Guzzioverland RTW trip

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Guzzioverland, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. TrappedAtWork

    TrappedAtWork No Longer Trapped!

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    I was at that meet, your talk was easily the best one of the weekend. Thanks!
    #21
  2. Guzzioverland

    Guzzioverland Guzzioverland

    Joined:
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    From the UK but in Australia currently
    Yes, We have worked out the magic ingredient is time the more you have the more things can flow and happen.
    Glad you like the trip so far.:D
    #22
  3. Guzzioverland

    Guzzioverland Guzzioverland

    Joined:
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    From the UK but in Australia currently

    G'day Shelia (getting the swing of this Aussie talk now) - Saw your recent piccies nice bit of offroad trails yourself, love to everyone
    .:wave
    #23
  4. Guzzioverland

    Guzzioverland Guzzioverland

    Joined:
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    From the UK but in Australia currently
    Thanks for the kind words, it was the first talk we have done in front of an audience so we were relieved it went as well as it did. Hopefully we will get to attend a few more Horizons meets in the future.
    Ride safe.
    #24
  5. OneOff

    OneOff Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
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    S.E.Qld
    Strewth cobber,

    No-ones been called sheila here since 1945, unless of course their name is actually Sheila. :norton

    Very much enjoyed your company for the last couple of weeks at my place, and I'm already looking forward to seeing you again after your trip around the edge.

    Pete.
    #25
  6. Guzzioverland

    Guzzioverland Guzzioverland

    Joined:
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    Location:
    From the UK but in Australia currently
    Blog 174 Brisbane to Hervey Bay 8th – 14th July 2011


    Leaving Peters we headed into Brisbane on route to John and Alanas, we had a few things to do on the way through. While riding around Brisbane we saw this. (they are obviously talented blind people out here).


    [​IMG]

    First job was new Lexan for the screen and after fitting it was lovely to be looking through such a clear screen again.
    Next stop was an electronics store to pick up some small heatsinks, peltier elements and heat conductive paste to finish off making the front box into a fridge (or esky) as they would call it here. It was only $65 for 2x heatsinks,2 x peltier elements and the heat paste bargain or wot ?
    After that we went to Tom Newel’s the local Guzzi dealer. We popped in to say hello mostly, the guys in the British bike shop next door were intrigued and popped in for a look and a photograph as well. Tom was just moving premises so there wasn’t much to photograph sorry !

    Then it was on to buy a personal locator beacon (plb). The vastness of Australia is not to be underestimated, at the moment we are travelling on the busy East coast but as we get further north toward the cape it will get more remote and even more so when we head west and into the outback. The plb is only activated in case of an accident or imminent loss of life buts good to know that someone knows if you need help and where you are via GPS technology. There is very little phone coverage in the outback. Here is something to boggle your mind we have done nearly 50’000km on our journey so far. Nathan managed to rack up 40’000km in six months riding around just Australia and reading other peoples trip reports of rides around Australia regularly reports distances of 20’000km +
    Last stop was “Tyres for Bikes” picture below. Our rear tyre was down to the wear bars and these guys got a pair of Metzeler ME88 Marathons in for us specially. I have wanted to try these tyres for a while but we couldn’t get them in NZ or Asia. They are high mileage touring tyres and have a high load rating so hopefully they will live up to expectations. The guys at tyres for bikes were great and even reduced the bill for us in return for some stickers on the bike and posing for pictures which we were happy to do. They were great guys to deal with and they really know their stuff. They also showed us the best way out of town as by the time we had finished rush hour was looming.

    [​IMG]
    By 6.30pm we had arrived at John & Alana’s. You might remember we met them at the Horizons Unlimited meeting. They were part of the team running the event and did a big trans Asia and trans Europe trip themselves. We got on really effortlessly at the HU meet and we really enjoyed our stay with them as well. It was nice for all of us to talk to someone who really understands what it’s like to undertake this kind of journey and it was good therapy in a way to realise that we all make similar mistakes and face similar problems.
    We only intended to stay for a night but ended up staying three, apart from enjoying their company we needed to explore the area. The sunshine coast is beautiful, we headed inland to an area the locals call the Hinterland. It’s a mountainous area covered in thick bush and the riding was superb. Here are some views from some of the roads we were riding, the mountains are the glasshouse mountains. The picture of us having breakfast on the deck perfectly captures the Aussie lifestyle, it’s winter here now but still a nice temperature. This region is famous for growing pineapples hence the giant fruit.


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    John and Alana spoilt us rotten and we certainly ate well Alana is a great cook. The weather was fantastic the whole time we were there and we could easily have stayed longer but we needed to keep working our way north. The summer in Northern Australia is incredibly hot and we need to cover this leg in the “cooler” winter. It’s still in the mid 30′s degree range up there in the winter.

    Our next stop was a few hours up the coast at Hervey Bay. Mick got in touch via the website and invited us to stay when we got up this way. We expected this is to be just for a night too but Mick turned out to be a dark horse. He was originally from Serbia but has lived in Australia most of his life. He was incredibly helpful and hospitable.Here are some pictures from our first welcoming comitee the local historic motorcycle club. Later we lined some of the bikes up for pictures and got Mick’s Falcone and Harley Davidson Servicar out and took them for a spin around the garden.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] See the full gallery on Posterous

    Mick was also very well connected and he rustled up not only a load of members of the local historic bike club but also a reception from the Mayor and Councillors as well. The Mayors assistants also arranged for the local TV crew to come out and film it as well so we were on prime time tv news that evening. The council did us proud, not only did the Mayor pause a meeting to fit us in but they put on morning tea for everyone as well. Thank you to everyone involved, what a welcome !

