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Brisbane to Adelaide on my CB400

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' at netrider.net.au started by hongyi77, Dec 21, 2014.

  1. I started my solo ride from Brisbane to Adelaide on Saturday 20 Dec 2014, on my trusty CB400. It started as wanting a big ride to clear my head and became an epic challenge for me, which I happily and carefully planned.

    The plan:

  2. Day 1

    First day was going to be the longest, as I figured I would be freshest and best to cover most miles on the highway.

    I ended up making more stops that I had planned but shorter too. Just a quick swig from the camelbak or a quick LCM bar. All made possible by the wonderful Shoei Neotec helmet that I splurged on for this trip.

    The key though, was to start early. I planned for a 4am start and after a bit of mucking around with the phone GPS which wasted half an hour, I was on my way. Because I was going to lose an hour for daylight savings and traffic could be bad, I just wanted to make sure I got there as early as possible. Early morning traffic is just great, you on the road and people to drive that early in the morning seem to be better drivers!

    Coffs Harbour was a madhouse due to Xmas and Macksville was real bad northbound, didn't affect me that much but it definitely slowed down a lot.

    I had to stop along the motorway to put on my rain jacket as it started raining but it was just spotty showers along the way, sometimes I didn't bother and just wore my rain jacket as it wasn't too cold.



    A RAM mount came loose and just having a break and doing some checks on the bike. The mount ended up falling off altogether on day 2!
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  3. Day 2

    Planned a 5am start and had everything ready the night before, just had to chuck on the hard panniers and set up the USB cable and the wonderful Air Hawk (literally a butt saver). It was dark and quite cool at night, I planned mostly to ride in heat, so I had mesh pants and a mesh jacket. I put on an extra long sleeve layer I brought and went on my way.

    DAMN it was COLD when you are doing 110km/h! I couldn't really stop on the highway and seriously considered pulling over on the shoulder and chucking my rain jacket on to help with the windchill. But I didn't and persevered. I wasn't at all comfortable but my teeth weren't chattering, I know it will warm up when the sun came up. And then I had a brain fart and I remembered I have heated grips! ! Duh...

    And boy was it spectacular! The fog over the mountains, the river, that bit of freeway from Newcastle to Sydney is so beautiful, especially the road cutting through between the rock mountains.

    As I bypast Sydney toward Albury, it got REALLY hot. By that time I had already removed the long sleeve layer at a fuel stop. I struggled a lot with sleepiness mid morning and then mid day when it was the hottest. I very nearly gave in and pulled over but just kept on it. Luckily mostly 110km/h straight roads and drivers were doing the right thing.

    Some bits of the highway were really rough and my thumb hurt when going over constant bumps at high speed and still having to hold the throttle. Towards the end of the day, it hurt so much I could hardly hold the throttle constant and had to take a break when going downhill. Then I figured out I could push easily where the wire goes out of the heated grips and I should have done earlier! Well now I know.

    By the last fuel up for the day before motel time, I felt like shit and could hardly get off the bike! My eyes had tears streaming down from the hot wind and my nose was dripping as well. Only when I checked myself in the bike mirror after paying that I realised I had crusty tear stains and crust around the nostrils from the nose drip, no wonder the people in the shop looked at me wierd!! Anyway who cares, I just want to lie down and not move for a while, in the air con!!

    Can't wait for shorter days now.... And maybe a better plan for cold mornings.


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  4. I don't know what to say.....
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  5. Big days, big kays, great write-up, looking forward to more photos.

    What an awesome trip!!
  6. Good effort.

    It'll be interesting to see if you experience the 3rd day of riding thing where where it all becomes a lot better on the bike at some point during the day. It's a bit of a thing.
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  7. I'm looking forward to doing something like this Bris to Melb so I'm really enjoying it.have fun and slog on
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  8. Nothing like a long solo ride to clear the head and put things into perspective!

    Although before my long-ish trip to Tas I did a few dry runs locally with all the gear first to get a feel for things.

    Good luck!
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  9. Good job you crazy bastard, that is some serious distance!! Take it easy riding tired!
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  10. I could never ride that far on my CB400. My back or legs would pack it in after 4-5 hours. Great job. I can only assume as your female that your a tad smaller than I, and the bikes a 'better' fit for you for those longer distances. Well done. Keep the posts coming.
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  11. Epic... looking forward to the next update
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  12. Day 3

    Today was meant to be much easier with lower kays but the second day really took its toll on me. At least I know to layer up in the morning and even though it felt a bit hot, I am glad I still kept them on because once I hit the freeway, it was cold!

