Australia and New Zealand

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by djeady, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Husqy pilot too...

    Joined:
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    563
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    Northeastern California
    Enjoying the report djeady. Taking notes for a future ride over there. The birds are so strange with their brilliant colors...loving the pics of them. :D
    #61
  2. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    383
    Just got in to Darwin.
    #62
  3. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    Day 28

    Some good news and some bad news.

    Got up and made coffee and started to back up. Chatted briefly with the maintenance worker who came to service the rest stop area. He was very interested in the local flora and fauna and showed me a couple of the local wildflowers which were blooming. He said they were in bloom before the rain of the last couple of days even though there had been no rain since February!

    Stopped on the way into Alice Springs at the Ghan railway museum. Interesting story about the effort to build an operate a railway in Central Australia.

    My chain had been getting very stiff and making a lot of noise in spite of regular lubrication. I wanted to try and find a spare in Alice Springs. Didn’t have much success at the first place I went to - Desert Edge Motorcycles - they told me they couldn’t help as it was there last day in business and they had almost nothing left. It was a large modern dealership selling Honda, Harley-Davidson and KTM.

    The biker I’d met on the way out from Uluru said he’d had indifferent service there when he had a problem with his bike - wonder why - and he had gone to the local Yamaha dealer - Jetcor - who had been very helpful.

    They had a chain and soricketcset in stock so I told them to go ahead and also do the oil, filter, and air filter.

    While the were doing the work I walked in to downtown Alice Springs where I walked around, visited the Schoolhouse Museum and had lunch at the Mall.

    When I go back to the dealership everything was done, but the mechanic said he had something to show me. It turned out the chain had somehow chewed through the end of the swingarm right down to the outer bearing.

    Cost for the sprocket and chain set, installation, plus the oil and filter change/clean was $361.09 and I spent another $17 for a litre of oil.

    They checked around, but decided they weren’t going to be able to fix it - even went as far as contacting a couple of local KLR owners to see if they’d be willing to give up their swingarm in exchange for a new one to be ordered.

    The consensus was that while it was damaged it was still safe to drive and my best bet was the nearest dealer in Darwin, 1,500 km away.

    I called the dealer in Darwin and their initial response was they would only install a new part and they would get back to me with a price.

    After several follow up calls they told me there were none in Australia and I’d have to wait for one to come from Japan which would take 3-6 weeks and cost $1200.

    At that point they were more willing to discuss the possibility of repairing it or installing a used part, but wouldn’t commit to anything until they’d seen it.

    It was now mid-afternoon, so I headed out and decided I would get as far as the Ti Tree Roadhouse where I camped for the night. Did my sink laundry and then had a huge serving of fish and chips in the pub followed by a lovely sleep under the stars

    Gas 39.45
    Coffee, muffin Ghan Railway museum entrance )22
    Schoolhouse Museum 2
    Lunch 16
    Motorcycle device 378.09
    Camping 15.20
    Dinner and two beer 37 IMG_9927.JPG IMG_9928.JPG IMG_9949.JPG IMG_9952.JPG IMG_9953.JPG IMG_9954.JPG IMG_9955.JPG IMG_9957.JPG IMG_9958.JPG IMG_9962.JPG IMG_9967.JPG IMG_9968.JPG IMG_9965.JPG IMG_9970.JPG IMG_9971.JPG IMG_9972.JPG IMG_9973.JPG IMG_9974.JPG IMG_9986.JPG
    #63
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  4. Suncoaster

    Suncoaster Been here awhile Supporter

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    Where the girls are green and the grass is pretty.
    How many teeth on that front sprocket David ?
    A smaller socket would leave the chain closer to the swingarm.
    I just moved to a 13 from a 14 on my TTR250 and the 13 is a bit smaller in diameter.
    #64
  5. Peter640

    Peter640 Peter 640

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    Location:
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    Hope you sort your problems out. We’re away travelling on bike until Nov but if your back in Sydney then, shout out for bed and beer!

    Try some of the local Adv Facebook groups (Sydney Adv Riders) if your hunting parts?

