Up the middle of Western Australia on dirt

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by OzBen, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. OzBen

    OzBen KTM690ER

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    SW Australia
    2800kms in 1 week on a 1200Adv and an 800GS. From Perth up the middle of Western Australia - mostly on dirt - to join the sealed road 1,550kms later at Minilya road house. 100kms west to Coral Bay for a day’s rest and 1,150kms back to Perth along the West Coast Highway.
    Day 1 we headed north to Moora, where we let down tires and did a fast 100km stretch on dirt to Three Springs.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    Sunday roast at the Three Springs tavern &#8211; might as well start the trip with a good feed.
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    Shane used the trip as a dry run for his planned 10,000km ride to the Northern Territory in June, so he packed everything - clothes for all seasons, TV, microwave, DVD player, playstation, surround sound system, satellite dish and a 5 pound hammer (serious about the hammer &#8211; it was neatly wrapped in a rag at the bottom of the pannier). It's great travelling with Shane as anything I may have forgotten, he will have. My additional gear was a 12 liter fuel bladder which gave me the same range as Shane&#8217;s 44-gallon-drum-on-wheels.
    At Mingenew we filled our tanks and the fuel bladder as we did not expect fuel for some distance.
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    North of Mullewa we started the 1,000km dirt stretch and camped in the bush after an easy 550km day.
    Shane&#8217;s setup...
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    ...and mine...
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    ...flies were a problem.
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    Heading north the 2nd day...
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    ...<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Murchison River</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Bridge</st1:placeType></st1:place>...
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    &#8230;Murchison Aboriginal community.
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    ...breakfast at the road house.
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    Security...
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    Emus...
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    &#8230;and road instructions - who needs a GPS?
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    A look-see at well 19 on the stock route...
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    ...Wooramel river crossing...
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    &#8230;and Bilung Pool.
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    After 500kms on dirt we reached Landor bush race track.
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    The local station (livestock farm) owners and a few volunteers happened to be camping there for the week to do maintenance and improvements for the upcoming Landor outback race meet in October...
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    ...the grand stand...
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    ...view of the dirt race track from a bedroom in the grand stand...
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    ...dining room&#8230;
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    &#8230;and the kitchen.
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    The Landor race meet has a colourful history and truly outback flavour. In 1921 at a combined mustering camp a number of stockmen from stations in the area argued about who had the fastest horse and the Landor tradition was born. The event has now been run annually almost continuously since then and on the same principles since the early days &#8211; a strictly amateur race meeting for local station horses and riders. There are no starting gates - all races are standing starts. Shane used to help out at the Landor races when he lived in the Pilbara years ago and knew someone there so we were invited to stay the night and they gave us lots of beer, a good feed and our own double room.
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    Breakfast was laid on in the morning and they admired our bikes&#8230;
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    &#8230;or rather Shane&#8217;s bike &#8211; no one was interested in mine because "it's not like Ewan's".
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    Burringurra Aboriginal community...
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    &#8230;Mt Augustus...
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    <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeType w:st="on"></st1:placeType></st1:place>
    <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeType w:st="on">Mount</st1:placeType> <st1:placeName w:st="on">Augustus</st1:placeName></st1:place>, or Burringurrah as it is known by the local Wadjari Aboriginal people, is the largest rock in the world. Twice the size of Uluru (Ayers Rock) and estimated to be 1750 million years old. 1105 m above sea level and 860 m above the surrounding plain, covering an area of 47.95 kmĀ². The central ridge is 8km long. It&#8217;s clearly visible from the air for 160 kilometers and plays a significant part in Aboriginal Dreamtime culture.
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    We now desperately needed fuel...
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    Cobra station...
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    No fuel here...but maybe some left over in those 44 gallon drums in the shed?
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    Our friendly hostess Colleen...
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    Kim operated the pump, Colleen poured the fuel and Shane supervised...
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    &#8230;enough to fill the fuel bladder too&#8230;
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    &#8230;into the &#8216;budget&#8217; pannier&#8230;
