Dusty Butt SS2000K Gold


Premier Member
The Whole Story

It had been a busy month; this ride had been postponed twice due to family illness and poor weather conditions. I had a few days to knock the ride over including the transport legs, I needed to make a decision, I’ll give it a go!

I was of two minds on which bike to use; the old S10 was run in but had new rubber but limited farkles as they were removed for the new bike. The new S10 was a virgin, just run in, no scratches and looked ‘real pretty’. The decision was easy, give the old girl another chance to experience some fun before she’s pampered by a new owner.

Transport Leg
I couldn’t sleep so I departed Dubbo just after midnight. What a night! It was 13 degrees and overcast. The rain was light, increasing in intensity approximately 10 kilometres east of Nyngan. I stopped on the side of the highway, had a stretch and pulled on my weather suit. Visibility was poor, it was now raining heavily. I missed the additional lighting that I had previously removed to prepare the bike for sale. The planned ride did not necessitate long range lights but rather a widespread beam with mid-range penetration. I wanted to keep weight to a minimum and reduce the chance of shaking the absolute crap out of everything. The only additional lighting was a nine inch light bar mounted under the existing headlights that gave me the necessary spread. Otherwise the bike was a stock standard Super Tenere.

Rain pelted down as I aquaplaned past the Cobar turnoff. The Heidenau K60’s worked overtime attempting to maintain traction on the road that was literally covered in water. They were a compromise for what I needed in a tyre with such a huge transport leg. I corrected the period of instability, made the turn and continued to Cobar stopping for a ‘Cobar photo’ for my mate. I pulled up at the Service Station, refueled and was off again in the rain with traction control flashing as I maintained IBA pace towards Broken Hill.

Yep, another Cobar pic.

The bike spluttered as I pulled over about forty five minutes east of Broken Hill; it was cold and foggy. I dumped 10 litres of fuel into the tank then continued, arriving in Broken Hill ahead of schedule. It was a reasonable run, kangaroos well behaved, emus stayed on their side of the fence with an occasional dead goat splattered on the roadway that could often be smelt before it was seen. I pondered over a phone conversation I’d had with Stephan at Birdsville Police Station two days previously who said the ‘Birdsville track’ was closed, however ‘it should be open when I come through in two days’. I hadn’t checked the weather map but trusted local knowledge.

A quick refuel at Broken Hill, topped up my drinking water and off again for Peterborough being my next scheduled fuel stop. I was pulled over at Oodla Wirra Quarantine Station for a routine fruit inspection; I was asked if I had anything to declare and replied “No, all I have are protein bars in my tank bag”. I was cleared to continue and shortly arrived at Peterborough, refueled and removed my wet weather gear. I was well ahead of schedule and stopped at a café for a Pepsi Max and a tall black coffee.

I headed off approximately 20 minutes later and passed through Orroroo to get a photo, then headed towards Hawker.

This is the type of wildlife I don’t mind seeing

I pull into Hawker Service Station at about 1600hrs Eastern Standard Time (all times AEST unless stated). A ‘Grey Nomad’ towing a caravan took the corner a little wide after refueling, I widened my approach to give him more room and my front tyre slipped off the concrete driveway launching the wheel to the left causing me to lower my right leg without thinking in an attempt to stop the bike falling, bad decision. Both the bike and I landed heavily on the ground.

There was just no way I could get off the ground, I just lay there in pain, I have a reasonable pain threshold but knew something wasn’t right and was ‘stunned’. The Nomad driver and another rider lifted the bike and assisted me to my good leg. I hobbled across to a table, not able to sit, I just stood there incapacitated and not going anywhere for what appeared eternity. My hamstring was done and dusted! All I could think of was how am I going to finish this frigging ride with a stuffed leg. Another long-distance riding mate ‘Wombattle’, understands my thinking, I do not recognise defeat easily.

I hobbled inside the Service Station, asked the attendant if he had any pain relief tablets and the attendant pointed me down the aisle while observing I was in discomfort, but not offering to assist. I consumed the ‘maximum’ dose recommended and waited for about 30 minutes, the pain worsened. I really couldn’t move much and was angry how something so simple could cause this much disarray.

