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Newbie rides Melb to Perth. Solo. On a 250. A 250 Hyo.

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' at netrider.net.au started by Chris.D.W., Jun 7, 2008.

  1. Hello, ok I don't post much, and I'm not much of a writer, but I thought I'd just pop some sort of ride report here.

    As I start work in July, I wanted to get out and do something before I become confined to a desk for the next thirty+ years. So, I thought, why not visit my cousin in Perth? And see everything in between as well! I had been planning a long trip like this for awhile, but I was only expecting to start work in '09. That would have meant no more restrictions and a decent bike. However, with the July start, it was now or never, and it would be on my "trusty" 'ol GT250R. And as it would have it, all my friends were either too busy or thought the whole idea was madness. So alone it would have to be! That turned out to be a good thing, but more on that later.

    Anyway, save the hyo bashing for another thread, and don't bother dissuading me from doing it because it's already been DONE. I am in Perth typing this out, and both of us (me 'n the hyo) made it in one piece (each).
  2. Day 1

    Bleh, I don't even have 5 posts yet! the photos will just have to come later. Anyway here goes... please pardon me if it's lacklustre compared to all the other reports you guys usually get!

    Melbourne to Mt Gambier via Colac-Lavers Hill, GOR and Mt Clay rd

    Despite just having 5 hrs sleep, excitement got me out of bed at 0700am sharp. A quick shower and I rolled out of the garage for the start of my 4000+km journey. A bit of poor planning on my part, as I hit the M1 smack in the middle of morning peak traffic, spent the very first hour of my "epic" journey crawling amongst hordes of commuting cagers.

    First break of the day was at Geelong, where I stopped for breakfast and had a poke around the jetty before setting off towards Colac.

    The first taste of non-freeway open-road came in the form of the Colac-Laver's Hill road. Nice and twisty, lots of 35-65 km/h bends on pretty good surface. I'm not a knee-down person, but I had heaps of fun tipping the bike over and looking through the corners. The road varied between forests and open pasture, and I was mesmerized by the experience of just being there on a bike. The half an hour or so down the 55km stretch felt like 5 minutes!

    Next, it was on to the GOR. The section with the really tight turns was under road works, and as a relatively inexperienced rider I didn't want to try anything funny, especially with all the gravel and sand all over the roads. Above all things I actually wanted to make it to Perth, so I took it slow. The scenery made up for the lack of excitement anyway!

    After the mandatory stop at the 12 apostles, it was lunch at Port Campbell, and on to Mt Gambier. A wrong turn at Tyrendarra sent me towards Heywood via Mt Clay road. Not a good idea as it cut through Mt Clay national park, and by this time it was starting to get dark. A sign warning of kangaroos over the next 18km was there to rub salt in it, and I spent the next 10 minutes with my eyes peeled, half expecting some halfwitted roo to attempt suicide in front of me. Thankfully I didn't encounter any of the bouncing buggers, but that was a very stressful 18km.

    After that, it was on to the A1 for the rest of the way to Mt Gambier. Spent the night in the Old Jail backpackers, and got a cell to myself! If you're ever passing through Mt Gambier and looking for accommodation on a budget, I highly recommend them. A KFC dinner and a mandarin orange, and that was it for day 1.

    More to come....
  3. That can't be right; the Pommie guy in the other thread said they fall apart after 12 months :LOL:.

    Congratulations. On the job, on living your big adventure and doing something a lot of us would like to do, but probably never will :wink:.

    Incidentally, are you riding back too??
  4. Hehe yeah that was my main worry. If it fell apart in the middle (and I did have a scare there... more on that when I get to that part of the report) of the Nullabor with no mobile phone reception I would have been seriously stuffed.

    And no, one time across the Nullabor in a week is enough. I'll be trucking the bike back so I can spend a couple of days with my cousin.. Also, I'm still hoping to make a trip to Sydney to visit my brother, and I want to go via Brisbane, so I'm "saving" the kms on the hyo to decrease the chances of it falling apart in the middle of nowhere. Hopefully it will last at least till the end of my restrictions!
  5. Well if your journey north takes you near Wollongong (80kms south of Sydney) you can always pop in, a cuppa or a bed for the night......

