WRRoaming Australia (WR250R + short-bus)

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

  1. OzRider64

    OzRider64 Friggen slow Adventurer.

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    You’ve got me hooked FLICKIT.
    I spend all my spare time looking at sites for hiace vans and WR250R’s.
    Read your stuff back to front.
    I’m 55 and my plan is to pull the pin in the next 3-5 years from the workforce.
    My first trip will be to follow some of your footsteps.
  2. FLICKIT

    FLICKIT Long timer

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    Dropping below the Tropic Of Capricorn today, and dropping out of the tropical temperatures, I feel a bit slow, lol

    Rolled into Birdsville this afternoon, damn the place is dead compared to when I was here in 2017 just before the Big Red Bash, and last year just before the Finke Desert races, it's nice... The road in from the north was a bit dodgy in places but the short-bus was handling it better than some of the 4x4's towing caravans, I was a bit worried because I haven't seen another 2-wheel drive vehicle since I left Mount Isa almost 700 km ago, lol

    The bike has a new set of D606's on it, the weather is cool, and there seems to be very few 4x4 in the Simpson Desert at the moment, so it seems like the perfect time to dive in and tackle the harder crossings... I'll have a couple of lazy rest days and give her an oil change, then dive in :hide ...

    I'm a bit excited :wings and quite nervous :norton
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  3. FLICKIT

    FLICKIT Long timer

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    A couple of odd vids I've uploaded:

    Not sure what scares me more, 1m deep water (over seat depth), a soggy clay bottom, or the risk of crocs (and not being able to walk through to find where the deep water is because of the crocs)


    I thought my number had come up!


    Sorry little guy!, he ran off so I hope he's ok:


    Safer than getting in the stagnant water down the bottom with all the smelly backpackers !


    This was cool, I hired a little tinny with a 3hp Yammy motor from the place I was staying at near Daly river, $55 for the day, I went for a 32km run up and down the Daly River, I came across this good sized salt water croc with a full sized wallaby I assume he had snatched off the bank:


    and a good size fresh water croc:

    Seeing these guys is why the deep water crossings on the bike in Kakadu were so scary, lol, fierce apex predictors!!!... I also did a $30 commercial croc tour on the Adelaide river and saw 6+m 100+yo crocs which was pretty cool, I'll try to upload some vids of that later...

    (I'll reply to you later Oz) :)
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  4. FLICKIT

    FLICKIT Long timer

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  5. FLICKIT

    FLICKIT Long timer

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  6. BornAgain

    BornAgain Been here awhile

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    Flickit's back once again all is right with the world :clap I would not have gone through that water crossing this is as close as I want to get to a croc

    [​IMG]
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  7. FLICKIT

    FLICKIT Long timer

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    :lol3

    I've had a couple of pretty bad water crossing experiences in the past so I tend to be over cautious these days... That one in the video wasn't actually too bad in the end but it psyched me out a bit, that track had been closed since late last year due to the monsoon/wet season, the rangers had only opened it a couple of days before I got there, I'm not sure how high the croc risk is in that spot but they've gone to the trouble of putting up the big yellow croc safety signs saying not to approach or enter the water, and added the printed and laminated sign when they opened the track, since there's been no traffic through for months I assume the risk of crocs there would be higher (they tend to come in when the place is flooded in the wet season, and that spot is a side shoot off a large river that is notorious for large crocs).... I lobbed a few rocks in hoping to scare up any crocs if they were in there, and then I walked around the edges trying to gauge the depth with a long stick, that left side wasn't too deep, but the middle and the right was well over front wheel depth, and by the 1m sign I assume seat depth in there somewhere, so I felt some urgency to hug the left bank as close as I could and not slip into the deeper water.. It certainly wasn't a good place to get stuck on my own, lol... Shallow or clear rocky crossings don't worry me much but that one being deep and muddy freaked me out... .. Would I do it again? probably, lol

    Where I'm at today.... I'm having seconds thoughts about doing a double Simpson Desert crossing this year, I spoke to the people at the info center and a few other people yesterday and everyone is saying it's the worst it's ever been, very soft and chopped up, lots of big holes in the dune faces, quite a few people have needed rescuing recently... (it could just be the usual dire warnings they always give to everyone, lol)

    My clutch is getting close to the end of it's life (65,000km), it's feeling a bit dodgy, and I'm at the physically worn-out end of my trip, so rather than set myself up for failure I might give it a miss for this year.... Eyre Creak about 60km west of Birdsville is still flooded so you have to take a 70km detour around that to get along the QAA line, I might get the bike out today and do a run unloaded out there for a look, there's about a dozen big dunes on the way out there so that will give me a bit of an idea of how bad the rest of the desert is at the moment, then I'll make a final decision...