I remembered seeing a Hospital sign as I approached Hawker on the southern side. I couldn’t ride but needed medical attention. I rode the bike to the hospital standing on one peg. It wasn’t elegant but stopping was a real bitch to say the least. I believe the population of Hawker is about 250 and was surprised that it housed a Hospital. I parked the bike in the Doctors bay as it was the closest point to the front door and limped into casualty, I was told to take a seat, I said under my breath “You’ve got to be kidding!” So I just stood there for about ten minutes waiting for the nurse to return from another patient.

My details were taken, the nurse struggled to take my boots and socks off whilst I leant backwards still standing, as I couldn’t sit. I wriggled out of my trousers and thermal pants and ‘plonked’ myself onto the hospital bed groaning as I lay supine with my legs flexed at the knees. Ice was packed around my leg that gave instant relief.

I lost track of time, a Doctor attended me about an hour later and my self-diagnosis was confirmed. She suggested that I would need to have a scan at Port Augusta but they don’t scan on the weekend. I was asked where was I intending to stay tonight and told them I was heading to Marree. “Where did you leave from this morning?” she asked. Some discussion occurred about my unusual hobby. I was told, “You’re not going anywhere today!” I was given pain relief and would be reviewed in the morning.

The Hospital staff were fantastic, they couldn’t do enough for me; I was treated like royalty. I appreciated their professionalism and personal attention. I had dinner, showered, had an early night and was relatively pain free as long as I slept in the foetal position with a pillow between my knees and I didn’t move. A couple of times during the night I had my observations taken, given more meds and drifted off to a light sleep until the next time rounds were due. I didn’t sleep well at all.

A poor excuse to kick back and relax.

Dinner – not a bad feed at short notice.

I woke about 0700hrs, moved at snail’s pace to the shower and back onto the bed. My mind was running overtime calculating options and possibilities. I was approximately 1,200 kilometers from home, fifteen hours plus into a transport leg and didn’t want to waste this time, I knew I was not 100% ride fit.

Breakfast arrived; I enjoyed the Weetbix and toast, washed it down with a coffee and waited for the Doctor to make her rounds as I attempted to stretch my leg.

At 0830hrs the Doctor made her rounds. I told her that with strapping and something to address the pain I could make the 400 odd kilometers to Adelaide, fly back to Dubbo and pick the bike up another time. I must have been convincing as the Doctor reluctantly gave me medications to get me to my destination.

I spent the next thirty minutes getting dressed, the only way I could get my socks and boots on was to lay in the foetal position on the bed and slowly slide them on, not elegant but it worked. The staff were absolutely fantastic and I thanked them for looking after me.

A nurse carried my tank bag as I hobbled towards the bike, she wished me well and I fastened my gear into the bike.

To keep all my options open, I rang Birdsville Police confirming the status of the ‘Birdsville track’. I again spoke to Stephan who said the road was open to the best of his knowledge. That’s all I wanted to hear. With a smile on my face, I mounted the bike, for a brief moment the pain altered my focus and I almost changed my decision until I was finally sitting on her.

To mount the bike I had to lift my leg by holding my trouser leg, rocking my body backwards allowing me to slide my leg over the seat. In hindsight it was not a smart idea.

I made the right hand turn and departed the Hospital grounds. As I approached the main highway, my body said turn left towards Adelaide, but my brain said, “Just do it”. I headed towards Marree because it was closer being only 275 kilometers away.

My paced slowed somewhat and I explored the best riding position. Standing was impossible however it was possible to adjust weight distribution to change the responsiveness of the bike.

Just enough sealed road to tease the rider.

I was uncomfortable to say the least; I learned to manage discomfort by de-focusing through meditation. A quick stop at Leigh Creek allowed me to re-stock my water, eat a protein bar and have a breather for a few minutes.

I arrived at Marree in the early afternoon, refueled the bike to capacity and didn’t look forward to getting back on to make the 1 kilometre ride to the hotel. Dismounting and mounting the S10 got no easier; it often took several attempts to get my leg over the seat with some discomfort.

