View Full Version : Some ride photos from around Townsville, Queensland

24-04-2006, 02:41 PM
Hi guys,

Allow me to introduce myself, I live in Townsville, North Queensland. I currently ride a R1200GS and my mrs has a KLE500. We have both owned a variety of road bikes in the past, but in the past 12 months I have discovered the joys of touring. When I feel the need for speed I still compete ni the NQ and FNQ Road Race Cmapionships on my trusty ZXR400RR-SP.

Just discovered the site, and I love it!! Were planning an around Australia trip for October, and within 5 mintues of looking at this site I have found so many great photos and recommendations of places I plan to visit. When I have a little bit more time I will run a route by you guys and see what you reckon. This weekend I am actually going to jump on the bike and follow a route I have in the GPS to Brisbane and back, to attend a mates bucks party. I could have flown, but the bike will be much more entertaining and a much needed getaway.

I will endeavour to keep you guys up to date with ride reports, but in the meantime, here are some shots from some rides I have done around here in the last year or so.

I hope you enjoy.

First up a popular Sunday spot, Paluma Dam, which is in the southernmost part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. The dam is usually pretty empty and this photo is no exception. ABout 20km of twisty single lane bitumen range then another 30 or so of dirt. This photo was also Melissas (the Mrs) first ride on her new bike.

Another photo of the Melissa on the KLE

Another dam photo, this time the Burdekin Dam, the largest in QLD, about 200km south west of my place. When it is not flooding you can ride across the bottom of the dam and get down to Brisbane really quickly across about 1400km of dirt.

Melissa riding across the dam wall.

Here's a shot of me at Blencoe Falls, in the Savanna country. This is a great spot to ride to as to get there you have to go up a very steep rainforest range for 60km or so. Good mix of sand, mud, gravel and water.

And there is some nice camping up there too. This photo shows Thomas, my mate from Norway, packing up his gear. It's usually a lot colder up here than down on the coast, hence the early morning fog in this photo.

Bear with me only a few more snaps.....

Directly west of where I live it is pretty dry, but it is still nice country with some awesome rivers when there is water. But usually it is very dry.



And last but not least, I believe this is a photo of me a year or so ago, on the day I got my new bike, trying my hardest to try out for the BMW catalogue.

24-04-2006, 02:44 PM
Here are a few more shots of North Queensland for you perusal.

Here's a shot of me at the base of the Kirrama Range, preparing to climb through the rainforest up to Blencoe Falls.


This road winds up through the rainforest and in a few spots you have to ride under waterfalls. This shot was taken in the dry season, but in the wet season it absolutely rages across the entire width of the track.


An attempt of an arty BMW shot up at the falls. There is a small camp at the spot where this shot was taken, it its at the head of a big gorge with the falls on one side and the gorge on the other. A very pleasant spot.


Stopping for a break in the rainforest near Mt Fox (about 100km north of my place)


Melissa and I getting fuel at the historic post office at Ravenswood. This town was a big gold rush town in the 1800's now there is next to nothing there but some impressive historic buildings. The pub does an awesome lunch as is a great spot to sink some beers. Scorching hot in summer and freezing in winter.


Me standing where the bitumen ends on the road north west. This spot is at the top of a range in dense eucalypt forest. Pretty to look at but man the road is slippery.


My mate Tristain getting bogged on his ancient Tengai while goofing off in the sand. I wisely opted to laugh and take photos instead of helping him get his bike out.


In the course of my work (I am a wildlife ranger for Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service) I get to go to many cool places, including Cape York Peninsula. This shot was taken in the early morning on a river in Lakefield National Park. Looks pleasant, but DO NOT enter the water. It is full of crocodiles. There have been numerous fatalities over the years in this area. One of my jobs is to survey the populations of crocs, and believe me this area is absolutely packed with them.


Photo of a typical Cape York / outback road. Looks easy enough, but it is covered in a layer of dust that varies from 10cm to 40cm deep. The problem is that it is impossible to tell where the deep patches are. Hit this bulldust on a bike and it is very bad news.


24-04-2006, 02:46 PM
Leon welcome aboard

oh the joys of a Red 1200GS :)

whats the KLE 500 like, it looks like a nice light weight throw about the bush?


