WRRoaming Australia (WR250R + short-bus)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by FLICKIT, Jul 7, 2017.

  1. FLICKIT

    FLICKIT Long timer

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    D-42
    2018-01-04
    Yeo Outstation to Curtain/Trans-line (via Laverton & Kalgoorlie)
    616km
    Route:
    https://ridewithgps.com/trips/25067231
    2018-Wrroam-D42.jpg

    I was up fairly early and on the road just after 7am again, the weather was looking a bit dodgy with a lot of cloud and rain to the west and south... The road was fairly good and gradually got better, not far west of Yeo I started seeing oil & gas well and mine signs so I assume the road is fairly well maintained for them...

    There were still sections of soft sand here and there:
    vlcsnap-2019-01-29-06h43m48s125.jpg

    But most of it was fairly hard packed:
    vlcsnap-2019-01-29-07h42m41s356.jpg

    vlcsnap-2019-01-29-06h49m03s827.jpg

    It got colder as I went west and I ran into some showers, I had to stop and put my wet weather liners in, thankfully I seemed to skirt around the rear edge of the heavy rain...
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  2. mettalique

    mettalique Been here awhile

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    Been slowly reading through your report...fantastic job btw...Camooweal was also one of the noisiest place I camped. Camped behind the roadhouse on the edge of town. Between the party going on literally all night and then cranking up at 6am and the trucks starting up in the car park and idling at about 4am....noisy joint
  3. FLICKIT

    FLICKIT Long timer

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    It only took about 3 hours to do the 200km to Laverton, by all the water around the place it appeared I had missed a fairly decent downpour...

    It was 546km since I left Ilkurlka with about 30L of fuel and I had 7L left, so 23.7 Km/L.. It seems the headwind and the slightly dodgy fuel didn't effect the fuel consumption...
    vlcsnap-2019-01-29-08h05m20s626.jpg
    I also grabbed a couple of pies and an iced coffee to celebrate doing the 1358 km Anne Beadell Hwy in under 2.5 days, and not a single drop (which is a miracle with all the sand), I expected it to take a lot longer, and all up it was a lot easier than I was expecting, the WRR handled it well... Some more power in the soft sand would have been good but the other side of that would be more fuel and a heavier bike and load...

    From here I headed south on dirt roads down through the gold mines to Kalgoorlie.. Due to being mine service roads they were fairly good wide and clay capped:
    vlcsnap-2019-02-02-08h05m05s723.jpg

    Due to a few big mines and their changing boundaries each of my maps showed different roads and some were listed as "mine road restricted access", so I had to feel my way through and avoid the roads with big "mine site no unauthorized access" signs and the likes, it wasn't too bad, there were a few "Kalgoorlie >>" signs, and generally there was only way way to go...

    I almost ended up in the FIFO - Fly in fly out airport, odd seeing large jets in such a remote area:
    vlcsnap-2019-02-02-08h07m59s579.jpg
    Past the big mines and airport the road got narrower and not as well maintained, but it was still fairly good..

    The road goes across causeways across the lakes in a couple of places:
    vlcsnap-2019-02-02-08h09m55s631.jpg
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  4. FLICKIT

    FLICKIT Long timer

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    Anglogold - Barminco -Sunrise Dam mine is the biggest one out here I believe:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunrise_Dam_Gold_Mine
    Sunrise mine.jpg

    From the road you don't see much of it but the open cut looks like this: (they also have an underground mine)
    1536281141316_GEU1QJCCT.1-1.jpg

    Most the old mines have big keep out signs so you cant accidentally wander into them:
    vlcsnap-2019-02-03-08h31m16s569.jpg

    and there were a couple of semi-rehabilitated ones that the road goes through:
    vlcsnap-2019-02-03-08h33m32s076.jpg
    The road was a bit wet and sloppy in places due to the rain...
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  5. FLICKIT

    FLICKIT Long timer

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    The roads south of the mines were all fairly good, a sandy gravelly mix, most fairly wide
    vlcsnap-2019-02-03-08h43m49s104.jpg

    I got into Kalgoorlie about 4pm, it's quite a busy place, lots of historic buildings:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalgoorlie
    vlcsnap-2019-02-03-08h50m28s283.jpg
    It's basically just a life support system for the Superpit Gold mine
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Pit_gold_mine
    Pa032714c.jpg
    (Photo from last year, I passed through here on my Holland Track loop)

    I was planning to stay at a caravan park in Kalgoorlie for the night but they were all fairly pricey, and I had a decent wash with the well water at Yeo, so I figured I'd just do what I had to do then head for the railway line for the night...

