You and your machine
There are two main considerations for this trip, water capability and Dust. Water, sand and mud have the ability to wreck bearings, bushes and joints in a matter of minutes. And dust can damage engines and cause accidents.
2009 we had a bike (I won’t mention brand) split a CV boot in the morning. After 7-8 creek crossings the grease had been completely washed out; by the afternoon after a long high speed section the rider pulled up and the rear diff spontaneously combusted due to excessive heat. This is a perfect example of how a small problem can quickly become a DNF! You need to know your machine in order to finish this epic ride. Every entrant should know the height of their air intakes. Machine specific “De-watering” processes should also be researched before the trip. Become familiar with your machine and it could be the difference between completing the ride or a DNF. Keep in mind this ride is 3000klm of harsh terrain, your machine will need to endure an average of 300klm per day; reliability and safety are paramount.
Previous experience has proven that it is cheaper to have a professional carry out a major service and repairs than have them done in Cape York. Flying in parts costs time and Money! If something is suspect, replace it; corrugation has a way of pulling bikes apart. Wheel bearings, tyre condition, suspension, brakes, engine condition, should all be considered. We highly recommend a full service on your vehicle before the ride. An area will be designated for servicing machines on day six (rest and repair day). Daily maintenance is advised and will be carried out in a designated area daily adhering to strict environmental policy.
We will be travelling over 3000km and averaging 325 km per day, Endurance is a key factor. Set suspension to med/soft for a plush ride. Consider handlebar, levers and brake pedal position. They should all be set so you are in a comfortable position. Spend some time on this as it is well worth the effort. Some entrants have “Dual gassers” or “twist throttles” to reduce thumb fatigue. These are good options. Cruise controls and throttle extensions are not permitted.
All machines should have the following-
- At least 1 rear view mirror
- Working headlights and tail lights
- Tow point at front and rear
- Enough tyre tread to get to the tip and back (preferably new tyres)
- 1lt drinking water on the bike
- Personal first aid kit
- UHF radio
Be cautious about fitting aftermarket extras to your machine. This is an endurance event not a race. Experience has proven that the majority of mechanical issues are related to aftermarket ‘go fast’ parts.
Some extras worth considering are the following-
- Dual gasser/twist throttle
- 12v air compressor
Amerseal works well on most big bikes, If you are going to use it, test it at 80/100kph to make sure no no balance issues occur.
Artrax, duro and Maxis are all perfect for the trip, they all have enough rubber to get you up and back.
If you have an auto machine, bring spare belts, I recommend x2 minimum.
Bring only tools that you are prepared to carry on your bike or person (tool bag). Tour mechanics and sweep vehicle are well equipped.
Advised to carry
- Plug spanner
- Tyre plug kit
- 12v pump
- Pliers/Multi tool
- Bike specific spanners / allen keys and torx bits
- Small shifter
- Shock spring tool
- Electrical & Duct Tape
- Toe rope
- Zip ties
- Floppy hat/sunscreen (you will appreciate this when you break down)
Support vehicles have limited room for spares, if you have spare parts you think you may need, please consult Colin/Bullet for advise. Some common spares will be carried on the support vehicles. Limited spares can be packed into ‘tuff boxes’ and placed into the baggage truck.
Spare parts to bring (advised)
- Engine Oil and filter
- Gearbox oil
- Spark plug (make sure correct plug for machine)
- Air filter
- Relay (bike specific)
- Fuel Filter
- CV boot
- Drive belts x2
- Workshop Manual (Digital or hard copy)