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250cc 14000km Round Australia

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by sjmho, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. Hi,
    I'm new to the forum :), and have only been riding for a bit over half a year.

    So I just spontaneously rode my Yamaha XT250 14000km around the Eastern Part of Australia for under $1500 AUD and thought I could share some advice and info with other adventure riders (I couldn't find much info). Started in Melbourne, went to Tassie, back to the mainland, across to Adelaide, up the Stuart Highway to Darwin, across to the East Coast, up to Cooktown then back down the East Coast. Planning to do the Western Half later. On the road for 5 1/2 weeks, had to come back for university.

    I think what is a bit different about my trip was I carried very little, slept next to my bike without a tent for most of the trip and did it during the unfavorable middle of Summer/middle of the Wet Season (up north). I also spent a fair bit of time walking off my bike too. Because of the huge variance in climates I had to keep finding solutions to things and maybe if I can share some of what I learnt I can save other people the trouble.

    I'll start off by saying Australia is hot, very hot. I carried 8 litres of water with me. So here are some of the things that I think would be helpful tips for hot/dry (desert) -
    1. Drink lots of water/carry lots of water (but also have salt/electrolytes with water)
    2. Pour water on yourself when you can (evaporates in like 5 minutes)
    3. Put Vaseline all over your face (its like a hair dryer in the desert blowing 24/7) and possibly in your nose too (my nose bled from the dry air)
    4. If you start feeling faint from the heat, try to find a place to stop (but there is very little shade in the desert).
    5. Carry spare fuel, if you don't have a designated container I found that plastic drink bottles work fine (just don't fill them to max/leave some space for expanding gas) - they don't melt.
    6. For small bikes like mine I found that the engine oil burnt up very quickly.

    For hot/humid (tropical)-
    1. Don't sleep outside (I did it too many times and it was very uncomfortable with the humidity and bugs) - its better to get a good night's sleep
    2. Wipe your helmet visor whenever you stop (the bugs in the tropical areas are insane)
    3. If you do sleep outside tuck in your clothes or be eaten alive. This means cover all your skin.
    4. When it rains it can be heavy but normally brief in nature. You're not going to be dry anyway due to humidity.
    5. Try not to ride at sunrise, sunset or at night - animals come out onto the roads at these times.

    For urban areas -
    1. Make sure all your belongings are locked (someone stole my drink bottle that wasn't locked) and carry the mission essentials with you.
    2. I never needed to use it, but when sleeping in urban areas I always had a small entrenching tool out just in case I needed to squash some "grubs". I also think its quite hard to sleep in urban areas with people lurking around at night.
    3. I would always hide my bike if I slept next to the highway, in between trees and put a camouflage tarp over it. This way no one needs to worry.

    For temperate/colder areas -
    1. The engine of the bike can provide warmth at night and help to dry your clothes
    2. I found that I didn't need a tent or sleeping bag because I just used my waterproof pants and jacket over a hoodie (most adventure riders I assume would carry a full rain proof set), this way I can get up quickly in the morning and move.
    3. Wind chill from riding is the main thing that will get you cold very quickly. Put on a windproof jacket - problem solved.

    The 250cc did fine for me even on highways. My main problem was that it wobbled when the wind got bad but it was manageable. Modifications were the barkbusters, bashplate, rear rack and an inverted milk crate which I used as my side frame. I want to show that it doesn't take that much to go on an adventure.

    Please feel free to ask any questions or provide comments.

    I have attached some photos, and if you are interested to see more you can follow my instagram - sjmho where I am planning to upload all of them.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

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  2. Great adventure there mate. Given you're a new rider, how many times did you come off?

