.

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    Day 2 campsite about 100km east of Tjukayirla. It started raining about 7pm, so it was an early night into the tents. It's amazing when you unpack your stuff how big an area you can spread it all over. I can never remember what bag things are in. It gets worse when you have little bags inside the big bags.

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    A gnamma waterhole. Some pretty foul looking water in granite about half a metre below surface. Could be a lifesaver if things went bad though. Not much water in these parts.

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    The Schwerin Mural Crescent Range, Great Central Rd, WA. Amazing to realise they were found and named by Ernest Giles in 1874, only 130 years ago. The interior of Australia is really only relatively recently explored compared to many other countries.

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    Trip 2,000km. Nearly at the end of the dirt, Great Central Rd, Northern Territory. Can just see Katja Juka (the Olgas) to the left horizon.

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    The end of the dirt on Great Central Road. Katja Juka in the background. Notice the resemblance between the shape of the riders gut and the majestic features in the background.

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    We got to Uluru (Ayers Rock) just before sunset. The viewing area is about 1km long and was full of cars. There is a separate viewing area nearby for the tourist buses. Nigel went off to try to buy a beer off someone, surprisingly he was unsuccessful. No shortage of 4WD, cars etc.

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    Sunset at Uluru, end of day 3.

    More to come, stay posted!

    Pete
    #1
  2. HyperPete

    HyperPete Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Magic Big Country isnt it!!!!:D
    #2
  3. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    beautiful!! :thumb
    #3
  4. dyvking

    dyvking ahead of his flamin star

    Joined:
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    Good stuff, this. It's a trip I plan to make in about 3 years when I retire. I had relatives that emigrated to Queensland area long ago.

    Anyway, Pete, how did you keep the left-hand side canvas bag from burning on the exhaust pipe?
    #4
  5. 2volts

    2volts Rocket Surgeon

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia.
    We had planned to camp at Yulara, but got pissed off with the place and decided to head for Curtin Springs instead. It was dark all the way, quite a few cattle grazing the roadside, but we made it OK. Too late for a feed, beers and potato crisps for dinner. I didn't even bother putting up the tent, just slept on the groundsheet.


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    South east of Curtin Springs is Mount Connor. Geologically same as Uluru and Katja Juta but looks totally different. It's about 20km from where photo was taken.

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    We headed south down the Stuart Hwy into South Australia. This section was supremely boring. Nigel and Robin amused themselves doing silly things on motorbikes and taking photos of each other as they rode along.

    At Marla we found out that the Oodnadatta Track was impassable at a few creek crossings, so we decided to keep heading down the highway.

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    At the police station at Coober Pedy checking road conditions. The Oodnadatta track south of William Creek was OK so we decided to head across to Willam Creek from Coober Pedy.

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    The Coober Pedy - William Creek road is unreal. Best fast dirt riding road I have ever been on. Big sweeping corners, good visibility, when you get near the salt lake sections through the dunes there's ups and downs. Best riding so far on the trip. 161kms of fun.

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    I wasn't into stopping on this road but water is unusual out here. The remnants of the rain which had passed through a few days before.

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    As far as we got that day.

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    Beer o'clock.

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    Campsite at the back of the pub. Next to the air strip. A bloody plane decided to land at about 9.30pm, just when I'm on the verge of falling asleep. Excellent dinner at the William Creek Hotel. It doesn't look flash from the outside but looks can be deceiving.

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    All the info you need. We asked about a scenic plane flight over Lake Eyre but the pilot was away doing a doctors run or something so we missed out.

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    On the Oodnadatta Track to Marree.

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    Warriners Creek. Water. Unusual.

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    Trip 3,000km. Beresford Hill in the distance.

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    There's three eighths of five sixteenths of bugger all out here.

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    Artesian mound springs.

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    All about mound springs.

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    What the sign says.

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    If you were an idiot you would try and drive your 4WD out onto Lake Eyre. There's no shortage of idiots. Unfortunately they eventually manage to get unbogged and rejoin society.

