View Full Version : 2008 Off Center Run

27-08-2008, 08:06 PM
It all turned to shit . . . I mean the fun began on the second day. Yesterday John and I had an early start, on the road out of Lilydale by 7.30 and headed north with the threat of rain, which hung with us all day. We had already been told we were mad but you get that when the plan is to cross the country on a motorcycle. First stop was Rushworth for a coffee and a pee.
A small oil leak out of the filler cap of the GS was starting to annoy me and as we navigated the back roads to Echuca I decided to replace an o-ring if I could find one. The guys at Echuca Bearings were fantastic they donated me a couple and then came out to give advice and question our sanity when they found out where we were headed. Thanks guys.


Northwards, Denilquin, Hay and pulled up for the night at Ivanhoe and found a basic room at the Pub.


No food at the pub but they gave us directions to the RSL Club at the other end of town. I wouldnít have thought that a town the size of Ivanhoe would support an RSL club but we had a very nice feed of fish there.


Friday 1 August.
A little rain overnight but looking clear this morning early. We walked the length of the town again but nobody had moved. It was as dead as it did last night, O well weíre not staying and there was little thought of the red clay road that started just out of town.


We hit the red dirt about the same time as the rain caught us. It didnít rain heavy just slow and steady and we made good progress the road wasnít slippery just sticky but I didnít trust it. We stoped about half way to Wilcannia for a break and a read up on some history. The way we where headed was originally and still is, a stock route, which streached from the large cattle stations in the corner country of northern NSW and Queensland to the railhead at Echuca and every so often there was a roadside stop with information on the local area.
We had blasted passed everything yesterday and we had decided it was time to smell the roses a little and see what these information boards was about.


On one of the boards was a story of a salesman travelling the stock route selling to drovers and landholders alike who happened to smash a wagon wheel and was forced to try and buy another from a local farmer but no one would sell, eventually he found a lonely landholder that would swap a wheel, for his wife!
He left with the wheel.

Meanwhile the rain kept falling and road didnít look good.


A couple of clicks up the road and things went pear shaped.



It was like riding on a greased board so we decided to stop light a fire and wait it out. The sky looked a lot brighter to the west and the rain had more or less stoped. With the wind that was blowing and a bit of sun, I knew that the road would dry out. Three or four cars when through, a couple stoped and checked on us but we where relaxed and warm and the coffee was good.





Two and a half hours latter we where off, still very slippery but we where moving. Then John disappeared out of my mirrors. After waiting a few minuets I gingerly turned around and rode back a couple of km to find him sliding around well of the road but generally heading in the right direction. The bike looked a bit different the front guard was missing and he was covered head to toe in mud. We stoped and had a laugh and continued on, John beside the road and me on the road. Before we got back to where I had turned around, down I went, no warning, the front wheel went east and I went west. Got up check for damage and the left pannier lock is broken and the plastic valve cover is cracked. No damage to the pannier itself. John comes over and we both get hold of the pig to lift and all we do is push the bike sideways across the road. Finely we get the wheels locked into a wheel run and are able to lift the beast upright where we find the front wheel locked solid with mud which takes us the next 20 minuets to clear.


The next 30 or 40 km we ride beside the road as much as possible in the hope there is more traction with a bit more sand and the tufts of grass and small bushes will help stop the build up of mud on our wheels.

Black top at last and in a short time we are in Wilcannia stoping for fuel. Before we get a chance at the petrol bowsers a couple of immaculately clean BMW 1200 GSís pull in for fuel. A couple are heading home in Adelaide after being up to the tip of Cape York. They were sticking to the sealed roads because most of the dirt roads in the area were closed. No one told us! We chat over a coffee for more than an hour before they bolt for Broken Hill. We think about stopping here for the night but every window had security mesh over it, every door looked like it was designed to stop a Mack truck. White Cliffs looked the better option and an hour latter we were in the pub asking about a room. The first words from the publicanís wife were ďso you made it.Ē ď I saw you there on the side of the road but I wasnít stopping I might not get going againĒ


More to come

28-08-2008, 09:09 AM
:so so far so good.

28-08-2008, 08:13 PM
Saturday 2 August

White Cliffs is Australiaís oldest commercial opal mining town. Opal was mined here as early as 1889 and they still seem to be at it today. There was a interesting aerial picture in the pub and John and I decided to have a look around before we headed of to Tibooburra and Cameron Corner.





White Cliffs other claim to fame is its solar power station in fact in 1981 it became the first town to utilise solar power to furnish at least part of the town's electricity needs.


The road to Tibooburra was a lonely dirt one we hardly saw a vehicle and it ran through some dry inhospitable country. The rain hadnít got up here from yesterday and we where raising dust as we headed north-west. We stoped and had lunch on the banks of the dry Mordan Creek. A pretty spot really, red hills in the background and trees lining the creek and the silence. (or if youíre a Aussie, ďthe serenityĒ)



In Tibooburra we stocked up with fuel and water had a look around town generally taking things easy. I had miss read the map and had thought it was only 40 km out to Camron Corner we headed out and after 50 or 60 km I had this feeling that something was wrong. Rechecking the map and realising it was 140 km stretch, I realised that we had dilly dallied a little too long, it was going to be a push to make it by nightfall. The further we went the worse the sand became, nothing real bad but climbing those sand hills with the sun in your eyes and you hit a patch of loose sand gave us a couple of puckering moments. The sun was so bad that John rode between a couple of kangaroos on the road and didnít see them.




