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Half loop of the country

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by loubre, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. Alright then, I mentioned a half loop of the country I did back in March and it was politely suggested I should do a ride report for you mob so here tis!

    Picked up my new girl (henceforth known as Lady Grey) on Thursday 11th February, 2016 BMW R1200RS SE, ordered with all the options, quite a few of which hadn’t arrived at that stage. Luggage had been fitted before delivery. That weekend I did our local triangle run, Darwin to Jabiru up the Arnhem Highway then back to Pine Creek on the Kakadu Highway and Pine Creek to Darwin on the Sturt Highway so Monday 15th already booked in she had her first service. Back in to dealer 24th for more bits, engine bars, radiator guard, BMW Navigator V GPS.

    DAY ONE. Friday. So then bright and early on the morning of Friday 26th February I met up with my wingman Rennie on his 2001 BMW K1200RS at 0500 for the first day’s run down to Threeways Roadhouse Tennant Creek (964kms), had breakfast at Katherine, then down to Dunmarra for lunch then into Threeways just on 1530, booked in, unloaded and settled in for the night, good hot shower, great feed and an early night saw day one done and dusted! Pretty easy run to break in the new wingman with plenty of short stops and a good half hour break at Dunmarra.

    All ready for departure.

    ready. ys

    DAY TWO. Saturday. Plan was to get to Erldunda so again a reasonably early start at 0800 keeping a very close eye out for bloody animals headed to Ti Tree for an early lunch then Alice Springs and getting into Erldunda just on 1800, making the mandatory photo stop at the Devil’s Marbles checked in and the usual shower etc great pub feed for dinner! Early night with poor wingman really feeling it now, he reckoned he had aches in parts of his body he didn’t even know existed lol.


    Devil’s Marbles


    NT/SA Border

    SA locals welcoming us!

    Lake Nash SA

    DAY THREE. Sunday. Shortish run down to Glendambo S.A., reasonable break at Kulgera and making the mandatory photo stop at the N.T./S.A. border Both of us are running Sena 20s intercoms, they are an absolute god send, not only for listening to music, getting GPS messages but also to call each other through when passing etc. also being able to receive phone calls meant we weren’t really out of touch anywhere even though phone reception is quite patchy along a lot of the Sturt Highway.

    DAY FOUR. Monday. Across to Mildura today, short run down to Port Augusta before turning off the highways and heading up through the first of the mountains to Euston via Horrocks Pass and Peterborough, one scary moment with the two of us passing a road train when a stupid emu decided to come out of the scrub at the same time, not sure who crapped most, us, the truckie or the bloody emu, all survived though so all good, got into Mildura late afternoon usual check in then a good feed and another early night

    Victoria border crossing.

    DAY FIVE. Tuesday, bit longer day today at just over 870kms and another boring stretch across the Hay Plains, possibly the least amount of road kill I’ve ever seen along that stretch though. Usual short stops along the way and a relaxed lunch in Gundagai, getting into Canberra early enough to miss the worst of the traffic to Evatt where we were meeting another mate and staying at his place for next couple of days then he would join us to do a four day rally.

    DAY SIX. Wednesday. Lady Grey was booked in for new tyres and a trip across Canberra to the BMW dealer to have a couple of issues checked out, both forks appeared to be weeping and there was what looked like a coolant leak at the water pump weep hole, forks ok seems common issue with BMW forks that they are over packed with grease at the factory which weeps out for a few thousand kms, coolant leak was another known problem with majority stopping and settling down after a while, it actually stopped before I got back home so all good, Paul and I ran around scrubbing in the new rubber having a bit of fun, doing a bike shop run, picked up a new pair of boots and a new helmet visor, did the tourist thing with a visit to Parliament House, the War Museum, lunch at the Arbortarieum (posh name for bloody big garden lol), then back to Paul’s, couple of nice quiet ales and relaxed for the rest of the day. Rennie also had new tyre fitted first up in the morning then slipped back to Paul’s place and was sound asleep when we got back in the afternoon lol. Good feed and a couple of bottles of lovely Hunter Valley Merlots saw me needing no rocking to sleep that night!

    DAY SEVEN. Thursday. Left Canberra with wingman and Paul to meet up with the mob heading through to Tumut for the start of the 2nd annual I-BMW Australian Rally.

    DAY EIGHT. Friday. Ride from Tumut to Merimbula via Khancoban/Jindabyne/Bombala.
    DAY NINE. Saturday. Ride to Orbost via Bombala and Delegate and do the Bonang Hwy in both directions and back to Merimbula.
    DAY TEN. Sunday. Ride from Merimbula to Bright via Bairnsdale/Omeo/Mt Hotham.
    DAY ELEVEN. Monday. Ride in and around Mt Hotham/ Falls Creek/Mitta Mitta, returning to Bright.

    These are worthy of their own ride report so will do one later but couple of pics anyway. We had riders from every state and territory of Australia as well as one Yank based in Japan and one Canadian who come over, hired bikes in Sydney then did the rally. Total of 28 bikes and 31 people, 27 BMWs and one Honda VFR800 (only female rider), BMWs were K1300S x 8 and Rs x 11, R1200GS x 2, R1200GSA x 1, R1200RS x 1, K1200RS x 2, R1200RT x 2.

