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Old 06-22-2014, 05:35 AM   #1
TwoUpTourer OP
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Adelaide to Birdsville late August

I'm planning on a trip from Adelaide to Birdsville late August, probably in time for the Birdsville races, and from there perhaps circle around via Charleville and so on back to Adelaide.

Riding alone on a BMW F650GS, with no specific time limit, so aiming to do no more than 200km/day. I'm taking a Spot Connect to keep the folks at home up to date on where I am and some messaging.

As I'm travelling on my own, I'm not planning on climbing sand dunes etc, but staying pretty much on the main roads.

Anyone got any tips/suggestions/recommendations? Keen to hear from anyone who had ridden the Birdsville Track and south west Qld.
thanks
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Old 06-22-2014, 05:43 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoUpTourer View Post
I'm planning on a trip from Adelaide to Birdsville late August, probably in time for the Birdsville races,

have a long hard think about wheather you really want to be out on sandy, rocky, dusty, bulldusty roads and tracks at the same time as 20,000 dickheads in 4wd's.....

just sayin....

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Old 06-22-2014, 02:35 PM   #3
masterbrewer
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G'day TuT,

What he said

At least the track should be in good condition as I believe they prepare it for the race crowds.

We picked the only year the races got cancelled.

Anyhow you may get an insite into what to expect here;

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...77#post5385177

Enjoy & ride safe.
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Old 06-22-2014, 03:46 PM   #4
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If you do go to the races plan to leave very early or hang back for a couple of days to let the dust settle.
200 km per day out there you will go nuts, most of the riding is easy and 70 to 90 km/h for the most part is very comfortable on a 650 on the dirt out there riding conservatively.
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Old 06-22-2014, 05:55 PM   #5
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Plan to be able to carry enough fuel to do the full Birdsville Track, 550 kilometres, Mungerannie does not always have fuel, the last time I was there two guys on bikes turned up heading North and the servo had run out of all petrol and wasn't expecting any for at least two to three days. Also from Birdsville to Windorah is over 450 kilometres without any towns so be prepared, especially if travelling alone.

I am with the other blokes about the crowds, couple of mates from here (Nth NSW) went to the races in 4wd's and they had some rain, told how they stopped to help some poor bugger on a F800GS who was stuck in the mud in the middle of the road just near a hill crest, some knob going full stick came over the hill and ran clean over the bike, luckily they all heard him coming and got out of the way. Way too many idiots in one place for me I'm afraid.
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Old 06-24-2014, 04:43 AM   #6
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Thanks for the suggestions guys. Particularly re the Birdsville races. I'm trying to set my timing to be while its cool enough that far north that I can wear full kit without roasting. Ideally sub 20, which is why late August setting out from Adelaide.

The attraction of the races is somewhat diminishing, as the thought of a long line of 4WDs screaming past me isn't something I want to contend with. I think I can deal with the fuel question at Mungerannie by calling well before hand to see what the situation is, and adjusting my time before heading north from Marree.

My recent prep has been installing new fork seals, dismantling the swing arm, checking the hub, bearings, repacking with grease, and generally a good clean up. I've a new radiator arriving from MotoWorks in the UK tomorrow. Have a set of soft Gearsack panniers, and access to a borrowed tent, air mattress etc.
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:15 AM   #7
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We drove the track in January. Easy drive. Didn't have to worry about overtaking.

Take a UHF CB Handheld radio (5watts) and plenty of water.

http://www.southaustralia.com/media/...4wd_A4_web.pdf

SJ
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:25 AM   #8
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Generally the Birdsville Track is a dirt highway, more or less. Have a soak at Mungerannie, but watch out for the red light at the turnoff to the pub!

I would avoid the races as well, the attraction of the outback to me is the isolation, I can get crowds here at home. Make sure you go out to Big Red and have a play, this is where I want my ashes spread when I go....

If it was me, I'd go on the inside track (if it's open) on the run into Birdsville, much more interesting. We bush camped under the trees in a dry creek bed just south of the turnoff, and had an amazing night - never seen stars like it, and dingoes howling in the distance, what a spot.
For me, I'd head across Walkers Crossing (if it's open) to Innamincka then down the old Strzelecki to Merty Merty and then back towards Adelaide.
Whatever you decide, have a great trip! I did Flinders Ranges, Oodnadatta Tk to William Ck then south to Coober Pedy and back home in March. Pretty bloody warm, but a great trip!
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:38 AM   #9
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Birdsville Races on a bike???

