Brookester's 2nd Tassie IBA SS1600


Premier Member
Apologies for any picture references no longer showing.......

After having seen Mild_Things ride plan I was a little (read largely) envious of him managing a ride on the Summer Solstice, something I had planned on but had not recovered from Tuesday’s SS1600 sufficiently to do. And seeing how I was still here naming it the Post Apocalyptic Ride seemed appropriate.

After having done a SS1600 only 4 days ago on the big “scooter” I wanted to do some things on this run seeing how I would be on the fully farkled LD bike, the Super Tenere (S10). One was the run up to Smithton with a decent set of lights, Two, the run down the West Coast, and Three, can I go up and across the centre and reverse the normal travel line along the East Coast.

I also wanted to see how different it would be overall on the very nimble S10 in dry weather (that was forecasted) versus the time it took me on the big cruiser in less than ideal weather, with the vision being, is an SS2000 truly possible, which I believe it is although very difficult, and also, is Mild_Things idea of the ToT2000 (Tour of Tasmania to all paved extremes of the Island) at all possible?

So after having seen Mild_Thing pass through Burnie early on Friday morning as I made my way home from a night with friends I decided that I still wanted to cover the ground I have come to know pretty well during the dark, and lesser known grounds in the daylight.

Off down to the 24 hour staffed BP Launceston for a start docket at 02:16am on Saturday 22-12-12, and it’s here I suddenly realise I may have made a big mistake. It’s the Saturday before Xmas, I am most likely to going to hit large volumes of escaping holiday traffic tomorrow making this ride nigh on impossible (DOH!). Oh well, we shall see, can always abort and just cruise on home if so.

Now whilst Mild_Thing has made mention of not much road kill up along the North West Coast, he’s lucky….no not as much road kill as on Tuesday, but noticeably a lot less traffic as well. One thing that is immediately noticeable as I head on the stretch from Burnie to Smithton is that the lights on the S10 (35w HID headlights, 2 Rigid Industries 2600lumen LED’s, 2 x 6 ¾” 60w HID Spots) is all the little hoppers along the side of the road, and rabbits, there was literally thousands of them, something I had not seen on the cruiser with it’s inadequate lighting. I had 2 reasons for activating the ABS thanks to some stubborn hoppers just sitting in the middle of the road on bends, but all good, I got through it and felt more comfortable on the S10.

Got into Smithton and pulled up at the Shell garage which was meant to be open at 4:30am, it’s 4:35am and no sign of life…..give it 5 minutes maybe they is a little late….have a drink, check my SPOT, have a look around and walk/stretch…..nope, they is super late……a quick dash back up the road to the 24hr swipe BP pumps for some standard unleaded and a turn docket. All good, and a little adjustment to the RHS Spot light, was pointing just a tad too low, and away.

The run back to Burnie was uneventful as most little critters were heading off to bed now that the sun was beginning to break through…..sunrise shot at same location as on Tuesday with the cruiser…..

Now the weather is dry, on the S10……Hellyer’s Gorge does beckon….and so I obliged…..what a run…as Peter says, this is a run just to be enjoyed, brilliant scenery, forest smells and nice twisty roads….and not one other vehicle for my whole run…..Brilliant……then I make the mistake, come to the end, turn right and end up a short distance down the road at Warratah (DOH!)…can’t go this way until after 9am for the ferry at Pieman River….a quick photo at the pond and back out the way I came to rejoin the Murchison Hwy down the West Coast.

Now this run was quite moist and slippery on Tuesday, today, fine and dry and on a far more nimble bike…planned to stop at Roseberry pie shop, but it was closed so on through to Strahan…the run down had felt quicker and easier than on Tuesday. In reviewing the two log sheets all of 1 minutes difference…..but then I did have a longer stay at Smithton, and a detour to Warratah, so all up probably had been about 15-20 minutes real travel difference.

Fuelled and fed at Strahan and now for the run up to Queenstown which on Tuesday had been a very hairy ride on the cruiser in the wet……this time, perfect, no traffic, dry roads, and a nimble bike for all of the twisty’s….made up a lot of ground here. Then the climb out of Queenstown, once again huge time gain due to the nimble S10 just loving it, and then across the Lyell Hwy….no tourists cars, in fact did not hit another car until just after Derwent Bridge…

This time I did not stop at Derwent Bridge, dry roads….except the slippery bits Mild_Thing had posted about at Tarraleah, don’t know if it was a diesel spill up the twisty hill covered with fine blue gravel, or just leaked gravel from the roadworks further up the road, but slippery was an understatement….the old traction control, combined with the sphincter muscle were working overtime….but a good run just the same….and into Brighton for fuel 11:34am….this was a full 1 ½ hours better than on Tuesday, and this is where I had made up time, talking the West Coast and it’s twisty mountain roads on the S10 made a huge difference….not too many straight stretches for “gaining” out here so all well within limits.