    The gear changes on the WR were getting a bit notchy which is the first sign the oil is getting crappy, and the oil looked fairly burnt, I think when I changed the oil before this leg I might have accidentally used the mineral oil I had for the van, it usually does 5000km ok on synthetic oil... To be kind to the bike I figured I'd head down the main street and see if there was a Yammy dealer, and if so get an oil change if they have time and if it's less than $50... (if I had no luck I was going to swing by Supercheap to get some oil and do it that night)
    vlcsnap-2019-02-03-08h48m00s502.jpg

    Sure enough there was a Yammy dealer and they were happy to do it straight away... The business had just been sold and they were changing hands, the old owner was there instructing the new owner, I don't think the new owner was a mechanic, he seemed a bit unsure of what he was doing, and as I discovered later I shouldn't have trusted him with my bike.... , I didn't check the oil level till the next day a few hundred km away, where I discovered it was just below the sight-glass :dirtdog , it probably needed at least another 300ml, if not more (it only holds 1300ml)... and when I changed the oil after this leg I found he had tightened the sump plug up way too tight, it's a wonder he didn't strip it, and he had rounded the plug off... That'll teach me to trust a dealer with my bike ! :doh

    Anyway, I stopped at a servo and filled the bike up with fuel, 18L in the tank and 13L in a bladder, it was about 650km to the next fuel at Forrest in the middle of the Nullarbor... I also grabbed a couple of sausage rolls to have for dinner.. Then heading east about 65km along the Trans Australian Railway line to a campsite that was listed on WIkicamps as "Trainspotters Campsite" , it was in a bit of bush right next to the lines, I arrived there right on dark... (another long 10 hour day, I never learn) :lol3

    BTW, in 2017 I started out with a different campsite finder app which wasn't very good, I soon switched to WikiCamps, it costs about $7, it's a hell of a lot better, I use it every day when travelling to find camp sites, find water, check reviews for tourist attractions and such, well worth the money, damn handy..
    https://www.wikicamps.com.au/
    I ended up buying 2 licences for it, Windows and Android, so I can have it on all my phones, tablets, laptops, and such...
  6. FLICKIT

    FLICKIT Long timer

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    D-43
    2018-07-05
    Trans Australian Railway to Forrest
    579km
    Route:
    https://ridewithgps.com/trips/25109861
    2018-WRRoam-D43.jpg

    "The Trans-Australian Railway crosses the Nullarbor Plain of Australia from Port Augusta in South Australia to Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. It includes a 478-kilometre (297 mi) stretch of dead-straight track, the world's longest, between the 797 km (495 mi) post west of Ooldea and the 1,275 km (792 mi) post west of Loongana"
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Australian_Railway
    It's 1350km from Kalgoorlie to Kingoonya where i'll leave the lines to head back to Coober Pedy, and there's only one fuel stop along the way at Forrest Airport

    Since I got back into riding in 2011 I've been keen to ride through here, mainly because it's listed on maps as "private track no access", and such :lol3... After reading @GoneAgain ride report I added it to the must-do list, his ride report has a stack of photos and lots of info, well worth a read if you're looking at doing this:
    https://advrider.com/f/threads/gone-again-random-adventures-in-oz.535859/page-39#post-24835389

    Last year when I visited the Maralinga nuclear test site I intended to ride the eastern end out to Kingoonya but it rained the couple of days I was out there and the tracks were very sloppy so I skipped it... So this ride was kinda unfinished business....

