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Old 11-30-2014, 02:57 AM   #1
Fifi OP
Not a Chihuahua.
Joined: Nov 2014
Location: Sprawling, seething, Sydney, Australia.
Oddometer: 11
Eek Solo around Australia, the long way!

Gracias fellow inmates!

I guess I shouldn't be a twat, and start off my time here at ADVRider without an introduction, so here goes!

My name is Byron, I am 24 and call Sydney, Australia home. Now for something you couldn't just read off my bio...

After school, I went on to become a mechanic, I won't say "study, or pursue" because there isn't really an art to being a mechanic, nor much of a glamorous or generally financially beneficial career path involved, but I did my time and got my trade as a motor mechanic.

Fast forward 6 years, and I now work in a completely different ball game, as a Liqour Consultant for a rather large corporation, making better money, in a cleaner, healthier environment (considering working in the booze game is like working in a chocolate factory, you end up completely sober!)

I have always been around motorcycles from a young age, but only relatively recently took up motorcycling personally and have been thoroughly involved in my passion ever since.

Having ridden road based machines either on the road or the track for the last 3 years, and decent amounts of dirt well prior to that, something just clicked one day, about 4 months ago, when I saw a ragged looking DR650, thick with mile upon mile of dirt and mud, roll in to my favourite scratching ground and got me thinking about what motorcycling is like on the other side of the fence!

The sight of that filthy DR amongst all these polished, hermetically clean sports bikes sparked a flame in my head that has been burning ever since, and ignited the tinder of what has become the raging bushfire of a plan to ride solo around Australia, the long way on the very same bike I saw that day.

My aim in posting this, is to not only show folks my plan and my travels, but to hopefully meet up with some of you guys along the way, and hopefully gain some insight into things I may or may not be doing or planning correctly.

I will explain my plan in the next post.

Fifi screwed with this post 11-30-2014 at 04:37 AM
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Old 11-30-2014, 04:23 AM   #2
SMT990 pilot
Joined: Aug 2012
Location: Perth, WAust
Oddometer: 37
Tough ride

Hi there. Good for you to dream of doing a lap of the island!
I think most Aussie riders consider this marathon journey at some stage of their lives.
I live in Perth and after a lot of thought I have dismissed this dream ride as being something I don't want to put myself through. I have ridden to Victoria and back and the long and not so interesting stretches made me wonder why I would consider the big lap as a dream ride. I think my next long ride will be to thoroughly explore the east coast. However, I will follow your ride with my usual interest in such events. Good on yer for dreaming.
Have you chosen a bike yet? Are you intending to explore off road? I do know that for highway riding it is worth considering a large bike, not for speed but for reassurance that a road train won't blow you off the bitumen! Very hard work for a rider on any sub 750cc bike.
Take your time. Enjoy the sites and have fun. Now get cracking
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Old 11-30-2014, 04:34 AM   #3
Fifi OP
Not a Chihuahua.
Joined: Nov 2014
Location: Sprawling, seething, Sydney, Australia.
Oddometer: 11
I started my planning about four months ago, initially just trying to work out if it was financially viable (which I am still looking into to some degree) and the big one, what bike to take.

So I ended up working out that it should be viable given my estimated departure date, how I intend on sleeping every night and selling one of my bikes to finance the steed that will get me there!

I had nailed down the bike I was leaving on and that it was (probably) do-able money wise, so I started to search for the rest of the information I needed to make this thing work. Having no ADV riding experience behind me, and not a great deal of dirt miles under my belt, the search quickly led me to the plethora of information that is ADVRider, and the help I have managed to find whilst lurking about unregistered has been invaluable thus far.

The departure date has been set for the 27th May 2015. I know, very exacting date, but It is significant to me in that it is the day after my birthday, and the day after I am eligible to get my unrestricted motorcycle licence, which helps me greatly in terms of insurance costs/availability and a bit of wiggle room on my licence points, seeing as I will be travelling for an estimated 12 weeks.

With the departure date set, I got to planning the route, my gear and improving my level of fitness tenfold. Being a once in a lifetime opportunity for me, I decided I want to make the best use of my time as possible, and really travel Australia as best I can given the money and time frame, so one of my initial goals was set, to reach all four directional extremes of mainland Aus, including doing a loop of Tasmania.