I met a guy outside the Marree pub; Allan had been travelling around the area and departed Adelaide two days earlier, riding a KTM.

What – a pool in the middle of nowhere. Shame I couldn’t enjoy a swim as I couldn’t get my boots off.

We had four beers together, needless to say I was now ready to tackle the world, I don’t think Allan thought I was the ‘full quid’.

Things are a little slow in remote SA – refueling occurs at the same pace.

Dinner comprised of a medium rare perfectly cooked steak. It was awesome, washed it down with another Coke and was off to bed at 2000hrs. Going up and down the stairs was hell, I took very little gear to my room minimising the number of times I had to visit the stairs, preferring to leave the bike kitted ready to go.

That’s what you call a steak.

This is a remote area, visitors must take it seriously.

I woke just before midnight and dressed; it took longer than the day before. I packed the bike, headed out for a photo and returned for some brekkie. It’s still a little early to commence the ride; I need to ride to plan!

Let the fun begin – it sure is dark out there.

02:33 (local time) was printed on the ATM docket and I carefully filed it away in my wallet. I headed towards the Birdsville track where the adventure was to begin on the last kilometre or so of sealed roadway.

It was completely dark, the moon hadn’t risen, and the sky was crystal clear peppered with stars, ambient temperature cold. I was focused and knew what had to be done. The first fifty kilometers were taken ‘pretty carefully’ working up my pace, building confidence. Wild-life was almost non-existent. I was more concerned about adapting to a new riding style; it was unnatural continually sitting whilst riding on dirt, corrugations, sand and unstable road surfaces. My pace increased, the reduction of additional lighting that I’m used to with other long distances had no impact and I was getting into a rhythm.

Things were going great; occasionally I would see lights in the distance only to identify them as homesteads on the horizon. I rounded a corner and slammed the anchors just before hitting water flowing across the road. I laughed, couldn’t do much else because I expected wildlife, not a stream across the roadway. I continued gaining confidence crossing from one side of the road to the other, navigating the path of least corrugations and obstacles. Occasionally the opposite side of the road was smoother but more often than not it held different challenges, sand, deeper corrugations, loose gravel or boulders. The transition from one side of the road to the other became seamless and automated.

I held ‘Wicked Kate’ steady at the maximum posted speed limit; the bike felt comfortable drifting on the road surface. At times gravel ridges exceeding 150mm divided tyre tracks, I maintained concentration and the bike did everything that I asked of her. I ensured my weight distribution and movements were smooth and calculated and often attempted to stand, however this impulse subsided instantly the pain receptors registered movement.

No vehicles were spotted during any of the night crossings, countless kangaroos, rabbits, foxes and cattle were easily identified. My first ‘pucker’ moment was experienced rounding a corner where several cattle were standing across the roadway, ABS, adrenaline, strength and pointing the bike where I wanted, kept me vertical, just.

I knew if I dropped the bike there is absolutely no way I could lift it even if I unloaded the 15 additional litres of fuel, a few tools and personal items I was carrying. The weight of the bike was not the issue; I just couldn’t bend over to grab it. The more I thought about it the more I had doubts, I promised myself I would keep focus and not think about this again, I didn’t want to self-prophesize failure. I continued to wriggle trying to get comfortable. Kangaroos peppered the landscape everywhere however posed minimal risk. They appeared more interested in watching me pass, which is contrary to previous kangaroo strikes I have experienced.

I stopped for a quick nature break, enjoyed the sunrise as I dumped 10 litres of fuel into the tank reducing the centre of gravity and feeding the beast. This will give me the range to make my next stop being Birdsville.

Where else would you want to be?

The road’s surface improved and I thought, “Great stuff, it’s all easy going now”. It was warming; I chewed on a fruit bar savouring the moment, and still hadn’t seen a single vehicle. What a life! I was looking forward to the next two hundred odd kilometre run into Birdsville.

Easy Going.

