Birdsville Loop-Australia-on a Honda CB500X(Adventure)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ktmmitch, Jul 9, 2015.

  1. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Long timer

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    Following on from Jenny Morgan's epic TAT ride (back & forth) across the USA, http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1061450 which is now coming to an end, it is my challenge to take the little Honda CB500X, fitted with Rally Raid Products first Southern Hemisphere Adventure Kit on a fantastic Outback ride in the coming couple of weeks.
    It will be the Hay River Track & Simpson Desert Adventure.
    The Hay River Track heads north, almost the length of the Simpson Desert, past the Tropic of Capricorn and up to the Plenty Highway (Highway = big red dirt road). Due to its isolation, not many people drive or ride it. The dunes in the Simpson are the longest in the world and are oriented north south. As they will be heading north, most of the time is spent between the dunes.
    This is a loop ride of 1400 kilometres of mainly open sandy and, or gravelly trails.
    The start and end point will be Birdsville in South Western Queensland.
    After heading west from Birdsville it will be necessary to ride over some of the largest dunes, including Big Red, before heading north on salt plains, there is then a sharp turn east and about 12 to 20 dunes are traversed before the track sharply turns north and continues all the way to Jervois Station. They then head east on the Plenty Highway (big red dirt road) before heading south back to Birdsville.
    This trip is being organised by Rally-Raid Products customer and friends, David Darcy, of Continental Drift fame.He and Darren Higginson completed a UK-Aus trip a couple of years ago on KTM 690 Enduro's, fitted with our EVO2 Adventure kits, and we will be riding with several other ADV'ers.
    The whole trip will be filmed expertly by Motorcycle Adventure Dirt Bike TV (MAD TV) and sponsored by Rally Raid Products & Adventure-Spec from the UK, Giant Loop from the USA and Adventure Moto in Australia.
    More news to follow, but it's going to be a great trip, and more proof that the CB500X Adventure is big enough to take on the Outback.
    There will be 8 riders, on various bikes, and a back-up truck, and the CB500X has been bought in Sydney and had the Rally Raid Products Adventure Kit expertly fitted by David & Phillipe Wilmotte.
    I intend to fly out this weekend and then a quick shake-down ride before embarking on the desert trip with the guys.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    #1
  2. Te Hopo

    Te Hopo Nomad

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    Looking at the route on the map, it looks as if you're just going for a wee jaunt around the block. :lol3

    In with a grin and waiting to see the pics and hear the details when you return. :clap
    #2
  3. sasho

    sasho Dual Personality

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    Cool bike!! I am contemplating getting this one or waiting for the new Africa Twin.
    #3
  4. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Long timer

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    Just arrived in Sydney, cold and wet, but my CB500X has been fitted out well by David and Philippe, so will spend the weekend loading up the bike with tools, Giant Loop soft luggage and sorting out my camping gear and all the lovely new Icon Raiden adventure clothing sent by Ray from the U.S.
    As the bike is nearly new, I will try and get out tomorrow to get a few more miles on it before doing the first oil change and filter, then we will make an early start on Tuesday up to Cobar, then Birdsville.
    #4
  5. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Long timer

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    [​IMG]


    David has had the Aboriginal passes delivered, so couldn't wait to sticker up the screen in readiness for our adventure in the Outback.
    #5
  6. x32792

    x32792 Cracker American

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    How's it going out there on the 'adventurized' CB500X?
    #6
  7. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Long timer

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] Today was a meet and greet with the other 7 riders at Dave Darcy's place in Sydney, and time for me to do final prep to my Aussie Honda CB500X, which Dave and Philippe fitted the Level 3 kit I sent over recently.
    It was a case of wiring up the GPS mount for my Montana, a charging socket for the I phone, a pre- filter to keep out the infamous red outback dust, and bolting on two 5 litre rotopaks, one for water, the other for extra fuel.
    Tomorrow I'll get a test run in, the me and Dave leave for Birdsville early Tuesday morning, Dave is riding his EVO2 kitted KTM 690 Enduro, whilst the other 6 guys are getting their bikes trailered the 1600kms to the start of the off road at Birdsville.
    This 2 day run will give me and the bike a chance to bed in, and get a few more miles on the new motor before we hit the dirt.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #7
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  8. Cruz

    Cruz Lost but laughing.

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    What did you use for a pre filter?
    #8
  9. Mad Cow

    Mad Cow Dakar Addict!

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    John

    It was nice to bump into you at Torque Racing the other day, have a great ride!

    Tony aka Mad Cow
    #9
  10. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Long timer

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    I used a cut down twin air filter off my 690
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  11. Cruz

    Cruz Lost but laughing.

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    Thanks.
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  12. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Long timer

