Motorbike trip - Bamaga to Alice Springs

Submitted: Friday, May 03, 2013 at 09:30
ThreadID: 101989 Views:2571 Replies:6 FollowUps:1
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Hi All

I'm considering a trip riding my trusty XR400 (kitted out for touring) from Seisia to Alice Springs, most of it off the bitumen if I can help it in June-July.
The general itinerary is as follows:
- get bike shipped to Seisia, collect it there (I'll probably fly to Thursday Island, then catch the ferry down)
- head down to Cairns, not sure whether I'll be able to cross through some of the deeper crossings on the OTT, so was planning on doing a bit of going in, then heading back out to the main road
- restock/do any repairs needed in Cairns, then head along the Savannah way to Lawnhill (stopping at all the towns along the way)
- Make my way down to Birdsville
- Cross the Simpson desert (east to west)
- make my way up to Alice where I can repair anything needed.
- head down to Uluru, Olgas, and then have a poke around the Macdonnell ranges before flying back home from Alice and having my bike shipped back.

What do you think about this? I've traveled quite extensively with a 4x4 through inland Australia though have never been to Cape York. Parts of the trip I may have a support vehicle (eg. through the Simpson, as I'll need some fuel as I work my through the dunes)

Mostly I'm concerned by deep water crossings with handbags waiting for a meal such as me to cross, and also by fuel range. I'll have a range of approximately 400km
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Reply By: Member - Rob S (NSW) - Friday, May 03, 2013 at 19:18

Friday, May 03, 2013 at 19:18
Hi Zook

Have you had a look at Adventure Rider you might find more like minded guys there.
Long way on a xr400, hope the seat is soft.

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AnswerID: 510262

Reply By: Member - Outback Gazz - Friday, May 03, 2013 at 19:45

Friday, May 03, 2013 at 19:45

You won't get much advice / help from members or registered users of this site as the majority of them don't like motorcycles using "their" tracks ! This is a great site for four wheel drivers, caravanners and campers etc but it might pay for you to ask the same questions on !

I have ridden the desert 3 times ( once on an XR ) and you will definitely need a support vehicle to carry fuel, water and some supplies.

Enjoy your trip - use your brain before the throttle and don't forget your Desert Parks Pass !

AnswerID: 510266

Follow Up By: mountainman - Saturday, May 04, 2013 at 21:24

Saturday, May 04, 2013 at 21:24
yup, id sadly have to agree with above.
not the best site to get advice from some "experts"
went into the vic high country, and one bloke had broken his collar bone, get helicoptered out..
TAC picked up the tab, being in vic, but might pay to get the ambulance cover australia wide..
cheap insurance, only a 100 or soo for singles, cover all your bases.
definatly a hand held uhf, guy got onto a bloke driving up hotham and alerted the ambos..
not bad for a hand held uhf.

sure will be sore after the ride..
FollowupID: 788414

Reply By: Rockape - Friday, May 03, 2013 at 20:28

Friday, May 03, 2013 at 20:28
it has been a pretty dry year up that way so when you arrive just ask the locals.

From someone who played up that way many years ago. You have a good trip and look after your bum.

Good luck to you and have a good trip
AnswerID: 510269

Reply By: Member - OnYaBike - Friday, May 03, 2013 at 22:04

Friday, May 03, 2013 at 22:04
You can fly direct to Bamaga if you want - unless you want to have a look around T.I. first.
AnswerID: 510277

Reply By: ant_schomacker - Saturday, May 04, 2013 at 15:00

Saturday, May 04, 2013 at 15:00
Hi Zook,

Can't comment on the first part of the trip, but from cairns to lawn hill you won't have any issues with river / creek crossings. The biggest thing to watch will probably be the normal combination of bulldust and corrugations (apart from animals of course) as around half of the Savannah Way is dirt road. Livestock could be a big issue, as large sections of the road are unfenced and for some reason the cows like standing on the road

For most of this section fuel is no more than 300-350km apart (often as little as 100).

I'll be heading across to Karumba (from Doomdgee) next weekend so I'll have. Better idea of the road conditions after that.

Hope that helps some,
AnswerID: 510305

Reply By: Hunjy100 - Saturday, May 04, 2013 at 17:54

Saturday, May 04, 2013 at 17:54
We came across a group of 13 motorbike riders on the old tele track last august, they were on an organised tour. I spoke to one rider and asked how they crossed the deeper creeks and they just ride through with there feet in the air and if the bike gets stuck in the creek they drag it out and remove the spark plug, crank it over to get the water out put the spark plug back in and away they go. He said from getting stuck in the creek to getting mobile again was about 10 minutes.
Travel times for them were;
Palm Creek to Canal creek 1.5hrs!
Canal Creek to Nolans 40 minutes!

AnswerID: 510313

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