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Old 01-12-2015, 10:17 AM   #1
John & Johnny
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Default Around Australia with 8yo son


Border Village SA/WA

In 1996 my oldest son, Trevor, was 8 years old and we rode around Australia on my BMW R1100RT.

In the '70s I saw a movie called Stork, where Bruce Spence said "One day I'm gunna do Australia on a bike!". This phase stuck with me and I set myself the task of doing just that.
My 1st attempt on a BMW R100RS failed as the bike (and us!) got too hot. After buying the newer model, we set off again in June which is Winter in Australia. You can see in the above photo that the bike was 'fully loaded' with sleeping bags, tent, air mattress. battery powered air pump, clothes and even pegs for the washing!
We had no particular schedule or timetable, just the desire to get around as soon as possible to minimize the number of school days lost and to go clockwise.
I will post some more pics and try to add some stories as I go....if my memory serves me correctly.
1996 is a long time ago, but this was the adventure of a lifetime and I'm sure most of the memories will come flooding back as I go over these photos.

Last edited by John & Johnny; 02-01-2016 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 01-12-2015, 12:42 PM   #2
Williamson
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Default Re: Around Australia with 8yo son

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Originally Posted by Johnny Meccano View Post


In 1996 my oldest son, Trevor, was 8 years old and we rode around Australia on my BMW R1100RT....

A very lucky young fella.
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Old 01-12-2015, 02:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Around Australia with 8yo son

I think I'd call that more than lucky....I wouldn't' have slept for years nor be able to sit still for the rest of my life.
What a hell of an adventure!!
8 years old....and doing a lap of Oz, OMG!

I bet there's a whole bucket of yarns attached to this.
Looking forward to this...and we all know "good things take time".
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Old 02-12-2015, 10:22 AM   #4
John & Johnny
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Default Re: Around Australia with 8yo son



The new R1100RT came with a radio/cassette player which was a bit of a novelty. I say novelty because you couldn't actually hear it while you were riding. I thought of wiring up some headphone speakers into the helmets but for the trip around Australia I really needed to be able to talk with my son so I bought a commercial unit made especially for motorcycles. What a piece of rubbish! The vox system caused the music to cut out every time there was a gust of wind, or cough, and it was flimsy and unreliable. It broke the day after I bought it.
Now I have played with Meccano and electronics since I was a little boy, so I figured I could build something better suited to our needs. First, I bought some top of the range Sennheiser headphones and put them in the helmets. Remember my phone was the size of a brick and there was no such thing as bluetooth at the time. The answer was to simplify things using a switch. If the switch was up, you heard the stereo, flick it down and you could talk to each other. The curly cables were 8 core computer keyboard cables with RJ45 connectors crimped on each end. Inside the little black box with the switch on my helmet was an amplifier that I built from a Silicon Chip magazine circuit. If Trevor wanted to talk to me he just flicked the switch down. There is a volume control on the front of the box. The RJ45 connectors are very reliable and my home made system still works perfectly after all this time!
So on a cold June morning we headed off and got as far as Keith near the SA border. Day 2 we arrived at the Big 4 caravan park on the beach near Adelaide airport and set up the tent. There was a kiosk that sold a large range of drinks so I bought 2 cans of non alcoholic beer (one for me and one for Trevor) and sat on the grass looking at the stars, watching the occasional jet fly over and enjoying a very special time with my son. I never did tell him it was non alcoholic beer.....
Next morning we headed off to Port Augusta.

Edit. Just remembered, I cut my long hair off in Keith and mailed it home to my wife! Lol! What a mess I made with cheap scissors and Trevor helping. Luckily the hairdressers was still open and they just laughed and said the only way to fix it was to buzz me with a number 1.
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Old 02-12-2015, 06:39 PM   #5
Williamson
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Default Re: Around Australia with 8yo son

Good yarn, keep it coming.

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.... I never did tell him it was non alcoholic beer....
And he still does not know, unless he reads it on AusTouring.
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