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Big trip on a GS500 - Opinions please

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by eyeLikeCarrots, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. Well Hi All,

    Because the company who runs the Ghan sucks monkey balls and wont carry my bike, I have spent some more time reading blogs and things and I've decided on the following trip:


    I'm after opinions about doing this trip on my 05 GS500F.

    With me on there and enough gear for 3 days its fine for 6-7 hours a day, I'm taking into about another 20 kilos for a swag/tent and some other gear.

    I think its doable, anyone else care to offer an opioion ?

  2. Do it man, you'll love it!

    Did 10 days camping round tassie on a CX500 last year, your bike is more than capable, if you're worried about that.

    How many hours a day do you plan on riding, & how many days are planning for?
  3. Thanks for you comment MV.

    I was thinking of rounding it out to maybe a max of 600 to 700kms a day max.

    At this stage I am planning to do this over atleast 3 weeks and most likley 4 spanning the xmas period to take advantage of the shutdown days.

    I'm aware this means it will be stinking hot at times so I wont be in leathers for this trip, and I need to do some research to see how practical this idea is with holiday traffic (possibly not a factor once you hit the outback).

    Cheers mate
  4. Easily doable on a GS500... people have done it on postie bikes :)

    I'd suggest a couple of short trips with your gear on the bike to fine tune your packing first.
  5. eyeLikeCarrots,

    Mate, that looks like an AWESOME ride !!! Yes, definitely do this. Just sold my GS500F a couple of weeks ago, but always had plans to take it out on a massive ride similar to the one you've planned.
    I regret not taking it out for a big ride..but then again, it would've have much more than 1,700km on it when sold after a ride like this :LOL:

    Have a great time on your trip mate and make sure you take lots of pics - keep us posted !
    Enjoy a definite trip of a lifetime.
  6. Easy done on your bike! I'm planning a similar ride to Alice on my '78 SR500 with sidecar and 400 motor in the not too distant future, but starting from Melbourne, via Broken Hill. Your bike can easily handle it.

    One thing to consider - depending on the heat, wrapping yourself up in leathers can be a good thing on the bike, compared to hot wind on your skin. Last 45 degree day I did a big ride on, I soaked myself underneath and zipped and sealed everything up. Just drink a lot and make sure you're not in danger of running out. LIke others said, do a test run with the gear.
  7. thanks to everyone for the advice....

    mattb, when where you thinking of going ?
  8. Not sure - Autumn or Spring would be better, however I plan to do a bigger one late September (circum-navigate Vic if I have the time and $) so Autumn, which looks like the best time. I'm getting married in Jan and out of work come December so I can't say what I'll be doing around Christmas, but I really feel the call to do more of these sorts of rides, at the very least it seems like a silly waste of life and land not to!

    Have you bought your camping gear? I'm buying my stuff next payday: swag tent, plush self-inflating mattress, both of which wrap up into bnothing and weigh nothing (though the mattress is $200, compared to the tent's $100!). In general I'm going to camp at caravan parks, which usually charge around $20 a night, giving you a shower in the morning. Of course, the ideal would be to just stay in camp sites and bush, but...I don't fancy providing entertainment to the local bored bogans come pub closing time! :) What about you? (While one doesn't want to be silly about it, there are some real safety issues to be aware of on your trip. My home Nyah is the civilised border to these outer places and I'm speaking from the perspective of what goes on just north of there)
  9. Between Melbourne and Warrnambool, include the GOR in your ride. Seriously worth it.

    Also, between Cooma and the Cann River, there are several excellent alternative roads that would be awesome on a bike. Again, consider revising some of your route.

    Do what I did and get hold of a copy of Peter Thoeming's excellent Australian Motorcycle Atlas, fourth edition. You'll find a number of alternate routes that are still going your way, but recommended for motorcyclists. Worth every cent of the $40 asking price, especially when planning a big trip like this. It'll also double as your working map during the trip.

    Looks good, anyway. Hope you have a blast!
  10. You'll probably have more fun on that bike than a dedicated tourer. The fact that it is the F makes it a no-brainer.
  11. I've done 600-700km days on my GS500E without any dramas. With a fairing it should be a lot less tiring.

    Go for it
  12. yeah, just do it, man

    a couple of years ago a northern Netrider did Brisbane to cape york and back again on a Hornet 250!!!
  13. Okies

    So the idea has been

    Accepted by the Trip Steering commitiee (me).
    Initial bugdet planning is highly optomistic and I've been given the green light by the Finance commitiee (me).
    The Logistical Scoping study panel (me) has advised that is shouldn't require too much messing around.

    So there we go, time to start booking leave for later this year (time not yet determined)... but I'm going.

    I expect this trip to be annoying, hot, dry, dusty, uncomfortable and slightly dangerous. But I'm also open to the idea of it being liberating, exciting, mind expanding and enriching.

    Being a nerd and a compulsive amateur travel blogger I'll be writing every day.. even if only to tell the Internet how sore my bum is...
  14. With reference to the last aspect, can I suggest you invest in a pair of Netti cycle pants, with the padding in the 'appropriate' areas, you'll be glad you did.
  15. ....yeah, and we look forward to hearing of your epic adventure, with pics as well...but please leave out any comments associated with your..erm....'bum', dude ! :cool:
    Have fun and good luck !
  16. Hey... my bum is one of my best friends.... although I dont give him much of a chance to talk becuase I am sitting on his face 90% of the time.
  17. Looks like a great ride! I've done 20,000km on my GS500F in one year, including two long trips down to Vic and back, no problem. One trip included a full load of camping gear. You'll be laughing - getting 400km before hitting reserve, plenty of get-up-and-go even with the load. I've settled on 600km per day as a comfortable limit.

    Here's one report:

    I've also pillioned a big guy - 6ft4in tall and 90kgs - down the Southern Highlands without a problem - just have to rev that little 500 twin pot a bit to get off the mark!

    The only limitation I have come across (and its not specific to the GS500) is wet dirt roads; the sport tourer geometry puts too much weight over the front wheel, and with dedicated road tyres it gets really dicey on slippery clay. Dry dirt is no problem. Not sure if your route goes off road - if not, no probs, is so, I'd say do it on a dual sport like the DR650.

    BTW my bike has zero mods - stock screen, pipe, tyres, etc. No panniers - just strap a waterproof bag or two onto the back seat. Sometimes we can make things more difficult or complicated than we need to...
  18. Only question now is: WHEN ?

    Xmas would be a good time as the extra week on top of some annual leave would give me 3 weeks to really take my time and enjoy the trip, with the odd little rest day.

    The drawback with Xmas is that it could very well be a bit busy in some parts of the trip, and the last thing I want is for some cager to paste me on the back of a road trailer because his/her 6 year old screaming shit monster in the back seat was taking all thier attention.