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    Planehenge.

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    See the giant dog?

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    All that remains of Callanna railway station.

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    Start of Birdsville Track at Marree. We headed 50km up here to Clayton Springs.

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    Once someone though they would start a date plantation out here. I'll give you the tip, you won't see Lake Harry dates when you go to the local shop.

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    All that remains of the homestead.

    Pete
    #5
  6. 2volts

    2volts Rocket Surgeon

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    We got to Clayton Springs early afternoon. Not the best trip planning. It was about 38 degrees C and bugger all shade. There's an artesian hot spa there. Quite therapeutic, but would be a lot more inviting in the middle of winter. Camped there overnight. Plenty hot water for washing some clothes.

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    Between Marree and Lyndhurst I was getting a bit bored. It's quite hard to take a photo on the move with a camera thats designed for right handers.

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    Anyway, it can be done.

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    Fuelling up at Lyndhurst. This would be the longest stretch between fuel stops, 430km to Cameron Corner. Nigel and I topped up 5 litre jerry cans each. Not worrries for the 1150GSA though.

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    What the sign says.

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    Start of the Strzelecki Track.

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    Montecollina Bore. A bus load of high schoolers on an outback camping trip.

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    The little buggers seemed to be enjoying themselves.

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    Our lunch stop was a bit more basic. I probably had another can of tuna for lunch. I ate a lot of tuna and biscuits on the trip.

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    Leaving the Strzelecki Track and ready to go across the dunes to Cameron Corner.

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    I got 408km before I ran my tank dry and had to top up with my 5 litre jerry.

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    Cameron Corner. Our fourth state in 6 days. The Cameron Corner store is in Queensland. We arrived there just after the Melbourne Cup horse race had been run. This race is a national event, there were well dressed ladies and gents from the nearby stations in for the afternoon, a real social occasion. We fuelled up, had a bite to eat and headed for Tibooburra. We reckoned that after 5 nights camping out we deserved a motel for the night.
    We bowled up to Tibooburra to find that the town was without power. A crow had stuck his beak somewhere he shouldn't have and had tripped the town circuit breaker. The lady that normally would go and reset it was out of town, so they were wating on a crew to come up from Broken Hill, three hours away. We booked into the motel, the showers were working and there was still plenty hot water. We went up th road to the pub, eventually the pwer was restored at 8.30pm. The next morning when we all emerged from our rooms, Nigel asked Robin and I if our air conditioners had worked OK. Sure, no worries. Well mine didn't he says! He did look a little hot and sweaty for that time of day.

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    Trip 4,000km, Silver City Hwy, south of Tibooburra, NSW.

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    The "Tool Tree" at the turn off to White Cliffs from the Silver City Hwy. If the aliens had crashed here instead they might have got their yellow space ship working again.

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    I never know if I should be looking out for giant cattle or miniature sheep.

    The road to White Cliffs was really good fun too. A bit more technical than the Coober Pedy - William Creek run though, lots of washouts and dry creek crossings to watch out for.

    This was a really long hot day, in the high 30's - low 40's for a lot of it. We ended up at Forbes by 7.20pm, after our longest day so far (960km).

    ...more to come

    Pete
    #6
  7. Eaglebeak

    Eaglebeak All roads rider, West Oz.

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    Good stuff Pete, thanks.

    Andrew.
    #7
  8. 2volts

    2volts Rocket Surgeon

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia.
    We were well into NSW by this stage and the pressure was off. We had a few days up our sleeve before Sat afternoon when we needed to login for the BMW Safari.

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    Trip 5,000km. Between Canowindra and Mandurama. Really rich, lush farming country. A bit different for us.

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    We did a few laps of Mt Panorama race track. I hadn't been there since Easter 1985. Forgot how steep it is. Funny how the only times I went to the Bathurst Easter bike races were 1983 and 1985 and that's when they had the worst riots. Those were the days...