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] See the full gallery on Posterous

    In amongst all this exitement we managed to find time to fit the peltier elements and heatsinks and get the fridge working and it worked well on a quick test run. The pictures below are of Kev wiring it up and an impromptu haircut when one of the guys visiting let slip he was a barber. We also visited the local beach and the pier and had time to look around Hervey Bay which is a great place.

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    One day was spent on Fraser Island, it is the biggest sand island in the world and is a very special place. It has an amazing diversity of landscapes and huge freshwater lakes and creeks running out into the sea. It has several distinct ecosystems: rainforest, sand dunes, sandblows and dune lakes, banksia woodlands, swampy fens and mangrove areas. The sand has been proven to extend 100meters below sea level in places but it has an impermeable layer in places allowing fresh water lakes to form. Fraser’s creeks are fed from a vast underground Aquifer which is estimated to hold 30 times more fresh water than Sydney Harbour.
    The pictures below show (in order) : The ferry across, a fisherman on the way there, us at Lake Mckenzie the islands biggest freshwater lake), a sea eagle we spotted on the beach, humpback whales that eagle eyed Karen spotted out at sea (now is the start of their migration season), us paddling in Eli freshwater creek (this has 4.2 million litres an hour flowing down it straight into the sea) Maheno shipwreck, coloured sand cliffs (caused by the oxide leaching out from the sand), dingoes we spotted on the beach, view from the air of the beach (Kev took a flight), sandblows seen from the air, and finally a beautiful sunset to round the day off. What a day !


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] See the full gallery on Posterous
    #26
  7. Guzzioverland

    Guzzioverland Guzzioverland

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    53
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    From the UK but in Australia currently
    We said a final farewell to Hervey bay in the same way we greeted it by having coffee with all the bike riders, they meet up every Friday at Burram Heads and we were able to join them and their varied ensemble of lovely machines for a great send off thanks everyone.
    Our journey up the East coast so far had been more like a holiday with so many people who have given us support but we are back to camping for a few days now. Due to our cheap air bed keep on developing leaks from the valve we decided to replace it, after long deliberation in the shop I was persuaded to go for the twin rather than double. The main arguments being less bulk and weight the downside will we both fit!
    We are also back to our usual odd lunch stops i.e shop car parks but as we got chatting to some grey nomads (retired motor home travellers) they told us of a good free camp for tonight so that’s sorted.

    [​IMG]
    The campsite proved a little gem, middle of nowhere just two other campers Kev was able to have a fire. I made the Tipi a home shook out the air bed and did a sharp intake of breath it looked even smaller in our large tent, I didn’t hold much hope for a good nights sleep.
    We woke refreshed the next morning, yes I had to eat humble pie and admit it was big enough. We made a good start and were away by 8am. Doris (our friendly GPS) decided to spice things up we could cut a corner back to the highway. It all started well but the track became smaller and after a corner it went sharply downhill towards a muddy bottom. (It had rained up here a few days ago) Kev vainly attempted to stop but being downhill we just slithered gracefully to end up on our side, it was at this point he noticed that one of our panniers was missing the padlock. This was a big deal they are all keyed alike and they lock the pannier retaining bar in. There was nothing for we would have to retrace our route back to the campsite to look for it.

    :muutt

    First we have to right the guzz this is tricky in the sticky red mud next we have to turn her around then Kev has to somehow gun her uphill from a standing start in the sticky goo. (sorry no photos I was too busy helping) As we are attempting the third time trying not to burn out the clutch some locals come down the hill in their ute and jumping out help me push whilst Kev gives it some, he makes to the top. I thank the locals and can’t help noticing that they were barefoot and are now sporting a new red gooey sock look – nice.
    We arrived back at the campsite and I retraced our steps, by some miracle I find the padlock. Funny how things turn out if we hadn’t taken the short cut and fallen we would have gone too far to turn round and come back.
    We ended up that night at Byfield national park via a trip round Rockhampton, interview with the press and a swift trip up mount Archer for a stunning view over the town. A cruise down to Emu park to view the sculpture named the singing ship which is a ships sculpture with holes in the mast to allow it to sing in the wind.


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    We camped in the middle of no where and a reassuring sign (not) informed us we have crocodiles in the creek and not to stray near. Yeah as if I want too. We were welcomed by our very merry neighbours to join them which resulted in a really late night and we all slept in next day which we took as a day off and went for a stroll avoiding the creek and sticking to main paths for safety, we also set to constructing our shower and enjoyed the fruits of our labour.

    :shark


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    We had our first taste of long uneventful travelling next day on route to Bowen with a few scenic detours we ended up camping at Carmilla beach a lovely spot right on the sea front. The sand was deep in places so we opted for a second row viewpoint camping pitch.

