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Old 01-03-2014, 03:25 AM   #1
SevenWorldsCollide OP
Joined: Aug 2013
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Oddometer: 39
The Unfamiliar Road - Perth Aus to London UK 2014

4 weeks from now on February 1st 2014, me and my two closest mates are setting off on the adventure of a lifetime. We are leaving our jobs, have rented out each of our houses and after months of planning and preparation, the day is almost upon us to live out a dream that has long been burning since our very early days in school - to go exploring the world on two wheels! Or 3 BMW F650's to be more precise :)

The plan is to leave from our home town of Perth, Western Australia and set off on the first leg to Darwin before catching a ferry over to East Timor where the adventure really begins. From there our intention is to travel up through Asia, touring central Asia before taking the bikes across to Nepal and heading overland toward Europe. This is the bare bones of our not so existent plan, so we'll just see how we go. Based on savings, we have 4-6 months in which to see as much as we can - if we make it as far as the UK that will be a bonus!

With videography being a big hobby of mine we will be documenting the trip with DSLR's/GoPros etc along the way and editing videos as we go for our blog.

We very much look forward with sharing this trip with all on here. This forum has been a huge inspiration and invaluable in our preparation to date - it's only fair that we give back with as much as we can with our stories.

In the meantime it's back to the workshop to continue hooking up all the electrics and power to the tank bags/GPS, as well as change the rear wheel bearings and install the HID kit and change the oil and coolant and.... the list goes on! Nothing like last minute cramming!


SevenWorldsCollide screwed with this post 02-22-2014 at 03:53 AM
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:02 AM   #2
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Joined: Dec 2011
Location: Madison, NJ
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Well I for one an looking forward to it

Fill in some detail on the bikes, preparations, etc while you have time.

Triumph Explorer
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:13 PM   #3
Trust Me!
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Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Oddometer: 466
Hooked In

Good luck, and looking forward to reading your updates.
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 01-04-2014, 10:32 PM   #4
Joined: Sep 2013
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Good luck. Will be great to follow your travels.
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Old 01-14-2014, 01:09 AM   #5
SevenWorldsCollide OP
Joined: Aug 2013
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Oddometer: 39
Maintenance Hell

Sitting here three weeks out (18 days to be exact) we had planned to have our feet kicked up with a cold beer in hand trying to retain our excitement of what is about to come. Alas, this is not the case. Instead, we are currently committing most of our free time after work and on the weekends to the workshop. With a trip of this magnitude, we had always planned to refurbish the bikes but it seems at the moment as soon as we tackle one problem, another soon arises. Here is a combined list of our maintenance we have undertaken recently.

Oil and Radiator Flush
Replacing the oil and coolant was a simple enough process albeit a messy one. A lot of newspaper and tissues are advised! We made one simple modification to our bikes, drilling a 100mm hole in the bottom smash plate. This would allow (in theory) easy access to the bottom sump plug for replacing the oil on the road without having to remove the engine plate and guard. We also flushed both systems once before replacing with (coolant mix) and oil 15W-50 fully synthetic which will get us through the hot temperatures of Australia’s north before an oil change that will occur probably in Malaysia or Thailand.

An issue did arise from the 2000 yellow F650 where oil was found in the coolant. On reading several forums it was concluded that it’s an issue with the water pump and we will be tackling that later this week with a blog to follow.

Rear wheel bearings
The f650 dakar required the rear wheel bearings to be replaced. It was noticed that they were a bit knotchy when checking them a few weeks prior. Upon removing the old bearings and seals from the sprocket carrier assembly it was apparent that one of the bearings was completely disintegrated, and the other only just intact – to the point that the remaining balls were no longer round, some were ground down half way! Luckily it hadn't damaged the hub itself, but the seals and spacers all needed replacing.

Rear brake line fail
Another issue that faced the 2000 yellow f650 was a total lack of rear braking. It is unknown how this came about but it occurred after having the rear of the bike disassembled for a couple of months to replace the rear swing arm bearings and suspension bearings and seals

We began the process of bleeding the brake fluid. After a couple of pumps the problem was evident – a lot of air and a lot of crap in the lines. After a few more pumps a bigger problem had occurred. The line itself had burst. This was amazingly lucky to occur in the garage and not while zooming down some crowded highway or near some distant off-road cliff. However, finding a replacement part was not easy. The local dealership didn’t have a spare and would have to be shipped in, taking a few weeks that we do not have. We were advised that Pirtek might be able to assist by copying the broken part. After much discussion with Pirtek, they were indeed able to help however we are yet to fit the new line and we will have to update to let you know if it worked.