    Looking forward to the rest of your report.
  6. Thanks for the offer, Hornet!

    <edit: managed to get the img tag to work>

    Here are some of the pics from day 1.

    small. Rolling out the door

    Rest stop at Geelong

    small. The pier at Geelong

    small. Colac-Laver's Hill Rd: an indication of good things to come!

    small. Scenery along the GOR

    small. Two of the 12 Apostles
    If you're passing through, by all means have a look at them (apostles), but I reckon if you're going to specially drive all the way out there just to take a photo like this, just buy a postcard!

    small. Beautiful riding weather

    small. Windfarm in the distance
  7. I think you'll find that it's the Aussie bloke that says the 250's fall apart, I'm just an expert on how the 650's detonate... :grin:

    Anyway sounds fun, I wouldn't worry about k's myself if you get a good one you're fine, and if you don't then you'll soon know about it...
  8. No, it's the English MCN tester in the anti-Hyosung thread that says it will fall apart in 12 months. Obviously in this case, distance is not a problem :).
  9. good work.

    nice to see people just getting out there and not just poncing about on Chapel street with sticky tyres.

    good photos too.
  10. Good to see the obligatory 'bacon and eggs' shot there, too, Chris :LOL:.
  11. Good on ya mate!

    It's the type of journey I've always loved, only I've always done them in a car. You've made me nostalgic for the days when I didn't have kids... not that I'd give them back!

    I'm looking forward to the rest of the story!
  12. Hmmm well it's not been all roses as I'll indicate later in the trip report, there has been one issue, but hopefully it's nothing major, and not a sign of things to come :eek:


    Mt Gambier to SA

    Got off to a late start today as it was COLD and I couldn't peel myself out of bed to walk across the courtyard to the showers. Plus, I dropped one of my earplugs in the carpark, and spent 45 minutes scrounging for it to the amusement of some of the other residents.

    First stop for the day was just five minutes away: Blue Lake Crater

    The ride out from mount gambier gently wound through varying terrain

    On advice taken from other netriders (I'm quite the lurker... in spite of my non-existant posts I actually do spend quite a bit of time reading stuff here) I had planned this trip with the aid of the Aussie Motorcycle Atlas, and today's top-100 ride was the road from Millicent to Kingston S.E.

    It was abit of a disappointment in terms of the ride... as the book described it: Nothing interesting. I think it made it into the top 100 rides more for the seafood than the ride itself. And while the scenery was great, the ride from Kingston to Wellington had much better offerings.

    Beachport, one of the towns along the coast road

    small. small.

    Seafood lunch at Robe?

    The Kingston lobster

    A break for a sore bum somewhere in between Kingston and Tailem Bend

    Instead of going up to Tailem bend, I decided to take a detour via Wellington, allowing me to cross the river by ferry! Quite an unusual experience.

    From there, I headed for strathalbyn, and en route I was treated to a beautiful sunset!

    Of course, once you've seen sunset, that also implies a minor problem if you're out on the back roads: It's going to get dark soon! Combine that and my noobness as far as riding goes, and my subsequent decision was pretty stupid. I decided to go via Stirling from Strathalbyn along the VERY twisty River Agnes scenic route. The timing also meant that I was going against oncoming peak hour traffic. Being a back road, it wasn't jammed, but oncoming traffic was very frequent. And to add to that, most of you would know that to cut costs, Hyo decided to mount a candle on the front of the bike instead of the usual headlight rig.

    In spite of all that, the rush from going round these corners in the dark clouded my judgement, and I zipped (speed is all relative hey?) through the corners, leaning the bike further than I had ever done, often at more than double the recommended speeds. Naturally I had a couple of near misses with oncoming cars. On retrospect I can see it was a stupid thing to do, but having been disappointed by the lack of twisties the whole day, I couldn't resist.

    Following that, it was a straightforward ride into Adelaide where I put up at the Princes Lodge Motel. I have another cousin based here in Adelaide, and I met up with her for a milkshake and a short chat before retiring to bed absolutely knackered!