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    Our ride towards Bowen was much the same as yesterday but the old girl was struggling today knocking badly on any inclines and running really hot as we couldn’t get anything except E10 fuel this morning.
    Although it is getting hotter the further north we head it is still winter and will get much hotter than this but she survived 40deg heat in Kazakhstan running on 91 octane and even 80 at times.
    The fuel out here is s–t as we have been informed on numerous occasions very low in octane full of ethanol and this last fill was 91 not 95. There is a bewildering mixture of petrol out here, we have mostly been running on the cheapest (E10) which is 91 octane with 20% ethanol added but this was a bad mistake I think. We tried it on more expensive 95 octane yesterday and it ran so much better, quieter and cooler but we cannot get it everywhere as it is regarded as “super” out here it seems.
    Any road up we approached the outskirts of Mackay and hisssss, clatter, clatter, the engine is steaming and she sounded like a traction engine. Kev quickly pulled off the highway and it was easy to see what was wrong we had blown a head gasket. *@$* !! :cry
    We had no choice we needed to repair her and soon, we limped to the first caravan park we could and pulled in.
    Here is our makeshift garage

    [​IMG]
    #27
  8. Guzzioverland

    Guzzioverland Guzzioverland

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    53
    Location:
    From the UK but in Australia currently
    Blog 175 Postscript 20th – 27th July 2011


    This is just a quick postscript to our last blog.
    We are still stuck in Mackay, my initial thought was just that the bike had got too hot and blown a head gasket. We rang Mario at Thunderbikes in Perth and got some replacement gaskets on their way.
    Mario being the star he is got them on their way that afternoon on an overnight service so we waited to pull the bike apart until they got here (that was our second mistake our first running the bike on E10 unleaded petrol with added ethanol).
    E10 is common here and is the standard unleaded fuel. 95 octane is regarded as super unleaded in most stations and is considerably more expensive.

    We still hadn’t received the gaskets three days later, the courier company delivered them to the wrong place and weren’t exactly helpful about rectifying the situation. After many phonecalls we eventually got our hands on them and removed the head only to find that was damaged too. Ever feel like things are ganging up on you?

    The bike had been making a weird almost rattly noise (not pinking) under heavy load for some time although it ran sweetly the rest of the time. This was partly why I changed the rings in New Zealand. I was convinced they were going to be in a load of bits when I took the barrels off. As it turned out they were fine and although worn would have lasted a while longer. Then I blamed the camchain for the noise but pulling off the left hand head two days ago revealed what was really wrong.
    The strange noise was detonation which is the fuel mixture exploding rather than burning. It is very destructive and in this case it had eroded away under the head gasket which is why it blew. It was pointless just to replace the gasket, it will only do the same thing again so I had to ring Mario once more and organise a secondhand cylinder head which should be here soon.
    Follow the finger to spot the hole in the gasket. I pulled off the right head just to check and that was okay, partly I think as it has better airflow. The bike runs a lot hotter on E10.


    [​IMG] [​IMG] See the full gallery on Posterous

    There were some signs of mild detonation when I changed the rings in NZ but there was no damage to the head. The E10 was the final straw I think, it took me a while to realise but just recently the bike seemed gutless and noisy so I tried running a tankful of 95 octane and the difference was immediate. The noise under load all but stopped and it ran much better and cooler.
    Unfortunately I realised a little too late but at least we know now to avoid E10 where ever possible.Talking to local bikers afterwards they all seem to avoid it like the plague. We also received an email from Karens parents (a little too late) saying that there were rumblings about Ethanol being introduced into unleaded petrol in the UK and the problems it might cause. Ethanol is just a cheap filler and the net result will be that everyone will have to pay more for 98 octane super unleaded..

    At least it happened now and not in the middle of the desert somewhere remote, we have also taken steps to improve the airflow to the cylinders in preparation for when it gets hotter. To do this I moved the oil cooler over further and temporarily removed the rubber spray flaps on the side of the mudguards to improve airflow, along with adding airscoops to the front water jerry cans. I also got a plastic fan from a breakers yard and bolted it to the front pulley to pull air over the cylinders. I rigged this up in the UK but left it at home as the bike ran cool enough not to need it, we will see how it goes over the next leg. The fan cost $5 from a breakers yard so it’s not a big deal if it doesn’t work and we junk it.


    [​IMG] [​IMG] See the full gallery on Posterous

    We are still waiting for the replacement head and it has been extremely frustrating as we are on the edge of town and couldn’t get anywhere due to no public transport from the campsite.
    Luckily we met and got chatting to a fellow camper Rhondda, she very kindly loaned us her XT225 (Serow in the UK) which has stopped us both going stir crazy and allowed me to nip out and get parts etc. It made such a difference and we are really grateful to her, we have also been invited over to their bus this evening for dinner as her husband Gary has finished his weeks shift in the mines. While we were in town we had a look around some of Mackays old art deco buildings and did a tour of the op shops looking for a glass photo frame or mirror to use to grind the gasket surfaces flat. We found one for 50 cents and a few other useful things as well. Unfortunately we also picked up a parking ticket for parking in the wrong place, we went and explained it was us not Rhondda and that we didn’t realise we were in the wrong place. We are really hoping they let us off because we really don’t need an $80 fine on top of the expense of being stuck in a $25 a night campsite for over a week.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] See the full gallery on Posterous

    The idea with the photo frame is that you stick a sheet of wet and dry paper to the glass which is flat and then rub the head and cylinder on it in a figure of eight motion to get it flat again. Because it’s only wet and dry it’s only removing thou and it was worth doing as it definitely improved it. Here is a picture of me in mid grind and our temporary “garage”

    [​IMG] [​IMG] See the full gallery on Posterous

    Hopefully we will receive the head tomorrow and then we can be on our way again.
    Just for a laugh have a look at this V8 barbeque we spotted for sale (and the price of it !) V8 racing is really big over here.