    Stay safe. Are you going over Gibb River Road? You’ll be pretty remote so make sure your well prepped!

    Peter
    #65
  6. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    It was a stock 15 tooth. Can’t figure out hiw it happened, but it was clearly done by the chain.
    #66
  7. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    Very tempted by the Gibb, but everyone I’ve talked to says it is in bad shape.
    #67
  8. Peter640

    Peter640 Peter 640

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    Location:
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    It been a few years since I went across. More Stoney than sandy. Some water. Very dusty and you are heading west which makes afternoon difficult.

    We rode great central road back from Perth in April which was good with some sandy sections.

    Our experience is that people’s descriptions of road can be very variable based on their vehicle, comfort level and experience. See if you can find a recent ride report in Aussie section? Or ask a question there?

    Remember your a long way from help so if you go that way avoid dawn and dusk for animals and ride at 75-80% of what’s possible. Broom is lovely and Cape Levique worth the effort to get there.

    I can be bloody hot up there in Oct so make sure you have lots of water and a spot or sat phone. Especially if you leave the main road for side excursions. Check fuel locations!

    Enjoy!
    #68
  9. Peter640

    Peter640 Peter 640

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    #69
  10. Kiwi Canuck

    Kiwi Canuck Been here awhile

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    Mar 10, 2012
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    Location:
    Langley, BC
    Forget the motorcycle shops and find a marine fab shop, (or a machine shop) they can weld the aluminum and then you can have it machined to refit a new bearing, the bearings can be found from a bearing supplier or you can get them from the dealer but you will pay about double.

    Quite common seeing a chain chew into the underside of a swing arm.

    [​IMG]
    Did your swing arm have the rubber chain guide piece in place. (12053)

    [​IMG]

    Good luck and enjoy the rest of your travels, if you liked Australia, you will love NZ.

    David
    #70
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  11. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    The rubber piece was there, but of course it got chewed through as well.
    #71
  12. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    Day 29

    Another long day of highway riding temp is in the high thirties and there are strong crosswinds. Strips the moisture right out of you. I went through 6 litres of water today trying to keep hydrated.

    Hundreds of kilometres of nothing except grasslands, scrub trees and dead cows and kangaroos.

    Made it as far as Daly Waters where I camped for the night. Had a huge burger with fries for dinner. Almost couldn’t finish it.

    Crawled into my tent and had a sound sleep.

    No pictures today. Nothing to take a picture of.

    Gas, bacon and egg toastie,coffee, small bottle of water 57.60
    Gas soft drink water 41.75
    Camping 22
    Dinner 31
    #72
  13. dzl

    dzl adventurer wannabe

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2009
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    196
    Location:
    Adelaide
    #73
    Suncoaster likes this.
  14. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    Already got one on the way from Adelaide area.
    #74
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  15. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
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    383
    Day 30

    Going to stop tracking costs for a bit as too much going on

    I was up early and got packed up to leave. Grabbed a flat white and a toastie and then was on the road.

    First bit was more of yesterday. Long stretches of nothing but scrublands and dead cattle and kangaroos. Saw quite a few dust devils swirling across the landscape - some of them hundreds of feet high. Heat is unbelievable 36/40 and it just strips the moisture right out of you. I find I have to stop every hour to avoid zoning out.

    I stopped at Mataranka to have a brief soak in the thermal spring. This may sound a bit strange in a hot day, but it’s not terribly hot - about 50 degrees C and was actually very refreshing.

    Site was also the homestead of Jeannie Gunn, author of “We of the Never Never”. Interesting recreation of the original homestead that was used in the movie made from the book.

    The scenery got more interesting as I continued towards Darwin with small hills and curves in the road and more and more palms in the mix.

    Checked in to the Free Spirits Campground just outside Darwin. I set up my tent and then had a nice soak in one of the pools.

