4th 50CC on a 149cc bike and I hit nothing - Sept 2013


Premier Member

The ride had been planned for several months; the biggest issue was bike reliability rather than ride fitness. The motor would be ridden for up to 20 hours a day; if I was to encounter a headwind it would have a noticeable impact on my ride plan as the motor was smaller than my push lawn mower. Obviously the Yamaha YZF R15 was not designed for a trans-Australia crossing, let alone being flogged for ten days straight. My original plan was to attempt 16,000 kilometres in ten days.

I had previously ridden the R15 on several multi-day rides and had crossed Australia before; this was going to really push her, hard.

Previous modifications were proven, tested and needed no modification. The modified lights, altered gearing, in-line long-range fuel tank and homemade exhaust system made this extended ride slightly more achievable and safer. One of the major modification differences was the lighting. The existing headlight globes have been replaced with LED’s and additional LED driving lights made riding at night amongst the wildlife infested areas more manageable. I had previously written off a R15 after hitting a kangaroo head on just out of Perth. A hybrid wiring harness was fabricated for the new lighting system allowing the original wiring harness with globes to be utilised if a lighting failure occurred.

The long range fuel cell gave me a range in excess of 850 kilometres allowing me the flexibility to refuel when it suited my plan. To minimise weight, I only carry enough fuel for each leg minimising weight.

Day 1

I woke to the alarm at 03:00hrs and went through the usual routine. It was going to be cold so I put on four upper layers under my coat. I headed outside and opened the shed. It was quiet, the air crisp and it was quiet.

I pushed the bike about 200 metres towards the main road. I pressed the starter and the 149cc engine immediately cracked to life breaking the quietness, it idled at a steady 3,000 rpm with its bark echoing in the distance, the revs settled down to a steady 1,800rpm within a few moments and I pulled off. The taller first gear necessitated me to slip the clutch longer than usual to get the bike off the mark and the bike launched forward. I rode the first few kilometres cautiously ensuring the revs were kept low until the engine had warmed sufficiently. It wasn’t long before I arrived at the BP service station, refueled; witness forms completed and depart docked read 03:55hrs.

I headed towards my first stop at Cobar; it was cold, cloudy and virtually no wind. This is my favorite time of day, minimal traffic and I always look forward to the impending sunrise even though it always appears colder just before the sun rises. The R15 made good pace, I was focused as I pulled up at the mandatory Cobar landmark for a photo, I left the engine running and an early morning runner offered to take my picture, I thanked her but didn’t have time to give her the camera, I was on a really tight plan. I always stop here because this image annoys Jody. I pull into the service station and activated the SPOT right on schedule after completing a short 297 kilometre run from Dubbo.

Cobar the first photo opportunity, just for Jody

I refuel, update my paperwork and checked my phone messages. I had a message from home; a granddaughter has arrived a couple of hours earlier. This was exiting; I called home and blew some time and pulled out ten minutes outside my plan.

The run from Cobar to Broken Hill is long, sparse traffic and hundreds of goats peppered everywhere posing a low risk even though two were spatted on the road where a semi-trailer had obviously forced its right of way. I didn’t see any emu’s close to the roadway however several were seen in the paddocks. Traffic is slowly increasing as I make my way westward with countless grey nomads travelling in both directions and parked in the designated rest stops. I pass several vehicles as a slight tail wind is capitalised propelling me to a cruising speed in excess of 105 kph for over 150 kilometres.

456 kilometres later I arrive Broken Hill, this is a blistering stop of just over six minutes including refueling, topping up water, energy bar and paperwork. On my way again heading towards Mildura, I can’t remember exactly but it must have been close to 100 kilometres towards Mildura when the road works began. I slowed for the red light, I won Lotto, it turns green, and I proceed forward on a recently graded section that has lime impregnated into it. This single 40kph lane lasted a few kilometres but the roadwork’s continued for close to thirty kilometres. Very little traffic was seen and I was passed by only one vehicle during this 297 kilometres stretch.

I arrive in Mildura a few minutes outside my schedule and waisted a few minutes locating the fuel station. I was out by three blocks with my calculations and a little disorientated as I had never come in from this direction before, the GPS said one thing and the sign another. It’s funny how your mind can play tricks on you when you are fatigued or not focused. I think the real issue was I was too relaxed, enjoying the ride and not taking much notice of where I was.

