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Mototrans
27-10-2006, 07:23 PM
I went to Darwin and all i got was this lousy lighter.....

So i'm not sure if my story counts... as i don't ride a BM or a KTM, b ut here goes.. so after watching the long way round 16 times and in a fresh fit of irrationality i wanted an XT500, the same steed i rode to work and back when i was sixteen and hoped that once again i would feel sixteen.
So the bike of my dreams pops up in Darwin NT some 4,300kms away and the fantasy starts to evolve into a "i'll ride her back, like an adventure rider, like a real Ewan McGregor" and i set out to proove that the fantasy is far removed from the reality...
A quick pic of the route

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_000.jpg

so here we go....

i jumped on a Virgin flight with two soft panniers and a swag, helmet and Camelpack.... i had organised to call my brother everyday as a check in and a to raise the alarm if i go missing... stranger things have happened....
So the flight is left on the tarmac for two hours while they try to fix a computer glitch while Mic the brickie (my neighbour) seizes the opportunity and sets about trying to break the record for beers consumed on a Domestic flight.. within 6 beers (or 15 mins) he has the Japanese girl on the other side folding Oragami out of napkins with way to much patience for my liking... well you know what they say ...when in Rome

...i stagger off the flight close enough to 3 in the morning in Darwin....and its off to the backpackers inn...


i wake up in Darwin...
with a face full of backpackers .....who are way to relaxed for my liking ...so i'm off to pick up my bike... i'm full of anticipation... 500cc of thumper and just me and the road....
The first thing i learn is that Darwin is well spread out.. a couple of blocks in Darwin is a hellavu lot bigger than a coupla blocks in Sydney... they like room up there and alot of it... The second is that the buses are cheap.. i'm used to paying $5 bucks to jump on public transport in Sydney, so you can imagine my surprise when i try to hand over a $10 note to the busdriver and he promptly tells me "you've got to be kidding", the fare is a measly $1.80 all the way to the other side of Darwin.."get off my bus and go get some change"... "catch the next one"... Eventually i arrive to see my big bewdiful girl

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_001.jpg


http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_002.jpg


the bike runs around Darwin fine... its had a mechanic inspect it who says its a good thing *qualification* (its 28 years old mate)... so i confidently set about setting up my packs and gear on the back preparing for an early morning departure the next day.. so its time for some sightseeing..
The Vic Hotel, typical of an older building in Darwin, beautiful old stone building that survived a tornado not only in the late 1800's but the modern day Cyclone Tracy (70's?)... in the basement i learn a bit about Darwin... in the Goldrush days (mid 1800's) Asians outnumbered whites by 10:1, by the 1900's it was a gateway to the rest of the world for Australia, all mail used to fly out through here so it had a huge aviation history, it was also the gateway for communications out of Australia to Java. The early 1900's saw it a declining centre. War came and soldiers are tributed to rebuilding Darwin economically. Darwin was a fuelling point for the Brits and many American planes were stationed here or within 600kms at offsite airstrips

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_003.jpg


underground oil storage...

air raids in the 40's saw 11 subterrainian tunnels planned for Darwin of which 8 were completed for oil storage depots. Originally they had 11 tanks which were all but destroyed by the Japanese...

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_006.jpg


Darwins new future depends on its Port of which milliuons are being invested.. its a gateway to Asia and completion of new rail links across Australia provide a more affordable and cost effective distribution network

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_007.jpg

time for some tarmac....

so i get up before sunrise the next morning.. its about 6 and i'm already sweating.. its so humid up here you can't help but sweat without batting an eye.... but finally after 6 stops to get my luggage sitting right.. i see a long road ahead... the most dissapointing aspect is that the bike ticks over comfortably on about 90km'h... so some quick math tells me i'm in for a long ride. I only have 120km's under the belt and the ole girl dies.. real quick like an electrical fault... i pull the plug and i have heaps of spark... hmmmm..... don't know what it was but switching the fuel tank onto reserve fixed it.. must be a technical glitch.. so i'm back on the road again...