    Afterwards did my sink laundry then walked up to the bar next to the main pool for dinner and a drink. They gave me a free drink when I checked in and the special was a roast beef or pork dinner for 17 that also included a drink. They served you the meat (generous helping) and then the veggies were buffet style so I had a nice dinner and two pints for $17 - pretty good.

    Went back to my tent and tried to fall asleep in the heat. IMG_9991.JPG IMG_9992.JPG IMG_9993.JPG IMG_9994.JPG IMG_9995.JPG IMG_9997.JPG IMG_9998.JPG IMG_9999.JPG IMG_0001.JPG IMG_0002.JPG IMG_0003.JPG IMG_0004.JPG IMG_0006.JPG IMG_0010.JPG
    #75
  16. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    Day 31

    Woke up early. I’d had a restless sleep because it was so warm.

    It’s been hot since Uluru and in The north it’s been at or near 40C every day.

    I packed the bike up and left the park, stopping for a bacon and egg toasty and a coffee at the fuel station next to the park entrance. Just like Argentina, the best place to get good inexpensive coffee is the service stations.

    I headed to Cyclone Motorcycles and got there just as they opened.
    They took the bike in and I went across the street for a coffee after stopping at the auto parts store next door to Cyclone for a new headlight bulb. I’d had to swap the high beam over yesterday because the low beam had burned out.

    When I got back they’d had a look at the bike and, as expected the swingarm had to be replaced. They didn’t think repair was an option. They also recommended upgrading the spring on the rear shock due to the amount of weight I was carrying. The KLR suspension is notoriously week.

    They had found a used swingarm, but Graham Gibson had already found me one at a much better price, so I proceeded with ordering it.

    The wrecker wanted to be paid by direct deposit so I took a cab to downtown Darwin where I did the deposit into his account at Commonwealth Bank, went to Westpac Bank (affiliated with my bank) and got some extra cash, and then went to Avis and rented a car for a week. It was going to take 4-5 days for the swing arm to reach Darwin.

    I went back to Cyclone - we’d also talked about a new rear tire and they didn’t have anything in stock. They called Holeshot Yamaha who had a Mitas E07 in stock so I went over and picked that up. Also inquired about a front and their price was $40 better than Cyclone’s for the same tire, so I reserved one of the two they had. My current front tire is only half worn out - it’s a Motoz Tractionater, but it howls like a banshee in the bitumen. Will put it on Gumtree and see if I can get anything for it.

    Once all this was settled, I dropped off the rear at Cyclone and loaded all my gear into the car. Just barely fits into the back of a Toyota Corolla hatchback.

    I then headed out to Kakadu, stopping on the way to pick up supplies.

    Seems strange to be in a car again. No trouble driving on the left, but every time I go to turn I out the wipers on!

    Got out to my intended destination in Kakadu (Aurora Kakadu) only to find big closed signs.

    I carried on to Jabiru and camped for the night at Kakadu Lodge.

    Cooked a nice dinner on the grill in the park and then went to sleep under the stars.

    My wife and her friends think I’m crazy for camping, but it’s amazing to be able to look up each nigh and see the Milky Way and all the southern constellations. The air has the sweet medicinal/honey smell of the gumtrees and it truly is a pleasure.
    #76
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  17. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    383
    Day 32

    It’s hard to sleep in this heat. I does cool off a little around 4 AM, but otherwise you do the best you can.

    I got up and made coffee, showered and packed up.

    I headed into the East Alligator region and stopped just past the Border Store at the car park for the Bardedjiludjii walk.

    It’s called the Border Store because it is on the border between Kakadu and Arnhem Land which is traditional aboriginal territory where you need a permit to enter.

    The walk was interesting and took you along the East Alligator river and then through a series of spectacular sandstone outliers.

    When I got back to the car park I walked over to the Border Store and had a sandwich and a soft drink for lunch.

    Afterwards I walked a short distance to Cahills Crossing which is a cemented river crossing over the East Alligator river and is the gateway into Arnhem Land. The Alligator river was named by an explorer who didn’t know the difference between alligators and crocodiles.