I was looking for a BP service station however only passed an Independent. I refuel with 17 litres that will get me to my next point some 564 kilometres away as my next scheduled stop is Peterborough. This was another fast stop and I made up a couple of minute here.

Fruit Inspection Centre, Yamba SA

I pull into Peterborough at 22:33hrs; no fuel is available after 20:00hrs so I rely on an ATM docket as evidence that I passed through here. I insert my card into the teller whilst talking on the phone, obtain an account balance and remove the card. What was that! I viewed the balance but did not get a receipt, I need to refocus so I reinsert the card and get a printed receipt and am on my way again.

The road to Port August is well known; I have travelled it countless times and enjoy the ride. At night there is always risk of kangaroo strike but I push on regardless through the twisties at Horricks Pass finally seeing the lights in the distance of Port Augusta.

I cover the 1,614 kilometres thirty minutes outside my plan; much of this was due to the calls regarding the arrival of our Grandchild. I fill with 16 litres of petrol, obtain a docket and complete the paperwork. Oil checked, chain checked and bike cover pulled over to keep the rain and prying eyes off her. I have a quick bite to eat and a coffee. I know the female attendant at the cafe and she O.K’s for me to use of the truckies lounge for a quick nap.

Day 2

My alarm wakes me and I feel refreshed after four and a half house sleep. I have an iced coffee and head off at 04:00hrs, next stop Ceduna. It is dark, overcast, and cold; I dip my lights to an oncoming vehicle and make the right hand turn towards Iron Knob. I start leaning into the corner and hit high beam, my rear wheel locks as I stamp heavily on the brake, the bike straightens as I pass between three kangaroos sitting in the middle of the road. I think to myself how close that was and continue cautiously for a few kilometres until my confidence returns. I start riding the R15 harder and the temperature starts falling as I reached Kimba.

I was unable to get any shots of the ‘Galah’ or ‘halfway sign’ as everything was in total darkness. My Oxford clock indicated that the temperature is hovering around 5 degrees Centigrade. As I was travelling west of Kimba, thin waves of fog hovered just above my head. It was an eerie feeling in the darkness as the light reflected off the fog onto the roadway. It felt like it was getting colder and before long I was in the thick of it and visibility was very poor. I continued for a further 50 kilometres and it was wearing me down both physically and mentally, I had to pull over. I was cold, the temperature dropped to 4 degrees Centigrade. I hit my first ‘wall’; I needed to focus and get over it now because I was in trouble. Under my gloves I had on two pairs of silk liners, four upper layers and was still cold. I do not have the luxury of heated gloves or vest due to the limited power output of the R15. I dismounted the bike and did some brisk exercises, as brisk as one can do with all the riding gear on. I headed off a few of minutes later, focused and determined to complete the next leg.

I was relieved when I passed through Kyancutta, things didn’t seem as bleak, the fog still encompassed everything, I don’t have any fond memories of Kimba.

Wudinna passed as fast as a blink, I couldn’t see the huge granite statue because of the fog, I remained focused, I didn’t want to loose any time and there was very little traffic except for a handful of semi-trailers punching their way through the fog. The bright hue could be seen kilometres away and I waited in anticipation for the light to temporarily blind me until I was able to refocus and pass by the semi-trailer. The sun starts to emerge through the fog, my spirits rise. The temperature is steadily increasing and I’m feeling more comfortable and starting to enjoy the ride again.

I arrive at Ceduna spot on target at 0915 hrs, I refuel, complete paperwork, have a cool drink and was harassed by a well-tanned woman wanting money when I returned to the bike. This can be an issue late at night in Ceduna but I have never been approached in the daylight, come to think of it I have only passed through here once before in the daylight.

The weather was glorious as I headed westward again; I pulled over and took a photo at Penong. Penong is a small town located on the Eyre Highway and is characterised by the dozens of mind mills peppered around the town.

Penong, town of windmills

During previous trips I have encounter several wombats from 30 kilometres west of Penong for about 50 kilometres, then the kangaroos start playing tag. I pass Nullarbor roadhouse looking at the ocean that presents itself only a few kilometres from the highway. What a great day for a ride I think to myself.