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_009.jpg
oh dear...

at 120km per tank i work out i have a mere 40 fuel stops ahead of me... that fantasy is quickly becoming a reality.... the termite hills out here are bloody huge... and my ass is sore... the XT wasn't really built for touring and i've only done about 200kms...

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_010.jpg


Ewan never mentioned....

the fuel situation.. the speed situation or the other bikes blowing past at 180kmph..... thats 90kms over and above me.. and it doesn't take long for me to work out that at hit from behind is going to be as bad as a run off the road.... this place is dangerous....
All the way down the road is remanants of the war, airstrips, machinery and fuel stores.. they are bloody averywhere.. Darwin once thrived with soldiers and i imagine she was a wild town....
This is an old steam (?) engine used to mill timber... shes seen some history this old girl...

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_011.jpg



Mataranka..

the thing that amazes me is the way the landscape changes from point to point... things are getting drier, after just 400kms we are still just within Kakadu... just when you think your out of it, up pops Mataranka and the thermal springs.. its was to good to resist, i had a quick splash in this soft water running out of the ground. Get a load of the clarity of this water...

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_012.jpg

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_013.jpg

some famous bloke named Dr Gilruth

built this homestead (1916).. as part of a experimental cattle station, he was actually a Administrator for the NT and notoriously hated by all which ended in him being run out of town to the tune "for he's a jolly good failure" He was apparently very arrogant and was tributed as having grown a 10,000 pound pumpkin and a owned a $20,000,0000 bull. The truth behind it was the pumpkin was grossly exadgerated (while it was a big pumpkin). The bull was another story.. in an attempt to have the biggest bull this gentlemen imported some big critter from Overseas and onboard was Cattle tick.. the 20,000,000 was the estimate cost to Australias cattle industry...
Note the enclosed but ventilated verandah running all the way around the house in an attempt to keep the inner areas cooler.

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_014.jpg


time to explore....

just like Ewan.. i tried to piss off the beaten track to explore this Airfield a bit.. i followed the tracks noting my position in relation to the sun, marked my odo and off i went... only to emerge 45 mins later scared shitless of ever leaving the highway again... i got lost in such a small area, i was marking my corners and screaming for my mum....but she wasn't there to wipe my tears....
Made me realise how easy it was to get lost out here in such a relatively isolated place.. and i was only 500 klms from Darwin..

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_017.jpg

inbound on sunset

i can taste the beers at Daly Waters pub

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_019.jpg


john stuarts tree

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_020.jpg

he carved his initials in the tree on his way to cross the Australian continent.. incredible piece of history given the scratching is nearly 150 years old.. (1860's) i have no idea how these guys ever did this.. i look at the landscape and what they crawled through to get across and they must have been either very brave or madmen!





Daly Waters PUB!!!!

about 20klms from Daly Waters i overtook my first car for the day.. a Toyota Landcruiser, when i hit Daly Waters pub after a brief stop at the Stuart tree the driver was waiting for me in the bar. He had an XT and liked the ole girl. So we had a chat about him racing his DR400 in the Finke river race every year, he was a good bloke on holidays from the Barossa Valley (spelt GODS COUNTRY) with his wife and young fella, they were headed home via Mt Isa (QLD) which is the long way round...hope they had a good trip.... needless to say the night and the beers went down like a $2 hooker......! I had consumed 5 litres of water that day and still couldn't hydrate... 20 beers were req'd ... this place is 600klms from Darwin and enjoys a steady stream of Backpackers and all walks of life... what a great place and worth a look although i passed out in the swag somewhat "chemically disadvantaged" and the mosquitos ate me alive and left red dots that would stay for the next 4 days...