About half an hour later things were still running well then all of a sudden I reacted impulsively and made a panic stop. First thing going through my mind was, “I’m stuffed!” In front of me was a bog with no chance of passing down either side as water lay for hundreds of metres on either side. I could see fresh tyre marks going through it, so it can’t be that deep.

First Challenge.

I dismounted the bike, approached the water, cursing it. Had my ride come to an end? I was told the roadway was open and clear so I had to refocus; I was wasting energy and time was against me. I kept saying aloud to convince myself, “It doesn’t look too bad”. I limped towards the edge of the roadway, it was soft as crap or had coarse gravel piled up preventing me from safely riding on the lip. There was no way I could balance the bike on the edge and absolutely no chance of walking through the crossing, checking it’s depth for what may have been hiding underneath. I’m just going to do it! Traction control confirmed setting two, sports mode selected and I just got stuck into it. Easy, no issues as the water soaked my boots rising above my knees and splashing over the windscreen.

Vehicle tracks were formed in the roadway for many kilometres and occasionally I became trapped within them. Some of these tracks were soft and others set like concrete. I just looked in the distance and let the bike follow the path. Rarely did my eyes venture down but when they did, things did not go well and I had to re-group after a few choice words.

I had recently purchased a decent set of off road boots highly recommended by my mate Wombattle. All I can say is, “Thanks” countless times because they knocked clumps of solid dried mud that occasionally dislodged my foot from the foot peg which was both exhilarating and painful to say the least.

Keep Focused and always look forward.

Things just kept getting worse. Three additional water passes were needed and I was starting to get a little peeved well over the whole thing. On one crossing I could clearly hear the exhaust bubbling away in the water and knew if the bike stalled and fell over I’d be stuffed. I took what I thought was a better route however it was substantially deeper and water flowed over my legs, crotch and splashed over my upper body. I kept the power on and pointed her straight out of the hole keeping the power on. I was wet as I exited the other side and relieved as I dialed in the power again to continue to my destination.

Not getting any better.

The morning was warming as I pulled into Birdsville about 15 minutes ahead of schedule. I refueled, limped into the roadhouse to pay for the fuel and the checkout chick said, “So you got through OK then?”. I replied something like, “It was just a little slippery in places”, and filed the receipt in my wallet.

No queue for fuel here.

A quick run up to the pub for a photo opportunity and you wouldn’t believe it, I ran into a friend of Wom’s. We chatted for a minute and he asked me if I was doing a ‘Dusty Butt’. He offered to take a photo of me in front of the pub and said, “Without a photo it didn’t happen”. He yelled out to his wife, “This is a mate of Wom’s and he’s doing a Dusty Butt”. She replied, “Stop talking and let him get on with the ride”. What a small world!

I think they were a little humoured as they watched me mount the bike to commence my return trip.

Not much weight on the right foot.

I departed for the return leg and a message came through from Wom, “Birdsville?” I laughed to myself and FaceTime’d Jo for a few minutes whilst I had reception leading out of Birdsville.

The return trip was much easier. I knew what to expect and rode as hard as I dare, attempting to obtain credit for the night stages when I expected fatigue to creep into the equation.

A famous landmark.

The water crossings came and went much more effortlessly. I passed a couple of four wheel drive vehicles and about six bike riders obviously on a leisurely outing as I blasted past them in the opposite direction.

Not a bad track.

I pulled into Mungerannie confirming previous arrangements for fuel and was greeted by a McDonalds ‘Opening Soon’ sign, awesome, maybe next visit I could get a decent coffee. The success of this ride hinged totally on my strategy to utilise Mungerannie as a refueling point and the generosity of the owner.

Another one.

Interesting place to stop – interesting characters to say the least.

The run into Marree was event free, refueled, no rush by the operator as usual and I was thinking to myself I am half way through the ride and don’t have time to, ‘just stand around’. I quickly ate a couple of protein bars and was underway on schedule.

Back into the mud again, feeling more confident but visualizing falling off and only having the mirror sticking out of the water. The more I thought about it the more I realised the mirror would be completely submerged so I changed my thought process again. In hindsight if the bike fell over, I wouldn’t be able to leave the area as the bike would lay in the bottom of the crossing unidentified until someone got a puncture running over it.