Nullarbor Plain

Approximately 80 kilometres from Boarder Village I come across a wide load. The wide load is travelling at 85 kph, I follow it for a few kilometres and weave my way to the front of the queue. An escort vehicle flags me up and gestures to pass the wide rigs on the left hand side of the road; a little tentative I follow the direction and am soon ahead of the wide load. I start doing calculations hoping I will be in and out before the load catchers up at Border Village.

Traffic tamers

I arrive Border Village at 14:45hrs a few minutes outside my schedule. My next stop is over 500 kilometres west so I refuel with 18 litres ensuring I have enough to make it to the next stop. I have a couple of overcooked Dim Sims on the run, add salt and wash them down with water as I mount the bike and head off. This is a slow stop as I pass through the fruit inspection point, I have nothing to declare and take a picture of the R15 between SA and the WA borders, I notice the wide load creeping towards the inspection station and quickly head off again.

South Australia and Western Australia border

I wind the R15 up again for the next leg; it is overcast however nothing threatening in the immediate vicinity. Traffic is sparse; the Grey Nomads have pulled up stumps for the day and are parked in clusters in the parking bays located in strategic locations along the roadside. The wind is insignificant and the bike sits comfortably on 7,000 rpm and occasionally hitting 7,5000 in sixth gear propelling me along in excess of 100 kph! The sun is out and there are scattered kangaroos in flight right in front of me. They can be seen hundreds of metres away and they are determined to cross the highway without slowing down. I have no doubt if a kangaroo hopped into me to would knock me right off the bike.

The wind is picking up and it is more challenging to maintain 100 kph. As time passes my average speed is slowly decreasing towards 90 kph causing me to lay supine on the bike for longer periods attempting to further decrease the wind resistance.

Some data

The long straight road

I pull into Balladonia at 20:30hrs, fifteen minutes behind schedule and the wind can be clearly felt as I pull up. Fuel here is the most expensive for the trip at $1.96 a litre. It is not uncommon in these more remote locations to charge well over $2.20 a litre however the wholesale price has fallen recently dragging the retail price with it. I only fill with 4 litres; this is ample to see me through to my rest stop Norseman. Balladonia was a mandatory stop ensuring I did not exceed the 600 kilometres between breaks as per IBA regulations. I didn’t see any kangaroos during this leg; the wind continued making it difficult to make a decent pace with short periods of light rain.


I arrive Norseman and bypass the main 24hr BP truck stop. There fuel is more expensive and you are required to pay in advance once the sun goes down. They also have very limited hot food as the kitchen closes about 21:00hrs. I pull into the Caltex around the corner five minutes outside my plan, I’m really happy with run. I have now completed over 3,280 kilometres in less than 48 hrs. I refuel the bike, make time to sit down and have a well cooked chicken pie and carton of chocolate milk. I chat to the console operator for a few minutes; he moved from Adelaide and loves it in Norseman. I check the engine oil level and chain, both are fine. I bid farewell and head off to an information park to bed down for the night. It is starting to rain again and the clouds are thick and dark. I inflate my pillow, settle into my mattress and am asleep within minutes.

Day 3

The alarm wakes me at 03:30hrs, I get up off the 15mm self-inflating mattress, I didn’t feel great and have some abdominal pain. I pack the bike, visit the amenities; it’s not rocket science but I have picked up a bug. I head off to the fuel station to purchase some water and obtain a depart docket. I was now a little dehydrated and attempting to manage it. I finally departed some twenty minutes outside me scheduled time still determined to make my next stop on schedule. The rain was persistent and at times heavy with wind gusts making progress physically and mentally demanding.

I was determined to give it a go however made an unscheduled stop at the amenities at Coolgardie about 165 kilometres from Norseman. I park the bike and walk past a Winnebago towing what looked like a small 4WD. I was unable to work out exactly what it was as it was as it was literally covered in mud as were the sides and back of the Winnebago. I said to the guy, ‘you been doing some four wheel driving’, he didn’t appear too impressed, ‘he replied, where are you off to?’ I replied ‘Perth’, he smiled and then started talking about the state of the highway and he doubted that I would get through. I thanked him and carried on with my business.