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    The Blue Mountains. Kanangra Walls.

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    Robin had a yearning to stay overnight at Yerranderie. He had been there on a geology camp way back in prehistory times. We got there just on nightfall. A challenging little trip at the end of the day.

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    We found out what it looked like the next morning.

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    We went down to the "Private Town" when we arrived. A caretaker bloke came out and said "it's closed and my dinners cooking" and then ran back into his little house. Strangest welcome I have ever had. We camped in the "non private" area.

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    On the road out from Yerranderie.

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    ...and again

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    See what I found what I looked over the rock ledge? That's probably 100m below where I am. The road isn't down there.

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    Oberon, NSW. We decided to treat ourselves to a motel again for Friday night. Ended up being one of the strangest nights out we have had for a while. I can explain more at the OCR.

    Saturday was a leisurely ride through low cloud and drizzle across the Blue Mountains to Wisemans Ferry to login for the BMW Safari.

    http://www.bmwsafari.com/news/news_2Dec.htm

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    5,697kms since leaving home Thursday the week before. Lining up to get new tyres fitted.

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    New rubber.

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    Accomodation after the first days riding. Sunday. Vacy, NSW. We found out too late the next morning there was a spa downstairs in our chalet.

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    Dinner.

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    Trip 6,000km. Near Paterson, NSW.

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    Geoff Ballard (left) and Tony Kirby (right). Ballard is an Australian off road legend. Multiple ISDE gold medallist etc. He was BMW's special guest for the Safari. The HP2 is his. He has a 1200GS as well when he wants to take the wife out too. Kirby is a bike journalist, he set up and single handledly ran SideTrack magazine until recently. He started the event on his own BMW 1200 GS and was on a test ride HP2 this day. We had just come over the Gloucester Tops. I had punctured my front sidewall, stuck a couple of sticky strings in and off I went. A bit pissed off because the tyre was only 2 days old. I replaced it a couple of days later.

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    How many HP2's in this photo?

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    A wet morning in Wingham. It dried up very quickly.

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    Just out of Coonabarabran, NSW. I wasn't taking many photos, having too much fun riding.

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    Trip 7,000km. North of Narrabri, heading for Split Rocks NP.

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    Convict dug tunnel, Old Grafton Road.

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    The end of the 2005 BMW Safari. 7,820km since leaving home.
    Midginbil, NSW.

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    Success. The three amigos at the end of the Safari. Robin just made it, his final drive started leaking oil about 60kms from Midginbil.

    A terrific trip in 2 parts, with 2 great mates.

    part 3, homeward bound, coming up next.

    Pete
    #8
  9. 2volts

    2volts Rocket Surgeon

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia.
    The three of us were heading off in separate ways. I had had enough of being on the road and decided to head straight back to Perth. I left Midginbil at sparrows fart on Saturday morning.

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    Trip 8,000km. 65 km east of Tenterfield, northern NSW. This country really surprised me, I didn't know the Great Dividing Range went this far north and inland. Really enjoyable but quite cold.
    I used some of my new found local NSW knowledge to navigate back down through Glen Innes, Inverell, across to Bingarra, past Mt Kaputar again and to Narrabri. Fueled up at Wee Waa, then headed across via Pilliga, Coonamble, Warren,and onto the Mitchell Hwy at Nevertire. Got to Cobar for the night. Motel for the night. 1,073 km for the day.

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    Trip 9,000km somewhere east of Wilcannia, NSW. early Sunday.

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    What the sign says.

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    Trip 10,000km. East of Kyancutta, SA. Sunday afternoon.

    I got as far as Nundroo, west of Ceduna by Sat night. 1,482km for the day. Another motel room for the night.

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    Trip 11,000km. West of Cocklebiddy, WA.

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    Balladonia, WA. Three Triumph Tigers and a Ducati MHR Replica with a huge box on the back. The Tigers were a Dutch crew http://www.tigerraid-2005.nl/

    and the Ducati was a Japanese man who has been all over the world on that bike.