My route is constantly evolving and being mapped out, but so far I have planned as far as Darwin, departing Sydney in an anticlockwise direction, heading up through the Hunter Valley, Walcha and the Thunderbolts Way, Lions Road, across to Ballina and Byron Bay (most easterly point), around Brisbane and through the Queensland hinterlands in a big detour to the Daintree and Cape Tribulation, then up through a series of National Parks to Cape York, as much Old Telegraph Track as I can handle all the way up to the Tip (most northerly point), and back down cutting through to the Savannah Way, to Normanton, Katherine, looping through Kakadu National Park, then through to Darwin.

In between my planning, I have been piecing together a rolling list of essentials and very small luxuries to see me through camping out and living off the bike for 12 weeks.

Doing the trip on a Suzuki DR650 allows me to not only utilise the relatively small financial outlay of the DR for things unfortunately more important, like eating and somewhere to sleep every night, but allows me also to enjoy some pretty beat-ass roads that a heavier, more expensive bike would generally prohibit, either it simply not being able to cope with the beating, being far too complex for outback repairs / maintenance or out of fear of dropping it every few kms in Anne Beadell Highway sand. On the other hand, I can't load it up like a big KTM or GS so I am (trying) to travel lightly with just enough comfort to keep me well fed and rested.

With a bees dick under 6 months until my departure, I am pretty much entirely the way through planning and purchasing the gear that will be taken with me on the bike to live off, including my riding gear etc. (excluding tools and spares for the bike)

My physical training started 4 months ago, right at the start of my planning, when I realised that if I was going to ride some of Australia's most remote regions, solo, I sure as shit need to be able to get myself out of trouble, pick the bike up every few km in sand, put up with the heat and physical punishment on those roads, and be able to walk endless km if the proverbial hit the fan and get myself to the nearest town. I changed my diet drastically, have quit smoking and drinking almost entirely (2 cigarettes on a Sunday to wind down), I run 7.5km six days a week, follow a strength training regime and supplement my measly vegetarian protein intake. I have lost just under 10kg in those four months, which I am more than thrilled about and gained a stamina I have never had before.

I have attached a few photos of my gear so far, probably over thinking it all because I have never embarked on such a drastic trip before, but I would love to hear some feedback on what folks think I should or shouldn't be taking with me, and any tips to include in my plans, as well as potentially meeting some new faces on my journey around my great country!

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Old 12-09-2014, 08:16 PM   #4
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Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Sydney, AU
Oddometer: 30
Look forward to following your trip. Be sure to keep us posted.
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Old 12-10-2014, 12:01 AM   #5
Trust Me!
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Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Oddometer: 449

Good luck - will be following (from the office)
4 Wheels, move the Body, but 2 Wheels, move the Soul
............(3 wheels = cold beer and a comfy bed)............

Lets Ride
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Old 12-10-2014, 12:30 AM   #6
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Wellington,New Zealand
Oddometer: 2,903
why the hatchet AND machete?
aka BMWST?
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Old 12-10-2014, 12:53 AM   #7
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Melbourne Australia
Oddometer: 849
If you're on a budget make sure to sign up with the HUBB and couchsurfing, I say this because a mate of mine traveled around all of Australia by motorcycle and didn't spend a cent on accommodation. Also make sure you can fix a puncture at home before you head off. This way you won't find out you're missing something on the road or don't have enough leverage to get the wheel nuts undone.
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Old 12-10-2014, 01:25 AM   #8
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Joined: Jul 2014
Location: NW Sydney, Aussie
Oddometer: 253
Originally Posted by advNZer? View Post
why the hatchet AND machete?
For all that jungle out past Broken Hill

& I'm guessing the sewing kit is for making a few bucks along the way
Enjoy ya trip dude & start by throwing half that shit away

'09 R1200GSA amongst others
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Old 12-10-2014, 03:17 AM   #9
Not the Messiah
Not the Messiah
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Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Melb'n, 'Straya
Oddometer: 188
What Bucket1960 said - Throw half of that shit away. Then think very carefully about the rest of it!
The shovel, hatchet and machete have no purpose on your trip. Yes, some places are remote out there, but they are not virgin jungle. Everywhere you go, some bugger has been before and there are roads or tracks of some kind. If you are a newbie to dirt riding, you won't get far enough in to need a shovel to dig yourself out.
And Shellite? Aren't there better portable and safer fuels for camping eating these days?

