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Old 03-11-2010, 07:20 AM   #1
OzBen OP
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Joined: Mar 2009
Location: SW Australia
Oddometer: 15
Across Australia to ride in Tasmania - Part I

PART I – 4,000kms (6 days) across Australia to Melbourne

The skunk rides again...
( for how the bike got that name)

I’ve known the skunk for a year and we've done 30,000kms (mostly dirt) and been in every State of Australia.
The only trouble in that time has been a rear tire cut on rocks and a dented front rim - well done Skunky.
If you had a cap I’d put a feather in it but instead, as a reward I’ll delay cleaning you for a couple of weeks.
I know you’re much happier when you’re dirty...

Let's get to the story...once upon a time in a land downunder, there was a princess and a skunk.
Myself on the skunk and Anthony (OzAnt) on the princess - a moody XR600 that kept throwing tantrums and needed pampering, maintenance and repairs on a daily basis. We did a three week, 10,500km ride (avg 500km/day) with dirt, mud and sand.
The 1st leg was from Perth (west coast) to Melbourne (east coast) to catch the ferry to Tasmania. We took the long way - 4,000kms following the South Australian and Victorian coasts. Then 3,000kms around and across Tasmania (in a figure-8 pattern) on as much dirt as we could find...and finally 3,500kms from Melbourne back to Perth along the shortest route we could find.

The skunk and the princess...

There are 2 lines of thought in adventure riding, the intellectually superior – why be uncomfortable if you don’t have to be?...

...and the intellectually challenged – harden up and just ride the thing...
(the skunk wouldn't allow me to cover the trademark light stripe across it's back anyway)

First stop was Hyden Bakery for a late breakfast - 350kms from Perth and 42 degrees celsius.

The princess threw a slipper (chain slipper, that is) so the repairs started here, and never ended...

Onto dirt and the clouds started building up…

...Breakaways… very windy and soon the afternoon turned unpleasant...

A severe dust storm, followed by thunder and lightning with heavy rain (no photos for obvious reasons).
Eventually the foul weather abated...

Camped at lake Johnstone...

More repairs to the princess (exhaust)…

...and more the next morning (she was in a foul mood and the bad weather didn't help).
The chain setting had slipped on one side the previous day and the rear wheel was running off-centre.

Then onto the Nullarbor and the dreaded bitumen for 1,500kms
(I know the bitumen is not a real adventure, but I took the liberty of including it to make the story complete).

The rain started again, but at least that meant it wasn’t unbearably hot…

Nullarbor Road House...

West of Penong the princess threw a master link...

No problem to repair the chain, but...

...had to remove a damaged link so it was as short as could be and we’d have to replace it.

No chain available in Ceduna (almost 2,000kms from Perth) but there was a coffee shop…

Turned south and followed the coast to Streaky Bay.
Threats of more rain during the night and the pub's not a bad spot so we spent the night there.

Day 4 we followed the coast on dirt…

...walrus colony on the rocks…

...Murphy’s Haystacks…

...Coffin Bay…

The princess stalled outside Port Lincoln and Anthony started taking the carburetor apart when he realised he had left the choke on...
She’s already moody and now this to upset her even more!

Anthony’s rear tyre didn’t look healthy after the Nullarbor so we had to get a new one in Whyalla, and replace the chain…

Back on the dreaded bitumen south east to Gawler...

...Murray River...

5th night at Lake Albertina (Meningie) 3,200kms from Perth.

The rain had killed my GPS (it was so old it didn’t have some freeways on it) so I bought a new, waterproof Garmin 60Cx.

In the Coorong and with the help of the new GPS found some good dirt along the coast…

…salt lakes…


… and beaches…

...rain in Victoria...

The Great Ocean Road with spectacular scenery...

...breakfast in Port Campbell…

...more stunning scenery...

...lunch at Apollo Bay...

…exotic homes overlooking the ocean…

The princess had broken a spoke.

…into Melbourne to catch the Tasmania ferry - 6 days and 4,000kms from home.

Waiting to get on the ferry...

On the 'Spirit of Tasmania' at last - Tassie, here we come!


OzBen screwed with this post 11-24-2010 at 03:35 AM
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:33 AM   #2
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Joined: Dec 2008
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so far so good,this should be a monster ride.
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:49 AM   #3
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Joined: May 2007
Location: Santa Barbara
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great report/pix

Looks like the poor Honda was overloaded.......I flogged one for years with no problems....strange....Bruce
A life spent inside a camera: Auto/Motorcycle factories/museums/travels/trains/planes/bikes/cars
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:23 AM   #4
SS in Vzla.
Totally Normal? I'm not!
Joined: Dec 2006
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SS. '98 BMW F650 / '06 WR250F / '07 KTM 990 Adv
Caracas, Venezuela
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:10 AM   #5
Mod Squad
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Superb adventure!

ADV decals, patches & flag? Here
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:09 PM   #6
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Location: was Kununurra, now Carnarvon, Australia
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Some men like the fish'n,
Some men like the foul'n,
Some men like to hear........
to hear the cannonball a roar'n!
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:47 PM   #7
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Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Launceston, Tasmania
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well done Ben, sense of humour for a bee-em rider soon mate
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Old 03-11-2010, 05:54 PM   #8
Sherpa-ing around
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Location: Lone Pine, ON, Canada
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awesome RR............ Looking forward to the next part
I'd rather die living than live dying.

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Old 03-11-2010, 06:11 PM   #9
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Wonderful RR...
Thanks for the sharing..
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Old 03-11-2010, 07:27 PM   #10
pinch me
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Joined: Sep 2008
Location: In transit
Oddometer: 359
can't wait for Tazzy! wow, the stacks look so much different from when we were there! Looks like an amazing ride.
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Old 03-11-2010, 07:37 PM   #11
I used to be SCRay
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: you dont call wagga wagga wagga
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Can I have more, please?
rayb Crash Dummy (no testing involved)
Australian RD/RZ Owners Register
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:10 PM   #12
Walking the plank
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Princess and the skunk

Looking forward to the "after the ferry" part.
"but why is all the rum gone?"

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Old 03-11-2010, 11:33 PM   #13
Live Life
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
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Love the boots Anthony. No wonder the princess wanted you to play with her chain. Great report Ben.
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Old 03-12-2010, 01:43 AM   #14
Beastly Adventurer
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Location: NW Sydney, Australia
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Ok, heres one more

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Old 03-12-2010, 01:44 AM   #15
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And another

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