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_022.jpg

Mototrans
29-10-2006, 05:35 PM
back on the road again.....

so i wake up with the most shocking hangover just before sunrise.. theres nothing better for a hangover than a bit of fresh air and getting on with it... so i packed up the gear and hit the road for a whole two hundred metres before i hit Daly Waters Airstrip. This place provided one of the worst outposts for American Servicemen during the war as they were 600kms from Darwin with not much more than flys for company. Some works have been done to stop the hangar from depreciating and you can sense the history in this place.

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_025.jpg



i believe this was a passenger aircraft that crashed in the later years after the war upon landing... the comments made suggested there were still servicemen around that pulled the passengers from the aircraft..
In later years (1980's) efforts have been made by Individuals to get the strip up and running again as a hub for the flying doctor service and other carriers.. unfortunately 2006 sees no sign of this commercial venture.. and its kinda sad...

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_026.jpg


this place has some history...

again Daly Waters.... this fella was built in the 1930's under some form of govt grant to establish a Light aircraft manufacturer in Australia. The result was the plane you see below which has an interesting history. The Plane was actually a Gas Turbine plane that was used by the Australian Secret Service to supervise the Atom Bomb drop on Hiroshima ... If you think about some of the planes that were kicking around in that time she was well ahead of her time. After the war and the various aremd forces were finished with it, it was sold to a local commercial operator who used it as a small freight plane. It stayed in the area until the owner aged 91 landed her at the Daly Waters Roadhouse (obviously at the end of her serviceable life) and that is where she stayed. Even Dick Smith has flown in to research her history. To most she just looks like a plane wreck in front of a servo.

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_023.jpg


the shrubs are shrinking

i probably took this pic because it was a bend in the road..!! The contrast of the landscape is changing, note the height of the trees and the density of the foliage as we travel further down the road.

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_024.jpg


the devils marbles...

formed millions of years ago are huge granite boulders, some up to about 35 metres long. Its awesome just riding into the valley where they lay and seeing a valley full of them.. The aboriginals believe them to be Rainbow serpent eggs...


http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_030.jpg


up a bit closer

they are alot bigger

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_027.jpg

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_029.jpg

onto Barrow Creek...

the lanscape is changing again.. from the Marbles on the rock seems to start lifting out of the ground at a place called Barrow Creek. Its getting mid afternoon and this is the best time to ride with cooler road temps and less intense sun.

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_033.jpg


barrow creek roadhouse...

this is the scary little place in the world where backpackers have gone missing...apparently...

the guy rips me off a buck for fuel, intentional or not, i'm completely cool with that and get the hell outta there quick smart and in a hurry...

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_031.jpg


i just love cruising in the arvo...

its great cruising in the cooler temps.. just man, tarmac and 500cc of Thumping vintage metal


http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_034.jpg

all the way to sunset....
pics don't ever do it justice... guess you guys will just have to go yourselves...

this is a little place called Aeliron ? just on sunset.. the local have sat a huge statue of a dreamtime man on top of the hill. Its quite imposing on the way into town on sunset...

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_035.jpg


i pulled up for the night

and swagged it on a roadside rest stop... now i'm only a lil fella and for some reason you hit that kinda quiteness in the Australian bush you realise how small you are.. the Kangaroo population makes travelling at night prohibitive and i just wasn't prepared to risk the next 100 klms to make it to Alice Springs... so i layed out the swag and got to thinking about dissappearing backpackers...GREAT!!!
Its so quite you can hear everything including stock wandering around at night across the road and i ended up in a tussle at about 2am with a possum over a half eaten sandwich in my soft panniers.. Possum 1 : Rider 0
The moon is so bright you can see quite well, but my camera won't bring it up so i resolve to keep fighting with the possum for a while longer.. he eventually gets my apple on a sympathy vote Possum 2 : Rider 0

I wake up and get the ball rolling before sun up in a bid to beat the possum before he's back for one last hit at the soft pannier food store thats been so good to him... sun up is magical...


http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_037.jpg

Alice is magical....
what a great town.. from the road in the hills start rolling, and the scenery takes the focus off my sore butt. I'm off the Simpsons Gap, on the way i pass John "Flynn of the outback" gravesite. Flynn through the "Australian Inland Mission" a church backed organisation in 1912 was responsible for the establishment of healthcare in the outback setting up hospitals and welfare centres and eventuially in the 30's what became the Royal Flying Doctors Service, an essential service for people in remote areas. Incredible man with an incredible story.
Simpsons Gap pictured below has formed over 60 million years and is amazing in the morning with its rich colours.