    [​IMG]
    #28
  9. vasar

    vasar Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    78
    Location:
    Estonia
    Hi, Kev and Karen. I saw you at the border of Mongolia in Tashanta.

    Attached Files:

    #29
  10. waterlilly

    waterlilly No Agenda World Tour

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    833
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    Ontario, Canada
    We are in the process of putting one together here in Ontario, Canada for Mid Sept 2012. Love to have you if your heading this way.

    Cheers
    Love the web site& your blog here so far.:clap
    #30
  11. Guzzioverland

    Guzzioverland Guzzioverland

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    53
    Location:
    From the UK but in Australia currently
    Hi, that seems like a lifetime ago. Good memories though !
    Were you guys from Estonia who were with a guy on a Honda trail bike.?

    Mongolia was amazing, one of the highlights of our trip. So much space, freecamping heaven :D

    Cheers
    Kev
    #31
  12. Guzzioverland

    Guzzioverland Guzzioverland

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    53
    Location:
    From the UK but in Australia currently
    Thanks ! more on the way soon.
    #32
  13. Guzzioverland

    Guzzioverland Guzzioverland

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    53
    Location:
    From the UK but in Australia currently
    Blog 176 All right now 28th July – 5th August 2011


    The cylinder head arrived on Thursday morning. We were really pleased to see it but this was also sods law in action.We had been invited to Rhonda & Gary’s Wednesday night, they cooked us a smashing roast dinner and it turned into a really good evening. After dinner Gary got out the local specialty Bundaberg Rum as he found out we hadn’t tried it. He is a very hospitable fella Gary so we had a few generous ones of them and then he broke the Port out and we had a few of them as well.
    Rum and Port the worst hangover we have had since we left. Karen hardly got out of bed all day and I didn’t feel to flash either.
    I managed to get my head together enough to put the bike back together and had her running by the afternoon. Karen was just about feeling human by teatime and after dinner we packed up in prepation to leave next day.
    Next morning we had a nice send off from Rhonda and Gary and a few other people we had got friendly on the site.

    [​IMG]
    They suggested a slight detour inland to Finch Hatton and Eungella National Park.
    Finch Hatton was first and didn’t disapoint, we walked up to Araluen cascades which was a nice walk through temperate rainforest. Doubling back slightly we then carried on to Callistemon crossing where the path crosses above the waterfall.
    There were lots of huge boulders out in the creek allowing us to rock hop out midstream and get some good pictures.The lizards are called Skinks and bask on the boulders to warm up


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    When we got back it was lunchtime and picnic tables were provided so we went and got our lunch. As we sat down a flock of Cookaburras settled on the two branches either side of us.
    This was a bit of a novelty at first and we thought that they were just waiting for scraps after we left.
    Oh no not these Cookaburras they weren’t content with crumbs they wanted the whole sandwich. There were about seven or eight by now and they sat in three different trees so we couldn’t keep an eye on all of them at once, they then took turns to dive bomb us to raid our lunch. One snatched a slice of bread off my plate as I turned to pick up something, clearly this was war so Karen made us a sandwich each while I batted off incoming raiders. We were eating said sandwiches when one of the blighters swooped between us and grabbed the second half of my sandwich out of my hand before devouring it in front of me the swine. We had to admit defeat and move on so cheeky were they.

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    After our short lunch we carried on along the valley before climbing up the side of the hill to Eungella. The last section was a really steep climb but it was worth it for the view, we were suddenly back in cool temperate rain forest. Just beyond Eungella is Broken River, Gary told us to stop here as you can sometimes see platypuses in the river. The first campsite we rode into was closed for winter but a nice lady there said we could ride around the post and camp for free-bonus.!

    [​IMG] [​IMG] See the full gallery on Posterous

    It was a small but nice National Parks campsite and allowed us to go for a couple of walks through the rainforest before we lost the light, just before dark we went back to the river to try and spot a platypus as dusk and dawn are their most active times.
    They are shy secretive creatures and we didn’t see any that evening but we vowed to get up early and try again early in the morning. The alarm woke us up at 5.30am owch and we were packed up and away by 7am which is a record for us. Just after 7am we went back down to the river and after a few minutes waiting we saw one swimming up the river. They are tiny only 30 to 40cm long and very cute looking, the males actually have a poisonous barb on there back legs which are powerful enough to kill an animal the size of a dog and inject a human withpain so excruciating that the victim would be rendered helpless. It is said to last for weeks as well although the chances of ever being stung are incredibly remote. They are one of only three types of egg laying mammal in the world and they find their prey using electrolocation sensing tiny electrical impulses as anything moves once they have shovelled up the bottom of the riverbed with their bill. We see two more before they hide away for the day, we feel very privilidged to have seen them. The pictures are sadly a little blurry as they were a fair way away and there wasn’t much light but at least we got some.
    The first picture is of a strangler fig, followed by a turtle and an Azure Kingfisher which we spotted while we were waiting.