    The river is tidal and at high tide reverses flow over the crossing and the crocodiles have learned to take advantage of this barrier. They line up at the crossing and as the tide comes in, they feast on the Barramundi and other fish as they come across. Interesting to watch. At one point there were 15 large crocs lined up waiting for fish!

    Afterwards I did the sort drive to Ubirr and walked around the multiple sites where there were aboriginal rock paintings before climbing to the top of a rocky lookout with amazing views over the Abadan floodplain. It was painfully hot and when I got back to the car the thermometer read 41 degrees C.

    I stopped at the Border Store and picked up some more water, then drove over to the Merl campsite where I was thinking of staying. I decided to drive the short distance back to Jabiru instead because I would have phone signal, power to charge my camera batteries, and access to a nice swimming pool.

    I got back to Kakadu Lodge and checked in again and set my tent up. Then I went over and had a swim and then a beer by the pool.

    Alcohol is strictly controlled in this area and you had to have a little slip issued by the hotel to prove you are a guest to buy a drink.

    In places where there are bottle stores in the NT you will always be asked for your drivers license - even an old fart like me

    Afterwards I went back to the camping area and cooked a nice dinner on the grill.

    As I finished dinner the camp area filled with smoke from a nearby bush fire. Fortunately it cleared up after a couple of hours so it didn’t affect sleeping.

    There was a light breeze and it helped a bit, but I still had a very warm and restless night. IMG_0020.JPG IMG_0021.JPG IMG_0022.JPG IMG_0024.JPG IMG_0030.JPG IMG_0035.JPG IMG_0041.JPG IMG_0049.JPG IMG_0081.JPG IMG_8573.JPG IMG_8576.JPG IMG_8578.JPG IMG_8582.JPG IMG_0094.JPG IMG_0100.JPG IMG_0103.JPG IMG_0105.JPG [/ATTACH]

    Attached Files:

    #77
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  18. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    383
    Day 33

    No flies on me (I wish)

    Got up and had my breakfast and packed up. I’d stuck a couple of water bottles in the freezer of the fridge in the camp kitchen, so didn’t need to buy ice and would have a source of cold water later on.

    I drove the short distance to Burrungkuy which has a walk that takes you past some old aboriginal shelters and then several Rick art sites.

    The shelter area was amazing. Spaces under massive rocks where you could clearly see signs of occupation for a long time. There were many in the same area and you could see they had been used for a very long time.

    The site was a jumble of large sandstone rocks and it would have been a fabulous place to explore when I was a kid.

    The sandstone is quite unusual because it is full of large chunks of quartz. I would guess that they are the remains of older granite mountains that have broken down. The feldspar decays first and becomes clay. The micah breaks down to sand and the quartz which is harder endured and gets imbedded in the sandstone which is either sedimentary or wind packed.

    The rock art here is newer than at Ubirr. They would often paint over older artwork and you can see this in many places. The act of painting was considered more important than the art itself.

    The heat was stifling and did I mention the flies? All of Norther Australia is filled with these small flies the just swarm you. They don’t bite but they jet into your eyes ears and nose. What they are after is the moisture from your tears, sweat, etc. And they are relentless in getting at it. Remember the pictures of the starving children in Bangladesh and you’ll have an idea what this is like. I had bought a fly covering for my cap, but I didn’t bring it on this walk and I wish I had.

    There are also mosquitos about, but not in the hordes that we get in the summer in Ontario.

    At the end of the walk there is a steep climb up to a lookout over the flood plain and it is a spectacular view.

    I walked back to the car and went into the washroom area to refill my water bottle. The water is clearly labelled not for drinking and “boil before drinking” but I have my little filtration bag, so no problem. I prefer this to buying countless plastic bottles of water and even these are only available in a very few places.

    This was a very busy site with dozens of people walking around. I was thankful I got there just as the bus tour left.

    I then drive to another site called Nanguluwurr to view some more rock art.

    It was lunchtime and I had forgotten to pickup a sandwich, so I got my little gasoline stove out and heated up a can of soup. It was a bit of an odd choice for a hot day, but it was tasty. I finished up with a granola bar and then started off on the walk.