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_039.jpg

The gap below was formed by this creek
what.... that little thing....
if only i had a dollar for every time i've heard that

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_041.jpg


more of Alice.. shes got heaps

ranges running west from Alice

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_038.jpg
made it to the Border....

well i've looked forward to kissing the NT goodbye... don't get me wrong its just the crazy rationale for this trip has been that if the XT can make it 200, it can go 400, and if it will go 400 it should do 800..etc etc. The NT border was a milestone. Some 1800 klms down the road i'm now sure that the old girl will get me home, albeit with no ass left

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_042.jpg

i'm sure its a joke....

on a previous road trip in a cage some twelve months ago i commented on my way back from Perth that poor South Australia was like a bad joke, it was like someone drew a line around the edge of the desert and said "We'll call it South Australia"... Sorry you South Aussies but its just as soon as i crossed the border it seemed that this appeared. I'm sure you have much to offer the rest of Aus like ... um ... er ... sand !! Yes thats it... sand... we need that very much for ur... em .... mixing cement.. yes yes....thats right... lovely place.......

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_043.jpg


Tarmac to Tower.. inbound Coober Pedy!!!!

Again the afternoon rides just seem to be the best...! The winds die off and its Happy Days..!!!

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_044.jpg


if Alice had the Yellow Brick road...

who the hell has Red Roads..? Must be a product of the soil colour... or sand.. theres plenty of that sh......t around here..

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_045.jpg

Underground Hotel....

so heres what Coober Pedy is famous for.. The opals mined from the local area and its underground hotels carved out of the stone. They do this to escape the heat during summer. Interesting fact is that 40% of the local population is Croation... Its a pizza and an early night for me... exhausted from three days long riding... if only i could get rid of that petrol smell out of the swag... damn thats annoying..

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_046.jpg


Happy Days....

until....

so i explain tha best i can adventurers... i prep before sun up and hit the road on sunrise...i'm riding along enjoying the road out of Coober Pedy.. the bird are singing (technically if SA had Birds), the sun is shining (its a bloody desert) and i'm singing "rainbows, lollipops and ... rainbows" cause i don't know the rest of the words... when a rather innocent looking cattle grid appears. I take my butt (sore variety) off the seat as the back wheel of the bike sinks into the grid and i hear the "whoof" of a rear tyre letting go in a hurry.......
My first thoughts are "did someone cry wolf"
I look in the rear view in time to see a bit of black rubber flick up and think "oh shit better pull her up before she flies to bits completely...."
but as i slow its getting hotter and there seems to be alot of smoke....

Oh Shit I'm on Fire !!!!!

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_047.jpg

so i put myself out

with a little rolling around and frantic dancing that Micheal Jackson himself would have been proud of i'm extinguished...

Now for the bike... i pull the fuel cell first and dhe has already melted spreading fuel over everything and i'm back on fire.... More dancing (moonwalk and all)

I'm out again and i dragg the luggage off the bike and push the bike forward. Then i put the bike out before trying for anything in the luggage... but its futile, the fuel soaked luggage leaves me no option but to watch everything burn while backpackers stop for a quick pic and hurridly piss off before they might politely be obliged to offer a guy a cup of water.

BTW Thanks to whoever you are in the RED FORD (i think) with a caravan and the Mirror Glasses who helped and didn't leave until you knew i was alright. Your a legend. To the Backpackers - take a free ticket for some accomodation at Barrow Creek ya barstands..!!!!

