Bike trip WA/NT

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 12:53
ThreadID: 92050 Views:2427 Replies:5 FollowUps:5
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Hello all. I just got back from a motorbike trip a couple days ago. It was a whirlwind trip, 7105kms in 14 days, of that 2050kms was either dirt or unsealed roads. It wasn't my ideal type of trip in regards to time off and Kms travelled, but that s life.

It went from Perth, to Kalgoorlie, up to Laverton, across the great central road to Uluru, kings canyon area, McDonnell ranges, Alice Springs down to Glendambo, across the Kingoonya track to Wirrulla, across the Eyre highway to Balladonia, down the Balladonia track to Cape Arid, Cape Le Grande, Esperance, Albany, Pemberton, Perth.

I guess i didn't really plan it out that well, there were really only two areas that I visited, Uluru/ Alice Springs area and around Esperance, and they re along way apart!. slept in the bush on occasion , slept on the beautiful beaches of the Esperance area, they were amazing.

After a lot of study on whether I should be doing this sort of trip on a bike through the great cental road in the middle of summer, and a lot of positive and negative reasons from users on a number of forums, Im glad that I did it. It was warm heading to Laverton and onto the great central road, but not hot, mid 30s at most, which was pleasant. Apparently the weather was unseasonable cool as temperatures can soar a lot higher. I had also heard about possible rain at that time of year but I didn't encounter any, no one had seen any out there for a couple of weeks.

The great central road itself was relatively easy to get across . I took it easy the first day as I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into, but after some problems with tyre pressures early on I found the road to be relatively easy . In saying that, I had to keep my attention on the road at all times as if I got into any slightly soft stuff it was easy to lose a little bit of control. Right through to Docker River the road was quite consistent. For 100 Kms past Docker the road was at its worst, rough, dips, holes. The last 240 Kms to to Uluru was sand, heavy at times, but with enough speed I was able to maintain control quite well. I had planned on taking 3 or 4 days to get across the GCR but did it 2, about 310 Kms on day one then about 840 on day 2. The rest of the trip was relatively straight forward, apart from trying to navigate Balladonia tack to Cape Arid at night, that was interesting.

I ride a BMW f800 gs, dual sport. I pushed the bike quite hard I think. had to have rear wheel bearings replaced in Alice, they were shot, a couple of gears are a little bit dodgy now also, but that can get sorted out at the next service. all in all I'm happy with the way it performed.
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Reply By: Member - John G- Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 14:21

Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 14:21
G'day Grunta

Sounds like a good but demanding trip. Out of interest, how long can you go at the level of concentration that you must have to apply on roads like the GCR?

AnswerID: 478472

Follow Up By: grunta1970 - Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 15:01

Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 15:01
I find that I have enough energy and focus to keep going most of the day. The only real hindrance to a long day is getting saddle sore. I have an additional seat pad but still, it doesn't solve everything. The thing is on the GCR, I could be on a nice straight clean section of road, thinking everything is too easy, getting up a fair head of steam, then all of a sudden I hit a very slight change in the road, could be a soft patch, or a slightly rocky section and all of a sudden I feel like I am a total novice again and the bike is trying to throw me off. It makes me pull my head back in and focus again. For the most part thou I feel I am an intermediate rider, getting better all the time. Usually I am cautious when I have to be, but am quite happy to let it go when the conditions are right. I guess my average speed on nice sections of the GCR was about 110, up to about 130 at times. I will probably get flamed for saying that, but I feel that it was well within my limits.. I do think that riding an appropriate bike on dirt roads is totally different to driving a 4wd .

As for the 300 km Kingoonya track, and the 230 km Balladonia track, I started them late in the day after already riding about 900kms, so they were quite tough physically. By the time I have put my tent up and sat down at he end of those days, I am absolutely stuffed.
FollowupID: 753980

Follow Up By: Member - John G- Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 15:58

Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 15:58
Not much margin for error, Grunta.
Stay safe
FollowupID: 753985

Reply By: Motherhen - Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 14:47

Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 14:47
A great report Grunta, and you certainly covered a lot of country. It appears fuel supplies was not an issue for you.


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AnswerID: 478473

Follow Up By: grunta1970 - Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 15:07

Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 15:07
My range per tank on this trip was about 290 km on Tarmac, plus I have a rotopax 4l container, this was normally enough. On a couple of occasions I had to go through rubbish bins at roadhouses to salvage a couple of water bottles to get a bit extra fuel, but I only did this for Kingoonya and Balladonia as I couldn't get reliable mileage estimates. On one occasion from Marla to Coober Pedy I decided not to fill up my reserve , decided to go faster than usual, and ran out of fuel 1 km from a servo in Coober Pedy. Not the end of the seems that on most normally roads in Aus, even on the GCR, there is usually always a fuel station within 300 Kms, so is easytoplan around that.
FollowupID: 753982

Reply By: True Blue - Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 16:30

Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 16:30
Congratulations on a magnificent bike trip Grunta. It's great to see some m/cycle threads. It certainly is a great way to see the place if you can.

cheers and happy travels from a fellow rider.
AnswerID: 478481

Reply By: Peter W - Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 18:31

Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 18:31
Not necessarily an ideal trip based on distance and time taken but what a wonderful experience.
Good on you for the effort.
Agree with you about the Esperance beach areas summed up by one word....WOW.
Take care.


AnswerID: 478491

Follow Up By: grunta1970 - Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 18:57

Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 18:57
Omg Peter, I would like to think that I have been to many places around the world, but I think the esperance, cape arid area is second to none. The water colour, the clarity, and that beautiful white creamy sand is out of this world!.
FollowupID: 753996

Reply By: phil - Friday, Feb 24, 2012 at 12:22

Friday, Feb 24, 2012 at 12:22
Great trip I reckon.:) Have jus finnished a 3 mth. trip myself towin a sml. trailer, but been on a 1600 cruiser had to stick to bitumin HAD A BALL! Now goin to change to a 'enduro' type bike, to see all the more hidden areas
Keep upright, an might cya out there........Phil
AnswerID: 478559

Follow Up By: grunta1970 - Friday, Feb 24, 2012 at 16:35

Friday, Feb 24, 2012 at 16:35
Road bike or dual sport, ultimately it doesn't matter which one, it's just great to get out there. But yeah, being an adventurous person I do like to get off the beaten track once in a while. 3 months on the bike?, I would kill for that
FollowupID: 754090

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