Hey Tut, Having lived in Birdsville and experienced Race Weekend many times, i can only reiterate what others have said regarding very large numbers of 4 x 4's with sometimes hungover, and often inattentive drivers barreling along with nary a thought for the motorcyclist whose only protection against losing an eye from a kicked up rock or road debris is a thin piece of polycarbonate. The drivers arrive en mass up to a week - 10 days before and as long after the race weekend. it can be a bit disappointing to realise there are so many inconsiderate drivers in the one general locale. Personally, i would avoid the race weekend, unless it is a long held wish to be a pert of it all. As for bike prep, make sure you are serviced and ready to ride over what can be very dusty roads, and once you get to the upper portion of the Birdsville Track, you will find lots of gibbers (large smooth rocks) to deal with. Tyre pressures down a bit and take it easy and you should not have any problems. +1 for the water suggestion. Drink plenty before you head off and take as much as you can comfortably carry, then top up along the way wherever you can. (the vast majority of mishaps around that neck of the woods is because of dehydration) It is a good plan you have of phoning ahead for fuel availability at Mungeranie.
The upside to going at race time is a never ending stream of potential help if a mishap occurs. I love that country and i envy your ride there. there is so much to see on the way and the country changes a lot from Adelaide to Birdsville. I will watch your progress as the time draws nearer.
cheers
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:43 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Sleepy John View Post
We drove the track in January. Easy drive. Didn't have to worry about overtaking.

Take a UHF CB Handheld radio (5watts) and plenty of water.

http://www.southaustralia.com/media/...4wd_A4_web.pdf

SJ
Thanks for both of these! The docco is very useful.
I have a SPOT Connect Tracker, but the CB radio is a good addition.
I see them on ebay for $37.
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:04 PM   #11
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For the last two years I have travelled out that way in early August and will be going again this year.
The mornings can be frosty but days have been good. Even then it was quite warm around Birdsville in the middle of the day and afternoon.
I like early August because the fly count is low as winter seems to reduce their numbers and it is past the coldest of winter without being hot in the north.
I also plan to be well away from the area a week before the races.

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Old 06-24-2014, 07:03 PM   #12
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How is your chain and sprockets?
From following the APC rally and other ride reports sprockets often seem to be an issue, probably from the she will be right thinking, but if you are not sure they have the distance in them it is easier to change them at home before you leave.
I think mine have enough for a 6000 km trip in August plus what I will do before but I am going to change them and keep the others at home for re use on shorter rides to wear them out.
My current chain and sprockets have nearly 28000 km on them but have only been adjusted twice, the potential problem is that the last set went quick at the end and I reakon I have already got value out of the current set (I buy two fronts and rotate every 8000 or so).

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Old 06-25-2014, 03:49 AM   #13
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How is your chain and sprockets?
.
As mentioned above, I had the back wheel off last week, and there is no hollowing out at all of the sprockets, and no chain stretch. There was a lot of grot in the rubber bumpers inside the hub, but looked close to perfect once I cleaned it up.
I'm happy with all the linkages, axles, bearings, but not so easy to determine how good the shock is, which given the odd corrugation or two I'm expecting on the Birdsville track, worries me a little.

Had a brand new BMW radiator delivered today, A$460 delivered from the UK.

How far south did you get in August? Mid August is still mid winter here in Adelaide, so I'm counting on waiting for passable riding weather to get me north to the Flinders, and I could potentially make it to Birdsville also a week before the races, circle around through Qld, and look at the Flinders in detail on the way back when it will also be a bit warmer.
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:39 AM   #14
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If it was me, I'd go on the inside track (if it's open)
Anyone know why it closed? Hasnt been much rain around. Any news on it reopening.
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Old 06-25-2014, 03:57 PM   #15
Portly
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Two years back we went up to Charleville then Birdsville then south through the Flinders then down to Burra then followed the Murry and up over Dead horse gap to Thredbo then Jindabyne and north to home.
The coldest spot and first frost was at Beechworth.
Last Year I went via Lightning ridge into Queensland then over to Inaminka then south into the Flinders again then down to Murry Bridge and followed the coast past the major sights of the Great Ocean Road then up through Echuca then Bathurst then home.
The coldest spot and first frost was Bathurst.
We also did a run to Camerons corner early June two years back and got frost at Bourke.
This year I am heading west, probably via Condoblin and Ivanhoe to Broken hill, Yunta Leigh Ck, Coober Pedy and am still deciding where to go from there, either swing around and up to Birdsville or back to Broken Hill and up to Tiboburra and across to Bourke then towards home
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