Well the three of us did the Big Trip to the Finke Race / Alice Springs
As usual we had non-starters. For us, Damo, Barretta and Myself, that went had the most awesome trip riding some of the best tracks in ideal conditions, probably did 200 k’s of bitumen in 4800 k’s of riding.
Where do you start? We had to change our route as crossing the Simpson Desert was out as Eyre creek crossing was to deep (2.0 m) as result of Cyclone Yasi. The route we took went like this, after we drove to Broken Hill
Broken Hill, Cameron Corner, Innamincka, Maree, Oodnadatta, Mt Dare, Alice Springs 2 x nights, Finke, Oodnadatta, Coober Pedy, Lyndhurst, Arkaroola, Rawnsley Park, Broken Hill
We had started preparing our bikes 3 months prior and still run out of time
This trip the Kato 690’s got an extra fuel tank (3 in total) giving them 30 usable litres DR 650 Suzuki had 30 lt This gave us a range of approx. 500 k’s on dirt We tested this from Alice to Oodnadatta 446 k’s with about 3 litres left. The DR got a rack to suit the giant loop. We carried 3 lt’s water each on the racks plus all the gear we needed plus 2 x clothes changes and a sleeping bag in case we had a problem and had to spend a night. Approx. 15 kilo’s luggage This required an upgrade in the spring rates and was essential.
We each had push to talk CB radios and these proved to be the best thing as we were always in touch so could be apart (dust). We also had a Sat phone in case, at $1 a minute you don’t ring home much. Brett and I had ipod interface as well. Nothing beats listening to tunes.
No real mechanical dramas DR 2 x loose bolts. Kato’s loose rear rack bolts (lock wire next time), both front sprocket nuts coming loose 1 day apart, gear lever and a radiator leak (aftermarket fuel tank rubs fan switch) We fixed that with 2 pak epoxy and pepper. Riding a bike is so not like a car, there is much more you have to do to maintain them.
We had accommodation organised for all but Finke which was a good thing as so many others were doing the same.
It was amazing how many bikes were heading to Finke and we would meet them again as we travelled.
So we rode 100’s of k’s of sandy, rocky creek beds, 1000’s of k’s of sand and rock strewn desert tracks, 100’s of k’s of rutted clay forest tracks, rocky forest tracks, as well as plenty of fresh graded track.
Each time Damo saying “I hate sand” to which we would reply “what are you doing in the desert”
Definitely has to be an annual event.
- 580 k’s was the biggest and 170 k’s the shortest day
- 260 litres fuel $2.70 was the dearest
- Kato’s 1 x filter change, 6 x pre’s
- DR 3 x filters
- Chain adjusted once each
- 3 litres of oil in the bikes No oil change required
- Michelen desert front knobby 14 to 16 lbs pressure Still got 5000 k’s left
- Dunlop 906 desert rear (DR something else) 16 to 18 lbs pressure Still got 2000 k’s left
- Arriving at Cameron’s Corner 1.5 hrs. after dark Were meant to leave Broken Hill at 6.30 We didn’t leave till 9.00 Something do with a big nite on the town (the first of many)
- From Oodnadatta to Mt Dare Riding 170 k’s in mud in the morning where if you accelerated or backed off you went sideways. If you stopped you struggled to get going and then it tacked off for the last 80 k’s making real fun to ride. With woops and all.
- Riding on farm tracks that are overgrown and haven’t been used for years and then to end up where you should be
- Trusting your GPS as the route was pre-loaded and we had 99 % success with tracks
- Getting passed by guy in shorts on RM in the middle of nowhere. He was testing for Finke
- Getting shouted plenty of free drinks at a particular pub by the barman (didn’t like his boss)
- Feeling special as we had the trickiest bikes out there
- Riding the last 10 k’s on the actual Finke race track when race was on ? Damo piked it
- Waking up at Finke with ice on your sleeping bag
- Having too much fun, 13 days riding
- Drinking too much, 16 nights at the bar We each had one easy night Just a few drinks
- Meeting so many people with dirt bikes in common and then turning into big nites
Not so memorable moments
- Getting over telling people what we did to our bikes (print flyers next time)
- Brett going down pegged in 3rd then realising that there is no one to help him pick his bike up which was stuck on his foot and he was out of radio range too!
- Attempted robbery by locals at Alice while asleep (apparently normal now)
- Eating meals in pubs with mice running all through kitchen / dining (mice plague)
- Paying $9 for stubby of beer in a pub
- Breaking my left collarbone 5k’s from the bitumen and 40k’s from Broken Hill (looking at gps not the track)
- Riding the last 5k’s of dirt plus the road (bit crunchy)
- A roo having the last laugh and stepping on the track with 2k’s dirt to go and not moving Had to brake hard which hurt (collarbone)
- Drinking Carona’s with 2 x straws (collarbone)
Road kill moments
- Splitting 2 Emu’s at 80k’s Left handlebar touched feathers and could have kicked the other with right foot
- Braking hard to avoid a pig
- Running over 10,000 hopper mice on way to Cameron’s Corner
- Braking hard for numerous Roo’s / Emu’s
- Last 50 k’s to and from Rawnsley Park probably saw 50 roo’s each day
That’s about it