    There were no other cars in the car park and I didn’t see anyone else the entire time I was there.

    The first part of the walk was a 1.5 kilometre hike along a service road. It was flat and easy walking, but again it was extremely hot.

    The flies were still about, but not as bad. I wire my bug hat this time.

    I took a few pictures along the way of some of the local trees that were in flower. No idea what any of them are called.

    At the end of the access road there is a moderate climb up to where the galleries are and I walked up and spent some time viewing and photographing the art.

    One of the most interesting paintings is of a sailing ship recording an early contact with Europeans.

    There was a spot midway along the galleries where there was a bit of a ride and there was a nice breeze so I sat and rested there before starting the long walk back to the car.

    I had considered spending the night at the Muirelka Park campground which is alongside a large billabong. I went in and had a look and it was completely empty and the sites were bare and dusty. The billabong was full of crocs so no hope if a refreshing swim.

    I decided to go a bit further to Cooinda Lodge which is a commercial site with a hotel and camping, not just for the facilities, but also because I wanted to do the early morning Yellow Water cruise.

    I checked in and asked about the cruise, but it was fully booked for Thursday morning so I decided to stay two nights and take the cruise Friday morning when it was available.

    I had a brief visit with Ernie Dingo who is recovering after being gored by a wild pig. He has his own Facebook page (Ernie Dingo).

    I set up my tent in a nice grassy shaded spot and then walked up to the store to buy ice. They had a special on 3.5 kilo bags - 2 for $5 and readily agreed I could take one now and pick up the other in the morning.

    After filling my cooler I went over and had a nice long swim in a beautiful pool and had a cold beer at the bar before heading back to my tent.

    I cooked my dinner in one of the campground barbecues and after cleaning up, I went back to my tent to read and sleep.

    They had a sprinkler on near my tent and it stayed on all night which helped cool things off a bit. IMG_0118.JPG IMG_0119.JPG IMG_0120.JPG IMG_0121.JPG IMG_0122.JPG IMG_0129.JPG IMG_0130.JPG IMG_0137.JPG IMG_0142.JPG IMG_0143.JPG IMG_0145.JPG IMG_0148.JPG IMG_0149.JPG IMG_0152.JPG IMG_8638.JPG IMG_8630.JPG IMG_0160.JPG IMG_0167.JPG IMG_0168.JPG IMG_0172.JPG IMG_0174.JPG
    #78
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  19. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    383
    Day 34

    Another hot night, but finally cool a bit in the morning. The heat permeates everything. The toilet seats are hot. You have a choice of hot water or warm water, and you can’t even walk barefoot by the pool because the deck is so hot.

    I did a load of sink laundry and hung it out to dry, then also gave my sleeping pad a scrub adit was getting a bit dirty.

    I spent the morning visiting the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre which is just up the road. It’s a interesting exhibit that takes you through some of the aboriginal relationship with the land. There are extensive artifacts and illustrations, but I can’t show you any pictures because photos are not allowed

    In the courtyard they were giving a lesson on how to remove the divers from the pandanus leaves and make cord and simple ornaments.

    I sat and watched for a while, then went in and explored the gift shop. Some beautiful things, but almost everything was “designed in Australia, made in China”. I did consider buying one of the kangaroo skin hats which are made in Australia, but the price was a bit high.

    Afterwards I went back to the resort, put away my dry laundry, had a quick swim and splurged on the buffet lunch, it was pricey, but was actually one of the cheaper options.

    In the afternoon I went on a few excursions to Jim Jim billabong, Mardukal, where I did a walk along Jim Jim creek, and then did a short nature walk at Yellow Waters. The longer walk was closed for the season.

    Afterwards I went back and enjoyed the pool, then cooked a nice dinner before heading to my tent for the night

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    #79
  20. Portly

    Portly Plodder

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    769
    Location:
    North coast NSW Aus
    Most sane southern Australians on bikes try to be heading South by now.
    #80
    Gone Troppo likes this.