Rogue Valve Collet
Here is another issue that came from a should-be-regular oil change. Upon undoing the sump plug an unknown item was found on the magnet. It turns out it was a valve collet from the top of the engine. The issue is now; has that collet become dislodged at some point or did a serviceman drop it down when removing/replacing and all 8 are fine and dandy. The reality is we cannot be sure but having to pull the top of the engine apart after already clocking up 5000km on the bike with no problems seems like a waste of time. *Famous Last Words*

Universal Bark Busters
A couple of weeks ago we installed some universal acerbis handle bar protectors to the 2007 black f650. Although they claimed to be universal, they were not ideal when finding room to connect to the handle bars. In the end, they were only able to be fitted onto one particular section of the bar. This has resulted in the edge of the protector hitting and becoming stuck in the instrument dash when the steering is at full lock left. This is not only a dangerous situation for when riding but also doesn’t allow the bike to be steering locked.

This week will hopefully see the end of maintenance on the bikes giving us time to make final preparations with our paper work and then finally last minute packing. But until then, it’s back to the garage to get on with…
· Front forks seals replacement and installing fork boots
· Bleeding front brakes
· Rear brake line replacing
· Oil and radiator flush
· Fitting a radiator guard
· Replacing water pump and seals
· Installing power outlet to a tank bag
· Fixing a broken fuel light
· Fixing handle bar protector
· Replacing a side mirror

SevenWorldsCollide screwed with this post 02-05-2014 at 04:25 PM
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:26 PM   #6
SevenWorldsCollide OP
Joined: Aug 2013
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Oddometer: 39
And so it begins...

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Old 02-05-2014, 04:31 PM   #7
SevenWorldsCollide OP
Joined: Aug 2013
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Oddometer: 39
Perth to Carnarvon (Day 1)

We set off on the 1st of February as we had planned 10ish months ago, which is an accomplishment in itself. Our first destination was to Kings Park in Perth, Western Australia to meet up with friends and family for a final farewell. It was lovely to see everyone for one last time however the anticipation of what to come had us excited and eager to start. At this point our biggest worry was either a bike drop or engine failure with all the peering eyes and worrying parents however we were fortunate to get away without incident and journeyed north.

The first stop was at the Pinnacles in Cervantes. Richies parents chaperoned us here which was lovely from them especially when they brought out some ham and cheese sandwiches! We looped around the 4km sand track of limestone formations and then trekked off north. Its official; we’re by ourselves.

The country roads north of Perth are very nice, however we were grateful for the Bluetooth music from our phones when we hit the large straights! We encountered strong winds from Cervantes all the way to Kalbarri where we nestled into the local backpackers after a couple of celebratory beers.

On departure from Kalbarri we dropped into the national park to look at some gorges recommended by the caretaker at the hostel we stayed in. We arrived at the place and meandered down a footpath to a lookout to be immediately blown away by the natural beauty the Murchison River has carved from the surroundings.

After a difficult time finding accommodation in Carnarvon in the late afternoon we settled with a little luxury in the form of a self-contained unit at the Coral Cost Tourist Park

Bike Update:

Daniel repositioned the 4th Sena Bluetooth device to his front left hand guard (previously in the tank bag) to enable easy control to record our comms from our helmets. Also to note is our tread on our off-road tyres are being reduced quite rapidly (possibly from the heavy load on the rear) and we might need to look for a tyre change prior to Darwin (original plan)

SevenWorldsCollide screwed with this post 06-14-2014 at 03:04 AM
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:35 PM   #8
SevenWorldsCollide OP
Joined: Aug 2013
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Oddometer: 39
Canarvon to Nanutarra Road House (Day 4)

Despite looking like a fairly monotonous route on the map, the trip from Carnarvon to Nanutarra Roadhouse has offered some fairly spectacular sights and has given us a good opportunity to settle into a rhythm on the road. As expected, the temperatures have started to increase as we head further north, but the camelbacks we each have are proving a life saver. Good news is that we are still waking up each morning with great excitement to load the bikes and set off, and although a steep learning curve, we seem to be slowly adjusting to this new pace of life!

