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Another Australian Crossing via the scenic route

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' at netrider.net.au started by redviffer, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. I've been meaning to post this for a long time but just never got around to it. I rode this ride just prior to Christmas but never got around to posting the pictures. I won't harp on about my experience here as there are plenty of people who have done this journey before including myself which I posted here last time I did it on a ZX-14. This time around I was far more comfortable because I did it on the VFR 800. I'm not claiming its a superior bike to the ZX-14, i think they are pretty much on par with each other but are very, very different machines. In speed and power the 14 has it over the 800 but the VFR definitely has it over the 14 in the comfort stakes.

    The route went from Canberra to Perth via Tumut, Kiandra, Albury, Narbethong, Marysville (prior to the fires), Reefton, Melbourne, The GREAT!!! Ocean Road, Mount Gambier, Adelaide, Port Wakefield, Port Agusta then straight through to the WA border and into Perth via the Great Eastern Highway in total 4636 km and then the same on the return run.

    On the way over I did the journey in about 5 days but day 4 I stopped 250km from Perth to meet up with the old man and others to ride home together on day 5.

    The return run was far more insane and I did it in 3 days with day 3 being a near 24 hour run in which I clocked up somewhere near the 2200km mark. I knew claiming that would cause a stir and some to be doubtful so I tried to make sure I took a pic of the GPS to prove it but after that ride I was too knackered to care and slept for a good few days after getting home.

    So in the end I don't have the proof on the GPS anymore and I'm not bringing this up to challenge the likes of Davo or anything but believe me on a VFR those sorts of distances are doable especially after managing 1700km in one day on the ZX-14 which was a painful ride in comparison.

    Anyway here are the pics of the journey for your viewing pleasure. After these trips I come away saying 'I'll never do it again' but then I look at the pictures of this amazing country and wish I was out there doing it every week, it really is a great country to ride across....

    Firstly the bike:

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    We're going to.......

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    Near Marsyville prior to the terrible fires

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    And then the rain came....

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    Ahhhh Nullarbor....

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    The Bight....

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    You know you've hit WA when you see this....

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    In Meredin with my Dad and friend to have a few before heading back to Perth on Day 5

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    The return run to Canberra with far less pictures taken....

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  2. WOW you have some awesome pics there! Had to laugh at the Boonie Doon one lol makes me want to watch The Castle again :)

    The bike looks great I must say, not that I am knowledgable on this YET but I know what I like ;)

    With scenes like that how can you not want to do it again? I am looking forward to geting up enough experience so that I can go on some grand adventure too.

    Lucy
     
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  3. great pictures. are there many decent petrol stations in nullabor with 95+ RON? how far were they stretched in between?
     
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  4. Thanks Lucy! Yeah the Bonnie Doon thing made me laugh, I wasn't even sure it really existed until I saw that and as i had no idea where it was or that I was going to run into it it sure gave me a humorous surprise.
     
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  5. Nullarbor is the only station at nullarbor. It pretty much exists just for that fuel station it would seem. Its also a pub and motel. By day the fuel stops are about 150-200km apart but by night a lot of them close and only some are 24hrs.

    Its best to ask which ones are which at every oppurtunity if you find yourself still riding at night as the distances tend to be about 300km between stations.

    I have nearly run out a few times but you can take a small 5 or 10L fuel caddy as back up. I also took a sleeping bag and a bivvy bag so that if I did get to a station and it was shut and I wasn't going to make it to the next station I'd just camp out until sunrise and then get fuel.

    Most had 95 but some didn't. Some had bio fuel 95 which I put in the ZX14 at the time and it worked fine. The VFR takes standard unleaded so I never had that problem. 95+ can cost a premium out that way because its so far from everything. About a year ago when I crossed the first time the most I paid for fuel was around $2 a litre. Lucky bikes are fairly economical.
     
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  6. I just want to know how you kept that bike SO UNBELIEVABLY CLEAN for that distance, over so many varied roads and conditions :shock:..

    You certainly enhance the VFR's reputation as the Swiss Army Knife of motorcycles.

    Stunning pics, too, top marks all round.
     
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  7. It was mostly cold, meaning bug free until I hit WA and anything that had accumulated was washed off in the rains that started in Adelaide and stayed with me until Nullarbor where it became bloody freezing!

    After WA though the bugs came in pretty thick and fast. My favourite trick though as far as cleanliness is to carry a spunge and when you finnish up for the night at a hotel is to soak the spunge and just spend 5 minutes dabbing down the paint to get the bugs off. That way they don't stay attached and eat through your paint work after a few days.
     
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  8. excellent crossing although you are mental riding on that 24hr stint... are you on a death wish?

    don't see many stories on riding through the centre of australia though...

    i plan to do one around the middle of this year!!!

    can't fkn wait!!! :grin:
     
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  9. thanks for the info
     
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  10. Fantastic photo's. That's some serious riding time :shock: Can't wait to see the nullarbor for real........
     
