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Uluru & Darwin roadtrip

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' at netrider.net.au started by Storm Wind, Jun 21, 2016.

  1. I'm doing a road trip from Sydney to Uluru and Darwin, then come back via Mount Isa through Longreach to Rockhampton, then down the coast back to Sydney.

    I'm seeing if anyone else here will be doing it when I am. I'm leaving Sydney on the 6th August to Dubbo, then 2 nights at Broken Hill, then a night in Port Augusta before spending 2 nights in Coober Pedy.

    I'm expecting to be on the road for about a month.

    • Like Like x 3
  2. You should have good weather, remember that it will probably be quite cold up through the centre, can get down well below 0 c around Alice Springs, will warm up the further north you get but be prepared for some cold especially at night, watch for wildlife, can be a bad time of year so try to avoid night riding and early morning late evening running.
    Beware the road trains, they are a lot bigger than you're used to down south, triple and even quad trailers are common, they can take a bit of passing and do push a lot of air so turbulence close behind can be quite nasty.
    Still peak tourist season so beware the grey nomads, they tend to cluster up and not uncommon to see them travelling in groups of ten or more nose to tail, can be quite trying to get past at times.
    Be wary of the cross winds between Port Augusta and NT Border, can be very strong at times and quite fatiguing having to fight them.
    Nearly all fuel stations in the NT have 95 and quite a few have 98 but do NOT use the 91, 91 in the NT is OPAL low aromatic petrol and not good for motorcycle motors, also be aware that quite often the 98 pumps in the afternoon may not be working due to heat affecting the pumps, the higher octane vaporises in the lines and the pumps can't pick it up, very common issue through rural SA and the NT.
    Carry plenty of water, did I say carry plenty of water, cannot stress that enough, minimum of three litres ok!
    Throw in a litre of oil, motorcycle specific oils are not always readily available outside the major centres!
    Anything else just give me a yell?
    • Informative Informative x 6
  3. Thanks for that info. Since it's my first time going out there, info like this can be a life saver.

    Got a 3 ltr Camelbak and will have at least another 1-2 litres of water in my paniers. With what you said about the cold, I'll ask the bike shop about antifreeze instead of water as my coolant, so I won't get ice thru my lines.

    I'm wearing the RST Adventure 2 jacket and pants, but after experiencing the cold out in Parkes last year, I was going to bring an extra jumper and track pants to wear inside that.

    I'll be carrying a spare 5 ltr plastic fuel container on the back seat. Should I cover that up, or shouldn't I?
  4. Definitely have another jumper/track suit, through the centre the wind chill alone can be quite nasty.

    Yep cover the fuel, not so much for weather protection but too tempting when you stop, always lock the bike at any stop, park where you can keep an eye on her.

    Standard coolant is fine, unless you've changed it for straight water it should be running an anti-corrosive type coolant which normally has an anti-freeze component.

    Check your oil level every morning, don't be surprised if after the first day she takes a bit especially if she hasn't done a long run before, quite common on the first really long run for them to use a little bit of oil, 1/4 to 1/2 litre common. Check tyre pressures regularly, go with the manufacturers recommended pressures.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. #5 Storm Wind, Jun 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
    First time I rode my current motorcycle was to bring it back to Sydney from Melbourne. It had only done 2700kms on it then. I've since done Grafton on the NSW north coast and came back via Nymboida down to Armidale and the New England Highway. Also Parkes, Cooma and Yass.

    I'll put a ltr bottle of oil in the panier opposite the exhaust pipe with the water. As long as I don't accidentally drink it. ;)

    I have heated handlebar grips on my old 750. Are the new ones any good?

    Are there any gloves that can provide wrist support?. Worried that my right wrist will cause issues if I don't have some support on it.
  6. Use a cruise control, many new bikes come with it and once you have had one, you will never look back.
    Heed the warning about the cold through the desert region in Winter. All through outback QLD from Camooweal Mount Isa, down to Winton, Longreach, Barcaldine Emerald and through to the coast it will get very cold anytime the sun is not up.

    Three very important things to think about on trips like this;
    1) Make sure you have a good puncture repair kit with a compressor or good quality pump, don't rely on CO2 canisters. A Puncture out here can be a disaster.

    2) Make sure you consider the life remaining on your tyres and whether or not you will need a change along the way. Leaving Sydney with a new set should see you to Darwin at the very least, depending on what bike you have. Consider if you have soft tyres fitted, getting them changed to a tyre like Pilot Road 4, Angel GT etc

    3) MAKE SURE YOU HAVE PREMIUM ROADSIDE COVER WITH NRMA! Do not skimp here!!!! It could save you thousands in towing costs and be an enormous help if needed. Many people who never leave the greater Sydney region on a bike think they don't need it, but for $199/year, that will be the cost of 1 local suburban tow, let alone the cost of hundreds of km of towing in a rural area. Often it can cost $3-5/km for towing.