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    After breakfast at the excellent picnic facilities (Australia does this very well, there are even free public gas bbq’s) we head back toward Mirani, from here we cut across through a lovely area of farming country. Farming here mainly consists of growing sugarcane and the whole area is criss crossed with narrow gauge railways used to cart the cane. We really enjoyed the ride back the road swooped gently past fields and fields of cane interspersed with small villages and it was a shame when it came to an end and we had to turn back on the Bruce Highway (the main north south coast road)

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] See the full gallery on Posterous

    Back on the main highway we cruised for quite a while at 100kmh (the legal limit) The bike was running okay and a lot cooler but still smoking and spitting oil from the breather which wasn’t a good sign. Suddenly something let go in a big way, the oil breather was hosing out smoke and oil and the bike was only running on one cylinder.
    We limped off the main highway onto a deserted side road and found some shade. We were in the middle of nowhere so we made the decision to pull down the offending cylinder (the same side as before) to see what had happened.
    The result wasn’t pretty although thankfully the new head and the cylinder (barrel) were okay. Removing the cylinder revealed a bunch of smashed up rings and the cause of our problem.
    The piston had cracked between the rings and the whole ring land had gone which explains why the rings were smashed. I removed the cylinder in Mackay to check and the rings were all intact then but I supect the crack caused by detonation had been spreading unseen for some time which was what was causing the smoking and pressurising the crankcase.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] See the full gallery on Posterous

    I put the cylinder back together again roughly just to keep the muck out and pondered our next move. Karen rang Rhonda as we knew they had gone up to Townsville for the weekend to see if they could suggest anything.
    We obviously don’t have any recovery but luckily for us Rhonda and Gary said if we could wait until the next day they could borrow a trailer from a mate on the way back and rescue us. That was a relief and as it was obvious we weren’t going anywhere that night we put up the tipi on the side of the road. Just as we had almost finished a Ute (pickup) pulled over, it was the owner of the adjacent property on his way back from work in the cane fields.
    He asked what was wrong and after we explained he said you guys have had a bad day I’ll be back in a minute. He disapeared off and came back with an Esky full of beer and had a good yarn with us for an hour or more before inviting us down to the house later.
    Next day mid afternoon Rhonda and Gary showed up as promised and we winched the bike on to the trailer. We had been trying to think of a plan B rather than going back to Mackay so I had been on the internet all morning. We broached the subject of taking us to Airlie Beach instead, they were happy to do this as it wasn’t that far. It made such a difference as the campsite was cheaper, in the middle of town and surrounded by things to do while we were waiting for parts.
    Mark from Canberra had mentioned in a previous conversation that he had some spare pistons and barrells, so I rang him first. He has been such a help here and came up trumps again with a good second hand barrel and piston and got it shipped to us at the campsite. Thanks Mark !!!!
    Then I rang Mario from Thunderbikes again (rapidly becoming Saint Mario of Perth) to organise piston circlips and gaskets. I had also noticed a crack appearing in one of the exhaust clamps, Mario wasn’t sure if he had one but he said he would see what he could do.
    We could now relax and enjoy Airlie Beach, it’s touristy as it’s the launching point for the beautiful Whitsunday Islands but it made a nice change to be somewhere busy and tourist friendly. It was a 50metre walk from the campsite to the main street which was only a stones throw from the beach and lagoon.
    Kev is walking the tightrope that an Austrian couple had erected in the site it was great fun but really hard work as it was really wobbly.
    Next day we arranged to go out on a boat trip out to the islands including two snorkels to view the coral and sealife. It was amazing snorkelling, lots of colourful fish and all kinds of beautiful coral, it looked like a fantasy world inhabited by strange and beautiful creatures and we both loved the experience. A combination of a fast boat and a choppy sea made the boat ride exiting too.
    The bird is a hummingbird or bee eater (I think) we saw it walking around town.


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] See the full gallery on Posterous

    That night when we got back the rafting guys said come down to the bar later which we did.
    It turned into a good evening, we got a cheap meal and drinks as part of the deal and had a fun evening with a French/English couple who were on our trip. The bar had lots of games like monster jenga, connect 4, table tennis, pool and silly games with the patrons. The picture of Kev on stage is a game called Heads and Tails, you have to put your hands on your head or tail before a coin is flipped, last man standing wins. Except they didn’t mention until we were up on stage you could forfeit a piece of clothing to stay in. I did pretty well and came second without too much loss of dignity.


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] See the full gallery on Posterous

    At midday the next day our parcels came and I changed the piston and barrel together with checking the other side, it took all afternoon but went well and I finished just before dark. Mario sent us an exhaust clamp off one of his personal bikes to keep us going asking us to return it when out trip was finished. His support and that of the Guzzi community has been incredible !
    Next morning it was test ride time, it fired up and ran well, the smoking from the breather has completely stopped and I feel confident we have go tot the bottom of the problem now.
    From Airlie Beach we rode to Townsville via Bowen (the mural town) and the bike ran well all day with no trace of smoke, oil leaks or detonation. We had an invite to stay with Dale a mate of Graeme and Cindy the couple who put us up in Sydney. Dale is a amiable laid back Scotsman and made us very welcome. We had a tour around the town one afternoon pictures 4 & 5 are of the Strand followed by the view from Castle Hill. We did another interview with a local paper the Bulletin and the photographer met us on the strand. We also met Christian the organiser of the Ingham Italian Day which we are attending tommorrow. Last night was spent with a load of Dales biker buddies and was another good evening (Dale is the guy in the white shirt)