    Doing things like this solo unassisted I'm always nervous but there's a point where it just doesn't feel right, I'm close to that point, so rather than push my luck I rather just leave it for another year, I didn't plan to do it this year anyway....
  8. GelandeRoadie

    GelandeRoadie Been here awhile

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    Thanks for taking the time to write this, enjoyable as always. Safe travels.
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  9. FLICKIT

    FLICKIT Long timer

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    Well I made it out into the Simpson to Eyre Creek and back without any real dramas, it's odd seeing water and so much greenery out in the desert, last year when I traveled through it was dry as a bone, and the west side of the dunes were really smooth and the east sides were very chopped up and soft... (there's a video a few pages back)

    This year the east side of the dunes are generally better, the west sides are VERY soft and chopped up.. I had no issues going west out there unloaded, coming back I got stuck on a couple of dunes and had to go back down for a second run.. I have to pick the perfect line, get up on the pegs in second gear, if I run out of steam or get off the perfect line that's the end of me, I have to drag her back down and try again, just getting the bike turned around on the steep faces in the soft sand is a feat in itself...

    Eyre Creek:
    P8031155c.jpg



    Big Red:
    P8031188c.jpg



    Still not sure if I'm going to do it, it's going to be damn hard work and I'm not sure I can be bothered at the moment... I gave her an oil change this afternoon so she's ready to go, I'll watch some of todays video footage and sleep on it, then I'll make a decision... (maybe ride east to west along the via French line and then return the long way around, 1200km)
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  10. dzl

    dzl adventurer wannabe

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    Do it! Reading what youve already achieved, you have the experience to deal with each challenge as it arises. You have the bike. Think of how good the feeling will be when you complete it over the feeling of regret as you drive away from it not having attempted. Ive been in the same head space youre in now and that feeling of regret sucks!!
    FLICKIT likes this.
  11. jredford

    jredford Ninja Racer

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    I havent read the entire thread - what I have is fantastic. Who is piloting the van?
  12. FLICKIT

    FLICKIT Long timer

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    No second pilot, no room for someone else, lol, all my riding gear is stacked on the passenger seat and floor... All the riding is done as loops returning to the van, while I'm riding the van is abandoned at camp grounds, caravan parks, or such...
  13. jredford

    jredford Ninja Racer

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    Ahhh...that’s what I thought, thank you. Great report!
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  14. FLICKIT

    FLICKIT Long timer

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    I generally don't mind skipping things if they don't feel right at the time... but I'm not sure I'll get back here with the bike so I should probably do it now....

    I was very undecided, I've been back and forth between yes and no a couple of times, I was fairly exhausted after the run out into the desert the other day so that left me fairly unenthusiastic... (and returning to the cold southern temperatures always knocks me around a bit and makes me lethargic)... I was in no rush so I decided to hang around for a couple of days to see if the enthusiasm increased... I had a couple of things I had to sort out anyway...

