Wheelchair Motorbike Ride Around OZ

Submitted: Thursday, Sep 04, 2014 at 20:17
ThreadID: 109396 Views:2105 Replies:7 FollowUps:5
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“Hi folks, I am based in Wales in the UK and I'm currently planning a motorbike ride all the way around Oz. I am intending to set off from Perth in October 2015 and complete for January 2016 (12-14 weeks). I am a paraplegic and ride a very special Ducati Monster. I need some info on roads, fuel stops etc, as I'm best suited to Tarmac. I’d like to keep to the coast as much as I can. As a disabled wheelchair user I require handicap accommodation along the way (good hotels etc). I am planning an anti-clockwise ride. I would be pleased if anyone could give me some help and info. I have had an offer of free wheelchair accommodation in Daly Waters but need lots more information before I head out. Does anyone have advice on the best route to take/places that I can stay?”
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Thursday, Sep 04, 2014 at 21:07

Thursday, Sep 04, 2014 at 21:07
Hi Ripharper,
Thats a great ambition that you have to do such a trip and hopefully you will be able to get the information that you need, though Im not able to help with any info re wheelchair accessible accommodation - and given that many others on here travel in a caravan or camper trailer (ie with their own accommodation) you may need to look elsewhere to find info on that topic.
However staying on the bitumen and close to the coast is not all that easy across the northern parts of the country ie from about Townsville across to Broome, depending on your route. Also the dates you are looking at will put you in the northern tropical areas just before or during the wet season, something you might want to think about. Depending on how the rain falls roads can be closed, and it will be hot and very humid. There will also be plenty of insects including mosquitoes.
There is plenty of fuel along the main bitumen roads with fuel stops at regular intervals - which will vary but at most about 200kms apart.
Best of luck with your plans and the trip itself.
J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

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Follow Up By: Ripharper - Thursday, Sep 04, 2014 at 21:28

Thursday, Sep 04, 2014 at 21:28
Hi John and Val, thanks for the reply. I am aware of the extremes in weather and the info from you is great! Planning to start on 18th October from Perth as its 40 yrs to the day that I became paralised. Do you think with my timetable its best to do the North route first in a clockwise direction to beat the weather? I've looked on G maps at the roads and they look pretty good but i want to stay on bitumen as much as possible. Thanks for now. Mike
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Friday, Sep 05, 2014 at 17:17

Friday, Sep 05, 2014 at 17:17
Hi Mike,
Just following up on the comments below.

You will encounter a lot of these about 50m long. Not mad drivers, just very big with a lot of momentum, meaning smaller vehicles make way for them - which may mean moving off the bitumen if the road is narrow, which it is in places.

Suggest you go through the places section of this site, including the weather section to get a better idea of the conditons you will face. Many overseas visitors underestimate both the distances and the heat here, and most of us "southerners" dont go north during the summer months (even in airconditioned vehicles) because its just too hot and humid. If you can find a garden hothouse where the temperature is in the high 30s and the humidity close to 100% spend a couple of hours inside then imagine spending all day for a few weeks in such conditions.

I cant really see much advantage going clockwise - that would put you going across the Nullarbor in January, again not a pleasant prospect.

I understand and respect why you have chosen your dates, but if there is any way that you could change them you would probably have a more enjoyable trip. I think the ideal time would be to leave Perth about early April going anticlockwise - puts you though the SE part of the country before it gets cold, then go north as the winter and dry season sets in. You would be back in Perth early July but as you would be following the coast going south it shouldn't be too cold. Just a thought.


J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

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Follow Up By: Ripharper - Friday, Sep 05, 2014 at 17:26

Friday, Sep 05, 2014 at 17:26
Thanks Val. I take on board all you've said. I'll keep a look out for the Road Trains.
FollowupID: 823204

Reply By: Eric Experience - Thursday, Sep 04, 2014 at 21:52

Thursday, Sep 04, 2014 at 21:52
I hope Australians show some respect for your vehicle. Unfortunately a lot of Aussie drivers think they own the roads and have no tolerance for any thing that gets in the way. Can you tell us about your vehicle. What size wheels does it have, what is its cruising speed, and what fuel range does it have, how many hours would you normally drive each day, will you have a support vehicle? Eric.
AnswerID: 538616

