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Canberra to Karijini and beyond

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by Jekka, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. I’m finally taking some long service leave this year and planning on an extended ride on the Tiger. On my bucketlist is Karijini National Park, so thats the main destination. I’ll have 8 weeks from September 10 with the route being Canberra – Karijini – Coral Coast – Pinnacles – Perth – Margaret River – Pemberton – South coast of WA (and Stirling Range) – Home, for a total of about 11,000km. My wife will join me for a week in Perth, where we we’ll do Rottnest Island and Margaret River. I thought I would post the trip up here and see what tips, tricks, advice I pick up before I go. I’ll have topbox, hard panniers, tank bag, 3 waterproof bags for gear, including tent, sleeping bag and mat. I’ll get the bike serviced before I go and then maybe again in Perth (+new tyres?). Perth mechanic and tyre dealer recommendations welcomed.

    I’m not mechanically minded but will take the basics – tyre repair kit, chain lube (which one? Likely sandy conditions), basic tools, cable ties, gaffer tape – what else?

    Places to stay (mostly camping), things to see along the route? Of course I’ll check out all the tourist guides but if you know of any local secrets or secluded campsites, I’d love to know. Particularly if you have been to Karijini before.

    How liberal can I be with where I set my cruise-control? I’m thinking in particular of when I’m crossing the Nullarbor and then up through the middle of WA. Its 4600km just to get to Karijini which will take a while at 100km/h. Is riding in WA like riding in Victoria (got booked for 4km/h over)?

    The Tiger’s range is about 400km (350km to be safe). As far as I can work out, I shouldn’t need to carry extra fuel. The distance between roadhouses should always be less than this.

    Ideas for carrying extra water? Thinking of maybe getting a small jerry and a holder to attach to panniers. The drawback of this is I would need to drill into the panniers to attach, which I would like to avoid.

    The planned route looks something like this:


    Any “Ahh, I didn’t think of THAT!” suggestions are much appreciated.
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  2. Forget epic, thats a mega trip!
    As for tips i cant offer too much but I will highly recommend taking a small air compressor to sort out punctures and a small bicycle hand pump as a backup. That should be fool proof enough to get you through no matter how many puntures you get and it doesnt take up much room. I can recommend Motopressor, it works quite well.
    Also take a combination of mushroom plugs and the snot string type plugs in your punture kit but if you had to choose one type, get the snots. Mushrooms dont work on a slashed tyre but are great for plugging nail holes whereas the snots will cover most puncture types.
    Water is obviously a biggie and a Camelback would be a great way to carry a decent amount. The beauty with the camelback is that you can drink water while still riding, handy on those long km days.
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  3. Totally agree with icemakericemaker on that one, hope you have sorted out a comfy bike seat or lambs wool or a Airhawk Seats . I look forward to reading your log for the ride and some awesome pics, good luck with it JekkaJekka ;)
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  4. looks great should be a cracker of a trip :)
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  5. Compressor and snot style plugs as Icemaker mentioned are essential. Don't rely on CO canisters. If you have some spare cash and plan to do any night riding at all, fit some very bright lights to the front of that Tiger. I can recommend Clearwater Lights, none better!
    Much of your proposed route can be very dangerous to ride between dusk, sunrise and early morning due to 'roos. If you have to ride at night, don't be setting that cruise control, and lower your speed. Be extra careful between Ceduna-Norseman and North all the way through to Yannarie.

    Fuel - While 400km to the tank is a decent range, something to be very mindful of is that unlike here in the cities, servo's are often not open 24hr, some close at 7-8pm and they may be the only servo in town. Often these servo's will have a 24hr diesel facility, and some, but not all may also have 24hr card ULP. With that in mind, you need to plan your fuel and rest stops carefully once you pass Norseman. Nothing worse than getting to a town where the servo just closed and having to wait until 6am for it to open, or even if you have just filled up before they close, working out if you will be stranded at the next town in the middle of the night when that tank runs low.

    Pack a spare headlight bulb and some fuses and familiarise yourself with how to change them, because you may not be able to buy them to suit on the road. The trip is also about 11km, so depending on what sort of wear you get from tyres on that bike, you may have to schedule a tyre change along the way, and you would be best doing that in one of the major centres, instead of trying to get it done at Meeka. Temps in the Northern part of SA/WA are hot that time of year, so wear will perhaps be accelerated. As mentioned, you will need to have some way of carrying water for yourself too.

    Make sure you have the premium care package with your ACT based motoring club like NRMA etc. This will prove to be invaluable in the event the worst case happens in the middle of nowhere, and the towing costs of about $4.50-$6.00 PER KM in regional places will very quickly add up over and above what roadside assistance membership would have cost, so don't be a tight ass and try to avoid the membership.
    If your mobile phone is not on the Telstra network, get a pre-paid Telstra sim, because alot of where you are going will only be covered by Telstra, and even then in the Pilbara region and Northern parts of SA Telstra also won't work.
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  6. Nice trip.
    While you are so close, head down to Cape Leeuwin and the town of Augusta at the south-western tip of WA. It is a nice spot and has excellent whale watching.
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  7. It has been 10 years since I road the Nullarbor, so my info is not up to date. But there are somethings that are not going to change.
    Silverton just out of Broken Hill is about 25 km north and is worth the ride to take a look.
    Peterbough has a private bike collection next to the Police Station.
    Wudinna has a big rock called Mt. Wudinna and is about 20 km east of Wudinna.
    Murphy's Hay Stacks are about 20 km south of Streaky Bay. Take the turn off at Poochera(that is where the dinosaur ants are)
    Leonora, just south of Leonora is a ghost town. I just loved it.
    Note: The Yalata Roadhouse was closed.
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  8. So, the missus and I rode the Nullarbor a couple of years ago. We took a tyre repair kit, a tent and wet weather gear. We never used the tyre repair kit.

    Just do it. Unlesd you are planning lots of dirt, no real biggie. Tyres are available Perth, Adelaide and Geraldton on a days notice.

    Our ride thread at:
    Middo's nullarbor adventure
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  9. All good info. Thanks guys. Hadn't thought about a spare bulb so I'll get that, but don't plan on doing any night riding.