Australia - The four amigos

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Benji13, Apr 23, 2020.

  1. Benji13

    Benji13 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    66
    Location:
    Australia
    In 2017, four of us took 5 weeks off work to ride around our country (and continent). We did 20,000 km (in the 70's and 80's, we gradually replaced the colonial imperial system with metric units, so please bear with me if your countries have not). This was the longest trip for all of us and surprise surprise, it is also the first time for us to see the many places. In mostly a good way, this is a Lucky Country. I would love to show you the new places we have seen during this trip.

    Facts: 6 months before the trip our bikes are-
    Boulevard C50 (seriously)
    K1200S
    R800ST
    CBR1000RR (I have been planning it as a solo trip on the RR for years. I thought...)

    I am terribly sorry to our Tassie buddies that the map did not capture the beautiful Apple Isle. I promise that one day I shall report on the Tassie episode.
    #1
  2. Benji13

    Benji13 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    66
    Location:
    Australia
    Map of 2017 trip.jpg
    #2
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  3. Benji13

    Benji13 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    66
    Location:
    Australia
    c50.jpg
    Robbie's Boulevard (he was always riding at the end of the group not because it was slow but because no buddy could take the loud pipes for more than 2 seconds!)
    k12.jpg
    Russell's K12 (This is a beautiful German V1 rocket.)
    r800st.jpg
    Mark's 800GT (No one loves this bike including Mark I believe.)
    IMG_3539.JPG
    The RR (hope it is with someone who treasure you now as much as I did ...)
    #3
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  4. Benji13

    Benji13 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    66
    Location:
    Australia
    A taste of the report to come:
    kings canyon.jpg 12 apostles.jpg cape leeuwin1.jpg
    #4
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  5. Benji13

    Benji13 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    66
    Location:
    Australia
    And ...
    IMG_4225.JPG
    #5
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  6. manshoon

    manshoon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    546
    Location:
    Pnw
    Now that's a Lean angle.............:muutt...........................:lurk
    #6
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  7. fozrunner

    fozrunner Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2015
    Oddometer:
    342
    Location:
    Lethbridge, Alberta
    Looks like at least one of you upgraded your bike! I plan on doing a lap in the future, looking forward to your report!
    #7
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  8. Tsotsie

    Tsotsie Semi-reformed Tsotsi Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,687
    Location:
    South Texas
    And the rear tire was mounted in the wrong rotation direction?
    #8
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  9. sages

    sages Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    359
    Location:
    Perth, West Australia
    Reverse lap?
    #9
  10. Desert2202

    Desert2202 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    913
    Location:
    Alice Springs Australia
    #10
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  11. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

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    Sep 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,366
    Location:
    SW. Idaho
    on the southern hemisphere, even the toilet flushes backward. Get 20k miles out of the rear.
    southern hemishere installation, even the loo flushes the otherway.
    #11
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  12. Tsotsie

    Tsotsie Semi-reformed Tsotsi Supporter

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    Location:
    South Texas
    As one who was born and raised in the Southern Hem. when there we understood which was the correct direction. Backwards? That is a matter of location opinion! We also drove on the left side of the road and not backwards up the wrong side. : )

    Looking forward to the rest of this report!
    #12
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  13. Benji13

    Benji13 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    66
    Location:
    Australia
    Australia is a big country. I used to live in Manchester, England when I was little and thought that riding a Suzuki GS125 to Chester near Wales was far, not to mention going to Glasgow to see friends.

    comparison-1.jpg

    Now that I am much older (and not wiser), this country gives me many new perspectives, its mind boggling size is one of them. And in the bushfire last summer, 12.5 million acres of land was burnt and millions of animals killed (not to mention the lost of human lives and homes). For the Americans, that is equivalent to all eastern Iowa state burnt.

    When I first told the buddies about the trip, some experienced ones who have done 4WD outback trips said it cannot be done in 5 weeks. That is definitely a clear signal. A signal to try the best to finish it within that time, and see the places that we wanted to see. More over a signal that we need to plan well ahead.

    highway1pic.jpg

    If you come to Australia to ride around this country, you may want to know about our National Route 1. Depending on which state or territory you are riding in, it may be called M1, A1, B1, National Highway NH1 ... ... For 14,500km, it follows the coast for the most part along its circumferential route around the country. It will help you to plan your big lap.