Yes still more to come

29-08-2008, 04:59 PM
Let's have part three. This is great.

29-08-2008, 06:59 PM
an intresting read

30-08-2008, 08:58 PM
Now where was I?
Are Cameron Corner is where 3 states meet and is name after the guy that surveyed the border of Queensland and New South Wales. It is sort of a Ēmust doĒ in Australian out back travel. It is also where you cross the worlds longest fence all 5614km of it, the Wild Dog Fence was originally designed to keep rabbits out of South Australia but is now used to keep Dingos out of eastern states sheep grazing country.


Just a stones throw northeast of the corner post is the corner store. It is the only store in Queensland that gets all itís supplies from New South Wales and itís phone service comes from South Australia.


Sunrise at the corner




The corner post at Cameron Corner

This is where the adventure really begins from the corner, another group heading for the OCR

Weíre going this way

13 km into SA we stop at Bollards Lagoon Station, pay our $5 each to use their station tracks (Bore Track) to head north to Inamincka.



Across a dry lake bed



Gates to open and close

And our first real taste of Sand

Some sort of oil or gas well (not in use)




We get into red sand hills


The going got harder

and harder, for this sand virgin


We both came unstuck a few times so it wasnít just me. The GS seemed to handle the drops better than the Dominator. I always dreaded going back over those hard earned miles when I hadnít seen John for a while usually hoping John had stoped because of a flat tyre or to take some pictures or something. I am sure he felt the same when he had to do it for me. This time I had to go back a few km to find him picking up bits and zip tying and taping them back on his bike. Unnecessary bits really things like headlight and blinkers and panels and stuff.
John had come off quite hard and was felt very sore in fact wondered if he had broken a rib or two. Time to take a break and boil the Billy.


He came up with a huge bruise on his hip the next day, which stayed for more than a week, and his ribs felt better after a few days. After a drink and snack, a few patches on the bike we continued on, a lot of the time off the track where the sand wasnít quite as loose.

Once we found that the track had crossed a dry creek bed and we had followed on the wrong side of the creek for some distance. Now we had to cross a dry sandy creek bed with steep sides. We had to back track to find a suitable spot but I found myself picking the GS up in the deep sand and had to punish the clutch to get out of there.
It was getting late and it was decided to find a suitable camp site. We crossed another dry creek and all of a sudden we where out of the sand and into Gibber rocks. I stoped a few hundred meters in and suggested that we go back to the last creek crossing where there was sand to camp on and fire wood for a fire. Those gibbers didnít look at all comfortable, but John didnít want to give up any ground lost so forward we go into the darkness. A few km on and there was another creek but no nice soft sand to camp on.


30-08-2008, 10:08 PM
And if your wondering what Gibber rocks are like to sleep on this should give you some idea.





We got out on the road to Inamincka and the pace increased.





From Inamincka it was 420 km to Birdsville through Cordillo Downs all dirt, sand or gibber rocks.



The first water we had seen for days


Cordillo Downs 120 stand shearing shed




Pity they donít run any sheep, they only run cattle, about 7,000 head of poll Herefords on 7,900 square kilometers of property. I think they must have trained them to eat gibber rocks.


We camped that night beside a magnificent water hole




Fire wood, water (we could wash the dishes) and real 5 star luxury . . .
no sleeping on gibbers


Tomorrow Birdsville

31-08-2008, 10:52 AM
Great pictures, Dave. You guys must've been totally exhausted - and then sleeping on gibber! Hope, you had good mattresses.....
Please continue :watch:

31-08-2008, 10:00 PM
This is outstanding.....really.

i want to do this...........but not on my own. Id like to go with somebody with a sense of direction.
Cant find folk to do it with though.....

Cant wait for the next bit........No idea where you are really......except for the state.

I got so many questions......

31-08-2008, 10:20 PM
You guys are nuts.

I like that in a person.

01-09-2008, 09:21 PM
Thanks for your comments guys

No idea where you are really......except for the state.

I got Google to show the route to Cameron Corner but it was useless showing the way to Birdsville so I had to go out to the garage to get a map, O, and pat the bike of course.

Lilydale to Cameron Corner


Cameron Corner to Birdsville


Then on to Mt Isa

01-09-2008, 09:24 PM
You guys are nuts.

I like that in a person.

I seem to get that a lot lately
I take it as a compliment anyway :so

01-09-2008, 09:38 PM
In the morning this was still a very nice spot a bloke could stop here for a while
But we don’t.




They have had some rain in the area recently and it looked spectacular with the contrasts of green grass and red sand hills and cliffs and a deep blue of the sky.

It was still a hash unforgiving country though



We cross into Queensland and the roads improve





We even get a nice sealed road two lanes and all out in the middle of nowhere.


But it’s not for us. It’s 5 km of emergency air strip, then, it’s back to dirt.

Finally Birdsville


Big place


Time for some maintenance and something to eat that hasn’t been bouncing around on a back of a bike, I can recommend the bakery.


