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Month Long Oz Trip: Advice Wanted

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' at netrider.net.au started by mr_mbuna, May 19, 2007.

  1. Hi, I'm an American student at Sydney Uni for the semester. Classes are drawing to a close and from June 21 until August 3 I have penciled in free time to explore Oz. I'd like to do a motorcycle trek of the country - at the very least Sydney-to-Cairns, but potentially much more.

    Back home, I'm a licensed motorcyclist. I owned a 2001 Suzuki SV650, which I sold just before starting my travels in January. I used that bike for mostly short rides and daily commuting but I did do some weekend trips to the coast. Earlier this year, I spent a few days in northern Thailand doing a 1,000-km motorcycle tour on a rental Honda CB400 out of Chiang Mai with some Aussie blokes.

    I always planned to do some touring around Oz after school ended but it was an issue in the back of my mind until recently. Heck - there was a strong possibility I'd return home early for some summer work, but that's off the table now and I'm hitting the books to plan out a trip. I've been working over the past week to research routes, equipment and costs.

    I've posted my plans, and some questions, on a few forums now. One of the most important points I've gathered is that I shouldn't plan to do anymore than 300 km per day if I want to take it easy and actually see rather than just ride. True?

    As far as the issue of the actual bike to use, I've ruled out renting because it's just too expensive. So I figured my best bet is to buy a bike and sell it when I'm done. This is quite a mine field though and my thought at this point is that it's better to put up more than I can afford on a newer bike that won't give me mechanical problems and will be easy to resell or trade in to a dealer when I'm done. I have been talking to a very reasonable guy about buying his 2004 Honda VFR800 with 38000km for $10,000 including the offer to borrow all his riding gear (all my gear is back home in the USA; I'd have to get it mailed here for the trip if necessary) and GPS. We both figure I could get about $8,000 out of the bike trading it into a dealer any day of the week. I think that's a good idea; what do you think?

    I've been doing some budgeting and I wanted to check if my estimates are in the right ballpark. I've figured average petrol at $1.25/L, the ability to easily sell a bike at Red Book AU trade-in values, $4/self prepared meal, $10/diner meal, $15/trip to the pub, $22/night for a dorm bed at a hostel, spending about $100 on spare parts to carry with me and a varied amount on maintenance (from nothing on the VFR800 to $500 on an early-90s beater). Kosher?

    I'm big into diving, so a live aboard dive trip out of Cairns is a must-do. Beyond that, I'd like to see some Outback (I was thinking Broken Hill NSW), ride the Great Ocean Road (how will the weather be in July? Reliable? I'm OK with anything above 15C), catch some rays in the Whitsundays, 4WD in the sand on Fraser Island and see some rainforest (Daintree? Wet Tropics at Mission Beach?). I was also hoping to see Ayers Rock/Uluru before I left and the adventure tours in Kakadu and to Cape York look absolutely awesome but I don't think they're in my range or budget.

    I'm doing a lot of online research and I'm headed out to buy Thoeming's Australian Motorcycle Atlas this weekend. If anyone has any advice (equipment, bike selection, routes, cost estimates, others who've done it) I am all ears. And if anyone wants to offer a homestay or join the ride along the way I would be super happy with that!

  2. sorry not going to be able to give you much more information then this, but i think carins and back will be as far as you will be able to go, on your time frame and the km's you plan on doing each day, after all you do only have just over a month (37 days), planning anything longer and you won't make it back, you need to allow for the unexpected, yes even the most reliable bike in the world has a chance of breaking down on the side of the road, and the further you get up north the less there will be around ie traffic to stop and help, also not sure of mobile coverage up there

    anyway good luck with your planning
  3. Correct me if i'm wrong, but your up for 3000kms to get to cairns from sydney. Thats a big mofo of a ride. If you wanted to go the long way (ie via uluru) its going to be a massive ride.

    I live 450km south of cairns, in townsville, my boss went in his comfy as cruiser on a trip to tennet creek (northern territory) and back, and that took him 6 weeks. While I do think its a great idea to check out australia, its a beautiful country, I think there are wiser choices then motorbikes.

    If you do want my recommendations on places to go:
    Surfers paradise, Whitsunday islands (South mole and hamilton are probably the pick of them, they also organise diving trips from those places), Mission Beach/Dunk Island, Tully. I also want to see the blue mountains, which i will probably get to within the next year.

    Expect to pay anywhere up to $1.40/L for fuel in the outback. It wouldn't hurt to double the budget on pretty much everything. Although you probably could easily do that in sydney, a lot of small towns tend to have high prices to make up for lack of customers.
  4. Thanks for the replies. Yeah, like I said in the original post - I am pretty sure that Uluru and anything out there is out of the question. Sydney-Melbourne-Adelaide-Broken Hill-Sydney-Brisbane-Cairns-Sydney would be 8,259km which over 30 days (discounting days on the water) would be 275km per day. Hmm :roll:
  5. anything up to 1200km a day is possible, and enjoyable.

    But if you want to stop for lunch, and take your time, and enjoy any side trips, 500-600kms per day shoudl be quite achievable.

    Some of the longer stages are just transport stages anyway, so you shouldn't be bothered doing more in one day, less in another.

    If you are a nutter, you can go around Australia in a month, it is only 17000 km.

    A real nutter can do it in less than half that, but it won't be enjoyable, and you will probably meet a few boys in blue along the way.
  6. Anyone want to join? It's going to be a lonely month!
  7. Mate, knowing the people on this forum if you post up where your going to be and when you will get people riding with you for at least part of the trip.

    Your Sydney-Melbourne-Adelaide-Broken Hill-Sydney-Brisbane-Cairns-Sydney sounds fine. At average of 275k a day that should leave plenty of time for seeing things along the way.
    The VRF800 deal sounds Ok and i dont think you'd have too big a problem selling a 40,000k, 2004 VFR for $8,000.

    Allow for 2 sets of tyres, say $1,100. At $1.40 a liter for fuel thats about another $1,100. 2 oil changes $150. does the bike need new chain and sprockets??

    Accomodation, food etc your estimates are about rite, i'd allow may be another $10ish a day for incidentals (drinks, chewy, soap, shampoo, etc)
  8. Long ride mate.

    As mentioned before, setting a target of 300km a day is not realistic. Some days you will need to travel >300km just to get from point A-B and there will be very little in between that you would probably want to see.
    Some days you will do more, and some less.

    The VFR800 is an awesome bike for touring, comfy, agile, and damn reliable, I would also suggest you might like to look at a CBR1100XX Super Blackbird, a very reliable, lower maintenance more powerful and just as comfy bike, that can be had cheaper than the VFR. You could get a great example say 2001 injected with maybe the same km as the VFR for often less than $10K, the offer of the riding gear does make the VFR attractive though.

    In the time you have I would say that doing the Northern Territory is going to leave you with little time to see anything. Looking at your suggested route, perhaps from Broken hill you could head NW through NSW to Brisbane, there are some good roads, and would save the 800km trip back to sydney to start heading North for another 800km to get to Brisbane.