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Old 10-15-2010, 01:35 AM   #1
Ianbmw OP
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Not the Simpson Trip I Was Planning On

The Plan:
5 mates head from Coffs harbour to Lightning Ridge. 2 turn back due to work commitments etc. 3 continue on to eventually cross the Simpson Desert, loop south and return home via Corner Country.

The Reality:
Rain started. 3 of us left the "Ridge", hit the black soil. Clogged front wheels, slipping clutches. Anyway to cut a long story short I was on my own from St George.



Ended up losing my camera and steaming up the bitumen for Winton. Most of the roads are closed due to flooding.

By the time I made Longreach I realised the Mitas 09 rear wouldn't do the distance so I bought a D606 to take with me. Also bought a cheap camera. Sorry about the crap photos. Here's a real bad one of the wheelie bins at Winton. Some of the pics will be in focus I promise.



After Winton finally hit the dirt again. This is the Cork Mail road. Recommended by the local bike shop owner. Although not sure if I would get through with all the flooding.



Great scenery and riding.






Lots of water about. Soon learnt to stick to the 4WD wheel ruts.



Old Cork homestead




Track then crosses Diamantina River. Seemed to be less water in here than on the track.




Back on the main road to Boulia.



Arrived at Boulia to good news. Road to Bedourie open to 4WDs




Amazing colours and surprised to see very fat Hereford cattle everywhere.




Left Bedourie early. Road to Birdsville only just opened to 4WDs.
Eyre River I think?



This was one of the worst bits. Hard to know where the track goes in places, but at least not deep.



Highlights on the way. I guess most RR's show these.





Yea Ha ! Made it to the start of the real riding.



Called into the Bakery to see PieCrust (Adrian) from this forum. I had rung him a few days earlier when all the roads were closed and it was looking like I would have to turn back like my mates. He suggested comming on. This made a welcome change having someone tell me I could do it. Every man and his dog had told me i was an idiot up til then



Adrian suggested we do a ride that afternoon to "get my sand legs" and maybe drop some fuel off.
Here he is crossing Eyre Creek.



As much as I don't mind riding alone it was good to have a riding mate even if it was only for 5 hours.
Here we are on Big Red.




Some of the best riding I have done was along the edge of this lake on the way back to Birdsville. The sand was firm and you could hold 3rd gear crossing from the inside wheel ruts to the outside ones on the exits of each corner.


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Old 10-15-2010, 02:52 AM   #2
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Next Bit

After a beer at the pub and an early night it was off to say goodbye to Adrian then into the desert.



First stop was to pick up the 11 litre fuel bladder that we had left at Eyre Creek. The bladders were good but i packed them too high on the bike and they kept moving about.



Great riding. 24 degrees and a bit of cloud about. Kept having to stop and re-attach the fuel bladders.



This is the lake/saltpan before Poeppel's Corner which I only just managed to cross.



The Corner. Sorry, pretty un-inspiring photo. Temperatures in the 30's now.



Really enjoyed the riding after transfering the fuel into the tank. Only hassle was the handlebars kept coming loose where the lifters were attached to the triple clamps.



Stopped riding at 6.45pm and set up camp. I was enjoying the riding so much I was keen to keep going but the setting sun was causing visibility problems.




Sand was easy to ride in the morning.





Purni Bore. Easy stuff from here on.






Had a quick swim at the springs then struggled through all the mud to Mt Dare. Didn't get any photos as the AFL grand final was on (1st one) and by the time that was finished and I'd fueled up washed and inspected the bike. Well you know what it is like!

Anyway rang Adrian at the Bakery, told him I liked the crossing so much I was thinking of going back across. Also let him know the forks were leaking oil. He did some research and said it was no biggie so the decision was made.

Early start, got about 800 metres then this.



Who should be stuck less than 50 metres away. This guy.



He had camped the night there waiting for someone to help. We were so close to Mt Dare Station you could hear the generator. We helped each other out and went our separate ways. Note his brown tent was difficult to see.



Made good progress apart from mid-afternoon when temperatures were in the mid 30s and 4WDs had churned up the sand. Came off a fair few times, had to wire up the grips and ended up getting stuck in that claypan by Poeppels Corner. Left it a bit late for setting up camp so dark everything covered in mud. A fire and a couple of mugs of Port and it all seemed good again.