While we where in Birdsville we meet up with the group that had been with us at Cameron Corner. One of them had come off coming through Cordillo Downs and was taken to one of Cantos gas platforms with a broken leg. The Flying Doctor was due to evacuate him and fly him out, they where hoping it was going to be Birdsville. So they were hanging around.
Around at the servo to fill up and they told us of a bloke doing serious damage to himself a few miles down the Birdsville Track. Everyone we meet had seemed to have a story or they wanted to know what in the hell was going on? Why where all these bikes heading north? So there were a few other guys, mad like us.

The road north was manly dirt with some sealed stretches in between. At one spot coming of the tarseal I had slowed down to about 80 as I hit the dirt, to get a feel for it before I sped back up to 90 or 100 or occasionally a little more. Often there was a layer of bulldust or sand covering ruts etc in the dirt that was hard to see and made the bike move around. Something moving in my mirror and before I had a chance to look, a GS blowed past me at twice my speed. Spectacular to watch the dust plume, as he shot ahead through those big sweeping bends, all dirt. That night we meet in the bar, I told him he nearly had caused an accident. I had almost put my side stand down to see what was wrong with my bike. He was from the west, seems they have a lot of dirt and sand over there, he knew how to handle it.

A shoe tree

We spent the night at Bedourie, a nice room behind the pub, but we had to wait for it to be made up. Apparently it was full of bikers last night and they thought the rush was over.


No, we're not there yet!
So shut up in the back seat. :bs

02-09-2008, 11:49 AM
Goodonya guys!!! :clap:
It sounds like you had REAL fun. I like in particular the shots of your last campsite by the river. Where about was that, Dave?
Don't let us wait too long for the next instalment........

02-09-2008, 06:21 PM
back seet wants more, ARE WE THERE YET!

02-09-2008, 06:31 PM
back seet wants more, ARE WE THERE YET!

Say that once more and you walk the rest of the way! :bs:bs

02-09-2008, 06:54 PM
How long was this trip ?

i need to know how many holidays i need to acrue...:D

whens the next bit.........?

02-09-2008, 09:31 PM
Say that once more and you walk the rest of the way! :bs:bs

isnt it, ill turn this car around now.

i try saying that to customers at work, but im usually driving them to gaol :looney:

04-09-2008, 08:27 PM
Today was going to be a transport stage, I wanted to send some unnecessary gear back home, trying to save on weight. I knew we wasnít finished with the sand and bulldust yet. Besides we needed to do some washing and find a supermarket.
There was a rodeo happening in the Isa and we knew the accommodation would be scarce. We needed to get in early to catch the post office and we had broken the unwritten law by not filling up last night and with nearly 500 km to do . . .
not a lot of photo's
But first we liked to go for a walk to see the town.

Another perfect day.




Someone heading up to see if the servo was open.



04-09-2008, 08:37 PM
This morning we made the decision not to go to Adels Grove and Lawn Hill National park, somewhere I had wanted to get to for many years. I suppose you have to leave something for next trip. The fact was we where running out of time, while it was doable but with the unknown roads and conditions we might miss out on getting to Lorella Springs. So it was more transport stages for us.

The Northern Territory at last.

There were some big distances between fuel stops. John carried an extra 20 litres of fuel.

450 km to Barkly Homestead.


Before turning north towards Cape Crawford along one of the most uninteresting roads of the whole trip. We struggled to find somewhere to camp that would have some firewood, eventually stopping beside a dry creek bed.




11-09-2008, 09:15 PM
How long was this trip ?

i need to know how many holidays i need to acrue...:D

whens the next bit.........?

We had 3 weeks Stookie and did 8500km.
We should have taken another week. She's a big country and a lot to see.

11-09-2008, 09:40 PM
The terrain slowly got more interesting the closer we got to Cape Crawford and the only traffic this morning was bikes heading north.




The Heartbreak Hotel at Cape Crawford.


You get off the road for these guys.


Only 130km to go. We where starting to relax, bikes were coming and going, like minded people to talk to. The hamburgers looked good, we had plenty of time.
John had left the chargers for his video camera and phone at home and he had them sent forward to the Heartbreak Hotel for him to pickup. That was a week ago and they werenít here, probably be in on the mail truck on Wednesday the girl behind the bar said. Bugger we will be long gone by then. She offered to charge his phone for him if we wanted but she had to go home to get her charger. So we relaxed in the shade, it was warming up.
It was getting on towards three when we decided to leave the phone, pick it up on the way home, fuel up and get going.

Back on the dirt and still heading north.




I came around a corner and saw Johns bike up against a bank on a crazy angle but no John then I saw him running to a downed Tiger in a creek, with the rider caught underneath. I skid to a holt, kick the stand down.
Catch the bike, with one leg in the air as the side stand folds up. Put it in gear, put the side stand back down and get off, to run down to help John lift the Tiger.

ďThanks guys, got to goĒ he thanked us. ďGot to get back to the Heartbreak, get a ute to pick up my mate and his bike. He has concussion.Ē
ďItís carnage back there; the track into Lorella is hell. Broken bikes and riders, deep deep sand and people are turning back.Ē
He was off.

At another dry sandy creek crossing. I meet at semi coming the other way. I was committed and so was he. If he stoped he wasnít going to get going again and I was in his way. I got out of the wheel tracks into the deep sand and got the power on as I watched the tri-axle trailer get closer and closer. I remember thinking this was not the time or place to come off, those wheels where getting close.
Sorry no photoís, I was a bit busy, in fact I didnít take many pictures at all today.