    Highway_1_(Australia)_map.png

    Amazingly it also connects Hobart with Launceston, Devonport and Burnie in Tassie. Of course you will need a Spirit of Tasmania ferry ticket first to get there. There is a few gaps on this route and it will also lead you through some city centres against your will. Our road network is probably behind other countries like the USA that sometimes we cannot bypass some city or town centres. That's when you easily get lost and take a long time to get back on the highway or freeway.

    So the plan was drawn up. We would depart on 28 Oct 2017. And would be back on 30 Nov 2017. Total 34 days. Why 34 days? To beat the naysayers' by a further one day. Don't call me stubborn. All bikers are stubborn, right? There is a buffer: we would be back on a Thursday. So if the shits hit the fan, we will have three days more. As long as we are back in Sunday night, I am good. I told my boss that I shall be back to work on Monday. I have three boys to feed. Cannot afford to lose my job.
    #13
  14. Benji13

    Benji13 Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Australia
    A full loaded white beast dropped at a off-camber turn. Not funny :grim. Unless it is not my bike :ksteve
    #14
  15. Benji13

    Benji13 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Australia
    I would love to see you coming to our beautiful country for a ride when this pandemic blows over soon enough. Also a good excuse for you to get out of your freezing winter :vardy and come and enjoy our beaches and beer at their best in summer :beer
    #15
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  16. Benji13

    Benji13 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Australia
    Wow for more than two years, we were wondering why the bike was dropped there. Now Tsotsie you wise man solved this mystery :rayof. Those were brand new tires fitted two days ago in Darwin Motorrad dealer shop. More about that shop later :topes

    Oh wait a minute, google is my best friend:
    tkc 70.jpg tkc 70-1.jpg

    Now I am even more confused :lol3. Any inmate here can tell me which one above is the correct rotation direction. The tyre is Conti TKC70.
    #16
  17. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,366
    Location:
    SW. Idaho
    the tire, if directional, will have an arrow on it. used in reverse in front.
    Tires have a mold release from the factory, a scrubb with a pad n soap would help remove most, if needed immediately for safety, dont know why this couldnt be a normal part of an tire installation.
    Humor is the best medicine on any day.
    Thanks for this report,looking forward to it. last year the fires put off our OZ trip planning, now the bug killed the alternate-the US, hoping for next spring, march or april time frame.
    WE spent the last 3 of 4 springs in asia on our local 150cc bike for somewhere over 25k kms.
    This is exactly our type of ride , travelers not tourists we are.
    #17
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  18. Benji13

    Benji13 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    66
    Location:
    Australia
    What bike is best for this trip? :hmmmmm

    A week-long ride to the Phillip Island in February for the WSBK is our annual ritual. Some years there were as many as 10 of us buddies going along. We like it because the WSBK weekend is cheaper, you can ride your bikes around the track for the best spots to watch the races, and the pubs in Cowes on the island is not as busy as the October MotoGP weekend. At the beer time during that week in Feb 2017, while the buddies were enjoying so much good-natured banters, I was quietly asking myself the question what bike is best for the big trip. And what were the other buddies thinking?

    First to make the move was Mark.
    triple black.jpg

    He traded in the one-year old 800GT for a stunning triple-black GSA. And never looked back. Even the BMW's are some of the top selling bikes in Australia, this is still a relatively small bike market. The triple-black came in extremely limited number in this country and Mark found one in June, perfect! :rilla

    Then it was Robbie.
    19601191_10211126368768863_8691213778822994943_n.jpg

    I posted this photo on Facebook without description when my friend Fernando in the BMW Motorrad told me that this is Robbie's new bike. All the buddies including Robbie congratulated me for having a new bike. It took him a while before he realised:

    Rob M "Hay Ben I just had another look at that picture. That bike looks a lot like the bike I bought" :oscar

    Good Lord, the Boulevard's loud pipes are now replaced by the sweet and not so loud Beemer!

