Hi all, I'm planning on doing a trip either from Bunbury to Mackay or Mackay to Bunbury...possibly even both. This will be my first ever touring ride. Im not a newbie to bikes or riding, but ive never endured more than 5hours of seat time in a day. and ive never tackled a multiple day trip either . i will be trying to cover atleast 7-800ks per day, but there is no rush- so maybe less if the scenery is good. First off, I'm planning on going SOLO and im still unsure as to whether its a sane idea to venture off the tarmac given its my first ever tour. So feel free to chime in with a vote of safe or suicidal for that one... The next problem i face is choosing a bike that will be comfortable and im 6'6...so no sports bike allowed. Im trying to keep the cost down for the purchase price of the bike, which is extremely limiting in itself. im trying to stay at around $3500 with a little wriggle/haggle room. so far my viable options are: 1999 honda xl1000v varadero. private sale, one owner, 65,000ks, just had major service $3500 2002 bmw k1200rs. dealership sale, 142,000ks, just had major service + new tyres $3900 1998 honda st1100. private sale, 95,000ks, ex police bike (probably maintained correctly), recent oil+filter change $3250 1992 yamaha fj1200. private sale, 64,000ks, log book history, great condition $3000 im imagining that the last 3 will be pretty limited to the black top... If you have any other suggestions feel free to chime in. comfort is a must. a nice upright seating position (ill be taking a kidney belt regardless) plenty of wind protection, and availability of pannier bags or atleast a top box. Im undecided on whether to go north coast, south coast...or split the difference and cut across the middle. ill be going mid-late october. any suggestions from those with previous experience? Im leaning toward staying on the tarmac and tavelling light, which means stopping at motels. which brings me to my next concern. are the rooms along the road plentiful and readily available, or are they scarce and require booking in advance? What are the towns to avoid stopping in, whether it be for fuel or rest? and what are the towns that are the most common to stop or have points of interest. any input will be taken onboard and greatly appreciated, please dont flame me as im new to this, im sorry if this has been covered before...if it has, please point me in the direction of where and i will read up some more.