At the turn off into Lorella Springs there was another group of bikes stoped. Some where waiting for companions, and others where heading back to Cape Crawford. The track was to hard, they said. But it was only 30 km to go. Thereís a long sand stretch about a kilometre in they said. It was blocked, bikes down, someone injured waiting for a 4wd to collect him.

Off we went, got into the soft stuff and both of us came off, we could see a group of bikes and a 4wd further up.
Dust ourselves off, pick the bikes up and get going. This sand was really torn up, bike tracks where going everywhere and every one of them was trying to send you in a deferent direction. I came off again trapping my foot under the pannier and twisting my knee. It was getting hot. Iím glad I had topped up with water back there, I wasnít going too, we didnít have far to go, remember.

The 4wd and bikes got going just before we got to them, clearing the way. We where both paddling the sand, hot dry work. The road improved for a hundred yards or two, then turning into soft sand again, another small stretch of reasonable track and back into sand. I was riding this all wrong, and I knew it, but I couldnít do anything about it. My head wasnít working. The heat was getting to me and my water just didnít seem to quench the thirst. It was slow going.


It was getting late, the shadows where making it hard to read the track. I came off again, trapping my other foot under the pannier, twisting that knee badly. I was trapped. My knee was burning. I yelled for John to help but he was too far back. I reached around and flicked the Andy straps off, dragged my bag and tent off the bike, I was still trapped. My knee was killing me.

More coming!

12-09-2008, 11:45 AM
Thank goodness John was behind and not ahead of you! If he was alright, he'll be catching up with you soon.....?
Hope, your knee has somewhat recovered since!?

16-09-2008, 09:35 PM
Hi Dave,

great pics!:glu:glu:glu
Big impressions!:clap::clap::clap:

Thank you very much for sharing it with us!:tu

Best greatings from good old Germany!

17-09-2008, 11:12 AM
Hey mate

Just caught up with this story...rather, just back from the Cape....maaaan, what a yarn!!!

Deep sand's a BITCH, innit? :whistle:

Know exactly how you felt...."only" 30k's to target....and all of a sudden a lousy 100m feel like a day's work, the sun pelting down, sweat running in rivers, drying out in no-time flat, tongue pelty...the Camelbak sucked dry in a flash....and still 29k's to go....and the bloody bike has a mind of it's own!!

Who had this fuggen idea of using THAT road?
I'll KILL the bastrd....if I can still stand up....

Please, please...keep it coming!!!!!!!!!!:clap::clap::clap::clap::clap:

P.S. NOW you know! You NEED a WTF650, 100kg less than the Pig :so

17-09-2008, 08:06 PM
Hey mate

Just caught up with this story...rather, just back from the Cape....maaaan, what a yarn!!!

Deep sand's a BITCH, innit? :whistle:

Know exactly how you felt...."only" 30k's to target....and all of a sudden a lousy 100m feel like a day's work, the sun pelting down, sweat running in rivers, drying out in no-time flat, tongue pelty...the Camelbak sucked dry in a flash....and still 29k's to go....and the bloody bike has a mind of it's own!!

Who had this fuggen idea of using THAT road?
I'll KILL the bastrd....if I can still stand up....

Please, please...keep it coming!!!!!!!!!!:clap::clap::clap::clap::clap:

P.S. NOW you know! You NEED a WTF650, 100kg less than the Pig :so

Don't remind me, that's it exactly. :doh:
You want me to finish this or not? :eek:

17-09-2008, 08:35 PM
Sorry about the delay, things to do and all that. I did promise to take the Trumpy pilot away for the weekend when I got back. Sheís been keeping me honest. Besides Iíve pulled the forks out of the Thunderbird to replace the fork seals, I donít think sheís noticed yet

Yeh, John came along, taking his time, enjoying the scenery. Well he did admit that the sand had twisted him around, spat him off the track and up a small bank. He hadnít come off only because the bike couldnít fall over, he had to extract himself from between a couple of trees. Apparently that didnít count as an off.
My knee did feel a lot better with out being pinned under the 300 odd kilograms of GS. I was hobbling around and a suggested was heard, lets camp. There was someone just down the track pitching his tent so I grabbed a bag and hobbled down there and asked if he would like some company?

Pete, was stuck there because a wheel bearing had failed and destroyed his rear hub on his 950 KTM. I hobbled around, pitching camp, trying to but failing to get my share of the firewood. Sitting around the campfire I realised, I recognised some stuff that Pete was saying. I know, I followed his ride report a couple of years ago http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116544 while he rode around the country and had fun while the rest of us worked. The mongrel, but he did keep me entertained for many nights with his words and pictures, besides he was kind enough to ride my GS into camp from up the road where I had left it, a real gentleman and a great man to have around a camp fire.
The next morning we packed up, Pete was waiting on a mate that was trying to get him and his bike transport into Lorrela only 15km away. I was in no hurry as my knee was no better, I could hobble around but couldnít put any side pressure on it and I know I wouldnít be able hold the bike up. We pulled the wheel out of the KTM, well John and Pete did, to see if anything could be done.


Didnít look good.