Follow Up By: Ripharper - Thursday, Sep 04, 2014 at 22:09

Thursday, Sep 04, 2014 at 22:09
Hi Eric, as a Welshman I'm pretty used to those mad drivers you refer to :-) My Motorbike is a very special sidecar set up that has been designed for me to ride from my sidecar. The wheels are 17" and I have about six inches of clearance under my sidecar. I can cruise at 55-65 Mph all day and with my additional fuel tank get around 225 miles. I intent to carry a couple of 2 gallon fuel jacks. I can do 8 hr days with no problems but can last as long as the fuel, if necessary to get to my accommodations. I have a mate who is hoping to ride on a hire bike of a loaned one would be better. I ride in Europe averaging 3k per two week journey, so have a Truck drivers heart and eyes! I cant attach a photo but if you internet search wheelchair Duc--- (cant put the full make for forum rules - but its made in Italy and its red Lol) you can see it in action in videos.wheelchair ducati
FollowupID: 823157

Reply By: Motherhen - Thursday, Sep 04, 2014 at 22:30

Thursday, Sep 04, 2014 at 22:30
Hi Ripharper

Accommodation will probably be harder to obtain than fuel. The longest distance I have found on the main highways around Australia is between Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek on the Great Northern Highway in the Kimberley being 289 kilometres. While most remote roadhouses have basic accommodation units, I do not expect all or even many would have full wheelchair accessibility. My travelling experience has been caravanning so I have not check these.

As Eric Experience asks, how far can you travel on a tank of fuel, and how far do you plan to travel each day? A full lap is a long way to achieve in a short time frame. Are you set to starting in October? It is getting too late in the season to go north, and to go the other way, the north would be even worse temperature-wise, as well as the risk of cyclones and road closures. Starting late May or early June and heading north would be better if you can change the time frame. I realise that this puts your 40 year date off the radar unless you can extend the time for a few weeks.

To do a basic highway lap putting in key towns of Perth, Darwin, Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and back to Perth is almost 14,000 kilometres Map. Leaving off Darwin and Cairns taking a a more direct route through Queensland to Brisbane is over 12,000 kilometres Map.

I admire you for you ambition and ability to remain mobile.


Red desert dreaming

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Reply By: pop2jocem - Friday, Sep 05, 2014 at 04:36

Friday, Sep 05, 2014 at 04:36
Hi Ripharper,

Tried posting a direct link but not successful. As before...Grrr

Anyway try typing in www.theridemovie.org/characters

These guys adventure may help with what you are going to do. All were paraplegics except for one who from memory was a quad. Some time ago when we were in business we helped one of them (Jim) with a supply and prep for one of the vehicles.
The home page has a "contact" button, so maybe a direct "talk" might be in order.

Best of luck with your ride.

AnswerID: 538626

Follow Up By: Ripharper - Friday, Sep 05, 2014 at 17:28

Friday, Sep 05, 2014 at 17:28
Thanks Pop. I've dropped them a line so lets hope they can help with some info. Take care, Mike
FollowupID: 823205

Reply By: Stu & "Bob" - Friday, Sep 05, 2014 at 21:32

Friday, Sep 05, 2014 at 21:32
G'day Mate,
You'd probably be better off asking on ADV.

ADVrider forums
AnswerID: 538678

Reply By: Eric Experience - Friday, Sep 05, 2014 at 21:49

Friday, Sep 05, 2014 at 21:49
Hi Mike
I have thought a lot about you today. I think the chances of you getting into trouble are high. I suggest you contact the 'Motor Home Associations'. A lot of the people are 'grey nomads' who have well fitted out large vehicles, and would be capable of picking you up if necessary. These grey nomads have a very good communications network between themselves and the caravan park owners. They also communicate about conditions along the way. There are enough of them that they could cover you most of the way without going too far out of their way. Eric
AnswerID: 538679

Reply By: The Bantam - Friday, Sep 05, 2014 at 23:03

Friday, Sep 05, 2014 at 23:03
As others have mentioned two things that are so often under estimated here are the heat and the distance.

People get into trouble here in their own back garden because they disrespect the heat.....in summer temperatures above 30 degerees are far from uncommon there are places in the north and centre of the country where temperature gets above 40C In the shade many days in a row.

There are most definitely places where your fuel range will be chalenged.

Remember you will need to carry water......you may easily carry enough water to to cover your fuel range...but should you get into trouble and your vehicle is imobile..you could be stuck in the sun for some time and you need to carry water for that eventuality

I'd seriouly consider some sort of support preferably in a van or waggon.......get stuck and you can be a very long way from help.

As for the accomodation.
Um yeh, fully para/quad equipped accomodation may be a but hard to come by.
There are many motels that have ground floor rooms where you may have to negociate a small step at the threshold.

But things like suitable showers and toilets would be my concern

in short think about 3 things

change the time of year.....winter would be a better proposition

think about some sort of support......you may even find someone in a similar situation that may be able to share the costs of a supported trip

heavily reserach you accomodation options.

AnswerID: 538682

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