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    Post script re detonation problems
    The damage I am now convinced was the result of detonation which when I think about it has been happening under heavy loading (steep climbs and headwinds etc) pretty much since we left. I just didnt realise the noise I was hearing was detonation. In New Zealand when I changed the rings the second ring was pinched tight in its groove and I had to spend hours cleaning out the groove to make the new ring a good sliding fit. This I am sure now was the start of the ring land collapsing as it was also when the oil breather started spitting oil. Normally smoking from the breather would mean worn out rings but I knew this wasnt the case as I had just changed them so I was perplexed. The detonation would have been like hammer blows to the piston and rings and no engine in the world would put up with that for ever.
    This has prompted some discussions via email and a local whose opinion I respect and is who is well qualified offered the following advice:
    ”Kev & Karen Missed you here but just read about your ag on advrider, then your blog with pics.
    Absolute classic pinking / detonation and is NOT the E10, all of my bikes will detonate badly on std 91, you are used to 95 as std in UK, here you must pay more. Actually the E10 will help not hinder but you will need to nurse it and not let it knock. Much better to run 95 or even 98 octane. The very best fuel we have here (a secret that the scaremongers don’t know /won’t tell) is actually E10/100 octane– awesome stuff. This is hard to get but E10/95 is quite common and my fuel of choice, best power to economy I can buy.
    The important bit if you want to run 91 octane– I used much worse fuel than this in Africa in my Guzzi, never pinked ever
    1/ lower your compression, easiest done with extra base gaskets,or thicker head gasket, I actually had different thickness’ made when I came back here in 1991– same reason but 95 was not readily available then
    2/ retard your spark till it doesn’t pink, the knocking you’re hearing is exactly that

    But my advice would be use 95 with or without ethanol, you shouldn’t have a problem then but if you’re heading South America , get used to ethanol, that’s what they run, up to E85 in some countries
    Forget the fan, Guzzi engines are brilliant, I’ve been through 52 C in the Sahara, not even an oil cooler and not a trace of detonation, running on near kero !!!!!
    I’m surprised you haven’t had a poor fuel problem before.”

    This for my money was the best advice although from my experience I would say the bike runs hotter and detonates more on E10 91 than on standard 91. I would agree with the comment on E10 95 the Guzz ran pretty well on that suggesting that the problem has more to do with Octane than Ethanol although I still contend it doesnt help.
    Bear in mind we are pulling about twice the load than the bike mentioned here.
    I also retarded the ignition timing slightly and I havent heard a “knock” since although its still early days.
    #33
  14. OneOff

    OneOff Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    339
    Location:
    S.E.Qld
    Hey you two, you've certainly had your share of mechanical problems since you've hit Oz. Sounds like you're on to it now tho'.
    Can't believe in the three weeks you were here we never cracked open a bottle of Bundy. Mothers milk.

    At the leisurely pace you are setting you'll be in the Kimberly about mid-summer.... you don't want that. :knary



    good travels,
    Peter.
    #34
  15. Swissican

    Swissican adapt and overcome

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Sunny SoCal
    All that comes to me right now is: WOW!!! Absolutely interesting RR and you have some awesome pictures (wish they were a bit larger but then again, how selfish of me to think something like that :shog )

    I do envy you and your trip. It will be a very long time until I have the time (and money...but mostly time :D ) to do a trip like this. But I guess I need to improve on my motorcycle-repair skills before I can go on a trip like this :lol3

    Again, awesome report and by the way...your motorcycle looks like something from the Mad Max movies :lol3
    #35
  16. Guzzioverland

    Guzzioverland Guzzioverland

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    53
    Location:
    From the UK but in Australia currently
    Blog 177 Atherton Tablelands 7th – 12th August 2011


    Leaving Townsville with Dale we met up with Christian and the others for the run up to the Ingham Italian/Australian Festival and at the meeting point we were presented with a must have photo opportunity, a standard Guzzi SP1000 (this is how our bike looked when we first bought it), parked up side by side the standard model looked so tiny!

    [​IMG] [​IMG] See the full gallery on Posterous

    Christian planned a good run up there including some great back roads. We sampled some Italian food for lunch and then had a look around all the stalls. The bikes were displayed for everyone to look around and at the end we were introduced to the Mayor (wearing the cowboy hat) who was interested in the bike and what we are doing. We planned to camp in the showground but Dave a local who was on the ride with us offered us a place to stay at his house despite the fact he wasn’t going to be there. He was back in the morning and made us so welcome that we ended up staying two nights. Here are some pictures from the festival, it was a good day out.

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    Cairns was our next destination but Nick (who had been in contact for a while now) wished to organise a barbeque at the weekend with some mates to meet us. This was not a problem as it gave us time to explore the Atherton tablelands for a few days on the way there.
    Our lunch stop was Mission beach (with no Cuckaburras) before we headed for Paronella Park on Mena creek. This is mission beach, the sign is a Cassowary a strange prehistoric looking bird the size of an ostrich which live here.