Up the road heading out of Lorella, came a couple of bikes riding side by side at speed keeping out of each others dust. Seeing blokes ride sand like that was enough to make you sick. They pulled up and asked if it was one of us that was looking for some KTM wheel bearings. He fished around in his toolbox for a moment and threw Pete a packet with 3 wheel bearings, ďtheyíre for a 640Ē he said, ďsee if you can get one to fit.Ē And they where off, side by side.
Now lets have a look at this, but there was nothing left of the hub to hold the bearing.

HumanOne photos
The day was heating up and I didnít want to end up as buggered as I was yesterday so we had to make a move. Pete was waiting for a ride into Lorella, we had better keep going.

17-09-2008, 10:34 PM
Bloody hell.......what a palava ! ! ! !

Im shiting me daks just reading this.

I love these reports, makes my woods point in the snow seem so piss easy ! ! !

I want to do this one day http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=379786

Five dessert ride, all in one trip.
Did you cross any of these farawayman ?

I want to do the ride you have just done on the KLR's.
But i dont think I have the navigational skills and my collection of trip gear probably would be inadequate .
Im not to good with the mechanical fixing yet and wouldnt know what to do if something happend ......call RACV ?:rolleyes: Eh NO ! ! ! !

NExt bit ?

18-09-2008, 09:22 AM
This is looking grim and grimmer, mate....:bang:

HATE the looks of that chewed out KTM hub...nasty, especially when stuck near Arsehole-East.
(Somehow makes me feel better that I replaced the rear wheel bearings on the postie in Cairns before we took off to the Cape, though)

18-09-2008, 09:24 AM
You want me to finish this or not? :eek:

If you don't, we'll sent you back there and give you another bung knee for the start :bs:lollol:

18-09-2008, 11:03 AM
If you don't, we'll sent you back there and give you another bung knee for the start :bs:lollol:

Alright then, I'll get right on it :lollol:

We had just headed off when a 1200 Bandit sidecar came the other way with a pillion perched up on the coffin like box, mounted to the side of the bike. How are they going to fit that 950 up on that thing I thought, but then as it scooted past, I noticed a wheel wedged into a jerry can holder.
I was not riding right, my confidence was gone, every time I came to a bit of sand I wanted to sit down and get my feet out. Not only that, I wanted to slow down and that made riding sand more unstable, my knee reminded me that coming off could hurt. I knew I had to get up on the pegs, shift my weight back if the front wheel started to bog and keep the power on but the body wasnít doing what I knew I had to do. In a couple of km the invariable off, that I knew that was coming, happened. Same side, catching the same foot under the same pannier twisting the same knee and Iím trapped again. My knee felt like it was exploding I fought it, rolling this way then that, pulling then pushing and pulling again and the sand loosened itís grip and I was free again. John helped me up after a few minuets and somehow we both got the bike up, I wasnít much help. The problem was, I couldnít get my foot over the saddle. I went around the other side of the bike but my leg wouldnít take my weight for me to climb on. This wasnít looking good.

The side car came back, Slab, the pilot, what a gentleman, sized the situation up, grabbed my tent and dry bag, threw them in his side box and told me to stay put, he would be back to get me. I asked about the wheel for Pete, no it didnít fit. He was going to put his wheel back on with his new bearing and ride it in. I found some shade to wait in and in a little while a KTM came along, it was Pete, gave me the thumbs up and shot past, he was not stopping for nobody.
Slab returned, put a strap around the coffin for me to hang onto and we were off with me perched on top, with only a thin strap to hang onto. I think I would have rathered my first experience in a sidecar on a smooth road and preferably an outfit that had a real chair for me to sit in, something solid for me to hang onto and some fairing around me would be good with a pilot that was sedate you know, the ones, that donít take any risks. But this one was saving my ass so I wasnít complaining besides by the time we got into Lorrela, I was quite enjoying the ride. Slab promptly found someone skilled in the black art of riding GSís through sand and they headed off to get my bike. Next time we meet Slab, you can tell me how you got your nickname, they told me it stood for Short Little Angry Bastard, I just donít see it, your one in a million mate.

18-09-2008, 11:26 AM
Bloody hell.......what a palava ! ! ! !

I want to do this one day http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=379786

Five dessert ride, all in one trip.
Did you cross any of these farawayman ?

No mate, Australia is a bloody big place and you don't relies how big until you get out into some of that back country.

I want to do the ride you have just done on the KLR's.
But i dont think I have the navigational skills and my collection of trip gear probably would be inadequate .
Im not to good with the mechanical fixing yet and wouldnt know what to do if something happend ......call RACV ?:rolleyes: Eh NO ! ! ! !

NExt bit ?

The KLR is not a bad choice Stookie, the important thing to remember with your gear is, not to take to much of it. I posted some home from Mt Isa because I had to much.
Sand is a deferent animal to ride in, before you go on your big trip, go find some to practice in. This was my first time riding in sand.
And start servicing your own bike, learn how things go together, it will help when things start to go wrong.

18-09-2008, 09:24 PM
Lorrela Springs, what a great place, hot springs to soak in, green, grassy, hot springs, remote, shady, hot springs, 150 bikes of all sorts including a XX Blackbird, :eek: likeminded people, did I mention the hot springs?
I found John holding the bar up, he handed me a drink and I suggested we find a bit of dirt and put a claim on it and put up a tent or two. I wasn’t sure he was going to be up to it in a little while. I wanted to find out what that water was like and it didn’t take long, it was magnificent.