I returned to the bike and still felt pretty second hand. I balanced the weather, road and my own physical condition and reluctantly decided to pull the pin. This is a hard and challenging decision for any rider, safety always comes first. Now I needed a place to camp with amenities close by, I rode the bike into a large carport that should protect me from the rain, numerous industrial 4WD’s were also parked under cover. The rain is heavy making a horrendous sound on the tin roof that I was camped under. I update my SPOT status, inflate my pillow, set my alarm for a decent sleep and lay on the concrete ground next to a diesel engine. I am fortunate I can sleep anywhere and drift off within a minute or so. I wake a few hours later and feel much better, still dehydrated but working on it. I load the bike and am off in mild rain within minutes, traffic is light and all the vehicles are all covered in red mud. A few kilometres further the posted speed limit is 80kph, roadwork's! I travel about ten kilometres on sealed road then notice a red stain on the opposite side of the roadway, the colour is getting darker and thicker on the road. Around the corner a sign states 40 kph, yes, there it is the mud track I was warned about. I rode in the truck tracks that were impacted about 3 centimetres into the base of the road, they were firm and kept me on course. I kept my feet on the pegs and just went for the ride. Occasionally I tried to ride between the tracks but I just slid around and did not have much control and almost fell off countless times.

The rain kept visibility to a minimum and all traffic was moving pretty slowly with the workers guiding and escorting traffic. This could have been fun if I wasn’t so far from home and if it wasn’t raining. After what appeared like eternity the bitumen returned, I had no opportunity to pull off earlier as I was followed by other vehicles and the edges would have been soft, deep and swallowed me up. I pulled over about two kilometres along the road, the rain had eased and I stood back and looked at the R15, what a mess. I was covered in mud up to my knees. My main concern was the chain, I had to complete another 4,500 kilometres on it and would not have any opportunity to replace it. I thought to myself that when the mud cleans off the chain I would lubricate it liberally.

Needs a wash or a run in some heavy rain

As I was standing in the rain looking at the bike with water running off me, a roadwork’s vehicle stopped checking my status; he asked if I was O.K. I said yeah thanks for stopping; can you tell me if there is any more mud, he replied, ‘about 50 kilometres starting around the next corner!’ I replied, ‘I can probably handle that’, he quickly corrected saying ‘no’, and that’s the worst of it, it’s basically all sealed. He suggested I use of the crib hut a few kilometres along and wash the mud off, dry off and get a hot coffee. I thanked him and said I was dry underneath just needed the rain to continue for a while. I mounted the bike and continued towards Merredin some four hundred odd kilometres away.

The rain continued for another couple of hours and I arrived at 12:30hrs. I pulled into the BP Merredin, did the usual and stopped for lunch. As I left the dining area it was still overcast, the bike looked much cleaner and virtually all the mud had been washed from my boots and riding gear. I started the bike, rocked it forward onto the side-stand and eased it into first gear and lubricated the chain thoroughly. I had learned previously this was the easiest way to lube the chain when she was loaded. The trick here is to fit an isolation switch allowing the bike to run in gear with the side-stand down.

The run down into Perth is fast and wet, I sit on the speed limit and always enjoy this section as it represents the end of the ride, hang on, this is only the starting point!

Gus meets me at the BP service station at the bottom of Greenmount Hill. This is the usual rendezvous location for interstate travellers; we chat for a couple of minutes and head off as it starts drizzling. We arrive at Gus’s home in what seemed like only a few minutes. I unload and have a quick shower and feel refreshed. I do a little bike maintenance and add about 100mls engine oil and lube the chain. It doesn’t need adjustment even after all the mud, rain and about 4,000 kilometres of travel.

My scheduled depart time was 04:00hrs (est) from Scarborough beach. Due to changes in my original plan, I discussed the advantages with Gus of departing an hour earlier, the additional hour of light will assist in the ‘black’ spots of Border Village and Cobar. Dinner time, it is Gus’s birthday, I offer to order something however he prefers to arrange a home cooked meal, man I enjoy staying here! Gus does researches the weather and wind conditions on the following day. Things look real good in relation to a tail wind for a large portion of the trip to Border Village, the inverse to my initial two days. Scattered rain is forecast but that shouldn’t be too much of an issue however I am concerned on the mud section that lies ahead. The winds will change as I approach Eucla pass, I will address that as it happens. If off to bed at 21:00hrs and set the alarm for 01:40hrs.