The biggest thing for me personally was my handling of the bike, Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere… recent travels to the USA and my training and travel experiences over 16 days with Raw Hyde Off Road Adventures into how to handle these big Sports Adventure bikes has payed off in spades for me. All about bike control, positioning, throttle and clutch control, avoiding ‘target fixation’, looking through corners, not AT corners….and most important of all, just how far you can really lay these bikes over, this made a huge difference as to how I now ride this bike through this type of country.

So my lightly aspired to plan was in good shape, and I was surprised that there was hardly any holiday traffic to speak of… decision time, up over the Western Tiers or down and around the East Coast? Stay with the plan, run up over the Western Tiers, a little bit of gravel, down into Deloraine then a fairly straight run out to the East Coast port of St Helens, then decide from there based on the traffic along the vastly more popular East Coast, Oh, and this route gives me a run down St Mary’s Pass…heaven.
A view from along the Western Tiers....

Got into St Helens at 16:20pm with 1175kms, refuelled, checked SPOT, checked on some messages and forum posts and really just chilled out rehydrating….I had forgotten my camel back and was now starting to show signs of insufficient hydration, and it had warmed up during the day. So a nice slow long break here and 3 bottles of vitamin water and a mars bar. Also a decision that a nice run down the East Coast against the traffic flow to Hobart, across to Brighton, and back up the Midlands Hwy to Launceston would give me just the required distance required….still had 12 hours to do it all in, about 400+kms to go, and I’d be home in my own bed for tonight.

Off I went down the East Coast…done most of the stretch between here and Swansea on a regular basis, but once south of here, only occasionally. As I was feeling the effects of hydration, or lack thereof, I decided that a stop at Orford on the beach would be a good idea, take on another litre of vitamin water and just have a 15 minute sit down right on the beach, get some good sea air to refresh me, so that’s what I did.

The run from here down towards Hobart is sensational….nice flowing bends and curves along the rivers edge all the way through to the causeway at Middle Point, then a bit of highway and a run along the East Derwent Hwy through to Brighton. Second time here today, but it is a central refuelling point down here in the south of the Island. A check of the mileage and I’m all good for a run straight up the Midlands Hwy on sunset and into Launnie just after dark for a finish.

En route out of here I come across something I may have seen more of on this trip…the good old Random Breath Test hosted by our local constabulary….old style breath testers, off with the helmet to blow in the tube….all good, back on the road. On the straight run home this was the first, another in Campbell Town, and another one in Launnie…glad I was now going home after refuelling and getting a finish docket at 22:15 with 1624kms on the GPS and 1623kms on the bike. My investment during the week on a SpeedoHealer and having it calibrated against not only my own GPS but 2 others aswell has made a huge difference.
For the 'naysayers'......

So now to get on with submitting all the paperwork to the IBA for both rides, and after having played around and learnt a bit I can now include SPOT and GPS data and maps/routes.

Final Analysis: Is a SS2000 possible, YES, but you will need to be right on your game in managing all aspects of the ride, in particular your fatigue and fuel stops.

Is Mild_Things ToT2000 possible, YES, but on your game would be an understatement… will not only need that, but also every aspect of traffic and road conditions in your favour….one 10km stretch of roadworks, a couple of slow tourists through Wellborough Pass or any other delaying obstacle and you can kiss this one good-bye. Definitely easier and doable if you have an auxillary fuel supply for your full 600km range.

Is a BBG2500 possible, NO, just no reasonable amount 110kmh speed zones available. Google Maps puts Smithton to Brighton, the most 110km/h stretch, at a distance of 385kms in 4hrs21mins, so given you would need to do this return a bit over 4 times, then you could not ‘reasonably’ reduce the quoted 32+hours required.

In relation to this ride, was it anything special? NO, Google Maps has the route using it’s methodology at a distance of 1596kms in 20hrs33mins, so my 1624kms in 20hours is well within reason.

Could I achieve a SS2000?......All I can say is “Watch this space” as the coming week has 15 ½ days of sunlight combined with a Full Moon and some nice weather forecasted……and the S10 has just been serviced, new tyres and just enough electronic farkling to make it all work…….

Thanks to one and all for the support and comments, and not least of all to Peter (Mild_Thing) & Matt (ZedPilot) for all the local knowledge and inspiration to do these rides here in Tassie. Good luck to the IBR riders, after having done only 2 1600’s in 4 days, how you guys will do 11 in 11 days is beyond this mere human.

Grey Gentry

Premier Member
I can see the choice of bike is not insignificant. Backed up for a second successful run, well done.
The SS2000 is possible. as there was an SS2000k done in Feb 2011, two up.