It was time for a day off to relax and recover and that hot pool was the best thing for my knee. We all spent hours in that pool a lot of laughs were had and a lot of cans where sunk and I was glad the little creek was flowing well, because well, I didn’t see many getting out other than someone being sent to bring an armload of cans back from the bar.
I talked to Tony, the guy who rode my GS into camp, about my set-up and if he had any suggestions. His only comment was to lift the handle bars up so you rode with a more of an attack position, ride with your elbows out he said. You have it set-up to be comfortable on the road and that doesn’t give you the control you need in the sand, he advised. I was up early the next morning adjusting bars.
Over breakfast, John and I talked about what could be done with Pete’s bearing and rear wheel. John had some Devcon plastic steel epoxy that he had used to repair his petrol tank on his Guzzy on another trip, and he was convinced it would get Pete going again, at least get him out of here.

There was repairs on bikes going on all over the camp. A BMW 1200R was getting a sump repaired, a R 100GS had the tank off getting sealed up. A F 650GS was getting a clutch cover repair, and the KTM 640 that hit him was getting roped to a bulbar of a 4wd because his triple clamp was smashed. That was his only way out of there. Sidecar owners were crawling over their outfits checking and tightening. Pete had been on the phone looking for another wheel he even offered a chopper pilot $1500.00 to fly him and his wheel to Katherine but he needed that much again to get the chopper back again. Pete had to start a new job the next week and he had to be home.
If you need any tools, ask a sidecar owner. I saw Pete and John with a hacksaw heading over to the dump behind the homestead. They had found an old bed with some tube the right size for a spacer and with a bit of filing the axel will fit through. A couple of hours later that wheel looked like this.


They left the devcon to set over night. The test was going to happen tomorrow.

20-09-2008, 12:13 PM
shift my weight back if the front wheel started to bog and keep the power on
Try THAT on a postie with it's 7.5hp and ALL weight on the back already :lollol::lollol::lollol:

Slab returned, put a strap around the coffin for me to hang onto and we were off with me perched on top, with only a thin strap to hang onto.

JEEZAZ.... :bs:bs I'd L O V E to see a pic of THAT!!!

Goodonya Slab !!! :thumbs:

20-09-2008, 12:26 PM

They left the devcon to set over night. The test was going to happen tomorrow.

I just LOVE those bush-repairs...looks bloody good to me!

Devcon, eh?
Could get dicey, as the stuff has a fairly low temperature-ceiling....
The reason I like the Cyclo UltraWeld...made for exhaust systems and engine-blocks...temps above 400C are fine.
Like JB-Weld, which takes a lot longer to cure, though.

Keep it coming, mate....this is BRILLIANT stuff!!! :clap::clap::clap::clap:

20-09-2008, 01:37 PM
Keep it coming, mate....this is BRILLIANT stuff!!! :clap::clap::clap::clap:

I'm working on it, really :evil:
Just downloaded another 90 pictures and I haven't got home yet :eek:

20-09-2008, 06:27 PM
The day dawned bright and clear, I knew there would be a lot of riders trying to be the first out that sandy track and I didn’t want to be part of any carnage that may happen so we were in no hurry. Checked Pete’s wheel again, looking good, but the spacer he had cut was wrong so it was back to the tip.
Pete was sorted and out the gate, John and I threw the last of out bags on and it was time to go. My knee was still giving me problems but at least I had some movement back. The worry was I didn’t know how my knee was going to go on the bike and how I was going to go in the sand. Someone phoned from Cape Crawford to say they where all out of fuel. That meant we had a 400km stretch to get out to Daly Waters or we had to go 160 km the other way to Borroloola to get fuel and we still had a stretch of 400 km to Daly Waters. Luckily they had some fuel in drums at Lorella, which we had to measure before filling our tanks at a cost of $3.00 a litre.
Out the gate and into the sand, I was coping with it a lot better, having the bars higher had made a big deference, I was having the occasional moment where someone seemed to swear in my helmet but I was still upright. I even passed a few bikes, they were going too slow and I was more comfortable travelling a little faster although I did paddle out the longest and hardest stretch of sand. I had one off, I came across someone sprawled out across the track. I knew what that was like, stoped and gave him a hand up. He took off and I promptly went down where he had torn the track up. Too little speed and not enough time to get up on the pegs before all that torn up sand. There was a lonely bike by the track, it’s owner had been carted off with a broken clavicle. No sign of Pete that was a good sign.
Things improved on the track to Cape Crawford, a couple of creek crossings and small patches of sand. I waited for John just after one of the creek crossings. I had past these guys just up the track.



I saw John coming and put the camera away ready to go, but he decided it was time for a swim, helmet and all, at least he parked the bike on dry land. Sorry no picture but here he is trying to get the visor back onto the helmet. We had to tape it on.
John was worried about his rear tyre, it was bald and nearly 700km to the closest bike shop, so he had picked up someone else’s discarded tyre just incase he didn’t make it.



More photos of the track out.



Caught up with Pete at Cape Crawford and the hub was holding up well.
Time to head west to Daly Waters.






What a unlikely bunch of top blokes


20-09-2008, 07:46 PM
My view from my bed this morning. We had got the last room at Daly Waters and some guys rode in after dark so we offered them the spare beds in our room.




One of their bikes, he didn’t make it to the 2001 OCR because of a faceplant.