Day 4

The alarm wakes me at 01:40hrs, I quickly dress, Gus is up ready to go. This is not new to him as he has chaperoned me on numerous previous crossings, probably making sure I leave not overstaying my welcome.

Gus leads the way, we arrive Scarborough Beach BP just after 02:00hrs, Lindsey turns up a few minutes later. We chat for a while, share stories and get into the business part by completing all necessary documentation. Lindsay and Gus lead me out of the CBD, it is drizzling as we weave through the road network and Lindsay waves as he leaves us at the base of the Mountain, Gus meanders and leads the way to the top of the mountain where he waves and I’m alone again.

It’s dark, lightly raining but focused and determined to complete plan ‘B’ of my ride. The bike is running well, Gus was right, there was a slight tail wind and the R15 easily maintains 100kph. I come across the roadwork's again, it’s not as muddy, I maintain 40kph continuing and burn up the muddy section. I few kilometres later the roadway has dried and I increase the pace.

Dirt and more dirt

The tail wind continues, I am mindful how high the R15 is revving even with the taller gearing, I maintain a speed of around 105 to 109kph, I make the most of it and it almost seems like cheating as I have never experience a tail wind lasting this long before.

I pull into Coolgardie and dump 19 litres of fuel into the auxiliary tank; it is 536 kilometres to the next stop. This is a fast stop, I had to use the amenities and walk in and couldn’t find the urinal so settle for a both. As I walk out I realise why and didn’t notice the signage as I was so focused. I pull out twenty minutes ahead of my plan even with the dirt road.

I head through Coolgardie and take the turn to Norseman, everything is humming along and about 15 kilometres out as escort vehicle indicates a wide load is following. Escort vehicles are often peppered along the Nullarbor; usually there is nothing special about the load to a bike rider. About another two kilometres further a police vehicle gestures a wide load is following and to move off the roadway. I pull off the roadway, pull out my camera from my pocket and snap a couple of photos. The wide load looked familiar; it passed me a couple of days earlier on the Nullarbor just east of Border Village.

Speed tamers

I continue pushing the little R15, this is a really enjoyable ride and things are going to plan, pity about the gastro on the first leg but I push that aside and concentrate on the plan.

I have traversed this area of Australia a dozen or so times in the last couple of years and I’m still mesmerised by this unique countryside. I take a few photos and continue on my way. I go through my usual exercise regimen on a regular basis; sitting in the cramped position for hours on end is not healthy and promotes circulatory issues and the real possibility of DVT’s. It has taken some time to work out what works as previously I have been caught doing movements that are not ideal and ended up cramping and or severe knee and or hip pain.

The wind is still obliging; I am over 30 minutes ahead of schedule as I pull into Caiguna. What a crappy place; not the location but the husband and wife team that mange the service station. I find the backpackers who work here polite and courteous, shame the husband and wife couldn’t learn a thing from these young ambassadors. The wife especially needs an attitude adjustment as her lack of enthusiasm would be the worst I have ever been exposed to from a service station. Many fellow travelers have mirrored this observation.

Generally outback people are courteous and assist wherever they can, often time means little to them. I always find it challenging when they want to chat to keep it short as they don’t appreciate the urgency that I’m on a plan and can’t chat for long.

I notice several messages on the phone and make a call. Apparently my SPOT was playing up again and had not showed any movement for a few hours with my last position some distance off the roadway. I discarded the batteries and fitted another new set and all seemed good. This set lasted less than half a day.

Just before I head out towards the Western/South Australian border I
take a mandatory photo of a well-known landmark. On these longer rides I zone out, I enjoy the scenery and really don’t think about anything specifically, I have FM radio and music available however generally decide not to listen to it. Occasionally I may listen to a radio station when I pass through a larger town but on this trip the Blue tooth has been idle for the whole journey.