24-04-2006, 02:59 PM
whats the KLE 500 like, it looks like a nice light weight throw about the bush?


Marty the bike is great! :)

I bought the KLE 500 for my Mrs so she can accompany me on rides. She is moving over to DS bikes from years of street bikes, so it seemed like a nice transition bike. It was really cheap new (less than a KLR) and suits perfectly what she wants to do. The thing is that where I live, there is a minimum of 80km bitumen before you hit any dirt, and we often do big tours (1500km) over a weekend, a lot of which is on bitumen. She is also quite short, and so we lowered it by making some new links,dropping the forks though the triple clamp, and cutting a bit out of the seat.

As a road bike it is not bad, with surpisingly excellent wind protection from the little screen fairing thingy. It seems to handle well too with the forks dropped through a little bit further than the rear. On the road the motor couldn't pull a band aid off a hairy leg, but off road it seems to work fine. The high gearing is kind of good for Melissa as the bike does not spin up as easily, and she is still learning off road.

In the dirt I must admit I thought the bike would be a real pus barge, but with the 21" front wheel and KLR suspension it does go well. I needed to add a fair bit of air to the front forks (about 10psi) and wind up the back a bit, but it seems to roll over the bumps and sand very nicely. Not an enduro bike by any stretch of the imagination, but still very competent for dirt touring. It can even carry a fair bit of gear on the rack. The styling is "interesting" mix of old and new, but I must say it looks pretty nice out on the road.

One thing that really surprised me is the fuel consumption. Melissa is getting about 5L/100km everywhere. Dirt, highway, twisties, so the range is not unreasonable as a tourer. I reckon it is a really nice cheap versatile little bike.

I lowered the seat height of the bike by a total of 65mm. I fabricated new rear suspension linkages and dropped the forks though the triple clamp, which lowered the suspension by 35mm, and I cut 30mm out of the seat and recovered it using the original seat cover, so the bike still looks totally original. I could have lowered the suspension a fair bit further (another 30-40mm perhaps) and cut the seat out further (another 10-20mm maybe), but I preferred to take a bit out of each, just in case further adjustment was needed. I ended up backing off the suspension a bit as Melissa only weighs 53kg. The biggest drama was I had to make 4 sidestands before I finally got one at the correct length and angle. The bike handles well still, perhaps even a little better on the bitumen, it looks original still, and the seat is still comfortable for my 78kg.

I recommend the KLE to anyone who wants an entry level dirt tourer. It's cheap, effective, looks good and comes with new bike warranty, all for $8,000! 8)

24-04-2006, 04:06 PM
Welcome to both of you !!
What an entry !!
Those pics are sweet, just keep 'em coming. Nice part of the world, too.
Hope, you'll find something useful around here and perhaps we'll hear something from Melissa as well.

Btw., how'd you pluck us out of cyberspace?

24-04-2006, 09:50 PM
Leon welcome aboard

oh the joys of a Red 1200GS :)

Ahh.. yes.. the joys of a red 1200GS....

This is the one I borrowed from a BMW dealer for a day just after I picked it up out of the mud.... they do crash well :D


25-04-2006, 12:36 PM
Ah yes - my red 1200GS has a penchant for getting tired and needing a lie down also! :oops:


26-04-2006, 10:34 AM

Btw., how'd you pluck us out of cyberspace?

I was surfing the intertron at work, was bored out of my head so looked through some old ADVrider posts, found a link to this site.

This site is about 15,000 times better than ADVrider. As soon as you post anything you get about 20 repsonses saying "Why did you buy a (brand x) they are crap, you should have bought a (brand y)". That sort of USA brand one-upmanship gets very tiring very quickly :wink:

26-04-2006, 10:58 AM
This site is about 15,000 times better than ADVrider. As soon as you post anything you get about 20 repsonses saying "Why did you buy a (brand x) they are crap, you should have bought a (brand y)". That sort of USA brand one-upmanship gets very tiring very quickly :wink:

Wooot...none of it around here?
Easy fixed...

Why'd you by a BM? They're crap, you shoulda bought a ......Dnjpr outfit !!! :P :P :P :P

26-04-2006, 06:32 PM
Noice work bloke!!

Top photo's, top first post!!