Goodbye Daly Waters





Newcastle Waters, this was dedicated to drovers.


My knee didn’t like being cramped up on the bike and seeing that Johns Dominator drank fuel and oil if he cruised over 100km/h, we travelled at deferent speeds. John would set off and I would walk around a bit to exercise my knee then pass him down the road, I would stop every now and then to stretch my leg then get going again. The GS had the advantage that I could stretch out my leg on the crash bars above the cylinder until I had to move it again. We would meet up a couple of times a day besides someone need to take advantage of Northern Territory’s 130km/h speed limits.


A memorial to John Flynn who started the Flying Doctors Service some riders heading to and from this years OCR had the need of their services.



One of the original telegraph stations that helped connect the rest of Australia with Darwin and the rest of the world in 1872.



I mention to John that I would like to see the Devils Marbles before dark. It was going to be a rush but we made it.






I did enjoy wondering around taking pictures as the light changed.







Then sneaked into Wauchope after dark


Our donga’s for the night.


Looks like we have to dress up tonight.


21-09-2008, 04:21 PM

Amongst many, this one's a "special" (to me, anyway)


Glad to hear the knee's holding up ok !!
Man, what a ride...:glu:glu:glu

22-09-2008, 12:26 PM
Camped out the back was a New Zealand couple that had taken a year off to travel Australia on KLRís, say hi to Roger and Jenny if you see them on the road. They are planning to be at the GP this October, pity Iím away.



The GS fits in anywhere . . .
Heavy Haulage


alright you donít need to say it


We crossed paths with Jenny and Roger over the next couple of days.




A nice EH Holden



The Tropic of Capricorn


I got to Alice Springs a bit ahead of John so I went in search of the motorcycle shops. John badly needed a tyre and a service and as I hadnít seen any KTM carnage on the road, I thought Pete may be in town. In Cape Crawford he hoped the hub would make it out the main highway heading south. At Daly Waters the plan was to make Alice Springs, there was a KTM dealer there and it was easy enough to fly home from there.

I asked at the KTM dealer and they hadnít see anyone in need of a new wheel. While there, a ute with an old Beemer on the back pulled in.
Hang on I know that bike??


Brian had hit a roo last night, they had decided to travel into the night to make Alice. He was ok, a bit sore and sorry, but ok.

John got his bike booked in for tomorrow for his tyre and service. I wanted to take my knee in for a consultation with a doctor. It wasnít getting any better, I was missing those hot springs at Lorrela. Looks like weíre having a day off tomorrow. Now all we needed was some accommodation close to town. The Todd Tavern was right in the middle of town, had somewhere for us to lock the bikes away, tonight was steak night with a all you can eat salad buffet, perfect.

22-09-2008, 09:19 PM
Why do doctors always roll their eyes when you tell them you fell off a bike?
Johnís bike has had itís service and a new tyre and weíre off. Doc told me I should do nothing and keep my leg up so I guess that meant up on the crash bar.
The highway was getting boring and I was starting to wish for dirt again.


I stoped somewhere or other that had a plaque to something or other.


Around the other side there was something I could read.






Tuned right and headed west. Something on the horizon.


Mt Conner


Got to Yulara in time to get our tents up and head out and see the sunset.



$25.00 to watch the sunset, a bloke should have bought a postcard in Alice. I suppose the government put the rock there and organised the sun to set.


The next morning we headed back out 240km before turning south again.

I found a tyre tree, I was hoping for TKC 80ís but it was not to be. None of the tyres had tread on them, mustnít be ripe yet.


Back past Mt Conner



Found the south end of a north bound train.




Water boreís windmills have been replaced by petrol or diesel pumps.


We stoped for the night at Marla, It was Saturday night and the only entertainment for the night was a bloke fell off his bar stool behind me. I asked him if he was ok, but I think he was still asleep. His mate came and got him and bundled him into his ute and he roared out into the night. Another good reason not to ride at night. He was back in10 minuets, to get his shoes, he had left them behind.

23-09-2008, 08:49 AM
The highway was getting boring and I was starting to wish for dirt again.

It gets like that pretty quickly, dunnit? :so:so

but I think he was still asleep. His mate came and got him and bundled him into his ute and he roared out into the night. He was back in 10 minuets, to get his shoes, he had left them behind.

:bs :bs That pretty much stands for the overall character of the place, I guess :thumbs:

Mate....this yarn is getting even better every day.
SCHWEET pics !!

23-09-2008, 01:46 PM
It was decision time. I wanted to head off through the Painted Desert to Oodnadatta down the track and come home through the Flinders Ranges. John had family opal mining at Andamooka he would like to visit. The thought was, we do the Painted Desert and Oodnadatta thing come down the Borefield Track to Roxby Downs and Andamooka. The problem was; time, my knee and the condition of the Painted Desert and Borefield tracks.
I spent some time on the phone trying to find out the track conditions. The Oodnadatta track was corrugated with some sand patches, that was ok. It is very hard getting good information on a track and itís suitability for a bike. We got some very conflicting information. We decided to slab down the highway, have a look at Coober Pedy and Woomera and spend a day at Andamooka. I got to leave something to see next time go through this way.

Coober Pedy







Someone suggested having a look at this underground church.






Lake Hart

Lunch stop


Woomera, they had some hardware lying around.







Ah, home for the next couple of nights.


