BB3000K Gold: They say it's the journey not the destination

I hadn't intended to publish anything about the ride until certified, but prompted by TJ the other day I've put this little bit up. 6 months planning including numerous combinations and permutations of when and where I came up with the same route as Drain - Camooweal/Alice/Mataranka/Camooweal - but in February to maximize the daylight. I did a 2500 in 2014 on the R1200GS - Coober Pedy/Elliot/Kulgera/Erldunda - but the clutch stopped working (apparently it got hot) at Elliot and I did the 2nd half clutch less so I figured I wouldn't ride it on this one. The 2000 HD Heritage Softail Classic has done more than it's share of long rides in the 170,000km she's carried me for so I started looking around for a bike to hire to do the run and a BMW (can't remember which one it was now) seemed the best option and the mob in Sydney were happy to rent it to me. I don't fit on many bikes so I went into Rolfe Classic in Canberra mid December last year to sit on the model I was planning to rent, suffice to say Josh the sales guy did his thing and I picked up my freshly imported 2016 R1200GS Adventure on 20 January, had the 1,000km service done on 8 Feb and headed off for Camooweal on 22 Feb. The bike sat on the trailer Canberra to Cunnamulla day 1 but then I rode Winton day 2. Day 3 picked up a roofing screw in rear tyre just north of Mt Isa and me mate Sinbad in the car had left me for dead so I sat on the side of the road for 3 hours waiting for Mike from Mt Isa Motorcycles to come and get me. Incredibly he had just one right size tyre to fit - a brand new Dunlop Harley Davidson D407 which he said 2 previous BMW owners had refused to have fitted. BMW riders, how precious are they! I rang a BMW rider mate of mine just to check it would be OK and his only comment was "hope it doesn't slow you down". I later checked with Rolfe that I wouldn't void warranty. Out of Isa around 6.30pm and psyching myself up for a bit of dark - and to get the Clearwater's set up properly as I'd just put them on 3 days before. 50k short of Camooweal and down it came, when I got into town it was so dark and the rain so heavy I had to pull up under a shop awning, it was then I noticed the cop wagon about 20 metres off to the right. He reversed over to me (too bloody wet for him to get out) and asked what I was doing, I told him the story and said I was looking for the Post Office Hotel. He told me his story about the storm had knocked down a tree up the road and downed the power lines (so that's why it's dark!) and he was stopping traffic and sending it around the back part of town. Was the pub expecting me (cos now it's about 10.15), yep I said, I've been talking with Kris for several months and I rang from Isa to say I'd be a bit late. So you know Kris, nope apart from talking to him on the phone. Have you been here before (man, I just wanna get to the pub), nope. How long you staying, I head off Friday morning then I'll be back Saturday morning for a day or so. OK, well they hope to have the power back on by morning, that's the pub just there - 30 meters up from where I had stopped! I walked in the door to a rousing cheer from the locals, none of whom thought I'd be tough (read stupid) enough to leave Isa and ride through the storm. The mate with the recovery trailer who'd left me for dead - had gone to bed about 9.30!!!!

This is all you're getting about the ride for the moment:
00:59:43 Friday morning: Hit the ATM, thank you and good luck handshake with Kris, see you in Elliot about 20 to 2 this arvo Sinbad, and off I go.
3,042 Google map kilometres later
00:34:43 Saturday morning: Rattle the pub door and Michelle (Kri's wife) opens it with a big smile, bit of a chat and a complimentary beer, where's Sinbad I ask, he went to be bed about 10.30, major car problems.

Monday car is trucked to Mt Isa, where main bearing gone was diagnosis. Thursday a 2nd hand motor found but can't promise will be fixed by Monday (oh, and Sinbad flew out of Isa Wednesday leaving me again) probably won't be fixed even by Monday. Ok, I'm gone tomorrow. Back on the bike, Friday around 1200km to Charleville (took down a roo just short of the town in the dark but only damage was a busted shoo-roo), Saturday around 12ookm to Canberra. Thursday before Easter flew up to Isa, load broken motor on bike trailer, fork out a few grand and back to the motel for a few. Good Friday about 1200km to Charleville, stopping at Augathella to tighten 2 of the 3 belt pulleys (one was almost completely undone) top-up oil (3 litres!) and then wiping out another member of the local roo family about the same place as two weeks before. Saturday about 1200km to Canberra, more oil at Molong, and lots of horrible noise when I got out of the car in the driveway - bugger, another main bearing. Sunday, played around and diagnosed horrible noise as alternator pulley too tight - PHEW.

So, compared to the journey there and back the 3000k ride was pretty uninteresting, apart from the first few scary hours in the dark, the signs telling me that cows eat cars, the numerous small pigeons trying to take me out, the eagle that had me wobbling for several hundred metres (I've got the greatest souvenir) , the slowest fuel pump in the world at Barrow Creek, the monsoonal wind and rain north of Elliot that blew me off the road so many times I didn't make it as far as Mataranka (revised plan on the fly made up the distance but may risk certification due to backtracking), and the hallucinations for the last 4 hours in the dark.

I will post the ride details once certified, happy to respond to questions etc. through this post in the mean time. Else, see you in Parkes
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Gee sounds like you had to overcome some set backs Spaz, I can't wait for the detailed RR. Well done completing this "huge ride" hoping the certification works out ok.
well, if you have to make a tough ride tougher, you certainly get the gong mate. Glad to see some one else try the big one, though, really glad.
Thanks tabledrain, it was your write-up that got me going, I wasn't aware of this ride and had been thinking about the double 2500 in 48 hours. You stand unequalled man 'cause you didn't have the unlimited speed limit stretch.