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    Paronella Park was the dream of a Spaniard Jose Paronella who built a castle (folly) complete with theatre which doubled as a dancehall and cinema, throughout the years distasters struck, fires, cyclones, floods and the park is now a crumbling ruin. Some who saw it in its heyday say it was more beautiful then, others that the crumbling ruins are magical now. It was an expensive entrance fee but ofset by the free nights camping and unlimited access to the park day and night so we went for it. We really enjoyed it, Kev even braved the eels in the swimming hole by the waterfall. We also saw bats in the tunnel and turtles in the river. The point Karen is standing at on the grand staircase is the height of the floodwater in 1941.


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    There are some things you can’t escape even half way round the world and that night was census night. The questions don’t cater much for the tourist especially those traveling by motorcycle as one question was to do with vehicles and motorcycles were excempt. So Australia you have two poms seemingly traveling by magic from place to place.
    Next morning we did the waterfalls loop and this time we both swam in the Milaa Milaa falls. Kev said the water was lot colder than Paronella but it was a picture perfect spot where we had a picnic lunch.Here is a view from the Atherton tablelands which is a lush inland plateau almost 1000metres high and a picture of Ellinjaa falls and Milaa Milaa falls where we had lunch.


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    That night we found a free campsite on the village green oppsite the local pub so it seemed rude not to go a have a couple of beers with the locals. On the way to Atherton town the next day we made a slight detour to have a look at the giant curtain fig tree. This was formed when a fig smothered a tree which in turn collapsed onto another tree at 45 degrees, undaunted the fig smothered that as well and grew it’s branches/roots right down to the ground. In Atherton town we visited the crystal caves, these are man made caves built into the basement of a shop in the high street. it sounds a bit naff but it was built as a way to display the owners crystal and mineral collection and its very effective. The last picture is of a huge Amethyst Geode called the Princess of Uraguay which is seriously impressive.


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] See the full gallery on Posterous

    That afternoon we visited “Coffee Works” in Mareeba. There were free tastings of coffee from all around the world including some from just up the road as this area is Australia’s coffee growing centre. As it was getting late in the afternoon they kindly gave us a pass out so we could come back the next day. This was great as it allowed us to sample some of the different coffee’s and make a start on the museum which was huge and needed a few hours.
    The history of coffee is very much intertwined with the history of human civilisation and we learnt a lot. After several hours exploring and sampling it was time to find a campsite for the night, we passed a free site just out of town with lots of grey nomads in it so we headed back there. We caused a bit of a stir as often happens and lots of people came to take pictures and have a look. The campsite is on the site of a war memorial as many troops trained in the Atherton tablelands during WW2, this area was also the site of a huge field hospital for returning injured soldiers.
    Next morning after striking camp we skipped our usual morning coffee and headed back to “Coffee Works” for round two, Yum !
    After some more sampling we had another look around the museum and then went down to the roastery to watch some being cooked. The beans are actually the seeds of the coffee cherry, each cherry contains two seeds which when roasted caramelise their sugars and turn brown which is what gives coffee its taste. We watched a batch being roasted and through the peephole you could see that the beans are green at the beginning and get steadily browner during the roasting process. The skill is knowing wen they are ready and the roaster has a scoop to pull out a sample to check progress. Once they are ready they are tipped out into a mesh drum with a stirrer and cooled quickly with a fan whilst stirring so they don’t overcook. Below are some pictures of coffee bushes, the roasting process, a tiny snippet of the amazing collection of cofee paraphenalia in the museum and some of the war memorial park.


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    On the way to Cairns we stopped for lunch in Kuranda and had a look around. There was another display of crystals and fossils in town which is where we took the dinosaur picture and it was an interesting if touristy place to look around. The sign at the roadside restaurant on the way there confirmed we are well and truly in croc country now.


    [​IMG] [​IMG] See the full gallery on Posterous

    Then it was time to ride into Cairns so we rode down the Karunda road which didn’t disapoint to meet Nick. There were spectacular views and sweeping bends in equal measure and we had a great ride down. Cairns is behind the first hill you can see where the smoke (a controlled burn) is coming from. There are some great roads around this area and Nick has promised us a ride out up the “Gillies highway” one of the most famous.


    [​IMG] [​IMG] See the full gallery on Posterous
    #36
  17. OneOff

    OneOff Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    339
    Location:
    S.E.Qld
    Thanks for the update guys, good to see you getting along.
    #37
  18. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,183
    Location:
    Schmocation
    Great to see you guys still rockin ! :freaky

    You are in the area I grew up in ... Cairns, Babinda, Innisfail, Port Douglas, Mossman ... all towns I lived in as a little'un

    Nice to see pics of the area ... and how it seems to people travelling through.:norton
    #38
  19. C-Stain

    C-Stain Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    15,026
    Location:
    Canoodia
    Wow. All I can say is, "Wow".

    What an incredible journey and an an incredible machine. It reminds me of a cross between Mad Max and Junkyard Wars (Not implying that your bike is junk, btw) and the result is an extremely function-able, stable machine to travel the world. I'd love to see more pictures and explanation of everything you've done to it! Safe journeys...
    #39
  20. Guzzioverland

    Guzzioverland Guzzioverland

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    53
    Location:
    From the UK but in Australia currently
    Blog 178 Cairns 13th – 19th August 2011 (Please be patient, lots of photo’s)
    Nick was a great guy and had organised a welcoming commitee for us. We had been invited to a bbq with some fellow Guzzisti but first Paul and Nick took us for a ride up the Gillies highway their local scratching road and what a fabulous biking road that is. Once when it was still a dirt road it had over 600 bends and was one way only, up in the morning and down in the afternoon. It’s long since been sealed and still has over 300 twisties and was a joy to ride. It heads from Cairns up to the Atherton Tablelands climbing all the way. We returned back down the same route and headed straight for Kevins and the bbq.
    The door was open and we rode the Guzz in like royalty with everyone lining the shed, and what a shed it was the Guzzi banners and posters very much in view. Then ensued a very enjoyable evening with good food, beer and new friends. We had a chance to be surrounded by Guzzis and friendly people, thanks guys !