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_050.jpg

Operation Gedmedafugouddaere

So, the light drop in my hasty exit has broken the clutch lever and the gear selector, but i fugure that i can get her into top and cruise the 500 klms to Port Augusta, the end of my Australia crossing before i head for home. Theres a bike shop there which if made in good time will have the materials i need for repair. I stop at Glendambo for a Fuel Bottle and Pimba for some supplies like tape and Oky straps. Thanks to Clive the security guy from Perth and his wife for walking up and offering assistance when you could see i was in a spoy of bother. Clive helped me get the bike as good as i could before setting off again. Clive your a legend!!!

Determined not to let it kill the proceedings i dropped off at Woomera for a look at Australias early rocket range.

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_048.jpg


Mid sixties Madness!!

Take a look at this people... these suckers were launched in the mid to late 60's, and look at the quality of the metal after 40 years.. yet my Holden seems to rust 2 days after leaving the lot..!

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_052.jpg
Early recon plane

love them planes

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_053.jpg

this rocket still has USA printed up the side

it was used to launch Australias first sattelite in the 60's

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_049.jpg
Lake Heart....

this is where the hardcore speed trials take place... with me riding crash gearbox style and changing gears by hand the XT was denied any runs as much as i wanted to just get out there and i was now running pretty light

I'm sure she would have been good for a 100km/h pass

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_051.jpg

Mototrans
29-10-2006, 06:07 PM
Port Augusta

sorry for the crappy pic guys.. but i was on a bit of a downer by this stage.. The guys at Port Augusta bikeshop helped me out heaps and i had gears again, good blokes to.. good for a laugh. It was hard walking past the 640 Adv at the door retrieving parts and the guys offering me a good trade.. but two realities hit home...
1. Start the mission, finish the mission
2. How could i leave her
then theres that lil money thing....

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_054.jpg

Into the Gawler ranges....
an up toward Wilmington .. through Horicks Pass. This tight twisty stuff only lasts for 12klms but after a couple of thousand straight you will feel like a god if you can get you bike to bend over the flat spots!!!

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_055.jpg

Willmington PUB

well.. needless to say i hit Willmington with a terrible thirst... i only really wanted to have one or two while i waited to see if a mate who was a local landcare officer was around.
50 beers later he wasn't, but the publican still was, what a bloke.. stuck with me all night.. i stayed there and drunk da beers all night with a guy who strongly resembles Meatloaf!
Needless to say i was the last to leave and there was something seriously wrong with my boot... my mate must have been off harrassing some poor marsupial.. what a prick... i cross Australia and he's off hugging trees and Rock Wallabies... there are laws against that!!
The pic below is coming out of the stair well in the morning cause that was as much sense as i had......

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_057.jpg


the day is long....
and the body is weak... this is the sunrise out of Willmington, provided to show SA outback heading toward the NSW outback town of Broken Hill.
Its gunna be hot but right now its so coldd

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_058.jpg

everybody is doing it .....
.....20klms later i rid myself of the sooooooo 2005 fashion of throttle cables.... oh my goodness.. throttle cables are so out and Leathermen plier activated cruise controls are soooooo iiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnn!!!!

Everybody is doing it, so get with the 2006 program....!!!

At least for the next 270klms till the next bike shop... and i have my doubts that they will have an XT cable on hand.... my thoughts turn to Willmington pub and retreating for the day... but i know i'll catch on fire, fall down a hole or break something so i press on...

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_059.jpg

so i make Broken Hill where the dealer tells me he can't help... snowflakes chance in hell..

So i need adjustment in my chain which is now so stretched i'm outta adjustment. I talk the aprentice into grinding a link out of the chain and he rustles around out the back before finding me a chain, a sprocket, and a Throttle cable that will fit. What a guy... KYLE YOUR THE MAN!

Meanwhile his devious boss out the front greases and lubes up and lays a barrell strategically close to the till.... it hurt for parts i fitted myself but i was back on the road for the 450klm dash to Cobar where only a day of riding awaits afterwards to get me home. I try not to get to ahead of myself as planning can be the worst thing to do.