A well known landmark

Its only 350 kilometres to the border; leaving an hour earlier has ensured that I miss the huge numbers of kangaroos that vacate this area in the evening. I passed through here about a year ago at midnight and travelled several hundred kilometres at about 80kph dodging and weaving amongst the large numbers of kangaroos. I really don’t want to mix with any wildlife, I have previously written a R15 off after hitting a kangaroo just out of Perth and both bike and myself were a bit worse for wear. Things are still going well, I’m ahead of schedule and am expecting a change in wind direction shortly that will make me work a harder. I spotted about a dozen kangaroos, they were moving flat out from one side of the road to the other, I have no doubt if they hit me they would have knocked me completely off the bike.

Doing it easy

About 30 kilometres West of Eucla the wind changed, sixth gear would not hold and now I had to run in fifth. I maintain a ‘flat’ posture on the bike reducing wind resistance; I find it difficult to maintain 80kph. Road-kill had attracted wedge tail eagles for supper. These are very large birds and tend to take off into the wind in an unhurried procedure as you approach, the trick is to guess the wind direction and avoid them. Strong wind gusts throw me all over the roadway. Traffic is light and the usual Grey Nomads are parked in the regular rest areas. I climb the pinch towards Eucla at 65kph; things aren’t looking too good I think to myself, if only I had the GTR.

The hard work payed off, I pull into Boarder Village 20 minutes ahead of schedule at 1822hrs. This is a slow stop, I need a few minutes to regroup. I ask is there anything hot in the warmer and the attendant says they can make something for me, I thank them but can’t afford to loose any time.

A regular wildlife warning

I head off into the wind, it’s still light, a small plane passes overhead on its way to the Border and at times you can see the sun behind the clouds as it approaches the horizon, it is still drizzling but not unpleasant. At times the sky is a brilliant red, I think about pulling over to take a photo but say to myself I can’t afford the time. After about ten minutes of internal conflict I said, what the stuff, if I can’t take a photo something is wrong. I pull over, take a few photos and savor a few minutes enjoying the sunset. For a moment I had lost what riding was all about.


I head off, the wind has eased and within about 15 minutes I am plastered by hundreds of insects, I was tempted to clear the visor but experience said just leave it alone until I can get a chance to do it properly.

A bugs life

I pulled in Nullarbor Roadhouse to clear of my visor and re-group, I also noticed the spot was flashing red, I think to myself that I am spending too much time focusing peripheral things and not focusing on the ride. Even though the wind eased I was starting to feel a bit second hand. I spent about ten minutes carrying out the tasks and freshening up and then head on my way again. The wind eases up and I can continue at just over 90kph. No wildlife is spotted during this leg.

Ceduna is quiet as I pull in about midnight. Fill with 15 litres fuel, this was a scheduled stop, I’m feeling great so decide to continue.

I pulled into Wudinna at 02:45hrs and stop in a bus shelter, it conveniently had public amenities adjacent; what more could you ask for? I inflated my pillow and had a sound sleep for about three hours before the alarm woke me.

Day 5

It was still overcast; I was happy I was closer to Port Augusta but had to fight with the cold. I passed through Kimba, yeah I know I’ve already told you about Kimba and still no opportunity of any photos because it’s still dark, what a place.

I pass Iron Knob and the sun starts rising, I try and pick a nice location and snap off a photo or two. I have lost count on how many photos I have taken of sun rises from this location but I always seem to hit the rising sun.

Still 20 odd minutes ahead of schedule, I pull into Port Augusta at 07:30hrs. I purchase an egg and bacon roll and an iced coffee and Head off to ‘Davo’s plaque’. I pay my respects and find a nice spot and take some time to eat a cold and disgustingly tough roll. I needed the milk to wash it all down, absolutely terrible.

I head off towards Broken Hill and am immediately met by a continual head wind. Fifth gear is the gear of choice but I am steadily loosing time on this leg. The wind is relentless; I am mindful on how hard the engine is working and back off slightly.

I pull into Broken Hill at 13:00hrs about thirty minutes behind schedule which brings me back to my original plan, I dump 21 litres of fuel into the bike to make the next 586 kilometres leg. I was planning to meet Wombattle (Craig) at Emmdale who is going to help pace me for the last couple of legs.

