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So i've found myself in Melbourne, with nothing but an XR400 for company and an urge to go to WA. My plan is to slowly meander my way across to Adelaid, taking in the sights and maybe finding some work along the way, before making a break for the otherside of the country.
Now i know that the old XR's are fairly reliable beasts, as long as the oil level is kept high, but i do have some slight reservations regarding it's suitabilty for crossing the longest stretch of straight road in the world. I've ridden one of these things all over my home country of Scotland, but these were usualy fairly short journeys over a weekend, and never involved sustained motorway speeds for hours on end. Usually just short quick bursts along a dual carriageway before finding some nice country road to follow.
Also, i'm quite worried that i'd suffer a combined arse/brain haemorrhage at some point during the journey.
So what's your opinion? Reckon i should go for it? Obviously i'd take alot of oil and regularly top it up. It's got a long range tank so making it to each servo shouldn't be a problem.
Have i got any other options? Is it possible to put the bike on a train and frieght it over? if so, what would be the cost?
I might try and swap it in Adelaid for a bigger, more suitable bike, but i'm on P plates so limited to what i can get. Another option would be to sell it alltogether, fly over to perth, then buy another one. Though i like this bike and want to keep it..
Anyway, i'm rambling..! Any advice would be much appreciated!
I can't really offer a comment on the bike but I think you are right in deciding to take your time to do the trip.
It's a long ride but the Nullarbor is not as daunting as it may appear on the map. Just be sure to keep yourself hydrated and stretch your legs at regular intervals.
Between Melbourne and Ceduna I'd keep as close to the coast as possible. The sceney is better and there are lots of interesting little places to visit. Beyond that you don't have many choices but even on the Nullarbor you'll find tracks that will take you to the coast.
I'm likely to be doing my third crossing of the Nullarbor this year and looking forward to it.
..........i do have some slight reservations regarding it's suitabilty for crossing the longest stretch of straight road in the world. ..............So what's your opinion?
If you are leaving in the next few weeks you will have plenty of company going across the Nullabor.
The Ulysses Club is holding its annual AGM event in Albany from 8 to 14 March and about 3,300 old farts like me are registered to attend. The vast majority will be travelling to and from Albany via the Nullabor. If you have any problems I am sure there will be plenty of amateur mechanics among them with all sorts of tool kits. They must be carrying something in those Goldwing panniers, topboxes and trailers apart from their red wine and expresso machines.
Seriously though - there will be everything on the road from at least one guy on a 110cc Honda Postie to trikes with trailers. Some are already on the road, wending their way clockwise from north Queensland and others like me aren't leaving the east coast until 1 March or later.
After the AGM they will be returning the same way, so if you are on the road then your arm will ache with returning their waves.
If you train across the Nullabour, aren't you missing the ADVENTURE???
Yeh, you're right. I want to do it, but was just a bit uncertain about the bike. But that's not the right attitude, is it?
If it dies, it dies. I'd rather try and fail than not try at all. Anyway, sounds like it would be pretty easy to hitchhike the rest of the way if the bike dosn't make it!
When do you want to leave? Maybe we can ride together for a bit.
Like i said, i'm going to be taking my time getting there. I'm leaving Melbourne on Saturday and will be heading up to Mildura first, But i'm then coming back down to Melb in three weeks to fly over to Tas with a mate for 8 days. I won't be embarking on this trip properly until i get back, and i'm hoping on doing some fruit picking in South Australia for a month or so before crossing the Nullarbor. It probably won't be a couple of months before i cross over to WA. I don't know when you're heading over but if it's around the same time by all means get in contact!
I'm catching up with 2 Adv-riders tomorrow morning. We are riding via the Great Ocean Road to Adelaide and then Flinders Ranges before crossing the Nullarbor.
I have to find work soon as well. Will probably try in Perth.
It's possible to do the trip without too many issues. We went from Adelaide to Kalgoolie on XR250's with an additional 20 litres of fuel and packing only very basic water/food. We had an absolute blast and only used the roads around fuel stops. There are also people who will allow you to do fuel/food drops if you pre-arrange it. If you call the service stations and hotels along the route you can discuss this type of stuff. We did it over a few weeks and had an absolute blast. To really enjoy yourself pack light so you can really 'enjoy' the sandy bits..
Gear we took.
20 Litres of fuel in 2 x 10 litre jerry cans.
Swag to sleep.
10 litres of water.
Going off road almost the entire way, if you break down its only a shortish walk back to the main road for a large part of the trip. We tried to follow as close to the coast as possible and had to go 'cross country for parts'. However as you start to head down past the bite its a long walk back to the road. There are numerous dirt tracks which criss cross all over the place which makes it great fun finding your route and the time really flies by. Here is an example of criss crossing dirt trails. Google Maps
No broblem with the xr on this trip clean oil and filter fit new second hand tyres off say a dr650 you can pick up cheap oil the chain twice a day and go they cruise happily at 100km take your time and enjoy the trip. ROCO
I believe you can ship bike on train, dont know the cost, but you can ship cars on the Indian Pacific so I see no reason not to include bikes.
I realise this thread is a bit stale but just wanted to comment on this for anyone else who searches and finds it looking for info. There IS a reason why you can't ship bikes on the Indian Pacific. Cars are loaded onto special purpose vehicle carrying carriages which are unenclosed and basically just two checkerplate steel strips for cars to roll on/off. They will only carry cars, campers and 4WDs.
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