  13. Hey it was the first meal of the trip! That had to warrant a photo. Plus I'm asian, so I have a stereotype of being shutter happy to uphold!
  14. Fish and chips too; a veritable gourmet tour!!!
  15. A pleasure to read Chris!
    .. I'm envious.
  16. Good luck with the trip! I would love to do something like this as well. Looking forward to reading more (and hope the bike holds up!).
    Great read
    :dance: \:D/ :applause:
  18. Day 3 Adelaide to Kimba

    Woke up LATE today, at 9am! Chucked everything into the bags, grabbed a quick breakfast and headed out the door. Had to give the North Terrace a miss due to the late start, and I got out onto the main north road only to run into several kilometres of roadworks which capped the 110km/h speed limit at 40!

    The first part of the day was essentially blasting it along the freeway. The road itself was nothing interesting, but once again the South Australian scenery was rather stunning, and helped keep me awake over the two or so hours to Port Pirie, my lunch stop for the day. A walk around the local beach brought some interesting sights.

    Some of the local sights at Port Pirie
    small. small. small.

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    After this it was off to Port Germain, where I got sick of freeway miles and decided to take a detour via Murray Town. That was one of the best decisions of the day! The road started by winding through a beautiful gorge, with a dried up creek running alongside it. Twisties galore!

    Once out of the gorge, the road broke into beautiful open pasture, and wound through the knolls with lovely sweeping corners that seemed to last forever. The flinders ranges in the background formed a very nice touch too! The detour ended with a final surprise, another twisty bit as the road exited the valley by winding round a multitude of spurs. I wondered why this particular road didn’t make it into the atlas… I would have certainly rated it above the one from Millicent to Kingston!

    Some photos of the detour
    small. small. small. small.

    A quick toilet stop at Melrose, the oldest town in the flinders ranges, and I turned towards Port Augusta. The road continued with its beautiful twists and turns, but the scenery was changing noticeably. Green fields were replaced by scrub and orange sand, and the trees were getting shorter by the minute. As I rounded the last corner, I came across a stunning view of the plain in which Port Augusta sat.

    At Melrose, oldest town in the flinders ranges...

    As it was late, I only had time for a quick fuel stop before pressing on to Kimba. I turned onto the Eyre Freeway, and the landscape told me clearly that I was heading into the outback. The desert scenery was breathtaking, and I passed a pair of eagles feeding on the evening catch of the day. I doubled back to try and get a photograph but they were scared off by a passing truck!

    Taking breaks in the outback...
    small. small.

    I was getting worried about the light as I knew of the hazards that awaited at dusk, but a beautiful sunset caught my attention. Just enough for my fears to be realised! As I drew my eyes back to the road, what should I see but a kangaroo just two inches to my right! Swerving to the left, I brushed the poor bugger with my footpeg (hopefully it didn’t get too injured!), and got away unscathed.

    The sunset that almost killed me...

    Thankfully there were no further incidents, and I made it safely to the Kimba Community Hotel, my roost for the evening.
  19. Hi Chris, congratulations on your trip - can't wait to read the rest of it. How tiring was that trip on a 250? I've got a Suzuki VL250 and just recently got my first "big bike" - a Suzuki DL650 V-Strom - and I could not believe how much easier and less tiring the bigger bike is to ride. My partner and I are riding Perth-Brisbane (and back - yikes!) in September (him on GSX1400) and I always check out other rider's cross-continent ride reports to garner a bit more info and hopefully benefit from their experiences. Looking forward to reading about the rest. Oh, and good luck with your future epic journeys!
  20. Hello!

    Hmm I really have nothing to compare it with as it's been my one and only bike! I definitely did get tired towards the end of each day, but it wasn't unbearable or anything. Also, taking frequent breaks allowed me to avoid any saddle sore. I'm a bit of a photo nut, so all my combined breaks meant that I usually was on the road from about 9am till 6pm each day, with about 5-6 hours of actual riding and the rest of it scattered in as breaks for photos, meals etc. On the whole I would say that riding the 250 was tiring, but it wasn't noticeable enough to stop me from enjoying the ride.

    Good luck with your round trip! That was my original goal actually, to do a round-Oz tour with one of my friends, but I had to shorten my trip and do it alone due to the new job... sigh! Have a blast but ride safely!