    I guess it is a matter of managing my physical condition to keep going and also to push through mentally. A lot goes through your head and amazing how many excuses you make and then realise you can get through the hard part anyway.

    Screenshot_2014-12-22-22-48-26. 2014-12-22%2022.49.59.

    There were some nice stops to top up my tyres, have a stretch, update my location, have brekkie and tape up the loose RAM mount screw until I can remove it when I get back. I allowed myself time to check the tyres, the bike in general and always make sure everything is where it should be (keys, wallet, everything locked, etc) with absolutely no rush. There is only me and I can't afford to forget anything.

    I think the guy at the shop gave me the wrong screw, it didn't go into the ball mount completely and that's why I lost it. Luckily I checked when taking a break or else I would have lost my phone with the X clamp and all!


    Everything was going swimmingly until I hit Melbourne. It was so busy! It was like doing my peak hour commute again and I was unluckily enough to hit the Western Ring Road going on Princes Highway with an accident that caused traffic to be basically stopped. Took sooooo long to get 2km and I pulled over in the shoulder to have a drink and take off the thermal layer. There were lots of HUGE trucks and the 2 lanes merging in made it even slower.

    I had become too much of a country road relaxed rider and had to ride more assertively in aggressive traffic, fair enough, that's how it is when you go to some place new, adapt.

    The phone came off the X clamp couple of times and it was very annoying to keep having to pull over in 110km road shoulders to put it back in! Definitely need to investigate a more secure option. Always tether everything!

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  13. What a great informative thread, I look forward to reading it each time I check in.
    (y) hongyi77 this is a great insight into a ride over a long distance for us noobs, I hope to do a Syd-Melb trip in the near future and even though it's shorter I am already picking up tips and an idea of what to expect on a long ride.
    ;-) Stay safe and I look forward to your continuing posts.
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  14. massive trip. and enjoying the write up;-)
  15. Great trip! What would you change for next time?
  16. I know now that everything that you think "should hold" probably won't if you have to even think whether it will. One end of the tether for the sena bluetooth unit fell off, probably while I was putting on the rain jacket.

    A purpose made mount for GPS that won't release when bouncing over bumps will be good, having to hold the damn thing was a pain and I ended up chucking it in my tank bag and just listened to the GPS.

    Don't bring too much food, you won't feel like eating what you've brought.

    The camelbak was good for hot days but I have been chucking it in the top box, might have to rethink that one

    Bigger USB stick to transfer my GoPro videos, probably need to get one from Coles tomorrow

    Warmer layers
  17. Day 4

    Today started out as the dream day to do the Great Ocean Road! No rain and quiet on the roads, not too cold but I layered up all the same, just no rain jacket.

    The road along the mountains were just spectacular. I was very conservative because I don't know the road at all and followed the advisory speed limits, which are probably a bit low. That's ok though because taking in the view was a great part of the ride.

    The roads were really clean and well signed, I guess they have to be, being such a busy one for tourists. Nothing quite prepares you for those amazing orangey rock faces and they just blow you away, you can smell the sea.

    The mountain bits finished and I went through Otway National Park, to come out of that and stop at Warnambool. As I entered the park, it started to shower lightly, then some fog. It looked a bit creepy so I didn't want to stop to put on my rain jacket, Haha!

    Then the fog just got thicker and visibility got shorter and shorter. Some cyclists had to stop on the side of the road and I was a bit worried that drivers on the other side of the road may veer towards my lane. I had to turn sharp left for Warnambool and it was so scary cos I couldn't see shit or which lane I was in until I saw the 60km speed limit sign. I never loved double white lines so much in my life! And I did have to stop to put on the rain jacket

    I will post a snippet of the video when my internet is better.

    Anyway that went on for the rest of the national park bit except the straights which were flatter and probably dried out quicker. You can see this whole section missing from my map tracking cos I must have lost all sorts of connections in that section. I think the distance is still about right.

    After that it was all good, I am glad I got a good rest the night before because I needed all my wits about me today for sure.

    2014-12-23%2021.13.24. 2014-12-23%2021.12.54.
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  18. Fog in Otway National Park yesterday :

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  19. Yeah that's fun to ride in all right! Was there a week and a half ago and no mist at all! Great run either way except Lorne to Apollo Bay section on the way down!
  20. I liked the downhill bit hehe, the hair pins made me really cautious.