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  #1  
Old 24 Feb 2006
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cape york

I am thinking of doing a trip from cairns to tip of cape york two up on on bmw 1200gs. Does anyone have any experience in this area. Would the standard touring bmw panniers stand up to the conditions.

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  #2  
Old 24 Feb 2006
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Good luck.

I'd say the panniers would need replacement by the end of the trip. Had some bm engineers say bm panniers fall apart on the autoban never mind dirt roads.... but that was some years ago.

Trust you like sandy roads.

See http://www.exploroz.com/Splash.asp
specifically http://www.exploroz.com/TrekNotes/FNQ/Cape_York.asp

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  #3  
Old 25 Feb 2006
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Did the trip in 2004,great ride.Plenty of corrugations and sand.Enjoyed the Creb track on the way back down.
Suggest you purchase a DVD(if still avaliable)put out by a group of four,called;Up top down under(or something like that)This would give you an indication of the conditions you would encounter.
I purchased my DVD off Brendhan Spencer;
Contact me by email for his address.
Ben

[This message has been edited by Bennett (edited 25 February 2006).]
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  #4  
Old 25 Feb 2006
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"Up Top Down Under, Cape York Adventure movie" purchase information - with a special HU Discount - is at http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/books/books.shtml

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  #5  
Old 26 Feb 2006
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Hi Pete, if you are in need of a good strong set of luggage for your 1200GS for that trip i can help you there, i have a set of Jesse luggage to fit a 1200GS, you can contact me at lockyv7@hotmail.com
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  #6  
Old 27 Feb 2006
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Thanks all for the info.
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  #7  
Old 7 Mar 2006
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Hello

Should be a good trip? Bit too early in the season yet to go scooting off up there yets, still the wet.

I have a set of Jesse and they are ok. A few probs with packing and the locks. They are only glued in place and can be broken off if someone wants to get into them. I am divising a better system for them.

I have a 2nd hand but still new (not used) set of Hepco & Becker panniers to fit a R12GS for sale and will let them go at a good price if your interested?

Just did a trip down your way to fit new tanks to the R12GS and had a great time. You guys have one of the best states for riding in Oz.

Cheers
Dingo
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  #8  
Old 27 Apr 2006
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I've been up and down twice, it's one of my favorite places. I'm touring Oz on an XR650 and took an eight day tour with Cape York Motorcycle Adventures. They took us way off the track and I wouldn't have a clue how to do that if not for the guides, the main drag gets a bit boring even if your hammering it (I did Cairns to the top in just over ten hours), but if you stop to smell the roses, or the wait a while*, it's great. People were fascinating, slow down and get to know a few local folks.

*Wait a while is worth finding out about.
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  #9  
Old 29 Apr 2006
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Doing the Cape

I did Sydney to Cape York back in 89.
The dirt road started at the Daintree Ferry crossing, but I hear it's tarred to Cooktown now?

Other posters are correct, the main route has millions of corrugagtions and as I recall, once you cross the Wenlock, lots of sandy sections.

The thing I normally tell people who are going to do the ride is, do you want to get to the Top or have fun on the way?

I don't think flogging one of the big, heavy, Beemers around up there is likely to be fun mate.
(Although blokes have done the Tip on Harley's in the past.)
It just depends how much effort you want to put in.

While I am not a fan of single cylinder off road bikes for RTW experditions they are perfect for doing the Cape on.

The main route, thru Cape Tribulation, onto to the Bloomfield River, Musgrave Telegraph Station, Coen, the Wenlock, the Jardine and up to Bamaga is not technically difficult.
But it's a chore on a heavy bike, and those corrugations do take their toll on the suspension, the rear subframes and other parts of the bike.

Expect to drop the bike a few times also.

The fun way to do the Cape is to buy or hire a 250 to 600cc machine from one of the shops in Cairns (like Wayne Leonard's) and give yourself about ten days to explore all the side tracks off the main route that go out towards the beaches and the hinterland.
You will need a compass for that, many tracks just wander out into nowhere if you go inland.
You could, as suggested, go with one of the tour bike companies, than everything is done for you.

Don't camp on the beaches or near the river crossings, there are crocs wandering about after dark.

I could hardly credit people swimming with their kids in the Wenlock when we pushed our bikes across it.
(There was a punt at the Wenlock but the cable had been cut when we rode back down.)
The Jardine has a ferry.

