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  #1  
Old 8 Nov 2011
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Melbourne to London 2011 - 250CC

Hi guys

Long time listener, first time called as they say. Been lurking around here for the last year or so reading as much as I can and taking it all in.

I'm 23 and have lived in Australia for the last 10 years after I moved here from the UK with my family. Inbetween the UK and Australia we spent five years driving and camping around South America (mostly Brazil) so I am no stranger to overland adventure though I was younger at the time.

About six months ago a death in the family made me decide that I need to do something life defining to draw a barrier between where I am now and the rest of my life. I finished highschool in 2006, went straight into a double degree in Film and Digital Media which I completed in 2009 and then went stright into a full time job working for a film production company here in Melbourne. Needless to say, I'm in need of a holiday.

The idea formed that I'd return to my home country by land, celebrating the ten years I'd spent in Australia. Initially the idea was based around public transport, but I have since been encouraged (by the likes of Nathan Milward, David Stokes and others riding smaller bikes) to attempt to ride my well maintained with 25,000km or so on the clock 1988 Honda CD250U to London.

That was six months ago.

I quit my job, found someone to fill my room in my sharehouse. Sold virtually everything I own and as of yesterday have been living on the family farm slowly going through a list of things I need to do.

I've sorted most of my luggage, just need a way to mount it to the bike. I have always been interested in film and studied film production so I have a pelican case I intend to mount to the rear with all my film equipment. I'm investigating insurance, carnets, shipping companies, visas, passports and alike with the expectation to cover the basics and sort out the rest whilst on the road.

I've set mentals firebreaks for myself. If I get as far as Darwin (still a bloody long way), then I will be content I tried and if I don't feel the need to press ahead then I won't. However, I don't expect this to be the case.

I have a decent amount in the bank, though I intend to camp as much as possible (in australia anyway) in an attempt to scrape it all as far as possible.

I have no deadlines, no pressures and all the time in the world. I have a small reliable bike that can cruise happily at 85 kmph with all I need to stay fed, watered, bedded and dry strapped to the back.

I would love to hear what you lot reckon of my plans. I've been torn between two mentalities; planning and preparing every last detail or just yelling 'f**k it', hopping on the bike and hoping for the best. So I settled on a halfway point between the two. I considered many different options including buying a bike in different countries or swapping a bike with someone else, but nothing quite beat the idea of getting from where I live now to where I used to live using the bike I already owned.

Hopelessly naive? or in for the time of my life?

Cheers

Nick and a bike called Rabbit
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Melbourne to London 2011 - 250CC-img_4292o.jpg  

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  #2  
Old 8 Nov 2011
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Sounds good to me Nick, except perhaps the rabbit thing

You'll be fine, and
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  #3  
Old 8 Nov 2011
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No right or wrong way

I don’t normally respond to these sorts of opening posts, because there is no right or wrong way of doing what you have in mind. No-one here, I believe, can provide you with a definitive answer to your question.

See, you can forward plan every conceivable aspect of a long overland trip, right down to the tiniest degree; take six years all told in time, and easily spend $100,000+ throughout the whole process, with as many respite breaks (back home, or elsewhere) as you feel you need or want along the way, before your ambition and dreams are finally fulfilled.

Or

You can go the Nathan Millward way, by doing it all on a shoe-string .. and a wing and a prayer; straight through with no breaks, making it all up as you go. Take six months to complete your objective and spend no more than $10,000 [$15,000 tops] .. with the whole deal financed on a credit card.

And there are an infinite amount and number of combinations and compromises in between, on either side of each and every approach.

All of them are perfectly valid and worthy, of course. Because as I say, there is no right or wrong way; nor is there a right or wrong route to follow, nor 'perfect' bike upon which to ride. That's what makes it all such a fascinating business and fantastic thing to do. In short, you can create your dreams from brain and heart, or just from heart alone.

BUT Nick (and a bike called Rabbit), you’ve already taken the BIGGEST and most important step of all, which is the unbreakable promise and commitment to yourself to go and make it all happen.

My only piece of advice is to ensure that you stay resolute and single-minded, because as surely as night follows day, you will encounter many difficulties along the road that you will need to overcome.

Now go and make it all happen mate – and really turn your decision and dreams into tall tales that you will remember and cherish until your dying day. Simply put, go and make it your very own and quite unique trip of a lifetime.

Best of luck ..

Keith
.
PS - Welcome to the forum.
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Last edited by Keith1954; 8 Nov 2011 at 13:54.
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  #4  
Old 9 Nov 2011
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Location: Eumundi, AUS
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Nick, checkout Danielle's posts at Motomonkey
Motomonkey Adventures Home

31 y.o. chick riding solo from OZ to Africa. Left the Sunshine Coast this year and did the first leg to Darwin. Jumped onto boats to Timor . . . .