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  11. Thanks for posting this, I enjoyed reading / looking at it; made me envious! :)
     
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  12. Great write up and awesome pics :cool:

    Where's that last pic at??
     
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  13. nuts!
    good effort :grin:

    haha Paul beat me to it, you bike looks immaculate!
     
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  14. It was taken 5 minutes after the one before it near Port Campbell on the Great Ocean Road.
     
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  15. Having done that trip more than once , in your opinion would you have prefered doing it alone or with a bunch of people

    inspirational. Love the photos.
     
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  16. That’s a hard one to answer. I have never done the journey with someone else. I think its one of those things that is good to do either way.

    It would be nice to have company and take it slow but I think for me it would be hard to find anyone that would want to stick to my pace and rack up the number of k's I was pumping out day by day.

    Most people would want to take their time and see it all but after a few days I tend to just want to get there and finish the ride. That’s when I start pushing the limits and doing stupid amounts of kilometers like the 2000 plus k's this time and the 1700 k's on the ZX-14 last time.

    I think if I were to do a journey with other riders I'd make sure it was a really interesting ride through great roads and with plenty of coffee stops ie The Great Ocean Road. The Nullarbor is not something that would appeal to everyone; you have to be prepared to face hours and hours of straight featureless roads.

    That kind of isolation and loneliness can be therapeutic if you just want to get away from it all. I did at the time but on the return run of the second journey I craved good twisty roads after going through South Australia. On those long boring straights you have to find something to keep your mind entertained to stop you going insane. On the ZX-14 I found overtaking road trains in the quickest possible time was fantastic fun giving what that bike was capable of doing. On the VFR you don’t have that and have to set up mental challenges for yourself.

    I found moving around all over the road and buffering possible threats, trying to position for a random kangaroo coming out at any moment of the ride kept me thinking. People may think its suicidal to ride roads at night because of the Kangaroos but I found them more of a challenge and as a result I was hyper alert and never got tired, at least not mentally just physically. My biggest pushes were usually in the dark because you are only focusing on the road ahead of you and not the scenery passing by, which on stretches like the Nullarbor are completely uninteresting anyway.

    It may sound crazy but I even took to playing ‘dodge the insect’ by night just to keep my counter steering and reflexes up. I’d try and dodge the bugs before they flew in to the headlight in the hope that if I could dodge that I could dodge a Kangaroo. I can just imagine you all saying to yourself in Mr Miagi’s voice from the karate kid movie ‘Man who can dodge insect with motorbike can dodge anything’ :)

    Most of the time it didn’t work and my headlights still copped a fair spattering of insects but it does keep your reflexes tuned and ready and saved me from Kangaroos on more than one occasion. The obvious answer here is don’t ride at night but I just really enjoy it.

    If you have ever read any of Davo’s posts about long distance riding you will know that 10 minutes at a petrol stop is a long halt for him and every minute counts when trying to clock up the long distances. This would blow out if you were in a group as you would undoubtedly stop for a chat, have a coffee and so on. So in the end if you have very little time to do a journey you are better off doing it alone but if you have all the time in the world and want to take it easy a group ride will be a lot more fun.
     
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  17. Makes me envious! Me and my partner went Perth-Brisbane-Perth on our bikes in October last year and I still think every day about that trip. I wish that our finances would enable us to do it again - although we are starting to save up again as we plan on doing NZ at the end of next year - yay!!!! Thanks for posting the pics!
     
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  18. Amazing trip, and the VFR is one of my favourite bikes. The way it looks so regal, sporty, and tourish at the same time is great. amazing pictures.
     
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  20. I'm not sure of the total cost but I'll show you how it broke down roughly:

    -The Bike gets about 350km to a 22L tank cruising at 100-110km/h which costs roughly $30-40 to fill of standard unleaded.

    -Total distance was roughly 4600km x 2 = roughly 9200km

    -9200km divided by 350 = 26 roughly so therefore 26 x $30 for a tank of gas and you have roughly $780 in fuel.

    -Next, accommodation. I would spend between $60-100 a night on a motel or b & b so lets say for argument sake $80 x 5 nights = $400 then double of course for the return run. Conclusion, approx $800 for 10 nights accommodation.

    -Tyres- possibly one rear or maybe even a full set. After the great ocean road and all the other twisty stuff my original tires on the VFR were nearly shot and I had to do a changeover half way somewhere in SA. So perhaps $200-250 for a tyre for something decent. I went with Pilot Road 2's. I ended up replacing the front in Perth before I came back over to so all up that was another cost of about $450 for tires.

    I had just done the 1000km service before I left and had to do the 6000km service in Perth prior to coming back so there is another $220.

    As you can see it all adds up pretty quickly:

    Fuel - $780
    Accommodation - $800
    Tires - $450
    Service - $220
    Rough Total not including meals $2250

    Obviously there are ways to make this cheaper ie taking a swag and camping to save on accommodation, taking gas cookers and food to save on the cost of buying meals and perhaps even doing some of your own servicing on the bike.
     
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