    Ensure you have enough life in chains, brake pads etc as these things can often be difficult to find in small outback places and you could be waiting for several days to get them freighted in.
    • Informative Informative x 4
  7. Cruise control or at least a throttle lock, there are also wrist supports that fit to the grips to take some load off your wrists.
    Heated grips are great, I ride a BMW so they're standard as is cruise control.
  8. I have cruise control now, and love it, but on my previous bike I used one of these for long trips Motorcycle Cruise Control and Assist - and found it useful. It allows you to still control the throttle but takes the tension out of the wrist. I tried a throttle lock but found it a PIA, although admittedly I probably didn't give it a fair go.
    Also, there is this: Motorcycle Alliance | National Motorcycle Alliance which is much cheaper than NRMA.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. I'm definitely going to look into those. I'm about to shoot out to the MCAS about that and on my tyre choice. Going for the Pilot 4's tyre wise.

    Don't have cruise control on the 1250 Bandit, so those suggestions, I'm going to see about now.

    I've done a test to see how the fuel can sits on the back seat. Before I put the rack on, it was bloody difficult to get on and off the bike unless I used the center stand. With the rack on, it pushes the can halfway off the back of the seat, so now I've got more room to swing the leg over.

    Any further help is greatly appreciated.
  10. Don't listen this this bad advice. It's cheap for a reason, and fine if you only ever ride the Old Pacific Hwy and live at Peats Ridge. They limit you to 2 call outs per year.
    The MCC deal only covers towing for up to 50km ROUND TRIP!
    Breakdown 30km from a town and you will be paying excess km.

    Premium cover with NRMA will tow you up to 100 km in any direction and if further than 100km from a town, they tow you free of charge back to the depot of the servicing towing contractor, so it could be several hundred km away.
    They also can tow your bike home to Sydney for free if you are more than 100km from home and the bike can't be repaired within 24hours.
    They will pay for accommodation, rental car or onward travel for the driver and I think up to 4 people.
    Compare Apples with Apples, don't compare Apples with Peanuts.
  11. Go with NRMA, they have an reciprocal agreement with the AANT.

    Fill early morning and on the centre stand, you can usually squeeze another litre or so in then.

    PR4's are ok but go for the B spec with the heavier sidewalls for the heavier bikes, they can have issues with the fronts scalloping from continuous highway use, Pirelli Angel GT A spec or Bridgestone T30 GTs are very popular up here, great life with excellent wet weather grip and good handling. I'm currently running the Bridgies and really like them, so far have just over 12,000kms on this set, threw the OEM PR4s away after just over 5500kms in March (picked the bike up in Feb then did a half loop of the country), they had scalloped up very badly affecting the handling.

    If you mount the bike from the side, slide the right leg across the riders seat then follow, you don't need to swing a leg across, bit of practice it becomes quite easy.

    A sheepskin seat cover also can help with comfort and helps keep the butt warm lol
  13. I've been using bottled water to top it up, but I don't know how much coolant is in the bike. My old GSX750F was air cooled and this is my first like this.
  14. Glad to see you getting good fm feedback on your thread Storm WindStorm Wind , enjoy your journey, and as mentioned before, update us with pics along the way!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. If you get road 4's get the GT spec, there is no B spec, Lounre may have them confused. I chewed them up in 5km like Lounre on my BMW.
  16. It wasn't advice. It was information. I didn't say it was better than NRMA, merely providing it as an option.
  17. Bought the Omni-Cruise Universal Cruise Control as well as the cheap one linked in an above post. Also got a cheap small pump and tyre pressure gauge from the MCAS. I'll check up with the bike shop on the specs for the tyres. I saw the tyres, but can't remember if it had gt on them.
  18. Michelin originally labelled them B Spec later changing to GT nomenclature, much better choice for the heavier bikes, Pirelli Angel GT A spec or Bridgestone T30 GTs are in my opinion a better choice for distance riding.

    Something I've found useful is wearing a kidney belt, not only does it provide support to the lower back it also helps keep the lower back and kidneys warm, having had a chill there I can tell you it's not a good thing.

    Rely on your own tyre gauge, do NOT trust the servo tyre gauges, if you can get hold of an old tyre practice with the tyre repair kit plugging a hole or two, better to know exactly how to do it than trying to read destructions in the middle of nowhere.
  19. I got a kidney belt somewhere at home and I bought a tyre pressure gauge at the MCAS. I'm going to try out the Omni-Cruise when I'm off work next. I'm not going to have it in gear when I try. Want to get a feel for it without the engine on.
  20. You can also slide your right knee over the seat first (sort of like holding your foot in your hand and against your bum sliding knee first).

    Or step on the lh footpeg, stand on it and step your right leg over.
    • Agree Agree x 1