    There was a bit of rain over night so I made an effort to dry everything before heading off, I really hate setting up and crawling into a damp tent, especially at the end of a long day when you're setting up on sunset...
    P7058372c.jpg

    Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)
    P7058376c.jpg

    The road east is about 150m on the southern side of the rails and it's all good wide hard-packed gravel, clay, or sand through to Rawlinna 300km away, I sat on around 85-90kmh the whole way, you could probably sit on over 100kmh but being solo I keep my speed on the safe side... 90 is fairly casual on the WRR compared to 100+, especially after 3 big days through the ABH and being a bit buggered...

    Near Boonderoo I spotted a train in a siding so I shifted over to the track along the edge of the lines for a closer look... Some of the trains along here are absolute monsters !
    P7058382c.jpg
    https://www.sctlogistics.com.au/rail
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCT_Logistics

    The tall wagons are called "Greater Freighter" wagons, they're close to 6m tall according to their website, and the double stacked high-cube shipping containers would be a bit over 6m tall I assume..
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  7. gavmac

    gavmac Been here awhile

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  8. FLICKIT

    FLICKIT Long timer

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    Thanks for that ... I searched around for a timetable at the time but couldn't find one, that would have been handy, I spent 3/4 of the trip keeping an eye out for the Indian-Pacific...

    It looks like these Nullarbor freight trains are 1.8km long (1.1miles), I was fairly sure they were shorter than the 2.4km long iron ore trains up the Pilbara but I wasn't too sure...

    I don't think I've posted these here so I might as well throw them in, Rio Tinto Pilbara iron ore trains from 2017:




    A bit about the legalities of riding along here... The 800 odd km of trans-line between Lyons and Rawlinna is officially a closed private track but there's not a single sign anywhere along there to say that... People say it's closed because of people breaking down and waving down trains for help, which ends up costing huge amounts of money... There was also some issue about train drivers seeing campfires, I'm not sure what that was about, maybe they would see the fires in the distance and have to slow down just in case they were on the track, I dunno... ... I asked around about the legalities when I was staying at Coorabie last year and when I was out at Maralinga, the locals seem to think they can't actually stop people going through, a lot of the track is the Telstra fiber cable track which isn't actually in the rail corridor apparently, I don't know...

    I came to the conclusion I was happy to go through and suck up the consequences if anything happened... There's phone reception along almost the whole length of the line so if there were any issues I could call for help and not have to disturb the trains, it had crossed my mind if I was in a life or death situation I could call Forrest or Maralinga if I was near them and offer cash for help... Also, I don't light campfires so there was no issue there, and I planned to camp out of sight of the lines so my presence wasn't obvious... I couldn't really hide from the trains all together, the track through the center section is within sight of the tracks most the way and I generally stopped to video the trains as they went past, but I kept well back from the tracks, maybe 50m, all the freight train drivers gave me a toot on the horn or waved, they didn't appear to have an issue with me being there...

    A lot of the way there's multiple tracks, one right next to the lines, and the Telstra one 50 - 100m south of the lines, the one next to the rail lines was often better and faster, but with those monster trains flying along I didn't want one of them appearing over my shoulder a few feet away, so I stuck to the shittier Telstra track away from the lines... (and I imagine someone razzing along next to the lines would annoy the drivers, they wouldn't want the liability)

    Looking over Google Earth, it appears there was another track a little further south in places which often looks like it is better than the one I used:
    Trans Tracks.jpg

    and at times there was a better one on the north side:
    Trans tracks1.jpg

    If I do it again I might plot a route on Google Earth which follows whichever track appears better from the sky so I can find them, when you're on the ground once you're 10m away from the tracks you cant see them, so you just follow whatever you're on...
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  9. FLICKIT

    FLICKIT Long timer

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    Rawlinna was a bit over the half way mark for the day 312km out of 579km, and the end of the decent road, it's one of the larger rail sidings along here, it's basically deserted now... It's home to a lime mine to the north which supplies lime to the gold mines in Kalgoorlie, and there's a large sheep station near here also, which is probably why the road is well maintained into here:

    https://goo.gl/maps/sLDFmxX7CFE2
    Rawlinna.jpg
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rawlinna,_Western_Australia
    P7058391c.jpg