Now what really worries me is that all of your stuff is new. If the reason for this is that this trip is an excuse to upgrade, nice one. But if it's because you havn't done it before, then you've got to do a few weekenders at the very least to test all the kit and your techniques. THen you'll be able to make proper decisions about what you need and what you don't.

And then consider carefully how far you're going and how long it will take, and how much time you'll really have to do side trips and the adventurous stuff. The basics I can see is that if you're going all the way around, that's 18,000 km or so. Then if you said 500km per day when you're travelling that's 36 days just moving your arse around the country. That's half your time. So you do need to consider exactly how much time you have to do the trip to the tip, Kakadu and all the other stuff.
Allow yourself a number of days off the bike in the trip. Even being off the smokes and all tuned up, you will wear out. And when you're tired and worn you are more prone to make crap decisions and more crap will follow. Road accidents, breakdowns, wasted time through bad navigation. So take the time to stay fresh and get the full value out of all of it.
And one last thing: Consider leaving out the riding you could do on long weekends and that - Hunter Valley, Thunderbolts and the like. All great places but there's more than 12 weeks worth of great places in Aus and you will have to bypass some, so make some of them places you can do later.

Man I'm so envious. Keep planning and we all look forward to getting you out there...
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Old 12-10-2014, 03:57 AM   #10
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Dec 2003
Location: Hawkesbury NSW Australia
Oddometer: 2,175
Blue Tac and eggs?

How remote do you think you'll be to need 2L of that shellite stuff?

Do some shorter trips and you'll soon learn what to take and what not to take.
"Motorcyclist are always going to be frowned a pond..." an inmate in the AUS group

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Old 12-10-2014, 05:17 AM   #11
Fifi OP
Not a Chihuahua.
Joined: Nov 2014
Location: Sprawling, seething, Sydney, Australia.
Oddometer: 11
Cheers gents,

Realistically, once I start properly packing down, a good 50% of that shit WILL be left be left behind. I have a habit of over planning things, thinking of everything down to tiny details, then not using the vast majority of what I have thought out. Thus the hatchet and machete etc.

To answer a few questions:

JTB - *Blu Tac, might take a stick for shits and giggles, plugging up electrical connectors or USB ports, not the whole pack. *Eggs, might seem strange, but being a pansy vego has its drawbacks and if I can have half a dozen for a few days stay in a national park somewhere, Im going to take that.

Messiah - It is mostly new gear, correct, either out of being necessary to purchase, because I have used family/friends gear previously, or because I wanted to purchase new gear, of good quality (the important bits anyway) that won't shit itself on the other side of the country. Shellite, I'm open to suggestions for sure, just found it to be the cleanest burning, most efficient fuel in the stove and by taking 2L from Sydney, thats one less thing I will have to think about for the entirety of the trip. Thanks for the advice regarding keeping rested etc, always keeping that in mind. In regards to the Hunter Valley/Thunderbolts route heading north, that is purely because I have two sets of friends and some important business to attend to en route.

Bucket1960 - I am actually considering pimping myself out somewhere along the line to make tea coasters, great observation.

There will be as many weekend trips as I can with a family friend who regularly pisses off out bush once the bike is set up to some degree.

Again, thanks for all the tips gents. Next photo of the gear will be a tent and pack of matches!
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Old 12-10-2014, 05:21 AM   #12
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Melbourne Australia
Oddometer: 849
Hey I think you're missing the most important item from your gear... toilet paper. You don't want to get stuck without this! Also make sure nobody sees you.
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Old 12-10-2014, 05:23 AM   #13
Fifi OP
Not a Chihuahua.
Joined: Nov 2014
Location: Sprawling, seething, Sydney, Australia.
Oddometer: 11
For sure, that also explains the dinky red shovel too!
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Old 12-10-2014, 05:23 AM   #14
Joined: Sep 2013
Oddometer: 4
get rid of the boat gps and buy a spot tracker. 1/4 the size and way more practical... cheaper to
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Old 12-10-2014, 06:02 AM   #15
Semi-reformed Tsotsi
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: South Texas
Oddometer: 1,868
Sorry, cant give tips about your island needs. But, universal bits of advice;

1. It is what you carry between your ears that is the most valuable preparation you can make - bike and trip. Being a former mechanic is a great start!
2. You will never be fully prepared. Relax, go with what you have got when it is time to leave.
3. Have fun doing it!
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