Back at Birdsville by 11.00am for smoko at the Bakery. Bike by now had no fork oil and had cracked the pannier frames.
Adrian to the rescue again. He welded the frames up inserting an extra bit for better alignment and also strengthened the sub frame where the toolbox had come off.

Many many thanks to him.
Too late to finish this now so will do Birdsville - Coffs tomorrow
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Old 10-15-2010, 03:20 AM   #3
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Nice start, tough going through all that water and mud..
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Old 10-15-2010, 03:50 AM   #4
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Top effort mate. Very wet out there hey. Stuck there for a week on races week. The Bedourie-Birdsville Rd is still a mess I see. Tell me, was the guy on the GS stuck coming out of Mt Dare west and turned tail after you helped him or had he come across from Birdsville?
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:40 AM   #5
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Top effort - looking forward to the continuing story
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Old 10-15-2010, 05:20 AM   #6
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Gutsy!
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:22 PM   #7
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Decent effort.
Wondering if TK Smith's thinking what I'm thinking.
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:09 PM   #8
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Great ride report mate i have done a similar trip by my self to out through that country just love it out there,
should catch up some time for a ride as i live in Coffs Now.

Cheers Phil
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:52 PM   #9
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Looking forward to the rest of the RR.

Bet that bloke on the GS was glad to see you.... what was he thinking on that big girl

Top pics for a cheapy camera

Gr8 to hear the ADV network is spread throughout OZ and able to help you out.
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:29 PM   #10
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Thanks

Thanks for all the comments guys.

The guy on the GS was on his way to Mt Dare. He had come from Oodnadatta. When I asked him which way he was heading he was a little vague and eventually said he was going north. It wouldn't have surprised me if he had other plans up til then.

He told me he was from Poland but lived at Bendigo. Didn't seem to flustered but really concerned he hadn't checked in with his wife who would be worrying. Lot to be said for SPOT devices. I seemed to be rushing him and sort of taking charge but I didn't want to waste the morning. Wish I hadn't been so pushy now.

Phil
Very keen to go for a ride. I live at Nambucca Heads. I'll PM you in the next few days.
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:34 PM   #11
620rossco
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Quote:
should catch up some time for a ride as i live in Coffs Now
There are two more of us here in Coffs too.
Except one can't come cause his bike is still on Cordillo Downs Station.
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:33 AM   #12
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Last Bit

Well this part of ride is pretty Ho Humm.
Off to Innaminka via Cordello Downs.





Amazing scenery again also some up to the seat creek crossings which I probably should have pushed the bike through.



Innaminka Reserve. Only took this photo because we camped here 6 years ago and it didn't look this lush then. I paid $60 and took the soft option of a room at the Trading Post this time.



Only camel I saw up to now was in one of the famous curry camel pies at Birdsville.



Before leaving in the morning discovered the rear spocket was loosing teeth and wheel bearings were on the way out. Managed to limp into Cunnamulla with only a few teeth left and a set of very shagged wheel bearings.

Bad day all round. Lost my tent off the back of the bike then used up valuable fuel looking unsuccessfully for it. Ran out 2 kms from Servo.

Managed to get spocket, 46 tooth instead of 42 (wheelie heaven) and 2 new bearings. Re-greased the 3rd one.

Set off in the morning for Moree via Culgoa Floodplane National Park.





Not sure what type this is but I think it had been run over. It had a pretty good turn of speed when it took off.



Quick swim at Lightning Ridge



Had to get this being a Kiwi.



Near Moree.





Last day on the road, Moree to Coffs Harbour. Steamed back on the tar.

I spent 2 weeks away. Only had 1 day of rain (2nd day). Covered 6400 kms, more than I would have liked on the Bitumin but road closures dictated that. Used 36.5 litres of premium fuel Birdsville to Mt Dare and 40 litres of 91 octane back across. Carried the fuel in 2, 11 litre fuel bladders. Consumed approx 6 litres water each crossing. Carried 12 litres for safety.

Used more tools than I expected and made a big dent in my supply of nuts and bolts. The joys of owning a 640 KTM! And I can't believe I didn't think of taking rope.

Ian
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:46 AM   #13
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Locusts

Not sure if this will work. A small video of riding through locusts.

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Old 10-16-2010, 02:58 AM   #14
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good stuff
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Old 10-16-2010, 02:08 PM   #15
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Now that looks like a good way to spend two weeks to me.

Top stuff
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