    Riding into Rawlinna:


    The Indian-Pacific trans continental passenger train stops here a couple of times per week and passengers can get off for a wander around, there was a stack of park benches and BBQ's here so I assume they do functions here also:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Pacific
    P7058400c.jpg

    There's a tap on the end of the Road-Masters building which is apparently desalinated drinking water (according to WikiCamps), it tasted good so I filled up all my bladders.
    P7058408c.jpg
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  10. FLICKIT

    FLICKIT Long timer

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    It was blowing a gale so I didn't hang around long, I had a bite to eat (muesli bar & protein shake+coffee), filled up the water bladders, emptied the fuel bladder into the tank, and I was off again, I was hoping to make it to Forrest by dark... The wind was a pain in the ass when stopped but it was actually quite nice while riding, it was blowing in the direction I was heading and at about the same speed, so I travelling with it, it felt quite calm while moving...

    The road gradually gets worse east of here...

    Haig siding and another freight train: (nothing exciting but it shows what the track was like)


    After Haig it's just a rough track, lots of loose rocks and rocky nuggets sticking out of the ground, and also trenches where vehicles had been through when it was wet, I soon stopped and bumped my tyre pressure up from my standard 18psi to around 24psi to avoid rim damage... My speed dropped significantly, 55-60kmh, and concentration was 100% all the time, there were constant obstacles to dodge:

    Around Loongana:


    Watching back over the footage it doesn't look as bad as I remember, the rock doesn't look bad in the videos but there's no shortage of rim denting nuggets, I'm fairly thankful the D.I.D rims on the WRR are fairly tough, the soft rims on bikes like the Tenere would be destroyed through here...

    As the afternoon went on it was clear I wasn't going to get to Forrest by dark, I considered stopping to camp but between the scrub, the rock, and the wind, it wouldn't be much fun, I was hoping Forrest might have somewhere sheltered to camp, and they had a shower and loo... + I had to get fuel there in the morning, so I kept going...

    Even before it started getting dark I could see a couple of lights on the horizon, I assumed they were at Forrest, it felt like they were teasing me, as it got dark they didn't seem to get any closer, I think I was watching them for a good hour or more:
    vlcsnap-2019-02-07-12h52m45s668.jpg

    It really wasn't too pleasant riding this rocky track into the dark with just the crappy trail-bike headlight, my speed deceased as it got darker, down to about 40 km/h by time I got to Forrest... (I have some spotlights for the bike but I almost never need them so it's not worth having them on the bike, just something else to get broken)...

    Here's a bit of cut up video heading into Forrest in the dark, nothing exciting, I took next to no photos through here and it's the only way I can share the experience... It's a damn lonely place out there and that feeling is compounded by the darkness:


    I didn't know what to expect here, I know they allow camping but I didn't call ahead, some places are a bit funny about late or unexpected arrivals... It turned out well, I just pulled up out the front of a house with lights on and a friendly guy came out and asked if I was staying the night, I said yep, he said "ok then, follow me", he jumped in his ute and lead me down the back to the old Bureau of Meteorology building which is now a bit of a museum, he lead me in there and said I could sleep on the floor to save me having to set up my tent in the wind, and then he lead me to a nice little kitchen and a bathroom, LUXURY ! :lol3

    He headed off, I unpacked, had a nice hot shower, a feed, and such, it was great to be out of the wind and not be in the tent, I slept quite well other than being disturbed a couple of times by a mouse running around!
    http://www.forrestairport.com.au/about-us/
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  11. GelandeRoadie

    GelandeRoadie Been here awhile

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    @FLICKIT , I can’t remember if you’ve mentioned this, apologies if so, but were you using Opal fuel for large sections of the trip? If yes, did you notice any change in performance of the WR? Or have any issues arisen as a result of using Opal fuel?