    Oh - and for under $1500?? Seriously!!? I would have drunk $1500 worth of beer....you'll have to explain this one to me :)
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  3. Sounds like an awesome adventure, just a bit jealous :)
    How'd your tyres hold up after 14,000 kms? And what was your fuel bill?
  4. #4 sjmho, Feb 23, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016
    I'd done about 3000km round Melbourne before I left so I had a bit of experience but when you're thrown in the deep end you have to make do. Came off in Tassie going round a gravel corner and dropped the bike near Uluru and in the water in the Daintree rainforest. Most of expenses on holidays come from accommodation so if you sleep next to the bike and stay with mates then its a very significant amount cheaper. I was spending around $10/day on food (I'm not a big eater but I did lose about 10kg) and didn't pay for any tourist activities, except the tasmania national park fee (all I can think of at the moment). I haven't included the Spirit of Tasmania ferry fee or the tyre change service in the $1500. Here's a pic of an average day's food (supplemented with dimsims at fuel stops and spoons of peanut butter) - (as I said though if you want to see all the photos please follow me on instagram - sjmhosjmho )

    Got the tyres changed actually in Darwin, they're 50/50 tyres so half offroad and onroad. They were modertately worn by the time I got there. Fuel was approximately $700, I'd get a good 250km out of 10 litres. In remote areas prices were as high as $1.40 (and I was buying the good stuff 95 RON minimum).
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  5. That's a very nice trip you have done there on a small budget ! And who ever took those photos certainly has got a good eye for photograpy and colours. Well done and thanks for the report and the tips for those who might follow.
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  6. Love the photos. And some good advice there. I always prefer a tent to sleeping out, but can see the advantage of not needing to put one up.
  7. That sounds like an amazing adventure, & fruechtelfruechtel is right whoever took the pics has a good eye
  8. Sorry I forgot to mention that I did the trip by myself. Should have included this in the title. So that means I took all the photos myself. I've got 100s more but I picked those 4 because they show the variation the best in climate - temperate/snow, desert, jungle/tropical and urban.

    I wasn't sure if it was legal to sleep beside the road. I just like to be able to get up and move. I have one of those sleeping mats that folds into a square so it fits perfectly on top of my milk crate rack. So I'd just fold that up, helmet, gloves on - go.
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  9. wow is all I can say :)
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  10. You sir, are a legend. Wow! Is all I can say. Amazing !
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  11. G'day sjmhosjmho, thanks for posting about your journey! It's a grand loop you've made. As others have said, your budget is very impressive for both the time and distance travelled. It reminds me of a thread on another forum by a Kiwi who spent approximately eighteen months on a Suzuki DR650 traversing the country like you have. I would really enjoy seeing some more of those photos... :]
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  12. Amazing stuff, you obviously have very good instincts
  13. Here's another pic at some big rock in the centre of the country. [​IMG]

    They're taking ages to upload to photobucket though (28megapixel photos), if you look on instagram or follow me on instagram account name - sjmho you can see much more photos with far more details. I'll be uploading at least a 100 onto instagram.

    Thanks all for the support : )
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  14. Ballsy going on your own in the bad season and as a noob! inspirational mate, well done!
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  15. I've got to ask - what camera are you taking along with you - full frame? I'll have a look on Instagram too, thanks.

    Edit: Your photos on Instagram are also great!
  16. a great read and what you did was amazing, well done.
  17. #17 AyeKay, Feb 23, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2016
    Take that Charlie and Ewan...

    With all due respect to C and E (I am re reading LWR for the 1000th time right now) - but sjmho is next level!
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  18. Amazing trip mate, very inspirational and ballsy.
    Just curious, where that first pic was taken? Surprised theres still snow about at this time of year.
  19. Thank you sjmho. You are an inspiration to all. I'm at the opposite end of life's journey via motorcycle. I'm still riding after 45 years on the road and still only dream of doing what you have done in 6 months. I'll go and have a look at your other superb photos .Maybe then I'll find myself a milk crate and head off.
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  20. Used a Samsung mirrorless camera, had that in a pelican case in my backpack with a small tripod. If you keep following the instagram I'll be uploading a photo a day.

    Cradle Mountain in Tasmania. It wasn't snow covered but I was surprised to find that there was snow.

    Thanks for the support
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