And it was the worst thing to do.. 60klms from Cobar the lights go out never to return. I tried using using the force to find my way but basically that did 2 tenths of sweet fk all!!!

I fiddle around in the dark to no avail, and then comes the flashing beacon, i get the right indicator working by earthing the bulb.. so i leave her on and follow the intermitent orange stripe in the middle of the road and pray that my Thumping 500cc exhaust keeps the roos at bay.

I make Cobar and there is not a room left in town. Cobar is a mining town, with guys flying in and out on rotating basis, they rent out the hotels months in advance.. one of the barwaits looks me up and down and must have taken pity on me cause she made a call and got me a room. I head off to the New Occidental for a big meal and a great quantity of the Nectar of the Gods. That amber fluid is flowing again, and the publican is a retired accountant from the Central Coast. We sit until my boot breaks again and i head off to my digs to promptly pass out...


i make Nyngan

Only 750klms till home time... i try not to think that far ahead in xcase i don't make it. I come across Nyngan, a twon that was evacuated in 1990 due to flooding, as a tribute the guvt donated and old chopper as a monument for the main street... i can tell i'm back in wheatbelt country as the land changes, these guys have some irrigation for cotton and wheat and there are touches of green.
The comments are starting to become standard responses "just a lil fire, i'm ok, i'm hoping to make it home if you'll just let me pay for my fuel so i can rest my arse"...."its not completely worn off is it?"

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_060.jpg

Narromine...

have i mentioned my arse is sore.....i can't believe i bought a lil blue pillow in Alice Springs Kmart and strategically threw it out of view for all the pics.... ooopps.. i didn't tell you guys that did i......

yep... she went up on Ash Monday as i now know it... and now i'm missing it so.... i trip into Narromine .. a pretty lil town with flowers, and trees.. and if my XT were half the girl she were a week ago she would have adventure ridden the median strip.... They were evil thoughts back then that will come to the surface in later therapy sessions..

Narromine adventure riders course

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_061.jpg

iffracem
29-10-2006, 07:49 PM
LEGENDARY!!!!!

Man what a read!! Freakin awesome.

MORE!! MORE!!! :clap: :clap: :wave: :clap: :clap:

I used to live in Woomera, and have travelled the Stuart highway many a time in my army days, you've brought back wnderful memories.

Bloody well done!!

JJ

glitch
30-10-2006, 12:43 PM
Knew that the XT500 was one ****HOT*******item in it's day, but shite, that's taking it a bit far....
What a ride, what a story.....MORE MORE MORE !!!
:clap: :clap: :clap: :jump: :jump: :thumbs:

Mototrans
30-10-2006, 01:46 PM
The end is in sight....

i can see the Blue Mountains... i'm still a long way off but i can see em. This is the great dividing range that Sydney is on the other side of. But i just can't relax....

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_062.jpg

the end is in sight.. but i can't not do a lap of Bathurst Mt Panorama in honour of Peter Brock, the guy i used to idolise when i was a kid... what a legend.. what a loss.

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_063.jpg

You can see here the length of this wall, it has been signed by fans from all walks of life in tribute to Brocky... its a very emotional moment, and i'm glad i have the support of the XT there to share the moment..

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_064.jpg
More signatures up close

scribbled all over it for at least two hundred metres

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_065.jpg

The Great Dividing range.. i can smell it

don't tease me girl... come ere!!!

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_066.jpg

60 klms to .... Bells Line or Road... about 70 klms of evil twisty stuff for evil doers..!!

I have a scrap with a Volvo on the first corner, you know the guy that does 100 in a straight line then brakes all the way round the bend, so i nail him on the first corner and the XT throbs to life, thumping up the hill...

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_067.jpg

powering round the corners.... torquing her way out of corners with a sweet melodious thumping single cylinder echoing off the trees and shortening the lives of fluffy marsupials everywhere....

