A little jaunt through central Australia - Page 3 - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #21 of 33 Old 10-09-2018, 05:22 AM Thread Starter
2nd Gear
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Cairns, Australia.
Posts: 191
So I packed up the bike again


and joined the crowd out the front


where Rex, Dennis, Phil, Henry and I decided that having come this far, we just wanted to get there and the ‘easier’ track would do just fine.
The surface was certainly rougher the further north we rode but nothing of real concern. After a couple of hours we came to the fork in the road where we went left ( awful) and the real adventurers went right ( bloody terrible).


We were headed towards Eringa Waterhole and eventually reached it around midday. Not really all that impressive really, just a muddy coloured lagoon with lots of cattle tracks around it but then any permanent source of water in this driest of areas in the driest state in the country is a welcome sight to the traveler.


We didn’t linger, after a muesli bar lunch we pushed on, eager to finish the journey and set up camp with plenty of daylight to relax and watch the later arrivals.
It was only 50 Klm to Mt Dare but the last 30 Klm became really challenging. Lots of deep, rutted sand and heavy corrugations. No choice but to ‘drop it down a cog, open the throttle and hang on’.
Plenty of bikes were layed over


but it was hard to get going again if you stopped and most of them had buddies nearby to help so I didn’t feel too bad at riding around them.

Finally, in mid afternoon we arrived,
Mount Dare!
‘Attachment limit reached’ message, so more pics next time.


Last edited by iddy; 10-22-2018 at 04:03 AM.
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post #22 of 33 Old 10-09-2018, 08:12 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: South of Charlotte, NC
Posts: 338
Crocs and such
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post #23 of 33 Old 10-21-2018, 05:05 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Cairns, Australia.
Posts: 191
Sorry for the delay, family emergency has slowed me down.

Mount Dare is a cattle station on the western edge of the Simpson Desert and like a lot of such places has branched out into the tourist/accommodation side of things to diversify the business.
We were all camping, again with the dust and the flies but we were more than happy to be there. Mt Dare had all we needed, fuel, food, beer and showers.
First priority was to fuel up, me at the pump


And Phil arrived shortly after


Soon, lots were queuing at the single pump


We pitched our tents


Grabbed a cold one and Dennis and I sat back to watch the arrivals


Now was the time to catch up with old friends and sit around the fire and meet some new ones.

gcchat likes this.

Last edited by iddy; 10-21-2018 at 05:08 AM.
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post #24 of 33 Old 10-21-2018, 10:28 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2018
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Fantastic story Iddy! Not many can say they've had such an adventure. Kudos to you and your friends. Keep the great story coming!
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post #25 of 33 Old 10-25-2018, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Cairns, Australia.
Posts: 191
Thanks gcchat, it’s all about the journey and the people you meet along the way.

There was lots to look at in the
camping area :
A relatively new Ural


Those who ride the 640 s are devoted to them


Coupla V stroms


Classic older beemers


I think there’s a DR under there somewhere

Last edited by iddy; 10-25-2018 at 06:47 AM.
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post #26 of 33 Old 10-25-2018, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Cairns, Australia.
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post #27 of 33 Old 10-25-2018, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Cairns, Australia.
Posts: 191
The bikes ranged from the exotic BMW HP2


to the decrepit 1950s Matchless


ridden by Claude who has become a minor legend by riding that thing all over the country


Early Teneres


And Beemer outfits with hand-built long range tanks


Last edited by iddy; 10-25-2018 at 06:47 AM.
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post #28 of 33 Old 02-03-2019, 03:21 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Blue Mountains, NSW
Posts: 15
Hi Iddy,
what a great read.... thank you!
As I would like to do something similar one day, I am keen to know the following....
What tyres were you running and how did they hold up?
Did you adjust your pressures to the conditions?
Were you using the standard gear cogs so 15/43?
Do you know the mpg/ or litres/100km you got?

Anything you would have changed in hindsight? (Apart from a new frame!)

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post #29 of 33 Old 02-04-2019, 03:56 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Cairns, Australia.
Posts: 191
Thanks Matrid,

First I need to apologise because I didn't really finish the second half of the story, I had some other stuff happening and got distracted. I'll make an effort to finish it in the next couple of weeks.

In answer to your questions I was running on a set of Heidenau K60 scouts.
Like any tyre they have their fans and their detractors and like all tyres they are a compromise between longevity and grip and price.
The K60s have a deserved reputation for longevity (and this is what I wanted and even squeezed the 140/80-17 onto the rim because they had an unbroken centre strip), I think mine had about 10,000 k on them when I started and about 18,000 on them by the time I got home.
They are certainly not the best in the dirt, you'd need a knobby for that but they worked for me, long life, adequate grip in the dirt and on the tar, and a lot quieter than a knobby on the highway.
They are a tough tyre with very stiff sidewalls and I had real concerns about levering one off the rim if I had a flat. Luckily I didn't have that problem on the trip but when I got home I changed the rear (put on a 'Tractionator GPS just to see if they are any good-like 'em so far) and had a real struggle getting it off the rim. Took me a couple of hours using all sorts of two metre long levers just to break the bead. Mitas EO7s are a lot softer by comparison.
Yes, I adjusted the pressure according to the conditions. It makes a huge difference on the dirt if you lower the pressure. I deflated them to about 22 psi for 'normal dirt' ie your average 'outback road' and went down as low as 15 if it was going to be soft or sandy. No rimlocks but then again the KLR doesn't really have the power to spin the rims inside the rubber especially with the K60s. Somewhere in the mid 30s for the highway.
I had a 16 tooth on the front, this gave me about 3800rpm at 100k and the bike felt quite happy at that speed.
I got about 22 to 23 klm per litre. This is with a set of 'throw over' saddle bags poking out in the wind and another big bag on the seat behind me. Those numbers were average in good conditions and changed markedly when things were 'less than optimum'-a headwind makes a difference, a dirty air filter makes a difference, a high cruise speed makes a big difference, lower tyre pressures and soft surfaces make a difference and so on.
With a 23 litre tank I figured I was good for a minimum of 450 klm and I carried a 6 litre plastic 'jerrycan' as well for the longer sections.
I'd do a better inspection (obviously!) of the bike before departure but other than that I've done 60,000 k on this bike on similar trips and only ever had minor troubles.
Biggest weakness of the bike for me is the rear rack bolts. I replaced the 6mm bolts that hold the rack down to the rear subframe loop with 8mm hardened steel and they still broke when subjected to a couple of hundred K over a rough, corrugated road with a load (about 12kg,6 litres water and 6 litres fuel) on them.
The OCR is run every second year, so not due again until 2020 but it's getting bigger every time. I'm already planning for the next one

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post #30 of 33 Old 02-04-2019, 05:15 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Blue Mountains, NSW
Posts: 15
Heh Iddy, once again a great, informative read.... thank you!
And thanks for the detail on the rack bolts.... I'm a newbie to the KLR, having recently bought a 2015, and have an issue with missing bolts from the rack - when I first was aware of this I looked for a diagram/parts plan for this but failed to come up with anything - will persevere as I need to sort it!

I had noted that the OCR is in August 2020.... but could not find a destination..... I understand this would have been decided at the end of the 2018 -so can you help me out here?

Cheers, and I look forward to your future updates....
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