She's just crossed from Iran into Iraq...

This is her second big journey after her mother died prematurely.

Oh, and she's on a 250!

Enjoy
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  #5  
Old 9 Nov 2011
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few suggestions

Hi Nick,

Great plan. I just returned from Melbourne after driving there from Amsterdam via Mongolia on a 750 cc Honda Africa Twin. Took me approx 5 months.

A few things that might be useful in my point of view:

1. Do not worry too much - just get the main stuff done and then go. It is easier than it looks if you have time and are flexible. People on this forum all have different views (and there is a LOT of info) so it can be great fun to spend days here discussing all kinds of details but most things really don't matter. IMO there is a world of difference between a 20 year old guy on an old bike with time and a budget and a 45 year old german on a 1200GS. Met both types and each are great but do not start disussing among each other the approach for a trip.

2. Main stuff I mentioned under 1 is:
a) arrange as many visa as possible and bike doc (i.e. carnet)
b) take spare parts for known weak point on bike and be comfortable in fixing each of them
c) avoid shipping! I spent so much time waiting and thousands of dollars. You have to go to Dili from Darwin obviously, from Sumatra to Malaysia and probably from Bangkok to India or something and that is all fine but avoid any other routes which have few transport options. I shipped from Mongolia by air to Bangkok and that was a terrible experience.
d) check the best timing for weather. I was pretty lucky in that respect but being cold or wet (monsoon) can really get to you
e) do not underestimate Indonesia. I got ill on Sumatra during ramadhan in August and it was the most difficult part of the trip. Australia, Malaysia and Thailand are so easy and fast compared to Indonesia

Send me a message if you would like to discuss any details.

Tijs
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  #6  
Old 9 Nov 2011
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Yep, it´s one of the great road trips, I did it 4 years ago, some 34000kms from Helsinki to Sydney. It can be done on a streetbike, too, but road condition varies. Generally I think the roads were actually surprisingly good, and worst were Pakistan, India (in India, I think they were surprisingly bad, not to even mention traffic!!) and Indonesia, Sumatra in particular. But all in all, I would definitely not skip Indonesia!

Shipping is a bit of a pain, that you probably cannot avoid on that route, to get to Indonesia first, and then to go from SE Asia to other parts of Asia.
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  #7  
Old 10 Nov 2011
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Have a look at Sydney Australia to London England on a moped. The adventure travel blog of Nathan Millward | The Postman

He rode a postie bike all the way so I am sure that you can too.
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  #8  
Old 15 Nov 2011
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Welcome to the H.U. I wish you the best for your trip planning!
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  #9  
Old 15 Nov 2011
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Like everyone else has said don't worry too much and just do it in the style that suits you. I'm near the end of my trip Sydney - Russia - Europe and have had a great time on a lowish budget. I'll end up having spent about $13,000 whilst on the road by the end of 6 months - but if needed could have done it on $10,000 or less. I think a 250 will be fine for the trip - certainly I now favour smaller over larger bikes. Just resist the desire to take everything - keep luggage as light as possible. The one problem in reading the HUBB is you can sometimes feel if you don't have the latest and best of everything you're not preparing properly.

My only advice is to contact your local HUBB community - there's bound to be someone in the Melbourne area who has done the travelling and give you practical advice and support. The web and the HUBB are fantastic but there is nothing like talking to real people to help pull your plans together.

All the best.

My blog on travelling on an old 650 is at:
Away On My Bike | Just another Adventure Riders Blogs site
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http://awayonmybike.blogspot.co.uk/
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  #10  
Old 5 Dec 2011
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Hi guys
Thanks for each of your replies and pointers. The positivity was exactly what I needed. I've read Nathans book and regularly check up on Motomonkey along with a tonne of other blogs. Without a doubt the endless nights spent flicking through peoples travel-logs are what sold it for me.

I'm almost geared up to the point of confidence. I'm just waiting for a few extra spare parts to arrive along with my Altberg boots I ordered in august which have now been lost in transit by good old reliable Australia Post (if only their service were as dependable as the 110cc).

I've set myself up a temporary website at A Blue Million Miles | A bloke, an old Honda and a long way left to go. but once I sort myself it'll be at bluemillionmiles.com named after my favourite Captain Beefheart song.

I'll let you all know how it pans out.

Groot and navalarchitect (if that is indeed your real name) just out of interest, did you take a GPS with you on your trips?

I'm not asking the timeless 'should I take one and which one', but I'd be interested to hear your respective takes on the idea.
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  #11  
Old 5 Dec 2011
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G'day Nick - I've done that ride a couple of times, and on a small engine bike.

I'm in Melbourne so PM me if you want to catch up and fire any questions you like at me.
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