The wind tricks me as I leave Broken Hill, I am making good pace for about fifteen kilometres then the wind changes direction, dam the wind I say out aloud and push on. I pull into Emmdale; Craig heard me coming some time before and meets me at the gate with a smile. I dismount the bike gracefully again, I’m still and tired. I have a cool drink and settle on the cement for a quick 15 minute powernap.

IBA motel

I wake up feeling much better and comment to Craig that it wasn’t a deep sleep; he said I was asleep and he had taken a few photos. I wipe the dribble from my mouth and head off towards Cobar before Craig. A few minutes later a ST passes at speed and pulls overt taking a few pictures of me, this continues for some time. The sun is still out and the numbers of kangaroos are steadily increasing as we head towards Cobar. This is a horrific area for kangaroos and today appears noticeably worse than normal. Most of them are feeding on the edge of the highway amongst the long grass from the recent rains. They are well behaved but never trust them.

My scheduled stop is Nyngan however I pull into a Cobar service station; this does not affect my plan but allows me to stretch. Craig needs a receipt from Nyngan so we head off and both refuel about 40 minutes behind schedule at Nyngan.

The kangaroo numbers have diminished and riding is pretty easy except for fatigue. Riding in the wind has played its toll and we make an unscheduled stop at Gilgandra for a coffee. It is surprising how many additional gear changes are required when riding in windy conditions on a pocket sized bike. I make it clear to Craig that it is important that he make his sign in schedule as I have two additional hours up my sleeve.

Our trip through Mendooran is swift, no wind and I wind the R15 up to maximum cruising speed, and we pass through Dunedoo and start the long decent. It is starting to cool down and it is knocking me around something shocking. At Denman I need to slow the pace, I gesture to Craig to head on without me and I slow down considering a powernap on the side of the roadway. I pull to the edge and stop, a minute later Craig returns.

What a mate Craig is, he was prepared to sacrifice his own three day ride to make sure that I finished! He says he wants to get me over the line, this is what it’s all about. I’m still concerned as the time is ticking away and he may not have enough time due to my slower average however he is insistent that he will escort me through to the end so I pick the pace up a bit.

As we approach the service station he gestures for me to proceed in first, we get arrival receipts, celebrate our successes and head off to Craig’s for the night. We both arrived within our specified timeframes.

Done and Dusted

This was my hardest 50CC on a R15 ever, even though I had a tail wind for close to 1,600 kilometres. The thousand kilometres of headwinds and hundreds of kilometres of rain payed its toll on me both physically and mentally. I was pleased this ride was over but I knew I had worked extremely hard to achieve it.

Again I would like to thank Gus for his hospitality and home cooked meal, awesome mate. Lindsey for assisting with the getaway and Craig. The last 800 odd kilometres into Newcastle was probably the most difficult stretch of riding I can remember ever.
I’m starting to ask myself, 'am I getting too old for this?'

The R15 in action



Premier Member
Yes Karl. Just kinda crazy. I've dreamt about doing some of your rides, this time I'm glad that's you, not me. Ride done!
GPS is a Garmin 550, nothing flash but it works well.

The switch is a master that controls all auxiliary power including driving lights. Due to the small alternator and battery capacity, I turn it off every time the bike stops to protect the battery from discharging even if for a few minutes. Not much power left after running all the gear lol.


Premier Member
GPS is a Garmin 550, nothing flash but it works well.

The switch is a master that controls all auxiliary power including driving lights. Due to the small alternator and battery capacity, I turn it off every time the bike stops to protect the battery from discharging even if for a few minutes. Not much power left after running all the gear lol.
I'm planning a 50cc and want to use my 2014 KLR, I run a GPS, my ph and heated gear sometimes, was thinking about getting auxiliary lights, so should I be using one of those things?


Premier Member
I'm planning a 50cc and want to use my 2014 KLR, I run a GPS, my ph and heated gear sometimes, was thinking about getting auxiliary lights, so should I be using one of those things?
Rodney the reason I ran the master switch was because everything ran directly from the battery. This switch allowed me to isolate everything in one go. On a 'normal' bike, wired correctly, there Is no need to have the switch.