Joining Morgan on the Australian leg of the Adventure has required the purchase and preparation of a bike. About 3 months ago I purchased a KTM 690 Enduro R and set about preparing it for the trip. The preparation has involved setting the bike up to travel big distances off road on primarily a mix of rocky and sandy roads, tracks and trails.
The first issue to address was fuel capacity. A 14litre Safari Tank was enlisted for this job and adding it to the 12litres in the stock tank should give a range of about 450km. With a 600km range required on 2 stages of the trip this was clearly not enough so additional fuel will be carried in 3 x 8litre fuel bags from Liquid Containment. Two of these bags will be used to extend the range of Morgan’s bike which has an on board capacity of 16 litres and the other bag will extend my range out to the required amount. There is still every chance we will be filling up Coke bottles with that little bit extra for the “just in case” benefit that the vast and remote Australian outback/desert demands.
Protecting the KTM engine was next on the list and a B&B bash plate was deemed to be the best protection available from the rocks and knocks that will be a frequent occurrence. B&B also supplied the luggage rack that sits over the rear fender and will be the location for my camping equipment bag.
Doing the Australian leg without a support vehicle (except when Morgan’s good mate Cameron Woodrow and his father, Russell will be joining us through the Kakadu and Arnheim Land stages in a Landcruiser) requires us to be able to carry all our gear including food, water, clothing and camping equipment. Giant Loop make some awesome motorcycle luggage and many an adventure rider has used this gear and it seemed to be right up my ally so a Giant Loop – Great Basin Bag and Fandango Tank Bag have been strapped to the bike to haul all my gear.
That is the bike prep’d so now all I needed was somewhere to sleep. Now in the centre of Australia in June the average night time temperature drifts a couple of degrees celsius above and below zero so sleeping accommodation is important and because this is a bike adventure so is size and weight. Luckily the hiking and mountaineering market place is huge and gear is plentiful. So a light weight 2 person tent and the appropriate light and small sleeping bag and matt capable of fitting my 195cm frame was selected.
Last but certainly not the least was navigation. The vastness and remoteness of the Australian Outback/Desert does not allow for navigational mistakes. Therefore a series of Hema Paper Maps will be tucked away in my gear with an old fashioned compass as back up to a new TwoNav Sportiva GPS. Anyone familiar with GPS’s, not your in car street navigator, but the real mccoy GPS that can operate once the bitumen stops knows that they are not that easy to use and set up. Many hours have been spent plotting the tracks that will see us traverse some of the most spectacular landscapes that Australia has to offer. I can’t wait to see some of the images that Morgan will be able to capture.
With the bike ready to go the last step was getting it to the start line a mere 3,500km’s away so a transport company was selected and as I type this out the bike is on the back of a truck making the long journey the easy way before it gets to turn around and make its way back the hard way.
I would just like to give a plug to Adventure Moto who sorted me out with all the gear for the bike. Steve and Janice are big supporters of many charities and made things happen when it looked like they might not. Also a plug for Wild Earth who did me a great deal on all the camping gear and Nick from www.octapc.com.au who supplied the GPS and helped me to load all the tracks and waypoints.
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