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Round Oz we go, or maybe not

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by Kaer, May 31, 2006.

  1. An extract from my blog.

    Now as most of you know, me and Lana have a planned 3-4 month round Oz trip planned.

    Orginal plan is on the back of a bike, the 1150GS in particular.

    Unfortunately Lana's knees haven't recovered enough, after a day's riding she can't walk. So that's out the window.

    This left us with the following options.

    * Attach a sidecar
    * Both go in a car
    * Postpone the trip
    * I go solo
    * Car and Bike

    Option 1. Sidecar. Bleech. I do know at some point I will get an outfit, but for now, nope, not an option.

    Option 2. We went camping out to Cowra a few weeks ago. Driving up there, I was getting the Joneses bad for a fix, esp whenever I saw a bike whizzing by. I'd be whinging non-stop if we're both in the car.

    Option 3. After getting the GS only a month or so ago, I'm loathe to do this. Also life has a way of stopping this stuff happening again.

    Option 4. A week, maybe 2 would be fine. Any more than that I'll be going a little stir crazy.

    Option 5. Looks to be what we are going to do, but it raises a bunch of other issues/problems :)

    There's multiple options issues here.

    Comms I've got fairly well sorted. I can hook up a CB on the bike via helmet, and in car. Gives a 5 km range of communications. Okay if stops are fairly well documented.

    Now here's the issue of the car & bikes. Adding a car to the trip is going to boost cost of trip by about 3k. That's servicing costs + fuel. It will boost my piece of mind a bunch though, having two vehicles.

    But that brings me to another issue. Our car. The mazda is falling apart. Doing a main highway run, I've got no issues with it. It breaks down badly, we dump it and move on. It does mean any of the more remoter trackes (including fraser) are out.

    Which also gives me the freedom to either take the Monster or BMW. The Mazda ain't going to go anywhere the Monster can't go. And I love that bike.

    But after thinking about it, and how long it takes to get parts, the Ducati ain't a good idea for a longer trip.

    So option B. Get a 4wd. I've taken a look and we can get a reasonable one for around 10k. Now we're going to lose 2k at least on the sale at the end, plus a 1k in stamp duty. Means that adds an extra 6k to the trip costs + an extra 8k outlay which we'll get back. Now since our budget was 15k, almost half of that is gone on the car itself.


    But having a cage along means we can pack a lot of stuff, making camping out a breeze.

    Getting the 4wd does mean we can go a lot of places I wanted to go, even including a few tracks that the GS wouldn't have been able to do unaided! (Fraser, Stylezki track, etc). And with two vehicles, the chances of both of them breaking down in the same area are slim, removes a lot of the safety issues at the back of my mind.

    Anyway, I've got till the end of the month to decide. Whether we do the trip at all, do it on the Monster/Mazda combo, GS/Mazda, or GS/4wd.

    Decisions, decisions.
  2. Option 6. Buy a Ute and some ramps. You can then choose which legs to ride, and which to be sociable and drive....best of both worlds. :grin:
  3. I'd choose this option

    * I go solo :cool: :cool:
  4. OK - Chairman puts on his six thinking hats and cracks a DeBono...

    VTRBob and Lana move to Coffs Harbour together. You and Nadeen spend the next two years riding to Melbourne-Coff's every weekend so she can see her son, who's living with his dad. You take a different route every weekend - via Adelaide, Tennant Creek, Perth etc, until eventually you've ridden over every part of Australia.

    See? Bob gets to move, you get to ride, Nadeen sees her son, Lana's knees recover. Everybody wins.

    I knew the Social Work degree wasn't a complete waste of time.
  5. I'm with inci on this, mate. Buy a vehicle in which you can load the bike if necessary. Best of all possible worlds, and it drops the fuel costs because on some legs you'll only be using one vehicle.....
  6. Actually the Ute was something I hadn't thought of.

    Now I have another damn option :0
  7. Tough one mate, how about painkillers? :grin:

    In my moments of fantasy I have thought about a trip like this and all I can say is that without my partner on a bike or pillion I woudl not go.

