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Old 20 Dec 2001
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Fuel on the long stretches

I am currently planning a round oz trip in April/May 2002. The three bikes going will be my Kwaka GTR 1000 a Z900 & a Z650. I would like to hear from anybody in relation to suggestions on fuel in the long stretches across outback Qld & NT and then from Darwin to Broome. I have never had to carry fuel and am a little wary of it especially in the heat. Does anybody have any ideas or suggestions?

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Old 6 Jan 2002
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I've just completed a 10,000km solo ride on an Aprilia Pegaso and, although I didn't take in Qld, I did travel through some very sparsely populated areas incl. Great Central Highway (neither 'great' nor a 'highway' in most people's definition! and a fair bit of Vic, NSW, SA, NT & WA.

There are fuel stations at virtually every township you'll see marked on your maps - I used the Hema series (1 map per state)and found them to be generally reliable (but if you're looking for a town that is allegedly on a road, like Cosmo Newberry for example, you may find it is 4 or 5 km off the road down an even worse dirt track...)

The Aprilia had a 21l tank and I carried a 5l plastic car-drivers-type fuel can. The can was a mistake and I found I could hold no more than 3l without major spillage, but if you buy a lockable metal jerrycan you should have no problems.

The 5l was for emergencies and I only needed it when my air filter got clogged on the aforementioned Great Central Highway and my fuel consumption plummeted from around 6 or 7l/100km to about 11l/100km.

I used to have a GTR and the 24l tank and massive fuel range will be no problem - although I would advise filling up as often as possible - it can be infuriating to get to a scheduled stop nearly dry only to find they have closd for a 2 hour lunch break! Take a metal 5 (or preferably 10) litre can and empty into the tank at the end of each days' ride before refilling when you start off the next day.

One final word - in some areas ULP is not available, but I have no problems with the rare occasion I had to use AvGas - check with your local dealer for their advice on use of this (but don't believe it when they tell you it'll destroy the engine) - it may be unavoidable in some places...

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Old 11 Feb 2002
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I did a two up trip up through the centre to Darwin, & then across to Queenslan & back down to Victoria. Covered 14,000 kms. Bike is a Triumph Thunderbird. Although space was at a real premium, (full camping gear) I still had to find a place for an extra 5 litre plastic fuel can, to supplement the 'bird's meagre 15 litre/220(ish)km range.
The longest stretch was between the Barkly Homestead & Cammooweal (on the Barkly Hwy between Tennant Creek & the Q'land border. Around 280kms. You can also use an awful lot more fuel than usual if it's windy. Riding up to Coober Pedy my tank ran dry after 168kms of blustery cross winds. Even with the extra 5 litres, I put 14.8 litres into the tank at Coober Pedy! Fuel consumption also dropped to a similar level in the Red Centre. I thought that perhaps it was running too rich for some reason, & took it to the Triumph dealer in Alice Springs. After telling him that my fuel consumption had risen, he said "Losing around 40kms per tank?". I nodded. He said " Normal around here, due to the altitude, I could have a play with your carbs if you want me to, but it won't improve it, by the time you reach Tennant Creek you'll find that normal consumption will have returned". Weird eh? But he was dead right.I cant talk about W.A, but up through the middle, & the eastern states, a minimum fuel range should be around 300kms. Most bikes have a better range than the Thunderbird, so chances are you won't need to carry extra fuel. I used a plastic fuel can, carried in the tank bag, without problem, despite temperatures up to 46 deg.C.
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Old 28 Feb 2002
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I did a ride from Sydney to Alice and back in August last year, one up on a ZZR1100. My observations were that fuel consumption suffered in the strong winds up from Port Augusta + you tend to run about 20 Kays faster that you normally would run in NSW or Victoria. Sitting on 140, I was getting about 15 Kph/L, down from 20. In the NT, there is no speed limit, so consumption what you make it, it's a trade off between time and distance. Running at 200KPH, consumption dropped to 10Kph/l, and you start to chew out that rear tyre.

My general rule is plan to be able to cover 300K's comfortably at a sensible speed. Nothing spings to mind where you'll get caught out.

BTW, might see you on the road. I'm heading off with a friend across the Nullarbor to Broome, then down the Tanami Road to Alice Springs, where I either go doen to SA and the Oodnadatta track or Across to QLD. We leave April 9 - look out for a green XTZ 660 and a Red Domminator.
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Old 28 Feb 2002
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I'm also heading for the centre in April. Bourke NSW then through western Queensland and then to Tennant Creek, Alice, Ayers Rock, Kings Canyon, Port Augusta, Broken Hill and Dubbo.

I've done this route before in 1994, and the 280Kms across between Barkley and Camooweal is the only long stretch sans fuel.

We will be staying on the tarmac this time and my 1100 GS will be in company with an ST1100, a Goldwing, and a Goldwing trike.

I first did the trip many years ago when much of the centre highway was dirt. No resort at Ayers Rock then, and Kings Canyon was almost inaccessible, now there is a big resort there. I've heard that the Erldunda - Ayers rock road now has a 110Kmh speed limit. This is supposed to reduce the accident rate of foreign tourists in rental cars on the wrong side of the road. How, I'm not sure.

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Old 4 Mar 2002
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I am currently riding around Australia on a GT550. I am also wondering about fuel consumption as I have not done this type of trip before. Maybe we can help each other out? Let me know how you get on. I am in Oz until September 2002.
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Old 16 Aug 2002
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I toured around Australia on an FJ1200 in 2001 from Adelaide - Perth - Darwin - Brisbane - Sydney - Melbourne - Adelaide.

The biggest problem for fuel was in northern Western Australia between the Sandfire Roadhouse and Roebuck Roadhouse, a bit under 300km.


I didn't find to many problems between Barkly Homestead and Camooweal - the road is really good there, not like the next stretch in Queensland, from Camooweal to Mount Isa...


Also, fuel consumption is under statistics at robstravels.com for the trip on the FJ.


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