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Old 11-01-2013, 06:59 PM   #16
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Mt Martha, Victoria
Posts: 229
Default Re: Grampians - a noob meets sand

Great read. Another for the bucket list for sure.

I'd rather be riding!
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:33 PM   #17
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Redcliffe, QLD
Posts: 787
Default Re: Grampians - a noob meets sand

Originally Posted by Pato View Post
Hi all,

I'll throw in my 2c worth (that's probably all it's worth).
I also am a complete noob on adv bikes, I bought a Strom with plans to get into the touring thing and the 1st trip was 3 weeks to central Aus and back.
Our plan was to do the Oodnadatta track on the way home and since I hadn't done any sand at all before I asked lots of questions of lots of people
I got lots of different advice.
So I took the opportunity to ride as many little dirt bits as I could find as a way of testing things out. I found that road pressure was ok on dirt roads but struggled when I got to the sand. We had a quick squirt down the West Aust rd that runs from the back of Ayers Rock, very corrugated and deep sand. At full road pressure but with the bike unloaded I struggled big time and ended up parked in a sand bank That's ok no damage done. Why I ended up there was because I was fiddling around to try and see what worked and what didn't, people now tell me that wasn't a very good idea.
We decided to go along the Larapinta way (200km corrugated dirt/sand) from Kings canyon to Hermannsberg. We let the tires down to 26psi before leaving and rode slowly (80kmh max) until we hit the dirt. The road surface ranged from hard dirt/stones and corrugations in hard dirt/rocks to soft sand and corrugations in soft sand. The sand was generally in patches of varying length, what seemed to work for me was to slow as I saw a patch of sand coming up then stand on the pegs, pick a point past the sand to focus on and accelerate through the sandy patch. This worked well for about 180kms and I was really starting to think I had the idea until I came to the sandy patch that had no far side
Turns out I made it most of the way through before the bike decided it wanted to have a little lie down.

So as I said I'm not sure what my experience counts for but the tire pressure really did seem to make a big difference to the stability of the bike in the sandy bits and even though I hit some mighty big rocks and holes the rims were about the only part of the bike that wasn't dented

Have fun, Pato
I tried that road recently on my trip, but from the Hermannsberg end, went maybe 2 ks before I turned around deciding that 200ks of probably the most crappest road that I have ever seen was far too much for me to handle, specially with the heat at the time too. Ended up going to Glen Helen resort instead.
But yeah, weight back and power on for sand works for me.
Cheers brian
I used to be indecisive, but now I am not so sure.

Yeah, hell, why not! " Glitch 2013
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:38 PM   #18
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Woori Yallock
Posts: 35
Default Re: Grampians - a noob meets sand

Hi Brian,

I saw that in your ride report, I recon that if I'd come onto it from that end I probably wouldn't have kept going either. From the other end it sort of sucks you in cause it starts out easy as and then gradually gets trickier

I loved the ride report that was a fantastic trip.

I pick up my new bike in the morning so I can start getting out and about again

Have fun, Pato
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Old 29-01-2013, 10:45 PM   #19
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Mad-ilade
Posts: 75
Default Re: Grampians - a noob meets sand

Great..just great! I need to go to sleep but I cant shake that feeling of riding the tracks in the grampians.
It must be time for a camping trip!
thanks for the ride report :-D
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