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    Home at last. Monday night.
    1,785km for the day.
    12,160km for the trip.

    Had a ball.

    Pete
    #9
  10. 2volts

    2volts Rocket Surgeon

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
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    Perth, Western Australia.
    I got one of those silver sunscreen windshield things that you put up when you park your car in the sun, cut it up and my wife sewed it into a bundle, and just stuck that between the bag and the rack.

    Pete
    #10
  11. Ozieadventure

    Ozieadventure BEEAAMMEERR

    Joined:
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    Perth WA
    Hi there gents,
    Good ride report Pete. I look forward to getting back to aust to catch up with youself Robbin and all the rest of the crew for one of your sunday blats. Still working overseas at the moment and without a bike those pics were heaven sent.

    Cheers

    Konrad.
    #11
  12. Eaglebeak

    Eaglebeak All roads rider, West Oz.

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    Glad you finally posted the story Pete. Great pics. Can't see me doing any photography at 160kph on the dirt !
    It was nice meeting you at Auto's, even though neither of us won the jacket.

    I'm off in a week to Rudall on my new toy, a KLR. Probably take it to the OCR instead of the R1150R.

    Andrew Linton.
    #12
  13. MarkN

    MarkN Long timer

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    Dorchester, Dorset.UK
    :clapGreat report, thanks for posting. Makes a change to see Australia and not all the other great pictures from the US!! I can't believe you did 408km on one tank, what mpg does your bike do? That was some great riding!

    Thanks once again

    Mark
    #13
  14. Ultralights

    Ultralights Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Sydney Australia
    i cant believe you did 1400Km in 1 day!

    would be nice to see a map of the journey.
    #14
  15. Nanin

    Nanin Halfozze

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    Valencia-Spain-Europe / Banora Point-NSW-Australia
    Congratulations

    Awesome trip, I hope I could do a trip like that one day
    I've been riding near gren illes and tenterfield once and I have to admit that is a wonderfull place.

    Cheers from Spain
    #15
  16. davorallyfan

    davorallyfan Commonist

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    1,785km for the day.:eek1 You must have lit the wick!:ear


    Were drugs involved?:lol3
    #16
  17. Eaglebeak

    Eaglebeak All roads rider, West Oz.

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    Naw, but he was on a BM. :D Plus you're gaining daylight heading west.
    Done the same once on my GS80 PD. Pt Headland to Perth (~1750 in 22 hrs, had few coffee stops though)

    Hmmm, wonder how my KLR go ?
    #17
  18. davorallyfan

    davorallyfan Commonist

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    Believe me you won't do those ks on the KLR in a day (there's a challenge!)

    Dunno, those sort of Ks in one day are a bit much your'e - either doing them because you absolutely have to or you wanna get off the bike - its mission based - it ain't touring!

    When I was young we used to do Adelaide - Bathurst, Bathurst -Adelaide both in one hit every Easter and I've done Adelaide - Sydney a few times in one hit (on a CX and boxer - 90S) but that is my limit - daylight and evening animals limit me to about 1,000 km

    I don't enjoy riding distance at night - It scares me.
    #18
  19. Ultralights

    Ultralights Been here awhile

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    yeah, but doesnt it get the adrenalin going! stay up all night and cover huge distances without getting tired!
    #19
  20. 2volts

    2volts Rocket Surgeon

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia.
    I was on a mission to get home by that stage. No high speeds, no drugs, just lots of hours. My normal hwy speed is between 110 - 120 km. The key to long distance riding is not stopping for too long. It was getting dark at Southern Cross, I wouldn't have ridden that last 400km at night if I had been further out in the bush. I did my risk assessment (you can tell I'm writing this reply at work!) and decided there was much lower risk of kangaroos on this stretch of highway (mostly agricultural area).

    Re 408 km on a tank. I was riding very conservatively to do that. The most I have ever got out of a tank is 438km.

    Pete
    #20