    -I'm a week too late to renew last years Desert Parks Pass so that will cost me $171....
    -I can store the van in the compound at the roadhouse for $11 per night... (the caravan park want $20!)
    -The rear brake caliper on the bike is vibrating/chattering, it seems to be the hole the locating pin goes in is slogged out from all the corrugations, not much I can do about it, I've greased it again, that's all I can do..
    -I have a handheld UHF with me that I carry in my backpack, since I didn't plan on doing the Simpson I didn't bring a mount or headset to make it easier to call ahead on the dunes to warn 4x4's of my presence... (mainly a concern if I get stuck just below the crest of dunes)... I might just try to tape the radio to the handlebars so it's in a usable position...
    - I just put a new 14 tooth front sprocket on, I'm thinking maybe I should swap to a 13... still undecided...
    -My fuel bladders are out of action... my oldest 12L bladder started leaking up through the threads where the spout exits the bladder on the Tanami ride this year, half filling it, keeping it upright, and wrapping a rag and tape around where it was leaking I could get away with it and I continued using it, the little fuel that made it's way out was caught by the rag... I had one fail in the same way last year which the manufacturer ended up replacing... That replacement one which has had very little use leaked a bit last time I used it up Kakadu, I thought it was just the cap seal but I just blew it up by mouth yesterday, put the cap on, then pressed on it while spraying soapy water around the cap to see where it was leaking, it's the same as the other one, leaking up around the threads.... On flat roads I could get away with just 2/3rds filling them and keeping them upright but bouncing through dunes I'm not going to risk it, I think I'm going to end up with fuel everywhere if I try to use them out there.... I thought about trying to seal them with some RTV silicon but then I'd have no hope of getting them fixed or replaced....

    I have a 5L plastic jerry with me I could use, and the servo has a 10L plastic jerry for $35, if I over fill a 5 & 10 I could probably get 17L into them, + the 18L tank on the bike... 35L "should" be enough for the 565 km crossing.... (I've also got a 20L jerry with me but that's too big, and I have 4 & 6L oil bottles but they're so soft I'd rather try strapping them on) ... I hate leaking fuel, the WRR exhaust with catalytic converter gets stinking hot, and an issue I had last year - if fuel gets on the MSR water bladders it contaminates the water inside and makes it taste of fuel, it's not pleasant...

    So today I'm feeling a bit more enthusiastic, I think I'll go into town, blow the $200+ on the jerry and parks pass, blow the $30 to stay at the caravan park so I can have a shower, and spend the day going through my gear, packing, fueling, and such, get everything strapped on ready to go tomorrow morning.. The caravan park is across the road form the roadhouse so that will make it easy to deliver the van there when they open at 8am...

    Tomorrow is 25c, Wed 28c which will be painful in the sand, and then it cools down to low 20's with 20-30 kmh SW winds, I've been considering holding off till Thursday when it's cooler but I might try to get through the worse of it tomorrow and start early Wed so I can get out of the bad stuff before it warms up on wed...
    http://www.bom.gov.au/qld/forecasts/birdsville.shtml
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  15. FLICKIT

    FLICKIT Long timer

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    Desert Parks Pass and Jerry have been purchased so I'm committed now, no turning back.. I just switched to a 13-tooth front in an attempt to be kinder on my clutch... and I just replaced the headlight rubbers in the top of the front fender which were slogged out.. I think the bike is ready to go, just gotta go through all my gear now.. (I haven't camped off the bike since the beginning of June, everything up north was day rides)

    There was a 70+ km detour around Eyre Creek to the north which blew the French Line crossing out to about 565 km, they've just opened a shorter detour to a creek crossing to the south which is only about a 5 km detour apparently, so that should bring the one way trip down to about 500 km, so I should be ok with 35L of fuel....
  16. FLICKIT

    FLICKIT Long timer

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    All fueled up and ready to go... Really not a fan of jerry cans ! ..
    P8051218c.jpg

    P8051219c.jpg

    P8051221c.jpg
  17. BornAgain

    BornAgain Been here awhile

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    Sorry but those jerry cans do make your but look big:lol3
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  18. LivingdeadCamo

    LivingdeadCamo Long timer

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    Good onya mate, have a good run. Enjoy!
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  19. FLICKIT

    FLICKIT Long timer

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    Well that was a lot easier than expected :clap, first day 216km, camped at the Knolls track turn off on the French line, then 260km yesterday, camped south of Dalhousie, no issues, at Oodnadatta now, pottering back to Birdsville via Maree, couldn't be bothered going back across the desert, those jerry cans really messed with the balance of the bike as expected, lol....
  20. FLICKIT

    FLICKIT Long timer

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    French Line sunrise yesterday morning:
    P8071343c.jpg
    After last night camped 25km south of Dalhousie in gale force winds and waking to a tent full of sand I decided to run the 560km to Maree and blow $85 on a Fawlty Towers like hotel room :lol3 (at least I'll be fresh for the run back to Birdsville tomorrow)
    P8081432c.jpg
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