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    &#8230;onto the bike&#8230;
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    &#8230;and a light bag on top.
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    That was thirsty work and Colleen and Kim shouted us a beer, while she told us how she was flown out by the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) three weeks earlier after being bitten by a deadly King Brown snake. It doesn&#8217;t get better than this and I would recommend to anyone to stop at Cobra for a chin-wag.
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    Edmund river...
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    Heading further north...
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    Refuelling from the bladder...
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    The cut in my rear tire had opened up and was getting worse (don&#8217;t be fooled by the green grass &#8211; this photo was taken the next day at the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Coral</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Bay</st1:placeType></st1:place> caravan park). Lucky I had tube tyres, otherwise it would have been all over by now.
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    West at Lyndon and we had only 170kms of dirt to the <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">West Coast Highway</st1:address></st1:Street>...
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    ...500kms for the day and we set up camp.
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    100km west to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Coral</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Bay</st1:placeType></st1:place> the morning of day 4 - what a sight after all that dirt.
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    We booked in at the local caravan park...
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    &#8230;and spent most of the day in the water (and the pub at the local hotel).
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    Started heading back to <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Perth</st1:place></st1:City> (1150kms) on the <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">West Coast Highway</st1:address></st1:Street> the next day.
    Minilya road house...
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    More interest in Shane&#8217;s bike at Carnarvon - I may have to get hold of Ewan and make him buy an 800...
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    Wooramel road house...
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    White Bluff...
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    ...<st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Shark</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Bay</st1:placeType></st1:place> on the horizon.
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    500km south of <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Coral</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Bay</st1:placeType></st1:place> and the damaged rear tire came back to haunt me...
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    ...road side repairs...
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    ...the side wall was disintegrating...
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    ...and pinched the tube in a few places...
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    ...when the flies got too much Shane came to the rescue.
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    It was late by the time we got repairs done so we spent the night there...
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    ...passed out after a tiring day.
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    5kms down the road the morning of day 6 and the tire pinched the tube again...
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    Shane continued home on his own and I called BMW Roadside Assist on the sat phone to rescue me and my bike.
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    I was 200km from the nearest town (Northampton) and the tow truck had to come from Geraldton (250km) so I made myself at home, had coffee and breakfast and played with the flies while waiting 3 hours to be rescued.
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    Phil and his truck arrived around lunchtime and we headed back to Geraldton. BMW Roadside Assist is a good insurance to have. They were extremely helpful, provide a great service and it's free with a new bike.
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    No tyre for my bike (150/70-17) in Geraldton and the best I could get was a 140/80-17 Metzeler Tourance road tire at Suncity Motorcycles.
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    It was late afternoon by the time the new road tyre was fitted and I headed through the Alinta wind farm about 50kms south west of Geraldton. Some interested cattle came to admire my shiny new tyre.
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    There are 54 windmills generating power and they're huge (my bike dwarfed at the base).
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    <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on"></st1:placeName></st1:place>
    <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Greenough</st1:placeName> r<st1:placeType w:st="on">iver</st1:placeType></st1:place>.
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    I found a nice spot to camp at Ellendale pool.
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    The next (7<SUP>th</SUP>) day I returned home to <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Perth - n</st1:place></st1:City>o better way to spend a week. The &#8216;bushies&#8217; in the Gascoyne and Pilbara are beautiful people and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to spend time with them. Thanks Shane, for a great trip and your photos I used.
    Cheers
    OzBen
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    67,034
    :clap :clap