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_068.jpg

and .... just to show there are no hard feelings the XT drops the exhaust..!!!

Surely this is her curtaincloser!!!!

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_069.jpg

so i wired her up and headed home

but not before i axed that Volvo driver again...!!!

I saw a little bit of this

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_070.jpg

untill Sydney revealed herself...

here she is....

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_071.jpg

http://www.austouring.net/glitch/AAAA/xt500/Darwin_072.jpg

Well.. i made it .....the ride up Windsor Rd was back to Sydney traffic.. and no cager was going to stop me as i politely slipped lanes and expressed it to home. It turned out it didn't really matter what i did as if you go back a couple of pics to where the exhaust fell of you'll note that the numberplate fell off as well and i didn't realise. I haven't had a chance to look if its still there at Bathurst or not..
I did get one momento of the trip.. a ciggarette lighter from Daly Waters Pub that was in my pocket, and a rock caught in my pants from god knows where.
I wanted to take a pic of the lighter but the Camera didn't have one more left in her. Knowing that until such time as the post is finished the trip is not over.
The XT has mad it to my Garage mechanically sound but less for the ordeal, but now she's my bike. She bought me home, and that earns a place in my garage in my book.
She will enjoy a few bits and pieces for a tidy up and hopefully serve me well in the future, but one things for sure she aint 16 anymore, and neither am i.

Take care Adventure Riders - may the force be with you

jo
30-10-2006, 04:02 PM
Mototrans - you're a lengend! It amazes me that you were not more seriously injured with the fire!!!

farawayman
30-10-2006, 06:26 PM
What a fantastic read. :clap: Thanks for posting. I sat down and read it all again.
I need a thumper, and a postie, and . . .

I'm not asking for much am I?

iffracem
30-10-2006, 09:14 PM
Bleedin Ripper yarn...


It's made me want to go straight out and buy an XT for myself...


No Glitch that DOES NOT mean you get to keep the GS :box:

doit
30-10-2006, 10:46 PM
Bloody awsome read, that's what biking is all about.

That must have been some hot trip.

vbstubby
31-10-2006, 01:14 PM
One of the best ride reports I have ever read :chug:

The fact that it was done on a basic bike made it all the more enjoyable.

k8
31-10-2006, 05:59 PM
Brilliant report on this brilliant site. My first post here though has to be to thank you for this. So many great memories from 30 years back for me . My first bike was the xt500D put together from right out of the packing case on an island in the gulf of carpentaria and its probably still there nipping about . Great bike and an inspiring report. Thank you.
Kate

Mototrans
01-11-2006, 07:46 PM
Thanks for the positive feedback and esp to Glitch (Pete) for his help in putting it together... we've all got stories like this to tell, and i look forward to catching up with a few of you guys out there to swap a yarn or two... and maybe point me in the direction of a few more adventures you've done.

I hear the Great Ocean Road is an awesome ride... hmmmm

nev
01-11-2006, 09:18 PM
I hear the Great Ocean Road is an awesome ride... hmmmm

Yeah, it's almost as good as some of the roads you'll have to ride to get there from Sydney :)

glitch
02-11-2006, 07:23 AM
Thanks for the positive feedback and esp to Glitch (Pete) for his help in putting it together... we've all got stories like this to tell, and i look forward to catching up with a few of you guys out there to swap a yarn or two... and maybe point me in the direction of a few more adventures you've done.

I hear the Great Ocean Road is an awesome ride... hmmmm


Firstly a big THANKS for sending the stuff across, it's a PRIME story !!
May the XT live forever.
The GOR isn't really all that much chop and definitely not recommendable as THE primary target....there's better stuff in and around the Great Divide, or even better...in Tassie.

techno
02-11-2006, 04:35 PM
Thanks for posting. Its an inspiring story and just goes to show you can tour on just about anything if you want, provided you have some mechanical knowledge to do roadside repairs.

Keep us posted on what happens to the beast next. I'd like to see it when its back in shape.

Cheers

Techno