I was starting to enjoy the crossings – not.

I pulled into Birdsville in the dark, some movement in town and obtained a corner docket and was off again within minutes for the final leg.

Needs a wash – Standard sump guard used.

Just out of town I ran over a fox and two rabbits in quick succession, I hoped that was not the start of something.

Under 500 kilometres to go, it was all downhill I told myself. I kept pushing along and again no vehicles were to be seen anywhere. I was much more cautious with the mud crossings now and didn’t want to do anything stupid. Fatigue was creeping in, my leg had pained almost the whole trip and no doubt it assisted in keeping me focused however I was looking forward to some respite from the discomfort.

I refueled the bike under torchlight, my body had cooled and I had extreme difficulty getting back onto the bike. At one stage I thought I was done and dusted because I just couldn’t get back onto the bike, I just couldn’t get my leg up. Finally I centered the bike and was away again for my next refueling point at Mungerannie. True to his word I refueled and continued to Marree Hotel arriving with seven minutes to spare. The ride was done, over 2,000 kilometres on dirt within 24hrs. I was elated and even more pleased to be on sealed pavement again.

GPS specs.

Sheared ‘high tensile’ rack bolts holding the rear rack to the bike frame.

I didn’t feel overly tired and continued to Leigh Creek and had a power nap. I woke sooner than later due to the pain, and continued towards Hawker and onward towards home.

In need of a wash.

I refueled at Broken Hill and continued to Little Topar where I slept on a table for almost thirty minutes. I continued to Cobar for fuel and a quick call home and dinner was waiting for me at about 1745hrs after I unpacked the bike.

I sought medical attention and was referred to a physiotherapist who said I had a grade 3 hamstring strain. Surgery was considered however with physiotherapy and some good luck, surgery was avoided and I am getting ‘ride fit’ for the ACT SS1600.

I sought medical attention and was referred to a physiotherapist who said I had a grade 3 hamstring strain. Surgery was considered however with physiotherapy and some good luck, surgery was avoided and I am getting ‘ride fit’ for the ACT SS1600.

This just arrived

Now – is it possible to push a ‘little’ harder?

Edit: Re-establish image links
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Premier Member
Looks not too serious from the photo ..... I hope that is the case. Perhaps it's a Psych ward after a Dr somewhere has seen your IBA record ???


Premier Member
After almost a 1,200 transport leg things went a little south for a while! My concern, I had only a few days to attempt something special... most would consider, 'not a smart thing to do'.

[shiver] That looks all too familiar......
Don't keep us in suspenders for long!!
I know what you saying Bill, I have also visited my share of nurses :)

I am glad you didn't organise a pic of the back of that gown!
I did make sure the back door was closed as it was a bit chilly

Thats taking Paramedic training just a step too far....
We did swap notes on trauma, they were very friendly

Hope that's a private room. Do tell.
Nothing like a private room, things were real quiet and I had two personnel nurses, they were very kind and took my boots and trousers off for me :D

Lets analyse! Still wearing a watch and has his tablet handy. No drip and no frames. However, not smiling and his legs are wide apart. Student proctologist???
Very observant, but at this stage I still couldn't throw my leg over - the bike that is

Looks not too serious from the photo ..... I hope that is the case. Perhaps it's a Psych ward after a Dr somewhere has seen your IBA record ???
Like that comment, I didn't offer any additional information on what I was considering as they questioned my sanity riding non stop from Dubbo already.

Next morning happy on meds, still in pain and strapped to boot, I assured staff I would head towards home, my body said turn left but my brain said turn right at the intersection. Those of you that know me personally know unless the ride is completely broke or I am incapacitated, the ride must go on.

Plan altered, riding style altered but the game plan was ON and this would be a challenging and utterly insane ride. I will push the bike and broken rider to the limit. This is what it's all about, getting to know yourself and having fun.


Premier Member
Best wishes Karl .... I'm sure we are all looking forward to the full story (including the nurses and trousers off bit) when you get the time. Take care out there mate !