    Outstanding mate!! :beer

    Thanks for the report and fantatsic pics!! Hard to believe BMW Roadside assist paid for your punctured tyre!! And too bad about how the trip ended, better luck next time and please share your next adventure with us..

    Very curious to hear how you like the 800GS, it's on my shortlist as my next bike.
    #2
  3. allengt

    allengt Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    72
    Great Report and Pictures. :bow

    Thanks for posting.
    #3
  4. Cloud9

    Cloud9 I was HERE?

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,886
    Location:
    Grand Junction, CO., USA
    Nice report, thank for taking us along on the ride! :thumb
    #4
  5. KSGregman

    KSGregman Flying Close to the Sun

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    37
    Location:
    ICT, KS
    Excellent ride report!

    I'm all kinds of jealous of you Aussies and your unique and wide open places. :thumb
    #5
  6. evildingo

    evildingo On a road to no-where

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    429
    Location:
    Gympie QLD
    Nice Rdie .. BTW whats the gunge and shit on the chain ?

    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    #6
  7. the darth peach

    the darth peach eats crackers in bed

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    11,400
    Location:
    N.California
    :clap

    Great ride, pics and report!!

    Always a treat to see pics of Aus.!
    #7
  8. slowbike smallpenis

    slowbike smallpenis Tester of Tooheys Old

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2003
    Oddometer:
    22,113
    Location:
    Shoalhaven above Tasmania and West of New Zealand
    great ride report - Just wondering, is there much sand / Bulldust if any on the route you took?
    #8
  9. Run n Gun

    Run n Gun Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    95
    Location:
    BFE Wyoming
    I really like the Down Under RR's , the way you guys write just makes me smile so down to earth and with built in humor .

    Now whats with all the flys ?? They need to breed , but I dont see much that would be good breeding , ie; dead meat type stuff ??

    That BMW road service is nothing to sneeze at !!!
    #9
  10. HumanOne

    HumanOne shows Nomadic tendencies

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,261
    Location:
    occassionally Adelaide, South Australia :-)
    One of your work colleagues (Big Andy) sent me the link to your Ride Report. Nice Stuff :clap Hopefully we can catch up somewhere 'down the track' :ricky

    Seems like so long ago now ....

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    My own WA experience started about here somewhere (with a couple of the boys that have already posted on this thread today actually) .....

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116544&page=13

    Looking forward to reading your next one. Nicely written and very informative. Some great shots in there too. Keep doing it!

    Take Care - Pete
    #10
  11. smiley mark

    smiley mark smiley

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    Oddometer:
    418
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    "good stuff, Thanks for that...
    #11
  12. Sofa King

    Sofa King Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    156
    Location:
    The Hills area, Sydney, Australia
    :clap:clap

    Excellent Ride report and great pictures.

    Thanks for sharing. :thumb
    #12
  13. Eaglebeak

    Eaglebeak All roads rider, West Oz.

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,128
    Location:
    Perth.
    Great report Ben, as usual and a nice "real roads" report on the 800.

    Andrew.
    #13
  14. kwakbiker

    kwakbiker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
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    761
    Location:
    Birmingham,UK
    Great trip, nice RR:clap
    #14
  15. Hardhead

    Hardhead Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
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    2,478
    Location:
    Brisvegas, Northside
    Great Ride report.
    Thanks for sharing :clap
    #15
  16. Aussie Digger

    Aussie Digger Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    247
    Location:
    West Oz
    <TABLE id=HB_Mail_Container height="100%" cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0 UNSELECTABLE="on"><TBODY><TR height="100%" UNSELECTABLE="on" width="100%"><TD id=HB_Focus_Element vAlign=top width="100%" background="" height=250 UNSELECTABLE="off"></TD></TR><TR UNSELECTABLE="on" hb_tag="1"><TD style="FONT-SIZE: 1pt" height=1 UNSELECTABLE="on">
    </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
    <TABLE id=HB_Mail_Container height="100%" cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0 UNSELECTABLE="on"><TBODY><TR height="100%" UNSELECTABLE="on" width="100%"><TD id=HB_Focus_Element vAlign=top width="100%" background="" height=250 UNSELECTABLE="off">Another great ride report...your pictures always tell the story.

    Good work.:clap :clap

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    #16
  17. Andrew2

    Andrew2 Long timer

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    Location:
    Wollongong,N.S.W.
    Great report Ben.Which way is better to Perth from the top end as far as scenery and things to see etc,the coast road or the way you came up from Perth.

    A2
    #17
  18. Eaglebeak

    Eaglebeak All roads rider, West Oz.

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,128
    Location:
    Perth.
    Naw, I got rid of the KLR but I've kept the 1150R.

    I've just bought a GSX1400 and am putting a chair on it for outback touring.
    I'll post some pics in the Oz forum when it starts to come together.

    Andrew.
    #18
  19. sandgroper

    sandgroper Long timer

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    Dec 26, 2003
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    5,519
    Location:
    Wanneroo, Western Australia
    Great story and pictures, well done.
    Cheers, ed
    #19
  20. olyflyer

    olyflyer Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,201
    Location:
    Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia
    great report I did that trip a while ago for a long weekend to that rock would of loved a week to do it I camped about 40 k's from that pool/camping spot next to a dead sheep i found by smell at 3am if I had a map i would of known it was there

    looks like they finished paving the front of cobra nice cold beer there too!

    I reckon the coast road is boring as it's flat but has some good stuff here and there, the inland is my preference just north of meekatharra it gets good hills and surrounds, but dirt is even better like your route through Murchison just drove from yilgarn via Mt Jackson, lake barlee stn and sandstone to meeka and that is amazing riding country!!!!!!! if on i didn't trash my bike at mill stream on the way down :cry
    #20