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    [​IMG] Well, the CB500X is fully loaded, and ready to leave tomorrow(tuesday) morning at 0630 to cover the first leg to Cobar, just over 700km of Tarmac.
    The GL Fandango tank bag, and Klamath tail pack went on easily, and carrying my light spares in the rear, and heavier items in the front. The Motion Pro levers and hand pump are strapped on the inside of the soft luggage racks, and Dave Darcy will be loading up my Garmin Montana tonight for the off road section of the trip.
    The Coyote Loop will carry all clothing and camping gear, and wash kit. I shall be following Jenny and Harold's mantra of Go Light, Go Fast, Go Far on the ' lil CB.
    The weather has improved some what, so all the Icon Raiden clothing will be out in force, again, similar to Jenny's clothing. I will go into that later, once I've tried some different combinations on and off the road.
    I hope to get a few days with wi-if on the road to Birdsville, and then there will be about a week of silence whilst we negotiate the Hay River Track, and then I shall try and give a brief update before returning to Sydney.
    Here is a quick outline of the trip"....
    Sydney to Cobar.....................................700km
    Cobar to Tibooburra................................500km
    Tibooburra to Innamincka ......................400km
    Innamincka to Birdsville..........................400km
    Birdsville to Poeples Corner....................150km
    Poeples Corner to Eagles Nest...............180km
    Eagles Nest to Baton Hill.........................240km
    Baton Hill Aboriginal Tour.........................100km loop
    Baton Hill to Jervois then Tobermore.......280km
    Then head to Plenty Highway close to QLD border.
    After that we have a few choices to return to Birdsville.
    Option 1:
    Tobermore to Toko, then 8 Mile Waterhole...........340km
    8 Mile Waterhole to Birdsville................................300km
    Option 2:
    Tobermore to Boulia..............................................310km
    Boulia to Bedourie.................................................200km
    Bedourie to Birdsville ............................................190km

    Then return to Sydney, so I will do my best to keep posted with progress.

    [​IMG]
    #12
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  13. Peter640

    Peter640 Peter 640

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    Nice trip and good luck to you and dave and rest of team.

    Just back from there myself ... watch out for emu's on the way to the desert.

    Hay River.jpg

    Peter
    #13
  14. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Long timer

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    #14
  15. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    The BIG CB500X Aussie Adventure begins!

    Link to John's SPOT tracker.

    A quick update from John:

    [​IMG]

    We left Sydney at 0630, first light, to try and cover the 700km to Cobar in daylight, me on the CB500X and Dave Darcy on his KTM 690 EVO2 bike.

    The initial 2 hours out of the city up to Mount Victoria was cold and misty, so we both went steady, but even so I managed a big slide on some ice in a dip, which woke things up, so a gentle descent from 1100m into Lithgow for breakfast and a chance to clean the visors.

    The next stage to Orange on the Mitchell Highway took us until lunch time, and then a beautiful scenic section to Dubbo, very much like the Highlands in places.

    After refuel, time was getting on, so the final 295km was done in one hit, and the change from plains after Dubbo to the start of the red outback coming in to Cobar made the end of the ride very enjoyable.

    The little CB came the last 20km into town with low fuel flashing, and took 15 litres at the pump to fill, and we were travelling around 125km/hr, so I will have to watch the range as the trip progresses, but there is a 5litre rotopak for fuel attached to the soft luggage racks if needed.

    We are waiting on the weather, as there may be rain tomorrow, which will make our first choice off road section impassable, but there is a Plan B...


    More soon!

    Jx
    #15
  16. Noshir

    Noshir Been here awhile

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    Hi John and Dave,

    Thanks for taking the time to let me try the bike. Loved what you have done with it. Everything is just right. Have a safe trip.
    #16
  17. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Update from John...

    The BAA - Day 2:

    Day 2 meant leaving Cobar at 0800 with 3 new riders:

    Wayne on a DR650, Mal on his 640 Adventure and Alex on a 690 enduro, and all 5 of us set off on the first 50km of tarmac heading to Louth, then eventually Tibooburra, but things changed when a thunder and lightning storm started as we hit the 80km hard planed track after the tar finished.

    The top surface turned to grease, whilst just under it was bone hard, so the TKC80's couldn't bite through, and it made for extremely difficult progress. I dropped the tyres to 14 psi, which helped slightly, but trying to track straight was near impossible.

    We got to Louth, had tea and rolls, then got the bar owner to call ahead to check the weather....not good news, so plan B was to head east 100km to Bourke, on more dirt, then 250km north on tar to Cunnumulla, in QLD.


    [​IMG]

    The next 100km took 3 hours, everyone trying their own way of maintaining forward progress in the slick slurry that covered the track.

    My own system was to utilise the Honda's smooth motor to trials ride in 2nd gear along the thin raised bank top either side, it was slower, but as I was the only one that didn't fall off, I stuck with it. The flexibility of the CB500X motor was perfect, and the big TKC on the rear didn't sink in too quickly, as long as decent forward motion was kept up.

    You know it's greasy when the Nissan 4x4 pick up coming the other way does a 360 spin on slow motion!!


    [​IMG]

    Once back on the tar in Bourke, filled up with fuel and food, the last 250km suited the Honda and we knocked it out in 1 hit in 2 hrs, arriving at our new destination of Cunnumulla before dark, which is really important because of the massive kangaroo population, there must have been over 5 dead every km, so more than 1,000 between Bourke and final stop. To hit one of these at dusk would definitely have you off, at the very least, so we pushed on in the rain.

    [​IMG]

    I must say that once at out "Norman Bates" motel in this little outback town, when I stripped off the rain hadn't got through anywhere, thanks to the Icon Raiden clothing, so we are checking the forecast for tomorrow and hoping we can get back on schedule and on the dirt.
    The internet review for the motel says "best grub in town, worst motel in the universe", but the showers are hot and the bar across the yard.


    [​IMG]

    Jx
    #17
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  18. Peter640

    Peter640 Peter 640

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    Dave make sure your front mud guard is clean ... all too familiar!
    #18
  19. rrrnnn

    rrrnnn Adventurer

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    Exciting stuff guys - looking forward to getting one eventually!
    #19
  20. sidetrack one

    sidetrack one Chief Tiddler Supporter

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    Bump for an interesting trip!Keen to see how it goes in the desert sand!
    #20