Also be aware that the jungle/rain forest stopped not far north of Cape Tribulation. The scenery on the main route after that was just boring scrub for hundreds of kilometers. No one had told me that before, I thought we'd be riding along jungle tracks the whole way. Bit of a disappointment really.

Weipa is the biggest aluminium mining town in the world, ummm, that's it for Weipa really. Although they do have a great Enduro event there every year. The Croc Run.

We didn't find the local people around the Cape area particulalrly friendly either, despite the fact we were only the second party thru after the rains had finished.
Expect to see hundreds of four wheel drivers up there after the rains also.
If you break down there's always someone on the main route every 30 minutes or so.
Not the case on the smaller side tracks. You can ride all day on the secondary tracks and see no one at all. Watch out for 4x4's sliding around blind corners however.
I know a few blokes going up sometime between June and August I think, they will have one or two back up 4x4's with them. Leaving from Bathurst.
I can put you in touch with them if you want?
More info available on Cape York on 4x4 siites on the Internet also.
Often more updated than the bike sites.

Hope this was of help.
Cheers: Jaq.
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  #10  
Old 29 Apr 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaqhama
I did Sydney to Cape York back in 89.
The dirt road started at the Daintree Ferry crossing, but I hear it's tarred to Cooktown now?

I don't think flogging one of the big, heavy, Beemers around up there is likely to be fun mate.
(Although blokes have done the Tip on Harley's in the past.)
It just depends how much effort you want to put in.

The fun way to do the Cape is to buy or hire a 250 to 600cc machine from one of the shops in Cairns (like Wayne Leonard's)

Don't camp on the beaches or near the river crossings, there are crocs wandering about after dark.

I could hardly credit people swimming with their kids in the Wenlock when we pushed our bikes across it.
(There was a punt at the Wenlock but the cable had been cut when we rode back down.)
The Jardine has a ferry.


Cheers: Jaq.
Yes, it's tarred to Cooktown, but the more interesting route going through the Daintree turns to Dirt after Cape Trib.

Beemer will do it fine, but it'd more fun on a 400. The top part of the Telegraph track is brilliant on a lighter bike.

Cape York Adventures will hire bikes too (I think.)

There's a good bridge across the Wenlock now. Don't go in any water unless you know for sure it's safe. You'll get eaten.

I'm smiling here now just thinking about it, it's a great trip.
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  #11  
Old 30 Apr 2006
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You can swim at Fruit Bat Falls if I recall correctly?
Croc free.
Stingers and Sharks and Salt Water crocs in the ocean also.
Taking a dip in the sea is a risk.
I don't remember seeing anyone swimming on any beach we stopped up, all the way up to the Tip.
Bit of a bummer really, you're stinking hot, dripping sweat, and you can't just strip off and jump into the water.
It was annoying.

Last edited by Jaqhama; 3 May 2006 at 15:46.
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  #12  
Old 2 May 2006
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Smile crocodile wrestling

So your telling me you live in Australia and cant wrestle the crocodiles like Steve erwin does ---here all my myths fly out the window --i thought all you australian blokes could wrestle with the wild life
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  #13  
Old 3 May 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purpleponygal
So your telling me you live in Australia and cant wrestle the crocodiles like Steve erwin does ---here all my myths fly out the window --i thought all you australian blokes could wrestle with the wild life
Crocs are a little more difficult to saddle than ponies.
When I was in the USA last year I rode a pony several times.
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  #14  
Old 16 May 2006
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It used to be one of the great bike trips until they rooted it up with punts, bridges, bitumen and graded dirt roads. As someone else mentioned its now a easy day's ride. Grumpy Old Man!!! that I am.

To do it on a Bee Em meant carrying two LiLo airbeds and floating/walking the bikes across the rivers by stuffing the LiLos under the pots, hopefully with a local keeping watch for crocs with a rifle handy. A 4x4 club in Vctoria had an 8mm film of the Jardine Stroll.

We used standard Krauser/BMW panniers and frames (cross braced under the number plate helps), plus a strap tying them over the seat. Pot racks add a fair bit of carrying capacity and keep the weight low. We had homemade 35 litre fuel tanks, plus 2 10 litre fuel cans sitting on the pot racks - geez that was stupid in hindsight.
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  #15  
Old 27 Jun 2006
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www.drivenxdiscovery.com

here's a short trailer for a doco we filmed back in 2002 of our trip from port douglas to the tip. sorry mate, can't really give advice on the ride as we did it in a series III landy, but the trailer should give you a bit of insight on the sights and terrain you will encounter. have fun!

cheers, dominik
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