    Having her in the car and you on the bike means you are both having different holidays and therfore you miss out on the shared memories. Relationships are aout shared experiences.

    If it was me and I could not wait untill she was better I would get a cheap 4WD and spend some quality time with my missus. :)

    But what do I know? :?
  8. Car & Bike is no real difference than if we were on seperate bikes, and you have a fast and slow rider :)

    I tried a few weekends ago to sit in the car on a weekend trip. I just can't do it. Wish I could, I can't.

    As to waiting until she's better, we're leaving the country after the trip. December ish.

    Be 2-3 years at the earliest till we're back in OZ. And life has a funny habbit of throwing curve balls in your direction (such as maybe we stay in another country, or oh, oh, kids appear :) )
  9. Id go get the 4x4 and leave the bike at home, you'll be able to go to a lot more places anyway, especially fraser and the like.

    If you get a ute and carry the bike you will have a lot less room for gear also it will be much heavier, not so good on sand, off road or for the fuel economy.
  10. How 'bout one of those towing-type devices that fit to a tow-bar (someone in Victoria makes 'em - sorry can't find the link) that allow you to tow the bike?
    They hold the front wheel off the road, cost somewhere around $4-500, I think.
  11. wait wait I got it one of these!

  12. i know the bike sounds like fun, but really can you carry enough gear on 1 bike for 2 of you plus camping gear, remember your not gone for a week or so, but a couple of months, you will fin dthat you will have to rough it enough just with a 4x4 fully packed (mind you depends how far of track you decide to go. i would suggest unless you are on 2 bikes, you take the 4x4....

    Best of luck and enjoy your trip
  13. It'd be easier to do, quite an adventure. If you packed smartly you wouldn't have to worry. My friends managed to go from Sydney, right across the simpson desert in a 4WD and back again with just a 4WD (no trailer) and they never ran out of stuff or had to really stretch themselves. If you are smart in your expectation and pack accordingly then it'll be no worries what so ever.
  14. Errr, the Adventure will go pretty much anywhere. It'll do Fraser fine.

    I've taken her down fire trails, no problems. (well, yeah I dropped her, but dropping on her on dirt doesn't count :) )
  15. The difference between gear being carried for a week vs gear for a month is negligible.

    Me and the wife have pulled into campsites a few times and been amazed at the amount of junk those campervans carry, and what we need to be comfortable :)

    Plenty of couples have done two-up Round the World trips on a bike with no probs.

    And we're not begineer tourers :) We've done it a few times though not for this length of time. I've done 2 months on the road solo - and that was on my Spada :)
  16. This one?


    I'll have to check if it'll hold the GS, it's rather wide and weighs in at 250kg fully fueled.
  17. How about this one?


    Carry the bike on boring stretches, stop where you like.

    Or simply get an ordinary trailer and fit it out to carry a bike.

  18. You're LEAVING, mate??? Why, is it something we said?? :LOL:
  19. mate was only basing my info, on what my best mate and his partner have just got back from... they had a 4x4, tiny on the roof, and dirt bike on the back+fishing rods+camp gear+same gen., granted they were gone for 4-5 months but i saw this vechile when they left. Also depends how long you plan to be out of reach of civilisation... wasn't trying to offend you only pass on some advice that (unlike others have heard it through a mate of mate etc.) i knew and trusted. Like i said they spent weeks away from places to get help repairs etc... maybe your not planning a trip to that degree but thought i would offer the advice anyway

    cheers stewy
  20. No, that's not what I was thinking of. The one I saw (on netrider!) tows the bike behind, with the front wheel rigidly held above the road in a kind of "slot", while the bikes rear wheel runs along on the road, and the whole bike can pivot on its own steering head bearings.
    There MAY be some issues with this system, though. The manufacturuer claims there would be minimal wear on the rear tyre (because no drive through it), but I suspect it might square off eventually. And the other thing would be whether it would be turning components of the gearbox without getting positive lubrication from the engine's oil pressure system (that'll depend on the bike). There may be ways around this though.
    I've seen people using this device to tow bikes down to the track at PI, though.