    You mentioned that the track didn’t look that bad in the video, in my experience (nowhere near yours), any track in fading light seems “interesting” at the time...
  12. FLICKIT

    FLICKIT Long timer

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    Most of central and northern Aus is Opal only, I've used it a lot... The WRR generally runs pretty well on it, maybe slightly down on power compared to premium but not much, it's no issue, I've never had any pinging issues or such... At Ilkurlka I think I got some old stale Opal, that dropped the power significantly, but that's not normal..

    2017 I did close to 20,000km on mainly Opal and some ULP 91 regular (partly due to no premium in most outback places and partly due to the cost of premium when it was available), towards the end of that the bike was down on power, it was quite sluggish and slowly getting worse, it seemed to come right with a tank of premium, the bike took off like a rocket... I suspected spark plug and or injector fouling due to the low octane for so long... When I changed the plug after that trip it was caked in carbon which I haven't seen before on the WRR, it's usually pretty clean, I also ran some injector cleaner through it just to be safe, it hasn't been an issue since...

    In general I have no issue running Opal but I pay the extra and get premium when ever it's available now, I suspect it helps keep everything clean..

    (for anyone not familiar with Opal: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opal_(fuel) )
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  13. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto aka: trailer Rails Supporter

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    I never heard of Opal fuel, that is sad.
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  14. OzRider64

    OzRider64 Friggen slow Adventurer.

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    What are you up to this year FLICKIT.:hmmmmm
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  15. theMISSIONARY

    theMISSIONARY hunting and riding!!

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    :lol3 he's been to Prison :jack
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  16. BornAgain

    BornAgain Been here awhile

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    When is he scheduled for parole :lol3
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  17. theMISSIONARY

    theMISSIONARY hunting and riding!!

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    some say...he escaped...others say he eloped with the Wardens Wife!.... all we know is he's called the FLICKIT :dllama:
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  18. OzRider64

    OzRider64 Friggen slow Adventurer.

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    FLICKIT, mate, your Adventures are highly addictive.
    I’m going cold turkey.:ear
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  19. FLICKIT

    FLICKIT Long timer

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    :imaposerI was talking to Jon the other day, (4x4 guy I met up Cape York in 2017, then camped in his backyard on the Sunshine coast while I did Fraser island and such last year), he mentioned this and I thought WTF ! lol, better go see what's going on... :imaposer

    I got slack with writing this up when I got busy prepping for this years adventure, then I got pissed off with some of the attitudes around here so I didn't log-in here for many months....

    I'm on Day-90 of this years WRRoaming, 9000 km in the bus, 8000 km on the bike so far, a fairly lazy year.... I set off early this year, May 5th, so I could spend the cool-ish June-July in the Top-End, (and it was still too hot for comfortable riding really), that's all done and I'm on my way back south, brrrrr, currently pottering down the Diamantina Development Rd heading for Birdsville, contemplating a double crossing of the Simpson to mark the French and WAA lines off my map, there's no events on in Birdsville at the moment so it's probably a good time to do it....

    This years map so far, as of a few days ago:
    2019Wrroam-toQld.jpg

    Darwin, Litchfield, & Kakadu done done and done.. I did almost everything I could up there including most the hikes in the national parks:
    2019-Wrroam-TopendDone.jpg

    As well as doing the Top-End my plan this year was to fill in some of the blank spots on the map, Tanami, Sandover, Plenty, and the parts of the Buntine and Buchanan I hadn't done before, basically just joining up previous years tracks on the map:
    2019Wrroam-toQld-all.jpg

    As for going to prison, at first I thought WTF is he on about, then it clicked!
    (the first 3 mins are crap so maybe click past that)

    and no wardens wife unfortunately, she was no where to be seen, the Little Blue-Beauty is the only sexy thing next to me at night:
    P8011074c.jpg

    :clap Thanks for the interest guys, sorry about abandoning this...
  20. theMISSIONARY

    theMISSIONARY hunting and riding!!

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    you southerners(anyone south of Campbell town is a southerner :nod) are a bit slow but i thought it might click :pot:lol3
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