One of our concerns when planning the Australian leg was the cost, both for accommodation and general living expenses. We all seem to have accepted the challenge to spend as little as possible, so each morning begins with a quick trip to the local IGA to pick up the bread, ham and cheese (full of nutrients) and make bulk sandwiches, packing them back in the bread bag and into the pannier for the day’s food. This way we are only spending ~$16 for 10 sandwiches and in the evening ~$26 for steak and salad for 3; a cheap alternative to the $30 meal for one at the local pub! At the moment we are content with this… Hopefully it lasts!

At one of the fuel stops the attendant warned us of some flooded roads on the way north to Exmouth after some heavy rain they have experienced in the past weeks. We spoke with some other travellers during our lunch break that had come from Exmouth, and they were confident the roads were still passable. When we did reach the floodway, it was Rich who was sent as a test bunny with his pants up around his knees into the water as it was flowing rather fast. After his initial evaluation returned positive over the helmet comms, Dan was sent across as test bunny number two to see if the bike was up for it… Success! We were still on track for Exmouth.

Al lined up some accommodation for us with his friend Robyn, so we stayed in her house shed with a beautiful view overlooking Pebble Beach. Given we had a few more hours in the day, we decided to hire some snorkel gear and head around to Turquoise bay. The beauty of this bay is that it is a lazy man’s snorkelling area… all you have to do is swim 20m out and the current does the rest, drifting you over some amazing coral and marine life. A local had told us it would only take 30mins however it was more like 50mins and the Kangaroos were out in force from 4pm onwards. After we adopted a speed of 40km/h for both the trip there and the trip back we didn’t return to Exmouth until 8pm that night.

Today we pushed from Exmouth to the Nanutarra Roadhouse (in-between Exmouth and Karratha). Finally we have a few hours to get some more rest get ready for an early start tomorrow.

Bike update:

Tyres continue to wear at a rapid rate forcing us to organise a tyre change in Hedland rather than the intended Darwin location. We have ordered the Heidenau K60 Scout tyres from Perth and are having them sent to Port Hedland Post Office – hopefully they arrive by Friday or we are going to be in a spot of bother. Alister’s rear tyre is most worn, and as a result we have shifted his luggage onto Dans bike to reduce the weight on the rear tyre.

The temperature in the last two days has been 40+°C and it has been tough on the bikes - the fans have been running constantly whilst riding (fans cuts in when engine temp reaches 102°C ) and on the final ride into Nanutarra, Dan’s temperature light came on 200m from the roadhouse (when engine temperature reaches 118°C). This was put down to a combination of ambient temperature at 2:30pm and the extra weight of Alisters luggage whilst trying to reduce tyre wear on his bike. All coolant levels appear normal.

Statistics (per person):

Total KMs travelled: 1882
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:42 PM   #9
Trust Me!
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Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Oddometer: 466
Great Start

Keep it up lads and stay safe.
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 02-05-2014, 05:17 PM   #10
the desert ninja
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Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Darwin, Australia
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Looks like an awesum trip guys!!!!
Enjoy it and good luck
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:22 PM   #11
Voodoo Chilly
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Joined: May 2012
Location: Boorloo West Aus
Oddometer: 30
Happy Trails Boys!

You've got me.. Im be watching closely!
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:01 PM   #12
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Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Darnestown, MD
Oddometer: 754
Budget Issues

Great start to what promises to be a fantastic ride report! I will be enjoying vicariously as I endure the winter and plan for my next adventure.

My only concern is your iPhone app seriously misunderestimates the beer portion of your budget.

Maybe spouses are following

All the best for an unforgettable journey,


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Old 02-05-2014, 07:22 PM   #13
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Arizona, Alaska, Kalifornia
Oddometer: 434
Your beer budget seems a little LOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Old 02-05-2014, 08:00 PM   #14
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Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Toronto On
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subscribed. Looks like a great trip.
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:09 PM   #15
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Joined: May 2003
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Oddometer: 1,182
So in!

Good luck boyz...really looking forward to your trip across Asia...\

EDIT: Is that "talley" snapshot some kind of phone app?
2007 BMW 650 XChallenge..
2009 BMW R1200 GSA..(Gone.. )
2004 BMW R1150 GSA (Gone.. )
"You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us." Robert Louis Stevenson

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