Itís an old Woomera hut left behind after the atomic testing, someone shifted it out here. They told us the roof glowed in the dark but we were comfortable.


23-09-2008, 04:18 PM
The next morning we had a demonstration on polishing Opal. I must say looking back on it we had come across a whole town of rock lickers, apparently when your polishing stones you lick them. When your mining and you think there may be some colour in it you lick it. If your noodling around out in the sticks and pick up scraps you lick them. They all looked the same to me whether I licked them or not. All I seemed to get was grit in my teeth.



We went up to the laundromat to do some washing and while we were waiting walked up the main street and found some old huts that they used to live in.




And then went out to the claim/mine




Still looks like hard work


Tea break underground


Then you decorate the roof with your tea bag



These guys where nesting on the vertical wall of an open cut and for fun the guys would throw small bits of dirt into the nest. The gala’s were smart they would fly off some distance to find a tree and get a small twig with a few green leaves on it and use it as a broom to sweep out their nest, smarter than we give credit, I recon.








The next morning was a late start, we where in good company and John was polising a few bits that he had found yesterday
Sorry didn’t take many photos I was on the home run.
My most embarrassing moment of the whole trip was at Pimba we had stoped for fuel and meet some motorcycle cops escorting some large mine equipment heading for Roxby Downs. Seems they wasn’t allowed to ride their big white beemers for escort but had Magna police cars. They still wore their leathers though. Chatted for a few minutes until the truckies were ready to go. John headed south they went north, I wandered around the truck stop giving John a head start, went out to bike and promptly kicked the GS off the side stand if front of everybody, just didn’t get my leg high enough to go over the seat.

Meet a couple of house’s speeding up the road, down our way they cut them in half first. Not here everyone has to get off the road.


It got cold then green and then wet all of a sudden.



Spent the night at Gladstone and the next night in Ouyen. The only real stop was at the historic Overland Corner Hotel to warm up by their fire.






Got home before dark in the wet cold rain, should have stayed in Lorrela Springs. Hope I didn’t boor you to much.

PS. There was a message waiting from Pete when I logged on, Hi Dave
Be sure to let John know that his handywork got me safely home and at speed (got an infringement for 145kph near Kulgera)

I posted a few pics here see post 715:

http://tinyurl.com/3jlrx3 (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=254628&page=48)

I’m glad he took it easy :wow:

23-09-2008, 06:11 PM
i love people who take photos of absolutely everything :) makes it interesting. Im hopping to do a run like this when i get my blacks. is yours a GS650? thats what i was thinking of getting to do it.

23-09-2008, 11:36 PM
http://www.maximumbikes.com/forums/images/smilies/clap_1.gif...http://www.maximumbikes.com/forums/images/smilies/spoton.gif...enjoyed that!!...:chug:

24-09-2008, 06:58 AM
Back home again, eh?
It sucks, doesn't it....out there one gets a totally different perspective of things, time/ space/ the problems at hand, it all makes the rest of the world so....insignificant? Unimportant? Full of totally useless bullshit? Something along those lines...

Great to have you back in one piece :chug::chug:
....and a HUGE THANKS for posting up this thread, it's been an absolute standout!! :clap::clap::clap:

24-09-2008, 07:42 AM
....and a HUGE THANKS for posting up this thread, it's been an absolute standout!! :clap::clap::clap:

Yeah. Wot 'e sed.


24-09-2008, 08:51 PM
I've enjoyed reading your report immensely, Dave. The pics, especially from the Devil's Marbles, are outstanding. Got there just at the right time, eh? :thumbs:

I posted a few pics here:


Tried this link, but doesn't work. Could you please check, if it's correct?

Hope, your knee mends soon.

25-09-2008, 06:25 AM
Thanks for pointing that out Mock, (bloody long url's) I can't get them to work here. Check post No 715 at http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=254628&page=48

I've fixed up the original post to.

25-09-2008, 06:31 AM
i love people who take photos of absolutely everything :) makes it interesting. Im hopping to do a run like this when i get my blacks. is yours a GS650? thats what i was thinking of getting to do it.

It's a 1150 GS, FZX. A 650 would have been better in the sand but the 1150 is nice on the highway. One bike just doesn't do it all, I wonder if she will notice a DR parked in the garage?

25-09-2008, 12:44 PM
Love it! Thanks for sharing :)

25-09-2008, 07:29 PM
I wonder if she will notice a DR parked in the garage?

Do I smell something here?? :glu:glu
And as your garage is too small for 3 bikes, you're welcome to "park" it here :whistle::whistle:

....or trade 'em all in for a WTF650...the one that does it all :so:lollol:

Mate, the story and pics are even better the second read-around...once more, THANKS!
Starting "lap3"....

25-09-2008, 09:33 PM
Ok I have decided... I'm going on the next Off Center Run... I'll have to learn how to ride my bike good and proper by than...

10-10-2008, 04:33 AM
If there is another one of these runs then count me in. Im keen to go and able to deal with the roads just dont want to get lost :lol::lol:

15-10-2008, 08:10 AM
Great, looks like I will see at least a couple of Austourers at Milparinka on the second weekend of August 2010. :clap:

You can make it as hard or as easy as you like to get there start drooling on those maps. I am sure there will be a few good reports coming in then. Pete should have his postie going by then.

Thanks for reading and see you at Milparinka.