    DAY TWELVE. Tuesday. Back to Canberra with Paul and Rennie, bit of a rest day then started the long trek home, Rennie and I split up at Armidale, he off to Port Macquarie to do another BMW Rally and I off up to Tamworth for the night, basically apart from a quick little blat over Thunderbolt's Pass just about all highway running, Deception Bay, Rockhampton, Ayr (caught up with me mum), Townsville for a service, Motolife Townsville are an awesome BMW dealership, had me in and out in two hours then off across to Hughenden, Mount Isa, Threeways then home, all up 11065kms for the trip at an average of 614kms per day and fuel economy averaging 4.9l/100kms, I fitted new tyres in Canberra for the rally and the service were only extras apart from fuel, accommodation and food, I'd budgeted extra anyway so all good. Bike ran like a dream, the two minor issues turned out to be just that, the fork sweating stopped after a few days and the coolant weep also stopped after a few days, 2017 Rally has been confirmed for 2nd to 7th March 2017 in and about the same area. I’m definitely going again, we have two US riders already confirmed plus our ring in from Japan.

    More pics in reply

    Attached Files:

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  2. 17A26221-F2A9-4F45-808F-74B644BFA418_zpsvuyaz3vn.

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  3. WOW just WOW ! :eek:. Great write up and pics (y)
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  4. Thankyou so much for the ride report. I do not cover the distance that you do because of the comfort for my wife. We average around the 550-650km per day and the Goldwing burns more fuel at about 6ltrs/100kms.
  5. Brilliant stuff..

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  6. I actually seriously considered a Goldwing a few years ago but as I rarely pillion and when compared to the alternative at the time I went with the alternative a BMW K1600GT, absolutely awesome power but her weight (even though considerably lighter than the Goldwing) started causing issues, ageing and arthritic back and knees meant very slow speed and car park drops were occurring too frequently so traded her in on a smaller lighter machine, currently this R1200RS is just perfect for me, very low centre of balance and at under 250kgs wet the weight is no problem, good luggage capacity, cruise control, good weather protection though not in the same league as the K16 or the Goldwing, good fuel economy, reasonable tyre life so I'm happy with her.
    Fuel economy on the 16 varied anywhere between 4.9 to 8 l per 100kms depending on how heavy handed you were, problem was that sweet six cylinder with its huge torque motor sort of just made you want to use all that power, probably also why I couldn't get more than about 5,000kms out of a rear tyre (even heavy sidewall A specs) lol.
  7. (y) Another epic ride report :)
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  8. "Wow", "awesome" and "epic" as in previous reply posts, loubreloubre! The BMWs look completely in their element. The photo of the salt lake makes me want to get the bike out and head north and west immediately. =D Not to mention the full cooked breakfast and single malts, taken at each end of the day and not together presumably. ;-) :wink:
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  9. The BMs performed faultlessly, even Rennie's old girl never missed a beat, only issue he had was the temp gauge died after a little oopsie moment :oops: when we stopped by the side of the road for a leak, left her running on the side stand and she rolled forward and crashed down on her side, no damage to her but his pride was rather dented as well as the air changed colour to a lovely shade of blue ;-) :wink: and then of course, I didn't then help matters either as I was too busy laughing my head off as he's trying to shove everything back into the pants while running across to pick her up to help him =D.

    My girl had a couple of little issues at the start (what looked like leaking fork seals and water pump weeping) but they both settled down so all good there, Rennie had already planned and organised new tyres in Canberra (set on were at about 60% when we left), mine only had 1500kms on them but by Canberra they were buggered, Michelin Pilot Road 4s and they had scalloped really badly on the front, rear had slight ledging but would have maybe ok but I always change tyres as a pair so new Bridgestone T30 GTs went on in Canberra, really liked the feel of them right from the start.

    Considering the miles we covered and several of the other guys who rode to the rally all the bikes performed well, no mechanical issues, one K1200S (rode her across from WA) needed a new set of rear pads after the ah hmmm rather spirited run over the top of the Snowies :rolleyes:, one K1300R needed a rear tyre after copping a bloody great stake through it on a short dirt stretch otherwise there were no real issues at all, well there was the parrot that decided to commit suicide up the air intake on a K1300R! One bike (K1300S limited edition Motorsport) went down between Khancoban and Thredbo, misread the corner and lost the front, bike slid into a tree snapping the subframe, not even a bruise on the rider. Bike was a trailer job unfortunately.

    Always start the day with a good breakfast, have a light lunch and a good evening meal sets you up to cope with the distances then of course the company at the end of the day with a decent single malt, these are the things that really stick in the memory, the miles of road can sometimes blur and lose their intensity but the people you ride with and meet along the way are what I really find the most memorable? As you notice nothing but top shelf single malts too, I'm bloody old enough now to enjoy life's little luxuries :)
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  10. I can bet the air turned blue for a bit at that moment. Putting the bits-and-pieces away while running over to a falling bike is multitasking, no doubt about it. I would've educated everyone around with some new words too.

    You're not the first person to mention scalloping with Michelin PR4 tyres on bigger bikes; I've got a set of them on mine and I will be keeping a close eye on them for this reason. I swap them in pairs only too so it'll be an expensive exercise if one of them decides to display the symptoms but we'll see. With the kilometres you were doing you'd get to see it pretty quickly.

    Weeping forks and coolant on a long trip. :-( Doesn't inspire confidence when you see something like that does it - getting the dealer advice that it's more-or-less normal would have been a bit of a relief. And the good old Hay plain. Love it or hate it, it's sunset country. I've been across it a few times (not on two wheels yet though) with different people and the various responses are quite interesting.

    Lucky rider on that K1300S to get away with no injuries. I tend to agree with you (in my limited experience) regarding what is memorable about a ride. The people I've ridden with and met along the way make it greater than the sum of all parts. I've just finished a bottle of Lagavulin 16 and moving on to a Laphroaig - good Winter warmth at day's end, ride or no. :]
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