    Always a non-conformer, Russell chose something functionally equally brilliant but yet different bike:
    23754940_10212293833434750_3406748427902374316_n.jpg

    This Triumph is superb. Mainly because it has shoo whistles which claimed that wildlife can hear them up to 2km away. Having hit a roo on the RR not long ago, I would really appreciate such superior technology even tho there were rumours that they are rubbish.

    sonic guards.jpg

    So what about me? Of course, I made the move too. Unfortunately the move was to see my physiotherapist... ...
    #18
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  19. bursar

    bursar n00b

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2
    I too am looking forward to your report with envious eyes. I bought a new RE Himalayan which I picked up on arrival in Sydney from the UK at the end of February. I started my two months’ tour from Wagga Wagga and reached Albany via Wipena Pound, the Eyre Peninsula and Esperance, when I heard of bar and restaurant closures in Perth because of Covid-19. I decided to head back to Wagga and was glad that I did. It was announced that evening that SA and WA were to close their borders two days later. I made it back to Wagga in five days mourning the abandonment of the tour. Next year, perhaps.
    #19
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  20. Benji13

    Benji13 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    66
    Location:
    Australia
    Day 1 - 629km

    Robbie made a shirt for everyone with names of places at the back. Many people we met on the trip loved to check them out and named the places they have visited!
    2017 561.JPG

    We live in Sydney and so we took a ride across the harbour before Day 1. Just like other famous harbours in the world like the Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong, the Sydney Harbour is beautiful. While they have the famous Star Ferries in HK, we have the wonderful Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

    2017 563.JPG
    IMG_4152.JPG

    I have lived in Sydney for 14 years and still feel great every time I ride on the bridge. I wonder if San Franciscans feel the same when they ride on the Golden Gate Bridge. The good news is that there are guided tours to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I have not done it as I have acrophobia. However, my friends who have done it said the view from the top is breath-taking. I could only imagine my legs would went jelly.

    The Sydney Harbour Bridge was built in 1932. It can be busy during the rush hours. However, we are allowed to ride on the bus lane which is never jammed. :thumb

    The Sydney Opera House was built in 1973. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We would love to ride the bikes to its door steps. Sadly the world we are living in have changed by terrorist attacks. The 2014 Lindt Café siege and the 2015 Parramatta Police HQ shooting have changed everything in this supposedly peaceful city. The security guards stopped us and that was the closest we could ride to the Opera House. We appreciated they were doing their job.

    On Day 1, many buddies came to farewell us at the Corrugated Café in Peats Ridge. They rode with us to Singleton in Hunter Valley. We were touched.

    IMG_4173.JPG

    Russell is famous for his sense of direction (or lack of it). When we left the café, we took a left towards Kulnura where as he took a right towards Gosford. There were many episodes of the same in the following 5 weeks. :rofl

    As expected, there were a few wallabies on the road near Wollombi. I would have been safe if I rode behind Russell's shoo whistle equipped Tiger, wouldn't it??

    Singleton is in the Hunter Valley which is famous for its shiraz. The other wine regions in the country are Yarra near Melbourne, Margaret River in Western Australia and of course the Barossa Valley near Adelaide. We have planned for an extra day in the Barossa.

    IMG_4180.JPG

    So everyone needs a big something. Singleton has the big sundial.

    IMG_4192.JPG
    Tamworth has a big guitar. A golden one. Seeing big things is not a top priority of this trip. Nevertheless, it is still fun for us to see them for the first time.

    Tamworth is the country music capital of Australia. Just like Nashville in the USA. You may not know but we have a few big names: Keith Urban, Oliver Newton John, Lee Kernaghan and Kasey Chambers.

    It has been a long day and riding on the New England Highway was nice. We stayed at the Great Central Hotel in Glen Innes and reached their just before dark. Commonly still called hotels, they are actually pubs with wooden stairs to the tiny rooms upstairs. They are cheap compared to most accommodations in Australia but still costed a big chunk of our budget. The washrooms and showers are shared at the end of the corridor. That is fine, as long as the beer is cold at the bar downstairs.:beer

    IMG_4205.JPG

    See, the Tiger found its twin brother in the secured parking space. That is how popular the Tigers are. Wait a minute, which one is Russell's? OK let's go to the bar and hunt down who the twin biker is, hehehe!:chace
    #20
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