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] See the full gallery on Posterous

    There was a swap meet in town next day which most of us attended, we even managed to blag the bike into the showgrounds where it attracted a huge crowd. We wrote an explanation of our journey on some paper and left a donation pot before we wandered around ourselves. It was a petrolheads delight loads of stalls and vehicles on display. Karen even managed to bump into a photographer from the Cairns newspaper who shot a bit of film of her and the bike I was wandering around the stalls by then but she figured they may be interested in an aticle later. When we finally found each other and returned to the bike we were delighted to find $24 enough for a tank of petrol thank you Cairns petrolheads.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] See the full gallery on Posterous

    We celebrated afterward by going for a ride with some of the locals to Ellis beach. This will be the way we head out North but for now there is a nice cafe right by the beach. We whiled away a pleasant hour or so there before heading back into Cairns via Palm Cove which is where the rich and beautiful stay. We took a cruise through it to see how the other half live made the place look untidy then headed back to Cairns to pack.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] See the full gallery on Posterous

    Then it was time to move on Northward but before we left we got a call from the Cairns Post and managed to fit in an interview and pictures. We plan to return to Cairns next weekend but first we need to explore Cape Tribulation and Cooktown.
    We had lunch at Ellis Beach on the way out and arrived at Port Douglas that evening. We wanted to do a trip out to the great barrier reef and this was a great place to do it so we found an i site, booked a trip out next day and found a campsite in town. Next morning we headed down to the marina and boarded the catamarran for our trip to the outer reef. It took an hour and a half to get out there but it was soooooo worth it. We had three hours out on the reef including lunch, most of the time we spent snorkelling but we also did a trip on a clever semi submersible with a glass hull and Karen went down into a submersed chamber while I went back out snorkelling again. Here are some general pictures and some from semi sub. We even topped it off with a whale encounter on the way back.


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    We also hired an underwater digital camera so here are some pictures of the reef taken whilst snorkelling. An awesome experience !

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    Next day we headed on to Cape Tribulation via Mossman Gorge. This was a two hour walk through beautiful rainforest. We were both dripping by the end of it despite shedding our bike gear but it was well worth it.


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    Next we had to cross the Daintree river on the cable ferry before riding to Cow Bay where Nick had arranged use of a friends shack in the Daintree Rainforest. After arriving about midday and finding where everything was we headed up to Cape Tribulation for a look around. This is quite a special spot as it’s where the rainforest meets the sea (which is a marine park) both of which have world heritage status protection. The shack was great, in the middle of nowhere with no power or mains water. We had to share with a few creepy crawlies which Karen was very brave about considering she doesn’t like spiders etc. Normally I just pick spiders up and throw them out of the house but even I used a broom to shoo a couple out they were that big. We went to bed that night to the sounds of the rainforest which we loved.( It was only once we were here that I remembered that someone called Neville had kindly offered to host us at his house near Cape Trib, we found his number but couldn’t get any mobile reception to call him. Sorry we missed you Neville)


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] See the full gallery on Posterous

    There is a 100km off road track to Cooktown through the rainforest called the Bloomfield Track. We had every intention of doing it but we were now running short on time so we cut inland across the great dividing range and rode up the sealed road instead. We dawdled a bit coming up the East Coast as there was lots of people to meet and things to see, that combined with our earlier bike problems meant that we are much later than we should be and are now racing the summer heat which gets really intense in the tropical north.
    The great dividing range is just that, one side of it is rainforest and the other is dry savannah. The difference is incredible the range makes all the rain fall on one side and the other side gets virtually nothing. We started seeing much more wildlife, kangaroos mostly. Even they fell for the charm of the Guzzi we passed one close by the side of the verge and it just looked at the bike in a what the **** kind of way as we passed (so Karen said). On the way there we stopped at a famous pub called the lions den, it was originally a miners pub. It has lots of memorabillia and grafitti on the walls, the grafitti dates back to the mining days when miners would leave their pay packets at the pub and work out what was left on the walls.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] See the full gallery on Posterous

    We arrived at Cooktown mid afternoon which gave us time for a look around. Cooktown is so named because Captain Cook the first European to set foot on Australian soil landed here in 1770. It wasn’t quite according to plan as the reason he landed here was that he had grounded out and badly damaged his ship on the great barrier reef at Cape Tribulation and limped in here to make repairs which took seven weeks. A stone marks the spot where he put ashore. In 1873 there was a gold rush at the Palmer river south of here hence the miners statue commemorating the arrival of the miners by ship as Cooktown was the closest port.

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    We had another look around town in the morning before turning tail and heading back to Cairns. That night we stayed with Paul, one of the Cairns Guzzi guys as that night we were going on a tour of the sugar mill.
    Next up: Our tour of the mill, The “Guzzi’s are go” run, Us on T.V (again) and lots more.
    #40